Can I Use Recording Laptop for Surfing the Net?

Can I Use Recording Laptop for Surfing the Net?
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Good info skua !

The reason I want to buy a laptop is because I need something for casual browsing, email, youtube, word processing, some video editing and recording my music. I either have to buy a laptop and a desktop (both), or just get a laptop that I can use for all those things. I don’t want to only have a desktop because I don’t want to be tied to it in my basement when I’m doing my daily internet browsing. I like to sit back on my couch, where it’s comfortable. It’s also nice to be able to bring the laptop anywhere in the house. It might end up costing more if I get a good desktop and a reasonably usable laptop. That’s the reason I’m thinking of buying just a laptop. The laptop I’m using right now isn’t mine…I should have mentioned that first, haha.

I’m a little unsure if I need lots of RAM. The consensus seems to be that 8 GB is a safe minimum requirement but 16 Gigs would be more assuring. Do you think 8 GB would be sufficient if I’m recording up to 30 tracks occasionally ?


Heck yeah, that is plenty of processor. I drive my music rig with an i5 and it never breaks a sweat.

As before, get as much RAM as you can afford. It’s more cost-effective to install as much as you can at the outset rather than upgrade later, although not as big a delta as it used to be. 8 GB is the bare minimum I would consider; you will be MUCH better off with 16. I’m not up on the latest prices for laptops but I can’t imagine that would add more than a couple hundred bucks to the price, and it will be totally worth it.

Any i7-based rig with 16 gigs and an SSD-based OS will be more than plenty to do all you want to do. The sole issue you might have (then again you might not) is if you tax your system with a music project and the fans spin up while you’re trying to record. That is not a showstopper; one just waits a while till the machine cools off. And in my experience, it’s graphics-intensity that really pushes laptop heat more than music editing.


How about a tablet or Google Chromebook if the portable one is mostly for internet browsing? Those could be reasonably inexpensive, and you can still have it by you on the desktop recording/mixing rig if needed.


Good to know that I don’t absolutely need the latest i7.
I’ll look for something with 16 GB of RAM and definitely at least a 256 GB SSD.

Thanks for all your help !


I hadn’t thought about a tablet or a Chromebook but that might be a really good idea! I’m going to look in to that.
Thanks Stan!


I’m in agreement with Chordwainer… if you can afford to get the 16GB of RAM, do it. While your CPU will give you the ability to drive the number of tracks you want, the RAM is space to be able to load your memory hungry virtual instruments and samples. This cuts down on disk read/writes and makes for faster access.


Good to get more confirmation.
Thanks !


I don’t know if I’d hold out anytime soon for a high quality mic…a high quality condenser mic is driven by a high voltage (+48v phantom power, and I think usually driven at a higher voltage via a voltage doubler) to bias the condenser, from a battery, with preamp and a good D/A converter and bluetooth…then there’s latency…for talking, OK, but singing, miking an acoustic, etc., I think you’ll want wires when possible. Latency from the bluetooth mic added to monitoring latency from bluetooth headphones…just saying, don’t expect a miracle :wink:


Hey Chordwainer or anyone else who might know,

If I bought a laptop with only an SSD drive and without a built-in HDD would I be able to simply transfer all my audio files to an external HDD through USB? Would there be any drawbacks to this kind of setup? Or do you think I should get a laptop with both? The reason I ask this question is because I just saw a laptop with a 512 GB SSD but it didn’t have any HDD.


This would absolutely work and is definitely the most common setup I would expect these days. If you’re just transferring files to an external drive, it’s no big deal if it takes a few seconds longer-- it’s not as if the actual operation of your machine or software is relying on it. That’s the way I would recommend-- it also has the benefit of getting you in the habit of performing regular backups, which is a very good thing to do. And with the external drive, you have an additional level of portability of your transferred work and projects. Hope this helps!


Thanks Chordwainer !

You have been very helpful.
I really appreciate it !


Happy to help! It’s nice to have a nerd around the house. :wink: :nerd:


Here I go with yet another question. :scream:

I’ll be getting a laptop with both an SSD and an HDD.
I’m looking at some machines that have 5400 rpm HDD’s and some that have 7200 rpm HDD’s.

How important or necessary …or advantageous would it be to buy the 7200 rpm HDD laptop over the 5400 rpm?


This one is very simple. File transfer times on the 7200 will be one-third faster than on the 5400. 7200/5400 = 1.333. That’s it, the sole difference. (Keep in mind that on HDDs, read speeds are usually faster than write speeds – the same size file can be read faster than it can be written.)

You’ll have to decide how much your time is worth, waiting for large files to transfer. If the price difference is hundreds of dollars (which I would be shocked to learn) then maybe it’s worth settling for the 5400, but it would have to be that big a price delta to make it worthwhile IMO. If we’re talking about 50 bucks, just get the 7200.

:computer: :desktop: :minidisc: