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Laptop for Traktor/

Discussion in 'General DJ Forum' started by syb, Feb 23, 2006.

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  1. syb

    syb New Member


    Going to buy a new laptop, was just wondering which processor was the best for traktor and other music production programs?

    Am split between centrino 1.7ghz
    or P4 2.8 - 3.06 ghz
    or amd athlon

    Is it not just bout ghz number? does the cache matter?
    Also does graphics card make a difference?

    Thanks in advance!

    : )
  2. AudioRapture

    AudioRapture NI Product Owner

    Re: Laptop for Traktor

    I would go with at least 2.0 GHz, just to be on the "safe side".

    Cache size *does* matter, especially for audio/video applications. That's why Celeron/Duron are generally less desirable outside of web/mail/office apps.

    For Traktor by itself, today's graphics cards don't really matter, IMO. If you want to play recent and future games, that changes. More important for Traktor is the native screen resolution of your desktop area - 1024x768 is the minimum. A lot of current-day wide-screens only offer 800 pixels high, which is not a whole lot for 4 decks and track-search.

    If you want a bit of tech-overload information, I suggest you listen to Phil's Konstrukt podcast from Feb 12:
  3. syb

    syb New Member

    Was looking at this spec think this is ok?

    Product Specification

    Manufacturer & Model Fujitsu Siemens Amilo D

    CPU Type Pentium 4
    CPU Clock Speed 2.8GHz
    CPU L2 Cache 1 MB
    CPU Manufacturer Intel
    Front Side Bus Speed 533 MHz
    Motherboard Chipset SiS 648FX
    CPU Technology Hyper-Threading

    Installed RAM 512 MB
    Maximum RAM 1024 MB
    RAM Slots Free 0
    RAM Slots 2
    RAM Clock Speed PC-2700, 333MHz
    RAM Generation DDR SDRAM
    RAM Form Factor 200-pin SoDIMM

    Hard Drive Capacity 60 GB
    Storage Controller Parallel ATA
    Floppy Drive No

    Optical Drives
    Drive Type DVD-RW
    Drive Location Internal
    Drive Installation Fixed

    Drive Speeds
    CD Read Speed 24
    DVD Read Speed 8

    Graphics Memory Size 128 MB
    Graphics Memory Type Dedicated
    Graphics Chipset ATI Mobility Radeon 9700
    PCI Express 16x Architecture No

    Screen Size 15.4 "
    Screen Form Widescreen
    Screen Resolution 1280 x 800 pixels
    External Display Resolution (maximum) 1600 x 1200 pixels

    Operating System Windows XP Home Edition
    Software Extras Amilo Driver and Utility CD

    Built In Microphone Yes
    Pointing Device Touch Pad
    Keyboard Built-in Keyboard

    TV Tuner No
    Sound Card Output AC '97
    Speaker Setup 2 Speakers

    Wireless Networking 802.11b/g
    Bluetooth No
    Ethernet Controller 10/100 Mbps
    Infrared Yes
    56k V92 Data/Fax Modem Yes

    Connectors - USB Ports 3

    Connectors - Docking / Port Replicator No
    Connectors - USB Type 2.0
    Display - DVI Out No
    Audio - SPDIF Out Yes
    Audio - Line In / Microphone Jack Yes
    Audio - Line In Jack Yes
    Audio - Line Out / Headphone Jack Yes
    Connectors - Parallel Port Yes
    TV - S-Video Out Yes
    Display - VGA Out Yes

    Card Reader
    Card Reader 4 in 1
    Secure Digital (SD) Yes
    Memory Stick Yes
    Memory Stick Pro Yes
    Multimedia Cards (MMC) Yes

    Cards / Expansion
    PCMCIA Slots 1 x Type II

    Battery Life (Approx) 1.5 hours
    Batteries Installable 1
    Battery Cells 8
    Power Consumption 160 W
    Battery Type Lithium Ion

