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?
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?
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.
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.