PC/Laptop for music production

Discussion in 'Production' started by Quotec, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. Quotec

    Quotec Active Member

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    The one I have atm is getting old and dusty and tbh it has never served as a perfect tunemaking machine. So I am looking into purchasing a new one. What would be your suggestions? I heard some folks recommend to get more RAM(8GB and up) and better processor for smoother tunemaking but at the same time a friend of mine runs 8GB RAM and iCore 5(or 7) and still gets lag spikes when he operates with 4-5 Sylenth plugins(or basically any other plugin).


    P.S @ 4GB DDR3, iCore 3 my Samsung laptop can handle medium-sized projects quite well
     
  2. Dark Lizardro

    Dark Lizardro The Lizard that has a hammer Staff Member

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    CPU underruns can be eliminated through certain DAW optimizations (buffer sizes, etc.). Most daws ask for 4gb of ram, but the only time I see it (I use FL Studio) consuming ram is when I load wav files into the project. The rest is handled purely by the processor itself. Any gaming desktop/laptop should handle the job just fine.
     
  3. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    I just got a Dell XPS 15, quad-core i7 and 16GB + SSD, and it flies...but, laptops aren't desktops, even with that much power, it runs hot, but I can push it a damn long way with very complex projects

    I would suggest a minimum quad-core i7 Haswell (8 threads hyper-threading) and anything over 8GB ram, plus SSD drive rather than a standard hard drive

    whether you get a laptop or desktop, depends on whether you can live without it outside of your studio space, if you don't need to take it with you, then get a desktop, no question, with minimum specs as suggested above, infact you can double those specs easily for the same money you'd spend on a laptop

    main issue with laptops is the processor, most have a base freq which can be half that of a similar desktop, they can turbo-boost upto much higher speeds (mine can hit 3.3ghz), but then it runs hot, and the hotter it gets, the more chance you have of it throttling back to a lower speed - if you don't play games, you can reduce this effect by not getting one with a dedicated graphics card, but if you get one with a new Nvidia GTX, you can disable the dedicated graphics for your DAW, which improves temps allot
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  4. Mania

    Mania i fukin wot m8

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    Id say go for cpu as your main goal. ram can be upgraded any time, cpus a lot harder to esp in laptops. fir a proper setup, id go PC, and only a laptop if youre moving all iver the place and still want to jam.
     
  5. GhostOfMuttley

    GhostOfMuttley Member

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    can't up the ram in new macbooks after purchase

    cunts

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    can't up the ram in new macbooks after purchase

    cunts
     
  6. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    yeah you can, but it'll cost you £2500 and you need to replace the rest of the MacBook at the same time :p

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    yeah you can, but it'll cost you £2500 and you need to replace the rest of the MacBook at the same time :p
     
  7. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    Ha what a bunch of wankers! Buy a slightly older one second hand then..? My 2012 MBP i7 with 16gb ram is pretty damn solid.
     
  8. wesStyle

    wesStyle Member

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    Another thing to notice with laptops is the fan noise.
    My last years macbook air 13"(i7 with 8gb ram) fan goes to 6500rpm in no time and it is noisy(with such high rpm noise becomes very annoying and is higher(pitch-wise)). I deal with it by putting macbook further away from myself to another desk(I use it with external everything) but it still sometimes annoys me. O believe the same thing applies to latest macbook pros too.
    I also have a very powerful gaming rig but I use it only occasionally mainly because I prefer mac os and to use my macbook for everything(work, production, other stuff).
     
  9. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    that would be because the MacBook Air uses a cut down version of the i7 dual-core processor, its base speed is just 1.7Ghz, using it for production means it needs to clock up pretty much straight away, the Air isn't designed to be run with turbo-boost switched on for long periods

    Most people with MacBook Pro's don't realize that they can disable the Nvivdia graphics and use only the Intel onboard graphics (install Nvidia Optimus), which cuts the heat and therefore noise, significantly - but even so, MacBook's use intentionally low clock speed chips (compared to PC laptops), which means they need to be pushed much harder for music production, and run allot hotter
     
  10. wesStyle

    wesStyle Member

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    Yeah exactly. But thankfully it does not mean that there are not powerful enough :) I have to occasionally freeze things but most of the time there are no problems with performance even on lower buffer values.
    I also have to say that this mostly applies to "ultrabooks"(MacBook Air - like laptops). Regular and bigger laptops generally have bigger fans and slower rpm so are less noisy for the cost of mobility.
     
