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A few computer questions
Tom Kramer
PostPosted: 24 July 2010 - 06:08:26 (297)  Reply with quote
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I haven't yet purchased a new computer, but I'm now quite fed up with my old PC and hope to buy a new one soon, but first I have some questions.

1. I want to buy a laptop, but desktops are more powerful, more storage, more USBs etc. Anybody here that produce music on a laptop? I just saw the i7 Quad Core for laptops, but they are 1,60 or 1,73 GHz, the desktops are 2,80 GHz.
Will I be able to run many MIDI tracks in Cubase without CPU problems on a i7 laptop? What do you guys think?

2. Should I install the 32 bit version of Windows 7 or the 64 bit version?
Anybody here producing with the 64 bit version? How does older VSTs work?
I still work in Cubase SX3, should I install the 32 bit version?

3. I havent yet decided if I'm going to buy a laptop or a desktop, but I want to buy a bigger screen, maybe 24" widescreen. I have never had a big PC screen so does it work well when you produce and work with programs?
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raider37
PostPosted: 24 July 2010 - 10:22:58 (474)  Reply with quote
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A desktop computer will obviously be more powerful if (and only if) its configured to the absolute maximum that it can be configured to. What this means is, that most pcs today come with rather large cases that support multiple hard drives, multiple graphics cards large motherboards with six ram slots space for huge CPU coolers (so overclocking is much easier) etc. Space constraint in a laptop means that u only have limited options for upgrading. Needless to say u can get laptops with higher GHz (in the core i7 domain) but they'll be bulky and drain out the battery fairly quickly if ure going to tax the system. Usually laptops have lower clocked CPUs so that they can run longer on battery power and also require less cooling to stay within their temperature threshold.

You can produce a complete track on a laptop if u wish, it all depends on ure skill and commitment to making it happen. some of the top DJ/producers have made entire tracks on their laptops while traveling so if portability is what u want then a powerful laptop will do u good. But if its not really needed, a power desktop computer will actually be a more cost effective solution. Since, what u'd pay for a powerful laptop, u'd probably able to buy a much more powerful desktop computer. And remember, it has the added benefit of customization......u can add additional equipment to it with ease.

Go for windows 7 64bit, since u'll want to have more than 4GB of RAM in ure system, 64bit systems can address significantly more memory and as such the architecture handles large volumes of data better than 32bit systems. Currently most programs (whether 32 or 64bit) run well in windows 7.......if a program crashes, u can try running it in compatibility mode.

About the monitor, especially when producing, the more screen real estate u have, the better. Many people have multi monitor setups, so their work can be spread out between two or more monitors. Whatever u prefer, try and determine what would work better for u.
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tiLberede
PostPosted: 24 July 2010 - 12:32:50 (564)  Reply with quote
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Pretty much agree with everything raider37 said desktop for sure, a laptop could cut it but for the price you'd be paying for a i7 quad-core laptop, you could probably get a hex-core processor for a desktop. I'm not sure if your buying a complete one or building your own but if your buying a complete one from a manufacturer, then try and get minimum of 2.4ghz processor, quad core is recommended by myself, because the overclocks are more beastly, but if you could get a dual-core running at fast times get that. And also a minimum of 4-6gb of RAM. these are really your crucial for production purpose so multitasking and multiple VST's can be loaded at one time. I'd also go with Windows 7 64-bit considering its probably more stable than 32-bit and support more RAM (32-bit only supports 3gb.) Also as I stated before learn how to overclock, learn what it is and how to do it for your specific processor, it basically is getting more out of your CPU,RAM, and V-RAM for free.

For a monitor (Screen) get something that has a good size and resolution, it doesn't need to be a ginormous screen but something with enough space, I'd probably shoot for the 20" -26" range. And you can also get dual/tri/quad monitor setups accordingly as well.


Hope this helps! happy

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Tom Kramer
PostPosted: 24 July 2010 - 19:11:54 (841)  Reply with quote
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Thanks guys, two very helpful replies! happy

Well here is what I want:

I'm not going to work outside, I'm going to work inside the house so I don't need a battery at all, but I kinda wanted to have a portable computer with all-in-one like a laptop, in other words a bigger and heavier laptop,
but I haven't yet found a computer which is something between a laptop and a desktop.

I don't need to buy a computer right now, I still have a lot of work which I easily can do on my Dual Core so should I wait for this Hex-Core? I haven't seen this processor in commercial stores yet..

I know you can save some money on buying parts and putting it together yourself, but I have almost no experience with this and I don't know anybody who do this either, same with overclocking, I have no idea what to do and I don't want to fuck up my computer.

I have a lot of VSTs and I'm going to use this computer for all kinds of things too so is 64-bit really safe to use with Cubase SX3 and old VSTs like Pro53, Z3ta, Vangaurd and lots of plugs from 2003-2007?
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raider37
PostPosted: 26 July 2010 - 11:11:19 (507)  Reply with quote
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tiLberede wrote:
Pretty much agree with everything raider37 said desktop for sure, a laptop could cut it but for the price you'd be paying for a i7 quad-core laptop, you could probably get a hex-core processor for a desktop. I'm not sure if your buying a complete one or building your own but if your buying a complete one from a manufacturer, then try and get minimum of 2.4ghz processor, quad core is recommended by myself, because the overclocks are more beastly, but if you could get a dual-core running at fast times get that. And also a minimum of 4-6gb of RAM. these are really your crucial for production purpose so multitasking and multiple VST's can be loaded at one time. I'd also go with Windows 7 64-bit considering its probably more stable than 32-bit and support more RAM (32-bit only supports 3gb.) Also as I stated before learn how to overclock, learn what it is and how to do it for your specific processor, it basically is getting more out of your CPU,RAM, and V-RAM for free.

For a monitor (Screen) get something that has a good size and resolution, it doesn't need to be a ginormous screen but something with enough space, I'd probably shoot for the 20" -26" range. And you can also get dual/tri/quad monitor setups accordingly as well.


Hope this helps! happy


Agreed, even an AMD 6 core setup would be pretty fantastic. And it would be cheaper, but if u need to have the absolute fastest then a core i7 setup would be ideal. Overclocking is good but risky if u arent aware of the tricks involved in pushing the multiplier and FSB to speeds beyond the "factory limit" sometimes voltage modification is required as well. And that can be very dangerous. So i suggest getting a higher clocked i5 which has "turbo" on it, it'll automatically overclock itself based on load.
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