TOPIC: Recommended processor (laptop)

Recommended processor (laptop) 4 months 1 week ago #19725

Which Intel processor would you guys suggest for a laptop?

I'm currently considering switching to a laptop home studio for portability


I use Cubase 10
record in 44.1 24-bit
VST effects such as S-Gear, slate VMR
Omnisphere, Keyscape and UVI Vintage Vault 2
I usually have no more than 20 tracks
Acoustic guitars, bass guitars. I will probably have a simple interface such as a Zoom UAC, Apogee Duet, or possibly a Quantum 2
So thunderbolt is a bonus but not a requirement.

I am running a PC with
I5 8600K
16GB DDR4
Z370 Asrock Gaming ITX
and I am going to sell it to pick up something more portable.
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Recommended processor (laptop) 4 months 1 week ago #19727

Hi Dallon,

Briefly, my advice would be to look for recommendations on specific laptops. The emphasis is not just on the processor spec but also motherboard factors such as caching and bus speeds.

Mike
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Recommended processor (laptop) 4 months 1 week ago #19729

Whatever system you get, I'd recommend recording in 88.1 or 96kHz to eliminate the cumulative affect of the steep LP filter ringing on each track at 44.1kHz, which can be audible. I do notice a slightly more-natural/less-coloured high end in some cases. You'll also get lower real-time latency at a higher sample rate. Nearly all VST FX over-sample at least 2x anyway, so the CPU hit won't be much higher depending on if you use said VST FX on each track. Track freeze makes the CPU hit issue somewhat moot anyway. You can mixdown offline to 44.1k with a HQ sample converter plugin if you need to. The results should be slightly better than if each track was recorded at 44.1Khz.

Individual core speed combined with cache size/speed and RAM buss speed is what matters with regard to real-time VST FX performance. Multi-threading generally only applies to real-time FX on different channels, so a faster core/cache/buss speed will perform better than slower multiple cores for real-time FX on one track. FYI, Reaper has a real-time multi-threading option, but I get a lower single channel real-time FX CPU hit with it off on my AMD CPU system. It might actually improve performance with a dual thread per core Intel CPU.
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Last edit: 4 months 1 week ago by GCKelloch.
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Recommended processor (laptop) 4 months 1 week ago #19731

Thank you, but the majority of people I know in the industry record in 44.1 24-bit. I honestly cannot tell s difference. I have been recording in that format for a very long time. I'm happy with it and don't have latency issues. Any latency issues I have had, have been from interfaces other than the ones I mentioned.
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Recommended processor (laptop) 4 months 1 week ago #19733

It all depends. Like others have said CPU is only part of the equation. RAM plays a huge part especially for VST and any sample based instruments like UVI. I would look for something with at least 16GB. I've found that gaming based laptops often have specs that would work for recording so you might want to start looking at that category and let your budget dictate! They typically have more ram capability and faster busses and better cooling. Oh, and while I shudder at the thought, Macbooks make pretty good recording laptops too, but onboard storage is slim

I had a standard Dell with an i7 7400U 16Gb and 2 SSDs and Cubase 10 Pro would let me get to about 8-10 guitar tracks with various sims loaded before I had to start freezing my other VSTs (Superior Drummer, Trillian, Kontakt). I tracked in 44k at a 256 buffer and when it was all said and done including buss and fx, I have about 25-30 tracks going.

www.scanproaudio.info has some pretty good content about CPU performance comparisons for DAW applications, but keep in mind that those charts seemingly show huge differences between A and B, but real world they are much less apparent.

Another thing to consider with laptops is USB ports. One of the reasons I moved back to a desktop DAW was frustrations with often not having enough USB available. Yes there are hubs, but many interface and controller manufacturers don't recommend using them. I put my Steinberg eLicenser and iLok in the hub and it would sometimes even wreak havoc with them :(

Sorry I was kind of all over the place, too early in the AM to collect my thoughts lol

Good luck and let us know what you come up with!
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Recommended processor (laptop) 4 months 1 week ago #19734

Thank. Any brands and models are welcomed as well.
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Last edit: 4 months 1 week ago by Dallon426.
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