    Approx Weight 3.6 kg
    Width 358 mm
    Depth 269 mm
    Height 36 mm

    Kensington Security Lock Slot Yes

  4. AudioRapture

    AudioRapture NI Product Owner

    It has to work for *you*, not for me. I am going to point out a few things I don't like about this particular laptop, but those are definitely on the side of *opinion* as opposed to *fact*:
    - Battery life
    - Screen resolution
    - XP Home (as opposed to XP Pro)

    Comparing the laptop's specs with Traktor's recommended specs finds it suitable.
  5. Vince_Tf

    Vince_Tf Forum Member

    The 1280x800 display would be a problem for me (especially the 800 vertically), since I have 1400x1050 and the extra vertical resolution is very useful with Traktor. However you need good vision if you get a higher resolution, some people don't like them especially with the new wide displays which are not as tall as the old format.

    60 GB is becoming a small size hard drive for new laptops, and for defragging you should keep 15% empty space. There are a good number of laptops now with 80 - 100 GB hard drives, some with 5400+ rpm.
  6. jeremygray

    jeremygray NI Product Owner

    I'd like to echo the other reples in saying that low res screens are a death knell to Traktor, especially as of V3. Do whatever you can to get your screen up over 1000 pixels vertically, and, if possible, consider a widescreen option as it will can give you a lot more to work with in the details panel and in the browser.

    As for processor, I'm an AMD fan for desktop computers but when it came to building a laptop I went Centrino all the way. The processing power per MHz and per watt is through the roof and makes the P4 look like the horribly ill-conceived design that it is. Centrino also has one of the tightest, most power-friendly, most proven notebook chipset suites on the planet, and you can't go wrong with it in terms of confidence.

    One thing that doesn't get mentioned often enough is that whatever processor you go with, make sure that you can get (via software and/or bios tweaks) FULL control over any smarty-pants speed/power throttling features of the CPU. You want these off, Off, OFF for Traktor use.

    The system specs you posted are pretty weak in the RAM department, both in terms of speed as well as quantity. Try to get that RAM upgraded to a speed that runs synchronous with your processor bus if at all possible. Async memory access adds a lot of wait states, especially brutal as clock speeds go up and your processor is just sitting around doing nothing waiting for memory access.

    As for hard disk drives, when I was shopping last November I immediately eliminated all brands that didn't have 7200 rpm drive options for their laptop lines. From my experience, and from those posted by a few others who have done 7200 rpm upgrades on their laptops post-purchase, the reduced seek time and extra read/write speed are killer for Traktor. I would also expect that going SATA would help a bit further, especially once we start seeing mobile SATA disks with NCQ on the market.

    Another thing that doesn't get mentioned often enough is the PCMCIA chipset manufacturer. Though some interfaces don't have problems with various manufacturers' chipsets, when it comes to laptops you are better safe than sorry: buy laptop with a Texas Instruments PCMCIA chipset.

    And, last but not least, I know a lot of people don't think much about video in a laptop for Traktor. Your laptop might not be (heck, _should_ not be) used for any games that would require 3d graphics horsepower, but there is something about integrated graphics solutions that does matter to Traktor and that everyone forgets: Integrated graphics chipsets use shared system memory. Now, obviously, they don't use that _much_ of system memory, but that isn't the point. The point is that their use of system memory means that every time the graphics subsystem needs to access its memory it has to queue up with (and get in the way of) processor access to memory, DMA hard disk access to memory, etc. I don't know about you, but Traktor on my system updates the screen pretty damn often, and I don't want anything getting in the way of glitch-free performance.

    By the time you nail down all of the above, I think you'll be surprised just how many manufacturers drop out of the picture. If you then want to consider things like next-day on-site support (as I did) then you'll be left with even fewer manufacturers. Just take the time to do the research, be brutal in your eliminations of manufacturers and don't let them creep back onto your list for any reason that isn't 100% related to Traktor. By the time you're done you'll have made a decision you can be absolutely comfortable with.
  7. h00lah00la

    h00lah00la NI Product Owner

    In the specs you post there was nore Firewire interface - that would rule out quite some external audio hardware...

    Cheers, h00la
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