You are here

Off the shelf laptop for hobbyist music prod duties?

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

Moderator: Moderators

Off the shelf laptop for hobbyist music prod duties?

Postby CaptainChoptastic » Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:52 pm

Hi all,

Been a while - I'm looking to get back into a bit of light music production, and my existing tower PC (as Scan 3XS SI77 - 3rd Gen i7) is a bit of an antique now and is developing a few faults (RAM issues and an occasional CPU Fan warning on boot-up).

I've already got myself a new Scarlett 18i20 interface to replace my Saffire, so can hook up to anything that supports USB2, but quite fancy getting a laptop PC this time around, on the basis that modern CPUs are generally so powerful that there's no need to go for a bulky/noisy tower system, and I get portability for when I need it too.

As I've got a whole load of half-realised hobbies, I'd be using the laptop for a variety of things and am considering a touch-screen 2-in-1, this this Dell being on my shortlist. This has a 14% off offer on at the mo which makes it a bit more attractive, but then it had the same offer a couple of weeks ago, so perhaps no rush.

Taking a bit of OS and power-profile tweaking as read, is a "off the shelf" laptop like this a decent choice for projects of, say a dozen tracks, half audio, half MIDI sampler stuff (EZDrummer, Komplete...)?

It seems to increasingly be the case with these type of device that the RAM and SSD are "onboard" by which I gather non-upgradable, so I'd be "stuck" with 16GB and 512GB, unless I go for a "gaming" laptop which then comes with a GPU I probably don't need and generally not such a hi-res screen.

Is there a benefit to waiting until the Ryzen 5000 series mobile chips are more generally available in order to have 8 cores/16 threads vs the 4 cores/8 threads of the 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake chip in the Dell mentioned above? Going for the Ryzen would mean missing out on Thunderbolt 4(???) and maybe a bit of graphical grunt (from the integrated GPU).

Whatever laptop I do go for will mean having to (eventually) get some kind of dock to plug various bits and pieces into, including external drives to host all of those Komplete libraries etc, so having decent transfer rates would be goos here too.

Thoughts?

Cheers,
Capn
CaptainChoptastic
Regular
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:00 am
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: Off the shelf laptop for hobbyist music prod duties?

Postby Watchmaker » Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:00 am

I just got an ASUS Zenbook flip UX371 that's very well engineered, super light and has an excellent CPU.

Having last had a Dell, the ASUS is vastly superior.
User avatar
Watchmaker
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1003
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:00 am
Location: Upstate NY, USA
Take my advice, I'm not using it.

Re: Off the shelf laptop for hobbyist music prod duties?

Postby resistorman » Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:35 am

There's always something better coming down the road, so you just have to buy something when your old gear doesn't do what you need. Hold off as long as you can, keep informed, and jump when you have to.
User avatar
resistorman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1218
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:00 am
Location: Asheville NC

Re: Off the shelf laptop for hobbyist music prod duties?

Postby tea for two » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:17 pm

CaptainChoptastic wrote:Is there a benefit to waiting until the Ryzen 5000 series mobile chips are more generally available in order to have 8 cores/16 threads vs the 4 cores/8 threads of the 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake chip in the Dell mentioned above? Going for the Ryzen would mean missing out on Thunderbolt 4(???) and maybe a bit of graphical grunt (from the integrated GPU).


Cheers,
Capn


I was searching for sticky thread on recommended pc and laptop models.
I hadn't realised it wasn't here any longer : makes sense as it started decade and half earlier.

Perhaps another sticky to start this decade.

:::::::

AMD Ryzen 4000 series laptops are already cpu performance battery performance beyond Intels latest at fairly lower price along with drawing lower wattage.

AMD Ryzen 4700U proper 8cores (not 4Cores 8Threads) laptop cpu is a sweet spot performance price.

AMD Ryzen 5000 series laptop processors performance beyond Ryzen 4000 laptop processors certainly well beyond latest Intel 11series :
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.techra ... redecessor

AMD Ryzen 5000 laptops Asus just sent production engineering samples across the board with nvidia graphics cards
Dave from D2D has a summary
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_o-D-bgXAKM

Confirmed AMD Ryzen 5000 laptops to be realeased
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.techad ... 486/%3famp

:::::::

Integrated graphics yes Ryzen Vega8 Vega11 is
capable of 4k video editing, gameplay on low to moderate settings.

Still it's not near dedicated graphics.

:::::::

Thunderbolt now this would been handy yet its intel proprietory.

:::::::

Myself last Thursday 14th purchased an
AMD Ryzen 3500U 4Cores 8Threads with Vega8 graphics laptop
Hp 15-CW1507 touchscreen FHD 1920x1080.

I'm running Synthmaster, Alchemy, T-racks, Arturia Analog lab on it.

I intend to 4k video edit on it nature wildlife.

I had considered Ryzen 4700U however overkill for my requirements.
tea for two
Frequent Poster
Posts: 874
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 1:00 am

Re: Off the shelf laptop for hobbyist music prod duties?

Postby ajay_m » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:43 pm

16G is ok but I'd want 1T of SSD. I mean, you only have to put komplete ultimate on there to carve out a huge chunk of storage
ajay_m
Poster
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:08 pm