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Top 10 Best Computers for Music Production 2018

It is that time again Producers to highlight the newest and truest Computers to fit your Music Production workflow in 2018! As always, the common debate comes up? Mac or PC? Desktop or Laptop or even Tablet? Well with the technological advances made in the last year, we will highlight the top computers and what they bring to the table. Welcome 2018, I present the World’s Best Computers for Music Production 2018.

Top Must Haves:

  1. 1 Terabyte SSD – With all the newest advancements in technology as of late, this is really where you should be as far as hard drive space in today’s market. There are high end plugins out there that take up 100 GB of space alone and that’s just one plugin. Having a terabyte in today’s day and age will ensure you stay competitive with the latest and greatest plugins but also have at least 50 GB of space for your computer or device to operate efficiently.
  2. 8 GB of RAM Minimum – A lot of the mixing and effects plugins used today can take quite a toll on your computer’s memory. Having at least 8 GB of RAM (16 GB is ideal) will help to ensure your computer won’t freeze up or slow you down.
  3. CPU Processors – Remember this is essentially the brain of computer and it needs to be up to a certain standard to be able to get your ideas out quick, fast, and in a hurry. At a minimum, I’d say an i5 processor would do. Ideally though, I would go after an i7 Quad Core processor for optimal activity.

Here are my Picks for Best Laptops:

Apple MacBook Pro

Anyone who has been a Mac user period knows the value of this hardware unit. The new MacBook Pro hosts a slew of new features including the now infamous Touch Bar, replacing the old function keys that used to occupy this space. It also boasts a 3.1 GHz Quad Core Intel 17 processor for the fastest of speeds around. The LED display is stunning giving you even more clarity on screen than ever before. The only down side I would say is that for whatever reason Apple has decided to eliminate USB ports altogether and instead go with Thunderbolt and USB C ports. Since most of the market hasn’t adapted to the use of the connections as of yet, adapters will be highly necessary for the computer to function properly. If that isn’t too much to handle though, this Laptop kicks ass on every level especially for all the Mac users.

Apple MacBook Pro

  • Processor- Intel Quad Core i7
  • Storage- 1 TB
  • Memory- 16 GB
  • Battery- 10 Hrs

Dell XPS 15

When it comes to laptops, Dell has always been cutting edge. Their latest XPS 15 rollout has been no exception. Comparable to the Apple MacBook Pro in almost every way, the display is stunning at 4K resolution, a 7th generation Intel Core processor and comes with Windows 10 Home Edition. It also has the ever-popular Thunderbolt 3 port (USB-C), perfect for interfacing with the UAD line of products. As far as speed and performance, this laptop gives the MacBook a run for its money, especially given the price point. If you’re a PC guy this just might be your bread and butter.

Dell XPS 15

  • Processor- Intel Core i7
  • Storage- 512 GB
  • Memory- 32 GB
  • Battery- 5 Hrs

MSI GE62VR Apache Pro

A major unspoken secret in the industry has been that great music production laptops, have always been those designed specifically for gaming. The MSI Apache Pro takes this ideal to new heights with their new gaming PC. It is designed specifically to take the strain of extended hours of use, while also offering its own internal cooling system. It also contains a comparable internal speaker system with a subwoofer. The display is of course stunning with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX video card and it can be upgraded to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM memory which is unparalleled to anything I’ve seen or heard about these days. That is essentially almost unlimited and unbothered plugin use.

MSI GE62VR Apache Pro

  • Processor- Intel Core i7-7700HQ
  • Storage- 1 TB
  • Memory- 64 GB DDR4
  • Battery- 51 WHr

Asus ROG STRIX GL553

Making the list for the third time and for good reason, this is yet another very powerful gaming PC that is perfect for music production. It includes Windows 10 pre-installed, a 7th generation Intel Quad Core i7 processor, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card for stunning visuals. It also contains an overclocked memory setup and some streaming friendly features as well for all you social media streamers.

Asus ROG STRIX GL553

  • Processor- Intel Core i7
  • Storage- 1 TB
  • Memory- 32 GB DDR4
  • Graphics- NVIDIA GeForce GTX

HP ENVY Notebook

This laptop is definitely a great “bang for your buck” cheaper option for those just starting out. The Envy has an Intel i7 processor with 8 GB of RAM. Back in the day this laptop wasn’t the greatest cheaper option to make music with, but with a 1 TB hard drive and the 8GB of RAM, this computer is quite the viable option.

HP ENVY Notebook

  • Processor- Intel Core i7
  • Storage- 1TB
  • Memory- 8 GB (Up to 16)
  • Battery- 52 WHr

Here are my Picks for Best Desktops:

Apple iMac Pro

This particular computer is definitely one of my favorites, and I actually own this model. The new model has gotten a few upgrades, including a 4k 21.5” display, 2 Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, and a new Radeon Pro 500 graphics card. The biggest upgrade I’d say is the new fusion hard drive system which makes tasks like booting and launching apps and programs lightning fast.

