considering ditching MacBook Pro & going with a gaming laptop

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by The DegoWOP System, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. The DegoWOP System

    The DegoWOP System Member

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    I'm in dire need of a new machine. My mid-2010 MBP is getting long in the tooth and it's high time that I upgrade. I've saved a little over 2k to spend on a new machine and I'm having a bit of an existential crisis. I've been a mac user for several years now and have grown fond of the stability and ease of use of OSX. MBPs are sexy little machines and have been very stable for me. I use my mac primarily for music production and DJing/performing. Over the last couple of years I have started using more and more plugins for production. Soft synths have become the center of my sound design process. I'm having a hard time running more than three or four instances of the more power hungry ones (Omnisphere 2 and SERUM in particular), along with my ever increasingly complex processing chains. I know that I can freeze tracks, but that is often a workflow killer for me. I want a beast of a machine than can handle what I throw at it without getting bogged down. I don't want a desktop, because I need something that I can take with me (even if it is on the larger side). Now, all of this being said, I feel that Apple has all but abandoned the "prosumer" market. Yes, they make sturdy, sleek hardware, but the specs do not say "pro" at all. I feel that Apple only cares about its mobile devices and puts forth little effort into satisfying the people (creative professionals and burgeoning artists) whom were integral in keeping the brand afloat and propelling it toward it's current glory. I have a hard time justifying paying such inflated prices for such anemic specs. For half the price of a "maxed out" MBP, one may purchase a PC laptop with far more impressive specs and much better "upgradeability". It's been quite awhile since I've owned a Windows machine, so I'd like for some of you to weigh in with your thoughts. I can't afford to get a new machine whenever I want, so it's important that I'm happy with my purhcase and that it will perform well for me for quite awhile. I've been looking at some gaming laptops (in particular the asus rog g752vs oc edition). The specs on this machine and similar gaming laptops in it's price range are very impressive. I know that it will be far heavier, and less sleek than an MBP, but that doesn't really bother me. So, is anyone out there using these types of gaming laptops for production/DJing? What are your thoughts? How is the stability and functionality of Windows 10 (especially in the realm of audio production/performance)? Do you feel that the overall ease-of-use of Windows is comparable to, or even superior to OSX? Which manufacturers and models of these gaming laptops have the best build quality? Any advice will be appreciated, thank you.
     
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  3. LORE

    LORE Noisemaker

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    Here's one for just over 2 k:

    https://www.adkproaudio.com/adk-8910sl-156-laptop

    It's not a gaming laptop, it's designed for video and audio. Comes with i7-6700HQ Processor, which is quad core plus hyper threading and 16 gigs of ram. Looks pretty sweet and it comes with the operating system already tuned up specifically for audio/video production.

    Regarding Win 7 or 10-been running 7 here for a while and has been rock solid-I run that on a bootcamped 2012 MBP. As far as windows 10 is concerned I've only used it a couple of times, didn't like the interface. The people I know who do use it say it can be glitchy sometimes, so maybe stick with 7. I don't know enough about win 10 to say for sure.

    When it comes time to upgrade will most probably go with the above company, they seem legit, I have spoken to a few of their techs on chat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
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  4. nadirtozenith

    nadirtozenith Rock Star

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    hello, tdwops,

    in case you have not looked at them yet, perhaps you would wish to check one of these out?

    all the best for all of us, including the usual wishes for christmas, for our families, for new year's evening, for our partying... :bow:
     
  5. boomoperator

    boomoperator Kapellmeister

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    Of course it's tempting to have a new, fast machine, and pay less. But you're still gonna pay a large sum, so you should be comfortable with your decision in the long run. If you're on Logic, you'd have to change DAW, and your workflow in General. I'm on W10 now for half a year or so. Out of financial necessity, software and collaboration with others. But if I could, I would go back to OSX tomorrow.

    W10 is pretty stable, there's an occasional restart, but I built the desktop myself and still use a few HFS formatted drives, so that could be the reason. Functionality of W10 is better then ever, but it's still Windows, which to me means a more cluttered interface compared to OSX, especially if you dig a little deeper. Time will tell if it holds up to the maintenance-free workflow of OSX.
     
  6. TW

    TW Platinum Record

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    Honestly i would wait at the moment and dont purchase a highend notebook. AMD starts to sell their new ZEN cpus at January. Which probably will lower the prices of Intel CPU driven systems.

    Nearly every Notebook manufacturer builds a high quality gaming notebook. The problem is you pay a lot for the GPU which you dont need for audio production.

    http://www.sysprobs.com/10-best-laptops-for-music-production-and-recording

    All you need is ram and CPU power. Not a highend GPU.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  7. jayxflash

    jayxflash Rock Star

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    Exactly my choice for 2018, when my current mac will be 5 years old and need change - that is, if Apple continues to slowdown macOS development.

    New plugins use OpenGL and some can be quite taxing on the GPU. I had the same opinion as yours until a couple of years ago.
     
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  8. TW

    TW Platinum Record

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    which one? I don`t know any. (Accept some experimetal reverbs that tried to use the GPU - but did not really succeed)

    If you mean only for the gui - its not necessary and wont be mainstream. Cause if a pluigin uses open gl for the gui the gui will be really really slow without hadware acceleration.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  9. Iggy

    Iggy Platinum Record

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    You could always just buy a refurbished MBP on eBay, preferably a 2012 or later. I snagged a late-2011 because I wanted the optical drive (which I'm now getting rid of), but as it's still got USB 2, FW 800 and Thunderbolt 1, it will have nothing to plug into in the near future. On the other hand, for what you'd pay for a new MBP, you could buy a high-end PC notebook and probably have enough left over to buy a decent audio interface or legally own the DAW of your choice.
     
