Best PC / Mac

I am convinced by the specs for Cubase, that a minimum of Intel i5 with recommended 8Gb is good enough, but I am planning to have a separate computer for cubase recording alone. Since, I am on a tight budget, I am looking for PC’s in ebay.

  1. Is Lenovo ThinkCentre M720q Intel i5 8th Gen with 16GB.
    BRAND NEW: Lenovo ThinkCentre, Tiny M920q PC Intel i5-9500T 8GB 256GB SSD W10. | eBay

  2. Mac Mini with (a) Intel i5 (b) intel i9 ?

  3. Dell XPS with Intel i7 (8 / 9th gen) ?

Appreciate your responses.

Personally I would go for ‘none of the above’

There are a large number of folks here who would strongly advise you to get a computer that is built to specifically do audio work. Those consumer oriented computers may have components that are fine for general work (email, browsing, spreadsheets, etc) but marginal for real-time audio processing. There are a couple of current threads on computer configuration advice that you should search for.

I just replaced my DAW PC and got it from these folks in the US. There are similar sources worldwide.
https://www.adkproaudio.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4_iJ14vu8wIVAhLnCh3viAA-EAAYASAAEgJTTvD_BwE

I have found HP Workstations are a good option for running a DAW. You can pick them up for good prices on eBay second hand and are very easy to upgrade later if you need to with additional drives, expansion cards and ram etc. I run a beefed up Z220 (32GB ram and 3 SSD drives) but they offer lots of models in the Z ranges - Z400s, Z600s and Z800s etc., so check out those too.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2334524.m570.l1313&_nkw=hp+workstation+z220&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_odkw=hp+workstation+z2*&_osacat=0&_sop=15

I prefer the full sized towers to the small form factor models.

For what it’s worth Avid tests Pro Tools on high spec HP Workstations. My Z220 has been very stable with my Cubase install:

Not willing to make ads for the Apple, but from all what I have read in different muscician and home studio forums the Macs with M1 will do a decent job. Perhaps you can wait for more insights to the new silicon machines but in case of value for money you’d get something.
Maybe in the beginning of next year we will see what AMD is going to answer but on the other hand it is always the same with technology, you can wait eternaly to have the latest and greates. I’d not go for Intel based Macs though and also prefer AMD over intel on the PC side.

Hi @wildschwein are you recommending Xeon processor over Intel consumer processor?

No I would recommend an Intel consumer processor rather than the Xeon for DAW use — mainly because that is what I found was the orthodox thought about it. The i7 I have works well for me. But maybe do your own research on that or get some other opinions.

1 Like

Go for a Mac. Cubase is much more reliable with less issues on a Mac. The M1 computer is superb value for money / power. The new M1 just out looks to be a beast and once cubase is soon to be M1 native, it will be incredible. The new MacBook Pro macs have powered headphone ports making amps unnecessary. Also you have the choice of using Logic Pro for cheap if you ever have issues with cubase

For pure recording a pretty low-spec computer should be fine. If you start mixing or adding plugins etc. that of course changes.