Old 07-09-2013, 02:49 PM   #1
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Default Is Intel i3 powerful enough for computer music?

Could you pls advise? I understand that Intel i5 and i7 are very good for music making.

But how about the Intel i3 processor? Is it capable enough?

This is the laptop that I am looking at:


It has Intel Core i3, 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, 1TB hard drive.

Thank you
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:19 PM   #2
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For better advice you should describe a bit what you're planning to do.

For example mainly recording real instruments or using VST instruments (which ones) ?
Using big orchstral libraries, about how many tracks will your projects have etc.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:35 PM   #3
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For better advice you should describe a bit what you're planning to do.
^That's the key. My P3 700Mhz box from 2000 was good enough for making music, got the CDs to prove it. Its all about where the ceiling is and when you are going to hit the limit.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:55 AM   #4
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I have a CPU that is slightly slower than this one.

In terms of CPU, as my experience says, it's good enough if you're going not going to do anything complex. As they said, it all depends on your workflow. Mine for example is very variable. But for example when i write chiptune-esque sounds usually i have to render my electronic drums first because the sounds are processed in real time (and usually are way more complex than "normal" synth sounds). If you play some notes here and there it won't make that difference, but when you have bars full of 32th notes at 150bpm, plus other stuff going on, then it can get really slow.

Also, as my experience says, notebooks are not the best solution for writing music (unless you actually need to write on the fly, of course). The battery will reach it's lifespan faster and if you every try to record real instruments you can have a problem similar as this one.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:18 AM   #5
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my Intel Pentium D 945 3.4GHz can handle anything I throw at it on XP,,,i5 or i7 would be ideal though
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:44 AM   #6
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Of course, it matters what do you want to do on this mashine.

I have a little experience with Intel NUC i3 http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/...uct-brief.html

With 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD and tweaked Windows 7 x64 it runs smoothly almost every sampled VSTi (Acoustic Samples Kawai EX and Old Black Grand, Scarbee Rhodes Mk I, NI Alicias Keys, Neo Soul Keys with very resonable latencies under 10 ms total. (at 48 kHz ASIO for All, M-Audio Audiophile USB) I even can't interrupt smoothness with crazy palm slaps with sustain on, when polipphony reaches over 200. Only one VSTi cause unexpected glitches - Soniccouture EP73 Deconstructed, with only 2 sample layers.

I have plan to build these 2 boxes (NUC and Audiophile USB) in my Studiologic SL-990 Pro, because there inside is lot of space and i have prooved myself, that any laptop on stage is only headache - these zillion connections, dusts, no where to put it, e.t.c.

This Stage Piano Release Candidate will boot up and automaticaly load Kontakt. (it's allready happening - i can start playing after 20 seconds after pressing "On" on NUC. Pressing "On" again NUC shutdown in ~8 seconds) With SL-990 Pro i can switch instruments via Program Change via pre configured banks. Primitive things to do: hardware volume pot (now this function does prelearned modwheel for each instrument - isn't very handy) and DI.

Last edited by jazznfunk; 07-19-2013 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:17 AM   #7
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short definitive answer: yes
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:06 AM   #8
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I would guess yes as my main desktop DAW is still a Q6600 running XP32
and I often get up to 52 tracks on songs using 2 versions of EZ drummer,
2+ vocals, 2-4 guitars audio + bass and east west string libraries as well as other sample libraries, most tracks have eq and compression and all tracks have some VST effect on them. I would make sure your external hard drives are the fastest you can get also, and it probably comes down to front end buss speed on the motherboard.

Use that free DPC latency checker on it if you can.

Those $40 500 gig passport usb drives you find at walmart work fine on my laptop tho it is an I5 win7(64)
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:04 AM   #9
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I'm running an Athlon X2 4800+ with XP and M-Audio Delta 66 PCI card and it'll happily do 24 tracks with plugins at 24/48. Latency is 3 ms. Sadly I have now got into 96khz and it really does shit the bed when I start going with pitchshifters. I built this PC in 2005 originally, had a few upgrades over the years, runs near silent, and next it'll be big changes: new motherboard, i5 or i7, new RAM, the works.

I really don't want to leave XP though. I'm really debating leaving this one as it is and using it just for tracking, whilst building another desktop for virtual instruments and major sample mangling.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:11 PM   #10
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There IS a caveat though. Evidently the i series cpus are particularly prone to having problems dealing with anything older than a USB2 interface.

It is essentially down to the way in which win7 & 8 handle legacy USB 1 and USB1.1 devices.
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