The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
are laptops a worthy desktop replacement yet ? Desktop Synthesizers
Old 13th March 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
are laptops a worthy desktop replacement yet ?

just wondering how many of you work solely on a laptop , i was considering getting a dell xps with 32 gb of ram and 1 tb ssd , but it seems like so much of the cost is the because of the fact that its portable.
Old 13th March 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
Now that I have an iPad Pro I will replace my 2008 Macbook Pro for a desktop iMac.
Laptops are too heavy and have small screen to work properly.
Old 13th March 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Acidizer's Avatar
if you don't need the portability why pay through the nose? nevermind the lack of ports...

they have the grunt though. maybe a small form factor PC could do? you don't need a massive box these days, you can have a desktop in a case similar to a playstation these days.
Old 13th March 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Jeremy View Post
just wondering how many of you work solely on a laptop , i was considering getting a dell xps with 32 gb of ram and 1 tb ssd , but it seems like so much of the cost is the because of the fact that its portable.
I don’t. But it all comes down to your needs and expectations. I’ve carried a not terribly fast laptop that is from 2007 and recorded 24 tracks at 24 but/48khz simultaneously...high buffer but wasn’t concerned with live monitoring. Also used the same laptop for remote overdubs. But if you were going to take the same laptop and load up 24 instances of serious VIs and expect low latency you may have trouble.
Old 13th March 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
 
midiquestions's Avatar
I work on a desktop with 16GB ram, and it works fine for my purposes so far. I am considering a laptop if I decide to gig (rather than a mixer and a bunch of FX, etc), but that would be the only reason. I like the desktop fine.
Old 13th March 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
GregkoNYC's Avatar
I work solely on a maxed out 2012 MBPr and it has been great. I've contemplated upgrading several times, but as a dedicated Logic user there really aren't any newer Apple systems outside of the new iMac pro that would offer what I needed.

I've looked that the MAC mini of the same era, which can hold 2 drives, but interestingly they seem to command higher values than the MBPr even though they are basically the same machine specs.

In my case I'm using a thunderbolt display, external TB2 drives, etc,. I was tempted to get the last of the 5K iMacs before they switched everything over to TB3, but wasn't excited about losing the portability and modularity imposed by an all in one.

If I wasn't so hung up on using Logic right now, I'd probably scrap the portability factor and build a "mega" windows desktop dedicated to music production since there are just so many reasonably priced options.

Long story short - Yes - The right laptop can absolutely serve the purpose.

Greg
Old 13th March 2018
  #7
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by camarao View Post
Now that I have an iPad Pro I will replace my 2008 Macbook Pro for a desktop iMac.
Laptops are too heavy and have small screen to work properly.
im inclined to agree with you thats one of my biggest concerns with a laptop is the work flow the inability to see everything you are doing on one screen is a bit of a concern, however i know others out there make it work and im interested in hearing their thoughts
Old 13th March 2018
  #8
TJT
Gear Addict
If your situation is one in which you are constantly taking your studio project on the road, it actually makes sense. In this case, I would buy the best thunderbolt docking station I could and probably get at least one thunderbolt monitor, and one that does HDMI, and I would make sure that a thunderbolt audio interface would play nice with this setup, maybe contacting the manufacturer first.
Old 13th March 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 
rasseru's Avatar
I have a mate who works entirely itb with FL and laptops, has done for 15+ years, makes on it, plays gigs around the world on it, he just works with it, bounces audio, resamples and continues.

Its actually a pretty efficient method


oh he has a mouse
Old 13th March 2018
  #10
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Jeremy View Post
im inclined to agree with you thats one of my biggest concerns with a laptop is the work flow the inability to see everything you are doing on one screen is a bit of a concern, however i know others out there make it work and im interested in hearing their thoughts
Had the same concern as you. In lieu of a docking station, I purchased a nice Dell 32" monitor for $200 and a cheap keyboard/mouse. Put the monitor on a swing arm and now have 2 screens. So at the desk, I have full screen real-estate and all synths/hardware/monitors jacked into a single 12 port USB hub. Feels like an uncompromised desktop.

When I want to work on something on the couch or cafe, just unhook and go. I find the laptop portability great in the early stages of a track (while I'm creating/messing around) and I'm at the desk for the end for mixing/monitoring/etc. Nice not to have to sync samples, save paths, etc between two machines.
Old 13th March 2018
  #11
M32
Gear Addict
For years i have used a laptop as a DAW machine, an ASUS I7 with 16Gb of ram.

