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RE: Windows laptop recommendation needed

Title: Windows laptop recommendation needed
My main limiting factor has always been the need for a work computer (compiling, doing lexical analysis, processing gigabytes of text) with the need of an "art" computer (better bus, better sound, better GPU, no hum, lots of ports). I also found that the 24 hour on work cycle meant that I never got around to the art. And the computers wore out too quickly, leaving me with the hassles of reinstalling software and arguing with software providers that yes I had worn out another computer in 9 months.
So I found the purposes antithetical, and I eventually got a 2nd-hand Mac to do the art on. This means less free stuff, and living with older hardware and the non-tweakability of the Mac, but overall I am happy. I can't say if it would work for you (bicameral artificial mind)

Re Windows 8, I have had it on and taken it off two laptops, because of various problems with older software not running. But I quite liked how keyboard-y it was. I ran Finale (which makes use of Bidule in the Aria player) very happily on win8 if that helps, ditto Audacity, Frescobaldi and Lilypond, Musescore. Arturia virtual instruments worked really well but seemed every now and then to crash. I never got my iLock to work so anything that used iLock wouldn't run. I still use the Windows machine for all of the musical arrangements I do. But now I am back on Win7 for work and I miss win8 very much.

I hope that helps


I've been using Bidule on a Sony Vaio with 32bit Windows Vista for some years and I'm thinking of getting a new laptop, Windows 7 or 8. I would use it primarily for music, mostly for Bidule, sometimes also for Ableton Live.

The old Vista laptop works fine in principle, with two related problems: 

1. I use many 3rd party VST plugins. They all run ok but something about them (their memory management I guess) is often not stable and especially in large setups, this leads to Bidule crashing or hanging when I close Bidule. Sometimes Bidule hangs so bad I have to unplug USB devices to make the process go away. After this, it often takes several attempts to make all the USB devices work correctly again. Of course, this is not something you want to happen in a live situation. Actually it would be nice if I could make several smaller specialized setups and switch between them for different pieces, but that is not reliable enough, so I ended up basically using one HUGE setup that contains everything I might ever need, so I don't have to switch.

2. Of course the big downside of this approach is that many plugins eat up processor power even when I don't need them. Going close to or beyond 100% processor usage happens often. Of course this is also something you don't need in a live situation.

So, a new machine with more power. I don't want Apple machines for several reasons that don't need to be discussed here, so:

- Windows 7 or 8 ?

- 32bit or 64bit?  I think most of the plugins I use are 32bit. Is there a downside to using a 64bit Windows and 64bit Bidule anyway?

- What are the technical parameters that would make Bidule most happy?

- My old laptop was heavy. Are there ultrabooks that are fast enough?

- Any recommendations?

1000 thanks