pc laptop purchase

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
kolloron
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pc laptop purchase

Post by kolloron » Wed May 21, 2008 4:15 pm

hey

i want to buy a new laptop and am thinking about this one:

http://www.notebooksbilliger.de/product ... xpp_4096mb

it's a 15,4'' acer travelmate with upgraded 4096 ram and an Intel Core 2 Duo 2x2.1 GhZ.
i guess i'm gonna run no more than 10 midi tracks - hardly any plug ins.

anyone any objections?
or maybe experiences with such a laptop?

thanks in advance,
k.

andydes
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Post by andydes » Wed May 21, 2008 4:24 pm

I was thinking about one of them. Still shipping with XP pro, which is good.

You have a sound interface you're going to use with it? I think posible issues with firewire chip sets is likely to be the biggest problem. Often hear only TI chipsets are really reliable, but I don't know how many people have problems.

Any second now, someone will tell you to buy a mac.

Dr. TaaDow
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Post by Dr. TaaDow » Wed May 21, 2008 5:04 pm

Acer has XP drivers for about all of their notebooks, and possibly all of them. Like the poster above said, most PC notebook FireWire connections are either generic or Ricoh branded, which aren't good at all for critical audio work. Some use the Texas Instruments chipset, but not many.

I bought my wife one last year with a Celeron in it, and after adding 2GB RAM, it runs like a champ. I bought it at Circuit City on sale, and the sales guy kept insisting that XP would not run on it and said it would make it (tear up). I giggled and explained to him about integrating the Intel SATA driver into an XP install disc and it would work just fine. He had no idea what I was talking about. :) I know the Celeron's aren't that great and especially for intense audio work, but for what she does it's perfect. It came with Vista, but I (up)graded it to XP and tweaked it out. It hasn't give us 1 issue in the year we've had it.

I just thought I would give a success story regarding Acer notebooks.
15.4" MacBook Pro (Cooled By Me)
4GB RAM
320GB WD w/ miniXpress FW enclosure
OS X 10.5.3 & XP Pro
Torq 1.0.4 w/ Xponent
Live 7.0.7 w/ UC-33e, Trigger Finger, Axiom 25, FireWire 410

kolloron
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:21 pm

Post by kolloron » Wed May 21, 2008 8:17 pm

thanks for your replies.

i'm using a rather bad ESI U46 usb interface at the moment. but if i want to go for a firewire interface i've got 30 days to test it when buying from thomann...

gavscope
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Post by gavscope » Thu May 22, 2008 9:36 am

I have a Travelmate 7720g. I am running Vista with a Echo indigo DJ soundcard ( that is why I went for the Travelmate- pcmcia slot). It has a t7500 - dual 2.2, with 2 gig ram and I am having no issues at all. I got 54% in the live 7 performance test. I think it is a great lappie, very solid- and I even like Vista- I am having no issues with anything, and I run quite alot of programs. i have a xpp dowmgrade option but I hope I never have to use it.

gavscope
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Post by gavscope » Thu May 22, 2008 9:53 am

I just checked that site- I would recommend one of the 5720g's with a faster cpu- a t8300 or t7700- the t8300 has less lvl 2 cache but i don't know what difference it will make. it is a penryn though so should be a bit more efficient and cool.

If you are using xp, you should not need the extra ram, in any case you can put more in very cheap. I don't need more yet in vista. I will go to my grave saying that Live barely uses ram, I have tested it, only certain plugins may really need it. Windows will only read a bit over 3 gig ram anyway. Also make sure it is one with discrete graphics- your one has an intel one , the others have a radeon hd2600 etc which takes pressure off the cpu.

The echo soundcarrd is great too, just plugs in the side and doesnt interfere with my onboard soundcard, that is fine for most other purposes.

I would recommend trying vista first, maybe because sp1 is out now it is running better.

