Issues to be concerned with when buying laptops/interfaces?

Sorry for this long post, but I’m doing a lot of reading this weekend about laptops, and am trying to come to grips with dodging the two potential “nice laptop you’ve got there, too bad you can’t use it for recording audio” issues: 1) The “not appropriate for audio because of interrupting services” issue, and
2)laptop/interface concerns. I’m posting to see if I understand correctly that these are the two main issues, and if so, whether it’s reasonable to proceed as below:

"Laptop not appropriate for audio because of interrupting services":
As far as I can tell, there are two options: buy a recommended laptop (like the Lenovo Think Tank T510 http://pc-music.com/content/lifting-lid-audio-laptops-part-2 ; or take a chance on some new laptop with USB-3 and wait for a similar review), make all the tweaks suggested to the laptop http://pc-music.com/content/lifting-lid-audio-laptops-part-1 and to Windows 7 http://pc-music.com/content/audio-tweaks-windows-7-revisited , then you’re PROBABLY good to go, or …

… or buy a laptop from ADK, Rain, Carillon, musicxpc etc., where things are GUARANTEED to work, though of course paying extra for that reassurance.

Is that how most folks here see that? Does anyone know if any USB-3 laptops have been released, and if so, if they’ve been “tested” for suitability with audio?

"Laptop/interface incompatibilities": I think I got the impression that the incompatibilities were due to some laptops having Firewire “chips” (not sure if that is the right term) that were somehow incompatible with the interfaces? Is it then fair to say that the main issues regarding interface-laptop incompatibility can be avoided completely by buying a USB interface (and making sure the laptop has USB inputs for the interface)?



Thanks in advance for any help with this. I’ve done a lot of reading on this, however, my intuitive grasp of these things is such that … I feel much safer asking here than just assuming I’m correct!

as you have read laptop can be a nightmare.
firewire interface you have a very very slim chance of working.
even mine wont work with several interfaces (other than the 9000x which works with everything due to TI firewire)

with several really good USB interfaces now chances are better.

RME (any)
Motu (any hybrid)
M-Audio Ultra 8R
Presonus StudioBox VSL series.

now to the issues with laptops period even with USB.
laptops used to cost $2000k and up, now they are $499 and up.

cheaper crap components to start with.
less care in how the bios is presented (think resource management)
designed for the masses to have long battery life and not expected to be used as a workstation (net applicance)

due to all this most ports are undervolted, windows and bios set to lower power use or shut off components
bad Vendor ID recognition (vendor ID allows for a hey this driver needs full use of resources set to priority 1/2 etc.)

all this causes DPC spikes and audio drop outs.

if you dont want to go the safe route then i suggest you load up DPC latency checker on a USB drive and take it to the store that has laptops you intend to buy.

Thanks for that, Scott!

Based on your list I went window shopping on-line, and found myself drooling over the RME Babyface. I went over to your website to look at this laptop http://www.adkproaudio.com/systems/viewsystem.cfm?recordid=157 and didn’t see the Babyface or any RME products listed as an audio interface choice in the drop down menus. Just to say up front, I’m not quite in the market yet for the laptop, but if so, do you think Babyface would work well with that laptop?

[Edit I see the RME 400, 800, and UFX listed as bundles, but not the Babyface … ]

Thanks much!

LOL funny i see it in there.
under audio interface drop down menu there is massive options for interfaces…

assuming you mean where i mention bundle discounts above the config. i can only list a few
we always discount interfaces and software with or without a system purchase.
and we always install your interface/software even if you didnt purchase it from us… (free up to 3)

the babyface works very well with it yes

Sorry, Scott - when I read your reply and went back and checked … I hadn’t realized the drop down menu was also scrollable, there was the Babyface down near the bottom :blush: (insert your personal avatar icon here!!).

Thanks much -

:mrgreen: we get that alot!