Laptop recommendations...desktop died again

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
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jzquantum
Posts: 63
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 22 Jul 2022

Apologies for throwing out this controversial question. My motherboard on my custom Windows 10 desktop died for the 3rd time in 3 years and I am now fed up with this X299 series of boards. I am having it repaired again, but it will be dedicated to the sideline when it gets back to the studio. Everytime I put in a brand new board, but it only lasts 1 year and then poof!

Anyways...I would like to know your best recommendation for Windows laptops. I have been looking at the Dell XPS15, but I keep hearing about terrible latency issues that creep even to the audio interfaces latency. I wanted something with the i9 processor or something of similar performance.

I need thunderbolt, as I am running an Apollo x8 interface. Budget would be $1500 to 3000 US.

I keep wanting to try a Mac to start using Logic (to better match with some of my clients that hire me to do mixing and mastering) but I just can't push myself to do it. Main reason are M1 compatibility issues with Reason and the myriad of VSTs I have (I am still on Reason 10 and like it that way). Also do not like that you can't easily repair it or upgrade simple things like memory....this is what keeps me away from Mac.

What say you?

Thanks!

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nscerri
Posts: 106
Joined: 01 Apr 2015
Location: Malta

Post 23 Jul 2022

I have been using the 2021 version and it is a great laptop and pack's a punch.

https://www.asus.com/Laptops/For-Gaming ... -F15-2022/

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jzquantum
Posts: 63
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 23 Jul 2022

nscerri wrote:
23 Jul 2022
I have been using the 2021 version and it is a great laptop and pack's a punch.

https://www.asus.com/Laptops/For-Gaming ... -F15-2022/
Thanks. I will look at Asus closely.

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challism
Moderator
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Joined: 17 Jan 2015
Location: Fanboy Shill

Post 23 Jul 2022

I just got an MSI Bravo 15 B5DD and am loving it.
It's pretty powerful for the money I spent.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600H CPU - 3.3GHz (up to 4.2GHz)
6 core, 12 thread, L2 Cache 3MB, L3 Cache 16MB
Radeon RX5500 4GB GPU
16GB RAM
512GB SSD
The cooling system on this thing is an absolute beast.. equipped with copper tubing and dual cooling fans.
More info: https://www.msi.com/Laptop/Bravo-15-B5DX/Overview
Players are to MIDI what synthesizers are to waveforms.
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Propellerhands
Posts: 92
Joined: 11 Apr 2020

Post 23 Jul 2022

Virtually any gaming laptop (above 1000$/€) will be good for music. But I would suggest to increase the budget at least up to 1500, like you did, so it's good now.

Personally been using desktop computers for nearly a decade until my last one broke and needed a quick replacement. Still spent half a year looking for perfect laptop, there are too many. Furthermore they are nowadays on par with PCs (price/quality wise) and do not take up much space and you can carry them if needed. So that's my reasoning of choosing Laptop over PC.

Consider buying a laptop with 17 inch screen and no bigger than FHD or QHD resolution. Also consider buying a laptop stand, my recomendation is this one https://www.thomann.de/ie/km_12195.htm

As for brands for laptops, look into Razer (pricey but has decent internals which you can swap stuff like RAM, SSD easily), Alienware (overpriced in my opinion but it's an Apple of Windows), HP Omen (always check multiple reviews, they have very good screen quality), Dell XPS, Precision (if you are after business/neutral look and do not consider gaming on it because they could throtle under load) would be my go to brands if I had to buy it right now again.

All of this is considering you already have USB Audio interface/Headphones/Monitors etc. You can technically work with internal laptop audio for a while. But don't expect to finish an album on such conditions. This is all just my opinion, not a financial advice.

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jzquantum
Posts: 63
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 24 Jul 2022

Propellerhands wrote:
23 Jul 2022

As for brands for laptops, look into Razer (pricey but has decent internals which you can swap stuff like RAM, SSD easily), Alienware (overpriced in my opinion but it's an Apple of Windows), HP Omen (always check multiple reviews, they have very good screen quality), Dell XPS, Precision (if you are after business/neutral look and do not consider gaming on it because they could throtle under load) would be my go to brands if I had to buy it right now
Thanks, good advice.

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fullforce
Posts: 681
Joined: 18 Aug 2018

Post 24 Jul 2022

How the hell does a motherboard only last you one year?
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jzquantum
Posts: 63
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 24 Jul 2022

fullforce wrote:
24 Jul 2022
How the hell does a motherboard only last you one year?
I wish I knew! It was a custom build by a local shop. I truly believe they did a good job, so I am not blaming them. I even had a super pro custom builder go back and check their work and he was ok with what they did with exception of a few wiring runs for cosmetics.

I blamed the first 2 failures on power surges at the electrical panel at my house. But I moved since then and the same thing just happened again. So it must be a bad batch of Asus X299 boards or a bad combination of something else that the computer was built with. Maybe bad cooling (the CPU is liquid cooled)? I have no idea. I had just replaced the case fans with upgraded ones, so I think it was getting plenty of cooling.

