Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
Steve Bolivar
KVRian
540 posts since 25 Aug, 2006

Post Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:51 pm

With a $2500 budget I'd be looking at a custom build from a place like SCAN as thecontrolcentre rec'd. Computers/laptops for audio is their specialty.

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Touch The Universe
KVRAF
3800 posts since 2 Oct, 2008

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:33 pm

Looks good, are there others? It's a UK store though right? Don't want to pay crazy tax.

How are they better? Less bloat?
High Quality Soundsets for Lush-101 | Hive | Electra 2 | Diversion | Halion | Largo | Rapid | Dune II | Thorn | and Spire.
http://www.touch-the-universe.com/

Steve Bolivar
KVRian
540 posts since 25 Aug, 2006

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:25 am

US companies:
https://pcaudiolabs.com/
https://www.adkproaudio.com/music-production-laptops
I've never had the money to get a system from either but they have been around for a long time.
Why are they better than a DELL, HP, ASUS,...? Give them all a call and talk to them about audio production on laptops and your needs. All the Windows, firmware, BIOS/UEFI tweaks have been done and optimized, components chosen that will work best together without conflicts. Can you get a mass produced laptop that works as a DAW, absolutely. But there's no guarantee.

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Touch The Universe
KVRAF
3800 posts since 2 Oct, 2008

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:56 pm

Browsed both sites. How hard is it to post specs. Here is the latest top of the line laptops vs our latops. This is why you should choose us? Give me some quantifiable evidence!!! Guess I'll help to call them for this basic information. Just saying, if it was me running that ship, I'd blast that key information all of the site, or maybe they don't have that much to brag about?
High Quality Soundsets for Lush-101 | Hive | Electra 2 | Diversion | Halion | Largo | Rapid | Dune II | Thorn | and Spire.
http://www.touch-the-universe.com/

David W
KVRist
30 posts since 13 May, 2019

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:17 am

Touch The Universe wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:09 pm
tf does "x4" mean here, 1TB PCIe® x4 SSD

Does that someone mean 1 TB X4, so 4 TB max? (wishful thinking)
No. The x4 means four PCI Express lanes are used for the SSD, which is required for full performance of an NVMe SSD. Some laptops only offer x2 NVMe slots, which caps the performance of the SSD.

1TB capacity means 1TB capacity (well, around 933GB usable - as usual, hard disk capacities are in powers of ten). There are 2TB NVMe M.2 SSDs available, though they're still pricey. I'm not aware of any 4TB designs commercially available at present - the technology has likely advanced to a point where it would be possible to create them, though it would probably have to be a slow QLC design. QLC means quad layer cell - generally speaking the more layers in a cell, the slower the performance; mainstream laptop SSDs are TLC (triple layer cell). SLC (single layer cell) tends only to be used in server SSDs, whilst MLC (multi layer cell - in practice, two layer cell) designs have all but disappeared.


There are laptops with two NVMe slots, but these tend to be premium designs. My HP ZBook has two NVMe x4 slots.

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Touch The Universe
KVRAF
3800 posts since 2 Oct, 2008

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:40 am

Thanks, sounds like you know your shi*.

To be honest, I'd be happy to 512 GB SSD X4 and 2-4 TB HDD for two reasons : its' cheaper and safer in the event the of hard drive failure (SSD's are harder and more expensive to recover).

Difficulty is finding the right commercially available laptop that I can set this up, usually the options are limited. Custom side of things looks promising, though I'm hesitant cause they seem like smaller companies, not sure if they are as reliable. Custom music production laptops, I'm not convinced are significantly faster/better. Will call a few of them to see if I can get some quantifiable data to back this up.

Inundated for the time being, not to mention zenbook pro duo release date and price is un known. If its more than 2.5 K, I'll probably get a xps, or a custom music production one if they can convince me.

What laptop would you recommend for 2.5k?
High Quality Soundsets for Lush-101 | Hive | Electra 2 | Diversion | Halion | Largo | Rapid | Dune II | Thorn | and Spire.
http://www.touch-the-universe.com/

Steve Bolivar
KVRian
540 posts since 25 Aug, 2006

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:02 am

Maybe include several TBs of cloud backup/storage. That way you don't have to worry about using HDDs instead of SDDs for cheaper recovery.

