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Which of these laptops is better for music production?

Apr 2, 2020
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Please don't spam the forum keep it to 1 thread
Hello. I want to buy a laptop, mostly for music production (mostly ITB, using software. Maybe some digital synth and drum machine recording).

I'm not very concerned about loading times, but I don't want latency! Also, I want the laptop to handle the software/plugins without jittering or freezing.

Now, my question.... Which is more significant: CPU or RAM?
Is 4gb i7 better than 8gb i5?
Is there a big difference between 8gb i5 and 8gb i7?

I previously had an i3 8gb laptop... I feel uneasy about downgrading to a 4gb, but I'm relatively unknowledgable and would like some of your advice 😊

Kind regards
 

Zizo007

Respectable
Feb 23, 2019
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Hello. I want to buy a laptop, mostly for music production (mostly ITB, using software. Maybe some digital synth and drum machine recording).

I'm not very concerned about loading times, but I don't want latency! Also, I want the laptop to handle the software/plugins without jittering or freezing.

Now, my question.... Which is more significant: CPU or RAM?
Is 4gb i7 better than 8gb i5?
Is there a big difference between 8gb i5 and 8gb i7?

I previously had an i3 8gb laptop... I feel uneasy about downgrading to a 4gb, but I'm relatively unknowledgable and would like some of your advice 😊

Kind regards
Get the 8Gb one, nowdays with Win 10, 8Gb is the standard and 16Gb is recommended especially for gaming.

Edit: Also chances are that the 8Gb laptop has a newer CPU, closer to an i7.
 

stefanos50

Commendable
Hello. I want to buy a laptop, mostly for music production (mostly ITB, using software. Maybe some digital synth and drum machine recording).

I'm not very concerned about loading times, but I don't want latency! Also, I want the laptop to handle the software/plugins without jittering or freezing.

Now, my question.... Which is more significant: CPU or RAM?
Is 4gb i7 better than 8gb i5?
Is there a big difference between 8gb i5 and 8gb i7?

I previously had an i3 8gb laptop... I feel uneasy about downgrading to a 4gb, but I'm relatively unknowledgable and would like some of your advice 😊

Kind regards
For laptops the things you can upgrade is the RAM/SSD/HDD. But you can not upgrade your CPU. So an i7 4gb would be better because like in one or two months you can add 4 extra GB of RAM or more. Just make sure the specific laptop you want to buy can 100% take a RAM upgrade. All this given that the i5 and i7 you are speaking are in the same generation.
 
What is your budget?
Do you have a laptop in mind?

You always need sufficient ram.
What that is will depend on what you do.
If you are multitasking with many apps or web pages open, you need more ram.
If your app can use extra ram for performance enhancement, then you need more ram.

Many laptops can have the amount of ram increased after purchase.
And, in most cases it is cheaper to do that yourself.
For your laptop, go to a ram vendor web site like crucial or kingston and access their ram upgrade app.
You will get a list of supported ram upgrade kits.
Use google to find a tutorial on how to upgrade ram yourself.

8gb is normally ok, 4gb is too small.
If in doubt about your abilities, go ahead and buy 16gb. Too much ram can never hurt.

I5 and i7 usually indicate how many processing threads the cpu has.
Not necessarily how capable a single core/thread is.
For the most part, the clock rate of the processor determines how capable the processor is.
Current gen i5/17/i9 processors are plenty strong.

To my mind, the most important component for performance in a laptop is a ssd.
I would not buy a laptop without a ssd or, at least the ability to upgrade to a ssd.
Many times it is cheaper to buy a laptop with a minimal HDD and do the upgrade yourself.
A ssd is not just for boot times, It makes everything you do very much quicker.

The quality of the display is perhaps a greater factor that you might think.
Look for reviews of your laptop candidate to help decide.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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What is your budget?
Do you have a laptop in mind?
I'm thinking something from HP, but am open to others.
I want spend an absolute maximum of 750 USD (hopefully a bit less).

You always need sufficient ram.
What that is will depend on what you do.
If you are multitasking with many apps or web pages open, you need more ram.
If your app can use extra ram for performance enhancement, then you need more ram.
I will be recording a mixing music. For the most part, I will be running a DAW software with some plugins... I want to control these plugins (virtual instruments) with my midi controller.

Many laptops can have the amount of ram increased after purchase.
And, in most cases it is cheaper to do that yourself.
For your laptop, go to a ram vendor web site like crucial or kingston and access their ram upgrade app.
You will get a list of supported ram upgrade kits.
Use google to find a tutorial on how to upgrade ram yourself.
How can I determine if a laptop is able to have its RAM upgraded at a later date?
Aside from the size of the RAM, are there different types of RAM? Or will any RAM be compatible? Will any i5 or i7 be able to make use of extra ram (e.g. 16 gb) or could this extra RAM be wasted if the CPU isn't fast/powerful enough?



