Computer Specs For Music Production: Laptop Or Desktop

Whether you use a laptop or desktop, you'll need to know what computer specs for music production to make your choice. So, let's dive into this article.

by Derrick Reeves | Updated: July 28, 2021

You may be asking yourself which computer specs for music production is the most important, will laptop be better than desktop.

If you are looking for a laptop, then there are more key features that you need to look out for than just like the number of cores and RAM size.

On the other hand, if you're more interested in a desktop computer, then it's important to know what your budget is and how much space you have available on your desk and how to maximize price with quality

We've put together this blog post with all the information that will help guide you in finding the perfect computer for your needs!

Skytech Archangel Gaming Computer PC Desktop

What Is A Minimum PC/Laptop Specification?

Before diving into the details of computer specs for music production, let's answer the question of what is the most important part of a PC when it comes.

It's CPU, RAM, and memory. Now, let's take a look at some of the minimum requirements of some of the most popular DAW software available today.

  • Ableton Live - Core i5 processor, Memory: 8GB or more; Recommended physical disk space on your system drive (C:\): 15 GB free hard drive space
  • FL Studio - The more powerful your CPU, the more instruments and effects you can run, Memory: 4GB RAM; Recommended physical disk space on your system drive (C:\): 4GB free hard drive space
  • Cubase - Intel i5 or faster, 4GB of RAM; 35GB recommended.

So as all the information of some software's system requirements, we com to conclusion of the lowest computer configuration for music production:

  • CPU: 4- core Intel Core i or AMD Ryzen processor.
  • RAM: At least 8GB RAM to be able to run most DAWs.
  • Hard Drive: Minimun 256GB of internal storage.
  • 64-bit operating system.
  • Screen: 24 inches in size if you use a PC, 15.6-inches for laptops.

The Processor (CPU)

The processor (CPU) amd ryzen cpu

Let's talk about the first component, which is called the brain of a computer. Without a good CPU, you won't be able to do anything.

A computer's processor is measured in the number of hertz (Hz) and gigahertz (GHz). The more GHz your computer has, the faster it can process information.

Generally speaking, for most people looking only at running applications such as word processing or surfing the web--the lower end speed of a Quad-core Intel Core i5 will suffice nicely.

Low budget: If you're on a tight budget then an Intel Core i3-10100F Processor with 4-cores and 8-Threads would make sense since they have plenty of power for producing music on software like Ableton Live and Logic Pro while not breaking your bank account at $100.

Mid-range: A mid-range music production computer would be something like an Intel Core i5-10600 Processor(6-cores and 12-Threads), which gives you plenty of power for running a multitude of applications and have enough room to grow with your needs at $200-$250.

High-end: If you're looking for the best performance possible then there's nothing better than an AMD Ryzen 7 3800x 8-cores and 16-Threads (or equivalent) due to its high number of cores and GHz--all while being very affordable in comparison at $350+.

Having a powerful chip will help you avoid degrading the sound quality of your music.

Memory

Currently, there are quite a few major hard drive standards that are widely used. HDD, SSD.

Before diving into the analysis, I will show you a specific setup to optimize performance with your pocket.

You should use 1 SSD from 128GB to 512GB SATA, or NVMe if you have more financial conditions, to install the Window system and use it as a place to install the software.

This will help your computer both start up faster, run the app, and export files quickly.

In addition, to store data for projects, drafts, and demos, you should use HDD from 1TB to 4GB or more depending on your needs.

HDD Specs

HDD Specs for music production

 

HDD was first introduced nearly 60 years ago by IBM as a way to store and retrieve data. SSDs are a newer technology that is much faster than HDDs, but the cost per gigabyte tends to be higher.

You should choose an HDD when you need lots of storage at home and want something dependable for storing your data over time, or if it will see occasional use with large files like photo libraries.

HDD is cheap with high memory capacity (about $ 25 per TeraByte). But, they are very susceptible to damage when it hits or is physically impacted.

Their lifespan is only 3 to 5 years, maximum read and writes speed is 150MB / s, and their large size makes them quite occupy space in your case.

SSD Specs

SSD specs for music production

 

SSD drives would best suit someone who needs a fast drive.

They also work well as "system" drives which can speed up startup times since they can cache system information quicker while applications open more slowly from them because they're not optimized for these tasks.

Their read and write speeds are very high, up to 600MB/s for SATA III and 2000MB/s for NVMe.

With twice the lifespan of HDDs and compact size, they would almost overwhelm HDDs if not for their price (average $100 per TB).

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM is a volatile type of memory, meaning it loses its data once power is cut.

It's used to temporarily store information while the computer processes other things and you'll want at least 8GB RAM for music production applications that are heavy on processing like high-end software synthesizers or virtual instruments.

The most popular generation of RAM today is DDR4 RAM. It is not too difficult to choose this item because there are many famous brands.

The only note in this device is that you should pay attention to the "Buss" index, this index should match the maximum Buss index that the CPU supports.

Other Important Parts That Make Up The Music Production Computer

Mainboard

Aorus Mainboard

For people who already chose PC, here is one important piece of equipment that when you decide to make professional music.

You should choose a motherboard that specializes in workstations to maximize the communication tools it brings.

In addition, choosing a mid-range and high-end mainboard will make a difference in the wide range of sounds. Typical for this type is the mainboard Z590 chipset.

Monitor Size

Monitor Size For Making Music

Laptops are becoming more and more popular, they make it easier to work anywhere. However, the size of laptop screens has also changed dramatically in recent years. Today's standard is 14-inch display screen; large 15.6 inch displays can be found on laptops for music production.

For PC, the size of the monitors is a very important factor. The bigger, the better for the PC monitor. Common sizes commonly used in studios will be from 21-32 inches for a monitor. The brands we recommend include: Asus, Dell, Samsung, LG, MSI and HP.

Graphic Card

Graphic Card not need to producting music

Of course, there is no requirement for a high-end graphics card. You can always use the processor with onboard graphics to output images, no problem. We don't need to dig into it or else I have to change the name to It's about gamer or it's about graphic design.

Audio Interface Or Sound Card

You might want to consider using a sound card when you're just starting out in making music. But the more professional you are, the more you will definitely need the best audio interface to be able to fulfill its function.

Laptop VS Desktop: Which One Is The Best Fit For Music Production?

The desktop seems more popular than the laptop when talking about music production. A lot of people think that desktops are the best option for music production.

This is true, but they can be difficult to use on your lap or in bed. If you're looking for a more comfortable experience, laptops offer a better option.

best laptop for music production

Laptops have smaller footprints than desktops and take up less space at home or at work so it's easier to find room for them in your life. You don't need a separate monitor as there will be one built into the laptop itself.

Most laptop computers come with small screens which may feel like an issue when producing beats (make sure you check out some options first).

The more power that gives in your laptop requires the heavier in design. And if all of these audio files feel too much for you, it might be worth buying an external hard drive to increase storage space on a cable- or wireless-connected device.

You have to understand that any convenience has its downsides. You have to choose between paying more for convenience or lowering costs at the expense of those conveniences.

That's when you should consider the benefits of using a desktop computer for music production.

First, the higher power and storage capability of a desktop computer typically outweighs any convenience that you might find in a laptop.

Second, - one major pro- is that they're much less expensive than computers or laptops made for music production because they are bigger and designed to be used on desks instead of miniaturization of components to be carried around from place to place.

Third, these devices offer more internal options which may make them easier to upgrade over time without having to spend too much money at once (especially if you buy your device outright).

Last but not least, a large monitor lets you see all those small details when producing beats! This can help prevent mistakes since.

Skytech Archangel Gaming Computer PC Desktop

Conclusion

Whether you’re a professional DJ or just want to make some beats in your spare time, the computer configuration that you choose can have an impact on how much music production you are able to do.

If you invest wisely and buy what will suit your needs best, then there is no limit as to how good of a producer you could be.

In this article I hope I've been able to give enough information for anyone who wants to know what computer specs for music production. So, they're better informed about their options when investing in a laptop or personal desktop computer.

crossmenu