Minimum specs for comfortable work

Hello humans,

I have a distinctly ordinary PC (HP Laptop - 16Gb RAM - 10th Gen Core i5 processor).

Dorico generally runs just fine, but when there is a massive file open (I’m writing an opera, so 20+ flows, 20+ instruments, 2 hours total time) it gets a little slow when switching between different layouts, views, starting or stopping playback, saving etc.

I am of course aware that I am asking a lot from the computer given the mass of data to be processed - does anyone have an opinion as to whether 32Gb of RAM would help in this regard? Or if not, what decent minimum specs I should be looking for in a PC?

Please note, yes, PC. No, not Mac. Yes, I know they’re lovely and much better and can tie your shoelaces for you as well. But I don’t want one because reasons.

Thank you!

Memory was an easy one to answer for me by watching the memory gauge. 32GB will support a fair number of instruments using my libraries, but divisi pushed it over the edge. The gauge and stuttering/swapping/streaming made it all too clear that I needed to go to 64GB if I wanted to do that. Or if you have a fondness for adding extra things like Bass Clarinet and such to your score. So far, I have had no issues with 64GB doing anything that I care to do.

You could need less with your instrument/lib setup - either way the gauge doesn’t lie. If it is sitting on < 50% used, then it’s not contributing to your current performance issue. If it is maxing out… Even if it looks okay today, it could still become an issue later: Before I fixed my CPU problem, I wouldn’t have even attempted some of the things that eventually stressed my system’s memory.

(bad news) I don’t think you can solve everything with an off-the-shelf PC or laptop.

(good news) A custom build turned out to be way cheaper for me than buying a common HP type configuration.

A faster CPU would definitely help. There are folks here using crazy fast AMD Threadripper CPUs that are almost certainly overkill, but a good quad- or more-core i9 would make a big difference. Check what kinds of CPUs your motherboard can take. It might be possible to move up without having to replace the entire board and lots more components.