In the market for a laptop. Suggestions?

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kingmetal
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Post by kingmetal » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:13 pm

I'm having trouble finding the quad-core option for the T series on the Lenovo website. Am I just snowblind? Assuming that there is one, it is certainly a phenomenal deal and I'm sure you would be very satisfied with it.

That being said, I put in an order for a 2.0ghz 15" MBP today. I want a powered firewire port, OSX and that Thunderpants thing seems pretty interesting. I recognize that I am totally paying what will probably amount to a $400+ premium for this.
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Post by metanoiastudios » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:57 am

kingmetal wrote:I'm having trouble finding the quad-core option for the T series on the Lenovo website. Am I just snowblind? Assuming that there is one, it is certainly a phenomenal deal and I'm sure you would be very satisfied with it.

That being said, I put in an order for a 2.0ghz 15" MBP today. I want a powered firewire port, OSX and that Thunderpants thing seems pretty interesting. I recognize that I am totally paying what will probably amount to a $400+ premium for this.
They apparently took this option down temporarily. The price will be a little higher because the quad-core processor requires a particular NVidia card that wasn't taken into consideration when I first got that quote. Rather pissed about that, but it should still run below 2k. The next best thing would be the W series. They have an i7 Quad-core, but it's not the same one I was previously quoted for...
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Post by terryb » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:46 am

I just ordered a macbook pro for my recording stuff. Been using a macbook for the past 3 years and it's never been able to run more than 3-5 reverbs in a session.
Looking forward to more power but also a bit worried about the freezing problems the new macs seem to have.

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Post by metanoiastudios » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:49 am

terryb wrote:Looking forward to more power but also a bit worried about the freezing problems the new macs seem to have.
Can you elaborate on that? is this a common issue found on the new Macbook Pros?
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Post by terryb » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:09 am

I waited until after I placed my order to research the new models.
Having owned macs with applecare in the past, I feel confident that the company will make sure I have a fully functional unit, even if it's not initially.

basically from what I've read, the freezes have something to do with the graphics chipset. I've just been reading the posts from the apple forums to see how people have caused the freezing and remedied it:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jsp ... 1&tstart=0

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Post by mrufino1 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:42 pm

metanoiastudios wrote:
mrufino1 wrote:I have a t410 and it is working great for music on windows, linux for everything else. Plus, for about $15 on ebay, you can get a hard drive caddy that goes int he media bay, then you have your audio drive too without anything external.
Nice! what kind of processor and how much RAM? Do you find that it runs smoothly with more than 20 tracks, multiple plugins and VSTis running at once? being able to mix with decent latency and no dropouts will be paramount to my decision, and if I can save a few bucks going the Lenovo route, I'd love to do this.
i5, 4gb ram, 500 gb 5400 rpm drive for system, 160gb 7200 rpm drive in the media bay. It does well, I did notice that with 5 instances of the n-ten-at4 free plugin it was stuttering, but I removed 4 of them and no issues. I don't use too many fancy vts's, mostly freebies and reaper plugs. No vsti, so I can't comment there. I do know I love the laptop.
It was given to me as a gift by my bandmate (incredibly nice of him!) so I had no hand in picking out the specs, it showed up unannounced on my doorstep on a Friday afternoon 2 months ago. Quite a surprise!

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Post by kingmetal » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:37 am

Just got my new 15" Macbook Pro yesterday. Haven't been able to battle test it for audio stuff yet but my initial impressions are this is far and away the fastest computer I've ever used. I know that sounds crazy, but I swear it's true. Even with this piddly 5400rpm hard drive Pro Tools launches faster on this thing than it does in the studio on the dual proc Xeon Mac Pro. It's insane.

Also, being able to run DAWs at less than 7ms from the integrated sound card will be super useful to me.

As for the freezing issue, 10.6.7 came out last week and supposedly fixes that problem. I haven't run into it myself, and it's not likely to be an issue for audio stuff even if the problem is still present.
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Post by metanoiastudios » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:17 am

Nice!! did you get the i5 or i7 processor?
I'd love to hear how this baby fares when recording 8-10 tracks at once, and mixing with a higher track count and multiple plugins. As I understand it, though, plugins are more RAM taxing than CPU taxing, so in theory having 6GB-8GB should call for a pretty stable performance..
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Post by terryb » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:47 am

my 13" macbook pro i5 also just came in.

what I don't understand is that the first couple of times I've run test sessions to make sure all plugs are installed I've had that warning dialog box popup that says buffer under-run or whatever.

