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#31
8th April 2012
Old 8th April 2012
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#32
8th April 2012
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Does it have T.I. chips ?
#33
8th April 2012
Old 8th April 2012
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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned ADK computers .
Are they not enough quiet ?
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#34
8th April 2012
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Custom built (not very cheap) US computers is a bit unpractical idea here in middle Europe Here we need local support, vendors, service etc.
#35
8th April 2012
Old 8th April 2012
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Hi Ivo,

FWIW..
I bought the latest MBP 2,4 and added 16 GB custom ram for cheap.
I intend to replace the internal 5400 drive with a SSD soon.

Not noticing too much fan noise, I also guess you can customize the fan behaviour with 3rd party utilities.

Swapping the 5400 rpm drive with a SSD will generate less power and heat so I will be very surpised if the fans will not be a tad calmer..


Ola
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#36
8th April 2012
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Well, I have MBP (early 2008) .. and it is relatively quiet, no complaint about that. But hardware-wise, it is not very good - within 3 years period where I paid extra for warranty - I had replaced almost everything: 5 times keyboard, motherboard, 2 times display (still some new bad point coming again), 4 times battery (now it again lasts just 50 minutes), fans etc. It has SATA I - so to put SSD in it does not have much sense.

Mostly I am based in Windows: Samplitude, Office (Max Office is not that good), Sony Vegas (I don t like iMovie or Final cut) etc. And I don t like much all those other iThinks either. So for me to remain in OSX has no much sense. And to use bootcamp is not very comfortable either. Not speaking of the fact that (at least here) Apple laptops are much more expensive than PC laptops. So I have not much motivation to go for MacBook Pro any more ...
#37
8th April 2012
Old 8th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
With that said, if FW is the most critical thing for your recording, it's better to stay with Macbook Pro or iMac with firewire port. I would say firewire connection for PC laptop is a crapshoot.
Disagree strongly with this. FW on Lenovos at any rate is very reliable with various excellent TI chip based expresscards available. Anything but a crapshoot.
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#38
9th April 2012
Old 9th April 2012
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Could you please name some FW 34 express cards with TI chip ?
#39
9th April 2012
Old 9th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Disagree strongly with this. FW on Lenovos at any rate is very reliable with various excellent TI chip based expresscards available. Anything but a crapshoot.
Well, before it is a crapshoot or not, FW is not found in PC laptops anymore, especially models released this year and sub $1000 models (If we are talking about on-board FW). Expresscard which has TI chip is getting less available, and some new "TI chip" expresscards don't work as nicely as older ones (I've tested probably 5 or 6 Expresscards). Besides, expresscard slots are also hard to find. In the past year or so, things have changed a lot.

Now, the models I would say reliable are Lenovo Thinkpad and HP Elitebook, and some higher end VAIO. Toshiba used to have a good laptop with FW, but not anymore.
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9th April 2012
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#41
9th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
The Nvidia drivers do not play nice with Pyramix. While, I've been able to get it to work on some systems, it's not worth the effort and the AMD drivers are rock solid.
All the best,
-mark
Hey Mark, after a couple easy tweaks that I got off of the RME site, I did get the Nvidia to play with PMX!
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#42
19th April 2012
Old 19th April 2012
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I have a Vaio F12, that is a core i 7 with 6 GB Ram and a beautiful 16,4 inch full hd matte display, but the display is is only good thing.
The Fan noise is making me sick and somehow when running cubase or Sony Vegas, I don´t feel that I have a lot of power under the hood. From time to time it gets very unsnappy and the fan goes turbo..

I´m close to selling it and go either hp or Lenovo..
#43
19th April 2012
Old 19th April 2012
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I must say thow, that I bought a newer model for my wife this year and there´s a lot less fannoise, but it´s an i5..
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#44
21st April 2012
Old 21st April 2012
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So I have completed my mission. The path to it was not easy but the result seems to be ideal so far.

My first intention was to buy a new Lenovo T520 with very top configuration, SSD etc. that would come to about 1600 EUR and that I would use as my general working laptop as well. Before letting to make this special configuration I better asked the dealer to send me some trial T520 to check whether it would work with Weiss firewire. They sent me a bit lower model T520i with i3. After unpacking I was a bit taken aback by its not much appealing old fashioned non-elegant plastic bulk look and general controls : non-smooth trackpad surface, gestures not working well, compared to my MBP standing next to it on the table - the display was much worse, speakers sound horrible etc. (I sometimes like to watch movies on the laptop). Seeing these two laptops next to each other, it was clear that getting Lenovo would be a substantial downgrade in general. I simply did not want it.

