Which Laptop Would Be Good To Play Live?

Hey guys, first time poster here, same as many people i’ve just enjoyed Renoise so much it’s kept me occupied for months. I was just wondering what would be a better laptop to produce music (and play it live with the aid of a mixer/cdj/sampler) on renoise?
I’ve had two stuck in my mind recently, being:

#1: white Macbook, £719 - need a RAM upgrade which will cost around £30 (or so i’ve been told) to bump it up to 3-4gb.
specs are as follows:

  • 13’’ screen
  • Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2GB DDR2 Memory
  • 120GB hard drive
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
  • Standard keyboard
  • White polycarbonate shell
    MagSafe power port, Gigabit Ethernet port, Two USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps), Mini DisplayPort, Audio line in, Audio line out, Kensington lock slot.

#2: (This is what I believe it was, but it’s close enough if it isn’t)
HP Pavilion dv5-1110EM, £599
specs are as follows:
2.1 GHz

  • 15.4’’ screen
  • AMD Turion™ X2 Dual-Core Mobile Processor RM-72
  • 3GB DDR2
  • 250GB SATA Hard Disk Drive
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450 Graphics
  • Standard Keyboard
  • Blu-Ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD±R/RW Double Layer
  • Vista Home Premium (OH GOG, EURGH)
    4 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI connector, 1 eSata connector, 1 VGA port, 1 RJ45 ethernet connector, 1 RJ11 modem connector, 2 headphones-out, 1 mic-in, 1 IEEE 1394, remote control infrared port, cable docking connector.

I know all that information is overkill, sorry :unsure:

If I get the Macbook, I will only be able to get that (i’m a student with savings and a low-paying job). If I get the HP I could get a set of KRK Rokit 5 studio monitors (£213.99) or something that’ll aid me like that.

Also, the only problem I have with the HP as-is is Vista. I’m not sure that Vista can cope in a live setting, and if it crashes then i’m screwed.

Thanks for the help.


i’ve never been using macs fulltime, and i don’t have anything against them. but anyway - i’d go for the HP + the monitors, for the following reasons:

  1. i think decent monitors are important

  2. even though i’m not impressed by vista, renoise runs fine on my dell laptop (vista business)

  3. you get double diskspace. 120 gb on the mac is not much.

  4. you get a bigger screen / less horizontal scrolling if the resolution is better

  5. 4 usb ports, for midi and audio gear

The mac won’t let you down live…

i voted for HP.
check their site for WINXP drivers, download them, remove Vista, install XP and get KRKs )

This is bullshit btw… 2gb is more then enough on a mac!


Vista stinks, but you can usually wipe it out and install XP. :yeah:

Or go to Tiger Direct and get a refurb for less money, with XP. I buy from there a LOT and I trust their refurbs more than Wal-Mart’s new computers.

Macs are not only user friendly, and easy to use, they’re beautiful too!
No viruses on a mac is a plus too, and as ol’ charlie lynch said, “they wont let you down”…its true…i’ve had mine for 3 years.
I love it more than me.
As for the monitors, i’d say it doesnt really matter… just make sure you do test your music on some occasionally so you dont become box headed. Otherwise, its fine mixing on a good pair of headphones.

Charly Linch



I have a PC (HP zd8000) and it’s NEVER let me down live. You just gotta take care of it.

Are you only using it live? Or are you producing as well?

What software are you planning on running on it? Logic only runs on Mac and FLStudio only runs on PC (unless you bootcamp it, which means you can’t use rewire).

As far as specs go, the PC sounds a little better (and cheaper). But then again you can always upgrade both computers.

Macs have hardly the amount of VSTs that PCs have too…that sucks

I plan on using Renoise and Ableton Live from time to time. I am producing and playing live with the same laptop, or would aim to. I know it would be better to have a seperate computer for the production and a seperate for the playing live, but as mentioned in my first post i’m a student on a budget and my current computer barely cuts it.

In your case I’d go for the pc.

Over the years I’ve had & seen plenty of macs crash in school with audio software / firewire drivers etc, so I don’t know where that whole super stable myth comes from.

If that comes from overall comparing to the pc I can somewhat understand, though that may be not completely fair since pc ‘stableness’ is often a user issue. Windows gives you the freedom to fuck up easily, do you have the discipline to maintain a stable system? :slight_smile:

Since, I’m looking into running a mac os on the pc (only because I need to run 1 program that isn’t available for pc) I’ve been reading on virusses on the insanelymac forums. Though, like often in pc case, these come from corrupted warez installers, this does prove that macs aren’t immune to malicious hacknerds.

Getting back to your choice, in the pc case, cpu wise I’d search for an intel option and not amd.

Isn’t there some kind of Mac plugin that makes the VST pretend it’s an AU?

Yeah, in that case I’d go with the PC. It’s cheaper and has slightly more (spec wise).

I’d go for the mac, just because I value my time more than I value a few extra dollars.

I’ve been using computers since 1980 and the whole “build your own” is played out for me. I want UNIX, I’m willing to pay for it, i’m willing to trade-off some Open Source principles for some cool applications, technologies, and an all-in-one integrated software/hardware design.

There’s a lot of hype and fluff when it comes to mac, you will experience a learning curve, you will run into pains in the ass problems just like a PC, but I can’t in good conscious recommend a windows system anymore.

Furthermore, HP has a history of sucking ass. I have one of their older laptops in my closet. I’ve helped others maintain their HP systems. If I were to name two brands to avoid like the plague HP and Sony are at the top of my list.


I have 3 HPs and they’re all running strong (including the one I’m on right now, 8 years old). You just gotta take care of them. TLC. <3

Kinda like the woman you’ve been married to for years, except the computer won’t go out on a drunk night and fuck a random sweaty latino guy named mario. Claim to you that it’s your kid until she pops it out and then you see it’s darker skinned…fucking…women…

No there is not.
But after strugling with less free vsti’s on mac I found out that just a few pluggins can do the work of 1000 vsti’s on windows with the fancy looks.