So my windows laptop is dying. It’s an HP Pavilion something or another. A decent machine. I’d like to replace it with something better for on-the-go music production with Renoise. I have a macbook pro as well, and it works ok, but the plug-ins that I’m accustomed to at the moment are all developed for Windows, so I’d really prefer to stay with a windows laptop, I guess (I tried setting up a dual boot on my Macbook pro to launch Windows 7 as well, but it really didn’t go well at all, so I’d rather not go that route).
Can anyone recommend a good laptop for Renoise development? What’s more important: CPU power or RAM? Any other things to consider? I’d actually like to stay below $600, which is an acceptable budget for a laptop good enough for handling Renoise with some pretty thick plugin usage.
@atarix: however beautiful they are, i don’t think the Sony Vaio would stay under $600 @dep: i would love to help you here but i’m no expert on laptops. i believe more than 4Gb of RAM is useless when running Win(7) as it cannot use it (is what i understood). it should be enough anyway. when my Renoise is acting up, its always CPU, so you might want to check out some of that dual, triple or quad-core stuff going on. i doubt you will get a quadcore under $600 though.
i have a Packard Bell and the specs are in my signature. i really like it, even though when i used to know something about PC’s (before there were laptops) Packard Bell was an awful brand.
what i did was: go to your local computer store (not the cheap-ass one but the one that’s a bit better and has employees who have a little knowledge), and tell them you need a laptop, preferably around $600, which will be powerful enough to do video editting. the reason you’re asking for video editting is because these guys will have no idea about the proper laptop specs for music production, and this way you will get a solid, fast and sturdy laptop.
That’s strange… What went wrong? All my friends with Mac’s have gone that way (some did the virtual thing). I just want to have a small rest from Windows and also focus more on production rather than gaming.
As for a new laptop, I’d prefer going for CPU power, because that’s what things like Renoise need. Probably you’ll go for an Intel system, they’re dominant on the market, and still they have better technologies, so just don’t think about it. Intel i-cores are perfect.
I’d take an ASUS or an Acer, because they usually have very good quality/price ratios.
I ran in to problems during the partition process with Boot Camp. I just got an error that I can’t remember what it was, but something to the effect of it couldn’t create the partition. Following instructions online, I ran Disk Utility and then verified permissions on my harddrive. It found several problems that I tried to fix also with Disk Utility. I got errors during this process as well. The instructions then said I’d need to boot to my OSX install disc and fix the problems from there. But I lost my OSX install disc. So just kinda hit a dead end there.
It would be perfectly ideal to just be able to dual boot OSX and Windows 7, since the specs in this macbook pro are pretty perfect for Renoise (4gb ram, etc). Unfortunately, in order to do this, I’ll likely have to get a new OSX install DVD and completely rebuild my machine from scratch. Not bad, since install discs are $29. It’s just a pain in the butt. Might be worth it to save $600 though
Thanks for the advice everyone. I’m going to keep shopping. I might actually even consider a desktop Windows machine if the specs were right, too.
Anyone running desktops instead of laptops? Any experience there? Seems like you can get more power for less $$ if you go desktop over laptop.
Well, that really sounds bad.
If your Mac is new or you have Apple OneCare you can (actually you SHOULD because that’s one of the reasons you paid extra $ for what haters call a “chomped apple”) go to an Apple Store and they should check things out. Even you have an older model, you should still do it, I don’t think they’ll take that much money for that. But if your Mac still works, I’d wait till summer and get 10.7 Lion.
And as for the disk utility, there is a whole article on Apple support about errors that are impossible to fix and you should simply ignore, because… they’re not errors.
spend the 30 bucks and replace your mac’s system disks. As you’ve discovered you can’t repair a disk in disk utility w/o them and your drive needs repair. it isn’t rocket science to do and it sounds like you might save several hundred dollars on a new machine (not to mention the shiny mac book you’re robbing yourself of by being $30 too cheap)!!
then maybe repartition your drive and take another stab at getting bootcamp working - since it sounds like that’s what you wanted from the get-go. There is no shortcoming of helpful information on the internet to help you get this set up.
With that said, I can speak also to the sony vaio VPCC series laptop. I have a Vaio VPCCW13FX The specs are awesome, it cost less than $700 but the audio i/o offers ONLY a headphone jack and MONO MIC input… NO STEREO INPUT. I’ve got windows and a variety of linux distros (AVLinux, UbuntuStudio, puredyne, KXstudio) - none of them are able to use the input as a stereo input contrary to my initial hopes. just beware of this with laptops. … I’ll eventually pick up an indigo i/o for it anyway but i’m able to get 5.33 ms latencies with the onboard Realtek (48000khz at 128 Frames/Period) - not shabby.
In reality any computer will run renoise. In my experience renoise runs best in linux (PureDyne squeezes the most performance out of my Vaio over win7x64) but I use strictly midi gear and audio, haven’t opened a VST in years. My G5 hardly ever chokes on renoise although it has more RAM than it knows what to do with.
I recommend you fix your macbook, set up a user w/ admin privileges to be an audio user, hold off on installing useless crappy apps you don’t need (like IM clients facebook/twit uploaders etc) use it with renoise, figure out if you ever hit the ceiling of it’s performance based on the demands you’re putting on renoise, then go from there!
here’s another approach from a different angle. Why not try playing your favorite Windows plugins on MacOSX ?
Smproaudio has developed a hardware-vsti-player box called vmachine (quiet expensive though). But for feeding this machine with (windows-only) vsti-plugins they have also a software vst-host that runs on MacOSX and this can be downloaded here: http://www.smproaudio.com/index.php/en/service/vmachinedownloads
Still beta and I don’t know if it really works because I don’t have an intel Mac to try it out. But I think it’s worth a shot while you are waiting for your System Recovery Disks.