At the same time, my experience showed several times that installing bootcamp Windows quite spoils the general OSX performance (things become stuck, slow etc.) - after formatting the disc, things again worked perfect and fast , adding bootcamp, I was back to bad performance. Windows on Mac - never more for me.

I got an idea - what about to keep MBP as my main general laptop (or possibly to get a new one when they release 2012 models) and to get some simple PC laptop (why not second hand), dedicated just to Samplitude, mobile recordings, studio backup and out of station editing. It should be reliable, QUIET, with firewire that would work with Weiss.
I looked around, pondered about few such laptops and suddenly saw an interesting offer in the local computer shop - Lenovo T500, renewed, with full guarantee for 350 EUR. That looked as a good idea. Before returning that T520, I quickly tried it with Weiss, to be sure that thinkpad works well with firewire audio. It did not - it kept disconnecting from Weiss now and then, some lost ASIO buffers appeared, did not look too optimistic, rather unusable.

Now what to do ... to get a second older MBP and to use it just in Bootcamp ? In the end I said - why not to try that T500, maybe it will work different than that T520 ? So I borrowed it from the shop. To me, it looked a bit better than T520, better touchpad, screen resolution (1680x1050) etc. I tried it with Weiss - seamless, perfect overall performance, tested on few very long recordings - no problem at all, just smooth. Intel Core Duo 2,4GHz, 4GB RAM. So I bought it next day and changed its 160 GB HDD for 240 GB Corsair SSD. Installed everything again. After few weaker moments, it connected again to Weiss and works perfect so far. I never experienced SSD performance before, so I am quite amazed by its speedy reactions. Thus I got a dedicated, well equipped - and TOTALLY SILENT Samplitude DAW workstation, with more than enough power and RAM. SSD disc is absolutely silent, the fan comes rarely on and is very silent, like a spring breeze, there is also a special software utility that makes the fan coming less often.

So now I have MBP for everything else (I would not like to have Lenovo for that) and a cheap Lenovo T500 for audio only

I hope it will continue to work well and reliably for a long time. I have a big choir recording in June, so it will be a serious test (with MBP and Reaper as an emergency backup

Regarding the fact why T520 did not work well with Weiss and Samplitude - one possible reason (apart from hardware or configuration) could be the fact that I used a trial Samplitude 11 download version for that test , that theoretically is limited only by 30 days of use, but who knows whether there are some other limitations that may cause some audio devices instability, but I don t know. Now I have fully activated version in T500. But T500 was much better choice for me anyway in the end.
#45
21st April 2012
Old 21st April 2012
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Congratulations for having sorting this out !
#46
21st April 2012
Old 21st April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
Seeing these two laptops next to each other, it was clear that getting Lenovo would be a substantial downgrade in general.
That particular Lenovo maybe. There is a huge variation between all the models to suit every budget. Compromises are made. MBP's are all expensive.

Quote:
Regarding the fact why T520 did not work well with Weiss and Samplitude - one possible reason (apart from hardware or configuration) ...
You got it. As they come from the dealer, they have lots of rubbish installed on them, extra drivers and components that aren't needed for audio. They also have heaps of memory resident programs that load at startup, and all this causes the notorious DPC (Deferred Procedure Call) problems.

Its not difficult to turn all this stuff off, get the proper drivers, and get a final config that is very stable. I still use a Lenovo T61 with Pyramix for multichannel recording, it has been bullet proof.

