I’ve heard you are looking to buy a computer for music production? Easy-peasy!
I am going to make it as in-depth yet straightforward as possible. So it’s pretty clear we want to get the best computer for music production, but…
There are tons of questions producers who are bulding a music studio ask me. I didn’t want to overwhelm you with information at the beginning of the article. I’ve found a better way.
Alright we are ready to start! First of all, let’s look at the top 5 best desktops for music production. Desktop computers tend to be the better bang for the buck when it comes to using power demanding DAW with a lot of plugins, virtual intruments, and this kind of stuff. However, they are not portable and are almost impossible to travel with.
Laptops are less powerful than desktop computers. No matter what price range you look at, desktops will always have better specs than laptops.
However, laptops are light, portable, and a lot more pleasant to use. If you travel a lot, tour, or DJ at clubs, laptop is your best bet!
For now, let’s take a look at the best PCs and laptops most experienced producers use in their music studios!
This should be everything I wanted to mention before going to the list itself. Let’s start on this list already!
1) Apple iMac
As I’ve mentioned earlier, people use different PCs and laptops for music production. However, these Macs take up the biggest shares of the music production computer market.
They have a quick processor and a solid state drive, last a while, and tend to be quite sturdy.
There are a lot more laptops and PCs out there that technically can do a better job, such as Audio Labs. They make computers specifically for music production. They may have better CPU processor and faster SSD, but a lot of the times they fail under pressure and as they age.
Apple has been out there for a very long time and have built an excellent reputation among its customers, employees, and shareholders. And that’s not an easy thing to do, let me tell you.
- 21. 5-Inch (diagonal) 4096-by-2304 Retina 4K display
- Stunning 5-mm-thin design
- Quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 Processor
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
- Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
Speaking of Audio Labs…
2) PC Audio Labs Rok Box
If you haven’t been making music for a while, you probably haven’t heard of Audio Labs. They are pricey as hell, so not a lot of beginners pick their computers for music production as their first choice. When you think of an expensive PC with outstanding specs, you probably imagine an Alienware gaming computer.
Why would you want to spend $2000+ on a PC to make music? It’s actually an excellent question. You see, when you are just starting out, you only need so much CPU and RAM. You don’t really know how to use your DAW for beginners to the fullest!
As you progress, you are likely to use more and more plugins. And not just generators, but effects also. So this will take up a big part of your CPU and RAM.
So yeah, a powerful PC can be a great asset. And a cool thing PC Audio Labs offer is building your own add-ons on the top of the base version. You can go up as high as Inter Core I9 Extreme and 128 GB of RAM.
I honestly don’t think you’ll ever need such specs, but hey, I could be wrong.
Overall, I wouldn’t consider PC Audio Labs if I were on a budget and not very serious about music production in general. If you have some money to spend, it will prove to be one of the best computers for music production out there!
3) Acer Aspire TC-780
If you are looking for a budget computer for music production, Acer Aspire might be the one. They come with different specs but don’t go much above the $500 mark. And you can still purchase a few add-ons such as more RAM or an SSD.
Honestly, if you get one with an i5 Intel Core (preferably the last generation) and 12 GB of RAM and 1 TB HDD, you are good to make music.
If you start running into challenges later as your PC for music production gets slower because of all the junk you installed on it besides the music production essentials, you can always upgrade.
Adding an SSD to my laptop was the best upgrade I’ve done. I’ve never thought this would make a big difference. And the high price tag also kept me debating for a while.
It used to take my laptop a minute or two to restart, and after I got an SSD the time decreased to literally 6 or so seconds. That was something to see. My old Lenovo laptop for music production has reincarnated and turned into a power horse. Well, not quite, but I sure was impressed!
It’s 10+ times faster! One of the best investments you can make!
For the price, it’s probably the best desktop computer for music production you can get.
