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Which Windows Laptop Should I get?

Discussion of Digital Performer use, optimization, tips and techniques on Windows.

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This forum is for most discussion related to the use and optimization of Digital Performer [Windows] and plug-ins as well as tips and techniques. It is NOT for troubleshooting technical issues, complaints, feature requests, or "Comparative DAW 101."

Which Windows Laptop Should I get?

Postby compositor » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:40 pm

I want to buy a powerful Windows 10 laptop for using DP. What laptop brand/specifications would you recommend? I am not a gamer, but how would a gaming laptop do for DP? They are really good for graphics & 3D, but I wonder how it would work for editing audio?
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Re: Which Windows Laptop Should I get?

Postby mikehalloran » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:29 pm

You don't need the super graphics of a high performance gaming machine but a decent card is a plus. Most can handle a 2nd monitor when you're editing in your studio.

Otherwise, you want a good amount of RAM (at least 16G but 32G isn't too much), an i7 Quad and a 2T SSD is nice. These are the same things you want in a Mac for DP.

DP makes use of the floating point processor in the i7. I've A/B'd against i5 machines and it makes a noticeable difference.
July 2010 iMac 2.93G i7 Quad, OWC eSATA mod, 32G RAM, OS 10.12.4
828mkII FW; MOTU MTP/AV USB with Firmware 2.0.1; DP 9.13, 9.02, 8.07 64bit, DP 7.24; IK-NI-Izotope-PSP-Garritan Antares, 32Lives, JBridge, MachFive 3.2.1
LogicPro X 10.3, Finale 25.3, 2014.5, Encore 5.0.7, Notion 6, Overture 5, TwistedWave, DSP-Q 4.4, QuickTime Pro 7.6.6, SmartScore Pro X2 10.5.5, Toast 15
Test machine: G4-1K Dual Processor: OS 10.4.11 / OS 9.2.2; DP 5.13; Encore 5.05 & 4.5.5; Toast 9.07b, legacy apps
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Re: Which Windows Laptop Should I get?

Postby mesayre » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:01 am

I have been running DP on an ASUS gaming laptop for about 5 years now, and it's worked out pretty well. It's got some cheesy branding, but the performance has been great. At the time I got it, it was more or less top-of-the-line, and for about half the cost of a similarly spec'd mac. ASUS supplies a lot of the components that other makers use, so you're getting the same stuff in the box.

But it hasn't been without some headaches. It took a while to get my graphics card dialed in - its an nVidia card. Since gamers want maximum framerate at almost any cost, these things are often set up to give deference to the GPU. This can result in sky-high DPC latency that will cause audio dropouts at lower buffers. This can be optimized by tweaking settings on the card, but I'd recommend doing some research on DPC latency of the graphics card of the specific model you're considering. The other thing with GPUs - the fan. The noise from the fan is atrocious, and since it's a laptop it will always be a foot from your face. Another thing to google for your model.

FWIW, I can't know why you want a laptop, but I'm actually going the other way. This laptop is getting long in the tooth, and I'm planning to replace it with a desktop system. The laptop has left my studio about once a year. Not worth the tradeoff in power, price and future upgrades. I may pick up a cheap little laptop so I could do easy edits and such on the go, but I basically can't work without all the other junk in my studio anyway. Something to consider, if you haven't already.
DP 8.07 - Win 10 - Intel i7 8-core w/ 16GB Ram
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