The best program to examine and disable all the rubbish is Autoruns from Sysinternals (now Microsoft).
Autoruns for Windows
#47
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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Hi David,

I'm considering replacing my dead Macbook Pro (motherboard/logicboard failure: $1200 replacement fee quoted by Apple ) with a refurbished Lenovo T43 or T61, to be used purely for location capture of audio.
Would you recommend the inclusion of an SSD with the Lenovo, as an 60GB SSD can be had for not much money, and claims many plusses such as faster bootup, lower noise and heat generation etc (advantages listed here: Laptop.com.auPages, - Cheap laptops notebooks netbooks for sale - New & used laptop - Buy online - Quality notebook computers ) What's the fan noise like on the Lenovos with a typical location recording load (eg 8 - 10 mic inputs @ 24 bit 44.1) ? I'd be using a FW interface, so even if the onboard FW was unreliable I'd replace it with an ExpressCard TI-chipped one. Any advice here would be appreciated
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#48
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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Yes, replacing the HDD by SSD is an excellent idea. SSD disc works much smoother, faster and quieter than the standard HDD. Just don't buy SDD with Sandy force chip. They are problematic. I bought Corsair Force 3 and had to replace it within few days (every second Windows start was stuck) - then I found there is general problems with these discs. I replaced it with Intel.

60GB is a way too small though IMHO, it is recommended to have always a part of SSD free for a smooth run. I would say , get 120 GB minimum ...

SSD disc is absolutely silent and Lenovo fan is quiet too (and comes on only sometimes). Furthermore, there is an aftermarket application TPfancontrol that makes the fan even more quiet and not coming that often. Definitely an excellent and quiet DAW mobile workstation
#49
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
  #49
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Interesting discussion. Thanks, ISedlacek, for updating everyone on your decision and thought process. It's very helpful.

I have been quite interested in getting a Thinkpad W520, but have been rather deterred by reports of them shutting down suddenly due to static electricity (acknowledged by Lenovo support in a 100+ page thread here) and CPU power management (reported by a user here in the same thread).
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#50
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Would you recommend the inclusion of an SSD with the Lenovo, as an 60GB SSD can be had for not much money, and claims many plusses such as faster bootup, lower noise and heat generation etc (advantages listed here ...
I am still suspicious of SSD's for main laptop drives for remote audio, there are still horror stories around, and the alternative of a good spinning HDD is that they are so incredibly reliable. I have an SSD as the system drive in my main DAW and every now and then NTFS CHKDSK runs at startup. This never happens with any rotating drives I have had.

Use a rotating HDD in your remote laptop, you do not need the speed, even for hi-res multitrack audio, they are essentially silent, run pretty cool, well within the cooling capacity of the laptop and are so reliable now.

Quote:
What's the fan noise like on the Lenovos with a typical location recording load (eg 8 - 10 mic inputs @ 24 bit 44.1) ?
I never hear my T61 fan, not even sure it's on.

Quote:
I'd be using a FW interface, so even if the onboard FW was unreliable I'd replace it with an ExpressCard TI-chipped one. Any advice here would be appreciated
I use a Prism Orpheus and a TC SK48, as both are FW and take the processing load away from the CPU (not so with USB interfaces) they don't seem to load the PC up at all really. I use two expresscard FW interfaces, a SIIG and a no name one, both TI chipset, and they have been faultless.
#51
19th May 2012
Old 19th May 2012
  #51
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So any more suggestions? Looking for a modern/new laptop regardless of specs, although I would prefer a quad-core, but I'm most of all concerned about getting a laptop that is as silent as it gets.

I don't have very good experiences with macbooks in this case as they do get loud under load. I've been checking the ADK and Scan 3XS laptops and they seem viable, but there's very little information about the noise levels, so I'm not sure about them. Lenovos seem like an option although I dislike the Nvidia Quadros as I don't do 3D graphics work, I'd prefer a normal "consumer" GPU.

I'm sure some people here have found the silent laptops and good brands/models in the market.

Thanks.
#52
20th May 2012
Old 20th May 2012
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The biggest source of noise in my 2011 MacBook Pro is the extra hdd that I have instead of the optical unit. I have a SSD as system drive which is GREAT. With windows 7 and sequoia the fans rarely ever get going, and the only annoying sound is the audio hard drive.
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#53
20th May 2012
Old 20th May 2012
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Silent... powerful... including ExpressCard!?!

Hello to all,

I don't want to hijack this thread, but still on this subject: why so many (if not most of all) of the current laptops/notebooks does not have an ExpressCard/54 or ExpressCard/34?

It seems that USB3 (or eSata) is "eating" such ports internally? Or any other explanation? Very few models have all I/O!

It is essential for me now, for FW800 cards. It may still be essential for me in the near-future, for MADI.


What do you think about this?

