As you might have guessed from my username, I come from a background of using Med3.21 on the Amiga. I have accomplished great feats with this setup over the years, but now feel I have outgrown it, and have decided to take the plunge into the glorious world of Renoise. But first I’ll need a laptop. It’s going to be a PC, because my budget is £500 (and I just prefer them for some weird reason). So tell me, folks:
what machine do you have, and can it run Renoise with a bunch of crazy VSTs, samples and other magic going on at once, without cracking up?
what’s the best kind of processor in this price-range for high-density Renoise programming? Dual-core? Quad-core? Sandybridge? Ivybridge? i3? i5? i7? What the bejeesis does it all mean?
just plucking a computer out of the air, will something like this do the trick? Has it got too much of something and not enough of another? What’s a better one to get? What’s reliable, with good speakers and minimal bloatware?
All I know is that my eight-year old IBM ThinkCentre XP desktop doesn’t even stream YouTube clips properly, let alone cope with the processing required to even play the first thirty seconds of a demo song on the demo Renoise without crashing out. (I have to type this quietly so that I don’t hurt its feelings.)
And while you’re at it, what’s the best cheap soundcard?
I’m on a 2009 core 2 duo 2 gHz, 4 gig ram laptop and am managing just fine. I bet any current day laptop will blow it away. I’d look into a 64 bit system so I could run more than 4 gig ram, maybe others can give you better pointers what to look out for? Good luck!
Passmark has a nice page with a lot of processors ranked. It won`t necessarily give you exact numbers for audio performance but certainly gives you a rough idea.
As an example I recently swapped out a 1.8GHz e6300 core2duo in my desktop ~ 1000 points for a quad q6600 ~ 3000 points. From the renoise meters It seems I`ve roughly tripled my computer power on some songs, so it works for me
Heres the page which has mobile processors listed aswell, just do a Ctrl + F browser search to find individual chips:
You really want to consider Hewllett Packard, this holiday season. They are in serious trouble, and some savvy choices, on HP.com might just get you a really nice machine. I don’t know the budget, so I will just say, “as far as Intel vs AMD I have no preference.” Do not use the ARM/mobile only chips. – Definitely go with x64, and try and get at least 4 gigs of ram.
As far as, “Running a lot of vst’s, endlessly.” It depends on the vst, the year of the vst’s 1.0 release, and the type of vst. On my computer, I can run 15 instances of Cakewalk’s Rapture… but, I once demo’d U-he Diva, and found one instance, brought my quad core, amd desktop, to a halt…
So the way I feel is, “what are your vst?” If they are a few years old… I think you can run 2 dozen, 3 dozen? More? 50 different processors? But if you have something like, “Synth Squad, or Diva, or one of the new Xils Lab,” than I think you will find, for these super new sound qualities, you can not run endless instances quite yet…
I’ve been surprised at how poorly the i3 laptop at work handles Renoise songs with only a few tracks and native effects, therefore I would recommend going for at least an i5 if you can’t afford something with an i7 processor in it.
You haven’t mentioned what size of laptop you wish to go for. There is a lot of difference between a 13" laptop and one which is 17"!
Of late I’ve been leaning towards Lenovo and think I will go with one of theirs when I consider mine is at the end of its life but would need to know more about your requirements to try and recommend one from their range.
Also, forget laptop speakers is my opinion. Maybe the HPs or the likes have real good sound but for a production thing I wouldn’t rely on that.
I just bought a medion this summer starting my study (it was around 500), and have to say it’s rockin, simple i3 with a good geforce gt630M and 8gb ram. Didn’t succeed in overloading the machine with renoise yet, but, most of my production so far on this machine has been VST-less so I can’t report on that. I guess normally a lot of ram is useful, but if you’re gonna load 7 different instances of Massive etc in a song it might need some quite more cpu.
I reckon you’d be lucky to get a 17" starting within your quoted budget and also very much doubt anything with an i7.
Generally read good reviews and less bad, plus most of the Thinkpad range do appear to be harder and more able to take at least a slight bashing that many other laptops. Also generally appear to be fairly well supported under Linux, which is something I like to dip my toes into occasionally even though as yet I haven’t managed to make the move there.