Recommended PC Config for Pro Tools 7.1 and up

Frequently, on Pro Tools Tutorial, we will share some best practices that we use in our studio.
This post describes a recommended configuration for Windows-based studio workstation.  The bottom line is that Pro Tools is a memory and processor hog!  Hardware is relatively inexpensive, so beef up on memory (RAM) and number of processors.  Our system has 4GB RAM and a Quad-processor.  Hard drives are really cheap – so install a couple of them.  You can use one as a real-time backup of your project files.
Our recommendation is to install Windows XP with service pack 3 and leave it.  Don’t get the auto-updates.  Don’t update your browser.  For best results and consistent performance, your workstation should be dedicated for Pro Tools. Disconnect the network and shut off the network cards.  If you need the network connection and Intenet access, create a secondary hardware profile that enables those components.
Another key component is the firewire adapter.  Get the best one money can buy.
Once your system is up and running, you should be able to layer 16-24 tracks with active plugins without any hiccups.