- Intel Core i5-7400 Quad-Core 3.0 GHz (Up To 3.5 GHz) 6MB Cache (Optional CPU Upgrade to 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8400 6-Core, 2.8 GHz Up To 4.0 GHz 9MB Cache) , Intel HD Graphics 630
- Choose From a) 8GB/12GB/16GB RAM; Choose b) 1st HDD From 128GB/256GB/512G SSD (Boot) For Your Desired Purpose; A Solid State Drive (SSD) Will Boost The Overall Performance For The Computer; Choose An Optional 2nd Hard Drive: 1TB/2TB HDD
- 4 x USB 2.0, 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Total), 1 x HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, SD Memory Card
- Intel 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, DVD-RW, High-Def Audio with 5.1-Channel Surround Sound Support
- Windows 10 Home 64-Bit, Color: Black, Included Keyboard & Mouse, 17.2 Lbs
4) Dell Inspiron i3650
You can get a nice bang for the buck if you choose Dell Inspiron as your computer for music production. Although nothing mind-blowing, it’s a reputable PC company that has been around for ages.
They fixed a lot of issues this line of PCs had recently, so look into buying the most recent version. I don’t know if they have a lot of pre-built versions, but the most common one comes with two drives: 126 GB SSD so your Windows runs faster and 1 TB HDD to store your files.
The base build comes with a 7th Gen i3 processor, so it’s a little weaker than the rest of the PCs and laptops for music production on the list. However, specs don’t quite show everything. It tends to last a while and resist high levels of CPU usage without losing much speed. This is crucial when adding effects to tracks and later on in the mixing and mastering stages.
It’s also customizable, so if you ever feel like it’s getting slower, you can always add RAM and disk space.
- Intel Core i5-6400, up to 2.7 GHz
- 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM Included; 16 GB Maximum
- 1 TB HDD Storage; Tray load DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD)
- No Monitor Included
- Windows 10 Operating System; Silver Chassis
5) HP Pavilion 570
If you ever go window shopping to Best Buy or Future Shop and stop by the desktop computers’ section, there is 99% chance you will see one of these HP Pavilion. Can you use it as a computer for music production? Absolutely!
Apparently, these PCs are incredibly powerful. They used to be a thing in the gaming PCs world a while back. Now with all these gaming computers and laptops emerging, HP Pavilions have become more of pre-build all-in-one PCs.
Some of them have AMDs, and some have Intel inside. If you are looking more into making beats and recording, I would suggest going for Intel CPUs for computers for music production. AMD does better when you do video editing and Photoshop, so stick with Intel if you’ll be using HP Pavilion solely as a computer for music production.
I still go with Intel every time, unless I need my PC to focus more on graphics (e.g., video editing).
- Intel Core i5-7400 Processor Quad-Core 3.0GHz(6M Cache, up to 3.50GHz)
- 8GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD + 1TB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
- Integrated Bluetooth 4.2 and Wireless LAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac featuring Dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz) 1 x 1 technology; Front I/O ports--USB 3.0: 1, USB 3.0-Type C: 1, Headphone/Microphone: 1; Back I/O ports--VGA, HDMI out, USB 3.0: 2, USB 2.0: 2, LAN (Ethernet), Audio jacks
- Windows 10
6) Lenovo ThinkPad
Around 15 years ago Lenovo made everyone either improve the quality of their computers or lower the price of them. Massive computer products producer and exporter, Lenovo’s managed to become one of the biggest and most popular computer brands in a world in the shortest in the historical span of time.
Yes, the almighty IBM corporation that introduced computers to our everyday lives! Isn’t that crazy? How can you even doubt whether they can make computers for music production or not anymore?
The quality of this laptop for music production is outstanding. It would’ve lasted you forever if it wasn’t for the processor that gets completely outdated every 5 years or so. Therefore, you have a ton of time to produce music. Let’s be honest, in 5 years you’ll make money for a new computer and a lot more on the top.
There is no computer for music production that is promised to last you 10 or 20 years simply because the technology advances so fast. Most of the time they come with i5 and i7 Intel Core processor, which will do fantastic for every beatmaker and music producer.
The RAM size ranges from 4GB to 32GB. From my personal experience, 8GB should be the minimum if you do mixing and mastering on your own computer for music production all by yourself. You are better off with 12GB or 16GB.
You also get to pick between HDD and SSD. SSD is a lot more expensive than HDD, but it is worth the price. I’ve put one into my laptop (as I’ve mentioned above), and it almost felt like new. Well worth every penny if you decide to go for a solid state drive for your computer for music production.
