Hey all, I'm going to be getting a laptop soon and will be on a budget. It's either a large HD and slower CPU or smaller HD and faster CPU. I know a large HD would go to use but I'm not sure whether I need an i5 over an i3. I'll be recording and editing audio and working a lot in a program called Reason, using and recording digital synths and drum machines. Any help is much appreciated!!
Hello and welcome to the forums
I agree with tecmo,go with a faster CPU.Because you can always change your HDD/add a SSD later on,but changing the CPU especially on a laptop isn't very easy and also voids the warranty.
I'd say the software is more important than the processor, early didital recording and editing have been done one 166mhz, and standalone units rarely use anything above this. That said I use a 2ghz intel pentium laptop that's perfect and is very quick at adding effects to a track, so I doubt you'll need a i5 or i3. Sure it'll help though with the added speed of the ram but I wouldn't worry about dual core since most audio programs can't utilise them or hyperthreading. In my opinion a laptop for 500 quid or so should do you, just make sure its in or around the 2ghz mark, 3 or 4 gigs of ram and 250gb hard drive (trust me you'll need it 10 megs a minute for a raw track, say 8 tracks in a song about 4 mins long, 12-16 songs on an album and creating a backup of all of those before post production, you're talking about up to maybe 10 gigs an album and at least 25 gigs free for swap space) and invest in a decent reliable external hard drive to archive everything on. Oh and most importantly - an external sound card!!! Regardless of how good the internal one on the laptop is, it'll never be as good as an external usb/firewire soundcard and the quality can be seriously effected. I swear by MOTU http://www.thomann.de/ie/motu_828_mk_iii.htm
But there are loads of alternative usb ones, but that's up to yourself, you can pick up a usb desk for cheap enough instead which can be quite handy http://www.thomann.de/ie/alesis_multimix_8_usb_fx.htm http://www.thomann.de/ie/yamaha_mg_166c_usb.htm