Suggestions for a Dorico laptop...?

It seems that my 27” iMac is going to give up soon, so my thoughts are with a new computer for my music activities. Although I’m a Mac user, I’m also a musician, meaning not much money to spent. What would be a good laptop choice on which it’s still comfortable to work with large scores?

I would recommend a secondhand 2016 15" MacBook Pro. They have 4-core i7 CPUs so can easily run Dorico; and Thunderbolt 3, so they won’t be obsolete for years.
13" is a bit too small, IMO, leaving you with a tiny area surrounded by the panels.

(I bought a 2014 15" MacBook Pro last year, and it handles Dorico effortlessly, so anything newer will rock.) Also, if you sell your iMac on eBay, that will contribute towards the cost.

Do you need a laptop? I’ve just bought the new Mac Mini, which is amazing!!

I don’t know anything about the Mac mini, I will check it out. Thanks!

“A mac user” and “not much money to spend” are mutually incompatible. You probably need to decide which one to give up :wink:

You can buy a £299 laptop from PC World, but it’s not a MacBook Pro, and I wouldn’t want to run Dorico on it. As my grandmother used to say: “Buy cheap; pay twice.”

A decent, comparable laptop from HP or Dell with HiDPI display and all the trimmings is still going to cost over £1,200. You can spec out a Surface Pro to well over £2,000.

Macs tend to retain their secondhand value better than other brands, so you can sell on older hardware to pay for new purchases.

MacBook Air is very light and portable. For desktop use, it is very easy to connect it to a large monitor for editing and layout. Best of both worlds.

Quad-core for Dorico, if you want to work on projects with more than a few players or more than few flows.

I specifically moved away from a dual-core 2013 MacBook Pro for that reason, and (as far as I know) no MacBook Air is quad core.

I buy Windows PCs from a company that does custom builds to whatever spec the customer wants (and it’s not a two-man-and-a dog business, they regularly win awards in national PC magazines). They still work out cheaper than Macs. Oh, and you get a five year hardware guarantee for no extra cost. That’s four years more than you get from Apple.

And you don’t need to sell the second hand stuff to offset the cost of a complete new system - you just upgrade what needs upgrading, and keep using the rest. I can’t remember how old my desktop keyboard is, but it must be at least 20 years!

I use a base model 2017 Macbook Air and it runs dorico perfectly

Sure, but what have you thrown at it? My MacBook Pro’s limit for running responsively is about 10 flows/40 pages of score/4 instruments. Anything above that and it slows right down, particularly if I’ve got flows set to start midway down pages (following on from ends of other flows).

Yes, it’s official now. My iMac died today. I’m looking for another computer now which cannot cost more than 1500 dollars. That’s all the savings I have. Fingers crossed…

Laptop or desktop?

Are you willing to consider Windows, or are you wanting to stick with Mac?

For $1500, you can get quite an excellent Windows desktop.

I totally agree with the people who are saying USED MacBook Pro 15". I have a mid-2013 one running Mojave now, and it works perfectly with Dorico 2.2.10. I paid $1100 a few months ago. Found it online in Seattle and my son who lives in Tacoma went and picked it up for me and shipped it to me for less than $50, for which I reimbursed him.

If you insist on refurbished rather than merely used, you can still find a good one for within your $1500 range. There are several good websites that will sell you a guaranteed one in that range.


I rather stay on Mac, because all my software is OS X. And I probably will have to buy a windows license for Dorico I assume?

What about the new iMac 21,5 inch? It’s in the apple shop for the same price as an Mac Pro 13 inch. Would Dorico run on this? 3,0gh, I5, 8 Gg ram,

I recently bought a second-hand MacBook Pro for my wife to replace her ageing 2009 model. I ended up with a mid-2015 machine with 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM and a quad-core i7 processor. It’s in great nick and it cost me around £1300, which is more than I would have liked to spend, but I expect it to last for a good few years. I found it on eBay. A machine of that kind of spec would have absolutely no trouble with Dorico.

Dorico’s irrelevant to the mac/Windows question - you buy one license and you can run it on Windows or mac as you wish. Look at my footer - I only have one Dorico license!

As to the iMac vs Macbook Pro question, if you’re talking about the iMac 21.5inch Retina, then yes, go for that one!
The biggest bottlenecks I’ve found in Dorico are down to how many processor cores you’ve got: dual-core is NOT sufficient for larger projects. Get quad-core. This is SO much more important than whether it’s 2.8ghz or 3.0ghz or whether it’s i5 or i7, or even perhaps whether it’s 8gb RAM or 16gb RAM.

You want to go for a laptop, or a desktop? The title thread says ‘laptop’, which is a bit confusing.

And are you sure you want to stay with Apple? For half the money you can get a great and super fast PC (laptop with bigger screen, up to 17", and desktops are cheaper still).

If it’s just Dorico, that’ll run fine on either a mac or a PC.

And by the way, I’d stay away from the Surface Pro … while it’s very nifty, the touch screen features don’t really work that well with Dorico and you have a relatively small screen for an expensive piece of hardware. I have one, it’s really nice, but honestly for Sibelius and Dorico I prefer a bigger screen and a traditional PC or laptop with mouse etc.

A Mac user is actually buying very affordable machines, if one thinks about their life expectancy.
I am, without any problems, running Dorico on a MacBook Pro from End of 2008 - so it is over 10 years old. The hardware is excellent, still like as when I bought it. The HD has been replaced by an SSD and there is enough RAM - 8 GB. The processor is only a 2,4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, but does handle everything. I do not do much of audio processing though. I expect to run the machine for another may be 3 years. At the moment on macOS 10.13.6 (with a little help, the High Sierra Patcher…)

A 2008 Mac and a 2018 Mac are somewhat different prospects. Welcome to Dongle-ville, where the entire design philosophy trajectory can basically be summed up as “slim, slimmer, slimmest.” The build quality is not poor, but Apple has certainly failed to serve their professional users over the past 10 years.

That said, I have nothing against Macs, though I don’t use them myself. Just an observation.

I’m running large project most of the line, so quad-core will be a must. I’m not clear on if the 21-inch retina is quad-core. It only says i5.