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New Workstation Purchase / Laptop or Desktop? (finally)
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So... finally settled out here in San Francisco, just landed a sweet job so I can afford spending about $1,000-$1,600 on a machine in about 2 months. Trying to figure out if I'm going to go for a laptop or a desktop. If I can find a laptop that will perform solid and have nice, low latency with an audio interface that will also play games well, I'm going to choose that. But, if I can get something much more powerful for the same price and it's a desktop, that will be my choice. Sandy Bridge is coming out soon so I'll wait until it does to buy a new machine.

At least: 8 GB RAM, even though Ableton can only utilize 4GB, I want to have the extra for the sake of performance.
- an i5. A few of the plugins I use can get super CPU heavy, especially Jupiter 8V.
- 1 SSD along with a regular drive, totaling around 1GB.
- a dope graphics card.

Willing to spend about $200 on an audio interface. Firewire most likely.

I realize if I go with a desktop I can get way more memory and power for the same cost, but will I really need that much power? I can't imagine, but maybe I don't know what I'm missing until I try.
good luck finding a new laptop with firewire
I've used USB audio interfaces before and with ASIO can get latency down to 12ms. May not need Firewire, I don't know. The thing is, I haven't had cash like this in a year or 2, and if I'm going to spend on a computer, I don't want to have to buy anything else for a long time. Still so tempted to just get a desktop. Load that bastard up with dual quad cores and 32GB RAM, just for the hell of it.
Live 9 will probably have 64 bit...
chris marsh
In my opinion, if you dont need a mobile studio go desktop all the way!

The specs will outlive the laptop specs. I got my PC around 2 and a half years ago and its still respectable (8GB DDR3 Quad Core AMD etc etc) and got a good couple of years left (i hope)

Plus you get easy expandability, easy access for maintenance, connectivity - The list goes on

I recently did some work on a laptop - change the hard drive, change the fan, reapply thermal paste, change push button board cable - and man compared to working with a desktop it is hard work and fiddly. To get really inside EVERYTHING has to come off
Yeah that's true. I can eventually buy a laptop if I need one, I guess. Plus I still have one presently, it's just falling apart. The fun part will be building the desktop from scratch, and choosing displays. Might go with one really big 30 inch or get a couple of 24 inch screens. I see a lot of people with a dedicated screen for spectrum analyzation, but I rarely even use that. It might be cool to have 2 though.

Anyone think a dual quad core is over kill?
Originally posted by Evolve140
So... finally settled out here in San Francisco,

Hey, we're practically neighbors. I'm in the Sacramento area.

I would definitely suggest going the desktop with 2 displays route and building it yourself. That said, I just bought a Dell Inspiron 17-inch i5 w/8GB and a 750GB HD for under $700 out the door and it's a pretty sweet machine. It won't replace my desktop machine, but it's the first laptop I've ever owned that I will actually use for serious production work. It's great to have the option to sit here in the living room and waste time on TA....I mean, make music.
Originally posted by Evolve140

Anyone think a dual quad core is over kill?
nope more pc power is better i own a amd 2.5ghz duo core pc with audiophile 2496 soundcard
with 3gig of ram ect and it aint enough for me to do what i want.

i plan on buying quad core 3.2ghz processor with 4 g of high speed memory a good psu all on a asus motherbored and if it still not enough then it but my point is more is better i think.
USB 2.0 and 3.0 is faster than firewire in theory. Using it over FW shouldn't be an issue.
I actually switched my RME from firewire connection to USB as the firewire was causing glitches - USB has been rock solid ever since
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