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Point me towards a decent laptop.

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by gobi_grey, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. TeleinTX

    TeleinTX TDPRI Member

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    Universal Audio (v9.1) is now PC compatible with a specific Windows 10 version that has Thunderbolt 3. I love my Apollo MKII Twin with quad processors. The plug-ins are amazing and they have bundle specials year round. I'm may sell some of my mic pres/channel strips....nah, I'm a gear hoarder.


    https://help.uaudio.com/hc/en-us/articles/215731443-Apollo-Thunderbolt-Windows-Compatibility

    Apollo System Requirements
    Thunderbolt System Requirements

    UAD Powered Plug-Ins current version

    Mac:
    • Available Thunderbolt port
    • macOS 10.12 Sierra, 10.13 High Sierra, 10.14 Mojave, or 10.15 Catalina
    Windows:
    • Available Thunderbolt 3 port
    • Windows 10 (64-Bit Edition)
    • Qualified Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter* (sold separately)
    *See the Apollo Thunderbolt Windows Compatibility article for details

    All:
    • Thunderbolt cable (sold separately)
    • 6 gigabytes available storage
    • Internet connection to download software and authorize UAD plug-ins
    • Compatible VST, Audio Units, RTAS, or AAX 64 plug-in host DAW software
    • Quad Core i7 or better processor recommended
    FireWire System Requirements

    UAD Powered Plug-Ins current version

    • Windows 7, 8.1, or 10 (64-Bit Editions)
    • macOS 10.12 Sierra, 10.13 High Sierra, or 10.14 Mojave
    • Available FireWire 800 port*
    • 6 gigabytes available storage
    • Internet connection to download software and authorize UAD plug-ins
    • Compatible VST, Audio Units, RTAS, or AAX 64 plug-in host DAW software
    *On Windows FireWire systems, a qualified PCIe-to-FireWire adapter card is required.
    See the Apollo FireWire Windows Compatibility article for details.

    Notes
    • Operating systems not listed above are untested. Although untested operating systems may work, they are not supported by Universal Audio. Prior UAD software for older operating systems and discontinued UAD products is available in the UAD software archives.
    • Pre-release and beta versions of operating systems are not supported.
    • 2-in-1 systems (notebook/tablet) are not recommended.
    • For updated details on macOS and Windows compatibility, click here.
     
    Audiotrove likes this.
  2. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Holic

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    The Macs Beato is slating are almost 20 years old now. I know because I bought quite a few of them and earned a lot of money using them. Don't be sucked into Beato's click bait, please. He knows a lot about music, but not so much about computers. I notice he seems to be back using Macs these days, so presumably he doesn't think they are so bad after all.

    I'm writing this on a Mac Pro. It's more than 10-years-old but it has about 6TB of storage on four internal slide-out bays, and when I run Logic Pro, I use all 12 processor threads. I bought it used .
    I'm not saying anything negative about other options, but Mac is the only platform that runs Logic Pro, so it's the only one I'll buy. Macs come with the options to download GarageBand for free and that's a pretty decent DAW that is also compatible with Logic Pro, so there is an upward path if your needs grow.

    Screenshot 2020-11-21 at 19.42.50.png
     
  3. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    indeed. Most of his argument/narrative was minutiae. It was meant to feed those who will always be haters. If someone prefers Windows more power to them. I haven’t used a PC since I retired 6 years ago. The only time I see them is when beleaguered friends call me to help them fix some Windows kerfuffle. I always cuss like a sailor because there’s nothing intuitive about the platform.

    As you know Macs come with a DAW, a spreadsheet, word processor, a presentation (power point) app, video editing (iMovie), reminders app and so many useful apps. They’re pricier but more cost effective.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020 at 3:16 PM
    telestratosonic and simoncroft like this.
  4. t-ray

    t-ray Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    And Logic Pro, at $200, is a great bargain. I paid this once, I can't remember how many years ago, and I get free upgrades on a very regular basis. To each their own and I get that there are many options, but the MAC/Logic arrangement works so well. Of course, YMMV. And let me add, I am using a Komplete Audo 6 that I purchased in about 2013/2014. It still works great with Mac/Logic.
     
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  5. lmjmitchell

    lmjmitchell TDPRI Member

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    Lenovo makes a solid laptop. I have 3 for work and have had zero issues.

    Absolutely spend the extra money for an SSD hard drive. The performance improvement is dramatic and I won't use a computer without one. I5 processor and 8GB RAM minimum.
     
    SRHmusic likes this.
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A refurb MacBook in that price range will have hardware so old it can’t be loaded with current software that is compatible with current recording interface software.

    OTOH if you use and old worthless mic pre/ interface you need old hardware so that can work.

    I’ve always had macs though I was given a PC at one point and learned to use it.
    Apple seems more intuitive AKA better for dummies where PC seems to require more memorization.
    But I may be way off as I’m not a skilled computer user.

    I borrowed a friends newish PC to make a poster and it was just impossible to find programs and functions by instinct.
    Took almost no help to learn apple systems.

    I would not tell anyone they should switch to apple, don’t know enough about PC to compare.
     
  7. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Holic

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    There is something I would advise anyone considering buying a used Apple Mac to do: check what OS versions are supported by the specific computer on offer. Here's one way to do it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Pro

    Officially, my old '5,1' Mac Pro won't run macOS Catalina 10.15, but I found a patch for it, and it does. That means I can run the latest Logic Pro 10.6.