- Processor: Intel Dual Core i5-7200U Processor (2.5GHz - 3.1GHz, 3M Cache)
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64
- Display: 15.6" HD Screen (1366x768); Graphics Card: Intel HD 620 Graphics
- Features: 8GB RAM, 250GB Solid State Drive, Fingerprint Reader
- RAM and Hard Drive Upgrade* - View Product Description for complete details and notes
7) Acer Chromebook
How can you use a Chromebook as a computer for music production? That’s an excellent question. I am not going to lie and tell you that this Acer laptop will replace a powerful desktop computer in your music studio. It’s not meant for that.
However, it’s a fantastic laptop for those producers who are just starting out. If you want to start learning more about digital audio workstations and how they function, Acer Chromebook will do great!
Chromebooks are meant for emails and web browsing, but if you don’t have a ton of high CPU usage VST plugins and sound generators, you have nothing to worry about.
In the beginning, you have to learn all the capabilities and workflow of your DAW. You don’t have to use 8 plugins on each track and mix. If anything, you can ask a friend with a more powerful PC to help you do the mixing and mastering of the track.
You don’t need to invest $1000 to start producing. Starting is the hardest part, and having to pay $1000+ for a computer for music production makes it even harder.
- This chromebook is 15.6 inch notouch screen; Intel HD Graphics 400 with shared graphics memory
- Intel Celeron Dual-Core N3060 1.6 GHz, Up to 2.48GHz
- 2GB DDR3L 1600 MHz; 16GB eMMC Flash Memory, No Optical drive
- SD card reader; 1 x USB 2.0; 1 x USB 3.0; 1 x HDMI; 1 x Headphone output/Microphone input combo . Bluetooth4.0, 802.11ac, HD Webcam
- Chrome OS, Only 2.76 lb, Color: White
8) Apple MacBook Pro
I’ve mentioned the iMac desktop computer at the very beginning of this list of the best computers for music production. MacBook Pro is running slightly behind its big brother in this race. Some of you may ask why.
It’s because the MacBook Pro is a laptop. Moreover, you can call it a very lightweight laptop, lightweight and incredibly powerful. Cmon, have you seen Kanye recording a track in Africa with his MacBook? Yes, it’s that great!
Most of them already come with a sufficient amount of RAM (usually 16GB) and a fantastic processor. Do you still debate whether you need an SSD or an HDD? Well, that’s too bad. All new MacBook Pro laptops already come with a built-in SSD to speed up your work.
A lot of people get a little scared by the price tag. That’s completely understandable – Apple products come at above-average prices.
The retina display lets you have the upper hand when editing images and videos, which is super helpful when you also film music videos and YouTube tutorials like a lot of producers and beatmakers do.
The last perk is that you can go to any Starbucks and feel like a part of the family if you happen to own a Macbook. Who wouldn’t want to spend $5 for a latte and scroll through your Facebook timeline for hours at a time? Sound like the dream to me! Seriously speaking, I have one thing to say.
- Dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 Processor
- Brilliant Retina Display
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
- Ultrafast SSD
- Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
9) Acer Predator Helios
If you can’t tell just yet, Acer Predator Helios is not quite a laptop for music production, but more of a gaming computer. However, who told you that you aren’t able to use it to produce music?
Even though you don’t really need a graphics card when making music, it sure helps when editing videos. If you ever decide on making a music video for one of your tracks or doing YouTube tutorials to share your knowledge with other producers, you’ll need a somewhat decent graphics card.
If you forget about video editing, which we will get back to in a minute, you should look at the specs of this laptop. If you think that you can find a better set of specs for the price, you might be dreaming!
Of course, if you were to go for a regular desktop PC for music production, you’d save a few bucks, but then you’ll miss out on a lot of fun Acer Predator Helios laptop has to offer! This gaming laptop comes with i7 Intel Core processor, 256GB SSD, and 16GB of RAM.
If you ever feel like you need more power, which likely won’t happen, it comes with tons of slots to upgrade every single aspect of your laptop if you ever need to.
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4.1GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Overclockable Graphics with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC )
- 16GB DDR4 2666MHz DRAM Memory & 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD | Extra empty accessible slot for 2.5 inch hard drive or SSD
- Gigabit Wi-Fi |Backlit Keyboard | USB 3.1 (Type C) | Dual All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan Cooling | Metal Chassis
10) Lenovo ThinkCentre
As I’ve mentioned earlier in this buying guide, Lenovo always overdelivers for the price you pay. Well, the statement isn’t wrong with this particular desktop PC for music production!
