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Thread: Is my old computer good enough for recording?

  1. #11
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    Absolutely plug ins and such is the deal breaker. That's where computer muscle comes in.

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    It's a bit light on memory, especially if part of that 4GB is covering graphics (i.e., not a discrete/separate graphics card). Since you're using 64-bit Windows, you can add memory, assuming those sticks are available reasonably, and it will get happily gobbled up.

    I would skip the W10 upgrade unless this is your only computer and must be up-to-date with all the security updates and stuff. In which case, you probably definitely want to look at adding some RAM.

    W10 did not treat my equally old notebook kindly, though I was an early adopter so probably got the most bugs - that system is now running Ubuntu. Your options for DAWs and plugins will be more limited with Linux, and that is not a system I'd put a VM or even Wine on and expect decent performance (but that's me, having worked in the PC industry for 20+ years before retiring).

    P.S. I can only speculate, but I'd guess that most folks using older equipment for audio, and are happy with it, are using systems fairly dedicated to just that task, and probably, or typically perhaps, not using the newest versions of software, which is almost always developed on newer hardware, with only a brief concern for compatibility/upgrade use, vs. production use on older platforms.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
    I would skip the W10 upgrade unless this is your only computer and must be up-to-date with all the security updates and stuff. In which case, you probably definitely want to look at adding some RAM.
    Putting on my network security professional hat for a moment here. Definitely, yes. Always plan on keeping all your machines fully up-to-date on security stuff if they're going to be anywhere near a network.

    W10 did not treat my equally old notebook kindly, though I was an early adopter so probably got the most bugs - that system is now running Ubuntu. Your options for DAWs and plugins will be more limited with Linux, and that is not a system I'd put a VM or even Wine on and expect decent performance (but that's me, having worked in the PC industry for 20+ years before retiring).
    I had the exact same experience. Win10 slowed my laptop down to the point it couldn't do what it needed for music. Switching to Ubuntu, it's been working great.

  4. #14
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    Definitely upgrade the ram. It will come in handy when you start adding plugins

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    Quote Originally Posted by VomitHatSteve View Post
    As others have said, unless you're doing a lot of complex FX processing, that will be fine. You'll be able to run dozens and dozens of tracks simultaneously without hiccups if they're all rendered to stem.

    My concern here would be windows 10. W10 can run on those specs, but it will use most of your resources. I would recommend leaving it on win7 and taking the system offline so that it's not affected with security support ends next year.
    I have another computer that I think is even older than 2011, similar specs though with "only" 4 GB DDR2 etc. and it runs Windows 10 perfectly.

    However, what I was about to post is: true. I'm one of the ones still recording with XP (driver availability) and I'm regularly delighted with that aspect of my studio, if you would call it that. That hardware is from roughly 2005, 2006 including the hard drive and it boots (snap fingers) like that. Almost faster than this box I'm typing on now, and it's HDD vs SSD even. The software too, I'm still using old versions of stuff since the new ones bring nothing I need but slow the machine down horribly. I don't even know how they make that happen. On purpose?

    I'll second taking the system offline, unless you want to risk it. I mean, probably nothing bad would happen in itself -- but, also probably, it would auto-download, lag, and reboot to install updates and things of that sort. When you least expect it or it's the most important recording.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VomitHatSteve View Post
    I had the exact same experience. Win10 slowed my laptop down to the point it couldn't do what it needed for music. Switching to Ubuntu, it's been working great.
    I had a notebook that was running one of the newer versions of Windows, everything HORRIBLY slow. It wouldn't have crossed most peoples mind to even try a lot of stuff on that machine. I installed one of the more lightweight variants of Ubuntu on it, and in fact it was capable of playing back at least 720p video, at about 5000 kbps. Easily, actually with no hiccups and if I remember right 720p is above that old things display resolution. I guess you could say Windows 7/8/10 just "is not optimized" for things like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spitzer View Post
    I have another computer that I think is even older than 2011, similar specs though with "only" 4 GB DDR2 etc. and it runs Windows 10 perfectly.
    Quote Originally Posted by spitzer View Post
    I had a notebook that was running one of the newer versions of Windows, everything HORRIBLY slow. It wouldn't have crossed most peoples mind to even try a lot of stuff on that machine. I installed one of the more lightweight variants of Ubuntu on it, and in fact it was capable of playing back at least 720p video, at about 5000 kbps. Easily, actually with no hiccups and if I remember right 720p is above that old things display resolution. I guess you could say Windows 7/8/10 just "is not optimized" for things like that.
    Interesting. I guess it will be a little hit or miss depending on exact hardware (including obscure bus sets), drivers, etc.

    However, what I was about to post is: true. I'm one of the ones still recording with XP (driver availability) and I'm regularly delighted with that aspect of my studio, if you would call it that. That hardware is from roughly 2005, 2006 including the hard drive and it boots (snap fingers) like that. Almost faster than this box I'm typing on now, and it's HDD vs SSD even. The software too, I'm still using old versions of stuff since the new ones bring nothing I need but slow the machine down horribly. I don't even know how they make that happen. On purpose?
    I just upgraded my last XP DAW to 7 this year. I like to add new plugins and cool stuff as I discover them, and I was starting to lose too much compatibility with those. (Tho, I ironically lost my ability to use my only paid plugin, so now I need to shell out another $200 to upgrade that)

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    I agree about not "upgrading" the Dell to W10. I would agree with all the others that another 4G of ram and possibly a spruce up of ages old crap would make that perfectly fine for a few tracks with minimal plugs.

    If you feel you MUST put ten on it at least put ten on an SSD, it much prefers them to spinners. Once sorted the old "C" drive could be formatted and used for storage?

    Dave.

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