#1
Hello. Studio One says that these are the minimum system requirements:

Windows® 7 x64/x86 SP1, Windows 8 x64/x86
Intel Core Duo or AMD Athlon™ X2 processor (Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon X4 or better recommended)
2 GB RAM (4 GB or more recommended)

I ususally get Dell laptops are presume that I could easily find one w/ those specs. But this WikiHow article I read says that you should get a laptop w/ TI Firewire (1394) Chipset, which Dell doesn't have. The article also says that the hard drive should be at least 7200 RAM, and I don't know if Dell laptops would provide that speed.

I am trying to make good artist quality recordings. That means recordings that are good enough that a serious artist would consider buying them. Although I do this in my spare time, I plan to use the laptop pretty heavily (for this purpose only w/ the exception of occasional email and Internet access).

Any recommendations. Please be as specific as possible as I have to move on this now.

P.S. I use PreSonus Audiobox interface.
#2
Firewire is a communications interface, sort of like a USB or SATA (serial ATA) port. In a laptop, I think firewire would be unusual. Also, consider what equipment you will be hooking up to the laptop because you may not need it at all. The specs for your audio box are here and it doesn't have a Firewire port:
http://www.presonus.com/products/AudioBox-USB/techspecs

The wikihow probably says 7200 RPM (revolutions per minute) for the hard drive. That is an obsolete recommendation. You want a solid state drive (SSD). It is more expensive for the same amount of storage, but substantially faster and (I believe) less prone to breaking if dropped. A "hard drive" uses a spinning platter. If you need tons of space, that is fine but I would get a second drive for that. The laptop will operate and boot faster with the SSD as its main drive.

If you need a lot of storage, you may be able to add an external hard drive via a USB port or external SATA port (e-SATA).

An intel Core i5 or i7 processor should be fine (and faster than a Core or Core 2 Duo). 8GB or 16GB of RAM should be easy to get today. It may be useful to have a digital or optical audio input/output as well? I'm not sure if those are available on laptops. HDMI should be available and provides digital audio.
Last edited by black_box at Sep 21, 2014,
#3
Digital audio i/o on laptop's I've never seen.
It would be useful indeed, but you could get an audio interface with digital i/o and be done with it.

Better if the processor is an i3 or an i7 so you have the hyperthreading.
Also 8GB of ram would be good, 4GB would be little and 16GB would be better but not necessary.

7200rpm minimum, better if SSD if you're gonna record a lot of high quality tracks at once.

That said...
Quote by selftaught1000
I am trying to make good artist quality recordings.
That has nothing to do with the computer.

That is a matter of how good the source material is, how good the means of picking up the sound (mic's and p/ups) are, how good the pre's and ADC's (audio interface) are, and how good you are at mixing.

Or how good someone else is at mixing if it's not you who'll do that.

A more powerful computer will be helpful to be able to edit audio faster, to be able to use more plugins, to be able to use more virtual instruments, and to lower latency (to an extent).
Quote by selftaught1000
That means recordings that are good enough that a serious artist would consider buying them.
A "serious artist" would go into a recording studio instead of getting a laptop.
Unless he makes music using the computer only and not by recording audio.

Anyway, I get what you mean.
Get a MacBook Pro.
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#4
I'm sure Macs are great but I've used only PCs.

Taking into account everything that has already been said, do you have an PC laptop recommendations?

Also, I know that it will sound better in the studio. However, the recording I am working on sounds pretty good (for my purposes) and I am just using a desktop w/ 3GB of RAM and an 2.8 GHz AMD Athlon II.2 240 Processor.

I want the laptop to be stronger though as I am going to be doing more and more of this.

Price is an object, to some extent. I don't have 2-3K to invest in a laptop. Would like to stay under 1K.
#6
Must it be a laptop?

In general laptops aren't fantastic for serious studio work, mainly due to hard-drive write speeds. Not to mention the cpu underperformance.

Have you done any recordings before now? Because if not it doesn't matter HOW good your computer is, it's not gonna be that great, I mean you weren't pro-level on a guitar as soon as you picked one up.

You might just be better putting that laptop money into studio time.
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Quote by DisarmGoliath
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Last edited by ChemicalFire at Sep 24, 2014,
#7
FireWire would be hard to find in laptop nowadays, I marked a few for a friend but am not sure if they're still on the market, this is from newegg.com.

Some have FireWire other breakout card that can accommodate extension. BTW, for few and audio you need to look for the To chips, look for FireWire PCI or pcie on sweetwater.com and you'd see what I mean. Might have to buy used 😐

HP EliteBook 8470w Notebook Intel Core i7 3630QM (2.40GHz) 8GB Memory 500GB HDD 128GB SSD AMD FirePro M2000 14.0" Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

HP EliteBook 8470w Notebook Intel Core i7 3630QM (2.40GHz) 8GB Memory 500GB HDD 128GB SSD AMD FirePro M2000 14.0" Windows ...
Model #:C6Z03UT#ABA
Item #:N82E16834256475


HP ProBook 6570b Notebook Intel Core i5 3230M (2.60GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 15.6" Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

HP ProBook 6570b Notebook Intel Core i5 3230M (2.60GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 15.6" Windows 7 Professional ...
Model #8E69UT#ABA
Item #:N82E16834257074
Out Of Stock

HP EliteBook 8470p Notebook Intel Core i5 3230M (2.60GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 14.0" Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

HP EliteBook 8470p Notebook Intel Core i5 3230M (2.60GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 14.0" Windows 7 Professional ...
Model #8C07UT#ABA
Item #:N82E16834257144


ThinkPad W530 (24384KU) Notebook Intel Core i7 3630QM (2.40GHz) 8GB Memory 500GB HDD NVIDIA Quadro K1000M 15.6" Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

ThinkPad W530 (24384KU) Notebook Intel Core i7 3630QM (2.40GHz) 8GB Memory 500GB HDD NVIDIA Quadro K1000M 15.6" Windows 7 ...
Model #:24384KU
Item #:N82E16834312354
#8
Quote by ChemicalFire
Must it be a laptop?

In general laptops aren't fantastic for serious studio work, mainly due to hard-drive write speeds. Not to mention the cpu underperformance.

Have you done any recordings before now? Because if not it doesn't matter HOW good your computer is, it's not gonna be that great, I mean you weren't pro-level on a guitar as soon as you picked one up.

You might just be better putting that laptop money into studio time.


I have some experience recording w/ a desktop. It is an older model Dell Inspiron. I am still looking at laptops, but would consider another desktop if I couldn't find the right laptop.

Here are the specs for the $500 and $700 Dell Inspirons. What do you think?

$700

4th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor
Windows 8.1
16GB Memory
1TB Hard Drive (7200 RPM)

$500

4th Generation Intel® Core™ i3 Processor
Windows 8.1
8GB Memory
1TB Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
#9
Quote by diabolical
FireWire would be hard to find in laptop nowadays, I marked a few for a friend but am not sure if they're still on the market, this is from newegg.com.

Some have FireWire other breakout card that can accommodate extension. BTW, for few and audio you need to look for the To chips, look for FireWire PCI or pcie on sweetwater.com and you'd see what I mean. Might have to buy used 😐

HP EliteBook 8470w Notebook Intel Core i7 3630QM (2.40GHz) 8GB Memory 500GB HDD 128GB SSD AMD FirePro M2000 14.0" Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

HP EliteBook 8470w Notebook Intel Core i7 3630QM (2.40GHz) 8GB Memory 500GB HDD 128GB SSD AMD FirePro M2000 14.0" Windows ...
Model #:C6Z03UT#ABA
Item #:N82E16834256475


HP ProBook 6570b Notebook Intel Core i5 3230M (2.60GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 15.6" Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

HP ProBook 6570b Notebook Intel Core i5 3230M (2.60GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 15.6" Windows 7 Professional ...
Model #8E69UT#ABA
Item #:N82E16834257074
Out Of Stock

HP EliteBook 8470p Notebook Intel Core i5 3230M (2.60GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 14.0" Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

HP EliteBook 8470p Notebook Intel Core i5 3230M (2.60GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics 4000 14.0" Windows 7 Professional ...
Model #8C07UT#ABA
Item #:N82E16834257144


ThinkPad W530 (24384KU) Notebook Intel Core i7 3630QM (2.40GHz) 8GB Memory 500GB HDD NVIDIA Quadro K1000M 15.6" Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

ThinkPad W530 (24384KU) Notebook Intel Core i7 3630QM (2.40GHz) 8GB Memory 500GB HDD NVIDIA Quadro K1000M 15.6" Windows 7 ...
Model #:24384KU
Item #:N82E16834312354


Thanks. I'll price check all of these and report back.
#10
From the 2 you listed, the $700 one. Fair price considering the extra ram and faster processor.

The ones I listed are hopefully with firwire or expansion board, from all the specs and pics I can find, not 100% guarantee just so you know.

I think Apple have a laptop that is about $300 more if you want to try that route, you can use FireWire on it, I think, they have some lighting protocol that I think they sell adapters to fw, but check more on that. I know Some of the new interfaces have both few and lighting.
Last edited by diabolical at Sep 25, 2014,
#12
Between an i3 and an i5, not knowing the clock frequencies I'd choose the i3 for the hyperthreading.

DAW's like hyperthreading.
Name's Luca.

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#13
Quote by Spambot_2
Between an i3 and an i5, not knowing the clock frequencies I'd choose the i3 for the hyperthreading.

