Desktops Vs Laptops for Ableton Live

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
sopreezy
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Desktops Vs Laptops for Ableton Live

Post by sopreezy » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:11 pm

It’s interesting I was snooping around on the net and it seems you can get a desktop PC for cheap now days. My laptop is at 1.8 Ghz and my ram is maxed to 2 GB’s. Some desktops I see have a processing speeds of 3.06 Ghz and max ram of 2 GB or more. Don’t you think it’s better to do more intense music stuff on a desktop versus a laptop? What do you think would be more beneficial of use? Traveling for me is in between… I don’t do it as much. From researching here are my options:

What I have now
- Acer Laptop 1.8 Ghz, 60 GB Internal HD, 2 GB of RAM, 3 USB ports
-Ableton Live
-Reason 3.0/Recycle

Vs

-Acer or E-Machines Desktop
-Processing Speeds 3.06 Ghz
-Max 2 GB of RAM
-Internal Hard Drives between 120/160 GB’s
- 6 or more USB ports


Like I mentioned before all I use is reason, recycle, and ableton live. I thought about switching over to a desktop. Then in the future cop a rain laptop or mac book pro. For now I'm either going to continue using the laptop I have now or getting a desktop. What do you think? Thanks….

nebulae
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Post by nebulae » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:17 pm

I have a desktop for production and hard core development. It's a fast Core2Duo with lotsa ram and big drives.

When I want to perform, I downsample to 16-bits, resample to combine tracks, and freeze/flatten tracks so that I never exceed 50% CPU on my lappie...basically ensuring that my set is trouble free and has the best chance for success without crashes/stoppage.

ewistrand
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Post by ewistrand » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:26 pm

Why not have the best of both worlds and build yourself a rackmount PC? There, you have the expandability and bang for the buck of a desktop combined with being somewhat portable. I did that myself around four months ago; I haven't regretted it one bit.

As far as CPU performance goes, the new multicore processors on one core will leave the 3.06 that you're asking about in the dust, even though they only have 2/3 the apparent clock speed. They're much more efficiently designed than the P4/Pentium D's ever were. Factor in multiple cores, and there's no contest.

ew

nebulae
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Post by nebulae » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:29 pm

The only issue I have with the rackmount (which is a great idea) is that if you gig a lot, then you increase the danger of losing your entire production machine due to any number of possible events you can't control at gigs. For example, power surges; beer; people; thieves; transport; car accidents; etc.

My strategy is that instead of $2500 on one amazing laptop, I spent $1500 on a great desktop and $1000 on a decent lappie that gets the job done and is replaceable in case anything really bad happens.
Last edited by nebulae on Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hambone1
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Post by hambone1 » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:30 pm

Desktop here. I couldn't do what I do live with a laptop. IMO, laptops will always be a compromise compared to desktops.

Regarding power surges, I use a UPS. As far as beer, people, thieves, car accidents, etc go, they're just as valid for laptops as for desktops.

In fact, I challenge a thief to try to pick up my rack-mounted G5/UPS. It's FAR less stealable than a laptop.

sopreezy
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Post by sopreezy » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:35 pm

All I need is something for me to do my basic sequencing. I don't use hardly any effects. I just wanna rewire reason into Ableton, and use VST's in Ableton. Do complete arrangements in Ableton/remixing. No vocals or anything.... Here's the desktop I was looking at HP dx2200 Intel Desktop PC - Intel P4 531 3.0GHz (HT), 512MB DDR2, 160GB SATA HDD, DVDRW Dual-Layer with LightScribe, 10100Mbps LAN, Windows XP Professional, Open Box RB-RT784UT#ABA OB at TigerDirect.com

Here's the laptop that I have:
Acer Turion 64 1.8GHz 512MB 60GB CDRW/DVD 15.4" WXGA XP ACER AS5003WLCI

What do you think? I'm trying to stay away from Vista for now. Thanks!

sebovzeoueb
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Post by sebovzeoueb » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:38 pm

Desktops make better trance...
MacBook Pro 17", 2GB RAM; Live 6, Pod XT Live, MOTU Ultralite, M-AUDIO Axiom 25, Electric and Acoustic Ukuleles, Fretless Bass.

