Purchasing a new Laptop - performance dillemas
Yuvke
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23rd February 2013
Old 23rd February 2013
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Purchasing a new Laptop - performance dillemas

Hi,

First, I want to say I've been digging in the forum for the past months and it's really a fountain of information. Thank you so much guys for sharing your experiences.

I'm buying a laptop who's main use will be for performance and maybe recording sketches on-the-go. Performance consists mostly of ableton live, vst synths, and a few sample libraries (but not too many). Sometimes I would use frozen tracks in a live setting and use the audio already processed.

Here's what I do know. Processor will be i7-3630qm. RAM will be 8GB. My audio interface is a Fireface UC.

So here are my questions. Considering all of the abve:

1. SSD vs. mSATA cache drive
Have anyone had any experience with these options? Does an mSATA cache drive improves the overall performance (think ableton live)? Also, if an OS SSD is the way to go - should you install Live on it? Including the library? What anout the VSTs?

2. 5400rpm vs. 7200 rpm
Is 7200 critical for the purposes stated above?

3. RAM
I'm thinking of 8GB for now but I?m not sure if I should invest in a laptop with an optionto upgrade to 16 or more in the future. Any thoughts on that? Is 8GB more than enough?

Thanks a lot for the help!

Yuval
Yuvke
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23rd February 2013
Old 23rd February 2013
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Already edited above...
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23rd February 2013
Old 23rd February 2013
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m-sata as a cache drive does nothing for audio its great as an OS drive when large enough. then a 7200 a 2nd drive.

or just 1 ssd
live and all items for it go on the OS drive.

Scott
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Yuvke
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23rd February 2013
Old 23rd February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcschild View Post
m-sata as a cache drive does nothing for audio its great as an OS drive when large enough. then a 7200 a 2nd drive.

or just 1 ssd
live and all items for it go on the OS drive.

Scott
ADK
Thanks Scott!

So m-sata is not essential. Would you say that 256GB SSD is enough for both Windows, Live and performance material? Or Do I need the 2nd HD? How much free space will I have after installing windows?

Also, if you have any opinion on the RAM question I would love to hear it.

Thanks,

Yuval
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25th February 2013
Old 25th February 2013
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for live playback a single drive is usually good enough unless getting into heavy (and large) sample playback.

8 would be the minimum and 16 is probably over kill. (again unless heavier samples or lots of them)
all newer laptops can handle 16 gig. most have only 2 slots (in fact those with a 16gig max will have only 2) so if you dont do 16gig now you will have to toss the 8 gig and buy 16gig later.. with live and its included synths 8 is plenty.

Scott
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Yuvke
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25th February 2013
Old 25th February 2013
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Thanks Scott!

I'll think I'll go with a single drive (not SSD), 7200RPM and either 8 or 12 GB RAM.

Yuval
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30th April 2013
Old 30th April 2013
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Did you get the laptop? If so, which one?
#8
1st May 2013
Old 1st May 2013
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I bought a Lenovo W530 with quad i7 2.6 (turbo to 3.6). I have a mSata SSD with all the OS and apps on it. I have another SSD in the HDD bay with all my samples. I have another 7200 RPM HDD in the optical bay for other media. 24 GB ram. Couldn't be happier. Get an much SSD as you can reasonably afford, but do realize that your mSATA interface may only be SATA II whereas your HDD bay may support SATA III. Just something to think about depending on the model you are purchasing.

This thing roars and nothing has been able to hold it down yet. Obviously make sure you put the computer in high performance mode under power settings to get the full use out of your CPU.
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