Buying new laptop...any specs recommendations?

Discussion in 'PC' started by chumbo, Jan 2, 2022.

  1. chumbo

    chumbo Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    26
    Hi,
    For some unknown reason, my current laptop which I thought had decent specs (i7-8550u, 16Gb ram, SSDs), is buggy for audio work. The CPU spikes at 100% for short bursts which will cause the audio to crackle badly for a few seconds and this with virtually nothing running!?
    I'm a guitarist and I use it for looping with a band so my typical use is...a few drum loops running, my looping software with 1 or 2 extra plugins and that still seems to stress it!?
    I'm guessing there is something wrong somewhere because it's just not normal but I have no patience to try and troubleshoot it so I'm looking to buy a new (or 2nd hand) laptop.

    Are there any specs I should be looking out for that are known to work well for audio?
    Thanks!
     
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    • List
  2.  
  3. robotboy

    robotboy Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    97
    Those are good specs. Are you using an external audio interface? Either way, that could be the issue. edit: I'd also try a clean install of your OS.
     
  4. Owan

    Owan Kapellmeister

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2017
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    44
    Hi!
    Do you use an audio interface?
    Which DAW?
    Your problem most likely seems to be a software issue or it's simply due to your interface driver, this has nothing to do with your hardware specs at all. Your specs are good, there's no need of buying a new laptop.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  5. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    5,995
    Likes Received:
    3,250
    Location:
    Europe
    Definitely the specs are more than fine for what you do. You should check possible junk software, services, and so on are running that you're not aware of.

    Not to mention, the tech market is bananas at the moment for selling/buying.
     
  6. Myfanwy

    Myfanwy Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2020
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    28
    Try disabling LAN or WLAN drivers. I had a problem with audio glitches using an RME Babyface with an Acer laptop (i5-7300HQ CPU), disabling the ethernet driver solved it completely.
    Also buying a new machine doesn't guarantee you won't get any similar problems.
     
  7. xbitz

    xbitz Rock Star

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    723
    Likes Received:
    396
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    • List
  8. quadcore64

    quadcore64 Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    1,552
    Likes Received:
    819
    Without knowing enough about your system & software setup. My recommendation is to buy an Apple M1 or M1 Pro based computer.
    Efficient, powerful, cool running, solid driver & updates compared to Windows.

    I personally use Window 10 21H1 (main desktop), MX Linux (MX-21/Debian 12 old laptop) & Mac OS Big Sur (MacBook Air)
     
  9. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Messages:
    6,920
    Likes Received:
    4,992
  10. Midge F

    Midge F Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Marina Alta, Spain
    Please delete if this has no relevance whatsoever. I had similar problems on my desktop with decent specs a few years ago. Tried so many things for months and DPC Latency Checker and Latencymon showed spikes but didn't really give any indication as to what was the culprit. In the end it turned out to be EASYTUNE which I'd installed from the Gigabyte utilities DVD. Uninstalled it, bingo! no more latency problems or spikes. Maybe you have the same or a similar utility installed which could be causing the problems. Good luck!
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Interesting Interesting x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  11. ArticStorm

    ArticStorm Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    6,058
    Likes Received:
    2,669
    Location:
    AudioSexPro
    If you use the stock audio chip/soudcard, you have CPU spikes, since it was not designed to handle such load.
    I have bought an audio interface and its insane how much better my latency is now (from 100ms (stock realtek FL ASiO) down to 5-10ms with SSL2+). The CPU i have is very weak, but i can play now Alicias Keys with 5ms Latency and it reduces load, since the Audio Interface takes up now the sound processing. I would recommend looking for an USB audio interface first before upgrading to a new notebook.
    And here i would look for something in the 100+€ range.

    The crackles sound like your Latency settings are set to low. You leave your system not enough time to process the audio data, you choke it, thats why CPU loading increases and you have bursts. An Audio interface will take the load from the CPU away. CPU still needs to process generating sounds from the Plugin perspective, but most of the time the ASiO implementation of an audio interface is much more efficient than of eg Realtek+ASiO4All

    I agree the Computer/notebook market is insane at the moment. i wanted to look to buy a new desktop, but even for low specs you run into 700-800€ - if you really want something new, just wait for the money. Meanwhile take a look into audio interfaces.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
    • Like Like x 1
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    • List
  12. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2012
    Messages:
    5,995
    Likes Received:
    3,250
    Location:
    Europe
    Sometimes just checking the programs/services that run when Windows boots does the trick.
     
