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Lenovo ThinkCentre M90P Desktop PC

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Intel Core i5-650 3.2GHz,
8GB RAM, 1TB HDD,
Integrated Graphics,
DVD-ROM, 8x USB 2.0,
DisplayPort, Win 10 Pro 64-bit,

Refurbished - AST-0077-REF

$159.99!

Granted, it's an older system, but would definitely be enough for an entry to intermediate DAW!
https://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=827475&sku=42571202&SRCCODE=3WWEBEML4685&utm_campaign=3WWEBEML4685&_kla_id=e3940a56dfd430318240bafc3377a10a4a5819265536beda969bba4511cacd57&utm_medium=main&utm_source=EML

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If you live by a Microcenter they usually have great deals on refurbished systems too.

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2 hours ago, Finnbogi Ragnar Ragnarsson said:

It is  very slow. 2208 in Passmark.

My main computer for audio production work has more ram but a less powerful cpu.  Though I do have a dedicated graphics card.

Yeah it isn't a speed machine but albums have been made on less powerful machines.  

for $160, Seems like a functional machine for some music production.

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Unfortunately, most benchmarks, like Passmark, evaluate systems for gaming, which does not line up exactly with DAW work. An i5 at 3.2GHz will jump up to 3.5GHz if you enable processor management in the BIOS (taboo, I know, but it's made my systems deliver the GHz when called upon), and then set your min and max processor speeds to 100% in Windows' power settings.

My 3.4GHz Dell is idling at 3.67GHz right now due to me doing this. It's about the only "overclocking" trick you can do with BIOSes like Dell and Lenovo.

Cakewalk's engine has gotten less demanding of resources in the past 3 years. I could record and mix a 4-piece rock band on the described system, using my preferred plug-ins. I might want to throw in a $15 used nVidia card in it just to make things look better on the screen. ITB electronic music would be fine as well. Might have to freeze a track or two if you're using CPU-hungry synths, but crank up the buffers while you're mixing and all is well.

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It's absolutely a usable machine and most of us have used slower machines running a DAW. But for the capabilities it is at the threshold where people are throwing away faster machines.

I certainly have put together faster machines for kids of friends from parts given away.

The nice thing is that a 1TB disk is in the deal, a non SSD of course, that for Windows 10 means that it has to be practically turned on at all times, or you have to be ready to wait over 20 minutes after starting it as the Windows Defender kills all performance while scanning. Windows 10 is designed nowadays to run on an SSD.

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4 hours ago, Finnbogi Ragnar Ragnarsson said:

Windows 10 is designed nowadays to run on an SSD.

I agree. That's the first thing I would add to that PC to make it useful.

Although I use a self-built Win 10 desktop with SSD for my DAW, I had a fairly recent Acer laptop with only a HDD and it was dog slow after I upgraded it from Win 8.1 to Win 10.

With Win 10, an SSD drive for the OS makes all the difference in performance! Best return on investment that you can make!

I replaced my Acer laptop with a Dell Latitude i5 Win 10 Pro refurb for $350. It had everything I needed, except an SSD. As I was upgrading the SSD in my desktop, I just swapped the older SSD into the Dell laptop. It runs great!

Edited by abacab
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