In a laptop that's carried around a lot would an SSD be more reliable than a mechanical HDD?

jsp1979
KVRAF
3219 posts since 7 Aug, 2008

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:27 am

Steve Bolivar wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:25 am
US companies:
https://pcaudiolabs.com/
https://www.adkproaudio.com/music-production-laptops
I've never had the money to get a system from either but they have been around for a long time.
Why are they better than a DELL, HP, ASUS,...? Give them all a call and talk to them about audio production on laptops and your needs. All the Windows, firmware, BIOS/UEFI tweaks have been done and optimized, components chosen that will work best together without conflicts. Can you get a mass produced laptop that works as a DAW, absolutely. But there's no guarantee.
I'd put Jim Rosenberry at Audiocat in the list as well. I got a desktop from him over 5 1/2 years ago and it's still performing amazingly.

On the site, you can customize several aspects and get the price.

Link: https://studiocat.com/

EDIT: Jim is also a member at KVR and you'll see him chime in from time to time.

Kaine
KVRAF
1917 posts since 4 Nov, 2004 from Manchester

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:39 am

Touch The Universe wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:56 am
Both good points, I actually do a bit of work with the laptop on my bed, so on a pillow on my chest. Wonering how that will play out with a pillow suffocating the air that is needed to cool it, hmm.
Yeah, you really shouldn't do that with any laptop for overheating reasons. Ideally, you should grab a vented tray for it.

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Touch The Universe
KVRAF
3800 posts since 2 Oct, 2008

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:23 am

Interesting, the new xps 15 might be better latency.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-conf ... 048.0.html
High Quality Soundsets for Lush-101 | Hive | Electra 2 | Diversion | Halion | Largo | Rapid | Dune II | Thorn | and Spire.
http://www.touch-the-universe.com/

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Touch The Universe
KVRAF
3800 posts since 2 Oct, 2008

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:22 pm

The reviews for music production for the xps 15 are coming in. It seems they fixed the audio latency problem and there is little throttling on 19 version, so it might make sense to opt for the i9 instead of the 17 versions.

https://youtu.be/dTg5iRJdncI
High Quality Soundsets for Lush-101 | Hive | Electra 2 | Diversion | Halion | Largo | Rapid | Dune II | Thorn | and Spire.
http://www.touch-the-universe.com/

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
8656 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:06 pm

The thing with an XPS is that you are paying a huge premium for the way it looks. You get much better bang for your buck by looking at less stylish machines. I'm awaiting delivery of a Dell G7 17, which is a 17" gaming-focussed laptop with a 9th gen hexa-core i7, RTX2060 graphics and two drives - an NVMe SSD and a HDD. It's way easier to upgrade, it will run much cooler (never throttle performance), and it's got a sensible FullHD display, not a ridiculous hi-dpi display that eats up your battery life while requiring you to scale everything so you can see what you're doing. I could have bought an XPS 15 for the same price but both the CPU and GPU would have been last gen and it wouldn't have had the second drive (which I can easily replace with another SSD if I want). The other advantage of a gaming laptop is that you get lots of ports, the G7 has 4x USB (Type A + C), HDMI and even an Ethernet port.

The other machine I looked at was an Asus ROG Strix Scar II, which also comes in 15" or 17" sizes. It was my first choice but Dell were offering $800 off the G7, so that's the one I went for. I've since seen the Scar II for a similar price, which is really annoying because I really like the way it looks, although the Dell looks OK, too, and has a Thunderbolt port, which the ROG lacks.

I don't see any point in custom builds any more. It made sense a decade ago when you really needed every ounce of performance you could get but laptops today are many times more powerful and gaming machines, in particular, are designed to get as much out of the configuration as possible.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), Zoom U24, Cubase, DUNE, Hive, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Substance, Arcsyn, Synthmaster One, Aparillo, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft 2

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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
24518 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:07 pm

Touch The Universe wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:33 pm
Looks good, are there others? It's a UK store though right? Don't want to pay crazy tax.

