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Thread: I just want a laptop for mixing and making music

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    I just want a laptop for mixing and making music

    So, the title says it all. I don't plan on using this laptop for anything else; what should I look for?

    I saw some cheap laptops at Best Buy that ranged anywhere from $200-$500; if I bought one of these would they be good enough? Based on an article I read, I was mainly checking to see hard drive space(at least 100GB), screen resolution(15.6" minimum), and that there are at least 3 USB ports available. If a laptop has all this, would it be ideal for DJing? You guys have the experience so let me know; also let me know what else I should be looking for in a laptop. Just remember, this is ONLY for DJing and mixing, so I only care about requirements for those two things. Thanks for any help

    Also, I don't know if I will ever do shows, but just in case, one that would be adequate for doing shows as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexivero View Post
    So, the title says it all. I don't plan on using this laptop for anything else; what should I look for?

    I saw some cheap laptops at Best Buy that ranged anywhere from $200-$500; if I bought one of these would they be good enough? Based on an article I read, I was mainly checking to see hard drive space(at least 100GB), screen resolution(15.6" minimum), and that there are at least 3 USB ports available. If a laptop has all this, would it be ideal for DJing? You guys have the experience so let me know; also let me know what else I should be looking for in a laptop. Just remember, this is ONLY for DJing and mixing, so I only care about requirements for those two things. Thanks for any help

    Also, I don't know if I will ever do shows, but just in case, one that would be adequate for doing shows as well.
    It's difficult to say if the computer you're looking at will be adequate for your intended purpose, but it could be. You need to look at the number of processors, processor speed, amount of RAM, and screen resolution (15.6" is a screen size, 1400x900 is a resolution).

    My experience has been that buying a cheap laptop may provide some immediate gratification, but you'll find yourself wanting something better soon after.

  3. #3
    MY $400 toshiba laptop from 5 years ago does both. You really don't need anything crazy, I look for a good processor and lots of RAM. Hard drive space is usually negligible since you can use an external drive. I can fit all of my projects and music(that I actually play) on less than 200GB
    Weekly Deep/Progressive podcast, brand new tracks every week at www.climbtoclouds.com

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    Member DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    I just want a laptop for mixing and making music

    I agree with JackStalk; get as much RAM as you can afford and a 64 bit Operating System. Music software does not seem to be too CPU intensive, so a good dual core processor may be just fine.

    If you want to post the specs of the laptop you're looking at, I'm sure we can give you some useful feedback.
    Last edited by DJ Bobcat; 08-29-2014 at 02:45 PM.

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    Alright, thanks for the responses guys.

    I'm not really a computer guy, so what is a good processor speed? Does this just mean how quickly the computer is able to process data?

    Also, what is RAM and what would be a good number to look for?

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    I just want a laptop for mixing and making music

    Quote Originally Posted by Vexivero View Post
    Alright, thanks for the responses guys.

    I'm not really a computer guy, so what is a good processor speed? Does this just mean how quickly the computer is able to process data?

    Also, what is RAM and what would be a good number to look for?
    Computer speed has to do with how many instructions can be processed per cycle. A good processor speed would be 3GHz if you have a dual core processor. You might be OK with 2.8GHz, but I would not go for less than that.

    RAM is memory. Computer programs store instructions in memory, so if you have enough, your computer will not have to keep swapping data in and out of memory, which means your applications will run faster. 8GB is a good amount of RAM. Any more you can afford is better. You can easily add more RAM later if you need it.

    Edit: if I over-simplified, it is not intended to be condescending. In my job, I frequently must explain technical issues to lawyers.
    Last edited by DJ Bobcat; 08-29-2014 at 03:17 PM.

  7. #7
    I'm a PC guy, so I'd go with an i5 dual core processor and at least 4gb of ram. My desktop has 8gb RAM and an i5 quad-core @3.3ghz and it's stupid fast for everything. Coupled with a SSD it takes less than 10 seconds to boot to windows when I turn it on.
    Weekly Deep/Progressive podcast, brand new tracks every week at www.climbtoclouds.com

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    No, that was great! I tried looking up these things on google, but it's hard to find stuff in real layman's terms. One more thing, since you seem to know your computers. Is there a huge difference between dual and quad core processors, and if I have enough money would you recommend I get one of those instead? [keeping in mind my situation..I'm just using the laptop for music related endeavors, no email, youtube or games]

    Jack what type of computer do you have? I'd like to check it out if I can

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    Member DJ Bobcat's Avatar
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    I just want a laptop for mixing and making music

    Quote Originally Posted by Vexivero View Post
    No, that was great! I tried looking up these things on google, but it's hard to find stuff in real layman's terms. One more thing, since you seem to know your computers. Is there a huge difference between dual and quad core processors, and if I have enough money would you recommend I get one of those instead? [keeping in mind my situation..I'm just using the laptop for music related endeavors, no email, youtube or games]

    Jack what type of computer do you have? I'd like to check it out if I can
    Dual cores means there are essentially 2 processors, quad core means there are 4. In your computer, there is usually only one CPU Socket, but by having 2,4,6,8, or more cores in a single CPU chip, you have more processing power. With hyper-threading, some dual core processors can outperform some quad core processors, but typically 4 is better than two. Hyper-threading is the way Intel processors execute multiple instructions across two or more cores at the same time.

    There is a difference in brands of processors. There's Intel and AMD. AMD is typically less expensive. I build my own PC's and use both brands, but for music, I only use Intel for reasons too lengthy to explain from my iPhone (lol).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexivero View Post
    No, that was great! I tried looking up these things on google, but it's hard to find stuff in real layman's terms. One more thing, since you seem to know your computers. Is there a huge difference between dual and quad core processors, and if I have enough money would you recommend I get one of those instead? [keeping in mind my situation..I'm just using the laptop for music related endeavors, no email, youtube or games]

    Jack what type of computer do you have? I'd like to check it out if I can
    Not really. And there's a 0% chance of you getting a quad core processor in a laptop under $700. There's only a handful of i7QM laptops on the market, and they normally run in the $1k+ range.

    I'm not sure on each of the programs, but very few programs are coded to take advantage of multi-core processors, much less quad core. Adobe Products are, but I'm not sure on music related ones.

    Personally, I get by fine on a 2012 dual core i5 3313U ultrabook and 8GB of RAM for everything. Hell, my $170 Dell Windows 8.1 Tablet runs VDJ and Serato just fine.

    Also, don't get hung up on the speed of processors. All of the Intel chips have a speed they normally run at and a "boost" speed, which is when they disable the other core and will run at a higher speed on one core. So it may be a 1.7 Ghz processor with a 2.6GHz Turbo Boost. The new processors of today are much more efficient (in both power draw and execution) than that of the past. So today's 1.7Ghz chips well outperform the 3Ghz chips of years past.
    Last edited by caverunner17; 08-29-2014 at 03:51 PM.

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