When it comes to music production gear, your computer is the backbone of your setup.
It will influence your productivity, workflow, and most importantly, your mental health.
There’s nothing worse than trying to make music with a slow or noisy computer when you’re feeling inspired, so today, we’ll be ranking the very best computers for music production, looking at the 3 most important factors to consider:
CPU Single Core Speed
Music production takes a huge toll on your computer’s CPU. This is because unlike video production or gaming, it cannot process in parallel with the aid of graphics cards.
Music is processed sequentially and therefore, the main metric you’ll want to look at is single-core speed, rather than the number of cores or total performance of the cores.
Unlike the CPU, RAM does not vary that much. It usually comes in two flavors: 8GB or 16GB. We recommend going for 16GB.
RAM is the memory capacity for temporary data, which is highly important in music production as you’ll have need loads of temporary space for your samples, snippets, VST plugins, settings, etc.
Hard Drive Space
With the advent of cheap cloud storage, this spec has lost some of its importance. It’s still good to have a large hard drive as music files can take up a lot of space, but it’s not a deal-breaker. In fact, we recommend going for some extra cloud storage space regardless.
We’ll also consider other factors such as price, durability, battery life, design, ports available, and our own experience as users.
Finally, we have one little tip for your computer purchase decision, which we’ll share at the end of the article.
Going for a laptop rather than a desktop is a wise choice for the travelling musician.
Being on tour no longer means that you cannot produce music, and Skrillex is the perfect example of this – he famously uses only his laptop to produce most of his songs. If you want a mic to record rap vocals, this applies also.
With that in mind, these are the very best laptops for music production:
Despite being marketed as a gaming laptop, the razer blade is also a great laptop for music production. And as far as online gaming goes, we’ve reviewed the best gaming mics too.
This is one of the coolest lookinglaptops in our list and it would blend in nicely to most home studios.
On the downside, its single-core speed performance is one of the lowest in our list. It should still be more than enough for most music production projects, but for heavier projects, you might want to consider a faster computer.
The battery life also isn’t great, lasting about 5 to 6 hours per charge.
Starting at around 1500$, The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme is one of the priciest computers on the list. However, when compared to the MacBook Pro, which retails at a similar price, it represents good value for money.
Weighing in at about 4 pounds, it is as light as the MacBook pro. It greatly outperforms the mac in terms of single-core speed and comes with an impressive 4K UHD touch screen, whilst the MacBook pro comes has only a touch bar.
With a battery life of around 6 hours, it is on the lower end of our list, but this is understandable, given its power-intensive 4K UHD touch screen.
The only major downside we can think of is its overall user experience. The keyboard, in particular, has been the subject of criticism for being too heavy.
Best Computer / Laptop for Music Production – Final Thoughts
We hope that our list has helped you press the trigger on a new music production laptop.
As promised, here is one final tip to help you choose a music production computer:
One of the biggest pitfalls of music production computers is the noise produced by the fan. Unfortunately, with great processing power comes great fan noise and some of the computers in this list might become noisy with time.
There are two ways to solve this issue: Buy a passive cooling computer such as the MacBook Pro or make your pc quieter by removing fans, changing the settings, and checking mountings and attachments.
Regardless of your decision, remember that action is always better than inaction, so don’t overthink it and focus on creating music!
Click here to learn more about the best USB mics to attach to your new music production computer!