How are they better? Less bloat?
I think SCAN are owned by a US company ... can't recall the name atm. The main difference in having something built for you is that it's guaranteed to work with your DAW(s) of choice, and comes with a warranty. They called me for a chat about what was needed and what software I was likely to install. So yeah, no bloat.

I wanted a 17" screen, i7, Win8.1, 3 !TB SSDs, a BluRay writer, with as many USB ports and as much RAM as possible. I got what I asked for, and 24GB RAM, 2 x USB2. 1 x USB3 and 1 x Combi USB2/3 port. It's been totally reliable (and quiet) for the last 3/4 years.

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Touch The Universe
KVRAF
3800 posts since 2 Oct, 2008

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:57 pm

BONES wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:06 pm
The thing with an XPS is that you are paying a huge premium for the way it looks. You get much better bang for your buck by looking at less stylish machines. I'm awaiting delivery of a Dell G7 17, which is a 17" gaming-focussed laptop with a 9th gen hexa-core i7, RTX2060 graphics and two drives - an NVMe SSD and a HDD. It's way easier to upgrade, it will run much cooler (never throttle performance), and it's got a sensible FullHD display, not a ridiculous hi-dpi display that eats up your battery life while requiring you to scale everything so you can see what you're doing. I could have bought an XPS 15 for the same price but both the CPU and GPU would have been last gen and it wouldn't have had the second drive (which I can easily replace with another SSD if I want). The other advantage of a gaming laptop is that you get lots of ports, the G7 has 4x USB (Type A + C), HDMI and even an Ethernet port.

The other machine I looked at was an Asus ROG Strix Scar II, which also comes in 15" or 17" sizes. It was my first choice but Dell were offering $800 off the G7, so that's the one I went for. I've since seen the Scar II for a similar price, which is really annoying because I really like the way it looks, although the Dell looks OK, too, and has a Thunderbolt port, which the ROG lacks.

I don't see any point in custom builds any more. It made sense a decade ago when you really needed every ounce of performance you could get but laptops today are many times more powerful and gaming machines, in particular, are designed to get as much out of the configuration as possible.
Interesting. I like that it can have two drives, if I can choose a 2TB SSD an a 2TB HDD, I'd be set. What size are the drives? The cpu looks good for the i7 and the HD screen is probably a good idea too.

I'm not a fan of using external drives so I really want as much hard drive space as possible. My current laptop has 512GB SSD and its nowhere near enough and it drives me bonkers so if I can, I'm going to get frekking 4TB if I can, haha!

They are hard to find on the laptop companies websites themselves, but they can be found on amazon. This HPZBOOK fits all the criteria.

Hexacore i7850H
HD Screen for optimal battery life
4TB SSD/HDD hybrid
32GB Ram

https://www.amazon.com/HP-ZBook-15v-G5- ... cs&sr=1-27

Is the best I've found that is actually released so far. It's under 2K, so I'll get more space, similar cpu and save 600 dollars than the latest xps.

The asus studio book that is coming is supposed to be an amazing machine, the one to beat, but unclear the price or release date.

I've found similar spec'd laptops from MSI and Asus ROG, but I can't stand the way they look, and never dealt with them before, why take a chance?
High Quality Soundsets for Lush-101 | Hive | Electra 2 | Diversion | Halion | Largo | Rapid | Dune II | Thorn | and Spire.
http://www.touch-the-universe.com/

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Touch The Universe
KVRAF
3800 posts since 2 Oct, 2008

Re: Laptop Recommendations ($2.5k)

Post Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:06 pm

The rabbit hole is deep.

Turns out that hp only has 250 ish nit in brightness and 67% RGB color accuracy, a deal breaker.

That XPS is looking more and more better as time goes on.

That G7, what is the brightness, and how color accurate is it?
High Quality Soundsets for Lush-101 | Hive | Electra 2 | Diversion | Halion | Largo | Rapid | Dune II | Thorn | and Spire.
http://www.touch-the-universe.com/

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