There are many computers in the ThinkCentre product line, and I feel like this one, in particular, will fit every music producer needs seamlessly. It comes with everything you need in order to start and advance – powerful CPU (Intel Core i5), plenty of RAM (16GB), and a spacious solid state drive (500GB).
It will do fantastic as a part of your music studio setup with a ton of ports and outlets to plug-in all your gear! I bet you won’t need a single extension USB cord because this PC for music production comes with 6 of them!
- Processor: Intel i5-6500 Quad Core Processor (3.2 - 3.6 GHz, 6MB Cache)
- Hard Drive: 500GB Solid State Drive; RAM: 16GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64 bit
- Warranty: 3 Year Onsite Warranty
- Memory and Hard Drive Upgrade - *View Product Description for more details
11) HP Envy x360
My first laptop ever was an HP laptop. It was bulky, heavy, and slow. I can’t even imagine using it as a laptop for music production. Hell no! But time sure flies. In barely 10 years HP went from making cheap looking sturdy computers to manufacturing touch-screen cutting-edge laptops!
HP Envy x360 laptop is basically a tablet with a keyboard. I am sure you’ve seen a ton of those and are not quite impressed by its looks. However, there is a lot more to this laptop for music production than a “pretty face.”
A lot of laptops out there are light. Many of them are powerful. Have you seen a good combination of the two without a high price tag? Well, let me introduce this laptop one more time.
Coming with an i5 Intel Core processor and 8GB of RAM, it has 2 disks instead of just 1 to keep all your files on. 1TB HDD is great for storing almost unlimited amounts of samples, recording, videos, and other media. 128GB SSD is for your DAW for beginners, VST instruments, and other programs that you want to run fast and seamlessly.
Moreover, being able to turn it into a tablet makes producing on-the-go so much easier! If you ever go to your friends’ place for a jam session, you can use your HP Envy x360 laptop for music production as a drum pad, MIDI keyboard, and a lot more! This will turn a boring session into a fun one!
- 15.6" diagonal FHD IPS micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch-enabled edge-to-edge glass (1920 x 1080), AMD Radeon Vega 8
- AMD Ryzen 5 2500U(2.0 GHz, up to 3.6 GHz, 4 MB cache, 4 cores) ,
- 8GB DDR4, 128GB SSD+1 TB HDD, 1 multi-format SD media card reader, B&O PLAY; HP Audio Boost; Dual speakers
- 1 USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 (Data Transfer up to 5 Gb/s); 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Data transfer only); 1 HDMI; 1 headphone/microphone combo, Intel 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo
- Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, backlit keyboard
12) Lenovo ThinkServer
And once again, we see another Lenovo product. It starts to look like they do know how to make good quality computers which are very suitable for music production. ThinkServer has a different concept than the rest of the computers on the list.
It has 64GB of RAM, light-speed processor, and outstanding memory speed of 2400 MHz. The concept of this computer is almost like the one of a VPS (virtual private server). Except for the fact that it’s clearly right in front of you. Think of this as a powerful engine of your car!
You are able to connect it to your computer and utilize its resources. There are little tweaking and coding that you have to do first, but there are thousands of tutorials on this all over the web.
A couple of hours of tweaking and for a fraction of a price you’ve managed to turn your regular PC or laptop into a power horse computer for music production.
