Posted on Apr 28, 2004 08:13 pm
Member Since: Apr 28, 2004
I have been recording at home on and off for about 3 years now, and usually I build my own machines. I'm currently running a 2.4Ghz P4 C processor (ie. 800mhz FSB) and a gig of PC3500 RAM. Things are going well despite the virus which recently rooted my system.
HOWEVER, I am beginning a new job which will possibly necessitate the use of a laptop. I run a small music venue in my spare time and I often want to record some of the live bands, or even do some multi-tracking recording where lots of noise doesn't upset my wife or baby. As a result, I am beginning to investigate the multi-tracking recording ability of laptop computers.
Now, I've had a bad experience with this in the past. At the time of the P3, I got a 1Ghz P3 laptop which was pretty cutting edge and 512mb of RAM. I managed to lay down 2 tracks in N-Track Studio before it couldn't handle the task. I do realise that N-Track relies heavily on the system itself rather than using cache in a large degree, so that may be a factor.
I have also seen an external sound card in use (in this case the Sound Blaster Extigy) but it seemed to slow down the system rather than speed it up by doing a lot of the calculations itself. I have put this down to the fact that it was USB1.0.
My basic question is this: does anyone know if and which laptops are good for recording? Will they all require an external sound card? If so, is the interfacing fast enough to enhance the system rather than drag on it?
My current thoughts are this:
Centrino processors at 1.7Ghz go as quick as a 3.0Ghz P4, due to the extra cache. They also save battery. Probably best way to go.
RAM- a necessity in large quantities to make up for the fact that it's a laptop. 1Gb.
Potential performance issues:
Fastest desktop Hard Drive- Western Digital Raptor, 10,000rpm. Standard is 7,200.
Fastest laptop HDD- 5,400rpm
Smaller RAM chips, no heatspreaders
Hard disk space.
Possible solutions- Firewire hard drive?
Drawbacks- by the time you finish buying the respective peripherals, you're carrying around a box of bits and pieces AND you've spent as much as if you were buying a whole new computer. This is, understandably, something of a pain in the bum.
What I'm after basically is any info on a laptop which can handle this stuff with, at most, an external card. I'd prefer Intel-based over Mac purely because I'm more familiar with Windows but if the suggestion is right then Mac could conceivably be an option.
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