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Is my Laptop good enough for modest projects? Audio Interfaces
Old 21st December 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 
StewartMcKechnie's Avatar
 

Is my Laptop good enough for modest projects?

Hi There

I have just partially upgraded a laptop I have due to it formerly having Vista, 1GB RAM, a small 80GB Hard Drive and lots of Acer bloatware. It now has:

AMD Athlon 64 x2 - TK-53 (1.7GHz - 2 x 256 Kb L2 Cache)
4GB of DDR2 RAM
XP Professional x32
500GB Hard Drive - 8MB, 5400rpm, 3MB/s.
4 x USB 2.0 ports

Although the upgrade was primarily just for general use, It got me thinking. Would this be dooable as a portable solution for modest projects using a USB Interface? Or is the processor not that great?

By modest projects I mean 10-15 tracks in Sonar perhaps also using Superior Drummer 2.0. Mainly doing Rock and guitar based stuff.

The reason I'm asking opinions on this as opposed to testing it out is due to not having a USB interface at hand. I currently only have a MultifaceII you see and this uses a PCIe card.

If people think I can achieve what I'm looking to do, I will then buy a USB interface and also an additional Hard Drive for Audio/Samples.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.


Stewart
Old 22nd December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
iamkimosabi's Avatar
Hey whats up Stewart. In my honest opinion, if you upgraded your hard drive to a 7,200 RPM, fairly cheap upgrade, tweak your XP OS for audio, eliminating un-needed process in a daw, I think you could do what your asking. Im not too saavy on AMD processors, but i've worked with a set up similiar to yours and i've done fine.

Then again, it does also depend on the DAW software you are using, how many plug-ins, and what kind of interface your planning to get (one with stable drivers). With USB your chances to run a efficiently decent DAW gets a bit slimmer. Due to bandwidth limitations. :( Give firewire a shot
Old 22nd December 2010
  #3
Here for the gear
 

you know, ive been trying to get protools to work on my Sony VAIO laptop for some time, and ive had little/no luck. i dont think protools like the centrino2 processor. the hardware is more than enough to handle it, (8 gig ram/intel core2due 3.07Ghz) but for some reason it says it doesn't have enough memory to process simple tasks; such as adding eq to a track.

so i would check the website for the software you want to use and make sure that they dont have any issues with the laptop/processor first.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamkimosabi View Post
With USB your chances to run a efficiently decent DAW gets a bit slimmer. Due to bandwidth limitations. :(
that is a myth and simply not true of USB 2.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
iamkimosabi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh 7 View Post
that is a myth and simply not true of USB 2.

FireWire vs. USB 2.0 - Speed Comparison

FireWire - USB Comparison
Old 22nd December 2010
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:

that is speed. Firewire is faster. But when it comes to an audio interface, that speed doesn't come into play. USB 2 has more than enough bandwidth for an audio interface (sound card).
Old 22nd December 2010
  #7
Gear Head
 
StewartMcKechnie's Avatar
 

Hi there

Thanks for your replies guys. Much appreciated.

I've already installed Sonar on the laptop and very recently got a Cakewalk UA-1G USB interface (one channel) just to mess around with guitars. Everything works fine so no compatibility issues @art_is_hard. Phew.

I've decided what I'm gonna do over the retail holiday season, is record lots of different guitar tracks and add effects and see where it takes me. I may even throw some soft synth action its way. If all goes well and I think it's marginally dooable, I may get an RME Fireface 400 UC for the odd portable project.

Thanks also for the advice on USB & Firewire protocols and Hard Drives. Much appreciated.


Regards

Stewart
Old 23rd December 2010
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh 7 View Post
that is speed. Firewire is faster. But when it comes to an audio interface, that speed doesn't come into play. USB 2 has more than enough bandwidth for an audio interface (sound card).
I agree, I use the RME fireface UC which is a USB2 interface and its almost identical if not slightly faster latency wise as its Firewire equivalent.

RME were smart and reserved bandwidth solely for the Interface thus losing a little on external hard drives which is something im willing to sacrifice.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #9
Gear Maniac
Dont forget about tweeking your laptop to run audio applications......Run Dcp Latency checker, turn off wireless, turn off back ground programs you dont need, A defragg of the hard wouldnt hurt either....etc etc

my Sony runs fine after its tweek.....I can get around 20 tracks so far no problems.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 
StewartMcKechnie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiokaos View Post
Dont forget about tweeking your laptop to run audio applications......Run Dcp Latency checker, turn off wireless, turn off back ground programs you dont need, A defragg of the hard wouldnt hurt either....etc etc

my Sony runs fine after its tweek.....I can get around 20 tracks so far no problems.
Cheers Audiokaos

I'm going to keep this new installation as clean as can be. I'll optimise it for recording for defo.

Thanks

Stewart
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