12 Best Desktop Computers for Music Production
The Professional Music Producer
Truth be told, 16GB of RAM, a solid state hard drive, 3.0gHz of processor speed, and several terabytes of storage will be enough for 99% of producers. However, some people will want to go above and beyond. Anything above 16GB of RAM would be overkill for a budding producer.
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We’re seeing more and more ‘mini’ PCs enter the market, boasting enough power to suit many music applications, and we were so impressed with the Geekom Mini IT8 that we’d happily recommend it as a portable, powerful option to consider.
Is RAM Or CPU More Important For Music Production? CPU is far more important in music production than RAM. Not many people realize that you can upgrade RAM later down the line. However, when it comes to CPU, you can’t upgrade or add a new processor down the line.
A quad-core processor is the best choice for music production. The other measure is clock speed, which typically runs from about 2.4 to 4.2 GHz. The faster the better.
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At minimum you should be looking for a processor with at least two cores and clock speed no lower than 2.2 GHz.
256gb should be fine for music production. You -do- need to be mindful of disk space management. You don’t want a lot of “no-longer-accessed-stuff” taking up space (such as completed projects, which can be “archived” to an external drive). Pick up a USB3 external drive to serve as such an archive.
16 to 32 gigs is sufficient for an average project… 128GB is definitely an overkill not only for music production but also for any kind of productivity works. 16GB-32GB is more than enough. The CPU is what matters the most.
Do you need a graphics card (GPU) for music production? Absolutely! Without a graphics card there is no way to connect your monitor with your computer. The graphics card is the part that takes care of generating an image for you to look at.
AMD or Intel? A processor for music production needs to be fast above anything else. Reverb plugins and heavy synthesizer plugins like Serum are very CPU hungry. For that goal AMD is simply the better option, because it knocks Intel out of the park in both price and performance.
For most DAW use 16 GB of ram is enough. If you are trying to setup a composer’s rig using sample based virtual instruments (Kontakt) then having as much ram as possible will keep more instruments loaded ready to go without having to page to hard disk to load.
If your audio interface does not have a native ASIO driver, use FL Studio ASIO. RAM: 8 GB is probably enough. 16 GB is likely more than you need. 32 GB is only needed if you use lots of sample-based instruments, each running Multi-GB orchestral libraries & ROMpler style plugins.
8GB or 16GB RAM for Music Production – Conclusion
A PC with 8GB of RAM is sufficient for performing most music production tasks. If possible, choose a machine that you can upgrade.
It takes a lot of storage space to store many samples. Data transmission rates of 80-160 MB/s on a 7200 RPM HDD will not serve you. Modern SSDs offer theoretical maximum speeds of 3,500 MB/s, so you’ll be much pleased with those. There’s no reason to limit your creative ability because you’re using a hard drive.