Gaming laptops are fast, powerful laptops that utilize the latest in hardware and technology to provide users with a seamless gaming experience.
If you’re both a gamer and a music producer that’s looking to upgrade, you might be considering a high-end gaming laptop to kill two birds with one stone. Let’s examine whether gaming computers are suitable for recording music.
Gaming laptops are good for recording music. They typically come with strong processors, large amounts of RAM, faster SSD storage, high-resolution displays with higher refresh rates, and many other convenient tools and features, all of which are useful when recording music.
Let’s explore why gaming machines excel at music recording and production and whether or not you should get a gaming laptop for your music-related needs. Keep reading to learn more.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of Using Gaming Laptops for Music Production
- Cons of Using Gaming Laptops for Music Production
- Should You Get a Gaming Laptop for Recording Music?
- Why a Gaming Laptop Might Not Be for Music Producers
- Final Thoughts on a Music Production Laptop
Benefits of Using Gaming Laptops for Music Production
These are some of the most notable advantages of using gaming machines for recording music:
- Fast processing power. Modern gaming computers feature some of the market’s fastest consumer-grade processors (or CPUs). Processing power and speed is the prime factor in dictating how much time it takes for your laptop to record, process, and produce music.
- Large amounts of Random Access Memory (RAM). A gaming computer typically comes with large amounts of RAM out of the box. How much RAM? You won’t find a proper gaming computer with less than 8GB RAM today, and most have 16 or even 32 GBs RAM, which is more than enough for processing music.
- Solid State Drive (SSD) Internal Storage. Most modern gaming machines use Solid State Drive (SSD) technology to store data and audio files. An SSD is an excellent improvement over HDD storage in any music producer’s quality of life because it reduces the music file’s loading time the user has to sit through.
- Superb displays. Gaming machines have displays with a resolution greater than 1080p (FHD – Full High Definition) and a refresh rate of 124 Hz. This makes for a smoother visual experience.
- Strong Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). One of the definitive elements of a gaming computer is a top-notch GPU. While GPUs don’t significantly impact music recording, they’ll allow you to play graphically demanding games, which are most Triple-A titles these days.
- Industry-leading features. Gaming machines have many other exclusive features that can be helpful, such as backlit keyboards for when you want to work at nighttime.
Cons of Using Gaming Laptops for Music Production
However, gaming machines are not without their disadvantages:
- Expensive. Gaming machines aren’t affordable, especially if you go for the ones with the best music production specifications. You can expect to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 on a solid gaming laptop.
- Noisy. Gaming machines have powerful fans to keep their internal mechanisms cool. When the laptop gets hot, and the fans start spinning at full speed, they can create a noticeable whirring noise. This is more likely to be an issue if you live in a hot environment.
Should You Get a Gaming Laptop for Recording Music?
You should get a gaming laptop for recording music if you plan to use the computer for multiple purposes. If you need a device suitable for gaming and music production, a gaming laptop is likely the best option.
You Want To Game and Record Music
This one is pretty much a no-brainer—if you want a gaming computer that you can use to record music, but you also want to be able to play the latest Triple-A titles on the portable machine, you’ll have to get a gaming laptop.
Unfortunately, regular laptops cannot play most modern games due to their lack of computational and graphical processing speeds.
However, as we’ve detailed above, many of their features are also excellent for music production recording.
You Want an All-Purpose Music Production Laptop
If you have money, getting a gaming computer for music production recording purposes is not a bad idea.
This may seem to be counterintuitive if you don’t know much about music production laptops yet; however, gaming machines aren’t built exclusively for gaming. Because of their hardware capabilities, they are very versatile in their applications.
Think of it this way: Gaming laptops can do everything traditional music production laptops can (and much more).
There are no downsides to getting a gaming machine over a regular music production laptop aside from the amount of money you spend.
If you have disposable income (or simply prefer making a one-off, all-purpose purchase that offers you top-of-the-line performance along with versatility), a gaming machine is for you.
Why a Gaming Laptop Might Not Be for Music Producers
Let’s discuss why it may not be necessary for you to get a gaming rig for music production recording purposes. I’ll also inform you of alternative options that will work just as well.
You Are on a Budget
If you’re on a budget and don’t intend to game but want a music production laptop solely for music production recording, a gaming laptop probably won’t give you the most bang for your buck.
Gaming machines are expensive, and a sizeable portion of that expense is used to cover the cost of the GPU.
High-end GPUs are used mainly for games and graphically intense applications, such as 3D rendering. They won’t contribute to the performance of your music production software or Digital Audio Workstations (DAW).
In this case, the best laptop is a regular laptop that uses either a baseline GPU or integrated graphics and can keep up with gaming machines in other departments.
A famous example of such a music production laptop would be the Apple MacBook Pro. These machines are great for music production but not suited well for gaming and run a different operating system called macOS.
Since these laptops don’t come with a high-end GPU, they are often several hundred dollars cheaper than gaming machines with similar specs.
Your Recording Setup Uses Mac Machines Instead of a Windows Laptop
It’s no secret that Mac machines and Apple MacBook Pros have dominated the music production industry for several decades.
While Windows is starting to establish itself as a viable option, many music production studios still rely heavily on Mac machines.
If you work with a music production studio that uses Mac, getting an Apple MacBook Pro will likely be in your best interests. Of course, this varies on a case-by-case basis, and you should consult with your seniors and colleagues for better insight.
Final Thoughts on a Music Production Laptop
Gaming machines are good for recording music production. They are powerful, all-purpose machines with capable hardware and utility-driven features that can make your life as a music producer much easier.
However, they are costly and don’t offer you the best value for money if you don’t intend to use them for gaming.
Additionally, many music production studios have Mac-operated machines as their convention, so an Apple MacBook Pro may serve you better for compatibility purposes.
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