Potential laptop choices

I found this one for sale on Ebay. I've also been looking at Starlabs website and am considering this machine.

I'm wondering how the older Core i5 chip in the Dell on Ebay would fare in the real world compared to the newer Core i3 chip as fitted to the Starlabs machine. The two chips seem to have similar specs when compared on Intel's site, in fact the older i5 has a higher base frequency than the i3 but a slower turbo speed and a 3mb cache as opposed to the i3s 4mb. Would 1mb of extra cache make more difference than the extra base frequency? Is the new chip just automatically going to be better because it's more up to date? There's a Core i7 chip available from Starlabs as well but not sure it'd be worth the extra £££. Considering the use the machine will get it might be overkill. Then again why drive a Morris Minor when you could have a Jaguar?

Perhaps the Dell on EBay would be a reasonable bet for now. It's running a clean version of the latest Ubuntu so if I don't feel at home with that I could just live boot a few different distros from USB til I find one I get on with and if I felt I wanted a more up to date machine in the next year or so I could probably sell on the Dell without losing roo much.

If I went for a Starlabs machine I'd probably configure it with 16gb of RAM which I expect would be plenty. Would the 8gb in the Dell be sufficient? My old Win7 laptop has 4gb and starts to struggle if I have a lot of tabs open.

Ok, I'm probably over thinking things a bit here and the Dell will be more than adequate for my needs just now but I'd welcome any thoughts or opinions on the above you'd care to offer.

As far as my computing needs go it's all fairly lightweight just now. The most resource hungry thing I might be doing is working with multitrack recordings on a Digital Audio workstation. Other than that it's mostly just surfing, word processing, printing and scanning. Nothing very stressful at all.
 


KGIII

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I just recently got someone near me an i5 quad-core, and gave it 16 GB of RAM and a healthy 512 GB SSD.

Without any optimization, it boots to a graphical user interface in like 15 seconds and loads LibreOffice almost instantly.

I fully expect it to last them a decade.

The difference is it's a small form factor refurb desktop. It runs pretty much as fast as my much faster hardware for anything measurable by a standard user. Loading up Audacity is nearly instant, for example.

The RAM and SSD make one heck of a difference.
 

jglen490

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Before you lay out your money on something you are not sure about, answer the first question that MUST be answered. What do you want your computer to do for you?
 

wizardfromoz

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Before you lay out your money on something you are not sure about, answer the first question that MUST be answered. What do you want your computer to do for you?
Answered in the first post.

As far as my computing needs go it's all fairly lightweight just now. The most resource hungry thing I might be doing is working with multitrack recordings on a Digital Audio workstation. Other than that it's mostly just surfing, word processing, printing and scanning. Nothing very stressful at all.
@Expert Novice , on

It's running a clean version of the latest Ubuntu so if I don't feel at home with that I could just live boot a few different distros from USB til I find one I get on with...
For any Linux you take a look at, you can use a search term in Google or your search engine of choice

(name of Linux Distro) system requirements

and then do the same for your Ubuntu and compare. I am unfamiliar with DAW requirements, but for the most part 8 GB RAM is sufficient to run any Linux quite well.

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

wizardfromoz

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Just searched under

linux daw system requirements

and took a quick look at the entry for Ardour, so you can do likewise. :)
 
My research into suitable Linux laptops reveals older Lenovo Thinkpads running the old core 2 duo chips are quite well thought of, avoiding the issues surrounding the "chip management" built in to the later core i3/5/7 chips.

For example

 
and took a quick look at the entry for Ardour, so you can do likewise
I did just that. Ardour looks like interesting and very capable software. The thing with DAWs is they don't necessarily need much in the way of resources to function. As long as you're not asking them to do too much they can be fine on a fairly basic machine. It's when you start trying to record from lots of sources simultaneously while maintaining low latency, using lots of plug-ins and automation in sessions with 30 tracks or more etc that resources become more important. From looking at the page you linked it seems Ardour will work very nicely with >1gb RAM so I'll certainly consider using it.

:)
 


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