  13. chumbo

    chumbo Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    26
    Thanks to everyone who replied!
    Following your observations that it probably wasn't down to my hardware, I investigated further and found this interesting thread on Reddit. I didn't mention it but my problem was specifically in Ableton and that Reddit thread discusses exactly the same problem and has over 170 posts!!
    I tried some of the recommended Windows tweaks but those didn't help and finally what many noticed is that it started happening in Ableton 11 so I tried an older version (v10.x) and that seems to have done the trick!!
    Cheers & thx again! :wink:
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Love it! Love it! x 1
    • List
  14. droplet

    droplet Rock Star

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2020
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    351
    Location:
    up up and away
    ableton was the problem?! :rofl: It's a helluva daw! you are in time to change...:guru:
     
  15. ArticStorm

    ArticStorm Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    6,058
    Likes Received:
    2,669
    Location:
    AudioSexPro
    Hope you have updated to the last Live 11 version (11.0.12), which seems very good at cpu usage (11.0-11.0.5 were very bad)

    I had it the other way around Live 10.1.42 was acting very weird - Plugins loading upto 1 minute or even adding an audio channel took 10 seconds. Omnisphere was impossible to use. (Thats all on uptodate windows 8.1 pro x64)
    I switched back to Live 11.0.12 and this worked magically, Omnisphere loading only 2-3 seconds (Library is saved on an external SSD conneted via USB3, so not the fastest). MIDI/Audio channels and ableton devices are opened/added instantly.

    So yeah maybe you need to check windows settings again, maybe Live 11 works for u still?
    Also take a look at power settings, if you have not.
     
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    • List
  16. Shirvami1

    Shirvami1 Ultrasonic

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2021
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    29
    lol it's strange I have 11.1 and everything works fine, I had to turn off all the tinsel Defender, various interface effects, indexing files on the local drive, put the power to maximum performance and everything.
     
  17. droplet

    droplet Rock Star

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2020
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    351
    Location:
    up up and away
    great!!

    I used ableton for ten years but since going to reaper I can't even install ableton. it is just junk for me. I keep the installer for old shit but...
     
  18. nmkeraj

    nmkeraj Kapellmeister

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Milky Way
    Hi, I am similar situation while having i5-6500U, Win 10 and Live 10.1.42 and started looking for a new laptop. I couldn’t use early versions of Live 11 due to CPU spikes. I assume that Live 11 needs really newer CPU. But I started getting CPU spikes in v10.1.42 in certain situations. This, I think, can be caused to using the second magnetic hdd in my dvd drive bay which is getting slower and slower. As well the system ssd drive is working slower and slower or the system itself. I think the fresh reinstall of Windows would help at first.
    As for the new laptop, I got an advice in this forum before. This was AMD Ryzen7 5800H. But what I have read, some plugins don’t work. properly. Some processes can’t be executed or so, don’t judge me. So at this moment I am after Intel i7-11800H as those two processors are often comparable but can be little more expensive. However, Intel gen 12 has come out and gen 11 has dropped in price. I think this could be a good choice for next few years.
    I am interested in HP Omen, MSI Pulse GL66 (two bays for ssd m2 drives) and GS66 Stealth in price around £1300.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2022
  19. dondada

    dondada Rock Star

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    326
    buy a mac or use reaper, cool beans.
    [​IMG]
    do you guys listen to yourselfs sometimes?:rofl:
     
  20. zalbadar

    zalbadar Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    12
    I use to get something like the probelm your describinbg when I was useing a Native instruments Kontrol 1.

    I probably still do? it's in the bag with my back up laptop that is never needed.

    If I remeber right I could only use the sample rate of 44100 Hz and a process buffer of 256 samples or it cause that fault. Funny thing was I could set and USB buffer size to anything even as little as 1ms and it didn't make a differance, as long as it was 44100Hz 256 samples.

    Now as for

    I take it, that it's wrong I'm still using Cubase 5.
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - Buying laptop specs Forum Date
Buying a new laptop Computer Hardware Jun 10, 2020
Laptop Buying Guide Computer Hardware Feb 17, 2014
Buying a small MIDI keyboard Studio Jun 10, 2022
Worth Buying Now? SSL UF8 Firmware Update, SSL 360 v1.3 Software News May 2, 2022
Buying the OG Albion Legacy Kontakt Library. Selling / Buying Apr 23, 2022
Loading...