All the best,
Ave.
#54
20th May 2012
Old 20th May 2012
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Too few users use them is my guess. And thunderbolt is much, much better at least on paper. If I recall correctly Expresscard is 0,5 GBit throughput while TB is 2x10 GBit or 4x10 depending on controller chip.
There are already TB->ExpressCard peripherals on the market from Sonnet.
#55
20th May 2012
Old 20th May 2012
  #55
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Love love love my 2012 Macbook Air (12" i5).
Have recorded 16 tracks to Pro Tools via USB interface a few times.
Can't wait to get a Thunderbolt interface.

It's a beautiful machine. Incredibly light and powerful. Anyone that's used my Air has become enamored with it
It's really a delight. Macbook Pros and Windows laptops seem like bricks compared to this thing.

Only time the fan ever goes is when watching flash videos. Bloody flash. The i7 may use it's fan more as it runs hotter I think.
The SSD makes this machine feel snappier than any desktop I've used.

New Macbook Air laptop range arriving within next two months according to the rumors. I might upgrade to the next Macbook Air just so I have more power for mixing and Final Cut Pro rendering although I have performed both those tasks many times on this machine.
#56
21st May 2012
Old 21st May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonesH View Post
Too few users use them is my guess. And thunderbolt is much, much better at least on paper. If I recall correctly Expresscard is 0,5 GBit throughput while TB is 2x10 GBit or 4x10 depending on controller chip.
There are already TB->ExpressCard peripherals on the market from Sonnet.
I can understand that. But it still seems a bad solution for me - to go from TB->EC->FW... too many points for possible problems...!

And most of the current laptops may have USB3, but still not TB (aside from Apple)!

Sonnet has great products, but such adapter means additional US$150-something... And as you said - everything great - at least on paper.

Let's see.

Current offers from many laptop/computer DAW integrators/resellers are on this same situation.


all the best,
Ave.
#57
24th May 2012
Old 24th May 2012
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You've made the right decision, ISedlacek.

For the record, MacBook Pro and Air specs are somewhat archaic compared with others like Sager, for instance. In fact, they'd be laughable if it weren't for OS X. But unless you have high graphic demands you can certainly do fine with an average and therefore possibly quieter laptop. Unfortunately, real power still comes at the expense of heat and noise, though certainly SSD's (with their cons) do improve the situation. Nothing from Apple can even remotely entice me from SAWStudio, so I'm stuck with my Sager "X-15" But certainly a slower and quieter laptop together with a reasonably faster one is a viable solution for many users. And I think one should not buy a computer for what it is but rather for what one can achieve with it.
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#58
26th May 2012
Old 26th May 2012
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Despite new MacBook Pros being maybe only a couple of weeks away (depending on which rumours you listen to), I recently bought the most recent model 17" MBP to replace my aging and slightly bent 2007 15" MBP. I installed 8GB RAM and a big SSD.

I've recorded hours of 64 tracks over MADI and 32 tracks with a Firewire interface. With Logic and Cubase.

It has an ExpressCard slot for MADI right now, Thunderbolt for whatever new interfaces may come down the line.

It's been faultless. (and very quiet). When recording, the processor and disk activity meters don't move off zero.

I couldn't be happier. The best portable Mac (for audio anyhow) that I've ever owned... and I've owned a lot.
#59
26th May 2012
Old 26th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LX3 View Post
Despite new MacBook Pros being maybe only a couple of weeks away (depending on which rumours you listen to), I recently bought the most recent model 17" MBP to replace my aging and slightly bent 2007 15" MBP. I installed 8GB RAM and a big SSD.

I've recorded hours of 64 tracks over MADI and 32 tracks with a Firewire interface. With Logic and Cubase.

It has an ExpressCard slot for MADI right now, Thunderbolt for whatever new interfaces may come down the line.

It's been faultless. (and very quiet). When recording, the processor and disk activity meters don't move off zero.

I couldn't be happier. The best portable Mac (for audio anyhow) that I've ever owned... and I've owned a lot.
Interesting. Are you using the SSD in addition to the system drive, or is everything installed and recorded to the single SSD?
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#60
26th May 2012
Old 26th May 2012
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One 500GB SSD, replacing the original spinning drive. Partitioned into two 250GB drives - one for the system, one for audio.

I did consider replacing the optical drive but decided it was too much of a kludge. In any case, if I had, I would only have installed two SSDs. So, I thought, why not keep the optical and just use one big SSD instead?
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