What's new

How much $$$ for a decent laptop for music production?

Bluemount Score

Senior Member
So I'm pretty much a hardware-noob, especially when it comes to laptop components. Somebody else did put together the parts for my current computer and I was somewhat proud that I actually managed to make it running on my own. It's still a great PC, however I'm planning to buy an additional laptop to be more flexible in the upcoming year.

My current PC contains

32GB DDR4 RAM
Intel Core i7 8700k

What would a laptop with similar or perhaps slightly lower perfromance cost?

As I'm probably going to keep sticking to external SSD's for samples, hardware storage is not as important. 1TB HDD would be fine.
 

Piotrek K.

Active Member
Earlier this year I bought Lenovo Legion y-540 (my first laptop). 32gigs ram, i7 9750H, gtx 1660ti, 960gb SSD so pretty powerful machine (and looks not bad for gaming laptop). It costed me around 1.2K $. And as a desktop PC it's ok but... it's not mobile machine at all. It's heavy, power supply is huge and without power plugged in it is limited to 50% of it's power (not possible to use bigger templates with HWO Gold). Battery life is embarrassingly poor in general too (average 2-3 hours tops). I bought it as all around desktop with mobile functions so I'm not super disappointed, but wouldn't buy it again to be honest.

So if you want to add mobility to your music writing avoid Legion series and probably most of mid range gaming laptops. I'd focus more on battery life and performance when not plugged in (or size of power supply ;)) instead of actual hardware inside. But if you want to get similar performance as your desktop you shouldn't go below i7, now 10th gen I guess. So I guess we are talking here 1.5-2k at least though.
 
OP
Bluemount Score

Bluemount Score

Senior Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Earlier this year I bought Lenovo Legion y-540 (my first laptop). 32gigs ram, i7 9750H, gtx 1660ti, 960gb SSD so pretty powerful machine (and looks not bad for gaming laptop). It costed me around 1.2K $. And as a desktop PC it's ok but... it's not mobile machine at all. It's heavy, power supply is huge and without power plugged in it is limited to 50% of it's power (not possible to use bigger templates with HWO Gold). Battery life is embarrassingly poor in general too (average 2-3 hours tops). I bought it as all around desktop with mobile functions so I'm not super disappointed, but wouldn't buy it again to be honest.

So if you want to add mobility to your music writing avoid Legion series and probably most of mid range gaming laptops. I'd focus more on battery life and performance when not plugged in (or size of power supply ;)) instead of actual hardware inside. But if you want to get similar performance as your desktop you shouldn't go below i7, now 10th gen I guess. So I guess we are talking here 1.5-2k at least though.
Thank you. Yes, 1.5k - 2k was about the same amount I had in mind. I wouldn't go much higher than that not only because it's expensive, but also because of the risk of caring something that expensive and fragil around all the time.
 

easyrider

Senior Member
I would buy a Dell with a AMD Ryzen 7 4900H 8 cores and 16 threads.

Upgrade the ram to 32GB or 64GB

Dell G5 15 SE Gaming Laptop
AMD Ryzen™ 9 4900H Mobile Processor with Radeon™ Graphics
Windows 10 Home
AMD Radeon™ RX 5600M 6GB GDDR6
16GB, 2x8GB, DDR4, 3200MHz
1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive

$1,429.99
 
OP
Bluemount Score

Bluemount Score

Senior Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I would buy a Dell with a AMD Ryzen 7 4900H 8 cores and 16 threads.

Upgrade the ram to 32GB or 64GB

Dell G5 15 SE Gaming Laptop
AMD Ryzen™ 9 4900H Mobile Processor with Radeon™ Graphics
Windows 10 Home
AMD Radeon™ RX 5600M 6GB GDDR6
16GB, 2x8GB, DDR4, 3200MHz
1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive

$1,429.99
That sounds quite promising to my unexperienced eyes. Also 64GB instead of 32GB might be helpful indeed.

Any website recommendations to build one?
 

T-LeffoH

#CitizenSleuth
So I'm pretty much a hardware-noob, especially when it comes to laptop components. Somebody else did put together the parts for my current computer and I was somewhat proud that I actually managed to make it running on my own. It's still a great PC, however I'm planning to buy an additional laptop to be more flexible in the upcoming year.

My current PC contains

32GB DDR4 RAM
Intel Core i7 8700k

What would a laptop with similar or perhaps slightly lower perfromance cost?

As I'm probably going to keep sticking to external SSD's for samples, hardware storage is not as important. 1TB HDD would be fine.