  10. stevitch

    stevitch Audiosexual

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    I'm with Iggy - just upgrade to an used more-recent model. Yours is a 2010, so I presume that it has a dual-core i5 processor. When I upgraded from the same, to a 2011 with i7 quad-core processor, whose RAM I was able to upgrade to 16GB, everything runs a lot more smoothly. It had the optical drive, which I removed and put in an external enclosure, and then replaced with a its original 7200RPM hard drive (which I had replaced with an SSD for the OS and applications). The only place where it "lacks" is in video RAM, but there are models of the same vintage which have 1GB of that (look for the non-glossy/matte screen). The Firewire 800 port is handy, but though the USB ports are "only" 2.0, not 3.0, devices are backward-compatible - BUT there is the Thunderbolt port, which can drive a large display and fast storage devices if they are daisy-chained correctly.
     
  11. jayxflash

    jayxflash Rock Star

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    Few Waves, Slate, Eiosis, (I think) TokyoDawn, Vengeance Avenger

    Edit: any modern intel onboard video card is OpenGL capable (it also takes system DDR), but I see the lack of a dedicated GPU/GPU memory as an unnecessary load on system resources.
     
  12. muciones

    muciones Kapellmeister

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    I have one Asus gaming laptops, is noisy under load and had few blue screens in this stupid windows 10.
    I don't recommend gaming laptops for music.
     
  13. Iggy

    Iggy Platinum Record

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    That sounds like the exact model I bought, and I also put 16GBs of RAM in it! I'm gearing up to remove the optical drive, replacing my current 7200rpm 1TB system drive with a 1TB SSD, then moving the HDD over to the optical drive spot to use as a secondary project/document drive. I also have a SATA to USB cable, so I can continue using the SuperDrive as an external drive, or replace it with a new-fangled Sea Tech SuperDrive that also burns Blu-rays.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  14. jayxflash

    jayxflash Rock Star

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    I've never seen a blue screen since Windows XP. Never hand one under Win7 and subsequent os updates. Running a Win10 for gaming now. So in this aspect you probably have a defective unit (CPU overheat is known to generate bsod).

    On the other side, that's why Razor is € 1K more expensive than Asus - small details matter and are expensive to implement.
     
  15. mozee

    mozee Rock Star

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    Here is the only thing I can add to the pot.

    How long do you expect it to last. I was thought it was just me mistreating my machines, but my Windows Laptops usually last about 2-3 years, and have various issues along the way. I've gone through Samsung, Dell, and Alienware mid tier machines, after a while they just bog down or tear themselves apart. My Apple laptops last till I get tired of using them or technology leaves them behind.

    My anecdotal experiences have recently been confirmed by Consumer Reports, with Apple products having 1/2 as many problems as the next closest manufacturer. You experiences may vary, and you might treat your machines better than I treat mine and get more out of them, but that's my 2 cents.
     
  16. twoheart

    twoheart Platinum Record

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    Most of my life I've been a Windows. But I've used Mac and Unix OSs in the past. If find all of them usable.
    But if you are in love with one OS or a vendor I don't think it is a good idea to spend a heavy amount of money in a laptop with an OS you hate. You'll be not comfortable with it regardless of the specs.
    In this case you'll get an uncomfortable machine, an uncomfortable OS and an uncomfortable DAW. So you will definitely hate it.
    Is it worth 2K? I don't think so.
    Think of another solution.
     
  17. Zenarcist

    Zenarcist Audiosexual

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    I'm in the same boat and currently systemless, so I've been toying with the idea of going Mini ITX, and building a 6-core 32GB ram machine. I need portable, but not every day.
     
  18. Looms

    Looms Newbie

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    If you don't wanna change operating system I recommend a upgraded MacPro 5,1 after seeing the crap Apple is releasing momently a new MBP would never be a option and a new MacPro to expensive.
    I'm a Logic user for many years and moving to other daw would be out of question for me.
    I've been on a late 2009 MBP for quite a while and made the change last year to a late 2009
    MacPro 5,1 with 3.46Ghz (6 core) 32 Gb Ram from ebay for 1200€.
    It still works like a charm and is very quiet even under heavy load.
    Goodluck with you're surch


    If you don't wanna change operating system I recommend a upgraded MacPro 5,1 after seeing the crap Apple is releasing momently a new MBP would never be a option and a new MacPro to expensive.

    I'm a Logic user for many years and moving to other daw would be out of question for me.
    I've been on a late 2009 MBP for quite a while and made the change last year to a late 2009
    MacPro 5,1 with 3.46Ghz (6 core) 32 Gb Ram from ebay for 1200€.
    It still works like a charm and is very quiet even under heavy load.

    Goodluck with you're surch.
     
  19. TW

    TW Platinum Record

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    Ok you mean for the gui got you . Every driver nowadays (even allready on some mobile phones ) can work opengl or an kind of emulation of gl in direct 3d.

    But i was talking about a gaming Notebook where the price of the gpu is nearly as high as the cpu price. Using a gaming gpu for audio editing only (for a native opengl gui) is like using a 18 tons truck to bring home your sixpack ;).
     
  20. timer

    timer Kapellmeister

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    If you like your system, but not the new MBP, you could try to find a Hackintosh-ready Notebook.
    You even own a OSX license from your old laptop.
    But remember that you are used to decent hardware now and also in Windows land build quality has its price.
     
  21. The DegoWOP System

    The DegoWOP System Member

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    Looks like a nice machine. I've never heard of that manufacturer before. I'll have to do some research. Thanks for the input.
     
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