It's got a 17 inch screen , and using high performance mode, i'll only use it connected to the powergrid, so it's more an easily moveable desktop than a handy light laptop.
But it is/was impressively capable.
An hdmi cable to a second 27" inch screen at home makes my workflow a bit easier.

Recently i've made myself a powerful desktop machine, since plugins like Repo5, Equator, etc... are quite a resource-drain.

Now the desktop has 2 screens, one for routing and rewired programs, one for my main daw window, and the laptop has become a secundary system for running extra heavy-hitter plugins controlled by a Roli Rise.
With the MPE using an 8 to 16-note setup uses a lot of processing power, to be honest the desktop is impressively capable, but by relegating these tasks to the laptop i get a huge amount of additional power.
Both systems have a latency of about 3.5 milliseconds.

So, bang-for-buck a desktop will still smoke a laptop, and you can get more cpu than any laptop currently has. But laptops are vèry capable these days.

On the other hand, i've noticed my desktop system has a higher noisefloor.
It's not extreme, i really have to crank up the output higher than i would ever do under normal use to hear it, but i've always been a bit OCD when it comes to noise in my sound-setup, and apparently the buffer of a laptop-battery helps to keep this down.
Old 13th March 2018
  #12
To me, yes. I don't take my laptop on the road all that much, but it's nice to have the option.

Bang for buck a desktop offers more but it's mostly CPU (which isn't all that useful unless you're multitracking big projects) and video cards (which you don't need for audio anyway). Screen sizes for desktops are better, but you can hookup big screens to small laptops so, again, it's just nice to have the option for portability with a laptop.
Old 13th March 2018
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

My understanding is that the processors for desktop work differently from the laptops also so my short answer would be: check your preferred software's requirements/recommended readme's
Old 13th March 2018
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Shadowkast's Avatar
I really need both, plus my tablets. Sometimes I need to bring as much of "me" as I can to a collaboration or lesson outside of my home, and a laptop helps with this role.
Old 13th March 2018
  #15
Lives for gear
 
24dB's Avatar
I’ve been using PC laptops for the last 5+ years with no problems, just the lack of FireWire ports but those things are Jurassic technology now anyway. I use it hooked up to a monitor and a keyboard so it’s pretty much just like using a desktop as far as interface goes.
Old 13th March 2018
  #16
It really depends on your need - my 2012 MacBook pro suits my needs in the studio just fine because I produce on hardware and then just use the audio and a few plug ins in my DAW. I like being able to work outside my studio as well when I'm doing tedious tasks - like editting vocal takes while sitting at my kitchen table for instance...
Old 13th March 2018
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 64gtoboy View Post
My understanding is that the processors for desktop work differently from the laptops
The processors on laptops may have more power-saving features, but they don't work differently. If you disable all those power-saving features and push it to full load, the device may run hotter than desirable, but "different" - no. Clocking back to lower speeds, disabling cores if all you're doing is typing stuff in Word or browsing the internet.

Albeit that the latter is much more tasking nowadays, thanks to the never-ending efforts of the advertising industry.
Old 13th March 2018
  #18
Lives for gear
 
bob_rock's Avatar
I walked out of Best Buy 6 months or so ago, with my pants down around my ankles and my hands duct taped to my shins, but ended up with an I7 Quadcore Macbook Pro with 16G of RAM. ZERO issues with Logic pro X. I have run virus Ti2 plugin with 3 USB channels, Maschine 2 Studio, Serum running and several other plugins and about 5 usb devices connected or so through a powered hub the CPU is great. My former Mac Mini would start to smoke with the same running, which is why I tossed it.
Old 13th March 2018
  #19
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregkoNYC View Post
I work solely on a maxed out 2012 MBPr and it has been great.
Can confirm the same. The 2012 models are the last ones where you can user replace the RAM (up to 16GB!) and HDD easily/cheaply and if you don't need the DVD you got an extra sata connection. There's kits to put a diskdrive there and macOS supports raid (both striping and mirroring). All newer models have soldered RAM and expensive m2 ssd's.