It depends on how much you'll use it, and for what size projects, but I'd recommend to go with 64 GB, worst case scenario no less than 32 GB.

I have two of the same laptop, one effectively as a contingency for the other, but the additional RAM is so helpful. Plus having VE Pro to micromanage what is loaded & using RAM at any given time helps a lot.
 
OP
Bluemount Score

Bluemount Score

Senior Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
It depends on how much you'll use it, and for what size projects, but I'd recommend to go with 64 GB, worst case scenario no less than 32 GB.

I have two of the same laptop, one effectively as a contingency for the other, but the additional RAM is so helpful. Plus having VE Pro to micromanage what is loaded & using RAM at any given time helps a lot.
Yes, with my PC I noticed that I wouldn't go any lower than 32GB again, as I'm using large templates including very hungry libraries like BBCSO on a regular basis.
 

thevisi0nary

Active Member
Depending on how large you think your sessions will be, you may run into cpu and thermal limits before utilizing 64gb of ram on a laptop (that's not a definite though, don't quote me on that).

If you want to save a lot of money, your best bet is to buy a laptop with expandability and buy the addons yourself. Meaning purchase it initially with the lowest ram and ssd configuration and buy replacements online and do it yourself, you will save several hundred dollars this way if you are comfortable doing it.

If I was buying a windows laptop today with the intention of running large projects I would get the 2020 XPS 15, 8 core base configuration at $1599, then upgrade the ram and throw an nvme in the 2nd drive slot (both can be had for around $300). This is an incredibly well designed laptop as far as the user experience, do not underestimate how nice it is to work with a bright ips screen and a large trackpad.

If you only care about powerful internals, and not so much about the laptop itself, just get anything that comes with a cpu you want and can be expanded, and has good reviews. A lot of gaming laptop brands such as Eluktronics, XMG, or any well reviewed gaming laptop will have good horsepower, and will be a lot cheaper by comparison to more curated laptops. They will just vary across models with how good the other parts of the laptop are. Screens, keyboards, track pad, battery life, fan noise can be good or bad depending on the model. But if these are not of upmost importance to you, this is the route to go.

The AMD 4800/4900 chips are really nice, but the laptops that they come in are usually not great and are geared more towards gamers. The zephyrus g14 could be nice, and it's super portable.
 
OP
Bluemount Score

Bluemount Score

Senior Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Depending on how large you think your sessions will be, you may run into cpu and thermal limits before utilizing 64gb of ram on a laptop (that's not a definite though, don't quote me on that).

If you want to save a lot of money, your best bet is to buy a laptop with expandability and buy the addons yourself. Meaning purchase it initially with the lowest ram and ssd configuration and buy replacements online and do it yourself, you will save several hundred dollars this way if you are comfortable doing it.

If I was buying a windows laptop today with the intention of running large projects I would get the 2020 XPS 15, 8 core base configuration at $1599, then upgrade the ram and throw an nvme in the 2nd drive slot (both can be had for around $300). This is an incredibly well designed laptop as far as the user experience, do not underestimate how nice it is to work with a bright ips screen and a large trackpad.

If you only care about powerful internals, and not so much about the laptop itself, just get anything that comes with a cpu you want and can be expanded, and has good reviews. A lot of gaming laptop brands such as Eluktronics, XMG, or any well reviewed gaming laptop will have good horsepower, and will be a lot cheaper by comparison to more curated laptops. They will just vary across models with how good the other parts of the laptop are. Screens, keyboards, track pad, battery life, fan noise can be good or bad depending on the model. But if these are not of upmost importance to you, this is the route to go.

The AMD 4800/4900 chips are really nice, but the laptops that they come in are usually not great and are geared more towards gamers. The zephyrus g14 could be nice, and it's super portable.
Thank you for the detailed explanation, I appreciate it!
 

Sarahga

New Member
I am using a pretty cheap model of laptop for gaming and work. My notebook cost me $800, the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15-dk2097nr. PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ i5-11300H (up to 4.4 GHz, 8 MB L3 cache, 4 cores) + NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3050 Laptop GPU (4 GB) GRAPHICS: Intel® Core™ i7-11370H (up to 4.8 GHz, 12 MB L3 cache, 4 cores) + NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 (4 GB) DISPLAY: 15.6" diagonal FHD 144 Hz IPS anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080) MEMORY: 12 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM (1 x 4 GB, 1 x 8 GB) STORAGE: 1 TB 7200 rpm SATA; 256 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD The laptop has a good performance, so you can play with this model online games like League of legends and Dota, Apex, Minecraft, etc.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom