The best computer for music production
Nowadays, music production is filled with the latest technologies and is updated every single day. But today, you are finding the best computer for your music production. It’s likely to say that it is so difficult to find the best computer for our music production because of varies products and variety in specs in the store. If you are a newbie for this industry, I am sure it’s so annoying for you to pick up the right computer for you. For the beginners. Perhaps, you might already get your other studio equipment and finally finding the best computer. Or even you have a personal computer and trying to move to a better one. However, there are plenty of various products in the market that you can buy, it’s up to you finding the best one for you.
I know you had some scrolling up and down before you started reading this. It’s because to make sure, reading this article will be useful or not. I am glad you find it useful. And I am happy to say that this article is made with months of researchers. So, better to miss nothing.
A computer is the heart of music production. Every single device is connected to the computer. But what happens if the root of the tree is not strong enough? The whole tree gets weak. So, we don’t want that to happen. Having a good computer is an essential factor for a smooth workflow. But what is the best one, there are a bunch of brands and thousands of products in the market. And you want to have the best value for the money that you are going to spend. So, I am here to guide you to find the best computer for your music productions. Let’s start.
What to Consider When Buying a Computer for Music Production
Computers come at many different prices and various specifications. It because to choose the right computer for the right person. Uses of computer and affordability differ from person to person. And that’s why computer manufactures build varieties of computers. It’s up to you to choose the right one for you.
When it comes to music production, choosing the right computer will bring you a valley of plenty. And there are certain factors that are needed to focus when you are buying a computer. So, I have arranged all the factors in a manner and order which will help you in making a decision.
- Mac vs. Pc
- Desktop vs. Laptop
- DAW capability
However, this will be the main possible biggest deciding factor when it comes to choosing a computer. And, this will be the most pricey thing that you are going to invest if you are building an average home studio. But it is unnessarary to spend thousands of dollars on this.
Remember to go for the best and suitable computer you can afford because it is more important to save money for other music production gear if you are a beginner. So, it is good to keep things in balance because If your other gear is of low quality, it will be useless having a good computer. But I recommend you to go for the best computer possible because a computer is a long-term investment for your music production.
Technology develops day by day, so if you buy a low-quality computer, it may be hard to work with that computer after 4 or 5 years. It’s because the computer will not compatible with the latest technology or even some software may not work. So, don’t take risks, better to go for a quality one. It will never be useless for your valuable money. Check here to find out how much it will cost to build a recording studio, this article will help you in cost management for your studio.
Usually, laptops are costlier than desktops, it’s because of their portability. So, if the portability is not essential for you, you can go for a desktop instead and save some money. But when comparing laptops and desktop, there are many more valuable features in a desktop expect portability and other minor cons. However, a very low budget laptop may cost around $200-$300, an average laptop range from $600 to $1000 and a high budget will cost you up to $1500.
Mac Vs. Pc
This topic has been a debate for years, and today nothing the same. But I am not going to take Mac and a Pc for a battle this time, instead, I’m doing a calm and quiet review of the pros and cons of each. So, let’s see who will fit for you, Mac or a Pc.
But first, you must understand these all are computers. Actually there is no specific brand for making music. It’s your opinion to choose what’s the best computer for your music production. So don’t even argue on this topic, it’s useless. However, back in days, Mac was better than Pc for music production. Their tools, software, interface, and processor speed were just better. But everything has changed in the past 10 to 20 years. Now both are the same when comes to music production. It’s hard to say exactly what is best. So, it doesn’t matter what you choose.
Differences between Mac and Pc
I have category Mac and Pc in many aspects so you can decide what’s suitable for you.
- Price – Everyone knows Macs are way costlier than Pcs.
- Flexibility – You can add or upgrade basic components later if you have a Pc when there is more money with you, where else Mac cannot. And you can buy a computer with the specifications that you want, not manufacture decides what specs you want.
