Computer Spec advice

Am running Cubase 8.5 through an ASUS laptop, with 6gb RAM, and 2 hard-drives, one with 370gb (which all my cubase stuff is on) and another drive with 530gb space. The processor is an Intel core i3.

I have downloaded trial versions of Groove Agent 4, Halion 5 and Halion Sonic 2, and to be honest my laptop just cannot deal with it, it just breaks up and often crashes. I have adjusted the buffer size either way (running through a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8), pretty sure my laptop is just not powerful enough - probably lacking in processing power. I intend to buy the VST Absolute Collection 2 so that I have a nice collection of stuff to play with at my power.

Any advice regarding computer spec requirements to run smoothly would be appreciated. I imagine I would be better off running through a desktop, but as a non-computer expert I would appreciate some advice, perhaps you could let me knoew what you guys use. I’m not rolling in money but I’d rather hold back and get what would function well.

Some advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Those Hard Drives are most likely 5400rpm in all honesty, it’ll be fine after you open it up but after you add a few VST’s and things, I really wouldn’t expect much.

… and truth be told I have yet to ever have a Laptop that has an internal AudioCard that I would trust for Music Production… they generally suck so having the Focusrite is a good start and you can use it on either setup you go with.

My DAW I custom built and one of thge things I ALWAYS make a high proprity for my builds is the ability to grow and expand as needed.

Some VST’s use DFD option and others load to RAM. This is pretty important if your limited in the budget but have an Idea of what type of VST’s you are gonna use. That way you can put your $$$ into what you need now but as I said before, leave yourself room to expand.

I will swear by SSD’s and many others will too. I have several 1&2TB Disks in my DAW and My Laptop (I’m a dj and spin 3-4 times a week) Having SSD’s in my machines are like night and day…that said, They are expensive and again this is something you can upgrade later on to… although prices are really good right now and they should drop even more…

ftr, having at least 2 drives is a start as you want to keep certain things off your OS drive.

I definitely wouldn’t get a TOtL Proc …i’d save money here but you won’t (shouldn’t) be OC’ing so get Moar Coars… I’d go i7

If you have an Idea of your budget I’m sure a few guys, including myself, could help you out on getting a rig together…

either way do it once, do it right…have fun!


if you can afford it around $1000-$1200 should get you a quite decent mobo, cpu, ram to keep you current for a few years (eg
i7 cpu
8 gig RAM should be plenty for getting started (RAM size isn’t a real bottleneck most of the time)
mobo like ASUS/Gigabyte are solid choices
If you can afford a 1 GB SSD drive that would be a good choice (samsung) for both project + OS.


OH and just post a system you choose and someone will give you advise for it…

Thank you very much for your replys.i don’t have a huge budget, but don’t want to buy anything I need to replace. Wondered what you guys might think of something like this…

Thanks again.

I find that fairly to moderately sketch… They are asking basically what the CPU they claim is in there is worth alone. As well, with the budget motherboard they put in there you really have no idea how your soundcard will work.

In that case, maybe a i5 6600 (unlocked) would be better, and have a lot of power, and be a lot cheaper too.

here is a cheap CPU

If you want really cheap and don’t mind second hand…Get a P5Q mobo with a q9550 cpu and 8gb ddr 800 or 1066. I run a couple of those without issues at all. Q9550 overclock easily to 3.4-3.6ghz. Complete pc’s with these specs are sometimes available for around €100. Depending on where you live, they might be easy to find and get. At least here in the Netherlands.

I’ve personally built all my desktop DAWs over the years and I’ve always bought the best, newest and fastest components - to make sure I have a good chance of getting it to work smoothly!! And this is the problem really, you can never tell if a system is going to run smoothly with your specific project requirements just by looking at the components. It’s almost the case that you won’t know until you try it out, so I don’t feel I can say whether that Dell will work for you or not! Having said that I have a friend who swears by Dell, always buys from them and he has is very happy with his DAW, fast and stable…

If you want a sure fire way of getting a stable system then you should buy from a manufacturer who makes PCs specifically for DAW use. E.g.Scan UK (you don’t say where you’re based), or

You may pay a little more but then they’ve put in the effort to make sure all the components work together well, they will have tweaked the system for speed too, and also soak tested it for reliability. Another friend I have bought a specific music system although I can’t remember where from, but he’s been very happy with it’s performance, takes everything he can threw at it.


Thanks guys, I appreciate your time for responding. I think I need to fight my impatience and save some extra cash. I have been recommended the HP Z620 workstation, anyone know it?

Thanks again.