Source For Used DAW Computers?

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Suntower
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Source For Used DAW Computers?

Post by Suntower » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:35 pm

I don't now how to word this but I -think- there are a lot of people in my boat so...

I've got 5 or 6 bespoke PCs at any one time which I use for recording and composing. They are a hodgepodge of CORE I7s running Windows 10. Call it fate or statistics, several of them have died just in the past month. What's ANNOYING is how expensive they are to replace because they all use ancient (but quite serviceable) audio cards with old-school PCI connectors (eg. RME audio cards or UAD cards, etc.) so when a mobo dies, finding a mobo that has several PCI slots can be challenging -and- that is compatible with the old CPU and memory blah, blah, blah.

Anyhoo... I was just wondering WHAT HAPPENS TO ALL THE OLD DAW COMPUTERS? There must be a 'farm' where mommy and daddy take all the old Sandybridges and Haswells off to live forever, right?

I was hoping there was a web site that sold barebones machines with just a case, CPU, mobo they could ship me when a machine dies that I could drop all my drives into and carry on merrily.

Because here's the thing: even though my Sandybridge and Haswell computers (with ONBOARD GRAPHICS!) are ancient compared to 'gamer' machines, they are -perfectly- adequate for my needs in running Cubase and slaved Vienna Ensemble to record, compose and mix with. Even with large track counts I almost -never- run out of horsepower so why -should- I shell out for all new machines?

But I need a way to be able to get a machine repaired and back on-line in like a day or two tops. And when a machine dies now, best case, by the time I find the parts, tear down the machine and rebuild it, I've lost a week.

What I want, with my barebones idea, is a way to get back in business, on the cheap, in short order.

Maybe people are already doing this and I just don't know about it because I live in a cave?

Your thoughts?

---JC

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digitaldrummer
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Re: Source For Used DAW Computers?

Post by digitaldrummer » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:31 am

I know around me there are often "recycling" campaigns where they collect old computer and electronics and supposedly dispose of them properly. I think some of that ends up being sold off to local merchants by the pallet and they cobble together systems and put them on eBay for folks like you (maybe?) and the rest is probably discarded back into the landfills where someone was trying to avoid having them go in the first place. Luckily there is nothing harmful in that old equipment right?

ok, so yeah, check your local goodwill (and other thrift stores, or even online...) and eBay, Craigslist, etc. if you want old stuff. Nobody is making it anymore so once its all off the shelves that's the only thing left.
Last edited by digitaldrummer on Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

kslight
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Re: Source For Used DAW Computers?

Post by kslight » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:20 am

With my employer I have used electronics recycling services, they come and pick up equipment from businesses and resell or scrap or recycle. The company I went with physically shreds the hard drives (yes).

So what that means is you can often find obsolete server/workstation grade computers for almost nothing on Craigslist.

Older Dell and HP Xeon based workstations are popular (I don’t remember the exact models) and a good bang for buck...these are Pro tools certified workstations (look at avids supported system requirements for exact models). If you are like me you’re like uh Dell, HP, really? Well these aren’t the consumer grade models, these are essentially like 2009-2012 Mac Pros...built like a tank. And you can find them for $100. If you truly need vintage PCI slots (not PCIe) some of these old systems have those too...

Of course, you can also find 2009-2012 Mac Pro towers for pretty cheap too. Still nice systems still today, I have a 12 core 3.33ghz machine as my workstation. Not an apple guy? No worries, it’ll run windows too.

Magnetic Services
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Re: Source For Used DAW Computers?

Post by Magnetic Services » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:56 am

Just out of curiosity, why do you use 5 or 6 PCs at a time?

Suntower
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Re: Source For Used DAW Computers?

Post by Suntower » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:15 pm

Magnetic Services wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:56 am
Just out of curiosity, why do you use 5 or 6 PCs at a time?
Many years ago I wired my entire house for recording. But this was before networking or PCs fast enough to have -one- central 'rack'. So I had several PCs, each with UAD cards and RME cards and network cards and VSL so I could do Cubase MIDI and VSTs and audio everywhere. It's worked so well I just kept using the same configuration. What I like is that each room has a different sound.

And now, it would cost a fortune (well for -me- a fortune) to upgrade everything to a more 'modern' configuration (perhaps only 2 or 3 PCs with new RME cards running some sort of Gigabit protocol)

So I hope to keep running these basic i7 PCs with these 10 yr old RME cards basically forever. Because it dawned on me that my musical needs will likely never change.

Suntower
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Re: Source For Used DAW Computers?

Post by Suntower » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:18 pm

What you say makes a lot of sense. I live in the Seattle area but I keep checking Craigslist and I haven't seen anything like what you're talking about... which I find REALLY odd--which is why I posted here. Is there another place I should be looking for the machines you mention?

---JC
kslight wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:20 am
With my employer I have used electronics recycling services, they come and pick up equipment from businesses and resell or scrap or recycle. The company I went with physically shreds the hard drives (yes).

So what that means is you can often find obsolete server/workstation grade computers for almost nothing on Craigslist.

Older Dell and HP Xeon based workstations are popular (I don’t remember the exact models) and a good bang for buck...these are Pro tools certified workstations (look at avids supported system requirements for exact models). If you are like me you’re like uh Dell, HP, really? Well these aren’t the consumer grade models, these are essentially like 2009-2012 Mac Pros...built like a tank. And you can find them for $100. If you truly need vintage PCI slots (not PCIe) some of these old systems have those too...

Of course, you can also find 2009-2012 Mac Pro towers for pretty cheap too. Still nice systems still today, I have a 12 core 3.33ghz machine as my workstation. Not an apple guy? No worries, it’ll run windows too.

kslight
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Re: Source For Used DAW Computers?

Post by kslight » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:38 am

Suntower wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:18 pm
What you say makes a lot of sense. I live in the Seattle area but I keep checking Craigslist and I haven't seen anything like what you're talking about... which I find REALLY odd--which is why I posted here. Is there another place I should be looking for the machines you mention?

---JC
kslight wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:20 am
With my employer I have used electronics recycling services, they come and pick up equipment from businesses and resell or scrap or recycle. The company I went with physically shreds the hard drives (yes).

So what that means is you can often find obsolete server/workstation grade computers for almost nothing on Craigslist.

Older Dell and HP Xeon based workstations are popular (I don’t remember the exact models) and a good bang for buck...these are Pro tools certified workstations (look at avids supported system requirements for exact models). If you are like me you’re like uh Dell, HP, really? Well these aren’t the consumer grade models, these are essentially like 2009-2012 Mac Pros...built like a tank. And you can find them for $100. If you truly need vintage PCI slots (not PCIe) some of these old systems have those too...

Of course, you can also find 2009-2012 Mac Pro towers for pretty cheap too. Still nice systems still today, I have a 12 core 3.33ghz machine as my workstation. Not an apple guy? No worries, it’ll run windows too.
I see them on my Craigslist and Facebook marketplace from time to time. On those it’s generally easiest to search for “xeon” which will of course pull up all Xeon based computers on Craigslist. Worst case scenario there are thousands of them on eBay in as many possible configurations, but you’ll probably want to be more specific (ie: dell t3500 windows 10).

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digitaldrummer
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Re: Source For Used DAW Computers?

Post by digitaldrummer » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:32 am

https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Listings?s ... Prefs=true

if you really need PCI, then that's why you need eBay and Goodwill... I think that is 4th and 5th gen i7

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