- Power – Macs are smaller than Pcs, So Pcs might be much powerful than a Mac
- Look and Feel– This goes to Mac; Mac computer is good looking and built-in premium quality. And the software the same
- User Interface – When it comes to user interface Mac is better than Pcs. And it easy to use the operating system. The connectivity among Apple products is surprisingly amazing.
- Reliability – This goes to Macs. But a well-built Pc can be reliable as a Mac
- Fixability – Definity the Pc, if any part of the Pc breakdown, it can be replaced easily. But Macs cannot.
- Security – This also goes to Mac. But that doesn’t mean Pc’s are not secure.
- Connectivity – This is a special feature the Pc doesn’t have. All apple products can be connected to each other using the cloud. By this, we can start work in another apple device that we have stopped in another apple device. It’s all connected together. So a Mac computer is better in music production in this case.
Why Mac / Pc?
However, Apple has been the computer of creators for years, it’s because it’s stability and performance and ease of use. But the major con in Macs is, you can only find fewer free software and plugins than for Pcs. You need extra money to purchase this software too after spending thousands on a Mac.
When it comes to Pcs, you can find much free software on the internet. And the biggest advantage in Pcs is flexibility. You can assemble a Pc yourself that suits your budget and upgrade later you are rich in money. And it is easy to repair when it’s broken and even can repair it yourself.
Desktop Vs. Laptop
Benefits of owning a laptop for music production
When comparing a desktop and a laptop, the major factor is portability. Either you prefer a desktop or a laptop, they have their own unique pros and cons. But nowadays with the massive development of technology, it is a bit difficult to say what is best. However, most of the creators prefer to use a laptop computer for their music production even at their home today. Laptops have taken a massive step in music production in the last decade.
Most of the people who choose a laptop computer for their music production are the people who like to produce music on the go. So, if you decide to make music when traveling or performing live, a laptop is the best choice for you. Or it could be you are using a computer for more than one purpose, for example, if you want a computer for your studies or office, a laptop will be the best computer in this case too.
Benefits of owning a desktop for music production
- Faster than laptops
- More flexible than laptops
- Have more in/outputs than a laptop
- More performance than a laptop
So, how about owning a desktop computer? Owning a desktop computer for music production will bring you many benefits to expect portability. Usually, desktops are faster than laptops. It’s because of its large housing and big fans. Normally, when the CPU gets hot, it slows down, that’s why there is a fan to blow out the hot air. So, on a desktop, the hot air is blown out quickly and keeps the CPU cool every time. And because a laptop hasn’t much space inside, it gets hot very quickly.
Usually, a Laptop’s performance gets slow after using it for 2 years
As we all know, the desktop can be assembled but laptops cannot. Assembling a computer can reduce cost and you can decide what specs you want. And also, it is so easy to repair a desktop or upgrade it.
If you have an average home studio or a semi-pro recording studio, nothing to say that there are lots of devices you want to connect to the computer. If you go for a laptop in this case, it will be a bit difficult to maintain those devices. And I always recommend a desktop if you have a or going to build a semi-pro recording studio or a pro studio.
When talking about the performance, no doubts, desktop wins. When the device gets bigger the performance also the same. And we all know, it’s a desktop that is always better in games.
- Takes little space
- Less performance for your money
- Insufficient cooling can reduce performance
- More performance for your money
- Better cooling
- Generally faster
- Not portable
- Takes up a lot of space
Did you already pick a Digital audio workstation? It’s important to look at the DAW capabilities that you are going to use before choosing the computer for music production. Nowadays most of the DAWs works on both operating system, but there are certain DAWs that only works on the certain operating system.
Logic pro works only on Mac
Sonar works only on Windows
So, if you have already a music producer and have done many projects earlier. It will be a big problem if you switch to a different Os that isn’t capable of the DAW that you are using.
Also, VST plugins and AAX plugins are available for both Mac and Windows, but the AU versions (Audio unit plugins) are available only for Mac.
