When it comes to producing, there’s nothing worse than having technical difficulties hamper your creative flow. Most importantly, your computer shouldn’t hold you back and literally slow you down right when your flow is unstoppable. Music production is a CPU-intensive endeavor, so obtaining the right computer hardware should be treated with the utmost respect.
If your computer’s CPU is weak, using popular VST’s like Serum and having even a few tracks playing simultaneously will start to crop out your audio.
The plethora of bells and whistles that computer manufacturers offer can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there’s really only 3 main components to consider in order to have a smooth-sailing music production adventure:
- Storage Space
Here are our short, sweet, and simple recommendations:
CPU score above 7,000
Your system’s CPU is by far the most important in your capability to run massive DAW projects. Even current mainstream VSTs like Serum can place a heavy load on your CPU.
To see how your CPU fares against other processors, check for your CPU’s performance score on benchmark sites such as CPU Benchmark to determine what score your current or future CPU has. Ideally you should aim for a score above 7,000.
As a caveat, there’s a certain threshold where as you continually increase the CPU score, it will yield lower returns on CPU power/performance, with all other factors being equal. Although it wouldn’t hurt, it may be overkill to shoot for a score above 15,000 when it comes to music production, but definitely shoot for above 7,000 at a minimum.
Go for 16 GB RAM
You basically need enough RAM to allow your DAW to quickly access the music data without having to reach over to your disk drive once you run out of current RAM, which massively slows down your computer.
As a general rule of thumb, 8 GB of RAM is considered the minimum to get by for music production purposes. However, having at least a minimum of 16 GB of RAM is recommended.
Solid State Disk Storage over 500GB
Not having enough space on your drive to hold all of your libraries, sounds, samples, audio files & recordings, and plugins is a big no-no.
When it comes to the type of storage device you have, a Solid State Disks (SSD) is preferred over the traditional hard disk drive (HDD), because SSDs have faster boot times and initial program loading. Shoot for having at least 500 GBs of storage space SSD.
Keep in mind that as you progress in your music production journey, you’ll continually acquire more plugins, sound libraries, project files, and it can be a huge pain to figure out how to get more storage, so the more storage you have, the more you future-proof your machine.
In short, the ideal minimum recommendation when choosing your next music production computer is to shoot for a CPU with a score above 7,000, have at least 16GB of RAM, and have an SSD with over 500 GB of storage space.
In future posts we’ll be looking at this topic a bit more and seeing what manufacturers have out there.
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Until next time,