I don't understand why a 2 track session with no plugs would generate that on such a powerful laptop.
Any ideas?

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Post by seancostello » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:34 am

Back in October, I was looking for a new Windows machine to build and test plugins in Windows 7. After searching around for a few days, I ended up buying a Mac Mini. The reasons:

- None of the PCs in the same price range had Firewire, and I needed Firewire for my audio interfaces and hard drives.
- With Boot Camp, I could run Windows 7. It works well, except when it goes to sleep, which can often provoke a crash upon waking up. My wife's work Dell laptop has the same problem, though, so I don't think this is limited to Macs (although it may be an issue with Apple's drivers for Win 7).
- Unbelievably beautiful and strong milled aluminum case. I don't know why Apple went to such efforts to make such a tactile box for a non-mobile machine, but it is really a thing of beauty.

With regards to laptops, the price differential between Apple and dedicated Windows machines might be more marked. However, the milled aluminum cases of the MacBook Pros are super hearty, and the machines come with hardware accelerated graphics and Firewire out of the box, which often end up being pricey options for Windows laptops. The freezing problems mentioned above concern me, though.

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Post by seancostello » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:36 am

terryb wrote:my 13" macbook pro i5 also just came in.

what I don't understand is that the first couple of times I've run test sessions to make sure all plugs are installed I've had that warning dialog box popup that says buffer under-run or whatever.

I don't understand why a 2 track session with no plugs would generate that on such a powerful laptop.
Any ideas?
Is this error message coming up in Logic? I have similar messages happen in Logic 9 all the time, while a nearly identical project will be flying along in Live.

Sean Costello

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Post by terryb » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:50 am

no, protools 8.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:43 pm

seancostello wrote:
terryb wrote:my 13" macbook pro i5 also just came in.
what I don't understand is that the first couple of times I've run test sessions to make sure all plugs are installed I've had that warning dialog box popup that says buffer under-run or whatever.
I don't understand why a 2 track session with no plugs would generate that on such a powerful laptop.
Any ideas?
Is this error message coming up in Logic? I have similar messages happen in Logic 9 all the time, while a nearly identical project will be flying along in Live.
Sean Costello
Hi Guys,
You need to repair the permissions after installing a lot of things, and also use an external hard drive for audio. Lastly, but not leastly, you need to change your sample buffer setting, pressk ok, and then change it back if you need it to be that setting. this usually will clear the issue.
Here's some tips on running a laptop as a DAW:

1.- Turn off Sleep mode, and have it plugged into the wall always.
2.- Turn off the Spotlight shortcuts, they interfere with Pro Tools' commands.
3.- Turn off any and all screensavers, and uncheck the "put hard drives to sleep when possible" option in your power settings.
4.- Download an use ONYX, and do it once a week, regularly. this will keep weird shit from happening at random intervals.
5.- Buy a defragmentation software. I have iDefrag, but use what you like. This will keep all your audio drives in good working order. Defrag them once a month, or when they start to get sluggish.
6.- When you erase a hard drive for reuse (you should reformat an audio hard drive once to twice a year) you should use the option that writes zeroes onto the whole drive. This accomplishes two things: first, you get back all your empty space, second, if there are bad sectors on your drive (and all of them will have some) the process will identify these and prohibit you from using them. This saves you headaches later.

Cheers
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Post by kingmetal » Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:34 pm

metanoiastudios wrote:Nice!! did you get the i5 or i7 processor?
I'd love to hear how this baby fares when recording 8-10 tracks at once, and mixing with a higher track count and multiple plugins. As I understand it, though, plugins are more RAM taxing than CPU taxing, so in theory having 6GB-8GB should call for a pretty stable performance..
I got the i7 2.0ghz quad and since we can record 16+ tracks on our studio Mac Pro, and I could record 16+ tracks on my old Phenom 2 quad desktop, I would guess that this thing wouldn't even shrug at 16+ tracks. The higher end i7 15" and 17" models are actually better spec'd than the lowest-end Mac Pro now.

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Post by DCrippa » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:45 pm

I'm in the same boat and in need of upgrading my computer as well... The lenovo's look very nice.

I have a pretty nice tower - which I was planning on just getting a mobo and cpu + ram and video card... for but with the power of laptops these days I'm tempted to just get one to replace the tower all together. One thing I would definitely want is the ability to use dual if not triple monitors and dual internal drives. Would I need a docking station for it or are there video cards that can do that right off the laptop?

While macs are nice I just can't bring myself to pay extra for it. Especially knowing I can get a faster processor with more ram on the windows platform.
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