Below is the computer specification for 3 popular DAWs.
- OS: Windows 8.1 or higher, Mac OS X 10.11.6 or higher
- Processor: Intel Core i7
- RAM: 16 GB (32 GB ‘recommended’)
- HDD: 15 GB (installation only)
- PCle slot for HDX or HD native cards
- OS: Windows 7 or higher, Mac OS X 10.11.6 or higher
- Processor: Intel Core i5
- RAM: 4 GB (8 GB ‘recommended’)
- HDD: At least 10 GB
Logic Pro X
- OS: macOS 10.12 or higher
- Processor: Intel Core i5
- RAM: 4 GB
- HDD: 6 GB for installation, 63 GB for full Sound Library installation
- Graphics: OpenCL-capable, Intel 3000 or later
Computer Specs for Music Production
RAM for Music Production
RAM is the most important thing when choosing a computer. It is better to buy a computer that has a RAM specs no less than 4GB for music production. 8GB is best if you can afford it. When you use many plugins, it may get stuck if you have less memory. If you are a pro, I recommended you buy a computer with a RAM of 8GB or more. Also, consider the extendibility of RAM. You might want more memory space in the future, but not now.
CPU for Music Production
CPU-Audio processing is one of the most CPU intensive tasks people do on computers because it relies on real-time processing or serial processing. The audio production process is happening in a correct sequence one after the other and also it should do by the same core that started the work in the first place, so if there are many cores, it doesn’t help the process. Therefore, single-core processing becomes very important. So, when choosing the best computer specs for music production the first thing you should look at is single-core performance. Get the best single-core performance CPU you can get within your budget. But don’t buy a CPU less than 4 cores. It’s better to have a CPU with 6 cores with a fast single-core performance than a CPU with 8 cores with slow single-core performance.
Try to go to an i7 or an i5 (recommended)
Check out the single-thread performance benchmark: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html
Hard Drive for Music Production
Choosing a Hard drive is so much importance when you are considering computer specs for music production. HDDs and SSDs are way more different than you think. HDD (Hard disk drive) consists of many mechanical parts.
HDD data access time = Seek time + Rotational Delay + Transfer time
So, HDD is slow.
When comes to raw speed SDD is way faster than an HDD. But SDDs are expensive than HDDs. You can buy a 4TB HDD for the price of 256GB SDD.
If you are looking for a budget computer, I recommend you buy an HDD.
256GB is in the downside, so better to go for 500GB or 1TB Drive specs when you choose a computer for music production.
Intel Optane Music Production
First of all, what is Intel Optane? I hope many of you have seen this spec on many computers when you are on your researchers. This technology is kinda new to the world and it is Intel’s technology. So, when you choosing a computer, what are the pros and cons of choosing an intel optane for your music production? Let’s talk about it.
Actually, intel optane memory acts as cache memory between the processor and the storage. The final result of this is storage speed. So how it works? Obtain memory stores the computer most frequently used data or processes in a different chip by taking data from the primary storage. So when the processor requests the data or process, the optane memory can supply it quicker than the primary storage.
So, will intel optane memory helps in music production? Actually it will help you to some extent but don’t expect advantages too much.
Most of the computers come with HDDs, but these HDDs are extremely slower than SDDs. And also, SDDs are extremely expensive than HDDs. So, by using an intel optane memory, you can have an SDD speed with your SDD.
Most of the computer comes with built-in optane memories or you can buy it separately. But to add an intel optane, your motherboard should be capable of that.
As I said before, finding the best computer for you isn’t a simple task at all. We buy a computer not to use only for a few months but for even 5 years. So, this is a long-term investment. Buy going through the guide that I have provided, it’s hope it will be very easy to take your great decision. And also I have suggested to you some best computer above, do researchers on that too. I hope this article might help you a lot. Please leave a comment below telling us how about the article was and maybe any mistakes. Thank you.