Thinking of upgrading my laptop. Advice would be very handy! :)

parsons19

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#1
Hi guys,

For those of you that don't know I do all of my production on a battered old dell laptop. (Latitude D631) It's a fine laptop and perfectly useable for browsing the internet and doing normal bits and bobs (even though I can occasionally have problems with it overheating even with normal usage...).

When it comes to doing my music though it can become a little frustrating. It often overheats in the middle of a tune causing me to occasionally lose work, although I have trained myself to save very often now! The CPU can't take much and ASIO4ALL (the software sound driver) can hit the red and glitch up Cubase during playback very often, this makes mixdowns a big pain when I have lots of plugs running such as EQ, Compressors and Analyzers!

Live performance is a pain too, I try do very short DJ sets with it and luckily no performance has been completely ruined as of yet :) Although just a few moments after one of my sets the laptop did give in, very lucky I finished! I got some pretty exciting gigs coming up and am getting longer sets so I don't really wanna run the risk anymore.

So, after my kinda necessary rant the point of this thread is that I want my production experience me to be smoother and live performance to be a bit more relaxing knowing that my computer won't die on me! It would be super helpful if someone could give me a few pointers on what sort of laptop to look at, or even if someone could let me know some specs that I would need to run all my plugs and stuff smoother :)

Also, no offence to the apple users, but I don't want a macbook!

Cheers
 

parsons19

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Just to add I think one of the main things that is required is RAM? Correct me if I am wrong of course :lol:

Is 2 - 3GB enough for production, in My Computer properties it says I have about 800MB :lol:
 

elmaruk

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I'm no Mac fanboy but i think if your going down the laptop route your probably best off going Mac.

2 - 3GB might be enough depending on how you make tunes really. I'm running 6GB on a desktop & occasionally get some nasty spikes of latency.

Get yourself a laptop with 4GB RAM, 2 HDD's, Fairly powerfull CPU - Quadcore perhaps and a Firewire Out. Plug a sexy interface into the firewire out and your rolling buddy.

Happy to help with anything else. sound



-- To be honest mate i think your best off getting a desktop. Easier to upgrade just can't watch porn.
 
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Any laptop in the £400 price range will be powerful enough for doing music. It's all about how much you can afford to spend.

Macs are very expensive and underpowered compared to a windows laptop.

CPU - go for an Intel i5.

RAM - 4GB or above

Just spend as much as you can on it. The more powerful, the better.
 

EvezDroppin

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Any laptop in the £400 price range will be powerful enough for doing music. It's all about how much you can afford to spend.

Macs are very expensive and underpowered compared to a windows laptop.

CPU - go for an Intel i5.

RAM - 4GB or above

Just spend as much as you can on it. The more powerful, the better.
this ^^ and dnt get a refurb, get a new one
 

lostnthesound

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#9
Hey again guys, thanks for all the helpful responses :) One more question, why not buy a refurb though man?
Buying a refurb is a bit a of a gamble in that there's no guarantee that what caused the computer to be returned/repaired/resold in the first place will not happen again. For example: a component on the motherboard went bad and instead of installing a brand new motherboard, they only replace the component. Now you're stuck with a refurb that could potentially fail again because the refurb was essentially half-assed. Now, if the place selling the refurb offers some kind of outstanding, long-term servicing/warranty with it, it may be worth the risk. However, I would always purchase hi-end electronics (i.e. televisions, computers, etc) fresh off the shelf.

Also, when buying a computer, definitely max out your RAM and purchase a 64-bit operating system so you can actually use all that extra RAM.

Cheers.
 

parsons19

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Awesome, thanks to everyone that has posted advice in here! :)

I have found a refurb (with 12 months warranty) with 8GB Ram, some ridiculously huge hard drive (even though I keep production stuff on an external one so it doesn't matter too much) running 64 bit with a Dual Core E2 - 3000M processor. I would certainly think that one is up to the task! I am not clued up on processors though so if anyone thinks different do let me know
 

lostnthesound

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Awesome, thanks to everyone that has posted advice in here! :)

I have found a refurb (with 12 months warranty) with 8GB Ram, some ridiculously huge hard drive (even though I keep production stuff on an external one so it doesn't matter too much) running 64 bit with a Dual Core E2 - 3000M processor. I would certainly think that one is up to the task! I am not clued up on processors though so if anyone thinks different do let me know
The Dual Core E2 - 3000M (AMD) is ok at best.

Here's the thing, if you're looking to make this computer a workhorse, you're going to want a strong processor/chipset that can handle the load. Yes, you could get by with the Dual Core E2...but I would strongly urge you to at least look into getting an i5 or i7. I can promise that your workflow will benefit from a modern processor.

Here's a benchmark chart of current processors available for reference.

Just my .02.
 
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parsons19

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Awesome buddy thanks very much for the help, I will check out that link and keep searching around ! :)

Edit:

Just to add though if I can get by fine with the E2 it might be a good move for me. I am obviously not expecting to get a machine that is totally smooth running multiple instances of VSTs on high quality settings without spending huge amounts of cash. it will just be nice to have a sit down producing in my room where I can keep going with no major interferences etc. :)

My current processor by the way is AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile. Is this CPU a similar sort of thing to the E2 does anyone know? From a google search I was led to the same website lostnthesound kindly provided and the X2 certainly is a lot lower down!

Edit again:

Found a HUGE list on the same website that seems to have every processor listed. The E2 is certainly waaaaay above what I am using right now :) Course I will still see if I can find any laptops with better processors within my price range :)
 
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T:M

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I can't give you any information regarding what brand is a good brand to get as I've been away from Windows based computers for too long :lol:, but I can tell you that I have a 4 year old Dual Core MacBook Pro with 4GB ram and it does me just fine, so I'm sure you'd be fine with any amount of ram above the 4gb mark.

At 4GB the only problem I run into is if I'm running multiple instances of really cpu hungry plugs (like NI Razor), then it can get bitchy with me. I've never had any problems running any DJ softwares though.

Whatever amount of ram and brand you decide to go with I suggest you save away some moneys to get yourself an audio interface, as it will sound better than ASIO and improve latency.

BTW man thats fucking impressive that you've done all you have on 800MB!

Also not to clash with Sc0tty, but Toshiba is the one brand I would recommend staying away from. My ex went through 2 Toshiba's in the course of a year due to hardware issues, both being replaced by Toshiba. They also have horrible customer service. Ofcourse, this could all just be a matter of bad luck too.
 
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