Laptop + FireBox = Suggestions?
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Laptop + FireBox = Suggestions?

    Hi all,

    First time poster here. I've done a few searches around the forums but haven't come across anything that could help me, so figured I'd post it up.

    I want to sell my PC and move my entire setup to a Laptop. The question is..... which laptop?
    I'm currently using a custom desktop PC to run Traktor Pro, coupled with a VCI-100, all running out to a Presonus FireBox. (I really wish I went with USB now....)

    I've noticed that Laptops that come with 6pin Firewire can be a pain to find.
    I've checked out the Presonus website with reference to it's Firewire hardware compatability etc. I'm sure to stay away from NEC, nForce4 and ATi 9000 chipsets etc. Although sometimes it's hard to tell what sort of chipset a Laptop may be running.
    I know that I don't exactly need a certified chipset to get the FireBox running. But i'd still like to find a laptop that isn't going to run into problems left right and center.

    Money isn't a major issue. But I live in Japan so my choices are Sony, Lenovo, Apple, Panasonic, Toshiba, Asus, Acer.
    I'm looking for something which can become mobile if needs be. ie; I don't want a Workstation laptop. Basic requirements would be:
    - Screen size between 13-15inch.
    - Intel Core 2 Duo.
    - Supporting at least 4GB RAM.
    - Firewire 6pin (self-powered)

    If any of you guys out there run your stuff on a laptop (especially if it includes a FireBox) I'd be very interested to hear what you have got. Or what you would suggest.

    I'm a Windows user and have no plans on migrating to OS X.
    However I find a sick sort of humor in buying a MacBook and loading XP/Vista onto it. Their hardware certainly seems solid.
    But if I can find a Laptop that does the same business without the Apple brand price markup... i'd go for that easily.

    Appreciate any suggestions you guys can give me.

    Cheers!
    Nannou

  2. #2
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    Its not the hardware that you need to be solid - 99% of our computer musicians are usually caused because of driver problems.

    Use the internet to research any DPC latency issues that you may have when choosing your computer. By researching this the chance the laptop you buy will be completely useful for making music will be dramaticly reduced. Idealy you want to find a system that solidly sits with around 30 -> 50 units of DPC latnecy.

    Out of those manufacturers i would probably choose toshiba, but it doesntly really matter that much as long as you research each computer on a model to model basis which you should be doing anyway.

  3. #3

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    if you want compatibility, i'd say go mac. i might be biased but seriously apple does the plug'n'play thing RIGHT. i'm not sure i've ever installed a driver..
    soundcloud.com/hpntk / soundcloud.com/freakstep
    freakstep.com / thefreakbeat.com
    me on beatport / me on djtunes
    Quote Originally Posted by JesterNZDJ
    My solution: Pay some one to whack them so you don't have any competition

  4. #4
    Tech Wizard
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    Thanks thus far. I wasn't very clued up on the whole DPC issue. Fascinating!

    Tough thing for me is that most of the laptops I am able to get my hands on are just a little bit different to the Western equivalents (as I said, I live in Japan) or in some cases, they only exist here.
    I really have no way of checking for myself whether any of the models (from any manufacturer) will give the desired performance or not.

    Understand the suggestion to go Mac, it does seem easy. But I really can't convert myself to use OS X as my primary OS. My girlfriend has a MacBook and I tear my hair out everytime she has a problem with it, or asks me to do something on it.
    If I got a Mac I'd be loading XP or Vista onto it. And as BentoSan mentioned, it seems like a lot of it comes down to drivers. XP/Vista drivers on Mac hardware may be even dodgier than a regular laptop.

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor Tigris's Avatar
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    Haven't had many problems when using my mac as a Win-machine. Drivers provided by Apple were top-notch, even when Boot-Camp was just released.
    I did switch over more and more to OS X, until using it more or less exclusively nowadays; but that's just personal preference.
    The build-quality is simply better on the macs. Plus the value the laptop has down the line won't deteriorate as much as normal laptops.
    For Traktor I'd say especially go with OS X, it's much less hassle than Windows. Perhaps you can go to a local reseller or Apple-Store and ask if you can test out the Firebox with a Macbook there, simply to see if it fits your needs.
    I mix stuff on my things...

  6. #6

    Default

    this is the problem i always run into with trying to inform people about macs, they are very hesitant. it's true, OSX is a completely different interface and just basic way of computing that many people who have been using PCs all their life just aren't willing to learn.

    but trust me, it's SO worth it. apple makes quality computers, with quality parts (for the most part). so realiability isn't really an issue. i really do urge people to take the time to learn how to operate a mac. most people i see that do, don't go back to the pc. not trying to hijack this into a mac v. windows thing but i really do think the macbook pro is becoming somewhat of an industry standard among a lot of digital dj's.

    but yeah, it all comes down to personal preference.
    soundcloud.com/hpntk / soundcloud.com/freakstep
    freakstep.com / thefreakbeat.com
    me on beatport / me on djtunes
    Quote Originally Posted by JesterNZDJ
    My solution: Pay some one to whack them so you don't have any competition

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor
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    Just go with mac, it's barely a migration these days and everything will plug in and work. I've run all my gear on bootcamp and it all works fine too. Seems kinda weird running everything in bootcamp, like your anti apple, but you're not because you have gone out and got a mac so therefore you'd probably just look like a knob.

    Save yourself the hassles. but hey, whatever. I won't lose any sleep. My setup has been pretty flawless and I have thrown everything at it...not literally.

    I have used win and mac equally for years and years. Mac is my personal preference too. Go to your apple store and try one out for half an hour with out an sales people round. Girls are stupid, well the ones that aren't on this forum anyway.
    Macbook 2Ghz, 4Gb Ram, Presonus Firebox, X-Session Pro, Behringer BCR2000, Technics RPDJ-1200's.

  8. #8
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    Someone here should try converting me by buying me a Mac book Pro haha

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor Tigris's Avatar
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    Would that be the 15" or is only the 17" sufficient?
    Think of it as a long term investment Bento- my 1st gen. MacBook Pro with a meager 2 GHz Core (sans the "2") Duo is selling for 800 Euros on eBay. I do not understand why, but that's the going rate. Which is 40% of the original price from 2006. It never seizes to amaze me, but prices on Apple-Hardware are not part of the same space-time-continuum that applies to normal computers.

    I second the "It simply works."-opinion; I made the same observation coming from a very well working XP-configuration. My current OS-install has survived 2(TWO) hardware-generations, something Windows simply cannot do without SERIOUS hacking.
    I mix stuff on my things...

  10. #10
    Tech Guru charo's Avatar
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    even if you find a 6-pin firewire on a laptop doesn't mean it will have enough juice to powerup the firebox. in fact, the mac laptops that have 6 pin firewire need to have the firebox plugged into the wall wort during startup because the firebox uses more energy on startup.

    if you don't go with mac, then the firewire chipset on the notebook is going very important in determining if you have problems with the firebox (really any firewire audio interface). I would try to find one that uses the T.I. (texas instruments) chipset or the via chipset.

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