[PlanetCCRMA] laptop or desktop?

Link Swanson link@sumerianbabyl.com
Thu Jun 8 10:48:01 2006

On Thu, June 8, 2006 10:44 am, Benjamin Hardy wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> It's been awhile since I've been involved in the list. I graduated from
> a recording school and am out looking for work. I'm running a dual-boot
> system and will likely get Pro Tools le for the sake of standards but
> would rather use linux most of the time. I can't stand windows, and
> software like cubase or reason haven't really kept me in the windows
> partition for very long.
> To get to the topic I'm thinking of getting a new system with a newer
> processer like the dual cores. I'm thinking of getting a laptop with an
> interface like a Presonus Firebox but I'm not sure how well supported

check freebob http://freebob.sourceforge.net/index.php/Main_Page

> these are and if there's any active development. I'd like a laptop
> because they're so portable. My computer is a tank, it's in an older
> Antec server tower case -huge and heavy.

I have been putting quite a bit of thought into this laptop/desktop
decision for a while now. I use an RME MultifaceII with the HDSP PCI card
in my N-Force 4 socket 939 sempron desktop system running FC5/CCRMA. The
Multiface also has a pcmcia cardbus so you could use it with a laptop
without the worry of flaky firewire support or USB latency trouble.

The most exciting prospect for a versatile notebook DAW is the new Macbook
and Macbook Pro models from Apple with the Intel Duo chip. The reason why
this would be exciting is that Windws XP can run natively on the duos
using Apple's Boot Camp partitioning/dual boot software. I'm not sure if
the Linux kernel supports these models yet, but surely it will in a short


The prospect of booting OSX, WinXP, and CCRMA on a single, sleek,
powerful, portable, feature-rich notebook is very attractive. Three major
operating platforms, and the worlds of applications that run on them in a
single portable machine: very useful!

>Another alternative would be
> getting a Shuttle XPC mini atx system. I'm also not sure of support or
> if they're powerful enough for audio, although Music XPC
> http://www.musicxpc.com/products/c4/c4.htm uses them with windows.

My system is crammed inside an Antec Aria cube case. It's small, light,
quiet, cool, innovative, and roughly the same size as an XPC but with the
added option of changeable motherboard. I put it together like this:

mATX Biostar T-Force socket 939 Nforce 410 ($43 refurb from newegg.com)
Sempron 64 3400+ socket 939 ($100 system pull from eBay)
Antec Aria case ($53 eBay used)

Pair it with the Multiface and a small LCD flatpanel and its a very
portable DAW (the LCD sits nicely on top of the case making a very small
overall footprint).

Personally I would research the Macbook models (they start at $1000, CHEAP
for a mac notebook!) because the triple boot OSX/XP/CCRMA sounds like a
revolutionary setup.

> My current system is:
> Athlon XP 2600+
> 1.5 GB RAM
> Abit NF7-S / Nvidia Nforce2 chipset has Sil 3112A sata chipset
> 200GB IDE hard drive
> DVD burner
> builtin Nvidia sound chipset
> Maudio audiophile 192 (unsupported)

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