Top 3 PCs for Music Production
Do you still use your laptop for producing music? Don’t get us wrong, using a computer for music production is fantastic. Some people only need a basic laptop that costs less than $500 to get started making beats and creating simple music because they are portable, convenient, and don’t take up much space. But many of us don’t need to carry our setup around because we have dedicated studio locations.
Some may even be discouraged from building their own PC and studio because they may not have the technicalities or the knowledge. However, building your own music-producing computer is not as hard as you think. Some of us want our PC to serve as our studio’s brain and a creative hub. We require something powerful, not anything small. Desktop PCs do better in this area because they are more powerful and can be upgraded more easily than laptops of the same price.
Making a production PC at your home studio allows you to fully control the specifications you want and work on your creativity—taking it even further. In light of this, we have highlighted some of the top PCs for making music.
What makes a great music production PC?
Many things need to be considered if you want a PC that makes great music. Even low-cost computers have a respectable amount of power as technology has advanced. That means it isn’t hard to find equipment with the necessary specifications to handle recording, mixing, mastering, and production. The three key factors for music production are storage, memory, and processing.
With these three features, multitasking is more effective since processors have numerous cores. You can run more plugins and virtual instruments during instances if you have more memory or RAM. Additionally, you should ensure enough space for your DAW, plugins, instrument libraries, and session files. A fast solid-state drive is ideal for storage because it offers the best read and writes rates.
The following is a basic list of everything that you will need to build your own personal computer for music production:
- Quad-core / 2.4Ghz clock speed processor minimum
- RAM of no less than 8 gigabytes (but 16GB will be more efficient)
- Minimum 500GB of storage (SSD preferred), although 1TB will be more cost-effective over time.
- A motherboard with sufficient USB ports and compatibility with your other devices
- 64-Bit-capable operating system
- Cooling (either a fan or liquid system)
- Integrated power supply for each component.
- A compartment covering all components.
Music-production PCs 2022: Top 3 home studio Macs and desktops
- Dell XPS 8940
Dell has garnered great credibility because of its XPS performance laptop portfolio, which competes with the Macbook Pro. However, this is not the item you want to display in your YouTube videos, nor does it appear pricey. The Dell XPS 8940 is a secure bet if you are searching for a desktop PC that can devour graphics, plugins, and other tasks.
- Apple iMac M1
If you use an iPhone or iPad, the Apple series is ideal because it allows you to work simultaneously on all three devices. The iMac G3 generation of well-known Apple all-in-one computers from the past popularized the concept that computers did not have to be black or beige. It has returned to this approach with the new Apple iMac M1 lineup, but considerable internal changes have been made. This results from Apple’s new M1 architecture, which is positive and (perhaps) negative for music production.
Apple iMac M1 is available in various colors and finishes and is one of the best options if you want a flamboyant and sleek configuration. This may be your greatest option if you like to showcase your studio on YouTube.
- Skytech Legacy 2070
There are better places to search for music-producing PCs than the gaming industry, but we couldn’t ignore the Skytech Legacy 2070. Even though it was promoted as a gaming computer, this PC is suitable for music production. As previously said, the gaming sector is one of the best places to seek serious computing power. Moreover, there is a substantial market for pre-built computers, even though many individuals in that context prefer to construct their own systems. The Skytech Legacy 2070 is a perfect example, as its features may easily satisfy most audio/music requirements.
The all-in-one water cooling solution that employs liquid and fans to cool the CPU appealed to us. This greatly reduces the computer’s low-level hum, making it ideal for recording settings. So, if you’re looking for a 2-in-1 PC that allows you to play games while developing sick betas, this is it.
What CPU do I want in a music production PC?
The computer’s central processing unit is its brain (CPU). This component executes the function and causes events to occur. The processor is the heart of a computer and shouldn’t be taken for granted, whether you’re running several VST extensions, exporting sounds, or recording data.
The AMD Ryzen 5 or the Intel i5 family are the CPUs with the lowest recommended specifications for music production. Possibly, a CPU with a slower clock speed could theoretically run DAW applications and related processes, but everything would take longer. This involves implementing advanced plug-in effects or instruments, producing or exporting completed mixes, and freezing tracks.
Is cooling important with a music production PC?
Concerning CPUs, cooling is also essential. Since desktop computers are often larger than laptops, they offer superior cooling solutions. Processors give off a lot of heat, after all. You may have to choose between fans and water-cooling solutions. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but water cooling has the upper hand. In environments where perceived loudness is crucial, such as recording booths, water cooling is preferred over fans due to its reduced noise output; fans tend to emit static between sounds.
How much RAM do I need?
RAM is a highly important component of a music PC.
The computer saves and creates data about sample files, bounces, and other important information you frequently use when making music. Fortunately, most desktop computers can have their RAM upgraded. Before you buy the PC, it’s a good idea to find out if you can upgrade or change it in the future. RAM expansion is often not incredibly expensive. However, starting with less than 8GB of installed RAM is not recommended.
What type of storage do I need?
The second key component is storage.
Our recommendation is to employ a hybrid approach for audio work. Standard hard disk drives (HDDs) offer vast storage capabilities but are sluggish. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are usually more expensive, but they can access data much faster, which makes them perfect for sample libraries. Combining the two is frequently the most effective approach.
This combination is rarely possible on laptops; thus, desktop PCs continue to be a very attractive option for music creation, regardless of whether you choose a pre-built or custom-built system. If you know which specs to look for, you can purchase a computer that will last many years.
How do we test PCs for music production?
PCs need to have a specific level of performance for music production. Theoretically, you can determine how well a machine will perform based on its specifications or a list, but in practice, you won’t know how well a PC will handle your musical activities until you put it through its tests.
As part of our review of the best PCs for music production, we run a series of tests, including standard benchmarks, to see how fast and well a large DAW session can be recorded, mixed, tuned, and navigated. We also look at how users can connect to large sample libraries stored on external storage. The general responsiveness of a PC is based on how long it takes to boot up and how well it works with new hardware like an audio interface.
If a machine cannot pass these tests easily, it will be excluded from the list. To determine how long the PC might last, we determine if it can be upgraded with new parts and if the process is easy. Then, and only then, do we consider a PC suitable for our list.
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Even if you are not buying one from your list, you can build one by looking at the basic list of things you’ll need. Why wait when you can get a home studio production PC that you can customize to your needs and use to develop your creativity? Get building today!