Laptop for Cubase Pro 12

There is so much info on putting together a desktop computer, but is there any consensus on laptops that work well with Cubase? My trusty old 2007 Macbook Pro keeps rebooting itself and has become unusable for location recording (which it was surprisingly good at) and I need a new laptop relatively soon. Are there any good online forums for looking into this? So many resources online feel untrustworthy considering how many youtube channels suggest the DELL XPS when I’ve seen countless people complain about DPC latency issues causing clicks in the recordings. I’ve recently discovered that Costco allows the return of computers even after you’ve tried it out, so I might take a chance on something like an Asus ROG Strix Or Acer Nitro. Thanks.

Look for a Fast processor lots of RAM and a good graphics card.
Like they used to say with American cars. “There ain’t no substitute for cubic inches” holds true in a similar vein to computers. :grinning:


The difference between a $50 graphic card and a $500 graphic card will make little or no tangible impact on Cubase performance. And powerful graphics often means also running a noisy machine.
The difference however on using a low-cost SATA drive and a good NVMe drive will bring significant workflow improvements (esp. loading time).
There is no issue with the Dell XPS, only with the way some people configure it.
Asus is also a good pick (Acer is not bad, just not my 1st pick).
Whatever you buy, take time to cleanup the messy Windows installation they made from useless bloatware programs you don’t need.


Yeah, I definitely clean up all computers I work on. But I’d still be hesitant since I’ve heard so many stories about the XPS from people who have tried practically everything and not been able to get rid of clicks in recorded audio. I know from my experience of the first laptop I ever bought, a Toshiba Satellite Pro, which introduced a click every time the fan changed speeds. I might do some research to see if a Dell G15 gaming laptop might be a good choice.

As for the video card, normally I’d choose one of the cheapest for an audio computer, but I also been do some photo editing so might try and find a balanced point of entry.

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When shopping for a music production laptop, I’m browsing the gaming laptops. There is a lot of overlap in what works well, and there are an awful lot more gamers than music producers to rate them. Also, there are many websites that rate gaming laptops.

I look for a multi-core processor with a fast clock speed (and I think the speed of the cores is more important than the number of cores, but more cores is definitely better), an SSD for a C-drive, and lots of RAM. I think the one major difference between what gamers look for and what music producers look for is that the latest state of the art graphics card is not all that important to music producers.

Your 2007 Macbook Pro is very outdated, and if you’re leaning toward Windows, I expect it would not cost you much to run circles around it with almost any laptop available today.

Just as an example, my main computer is a Lenovo Y520 gaming laptop from 2018. I’ve maxxed the memory (32GB) and I’m using external SSD drives for sample libraries. I’m able to do orchestral stuff on this computer.

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If you’re ok with such an old MBP, just pick an MBA M1 or M2 and you’re be happy to the moon
But before buying check that your 3-rd party plugins and other software are M1-compatible. And invest some extra money in 16 or 24 RAM and bigger SSD

i use Lenovo Legion 5 pro with intel 11800H CPU , it works very good for me, but the fans can get loud on heavy projects, and its not the slim type of laptops. but its works with my UR44 sound card and cubase 12 with no problems or issues of hiccups etc…
now days they have the 12 gen intel CPU which its even faster (but i dont have experience with it and how it works for DAW)
i choose the intel version over the AMD ver back then , mostly because the intel model has TB connections

I tried using a Lenovo Legion once. It’s garbage. The fan is too loud and the battery literally lost all charging ability within 24 months. I gave it to my wife to use.

My costco has this one on sale.
ASUS TUF A15 FA506QM-DS71-CA Gaming Laptop, AMD Ryzen 7 5800H

  • 16 GB DDR4
  • AMD Ryzen™ 7 5800H processor
  • 512 GB SSD

There is a 17" model but I am not sure how heavy or bulky that is going to be. My only worry is the 512 hard drive. It is not enough for my samples. So make sure the Asus is up-gradable by having a second NVME post to add a larger drive. Thats the good thing about costco. you can return with no questions asked. Good luck.

According to Steinberg, for Cubase:

Processors with hybrid-architecture design, such as 12th Gen Intel® Core™ or newer, are currently not supported on Windows operating systems. Running Cubase 12 on systems with hybrid-architecture CPUs can lead to audio dropouts and reduced performance.

I’m very reluctant to buy a new laptop right now. Can anyone shed any more light on the subject?

There are work rounds given in this article- setting processor affinity when starting Cubase should do the job. I hope the Windows 11 thread director will gain support for threads that must stay on the highest-performance cores.

This comes up every now and then and there are lots of reports here in the forum that all 12k and 13k CPUs from Intel are performing extremely well.

The support page linked by @David_W even explains what workarounds you can use if you find any issue, but there is no reason to not buy these CPUs. I’m using a 12k CPU and it runs without any glitches or problems. Just make sure you are using Windows 11, because this is the release from Microsoft that makes best use of the Thread Director, that is builtin to the CPU.

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kind off/on topic
are those laptops with 12gen and up CPU still run hot ?
which eventually affect fan noise. are they any better than 11 gen in that regard ?
cuz the major point for the new ARM from apple, is the power but also the almost no fan noise on laptops

Thanks @David_w and @JuergenP , very helpful.

Good question!

I tried 2 windows laptops, and sold both after a year…

so for me, its macbook pro…even the cheapest M2 is a monster, plus M1 are on sale now…

or get a 2nd hand M1 with applecare left or garanty

its faster than my old 5950x and that computer was pretty fast

The Asus Rog Strix G15 (2022 model) I bought has worked out ok. I have my main desktop computer for studio recording, but for location and live recordings it has worked out really well running Cubase Pro 12. Bit of a hiccup in the beginning but it appears that disabling the Nvidia 3060 graphics card in the device manager solves the glitching that was happening. The standard AMD Radeon graphics seems to work flawlessly. I also normally disable the ethernet and wifi drivers as well when tracking. As well as all the usual Windows tweaks people talk about.

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I have an ASUS ProArt Laptop (2019 Model running Cubase 10.5 Pro) that is driving me obsoletely insane with audio dropouts and “clicking” during playback. I’ve tried every setting imaginable, buffer speed etc. that everyone suggests and they make no difference at all. I have basically given up on recording until I get something else and it really sucks!!! What issues were you having because the only thing I haven’t tried is turning off the graphics card? (GeForce RTX 2060) I only ask because I’ll have to reinstall Cubase before I can see if it will help with my issues

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