- Brand Lenovo , Model 70TR0016UX
- Product Type: Server, Number of Processors Supported: 1, Number of Processors Installed: 1, Processor Manufacturer: Intel, Processor Type: Xeon, Processor Model: E3-1220 v6, Processor Core: Quad-core (4 Core), Processor Speed: 3 GHz, Standard Memory: 8 GB, Maximum Memory: 64 GB
- Memory Technology: DDR4 SDRAM, Number of Total Memory Slots: 4, Number of Occupied Memory Slots: 1, Total Hard Drive Capacity: No, Optical Drive Type: No, Controller Type: Serial ATA/600, RAID Supported: Yes, RAID Levels: 0, 1, 5, 10, Number of Total Expansion Bays: 4, Number of 3.5" Bays: 4
- Graphics Controller Manufacturer: ASPEED, Graphics Controller Model: AST2400, Ethernet Technology: Gigabit Ethernet, Operating System: No, Input Voltage: 230 V AC, Input Voltage: 120 V AC, Number of Power Supplies Installed: 1, Maximum Power Supply Wattage: 300 W
- Environmentally Friendly: Yes, Environmental Certification: GREENGUARD, Environmental Certification: RoHS, Form Factor: Tower, Rack Height: 4U, Height: 17.5", Width: 6.8", Depth: 23.3", Weight (Approximate): 58.42 lb, Limited Warranty: 1 Year
13) Apple MacBook Air
Even though the laptop itself may look anything but powerful, it’s definitely more capable of producing than most laptops on the market.
If you are looking for a laptop for music production to use Logic or Pro Tools DAW on, MacBook Air should be your second choice after the MacBook Pro. Clearly, the main difference is the weight and your budget.
You don’t get the most powerful CPU or RAM, but it can handle a lot more than just basic tasks. You can add tons of effects and virtual instruments for hip hop and EDM production and notice almost zero delays in playback!
If you are using Garage Band DAW, you’ll find MacBook Air doing everything you need and going above and beyond when it comes to performance and stability.
If you don’t go too heavy when mixing and mastering, MacBook Air laptop for music production will handle them easily! The battery lasts up to 12 hours, and it only weighs 2.75 pounds!
- Stunning 13. 3-Inch Retina Display
- Touch ID
- Dual-core 8th-Generation Intel Core i5 Processor
- Intel UHD Graphics 617
- Fast SSD Storage
14) Microsoft Surface Pro
Microsoft has decided that there is more to life than simply releasing Windows OS in life. Once upon a time, the company decided to release a line of laptops that combines both studio and tablet experiences.
Don’t let the slick and classy look trick you. Microsoft Surface is good for more things than merely checking your emails and file your tax returns. You can utilize it as a laptop for music production, but there is so much more to that.
The laptop is used for so many more things – it’s perfect for school, drawing, even blogging. And the keyboard design is fantastic! I won’t go too much in-depth about how it’s suitable for drawing or blogging because that’s not why you are here. You want to know whether Microsoft Surface Pro will do a great job as a laptop for music production.
With a fast and powerful central processing unit, a good amount of RAM, and a light-speed SSD, you’ll be surprised what this computer for music production is capable of! And the battery last forever (up to 13.5 hours to be exact). That’s one of the best single battery lives out there!
- A best-in-class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet
- More power - now with the new 8th Gen Intel Core Processor
- Ultra-slim and light, starting at just 1.70 pounds
- All-day battery life, with up to 13.5 hours of video playback
- Now in a choice of two classic colors, Platinum or bold, new black. Pair with our signature.Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology
15) Dell XPS 15
Surprisingly, it’s the first time Dell appears on this list of best computers for music production. I emphasized the feeling of a surprise because Dell is usually considered cutting edge when we are talking about laptops. Sometimes I doubt them, but they often prove me wrong. Well, I was proven wrong once again this time!
Their Dell XPS 15 is straight up fantastic and will do great as a computer for music production, hands down. Besides a mind-blowing power horse of a laptop with i7 Intel Core 8th Gen processor, 32GB of RAM, and 1GB SSD, you get a 4K Ultra HD touch display, incredibly powerful graphics card, and even a fingerprint scanner!
The only drawback would be the price of such a device. It’s surely not anything cheap you’ll find on clearance at BestBuy or Walmart. If you are looking for the highest quality laptop for music production that is light and portable, Dell XPS 15 might be your best bet.
Unlike a MacBook, you can actually connect all your gear to it without needing an excessive number of extension cords and power plates. If you are more of a PC than a Mac guy and want a laptop for music production which overdelivers in terms of speed and performance, the choice is obvious!
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H Processor (9M Cache, up to 4.1 GHz, 6 Cores)
- 15.6'' 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge Touch display | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti with 4GB GDDR5
- 32GB DDR4-2666MHz, 2x16GB Memory | 1TB PCIe Solid State Drive
- Widescreen HD (720p) webcam + Mic | Power button integrated fingerprint reader
- Killer 1535 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 | Windows 10 Professional 64 bit
16) Asus Rog STRIX GL553
Making the list for the third time and for a 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 is a great prove of my point! Designed to handle high loads on CPU for extended periods of time, this laptop will do great during long late-night sessions in the studio, and you’ll never have to worry about adding too many plugins or effects on a track.
