***edited to clean up spelling and added a little more detail where needed.
But also wanted to note that a good PC is also a piece of the puzzle, when creating a .wav for .flac or .mp3 oupput file, there is a lot of processing that goes on to generate these files. I use and quad core i5-7400 3ghz, and 32 gigs of RAM, this may be overkill… but I also do a lot of 3D modeling on this same rig… so it’s quite beefy, be sure to check the particular applications requirements so you get the performance you need, as some of these applications can be demanding, specially when applying a lot of filters and using multiple virtual instruments at the same time.
DAWs pretty much all do the same thing… so its really just a matter of what what you like.
Unless you have a specific reason you need to use Logic or Ableton etc… there are plenty to choose from that are fairly inexpensive. I never used cakewalk myself, so can’t compare to it directly.
You can try a free demo of Mixcraft at https://www.acoustica.com/mixcraft/download.php but i believe Ableton as well as most of the others offer free demos as well. Try them out and see what one feels good. Either way there is quite a learning curve… the big ones, like Ableton or Logic Pro-tools etc… you will be able to find a lot more learning materials for the well known applications vs a lesser know application.
A pretty popular and fairly lower cost one many people use is FL studio, tons of people use it, and its been around for years now. https://tinyurl.com/yxelpm9a you can find a demo of it here.
This really is a big topic, as a DAW can do a LOT of things… you need to determine what you need the DAW for and find one you like that does what you need. For example, you can use it just for simply arranging and mastering audio file you have already created. You may want something more tuned toward live performances like Ableton Live or Maschine by native instruments (but be advised Native Instruments is proprietary to using there hardware with it), or maybe you want something with tons of virtual instruments sound packs/loops and filtering options as you play along with a midi keyboard or controller to just jam with.
I think starting with FL studio is a good starting point, but Reason, and Ableton are another pair of very pro level ones that support windows. No matter what you do, download the demos and try them out. You will need some kind of audio interface or usb mixer most likely as well, since DAWs are not meant to work with built in sound-cards on motherboards… those are pretty poor quality and not very functional for music production.
And you will need a set of studio monitor speakers, regular PC speakers are not meant to be used with a DAW, as they do to much processing, you need to use monitor speakers to hear the true flat/unprocessed sound before any processing occurs to master a mix properly.
I personally use:
Mixcraft Pro 8 Studio as my primary DAW - currently $79 (100 bucks off) as of this writing see above link for the web link to the demo
Mackie CR5BT - 5" Multimedia Monitors - $220 bucks on amazon, but there are smaller sized 3in ones and they only cost $99
Behringer Q1202USB 12-Channel Mixer $120 on amazon, but i bought it for $99 so look around for sales
I use a lot of other gear as well, but starting out, you need 3 things:
a DAW, Monitor Speakers, and some sort of audio interface or mixer. I decided to go with a USB mixer cause it allows me to connect several inputs, but if you only have one thing to connect, people love the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface, I have not used it, but its highly rated. It’s about the same price as a mixer… and the mixer gives more inputs, eq-ing, compression etc… so I went that route.
There are TONS of youtube vids like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJaC8Umz_X8&t=1s discussing top 10 DAWs
Andrew Haung has a ton of good info on his youtube channel about setting up a home studio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JBOgJ0lTJo
Good luck… your entering a new world so it’s a lot to absorb… but it’s not all that bad… there are a ton of tutorials… that and just spending time working in the software, you will get the hang of it all.