I thought maybe the PSU was the blame so I had replaced it with an upgraded one with plenty of reserve power at the 2nd board failure. Still failed.

All I know is, this board is not available anymore so that gives me the clue that something is wrong with this board that Asus can't figure out so they discontinued it.

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avasopht
Posts: 3294
Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 24 Jul 2022

Curious. Why a laptop?

It's much harder to maintain as they're much more vulnerable to dust while much more difficult to service. SSDs reduce the risks a great deal, and the Apple M1 reduces those risks a great deal.

If you're really patient, I'll expect Intel to release a CPU with on-par efficiency and integrated RAM&APU in the next year or two.

I just got a used Dell Micro with an i5-10105 for £300-ish. It steps on any used/new laptop in that price range as I get portable desktop-grade performance.

Name of the game is airflow. The Latitude 5410 is good for that. But as others have said, you probably want to aim for gaming laptops.

Learn how to service them (cleaning dust safely and replacing thermal pastes, etc).
---

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jzquantum
Posts: 63
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 24 Jul 2022

avasopht wrote:
24 Jul 2022
Curious. Why a laptop?
Just taking a break from desktops, I guess. Five years from now, I am sure the laptop will still be good enough to hand down to my kiddo who will probably want one by then. Then I'll probably go back.

Plus, I am finding it hard to locate a windows motherboard that has thunderbolt (for my Apollo x8). The Asus x299 board I have was one of the only ones could find with thunderbolt (at the time I built it).

Laptops seem to have this feature more readily (e.g. Dell XPS).

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LABONERECORDINGS
RE Developer
Posts: 365
Joined: 16 Jan 2015
Location: UK

Post 25 Jul 2022

We've been using ASUS FX705 GM since it came out, and it's seriously a workhorse, built to last for sure. Only thing we did was clone the 256Gb SSD and put in a 1Tb one instead (used the desktop to clone it), came with a 1Tb Sata and works flawlessly. Would advise getting external soundcard though (the headphone jack built in isn't the best, we use Focusrite Scarlett for that better clarity when away from our main studio setup)

Highly recommend, ASUS really know what they're doing

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jzquantum
Posts: 63
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 25 Jul 2022

LABONERECORDINGS wrote:
25 Jul 2022
We've been using ASUS FX705 GM since it came out, and it's seriously a workhorse, built to last for sure. Only thing we did was clone the 256Gb SSD and put in a 1Tb one instead (used the desktop to clone it), came with a 1Tb Sata and works flawlessly. Would advise getting external soundcard though (the headphone jack built in isn't the best, we use Focusrite Scarlett for that better clarity when away from our main studio setup)

Highly recommend, ASUS really know what they're doing
Great, thanks.

jlgrimes
Posts: 620
Joined: 06 Jun 2017

Post 25 Jul 2022

jzquantum wrote:
22 Jul 2022
Apologies for throwing out this controversial question. My motherboard on my custom Windows 10 desktop died for the 3rd time in 3 years and I am now fed up with this X299 series of boards. I am having it repaired again, but it will be dedicated to the sideline when it gets back to the studio. Everytime I put in a brand new board, but it only lasts 1 year and then poof!

Anyways...I would like to know your best recommendation for Windows laptops. I have been looking at the Dell XPS15, but I keep hearing about terrible latency issues that creep even to the audio interfaces latency. I wanted something with the i9 processor or something of similar performance.

I need thunderbolt, as I am running an Apollo x8 interface. Budget would be $1500 to 3000 US.

I keep wanting to try a Mac to start using Logic (to better match with some of my clients that hire me to do mixing and mastering) but I just can't push myself to do it. Main reason are M1 compatibility issues with Reason and the myriad of VSTs I have (I am still on Reason 10 and like it that way). Also do not like that you can't easily repair it or upgrade simple things like memory....this is what keeps me away from Mac.

What say you?

Thanks!
In 2018 I bought an MSI Gaming laptop. GS63VR.

I'm sure there are better laptops now but in terms of power it is a great laptop. It works great for Live performing, so it is stable.

It is fairly slim, lightweight and its trackpad is fairly "Macbook like".

Main gripes though:

1. Not the best build quality. (It has some crackened corners now, but this is from alot of heavy use from gigging.)
2. Not the best battery life. Live performances has probably put a toll on my battery (which can't be easily changed). My battery is pretty much dead now and I need a power source to run the laptop. This wouldn't be a gripe for me if its battery was easily changeable though.
3. Onboard speakers are weak compared to other laptops. (probably true for most laptops. But these speakers are extremely quiet. OK if you are in a quiet environment but any other environment almost unusable, even for just casual listening). Pretty much all laptops have weak bass but many usually have speakers that can get decently loud (loud enough to easily hear what you are doing, or look at a movie).

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