With the latest Intel Core i7 processor, tons of RAM and a spacious HDD, you’ll never run into a problem. The only thing I would personally suggest is adding another drive, an SSD, and installing your OS, DAW, and most critical VST instruments there.
This way, you’ll make sure the system is working at its finest and all critical files load as fast as possible. The battery life is not the best, but this laptop for music production is mostly meant to be plugged in at all times. With all the essential ports built-in already, Asus Rog STRIX can easily come a centerpiece of your music studio!
- 7th generation Intel Cor i7 quad core processor and with a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 1050 4GB graphics
- 15-inch panel with wide 178 viewing angles and Windows 10 pre installed
- 1TB HDD 7200RPM HDD for fast performance and large storage capacity
- Aura RGB-backlit scissor-switch keys offering 2.5mm of travel distance for tactile keystrokes; 4 zones of lighting control
- 802.11 ac WiFi for superior bandwidth and stability; Bluetooth 4.0, USB Type C Gen 2, Up to 5 hours battery life.Storage
17) MSI GE62VR Apache Pro
If you haven’t heard of MSI Apache Pro, that’s completely understandable. The reason for that is the fact that this laptop is primarily used by gamers all over the world! Actually, it’s considered nothing less but “NO. 1” in the gaming community.
Well, if it can handle intense loads of graphics and frame rate, what makes you think it will perform poorly when you add a couple of EQ and compression plugins on one of your tracks? With MSI Apache Pro you can not only make beats and slightly EQ and compress them, but fully mix and master the entire track with no speed issues detected whatsoever.
It has a fantastic sound system with subwoofers and great EQ. It won’t replace a proper pair of studio headphones and studio monitors by any means, but sure is great if you decide to take a little break and watch a couple of episodes of Netflix!
With 1TB SSD, Intel Core i7 processor, and 16GB of RAM, MSI Apache Pro gaming laptop will work not only for beginners but professionals of the music industry as well. It comes at a premium price, but don’t forget that more often than not you get what you pay for.
- Display: 15.6-Inch Full HD Non Reflection 1920x1080
- Operating System: Windows 10
- Processor: Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core Processor (2.6-3.5GHz)
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA's Latest GeForce GTX 1060 6G GDDR5
- RAM: 16GB (8GB x2) DDR4 2133MHz
18) Dell XPS 8930
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.
Remember we spoke about another Dell XPS and we concluded that it was one of the best laptops for music production on the market? Well, get ready for another bad boy from the cutting-edge computer developer giant. Dell XPS 8930 is not far away from other power horses on this list.
Even though this computer for music production may not look as futuristic as gaming desktops and laptop, don’t let its look trick you into thinking that it works the same way any budget pre-built PC does. There is no need to trust my words – let’s look at the specs instead.
First of all, you get the latest generation i7 Intel processor with 6 cores and 16GB of RAM. Will 2TB of storage be enough for your artistic soul? I sure hope it will! With the NVIDIA graphics card that comes with this PC for music production, editing music videos and photos will be easier than ever!
It’s perfect for connecting interfaces to it as well with the USB-C port for more transparent and better quality signal movement between the 2 devices. The only personal suggestion of mine is to buy an SSD for critical files such as your DAW and Windows, so your programs run faster.
- 8th Generation Intel i7-8700 6-Core 3.20 GHz Processor (12M Cache, up to 4.60 GHz), Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 2TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive, DVD-RW Drive
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB GDDR5 Graphics (1x Display Port, 1x HDMI, 1x DVI), Intel UHD Graphics 630
- Dell Wireless 802.11a/c + Bluetooth v4.1, Integrated 5.1 Channel Audio with Waves MaxxAudio Pro
- 1 Year Limited Warranty, Dell USB Laser Mouse - Black, Dell Wired Keyboard - Black, No Monitor Included
19) Apple Mac Pro
Surely not the cheapest product, which is expensive even for Apple products. However, there is no need to critique the price without looking at what Apple Mac Pro offers you in return for your money. I am saying this because this desktop computer for music production has a lot to offer.