    Apple has a strategy of progressively locking out machines running older OS from its latest versions of applications, such as LPX (Logic Pro). So, if you buy a Mac that only runs macOS 10.14 (Mojave), you'll either need to buy one that has LPX pre-installed, or 'find' a copy by other means. Same with GarageBand.

    EDIT: I just wanted to add: as soon as you buy any used computer, if anything goes wrong or needs updating, you're relying on your own IT skills, the kindness of strangers, and repair techs, to a large extent.
     
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  8. carpenter

    carpenter Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I am on my 5th got a tough book this time Seems good may take a while to do this one in.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020 at 9:28 AM
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My old macbook pro is early 2012 and I bought a used 2017 for $700 but have not set it up yet.

    What year machine is your '5,1' that you found a patch to run Catalina on?
    I know my older one is still loved by some users but I'm not hip enough to know what sort of tricks can make it more viable in the current tech it needs to interface with. After I switch over to the newer one I will wipe and reload the old one for a backup.
    Not sure what potential is in it though.
     
  10. suthol

    suthol Friend of Leo's

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    If you intend to use BIAB and RealBand to create backing tracks you don't want a Mac, Mac releases of BIAB lag a long way behind the Win version and there is no RealBand available for Mac.

    According to PG Music there is not enough market penetration of BIAB for Mac to make the hamburger with the works a viable financial proposition.

    Not hating on Mac here, just pointing out fact. ( as of December 2019 )
     
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  11. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    I've had good luck buying refurbished Dell business computers. I've bought 5 of them, 3 laptops and 2 desktops, with no issues. You can typically find ones with good specs in the $300 to $400 range on Amazon and elsewhere. The only extra I had to buy with any of them was for my son's desktop because he wanted a higher powered video card to play video games.

    If you're looking at new models intended for the consumer market and not the business market, I'd go with Lenovo. Dell doesn't seem to work as hard on quality in this area as they do their business systems.
     
  12. Tuneup

    Tuneup Tele-Meister

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    Lenovo makes decent laptops.
     
  13. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Holic

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    It's mid 2010 (readout earlier in post). The Catalina patcher is here: http://dosdude1.com/catalina/

    Providing you watch the tutorial video a couple of times, it's not hard to do. In fact, if you keep the tutorial open on a nearby laptop, and follow every step, you don't even need to understand what you're doing!
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  14. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's difficult to effectively suggest a laptop without knowing your OS preference and your needs; that said, in terms of performance and reliability, I would recommend (in no particular order) ASUS, Samsung and Toshiba.
     
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ahhh, very cool!
    I hafta bookmark that...

    There's a reason mac users pay more for a ten year old macbook pro than the new retail price of a cheap PC based laptop.
    Better build quality, longer life, easier upgrades. Upgrades may be easier only because the machines last long enough to be worth upgrading when they get a little old.

    Macbooks are kinda like Telecasters.
    In fact since I think 2018 when apple made a thinner keyboard with a less tactile typing feel, the value of the former versions skyrocketed.
    Vintage macs are sought after by computer nerds?
    Crazy!
     
  16. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Holic

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    My wife still has a collection of beige Apple keyboards, and a converter to USB. She can type at about 120 words a minute (sounds like heavy rain on a tin roof) but only on a keyboard that has the right action!
     
  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Is her name by any chance, Lara?
     
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  18. simoncroft

    simoncroft Tele-Holic

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    Took me a moment to get that! :D

    No, she's Hazel, and we used to run a business together. Back in the mid 1980's, when Apple was pretty-much the only 'DTP' game in town, she decided it was time for her company to shift from word processing to document design. The first system she bought cost £40,000. A few years later, I bought a similar set-up for a fraction of that, and we were producing daily convention newspapers for a really big publisher. For some of the really big broadcast industry shows, we were putting together issues of up to 128 pages a day (mostly produced in advance, then some at the show).

    That's why I have the perspective: It's not how much the equipment costs, it's what you get back from your investment. Even if it's your hobby, you can calculate that buying an Apple Mac that would have been the machine of choice for top media pros a few years earlier, getting maybe 5 years out of it, then selling it on could be a very shrewd move.
     
  19. boop

    boop Tele-Meister

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    I record on a Lenovo X250. It uses an i5 intel chip. It works fine, even with only 4GB RAM.

    Also just bought this because I need a second computer to do nerd stuff with. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07J2TFW5T/?tag=tdpri-20
    It's a mini-pc, but the price is right, and it will be faster than my 5-ish year old laptop, This has more everything. Memory, CPU cores, clock speeds, storage.
    Should be a useful little thing.
     
  20. Audiotrove

    Audiotrove TDPRI Member

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    We used to use regular hard drives for multi-tracking and file storage. The older ones break (they have moving parts). SSD does not have moving parts. The computer I am typing this on right now is a 2013 MacBook Air with SSD storage (running Catalina rather well, I might add.) I also use it for video, audio, and photography. Never had a problem.

    However, I would never rely exclusively on any single hard drive. Multiple redundant backups are necessary for important files. I've moved over to both SSD backup as well as secure cloud storage. The great thing about Apple is that you can get good, secure, encrypted cloud storage and good, secure, encrypted device SSD storage.

    Even if I was sticking to a PC platform, I would also go with SSD and cloud backup.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020 at 7:17 PM
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