Thank you for your time
 
Apr 2, 2020
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Here are the specifications of one of the laptops I'm looking at:

Product number
5NM13PA​
Product name
HP Notebook 15-da1030tx​
Microprocessor
Intel® Core™ i7-8565U (1.8 GHz base frequency, up to 4.6 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 8 MB cache, 4 cores)​
Memory, standard
8 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (1 x 8 GB)​
Hard drive
1 TB 5400 rpm SATA​
Optical drive
DVD-Writer​
Display
15.6" diagonal HD SVA BrightView WLED-backlit (1366 x 768)​
Pointing device
Touchpad with multi-touch gesture support​
Wireless connectivity
Intel® 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (1x1) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 Combo​
Network interface
Integrated 10/100/1000 GbE LAN​
Expansion slots
1 multi-format SD media card reader​
External ports
2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Data transfer only); 1 USB 2.0; 1 HDMI 1.4b; 1 RJ-45; 1 headphone/microphone combo​
Minimum dimensions (W x D x H)
37.6 x 24.6 x 2.25 cm​
Weight
Starting at 1.77 kg​
Power supply type
65 W AC power adapter​
Battery type
3-cell, 41 Wh Li-ion prismatic and polymer​
Webcam
HP TrueVision HD Camera with integrated digital microphone​
 
For me, a 5400rpm HDD is a non starter.
I will never buy a pc with a HDD unless I also planned to upgrade to a ssd.
Budget an extra $100 for a 500gb ssd.

8gb is likely ok but a single ram will operate in single channel mode that is not as fast as dual channel.
Budget an extra $50 or so for that upgrade.

I7-8565U is a very good processor, even I5 would be ok.

The display is only 1366 x 768. I think I would want 1920 x 1200.

I like the Lenovo laptops.
Here is one that should fit your needs, the ideapad L340. It can be ordered customized if you wish.

Includes 250gb ssd.
1920 x 1200 IPS screen(ips is a better quality display)

8gb of ram(16gb is $40 more)

9th gen i5 processor.
Perhaps important to you is dolby audio.

https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/ideapad-300-series/IdeaPad-L340-15IRH-Gaming/p/88IPL301161
 
Reactions: Zizo007
Apr 2, 2020
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Hello
I want a Windows laptop to make music with. Most ITB, using a midi controller.

The only thing I care about is latency when recording. I will use midi controller to control soft synths. I may occasionally record digital drum machine and ROMpler (not essential).

I know that the external audio interface can impact latency, as well as the drivers. As far as the laptop specifications, what are the minimum requirements to ensure little latency? I..e I'm not a professional, I won't have massive projects full of crazy plugins and loads of tracks. I just want to record with a level of latency that is low enough that it doesn't distract me while playing.


Thank you
 
It depends on which external interface you're using more than anything else. The ports are pretty standard--usb, thunderbolt, firewire, so any laptop that has these in a non-gimped fashion will be fine.

The biggest places you're going to have to watch for latency is in the os, drivers, disk access, and memory. Just be sure to go overboard in hardware specs and research compatibility carefully and you should be fine.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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Thank you for your reply.
I have a Behringer umc204hd. It has USB 2.0. I've heard good reviews and that the driver is good, but is USB 2.0 slow enough to cause latency?

I want to buy a Windows laptop. It will be 8gb RAM. Hopefully an i7 with about 4ghz pcu. Is this good enough?

Also. I'm sorry to say I don't know what you mean by disc access 😀
 
Behringer makes good stuff. I actually have an x1204usb that I connect to an xp laptop and record via usb and it's seamless. I also have a another usb interface box and it too is great. Basically, these boxes act like external sound card devices to the computer, so they're taking the analog and converting it to digital in the device itself and then passing it into the computer pure digital. This results in a faster and cleaner setup. Frankly, to have the type of audio quality you can get these days is practically studio quality depending on the environment and gear--and of course the artist.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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Hello

The two laptops are both HP. The specs are very similar.

However, one laptop has 1TB HDD and i7, 1.8ghz - 4.6 ghz with boost.

The other laptop has 512 SSD and i7, 3.9ghz


I will use the laptop for recording virtual instruments and soft synths with midi controller, occasional digital drum machine and ROMpler recordings, and mixing of tracks.

Which is better suited to my needs? Which will give me lower latency? (low latency is very important to me)

Kind regards
 
Apr 2, 2020
52
0
30
0
Hello

The two laptops are both HP. The specs are very similar.

However, one laptop has 1TB HDD and i7, 1.8ghz - 4.6 ghz with boost.

The other laptop has 512 SSD and i7, 3.9ghz


I will use the laptop for recording virtual instruments and soft synths with midi controller, occasional digital drum machine and ROMpler recordings, and mixing of tracks.

Which is better suited to my needs? Which will give me lower latency? (low latency is very important to me)

Kind regards
 
CPU beats SSD

Depends on which exact CPUs you are talking about. But CPU should be preferred, it can´t be upgraded in most laptops.

I would get the better CPU and buy a SSD afterwards to upgrade the laptop. Depending on which laptop model it is, you can easily plug it in, clone the HDD to it and use both. The SSD as main system work drive and the HDD as data and backup storage.

