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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 7 year old laptop has finally become unbearable so it is time to upgrade. The only thing worse than using my current laptop, however, seems to be looking for a new one :( So, I am seeking laptop recommendations.

Here are the criteria:

1.) I don't need anything super high end (everything will be a huge upgrade!) but I also don't want to buy the cheapest semi-obsolete thing out there since, as you might have guessed, I tend to hold on to these things for awhile :)

2.) I've pretty much ruled out Apple stuff. They are expensive and every time I try to do something with an Apple I end up enraged (I have an iphone and ipad and hate using them).

3.) I will use this for basic work and streaming. I don't play games. I would also like to use this for music recording, S-Gear, and as a sampler (hooked up to an e-drum kit). Low latency is a big factor, so I am thinking USB 3.0 is probably a good idea.


With this in mind, I wondering if I should shell out extra for an i7 (newest gen) Intel processor or if an i6 will be fine. I am also wondering if SSD have finally "arrived" and are worth the money (I have a TB external drive for backups). I want as much Ram as financially possible. The big question is if getting an older CPU with more ram is better than a newer one with relatively less ram.

Any thoughts and specific recommendations would be welcomed. Also, if there is a particular model or brand to avoid please let me know.

TG
 

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I bought a new laptop last spring and picked up a Lenovo ThinkPad. There is a reason businesses use ThinkPads - they work!

Mine has been excellent and has convinced me that all future laptops will be ThinkPads. I highly recommend giving them a look.
 

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The main things are- an I5 should be fine, the I7 just adds hyperthreading which doesn't get used much unless you edit video or some high intensity work. Make sure you have at least 16Gb RAM, a USB3, and the processor is at least an I5. I bought an HP from Costco for around $750 that works great for anything short of gaming, but I'm not sure if it has USB3.


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For audio definitively a core i7, 16 gb ram (8 extreme minimum), buy refurbished, if you buy new chances are that it will be refurbished before 6 months. I prefer buying Dell because it is more durable
 

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For audio definitively a core i7, 16 gb ram (8 extreme minimum), buy refurbished, if you buy new chances are that it will be refurbished before 6 months. I prefer buying Dell because it is more durable
Why the I7 for simple recording? If he was going to do producing and heavy editing I could see it, but recording guitar doesn't take much CPU.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it I5 works for me


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Yes, stay away from Apple. ASUS is probably about the best name but HP is another decent one and there are a few others. And i5 processor is all you really need.

I suggest set your budget and stay with it. Then look to see what the best deal you can get for your money.
 

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I have an HP Elitebook laptop (more of a portable workstation) that I got off lease for about $500. It has i7 and dedicated video card and a bunch of yada yada's. I edit video with it without trouble and it will even play Rocksmith.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why the I7 for simple recording? If he was going to do producing and heavy editing I could see it, but recording guitar doesn't take much CPU.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it I5 works for me


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S-Gear is a digital modelling program. I can run it, with effects, and a sampler (for my electronic drums set) within Reaper. The processor demand start adding up pretty quickly and maybe this is why he recommended an I7). Perhaps an I5 is up to the task, but I truly don't know (hence this thread).
 

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Looking at the minimum system requirements for S-gear, pretty much any new computer will do it. RAM is more important here I believe. The only reason I ever recommend I7 for anyone is if you have many programs running at once, or if the main program you use is designed for it (most aren't and 4 processors is enough)



Now having said that, if money isn't an issue then by all means get an I7!


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I have a couple of Dell laptops that are going well. One is 8 years old and the other is 5. Also have their desktops and they've all been fine. I use them bcs you order it, the thing shows up at your door and it works. Might be better out there but these do the job and I ain't got time to comparison shop computer specs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm already running s-gear on my 7 year old laptop so I know I don't "need" the latest and greatest cpu. It's sound like if given the option of an i7 with less ram or an i6 with more ram, I should take the i6.

Is an SSD drive even necessary? There is a pretty high premium on the cash to gb ratio. Are most laptop hardrives now 7200 rpm.

Work will cover the cost, but it comes out of an allotted amount of funds; the more I spend on a laptop, the less I have left over for other stuff. I don't need to cheap out, but I don't want to spend way more than necessary and leave myself short for something else.

TG
 

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Just to be clear there is no I6. It goes I3,I5,I7.

SSDs make loading times much faster than almost any hard drive and in my opinion are worth it, having said that though I've only got one on my desktop, and it has 1 SSD for windows and another normal hard drive for most other stuff, because of the price of the large SSDs.

The main difference between an I5 and I7 isn't speed though. I've got an I5 overclocked to 4.5Ghz without any special cooling (just a fan). Laptops are a bit slower just because of the airflow, but that's true across all processors (unless it's specifically made for it $$$)

Another thing to think about is touch screens. I find it handy on a laptop, even though I think they're stupid on a desktop computer. Being able to scroll the screen by swiping just seems more natural now that we're all using tablets.
I think you can find what you're looking for for under $1000, but if you start to drop below about $5-600 then your not gonna get any performance out of it. An I3 is much cheaper but only worth it if it's just a Facebook machine.


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Why the I7 for simple recording? If he was going to do producing and heavy editing I could see it, but recording guitar doesn't take much CPU.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it I5 works for me


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It does for me as well.
 

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For audio definitively a core i7, 16 gb ram (8 extreme minimum), buy refurbished, if you buy new chances are that it will be refurbished before 6 months. I prefer buying Dell because it is more durable

I've never had a computer crap out in six months.

And one of the reasons I recommended ThinkPads is that they are so damned durable. There is a reason that so many businesses have been using them for so many years now.
 
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