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Topic: The ultimate on LAPTOP computers for audio usage

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  1. #1

    The ultimate on LAPTOP computers for audio usage

    It\'s been a while since I last posted in this forum, I hope people will not be xenophobic on me, here\'s my question:

    I\'m about to purchase a laptop computer and I\'m trying to face problems coming when it\'s about using it as a digital audio workstation.

    The real big problem with Laptops for audio usage is firewire. It looks like noone really speaks clearly about it.

    Firewire ports can be 4-pins and 6-pins (6-pin is what you normally find in your desktop computer). Some laptops don\'t even have firewire ports. I think the best would be to have two 6-pins ports, so that you can plug an external fast hard drive for audio usage and a good firewire audiocard (Midiman, MOTU, Digidesign etc..)

    What\'s your opinion about this? Is it just an idea of mine that noone clearly speaks about this? maybe it\'s not needed but it looks so obvious for a real DAW to need fast I/O and this means firewire in a laptop system.

    Lots of people here will surely clear my doubts, I\'m a neophite on this,

    thank you,
    Alberto

  2. #2

  3. #3

    Re: The ultimate on LAPTOP computers for audio usage

    Thanks a lot! This greatly helps,
    Alberto

  4. #4

    Re: The ultimate on LAPTOP computers for audio usage

    My laptop choice is now puzzled. On one hand I have a Toshiba Satellite 2450 and on the other I have an Asus L3 OR L4.

    Triple question, they all have pro and cons as long with the usual stuff.

    Toshiba Satellite 2450
    --PROs are: Intel Chipset and YAMAHA audiocard which performs fair good with Gigastudio and audio applications.
    --CONs are: just 3 USB 2.0 instead of 4 and just 1 Firewire port

    Asus L3
    --PROs are: Hard disk seems faster with ATA-100 technology, expandable laptop, 4 USB 2.0, SERIAL and PARALLEL ports and 2 (yes TWO) firewire 1394 ports.
    --CONs are: Cannot be pushed over 2.2Ghz (P4M processor), no YAMAHA audiocard, SiS chipset (Intel is better, isn\'t it?)


    Asus L4
    --PROs are: Hard disk seems faster with ATA-100 technology, maybe expandable, 4 USB 2.0 ports, 2 firewire 1394 ports, Intel Chipset
    --CONs are: NO serial and parallel ports, no YAMAHA audiocard, maybe it is not expandable

    now the thing is that probably, I\'m just talking s**t because:

    USB 2.0 ports may not be a problem: I might use a USB HUB and get more ports

    Firewire ports may not be a problem: I might use a PCMCIA Firewire 800 port HUB

    YAMAHA audiocard may not be a problem if it\'s not present: I might purchase a better audiocard and get better performances

    FASTER hard disks may not be a problem: I choose a firewire hard disk drive and get better performances.

    Thanks for the help,
    Alberto

  5. #5

    Re: The ultimate on LAPTOP computers for audio usage

    Yes, with the added features (especially an external soundcard) then the laptop is just a place to house the OS and software...which is what we usually do with our desktops as well.

    If you get the 800 Firewire PCMCIA let us know how your disk streaming and audio work. In theory it should be fine but just haven\'t heard any real world results yet, especially with disk streaming.

  6. #6

    Re: The ultimate on LAPTOP computers for audio usage

    Of course Steve,
    I won\'t be late in providing useful feedback about my experience.

    For the moment, after careful evaluation, I think I\'m going for a Toshiba Satellite. Lots of people recommend this and there are good points going to its favour. Will let you know,

    in the meanwhile my best regards,
    Alberto

  7. #7

    Re: The ultimate on LAPTOP computers for audio usage

    Hi Alberto,

    One of my close friends purchased a Toshiba Laptop about 6 months ago. He has been real happy except for a few quirks.

    1. He has never been able to get the WDM drivers of the Yamaha chipset working from within Sonar. I think he has used the ASIO drivers.
    2. he bought the MOTU 828 and has discovered that it has a BAD latency issue for GIGA, WDM synths and Input Monitoring.
    He still likes the 828 for recording although he has to monitor thru another means than input monitoring.

    His work around for GIGA is still in the works. He plans to purchase the Echo Indigo I/O which is due out in August. The Echo cards are known to have better latency. I will let you know how the Indigo works out.

    He also bought a Maxtor external firewire HD for his recording and GIGA sounds.

    Best of luck,
    Garius Hill

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    South Ken, London
    Posts
    563

    Re: The ultimate on LAPTOP computers for audio usage

    I\'ve been using a little HP NX9005 with an Echo Indigo, running Cubase SX, the Edirol orchestra and a few softsynths, purely for quick work on the move. I\'d originally bought it purely for accounts and business stuff but its a fantastic, well-made little laptop and works a treat.

    I\'m buying an weenie external HD and am going to try out Halion 2 to see how it works, but it certainly seems that laptops are coming of age.

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