EDIT:
the question is which I7 generation are you talking about.
e.g.
i7-8565U or i7-1065G7?
 
Last edited:
Apr 2, 2020
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Hardware
Product number
5NM13PA​
Product name
HP Notebook 15-da1030tx​
Microprocessor
Intel® Core™ i7-8565U (1.8 GHz base frequency, up to 4.6 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 8 MB cache, 4 cores)​
Memory, standard
8 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (1 x 8 GB)​
Hard drive
1 TB 5400 rpm SATA​
Optical drive
DVD-Writer​
Display
15.6" diagonal HD SVA BrightView WLED-backlit (1366 x 768)​
Pointing device
Touchpad with multi-touch gesture support​
Wireless connectivity
Intel® 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (1x1) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 Combo​
Network interface
Integrated 10/100/1000 GbE LAN​
Expansion slots
1 multi-format SD media card reader​
External ports
2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Data transfer only); 1 USB 2.0; 1 HDMI 1.4b; 1 RJ-45; 1 headphone/microphone combo​
Minimum dimensions (W x D x H)
37.6 x 24.6 x 2.25 cm​
Weight
Starting at 1.77 kg​
Power supply type
65 W AC power adapter​
Battery type
3-cell, 41 Wh Li-ion prismatic and polymer​
Webcam
HP TrueVision HD Camera with integrated digital microphone​
Audio features
Dual speakers​
Vs
Hardware
Product number
8VY75PA​
Product name
HP Notebook 15s-fq1022tu​
Microprocessor
Intel® Core™ i7-1065G7 (1.3 GHz base frequency, up to 3.9 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 8 MB cache, 4 cores)​
Memory, standard
8 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (1 x 8 GB)​
Video graphics
  • Intel® Iris® Plus Graphics
  • Integrated
Hard drive
512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD​
Display
15.6" diagonal FHD SVA anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080)​
Wireless connectivity
Realtek 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (1x1) and Bluetooth® 4.2 Combo​
Expansion slots
1 multi-format SD media card reader​
External ports
1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ (Data Transfer Only, 5 Gb/s signaling rate); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (Data Transfer Only); 1 AC smart pin; 1 HDMI 1.4b; 1 headphone/microphone combo​
Minimum dimensions (W x D x H)
35.85 x 24.2 x 1.8 cm​
Weight
Starting at 1.65 kg​
Power supply type
45 W Smart AC power adapter​
Battery type
3-cell, 41 Wh Li-ion​
Webcam
HP TrueVision HD Camera with integrated dual array digital microphone​
Audio features
Dual speakers​
 
Apr 2, 2020
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Hello
2 laptops with similar specs.... Intel i7 10th gen., 8gb RAM, SSD hard drive.

One has 3.9ghz (turbo boost) and the other has 4.9 ghz turbo boost.

Is this difference significant?
If it makes any difference, my main use of the laptop will be music production, I.e. Recording and mixing music.

Los latency is of particular importance to me
 
Hello
2 laptops with similar specs.... Intel i7 10th gen., 8gb RAM, SSD hard drive.

One has 3.9ghz (turbo boost) and the other has 4.9 ghz turbo boost.

Is this difference significant?
If it makes any difference, my main use of the laptop will be music production, I.e. Recording and mixing music.

Los latency is of particular importance to me
Yes, there will be significant difference if your SW can push it that far. Any boost is dependent on CPU load. For those jobs you would also benefit from more RAM.
 
Apr 2, 2020
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Product number
8QP77PA​
Product name
HP Pavilion x360 - 14-dh1139tu​
Microprocessor
Intel® Core™ i7-10510U (1.8 GHz base frequency, up to 4.9 GHz base with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 8 MB cache, 4 cores)​
Chipset
Intel® Integrated SoC​
Memory, standard
8 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (1 x 8 GB)​
Video graphics
  • Intel® UHD Graphics
  • Integrated

Vs

ProcessorIntel Core i7-8565U Whiskey Lake (1.8 GHz, 4 cores, TDP 15W)
Installed RAM (max)8 GB (soldered) DDR4 2400 MHz, 1 slot (free)
Storage spaceSSD M.2 256GB (SATA) 1 TB at 5400 rpm
Graphic cardNVIDIA GeForce MX110 2GB GDDR5 dedicated, Intel UHD 620 integrated into the processor and Optimus
 
Apr 2, 2020
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I will be using the laptop for music production. Is the difference in cpu significant? Or is it better for me to have a dedicated graphics card?
 
Hello

The two laptops are both HP. The specs are very similar.

However, one laptop has 1TB HDD and i7, 1.8ghz - 4.6 ghz with boost.

The other laptop has 512 SSD and i7, 3.9ghz


I will use the laptop for recording virtual instruments and soft synths with midi controller, occasional digital drum machine and ROMpler recordings, and mixing of tracks.

Which is better suited to my needs? Which will give me lower latency? (low latency is very important to me)

Kind regards
Budget?
Best laptop for music production is a MacBook with Logic.

What laptops are they? An i7 in a laptop can be anything from a dual core ultra low power chip to a 6 core performance model.
 

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