Apple iMac Pro

  • Processor- Intel Quad Core i7
  • Storage- 1 TB Fusion Drive
  • Memory- 16 GB (Up to 32 GB)
  • Graphics- Radeon Pro 500

Apple Mac Pro

Apple shows up again as they have recently expanded their desktop product line in the last year or so. This particular style of Mac may suit some producer’s needs better as it is small and sleek, taking the place of most Mac towers from back in the day. It also contains Thunder 2 connections capable of connecting PCI Express Cards. With this implementation, it may be possible to interface this unit with a Pro Tools HD rig as well. This computer, in my opinion is the ideal choice for a stationary setup when it comes to a Mac, especially if you’re looking to record in programs like Pro Tools as well.

Apple Mac Pro

  • Processor- Intel Xeon E5
  • Storage- 1 TB PCIe- Based SSD HD
  • Memory- 16 GB (Up to 64 GB)
  • Expansion- Capable of Housing a PCI Expansion Chassis

Dell XPS 8920

Another repeat offender this year, The Dell XPS is a powerhouse in the computing community. This year is no different with the unit boasting an Intel Quad Core i7 processor, 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, and can hold up to 4 storage devices. It also has a USB-C port which is crucial as many of the new lines of audio interfaces like the UAD lines are now in this format. Overall this computer has optimal performance capabilities for your production needs and has the ability to grow with you as you need to expand.

Dell XPS 8920

  • Processor- Intel Quad Core i7
  • Storage- 1 TB (Expandable)
  • Memory- 32 GB DDR4
  • Graphics- NVIDIA GeForce GTX

Acer Predator G6

This monster of a machine is a powerhouse gaming computer with an incredible array of features. It includes Windows Home Edition with a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor and 64 GB of DDR4 RAM for lighting fast speed. With this much power and speed, you should have no issues when it comes to loading up and using your DAW of choice, no matter what you use. Definitely my go to for PC users looking for a desktop solution.

Acer Predator G6

  • Processor- Intel Quad Core i7
  • Storage- 1 TB
  • Memory- 64 GB DDR4
  • Graphics- NVIDIA GeForce GTX1080Ti

Lenovo ThinkCentre

If you are just getting into the music production game and are a PC user, this is a great entry level computer. It may not have all the bells and whistles, but it has the specs to get the job done and efficiently. Anyone who knows anything about music production will tell you. It’s not about what you use, but how you use it. Check it out!

Lenovo ThinkCentre

  • Processor- Intel Core i7
  • Storage- Up to 1 TB
  • Memory- 16 GB DDR4
  • Ports- 6 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0

Tablet Honorable Mention:

Apple iPad Pro

Believe it or not, I’m seeing more and more professional level productions being done on tablet devices. Utilizing programs like Garage Band, iMPC, and Beatmaker 2, tablets are now just as strong as regular computers when it comes to producing records. The new iPad Pro fits the bill when it comes to these tasks. With a new 10.5-inch screen and a A10X Fusion chip, this device is more powerful than most laptops. If you are one of those beat makers who swears by the tablet game, this is your best bet.

Apple iPad Pro

  • Processor-  A10X Fusion Chip
  • Storage-  512 GB
  • Battery- 10 Hrs

Written for SoundOracle.net by Mitchell "The Innovator" Tillotson, Producer
....Guest blogger...

Mitchell “The Innovator” Tillotson is a Music Producer, Musician, Songwriter, and Sound Designer hailing from the greater Baltimore area. Growing up as a Military Brat in the early 90’s and 2000’s and listening to producers like Teddy Riley, Rodney Jerkins, The Neptunes, and Timbaland, he fell in love with music at an early age. The recent Fullsail Music Production Grad and Navy Veteran grew up deejaying the local scenes in the Baltimore/DC areas and is now starting to take the music world by storm. Follow @iamtheinnovator on Twitter.

MORE ARTICLES BY MITCHELL “THE INNOVATOR” TILLOTSON:

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    Comments

    • Posted On March 28, 2018 by Jim Slick

      Maybe adding a computer like Slick Audio computers to the list would provide readers with the knowledge that there are computers specifically designed down to the component level to give the best audio possible. By lowering latency and ensuring the computers are configured to the task of audio recording. Not to mention since the company was created by musicians who are also in the IT industry they know how to make a computer that works for Pro Studio, Project Studios, Home Studios. Check it out www.slick.audio. Even call them for specific questions about your unique questions.

    • Posted On January 22, 2018 by JBlongz

      Correction: iMac Pro is a 27", 5K resolution screen…unless you meant iMac (not pro). No Fusion drive in the Pro model as it really sucks compared to SSDs. Peace.

    • Posted On January 20, 2018 by savageboi

      Great article family. I’ve been using Microsoft Surface pro 3 w/ i7 processor and 8 gb ram with no problems running FL Studio 12, FL Mobile, Ableton Live and Presonus Studio one. Looking to upgrade soon

    • Posted On January 20, 2018 by Jay

      No razorblade pro??

    • Posted On January 19, 2018 by Born Justice A.K.K Zane-O JusStarr ..BoomBapProductionz

      Do you think boom Bap is or will come back… I’m new to making beats but in this year I have come a long way… by tral and errs doing things on my own learning a lot of things from Game @busyWorksbeats …. I would just like to see more things on boom Bap beat….

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