The processor of the desktop computer has 8 cores! It’s twice as many as most of the computers for music production on the least. Clearly, it comes at a price, but buying an Apple Mac Pro can quickly turn into the best investment you’ve made. The desktop computer for music production for music production also has one of the fastest SSDs that are available out there.
This will be a perfect centerpiece of your music studio. It has 6 Thunderbolt 2 ports and 4 USB 3 ports, which is plenty to connect all your equipment in one place without the need to use various extension cords that can disturb the signal and add noise to your recording.
If you are a serious music producer, you may have a Pro Tools HD rig which seamlessly integrates with another industry standard in the music world – Pro Tools DAW.
If you plan on or already using Pro Tools or Logic, picking Mac Pro as the centerpiece of your setup will be the best decision you’ll ever make!
- Intel Xeon E5 Processor
- Dual AMD FirePro Graphics
- Ultrafast PCIe SSD storage
- Six Thunderbolt 2 ports
- Four USB 3 ports
20) Apple iPad Pro
I’ve started this list with an Apple product and wanted to finish it with one as well. Look, Apple iPad Pro rarely comes in mind when looking for a computer for music production, especially with so many convertible laptops available out there.
Actually, you’ll notice more and more music production being done on tablets these days. With easy-to-use apps like Garage Band and Beatmaker, producing is easier than ever! These days computers for music production don’t even have to be computers, to begin with.
Back in the days, the size of the screen used to be an issue. You could only do so much in the tiny amount of space you had in front of your eyes. Well, things are surely changing! With a large 10.5” screen and a fast A10X chip processor, you are in full control of your passion for music creation.
If you buy a special pencil, you can increase your productivity even further. No need to use your fingers for everything anymore. Did you know that the new iPad Pro battery can last up to 12 hours? No need to charge your device mid-session anymore. Connect it to your main computer for music production, and you got a set of drum pads or a MIDI keyboard.
You can’t install FL Studio and Pro Tools or use any VST instruments on it, but iPad Pro compensates all this by providing you with the best portability, flexibility, and ease of use for its users.
- 10. 5-Inch Retina Display with Promotion, true Tone, and wide Color
- A10X Fusion chip
- Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor
- 12MP back camera, 7MP FaceTime HD Front camera
- Four speaker Audio
Commonly Asked Questions When Looking For Computer For Music Production
Producers don’t want to waste their money or time when buying a PC, so they tend to do as much effort as possible into their research.
How much can you spend? What’s your budget?
Look, you might be looking for a computer for music production. Or you may be more interested in a laptop because you perform live or travel more.
We all want the best computers with the most powerful processor and the finest graphics and sound. However, not everyone can afford one. Moreover, it will very likely be a waste of money if you don’t know how to utilize all the components of your computer for music production.
You need it to edit your music videos, but if you won’t be doing that, why spend another $500+ on a high-performing graphics card? You see where I am going with this?
If you spend $2000+ and get the top performing PC or laptop and don’t use it for anything but music, maybe then it’s not worth it?
For this list, I am going to include both budget and pro options.
Mac or PC for Music Production?
I would say any opinion would be somewhat subjective. Even when having similar specs, you may think one is faster/more flexible/more efficient than other.
You can see a big studio using only Macs or MacBooks. Then you look around and see a music studio next door only has Windows PCs.
Macs are known to be great at two things: photo/video editing (Photoshop and Abobe Premier) and music (Logic/Pro Tools/Other DAWs). They also make you look rich.
Most recent versions have an SSD (solid state drive) and nice specs.
Some people also don’t like the fact that you can’t customize your Mac, but it’s mostly just the tech geeks. I was never crazy about customization myself.
That’s why a lot of people pick Windows PCs/laptops instead. The problem here is there are too many options. You get 10+ big computer companies building devices for every price point and every task.
It can get overwhelming quickly. However, if you look around and dig deeper, you can find exactly what you were looking for at a fraction of Mac’s price.
It’s not very important when you buy it, but as a couple of years go by, you may want to add more CPU or memory on your drive. Really up to you!
This video should clarify a few things for you!
