OT: NUC or laptop?

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OT: NUC or laptop?

Postby Furillo » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:21 pm

Yes, I'm back with another off topic... I should have my own section. Sorry!

Still struggling with pros and cons.
My main goal: As much power as possible for the least amount of cash, and maximum portability. I was going for a 2-in-1, like Yoga, Surface Pro, Spectre 360 yadayadayada... Then I thought NUC and was suddenly back to square 1 again. So now I'm thinking a NUC i7 with 16GB RAM and a 250 - 500GB M2 SSD. I want a touch display which is why I've been looking at 2-in-1 laptops, but an iPad with DuetDisplay could be a sufficient alternative. Or could it..?

Thoughts on this?

Sorry, and thanks!
Hardware: HP Spectre x360 i7 8GB 512GB, 2 x M-Audio Keystation 61, Roland UM-One, Kenton Midi Merge-4, Roland Integra-7, TC-Helicon VoiceLive Rack
Software: Forte 4, EHCo, NI Komplete 9 + some extras, Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2, Keyscape

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Location: Berlin

Re: OT: NUC or laptop?

Postby PnoMn » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:18 pm

hi Furillo,
how much do you want to spend?

i'd go for a laptop.
pro: all in one package, you can start working without assembling the computer all the time. (no need to carry single parts like computer, screen, mouse, keyboard with you)

as far as i have seen - 2-in-1 laptops don't have very powerful cpus. they are build with low power consumption in mind, so you might run into trouble with heat when maxing out the system.

i would go for a standard notebook like lenovo t-series. solid, stable, reliable.
you can run these machines at 100% max cpu (no throttling), put them open air on stage in the blazing sun and won't get into trouble.
they are also very affordable if you look for used laptops. as the industry tends to lease laptops nowadays you can buy a 1 year old laptop at approx half the price.

all the best
Lenovo T440p, i7, 16GB RAM, RME UCX, forte 4.2.4 64bit, NI Komplete 10, HalionSonic 2, Sylenth, OP-X ProII, VSL Special Edition

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Location: Arnhem, the Netherlands

Re: OT: NUC or laptop?

Postby evilantal » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:18 am

I agree,

A few years ago, a rackmount PC would be the way to go. But nowadays, laptops have enough power to run even complex rigs.

If you want quality components and no problems with DPC latency, go for either Lenovo, IBM or Asus.
I'd look for a quad core i7 CPU and avoid the (much more common and found in most consumer laptops) dual core i7's.

Then pair that with a good audio interface. It will depend on the complexity of your rig and the plugins that you use how much horsepower you need from the interface to get low latency.
RME are the benchmark in USB interfaces, but also quite expensive. All the other USB interfaces are pretty much the same. I got by for a long while with a Steinberg UR22 and still use it as backup.

Have a look here for more info on interface latencies:
Lenovo Z500, quad core i7 3632QM, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, RME BabyFace, Samsung EVO SSD x2, forte 4, Kawai ES100, Kurzweil PC2, VB3, Alchemy, Kontakt 5, Omnisphere 2, Diva, ZebraHZ, Bazille, Pianoteq 5 Standard, Falcon, various effects

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Re: OT: NUC or laptop?

Postby dbrendon » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:44 pm

The other advantage of a laptop is the ability to run off of the battery. Years ago when I was using a 'small form factor' PC for gigging, I found that I needed to add a battery backed up power supply to my rig (heavy), in order to handle situations where the power supply wasn't stable - e.g. out door gigs with generators. Since switching to a laptop this has not been a problem.

- David

Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:42 pm

Re: OT: NUC or laptop?

Postby bigalminal » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:28 am

I started using Forte with a Surface Pro 2. Then I upgraded to a Surface Pro 3, but it developed a screen yellow stripe (known problem) so it was replaced under warranty with a Surface Pro 4. All three Sp's had the same configuration namely 8gig ram, i5processor and 256 gig SD. All performed well driving Forte effortlessly. I like the Surface Pro due to its extreme portability and small footprint.

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