DAW's like hyperthreading.


I've read that. But why would i5 and i7, which are presumably more advanced than i3, like hyperthreading?
#14
Quote by diabolical
From the 2 you listed, the $700 one. Fair price considering the extra ram and faster processor.

The ones I listed are hopefully with firwire or expansion board, from all the specs and pics I can find, not 100% guarantee just so you know.

I think Apple have a laptop that is about $300 more if you want to try that route, you can use FireWire on it, I think, they have some lighting protocol that I think they sell adapters to fw, but check more on that. I know Some of the new interfaces have both few and lighting.


Two questions:

1. Why do I need Firewire? I am recording on an older Inspiron desktop now and I just plug my Audiobox USB interface into the computer w/ a USB cable and I don't have any problems recording. Are you saying, ideally, I should be connecting the interface to a Firewire post as opposed to USB because that is conducive to better recordings?

2. Why the $700 model with i5 when the other poster is saying i3 w/ hyperthreading is better for DAWs and it is cheaper at $500?

Thanks.
#15
Quote by selftaught1000
I've read that. But why would i5 and i7, which are presumably more advanced than i3, like hyperthreading?
The i3 is a "less powerful" processor than the i5.

It has less stuff of what makes processors good for most applications - clock frequency, cache and so on.

The i5 though doesn't support hyperthreading, while the i3 and the i7 do, and if you want to use the thing mostly for recording, hyperthreading is gonna make more difference than cache size (among other things).
Quote by selftaught1000
Why do I need Firewire?
Because if someday you'll wanna upgrade your audio interface, which is a plausible assumption, you may wanna get a firewire interface, and that is, in turn, because there are far more good firewire interfaces than USB ones, and that is, in turn, because firewire works better than USB but as long as you're connecting computers to small stuff such as a 2ch audio interface it doesn't make enough difference to spend the money to put firewire on it.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#16
Quote by Spambot_2
The i3 is a "less powerful" processor than the i5.

It has less stuff of what makes processors good for most applications - clock frequency, cache and so on.

The i5 though doesn't support hyperthreading, while the i3 and the i7 do, and if you want to use the thing mostly for recording, hyperthreading is gonna make more difference than cache size (among other things).
Because if someday you'll wanna upgrade your audio interface, which is a plausible assumption, you may wanna get a firewire interface, and that is, in turn, because there are far more good firewire interfaces than USB ones, and that is, in turn, because firewire works better than USB but as long as you're connecting computers to small stuff such as a 2ch audio interface it doesn't make enough difference to spend the money to put firewire on it.


Thanks. Yes, this 2-channel, USB interface should work for the time being.

Still, how can you get firewire on desktops?
#17
Quote by selftaught1000
Still, how can you get firewire on desktops?
Mac's used to come with firewire cards, and if you have a PC you can simply buy a FireWire PCIe card.

Much like a network card, only it adds firewire connectivity instead of network connectivity.
Name's Luca.

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I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#18
Quote by Spambot_2
Mac's used to come with firewire cards, and if you have a PC you can simply buy a FireWire PCIe card.

Much like a network card, only it adds firewire connectivity instead of network connectivity.


Can you plug it into the computer or do you have to have it installed. I ask because, if I buy it, I won't know how to install the card. Thanks.
#19
You simply open the computer and plug it in.
Well not that simply but you can do it by yourself for sure, it's easy.

Though that would work with desktop's, not laptop's.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#20
Quote by Spambot_2
You simply open the computer and plug it in.
Well not that simply but you can do it by yourself for sure, it's easy.

Though that would work with desktop's, not laptop's.


By "open," do you mean open the tower? That's not easy to do, especially with the Dells as they don't have screws. I was hoping that you could either (1) plug it into a part on the outside of the computer or (2) get a Firewire extension that you could plug into a USB or some other slot.
#21
you gotta open the tower, yes.

I've actually had no problem opening any of the computers I've needed to, apart from the mac's, which I have managed to open anyway but I had some problems with

Nothing you can plug in the computer from the outside, and apart from the fact that USB to firewire converters don't exist (at least not that I know of) they would bring the disadvantages of both interfaces and the advantages of none.
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
Quote by chrismendiola
I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#22
Quote by Spambot_2
you gotta open the tower, yes.

I've actually had no problem opening any of the computers I've needed to, apart from the mac's, which I have managed to open anyway but I had some problems with

Nothing you can plug in the computer from the outside, and apart from the fact that USB to firewire converters don't exist (at least not that I know of) they would bring the disadvantages of both interfaces and the advantages of none.


Thanks. Unless I get a laptop, I'll probably stick w/ the USB connection. I am not a professional and I'm sure any future interface will still run off of USB as well. Thanks.