Music production laptop for 500$

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by BTHaniss, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. BTHaniss

    BTHaniss Member

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    Hello, I'm looking for suggestions on an acceptable laptop for music production tasks for 500$, I don't mind if it is used as it probably will. I know this can be triggering.
     
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  3. Polomo

    Polomo Audiosexual

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    500$ is a bit hard
    The most important part would be the CPU

    And I personally would say there's nothing better than a Ryzen 4XXX CPU in this budget (If there is a bargain anywhere XD If not it´s 50-100$ above your budget )

    where I come from I would say
    https://geizhals.de/asus-vivobook-1...0rr4-m03460-a2439798.html?v=l&hloc=at&hloc=de
    (It's ~50€ above your budget, but It's worth it )

    Since it´s "$" I assume you are from the USA ?
    this one
    https://www.amazon.com/-/de/dp/B08NXWPZRD/ref=sr_1_10?__mk_de_DE=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&dchild=1&keywords=4500u&qid=1610235773&sr=8-10
    would be my choice
    lowest Price 558,00$ without delivery costs still around 60 $ more than the given Budget,
    maybe wait some months or save the 60 $ somehow



    To look what a CPU can do I love this site

    https://www.cpubenchmark.net/laptop.html

    It´s a good starting point (there are many other Benchmarks ) but this one works for me best

    So even If you think about buying a used Laptop (which by the way is great for the environment) look in this list

    If the Cpu is above 10.000 Points Its perfect for 500$
     
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  4. Vader

    Vader Platinum Record

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    Linus Tech Tips advice Walmart's Laptops or computers for that price range.
    Surprising good for the price.
     
  5. dondada

    dondada Platinum Record

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    what is it that you do?
    Be Specific!
     
  6. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

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    Absolutely correct. A person needn't look any further, cpubenchmark, driven by Passmark is one of the most trusted benchmarking and comparison sites, if not the very best.
    I would avoid Walmart laptops no matter what -the otherwise lovely- Linus thinks. Their support is practically non existent as they sell China made parts with very little insight of what they actually have at hand.
    Buying a laptop there are some things to consider which are not really evident. The most important of them is the warranty. Of all the brand name companies, Lenovo offers the best warranty hands down. As much as i like the HP @Polomo showed because it is exactly in the ballpark the OP wanted, i would go for the Lenovo equivalent, the IdeaPad 3 with Ryzen 5 (about 550) just for the better warranty and taking in consideration that HP's support sucks and blows. In most circumstances they don't know their left from right, both in USA and Europe.
    Still, no matter what brand you choose to go with, 500-550 dlrs doesn't get you anywhere other than to a really basic starter machine with 8gb of ram and a 250gb ssd. What anyone should do with this money, imho always, is wait and gather another 200-250 maybe and grab a proper Ryzen 7 or i7 laptop with a 1tb ssd and 16gb of ram and with a decent 1080p bright IPS display (>300nits), which would make a good base for a music making laptop. Of course always talking about new machines, i can but won't recommend second hand or refurbished, because unless you buy it from a friend, you never know what you are really getting.
    Cheers.
     
  7. adomanim

    adomanim Member

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    Won't really find a quad-core under $500 unless you go with AMD which offers lower performance. I don't really think music production requires a quad-core anyways, depending on how heavy you do it.









    Speed Test
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  8. Polomo

    Polomo Audiosexual

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    Nope,
    https://www.newegg.com/silver-cenava-f158g-pa156-workstation/p/2WC-0043-00004?&quicklink=true
    Intel Celeron J4125, 1.5GHz~2.5GHz, Quad Core $429.99


    Double Nope ,
    The Strongest CPU atm (Laptop) :
    upload_2021-2-22_16-53-6.png
    And strongest 4 Core :
    upload_2021-2-22_16-54-19.png






    Ok on the last one I agree .
    Sampling and other technics like pre-rendering can help to reduce the CPU need
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  9. Vader

    Vader Platinum Record

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  10. jishnu

    jishnu Noisemaker

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    I'd suggest you to buy a used laptop. The price drop is pretty big even if its been used for half a year. Buy a cheap new laptop and youd be frustrated later when your cpu is maxing out at 10 tracks, its not worth it. I'd go used any day.
     
  11. taskforce

    taskforce Audiosexual

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    As correctly my friend @Polomo pointed out: AMD's 4000-5000 mobile series cpus are either equal or better to (equivalent in price) Intel offerings and not only in performance but battery life and temperature too. You can a have a slim 1.5 kilos AMD laptop that beats the sht out of a 3 kilos Intel workstation in performance. Simple as that.
    A cheap i3/ryzen 3 will get you to 50-60 audio tracks with plugs easily. Even if your 10 tracks had any truth in it, i'd rather do 10 tracks than no tracks at all when the used laptop decides to die, because 9 out of 10 times it was dead already in the first place and got refurbished with cheap soldering and so on, which is most common.
    Sure and Minecraft too lol. Wth are you talking about bro. The only "process" unique to just a few Intel cpus (some Xeons and Skylake-X), is AVX 512 and this is just a sort of a gimmick Intel came up with lately (2018) to differentiate themselves, so they can brag they have an advantage when all they do atm is lose poorly on the cpu performance game. And while normal AVX extensions are quite useful to audio applications, anyone can rest assure that no audio app or plug atm, can take advantage of the 512 bit extensions to the 256 bit Advanced Vector Extensions SIMD instruction set, especially when anyway, AVX 512 is NOT available to any normal laptop or desktop. So yeah, get real and please stop spreading false information.
    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
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  12. Arabian_jesus

    Arabian_jesus Platinum Record

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    Maybe 10 years ago. AMD has been spanking Intel for the last decade. I've been a Intel user for as long as I've had a PC and the only reason I have a Intel cpu in my latest PC was because of Thunderbolt. Now that Thunderbolt will work with AMD cpu's my next PC will definitely have a AMD cpu. They have more cores for the money and better single-thread performance, which is more beneficial for audio production.

    I found quite a lot of good second hand laptops in that price range here in Sweden. The best one I found is a Dell Precision 5520 15" with a i7-7820HQ and 32gb of RAM for 5200sek (~$600). It has Thunderbolt 3, which most newer interfaces are using.

    Here is a listing on ebay for $520 if you are in the US: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Preci...937727?hash=item549610d27f:g:oFgAAOSwHExgKcGX
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  13. Virgilus

    Virgilus Newbie

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    Personally, I would improve the audio card. The rest is good, I suppose, because in order to produce music in FrootyLoops or, I don't know, Logic or Ableton, you don't actually need a professional PC. For a reasonable amount of money, you can find one on eBay or Amazon, or you can go to a company like www.starlabs.com.sg/laptop-repair/ and they will find the right audio card for your personal computer. That will improve your recording and will definitely have a positive impact on your production in general!
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
  14. Hazen

    Hazen Producer

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  15. Hazen

    Hazen Producer

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    As far as I understand, all realtime processing in DAWs can only be done using one core at a time, even if you had a 8 core or 16 core processor. Only offline processes (rendering) will benefit from multicore processors, that's at least the information I was once given by a developer (I frequently test plugins, beta testing and such).




    As I understand the current state, i5 and i7 Intel CPUs are still superior when it comes to realtime audio performance and thus many plugins are developed with Intel CPUs in mind. So, every now and then a certain plugin might not work well on AMD based laptops, though that is a rare scenario.

    50 - 60 audio tracks with plugins on an 13 or cheap AMD? I have no idea what kind of lightweight plugins you are using, but my stationary i5 (earlier generation) PC will CPU-max out at about 10 tracks with maybe 3 plugins per track on average. There is no way you will get a better performance on an i3 laptop (remember that even though the CPUs carry the same nomenclature "i3", "i5" and "i7", the mobile versions of these CPUs are vastly inferior to their desktop equivalents!

    You can boost overall performance by exchanging a hdd for an ssd and adding RAM, but a mobile i3 is a pretty slow engine, no matter what you add.
     
  16. VisionSierra

    VisionSierra Member

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    If you could save up an extra $500 + tax could get you an M1 MacBook Air. You'd be impressed.
     
  17. sirwicked33

    sirwicked33 Member

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    used thinkpad W530 or something like that
     
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