http://www.myspace.com/s2belectronica

nebulae
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Post by nebulae » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:39 pm

hambone1 wrote: In fact, I challenge a thief to try to pick up my rack-mounted G5/UPS. It's FAR less stealable than a laptop.
I'll take that challenge, mofo. Where are you playing next?

nebulae
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Post by nebulae » Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:41 pm

sopreezy wrote:All I need is something for me to do my basic sequencing. I don't use hardly any effects. I just wanna rewire reason into Ableton, and use VST's in Ableton. Do complete arrangements in Ableton/remixing. No vocals or anything.... Here's the desktop I was looking at HP dx2200 Intel Desktop PC - Intel P4 531 3.0GHz (HT), 512MB DDR2, 160GB SATA HDD, DVDRW Dual-Layer with LightScribe, 10100Mbps LAN, Windows XP Professional, Open Box RB-RT784UT#ABA OB at TigerDirect.com

Here's the laptop that I have:
Acer Turion 64 1.8GHz 512MB 60GB CDRW/DVD 15.4" WXGA XP ACER AS5003WLCI

What do you think? I'm trying to stay away from Vista for now. Thanks!
Get the desktop. However, I think if you only have 512mb of ram, you should stick with Win98se. Otherwise, go to 2gb. Also, staying away from Vista for about a year is probably a good idea.

ewistrand
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Post by ewistrand » Sat Jun 09, 2007 2:43 am

Nebulae's right about the RAM; you definitely need more. The average XP install uses about half your 512 MB in background processes alone. Add to that the fact that separate graphics aren't mentioned, so I'd presume the graphics are integrated, and you've got a memory sponge.

512 MB was fine back when XP was first released; the other apps didn't use that much. Nowdays, with the demands other apps put on the system (especially anything that uses samples), 1 GB is what I'd consider minimum, and 2 GB is even better.

ew

zappen
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Post by zappen » Sat Jun 09, 2007 2:46 am

nebulae wrote:I think if you only have 512mb of ram, you should stick with Win98se.
AHHAHAHAH!!!
Windows XP can be installed on surprisingly low system requirements contrary to popular opinion. Unless you are running Windows 2000 and are in a business environment their is no reason you should be running an outdated and unstable OS such as Windows 95, 98 and ME anymore.

Here's What You Need to Use Windows XP Professional
• PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233 MHz minimum required (single or dual processor system);* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended

• 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)

• 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space*

• Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor



com'on man! xp sp2 runs even on 64mb..

nebulae
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Post by nebulae » Sat Jun 09, 2007 2:55 am

I know I know I jest, but honestly, for audio on XP, the sweet spot is 2gb of RAM, and 1gb is the minimum!

For Vista, I would do 3gb minimum, 4-8gb optimum.

ewistrand
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Post by ewistrand » Sat Jun 09, 2007 2:58 am

zappen wrote:
nebulae wrote:I think if you only have 512mb of ram, you should stick with Win98se.
AHHAHAHAH!!!
Windows XP can be installed on surprisingly low system requirements contrary to popular opinion. Unless you are running Windows 2000 and are in a business environment their is no reason you should be running an outdated and unstable OS such as Windows 95, 98 and ME anymore.

Here's What You Need to Use Windows XP Professional
• PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233 MHz minimum required (single or dual processor system);* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended

• 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)

• 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space*

• Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor



com'on man! xp sp2 runs even on 64mb..
The minimum requirements are a crock of shit, unless you don't mind being deep in your pagefile and moving slower than molasses. Have you ever tried to run anything on an XP machine with the minimum specs? I have, and it isn't pretty...

ew

zappen
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Post by zappen » Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:02 am

i'd say 4gb minimum for xp and 32gb minimum for vista
the minimum requirements are 233mhz and 64mb of ram, quite far from 512 mb of ram and a couple ghzs of cpu
i know how it runs on minimum requiremets, you must be patient :lol:

simpleton
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Post by simpleton » Sat Jun 09, 2007 3:38 am

I believe that Live is prolly the only audio app that is truly optimized for laptop performance. Portable machines have finally achieved real desktop replacement specs. Stick with your lappy.
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