Warminstrel
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Post by Warminstrel » Thu May 22, 2008 10:43 am

Got an simmialr spec Dual Core ACER with Dual XP Boot; One for tweaked up for music only the other for internet/games/abuse.

Came with Vista which was soon replaced with XP.

Found some natty reg-edits/tweaks online to turn off all unwanted stuff so runs pretty fast. Can have a whole track of vst's and audio rockin with at the most so far, 30% cpu.

Not done any bench test as cant be arsed, just works is all.

I retrospec would have mabe been simpler to instal Tiny XP, well worth looking into if you can only get Vista and its free.

creature
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Post by creature » Thu May 22, 2008 10:57 am

I have a single core acer travelmate 8104 with 2 gig ram, and so far it has been an excellent laptop. I am replacing my laptop early next year, and I will definately go for a travelmate again.

Acer gets a thumbs up from me ;-)

Steve

kolloron
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:21 pm

Post by kolloron » Thu May 22, 2008 1:56 pm

thanks again

@ gavscope: this one would be nicer you think?

http://www.notebooksbilliger.de/product ... s_id/17147

@ Dr. TaaDow: how difficult is it to add another ram? i don't have any experience with hardware yet but would be interested in doing this...
what tools do need?

gavscope
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by gavscope » Fri May 23, 2008 12:29 am

That's the one I'd go for!

Looks great.

You can't get, and don't need more ram with that one, obviously. If you got a model with 2 gig ram, you can put it in yourself- just slots in, without voiding your warranty. I know, coz I asked Acer about mine. There is actually some law that says you can put compatible ram in yourself..

The graphics card is not quite as good with that model, but unless you are doing gaming or playing blu-ray movies, I doubt you would need it.


Enjoy.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions,

cheers,
Gavin

Dr. TaaDow
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Post by Dr. TaaDow » Mon May 26, 2008 1:17 am

kolloron wrote:@ Dr. TaaDow: how difficult is it to add another ram? i don't have any experience with hardware yet but would be interested in doing this...
what tools do need?
It's very easy to do. All you'll probably need is a small phillips screwdriver to take the RAM cover off, and then you'll see two levers holding each RAM stick in place. Just pull them both outward and the RAM will pop loose. Just insert the new RAM and press down on it until the levers lock onto each side of it. Be sure to wear anti-static gear while handling the RAM though. That's all there is to it.
15.4" MacBook Pro (Cooled By Me)
4GB RAM
320GB WD w/ miniXpress FW enclosure
OS X 10.5.3 & XP Pro
Torq 1.0.4 w/ Xponent
Live 7.0.7 w/ UC-33e, Trigger Finger, Axiom 25, FireWire 410

Deft
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............

Post by Deft » Mon May 26, 2008 6:06 am

I've got a 5720 Travelmate, it's pretty good though I could never get the DPC latency down to super low levels - meaning you may struggle to run your audio interface at extremely low sample sizes (depending on the quality of the drivers too I guess).

I've also got ground loops between the laptop and my Mackie D4.Pro DJ mixer, which I haven't really found a solution for.

It will run Xp or Vista happily (I bought with Vista but installed XP straight away).

Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Mon May 26, 2008 9:13 am

one problem with that travelmate you linked:
15,4" 1280 x 800 Pixel (WXGA TFT)
that is, how shall I put this, fucking horrible resolution. My toshiba 12.1" has higher resolution than that!

Deft
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............

Post by Deft » Mon May 26, 2008 9:19 am

How much pixel density do you want though on a 15.4" screen?
I wondered about this when I was buying. Maybe the next one up, but I think 1920x1200 would be too much for my poor old eyes.

duluxdog
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Post by duluxdog » Mon May 26, 2008 10:27 am

I've just bought an Acer with dual core 2.0ghz, 2 gig RAM, 120gig HDD, running Windows XP.

I am having some issues with crackling audio when recording - I think there's some issue with my soundcard (Tascam US-122L) conflicting with the internal card. I've disabled the internal one and it hasn't resolved the issue. Any ideas?

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