  11. SENATE

    SENATE Member

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    Since starting to learn how to produce, I have been through 4 pcs and the latest one, my macbook 2009 just died suddenly a few days ago - nothing backed up ( hopefully can still salvage of the HD )
    I'm going to purchase a "gaming pc" (Again) -
    8mb of ddr3 RAM can be upgraded, 3.9 ghz processor speed up to 4.2 turbo and amd a8 processor.

    Sucks absolute ass having no daw ( cry ) and all that time spent layering malstroms could be lost forever...( spoilt little brat? )
    I'm not that savvy about specs and seem to get different answers all over the place ( defiantly don't take advise of PC world or any shop )
    Im confident those specs will run reason re wired as the macbook 2009 let me build big tracks with huge amounts of processing and effects.

    What I want to know is, how can I prevent my next PC from dying like the last 4?
    Logic board fail...
    4 times....
    Has it happened to you?
    Did you retrieve hours and hours of work via the HD via a PC?
    lol its a constant fight with technology, one that I'm losing right now and I really need an external HD for future - kids always have your files backed up three times!
     
  12. kieran t

    kieran t Member

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    this is exactly why got rid of my pc and bought an imac.
    years of being pissed off.

    id be lying if i said my mac ran with no problems what so ever but i now get work done without hassle of errors popping up,cpu warnings. crashes............
    personally the only options i would consider in the future is the mac pro or an imac with the highest specs i can afford. i know its worth it to me
     
  13. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    That's bonkers, it must be something you're doing imo. Do you know what the fault was with each board? Sounds like it could be an environmental thing, like you make tunes in a pizza oven or something..?
     
  14. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    you should check out the performance comparisons between Intel and AMD, Intel's Dual-Core with HT out perform even the fastest Octo-Core AMD in almost every way - they are not worth the money, let alone the tiny saving you make on an AMD setup. Intel is the way forward if you really want future-proof performance in audio
     
  15. SENATE

    SENATE Member

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    Going back to windows as to me it works, also I had an iphone on contract which also broke a few months back ( charger pins fucked up ) no help from three or apple so I cba with them and their "genius's" when something breaks, they are no help what so ever unless your made of money.

    Also, yeh...maybe its just not great having reason open constantly, I would rarely close it tbh, always open while on dnb forum and facebook, sample hunting etc
    Plus, I'm also thinking about voltage spikes in this house, one double socket in my room, you can guess how many extensions are under my desk?
    Its always the electrician whose house is below par electrically eh.
     
  16. EvezDroppin

    EvezDroppin .

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    spent £700 for a pc from pc specialist that has the cheapest gfx card they had but an SSD 8gb ram and one of the fastest i7's before the extreme versions. runs real smooth
     
  17. SENATE

    SENATE Member

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    Thanks just seen this, I will have a gander...Im expecting a tower with intel chip will be a considerable amount more £££.
    The price of the amd a8 looked okay to me, maybe because amd a8 chips are shite and will fail a year down the line? (5th pc :) )
    I did save a put what I consider to be a lot of money on the macbook, for it to just break at the click of a finger.
    I'm a poor man playing a rich mans game, I just cannot afford a pc of £400 upwards right now, cold turkey from producing, not writers block induced, all i can think about is the filter envelope, horn samples, hi hats, messing with the attack on snare comp, pads, making aggy risers, samples, kicks, saws, squares spread, distortion, phasers...
    Im sure its apparent due to my long read.
     
  18. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    save up another 100 quid, and you can get a 4th gen haswell intel i5 quadcore 3.2ghz setup for less than £500, get it with a Z97 motherboard, so you can upgrade the CPU to an i7 quad for 100-150 later on, if you need more speed in 6-12 months - 4th gen i5 quad is still a hell of allot of power for the money, it outperforms the AMD A8 significantly, even the A10 struggles in comparison to the 4th gen i5's, definitely worth a little extra waiting and another 100 quid

    an intel i7 quad setup will outperform every AMD chip available including the 12core's (duno about the 16core AMD), for ~£650 inc 8gb ram if you shop around (added bonus with intel chips, they have built in graphics, so unless you play games, you can remove the graphics card and save yourself a bit more cash)


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    yeah check out these guys Senate, they let you customise a setup completely, so you can see what you can get for the money, and how far you can upgrade it later on if you need


    (recommend you start with the 4th gen haswell's, https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/computers/intel-haswell-pc/ - but any setup with a 1150 socket and Z9x motherboard will be upgradable a long way)
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
    SENATE likes this.
  19. SENATE

    SENATE Member

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    Thanks for that info! I really do appreciate it.
    And that is a fantastic website to build a rig, I shall be investigating - really glad you've mentioned about the AMD chips not being so great aswell.