Anyways, we’ll dive into this deeper in another post. Let’s move on for now.
Which DAW Are You Using On Your PC for Recording Music?
If you’ve been playing with FL Studio for a while, it wouldn’t be a problem either, as it’s compatible with both MacOs and Windows.
It’s only Logic and Garage Band that are only available for Apple Users. If I am not mistaking, other digital audio workstations for beginners work perfectly fine on both. I would still double check because all it takes is a quick 10-second google search.
This video should explains a lot about DAWs for beginners, so take a look!
Alright, next question!
Desktop or a Laptop for Music Production?
Well, this is relatively simple to answer. If you are looking into performing live more, go for a laptop. It will cost more for the same specs, but you are now a lot more flexible and on-the-go.
Desktops tend to have better processing power, RAM, and computer specifications in general. You can buy a bigger monitor or add an extra drive.
For your money, you can get a way better deal if you go for a desktop. Then you are stuck to your desk. If you do more than just music production, such as blogging, might as well get a laptop to do both!
You feel me? It all depends on what you need and what you want to do.
Check out this video by Justin Omoi and see why he prefers desktop computers for music production over laptops!
Everything depends on your final goal here!
What To Consider When Buying Computer For Music Production?
There are tons of specs you should look into when purchasing a perfect fit when building your music studio. It’s a little boring, so I’ve included this at the end of the article to not bore your from the beginning!
CPU (Central Processing Unit)
This is the main chip in any computer, which is carrying out all the given tasks at all times. They are present in all responsive electronics such as your phones, tablets, TV units, Alexas and so on.
Both are great and have their own advantages and drawbacks. I will write about the very differences in a later article. For now, I would say Intel works the best with DAWs.
AMD lovers can call me out on that, and maybe they can point out the advantages of AMD over Intel.
Even though a little more pricey, you get the better deal in a long run. To start, Intel Core I5 is the way to go. You can, in theory, do a lot with I3, but as I found out the hard way, it will save you a couple bucks.
Note that the experience with your DAW is going to be a little more painful. You barely ever see any PCs under a $1000 coming with I7, so if you are on a budget, it’s not the best option.
RAM (Random Access Memory)
It plays a role of a data storage for your computer. But don’t get it mixed up with your hard drive. It stores the code and data that are currently being used. Therefore, it’s very useful if you have a lot of plugins on the track, for example.
Let me explain… When you click play, all the plugins such as EQ, compression, and so on, that you put on the track, are enhancing the sound in real time.
You can monitor your RAM and how much of it is being used and sometimes it climbs way over 50%. The more RAM you have, the better.
Most budget preset PCs (Under $1000) come with 8 and 12 GB of RAM these days. 12 GB is enough, although 16 will come handy when you use bigger and more power and memory demanding plugins, such as Syleth or Nexus.
It is simply used to store all your files and pull them out of the system when requested. There are 2 types — HDD and SSD.
HDD (hard disk drive) — electromechanical data device, which utilizes magnetic storage to put in and pull out digital files for you. It’s known as the most popular and the cheapest out of the two. It takes a lot longer to load all the files, to record files on the disk, and so on. Usually comes in all budget pre-built desktops.
SSD (solid-state drive) — storage that uses circuit assemblies to store data. A lot more efficient, a lot more quiet, but quite more expensive too. You get those on more expensive gaming computers. Not necessary at all, just make the process a bit smoother!
I know, for some tech geeks this may not be sufficient. However, most people out there are not crazy about computer specs. Therefore, I hope it helps you pick a computer with parameters the best suitable for music production!
Conclusion: Best Computer For Music Production
The 5 Desktop computers above would be my personal choices. As you could’ve noticed, they have different operating systems, processors, hard drives, RAMs, sizes, and a whole lot more.
If you have some money to spare and you are serious about music production, I would go for Audio Labs or an iMac. The last three offer a better bang for the buck, so they can be great for the beginners who are just learning the basics.
And as I always say, you can spend all the time you want picking the best equipment, but if you are not putting in work, you won’t get far.
One wise man said that you could read books and watch YouTube tutorials as much as you want, but this doesn’t count as work. Listening to the snippet you’ve made for two hours is not work. You won’t make a hit from your first try, don’t even try.
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Last update on 2019-03-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API