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Laptop - which CPU

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Laptop - which CPU

Postby Riano » Mon May 25, 2020 2:14 pm

Hello all,

I'm looking for a new windows laptop and I'd like something that I can use for music production and recording. I'll most likely be using reaper. I'm coming from Mac and Logic Pro.

The general specs I'm looking at are

16GB RAM
512GB SSD
Graphics card (I'll also be using the laptop for CAD work)

Four processors tend to crop up frequently in my searches.

Intel i7 10750H 2.6Ghz
Intel i7 9750H 2.6Ghz
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H 2.9Ghz
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H 2.3Ghz

Which of these would be the favourable CPU? would I even notice much difference?

My music projects don't tend to get too big. Generally I record some guitar and vocal tracks, add some virtual instruments and drums. and add a handful of effects. Track count never gets really huge.

Really appreciate any advice I can get.
Riano
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Re: Laptop - which CPU

Postby James Perrett » Mon May 25, 2020 2:40 pm

Riano wrote:Graphics card (I'll also be using the laptop for CAD work)

If this is 3D CAD then I'd go for whatever spec and configuration the CAD software vendor recommends. 3D CAD is usually far more demanding than audio.

At my previous job we standardised on the Dell Precision range of mobile workstations as they were the only ones recommended by Autodesk for their Inventor software at the time. They're not cheap but I was so impressed that I ended up buying a refurbished on for home. I've used it a few times for 32 channel live recording and it has worked well although I mainly use it for audio editing and restoration work. The new ones use the i7 10750H with a range of Nvidia graphics processors depending on how much you want to spend.
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Re: Laptop - which CPU

Postby Riano » Mon May 25, 2020 2:57 pm

James Perrett wrote:
Riano wrote:Graphics card (I'll also be using the laptop for CAD work)

If this is 3D CAD then I'd go for whatever spec and configuration the CAD software vendor recommends. 3D CAD is usually far more demanding than audio.

At my previous job we standardised on the Dell Precision range of mobile workstations as they were the only ones recommended by Autodesk for their Inventor software at the time. They're not cheap but I was so impressed that I ended up buying a refurbished on for home. I've used it a few times for 32 channel live recording and it has worked well although I mainly use it for audio editing and restoration work. The new ones use the i7 10750H with a range of Nvidia graphics processors depending on how much you want to spend.

Ah, that's interesting as I have browsed the Dell outlet store for their refurb machines in the past. I'll actually be using Autodesk Fusion 360 which has much less demanding system requirements than inventor or solid works as its a cloud based programme. Autodesk just recommend, for advanced modelling and assemblies, 16GB RAM, dedicated graphics and a fast CPU.

I was feeling a bit put off dell as I saw some comments about their XPS laptops having poor DPC latency. I'm sure it probably just applies to their XPS laptops though. I'm glad to hear of someone who has used a DELL mobile workstation for recording and would recommend it. I might get looking at what they have in the outlet store again!
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Re: Laptop - which CPU

Postby resistorman » Mon May 25, 2020 3:59 pm

The Ryzen cpus are 8 core, 16 thread, so if your CAD software can make use of more cores that might be the better route. Also the 7nm architecture makes for more power efficient and quieter laptops. However, as James points out, choose the one recommended for the CAD software on its forum. Intel was on top for so long that some software still runs better on it. Also, keep in mind it’s not all about the CPU... you’re buying a complete package. Screen quality, thermal management (noise), keyboard, ports, trackpad, etc.
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Re: Laptop - which CPU

Postby James Perrett » Mon May 25, 2020 6:40 pm

Riano wrote:I was feeling a bit put off dell as I saw some comments about their XPS laptops having poor DPC latency. I'm sure it probably just applies to their XPS laptops though. I'm glad to hear of someone who has used a DELL mobile workstation for recording and would recommend it. I might get looking at what they have in the outlet store again!

Some colleagues of mine had problems with their XPS laptops (for CAD rather than audio) but this was around 5 years ago so things may well have changed. My machine is a Precision M4600 which is only a second generation i7 but very expandable. I don't use real time effects monitoring while recording so I set the buffer size fairly high just to be safe. When I'm recording 32 channels I'm using a Behringer X32 via USB and the machine will be sitting there either monitoring or recording for around 8 hours at a time without missing a beat.
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