I never felt the need for a desktop since I got this laptop. Just use an external screen and keyboard/mouse. My 2012 i7 can still keep up nicely even with a bunch of CPU intensive VSTs and effects running.
Old 14th March 2018
  #20
Lives for gear
 
mikefellh's Avatar
Well, if you throw enough money at it, $9000 laptop :

Old 14th March 2018
  #21
Lives for gear
 
pr0gr4m's Avatar
Quote:
are laptops a worthy desktop replacement yet ?
For what? Recording/making music? I was using a Dell laptop in 2004 to record and mix music with minimal issues...no more than i have with a desktop. Mac Book Pros have been doing the same.

For what? Running 1000 instances of VSTs? probably not.
For what? Microsoft Word? Yep.
For what? Gaming? Yes, if you don't need blistering framerates and 4k resolution.
For what?...seriously, for what?
Old 14th March 2018
  #22
Gear Addict
 

Laptops tend to be messy desk hogs, especially when adapted for serious music production, I mean it seems counterintuitive but it's actually much neater to tuck a big tower system under a desk than it can be to place a laptop on a desk....I know people who don't even do music and their laptops seem to have shat out a rats nest of cables.
Old 14th March 2018
  #23
Lives for gear
 
24dB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollandturbine View Post
Laptops tend to be messy desk hogs, especially when adapted for serious music production, I mean it seems counterintuitive but it's actually much neater to tuck a big tower system under a desk than it can be to place a laptop on a desk....I know people who don't even do music and their laptops seem to have shat out a rats nest of cables.
Or you can just put the laptop itself on a small table under the desk, like I do. Of course this means you need an external monitor and keyboard.
Old 14th March 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
 
mikefellh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollandturbine View Post
Laptops tend to be messy desk hogs, especially when adapted for serious music production, I mean it seems counterintuitive but it's actually much neater to tuck a big tower system under a desk than it can be to place a laptop on a desk....I know people who don't even do music and their laptops seem to have shat out a rats nest of cables.
I recently switched from 101 key keyboards to 84 keys for more desk space.
Old 14th March 2018
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 24dB View Post
Or you can just put the laptop itself on a small table under the desk, like I do. Of course this means you need an external monitor and keyboard.
I have seen some cats throw their laptops on old swing out VGA monitor stands which I guess makes it easy to unplug everything and go mobile....but then of course there seems to be a lot of folks who just set up and forget about their intentions to move their laptops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefellh View Post
I recently switched from 101 key keyboards to 84 keys for more desk space.
Why? did you have to make room on the desk for a laptop? I mean the entire point is to not have the computer take up desk real-estate that could be better used for a MIDI controller.
Old 14th March 2018
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
RobGee's Avatar
 

Old 14th March 2018
  #27
I've been using laptops exclusively for audio and sequencing since 2001. They've been more than powerful enough for DAW work for a long time.
Old 14th March 2018
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob_rock View Post
I walked out of Best Buy 6 months or so ago, with my pants down around my ankles and my hands duct taped to my shins, but ended up with an I7 Quadcore Macbook Pro with 16G of RAM. ZERO issues with Logic pro X. I have run virus Ti2 plugin with 3 USB channels, Maschine 2 Studio, Serum running and several other plugins and about 5 usb devices connected or so through a powered hub the CPU is great. My former Mac Mini would start to smoke with the same running, which is why I tossed it.
That is my dream MBP!!!!
Old 14th March 2018
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
Sapro's Avatar
I have been running a 16gb laptop with a 17inch screen and 1tb hard drive for the last few years. Happily run cubase, bitwig and various VSTs with zero problems. When in my 'studio' environment it sits on a (thin) keyboard stand just above my mixer. I plug it into another monitor when needed.

If you get a laptop make sure you get a rucksack. All my PC related stuff lives in it when not used (including my Trueno and a mini usb controller keyboard) and I have a completely portable creative system.
Old 14th March 2018
  #30
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefellh View Post
Well, if you throw enough money at it, $9000 laptop :

Most of what you're paying for here is the form factor and limited edition nonsense. Until someone makes a serious stab at having audio plugins run on graphics cards (as in more than just an academic example of "hey, we can"), having a GTX1080TI inside is just going to cost a lot of money with zero benefits.

The power requirements of that thing are close to desktop level, and if you're lugging a Gator case along with you anyway, you might as well put a slender desktop in there.

But! It looks cool, and may net you a few more views on Twitch.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump