You are here

Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

For anything relating to music-making on Windows computers, with lots of FAQs. Moderated by Martin Walker.

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby ef37a » Sat May 24, 2014 10:33 am

mellowsouls wrote:Hello friends (at least thats how I feel, spending so much time reading these pages).

I'm in the UK, use a tascam us1800, use Cubase with max 30 channels (audio/vst mix), have about £400 and need a new laptop.

I would love some ideas from you lovely people so I don't end up with a dud (again)!

Thanks in advance, Pete.


Someone mentioned Tescos?
http://www.tesco.com/direct/hp-pavilion-g6-1155sa-laptop-int...

I have an HP i3 virtually the same and I have run 20 Cubase tracks no problem. Works sweetly with my NI KA6. I upped the memory to 8G a few months ago. Not noticed any dramatic changes except it gets a bit warmer!

BTW Be careful of the net adverts, even Amazon. I recently bought a refurbed Lenovo "laptop" and it turned out to be a Notepad, "ThinkPad" Lenovo call them. Ok, grandson LOVES it but for music work you would be PO'ed. Limited connectivity and no optical drive. Even said "laptop" on the invoice!

Hah! I was just looking for an HP i5 advert! Did not see that was a bad review. I think the guy was unlucky, this is my second HP laptop and I have an HP desktop. Could not be happier.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9280
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk
#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby Neo-Classical Guitar Man » Sun May 25, 2014 11:12 pm

So long as you do your homework prior to purchasing, you will quickly know which Lenovo muodels are laptops and which are notebooks. Actually their notebooks can be just as powerful and often can be upgraded with a simple docking station, which adds more functionality if you need it, e.g. optical drive or a second hard drive...even a second battery!
Neo-Classical Guitar Man
Regular
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire
Footloose and fancy free...gizz a job!

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby ef37a » Mon May 26, 2014 12:01 am

Neo-Classical Guitar Man wrote:So long as you do your homework prior to purchasing, you will quickly know which Lenovo muodels are laptops and which are notebooks. Actually their notebooks can be just as powerful and often can be upgraded with a simple docking station, which adds more functionality if you need it, e.g. optical drive or a second hard drive...even a second battery!

Well I was in a bit of a rush to get the lad something for school. We could not trust his XP Dell post the chop off and I could not get W7 to set up on it.

Yes, I suppose IF I had known about the possibility of misnaming I would have checked out the model number. But when something is described as mutton you don't expect lamb, or vice versa!

And yes, the ThinkPad IS very powerful! Has W7 Pro on it and seems at least as slick as my i3 HP. I have already bought a USB optical drive for it.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9280
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk
#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby Living Room Rocker » Mon May 26, 2014 5:30 am


1. Make and model: ASUS G55VW-DH71 w/thunderbolt

2. Processor type & speed: i7 3630QM 2.4 - 3.0 GHz

3. Amount of RAM: 8gigs, 1600 DDRAM3

4. Drive(s) capacity: C (OS and programs) 500G HDD (in CD caddy), D (audio projects) 1000G SSD, E (synth libraries) 1000G mSATA

5. Make and model of audio interface: Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP

6. Interface connection type: Firewire 400 (via TB port)

7. Main software used: SONAR X3e
User avatar
Living Room Rocker
Poster
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby damoore » Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:28 pm

How did you get from Thunderbolt to Firewire? What latencies have you had solid performance at? Do you have any experience using it to run VST's? Thanks in advance for any info - I am going to be looking for a new machine soonish. Old T500 is currently in bits on my desk for a broken hinge.
damoore
Frequent Poster
Posts: 988
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby Living Room Rocker » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:20 am

damoore wrote:How did you get from Thunderbolt to Firewire?

I use an Apple TB to FW adapter.

damoore wrote:What latencies have you had solid performance at?

I will have to get back to you one this. I have run RTL utilities, but don't recall the results.

damoore wrote:Do you have any experience using it to run VST's?

Yes, I have run linear eqs, compressors on vox, guitars tracks and master bus, Amplitube on high res, VSTis like Zebra, Z3ta+ and 2, Rapture, BFD 2 and all while recording (no frozen tracks).

damoore wrote:I am going to be looking for a new machine soonish. Old T500 is currently in bits on my desk for a broken hinge.

The ASUS gaming laptops are well built and pretty durable. The setup I described above I actually use remotely, outside of my studio. I haven't had any severe problems, like crashes and losing material. Although, it did take adding the additional HDD and SSDs. So I have maxed it out. The machine still maintains heat at a sensible level with a noise level that has not been too intrusive. It probably isn't the best, but has worked well for me.

Kind regards,

Living Room Rocker
User avatar
Living Room Rocker
Poster
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby JeffB » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:53 am

Lenovo W530

i7 3770QM @ 3.1GHz

16Gb Ram

128Gb Samsung 840 Evo, 256Gb Samsung 840 Pro, 16Gb mSATA

Cakewalk (Roland) V700R

USB 2

Windows 7 Pro x64, Cantabile Performer 2, Halion Sonic 2, Omnisphere, Korg Legacy Collection Digital, OPX Pro II.

This is my live rig and is rock solid.
User avatar
JeffB
Regular
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Devon, England.

Sonar X3 PE. i7 4770K 32Gb DDR3, W8.1 x64, 2408 MkIII. Cantabile. Lenovo W530 i7 16Gb, W7 x64, V700R. A-88, Fusion 6HD, Integra-7, Motif Rack ES, Fantom XR, TR-Rack, E-Synth Ultra, Proteus 2K.


Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:06 am

Living Room Rocker wrote:
damoore wrote:How did you get from Thunderbolt to Firewire?
I use an Apple TB to FW adapter.

We're using those here too, seem pretty trouble free so far.
User avatar
Pete Kaine
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2893
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Manchester
Kit to fuel your G.A.S - https://www.scan.co.uk/shop/pro-audio

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby damoore » Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:42 pm

That is interesting to know. I have seen reports elsewhere of them not working on a PC, but the problem seemed to be form factor (i.e. it wouldn't plug in) rather than electrical. Had not seen reports of people using them successfully.

I've got an older Tascam Firewire interface that I like the sound of, with ADAT and lots of MIDI IO, so I would like to be able to use it again. Firewire on the Lenovo T500 is useless so it's been sitting in a draw.
damoore
Frequent Poster
Posts: 988
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby JeffB » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:33 pm

damoore wrote:Firewire on the Lenovo T500 is useless so it's been sitting in a draw.

That's strange. I used the firewire on my W530 and T500 previously with a Motif XS6 connected by firewire and then an 828Mk2 firewire. I had no issues whatsoever.
User avatar
JeffB
Regular
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Devon, England.

Sonar X3 PE. i7 4770K 32Gb DDR3, W8.1 x64, 2408 MkIII. Cantabile. Lenovo W530 i7 16Gb, W7 x64, V700R. A-88, Fusion 6HD, Integra-7, Motif Rack ES, Fantom XR, TR-Rack, E-Synth Ultra, Proteus 2K.


Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby damoore » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:31 pm

JeffB wrote:
damoore wrote:Firewire on the Lenovo T500 is useless so it's been sitting in a draw.

That's strange. I used the firewire on my W530 and T500 previously with a Motif XS6 connected by firewire and then an 828Mk2 firewire. I had no issues whatsoever.

Interesting. I could never entirely eliminate clicks at any usable (for playing VST's) buffer size.
damoore
Frequent Poster
Posts: 988
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby damoore » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:21 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:
Living Room Rocker wrote:
damoore wrote:How did you get from Thunderbolt to Firewire?
I use an Apple TB to FW adapter.

We're using those here too, seem pretty trouble free so far.

Just to be annoying ... did the driver just install? I am thinking that the Thunderbolt device would still look like a thunderbolt port from the computer side and the driver, or the installer, would say "I see no Firewire here"

Thinking of a Lenovo W541. The ASUS looked attractive but I don't fancy carrying a 4 kilo laptop to gigs. The W541 has both TB and an express card port and weighs in at about 2.5 kilo.

The TB port is a combined TB/mini Display Port on the Lenovo too. Anybody happen to know if they are compatible with the Apple adapter?

So many questions, so little caffeine.

Thanks, David
damoore
Frequent Poster
Posts: 988
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby damoore » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:00 pm

Went ahead and bought a laptop with thunderbolt (Lenovo as it happens). Got an Apple firewire adapter and a firewire 800 to 400 adapter cable.

Plugged in the adapter, and the computer said "you just plugged in a thunderbolt device". Downloaded the FW1804 driver and connected it - windows installed the driver, and everything just worked. Pianoteq is totally solid at 128 samples (haven't tried anything faster).

Very happy. Only catch is the thunderbolt is the same port as the displayport so I can't have the firewire and the external monitor connected at the same time. So time to get a docking station.
damoore
Frequent Poster
Posts: 988
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby Neo-Classical Guitar Man » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:54 pm

I take it you bought the Lenovo Thinkpad W541 in the end? I read this review that mentioned it constantly throttled the CPU between 800MHz and 3400MHz when under heavy load. Notebook Check Review of Lenovo Thinkpad W541 . Looks a nice Thinkpad though.
Neo-Classical Guitar Man
Regular
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire
Footloose and fancy free...gizz a job!

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby loopmonkey » Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:15 pm


Hi all,

I need a really cheap laptop for some simple mobile recording and I came across these http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/703_7006_70006_xx_xx/1_20/price-asc/xx-criteria.html

I just thought that since they use silent flash memory that perhaps it could be like a poor man's ssd.

Thanks for any help!
loopmonkey
New here
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 11:00 pm

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby ef37a » Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:57 am

loopmonkey wrote:
Hi all,

I need a really cheap laptop for some simple mobile recording and I came across these http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/703_...

I just thought that since they use silent flash memory that perhaps it could be like a poor man's ssd.

Thanks for any help!


Which interface do you intend to use with the laptop? I am typing this on an HP Pavillion G series i3, 8G ram, 600G HDD, and that ran an NI KA6 all night at the Labour club from a pair of AKG P150s. You might be able to find a refurbed unit (but check the fan is clear, known to clog and run hot) Win 7 as well!

Have I not read of issues with the Atom CPU and some audio soft/hardware? I have tested the KA6 briefly on a number of laptops. My wife's Emachine, £120 refurb. Grandson's Lenovo "thinkpad", a modest Vista machine. Son's old XP Dell. In each case the drivers installed like paint and things ran smoothly for an admittedly short test.

Bottom line. I think a conventional re furbished laptop would be better than a low end new machine?

Meant to say, when I did the Labour club recording it only had 4G ram.8 has seemingly made no difference except it runs a bit hotter!
Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9280
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk
#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby loopmonkey » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:36 pm

Hi ef37a,

thanks for your response!

It's actually an Intel® Celeron™ Processor N3050 for what it's worth.

My interface is a Roland OctaCapture.

I just want to travel to record musicians - one or two tracks at a time, then back up and bring back to home studio.

Refurb laptop sounds interesting but I need something fast...

Pat
loopmonkey
New here
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 11:00 pm

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby ef37a » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:32 pm

Refurbished stock should come as quickly as new?

But in any case, take advantage of the distance trading regs. As soon as you get your chosen machine give it a good workout with the Roland. A day's thrashing should show up any glitches and should they happen, bounce it back.

I assume you have the AI working ok on another machine?

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9280
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk
#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby loopmonkey » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:44 pm

hmmm...do you mean that this can be done if you buy online or in any case?

I thought that, generally speaking, once you taken the item out it's packaging that it couldn't be brought back.
loopmonkey
New here
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 11:00 pm

Re: Survey of Recommended PC Laptop Models

Postby ef37a » Sat Mar 19, 2016 5:40 pm

loopmonkey wrote:hmmm...do you mean that this can be done if you buy online or in any case?

I thought that, generally speaking, once you taken the item out it's packaging that it couldn't be brought back.

That is not my understanding of the rules and would make them a bit pointless if they were?

Naturally one should open things carefully and preserve as best you can all wrappings (but THEIR fault if you need a chainsaw to open the box!) for instance I never use included batteries if packed separately, can generally scrape up a few AAs. Manuals I have usually downloaded days before so no need to split the bag.

But yes, you should definitely be able to charge and use a laptop for a day or so (but ffs don't put any personal or "dodgy" data on it!) Even I, computer noob extraordinary can put a PC back to factory gate state so the vendors should have no such trouble.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9280
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk
#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users