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Buying a notebook...which type of video card?

Member for

21 years
Hi, I am going to be making a new notebook purchase. I'm concerned with which type of video card will work well for audio software, such as smaart live (may be the most intensive on video?), nuendo, wavelab etc. I am looking into some lenovo notebooks, many of them have the nvidia quadro nvs card, will the 140 model be good for these applications. I've read these cards are geared towards business and running 2d application. Also, do I really need dedicated graphics or can I take the cheaper route and go with integrated. I will mostly be running audio programs, but may do the occasional photoshop.

thanks for the assistance

I notice most manufacturers are not listing what type of sound card is offered. If I cannot get a sound card that will playback at least 24 bit 48k, can I get an external sound card that will connect via firewire or usb, and then I should be able to tell nuendo, etc., to run off of the external sound card. Would that work? and what type of externals would you suggest?


Member for

15 years 4 months

Boswell Mon, 04/07/2008 - 02:45
Any built-in graphics system on a notebook (laptop) should be fine for audio program use, as long as it has:
(1) a native resolution of at least 1280x1024
(2) its own graphics memory of at least 128MB, NOT sharing the main memory.

Don't even think of using the built-in sound card for serious audio. Always use an external interface, preferably FireWire connected. The type to get will depend on the number of channels you need, physical size limitations and so on. Come back here with more details about what you will be recording and we can advise further.

Another word of advice is not to use the system disk drive for audio files. You will need an external FireWire disk.

Member for

21 years

Member Mon, 04/07/2008 - 11:59
Thanks again for all the help Boswell.

Boswell wrote: Come back here with more details about what you will be recording and we can advise further.

You are actually responding to another topic I had about my firewire connection from a hd24. This is what I will, for now, be using on the new notebook. So all I really need is playback and left/right output jacks.

The notebook I'm looking at is here Drum Track

It is a hp9700t, I am going to choose 2.4 800mhz fsb dual core cpu, 256 mb geforce 8600, 3 gb ram, 3 usb, 1 firewire 1394a, and it has the option for two internal hard drives running at 7200. What do you think?


Member for

17 years 2 months

JoeH Mon, 04/07/2008 - 19:39
Both the Mackie and FF800's certainly DO have analog outputs, and they are software controllable, for Headphones or act as control room/playback monitors. I got the RME 800 based on Jeremy Cucco's raves, and have been thrilled with it ever since. It does just about everything you'd need for monitoring and ins and outs.

As for video cards on laptops, I never give it a second thought. Most have more than enough for doing audio (and some video) apps. Same goes for what was already said: use an external drive for the data storage.

Personally, I like the Sony VAIO line of laptops, there's plenty of IOs with it; several USB ports for mice, External HDs, dongles, etc., and (usually, depending on the model #), at least one FW 4-pin port. There's also an ExpressCard bus slot on my laptop, and it's handy in case the 4-pin port ever gets flakey.

Member for

15 years 6 months

Spase Tue, 04/08/2008 - 09:32
I got a Lenovo T61 not too long ago, with the 140M and have had no problems with my audio. I also got it with the added drive bay (it replaces the optical drive, but its easy to swap out) and have essentially 2 internal 100GB 7200rpm hard drives. 2 drives for recording or editing audio is a very good thing.