That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

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ciw
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That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

Post by ciw » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:05 pm

Hi dudes,

trying to buy a laptop again, and it's been a while so I'm a bit out of date.

Is live fine on windows 8 now?

Any recommendations for cheap but decent laptops that still support firewire? It seems hard to come by these days :(

I used to think toshiba, asus were about my price point. Thinkpads are nice if you can get them cheap. Not sony, and not dell unless they've upped their game in the last 7 years (have they?) Also has anyone used HP lately, if so how are they?

Cheers

yur2die4
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Re: That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

Post by yur2die4 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:59 pm

I don't know if Live has ever had issues on 8. Live and Windows always upgrade nicely with each other from my experience.

As for FireWire, not all FireWire audio interfaces are supported on 8. I guess some very fundamental drivers for FireWire itself are not pre-included. A lot of audio interfaces ARE supported, but some support from developers has been dropped on their very old FireWire devices (I'm especially let down that my presonus firepod is no longer supported :/ ).

I've heard and seen great things from Lenovo for sure. I also stay away from Sony, some of their computers seed quirky). Toshiba is still a good cost effective option as far as I know. When I shopped, I was first enthusiastic about Asus, but reviews kind of made me hesitant.

Due to the features that I was specifically looking for, I ended up going with an HP. Mostly only because of some very specifics though.

That is about where you'll get closer to discerning what is best for you.

Pick out some absolute must-have features pertaining to size, CPU type, resolution, touchscreen or not, a built in optical drive or not, etc. And when shopping, those can really help you narrow down your options.

Once you're down to a few, go to stores and test that model of equivalent. Test the keys, open close, startup and shut down. ESPECIALLY the touchpad. Lots of different designs out there for the touchpad, some have no buttons, a lot use win 8 features. It's wild out there.

I mostly ended up going with my model because I wanted a strong CPU, and I wanted touch... And that combo isn't popular at all right now. If you don't need touch, you should have no trouble at all.

turnitto11
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Re: That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

Post by turnitto11 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:05 pm

Probably best off getting a Mac if you want firewire. Not sure how opposed you are to that option, but Apple still supports firewire via their thunderbolt>firewire adapters.
MacBook Pro (13", 2.7ghz i7, 16gb, 10.9), Suite 9

dsu
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Re: That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

Post by dsu » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:38 am

My experience is with a Focusrite Liquid 56 and a SIIG F/W card.

Just did not work reliably in Windows 8 64 bit. Did some research and according some comments on the RME forum it looks like MS just dropped F/W, made the legacy drive unavailable in Windows 8. RME released a new driver for there f/w products which according to the threads made things work better with the new MS driver.

My experience with Focusrite's driver for Windows 8 is that it is not very solid. The firewire light on the unit blinks on and off in Windows 8 (this isn't a DAW drop out problem due to too small buffer size, there isn't a DAW or even Media player running). In Windows 7 the same hardware runs beautifully.

Read any number of post while researching my problems that suggest with the exception of RME, Windows 8 64 bit and firewire is a world of pain you don't want to experience. Then there is the problem of getting a decent F/W (TI) chip on the laptop mobo. When you add it all up, clinging to firewire in a post Windows 7 environment seems to be ill-advised.

Of course YMMV. Good luck, BTW I do like the Lenovo Laptops. Got two here but not for music.

Martin Gifford
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Re: That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

Post by Martin Gifford » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:45 am

yur2die4 wrote:ESPECIALLY the touchpad. Lots of different designs out there for the touchpad, some have no buttons, a lot use win 8 features. It's wild out there.
Yeah, Win8 is good under the hood but the GUI is irritating and some of it has been incorporated into uncustomisable touchpads. But mine is a cheap laptop. I avoid the touchpad as much as possible - but I have to manually turn it off when I plug in a real mouse.

O/P Suggestion: Horize/Clevo custom built laptops are powerful, but probably no firewire connection. You can order them with high resolution screens, etc. Can get them with Win7 too.

Khazul
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Re: That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

Post by Khazul » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:20 am

Why firewire? Do you already have an good fw only audio interface?

These days USB2 should be just as good so long as the audio interface isn't sharing a root hub with something else. Ive been using my RME UFX (has both FW and USB2 ports) via USB for the past couple of year leaving the FW800 on my MBP for connecting an external hard drive.

These days if I was looking for a decent PC laptop, I would probably be quite happy sticking with USB2 for the UFX and probably use USB3 ports for external hard drives and not bother with FW at all. I have done test on my MBP and UFX back when I got it (early 2011) to see if it was worth using it on FW or USB2 and TBH both on OSX and window 7/64 (via bootcamp) use in Live was just as good at low latency on either, so I left it on USB2 so my external HD could get the extra bandwidth of FW800.

Nearly 3 years on I would probably do the same again, but use USB3 for an external HD.

Also back them it was still a bit of lottery to find a decent PC laptop that was reliable for audio work (ie could work reliable at <10ms latency under decent load) - I don't know if this has changed, but just in case before buying I would ask if anyone else here is using the model you propose to buy just to sanity check there arnt issues with it.
Nothing to see here - move along!

timday
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Re: That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

Post by timday » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:31 am

I was looking a couple of years ago and I couldn't find any PC laptop with a FW socket - not even a tiny 4-pin one. Ended up going Mac purely to support my interface.

Khazul
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Re: That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

Post by Khazul » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:33 am

timday wrote:I was looking a couple of years ago and I couldn't find any PC laptop with a FW socket - not even a tiny 4-pin one. Ended up going Mac purely to support my interface.
And probably saved yourself a lot of other audio grief in the process. Something would have to go badly wrong with apple for me to go back to using a PC laptop after nearly 3 trouble free years with an MBP.
Nothing to see here - move along!

ciw
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Re: That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

Post by ciw » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:38 am

Thanks all. Yes, we already have 2 firewire boxes in the house that I'd rather not replace right now. There are some refurbished win 7 think pads out there that look like the way forward. Thanks for confirming my firewire/win 8 suspicions!

outsidesys
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Re: That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

Post by outsidesys » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:33 pm

I have an HP Elitebook 8570w. It has a JMicron firewire port, but I don't use it.

Martin Gifford
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Re: That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

Post by Martin Gifford » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:02 am

I received this email from Logical Blue One:
"We offer Windows 7 currently as an option on all our machines. Firewire ports are built in on the P370, P170, P150 and P151 series machines."
It's an Australian company in Brisbane:

http://www.logicalblueone.com.au

BTW, I've been reading on the net that there's lots of different types of firewire, so check that yours will be compatible.

j_fonix
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Re: That periodic 'what laptop' thread ... plus firewire

Post by j_fonix » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:58 pm

...I also need a firewire port but I am going to get a desktop - I havn't seen any Firewire laptops - I just need a spare PCI slot and a firewire card (TI chipset seem to be recommended)......

What FW interface do you have? Mine is an Edirol FA 101. Thankfully roland have drivers for Winodws 8 :)

http://www.roland.com/support/article/? ... s&p=FA-101

good luck :)

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