Getting a new laptop - is VDL compatable?

I am planning on getting

As is, will VDL run effectively? 

For the groups I work with I have used nothing more than an older version of Finale with the default woodblock & bongo sounds.  Since I am getting a new computer I decided I want to learn how to use VDL, so I just want to make sure I am at least going to have the correct hardware. 
I'm not the most savvy of the differences in Intel chipsets, so I can't say for sure, but I think so. There's a similar discussion about this on the Northern Sounds forum at:
A couple other pieces of note in regard to laptops that you should be aware of.

1) Laptops will typically limit your performance a more than a desktop due to the fact that their hard drives spin at a slower rate (usually 5400 rpm) than the standard desktop (usually 7200 rpm). This is mostly important if you'll be using the DFD (streaming) function of VDL2. More info on DFD is available here:

As an option, you can store your VDL2 library on an external firewire hard drive (or USB 2 will give similar performance since your laptop will already have those ports available) that spins at 7200rpm, and it'll be better than just streaming off the main internal drive. All you'd have to do is move the VDL2 LIBRARY folder to that drive, then reset VDL2's library location in the program itself.

2) Most windows laptops come with lower grade consumer audio support. While this is fine for everyday tasks, it can start to be a limitation when working with pro audio. Support for ASIO audio drivers is strongly recommended (rather than Direct Sound or MME). Since the listed audio support doesn't list ASIO, you could probably use ASIO4all as a workaround ( DirectSound drivers don't do very well with something with higher audio overhead like VDL2, so an audio interface geared more toward pro audio is the best choice. While not absolutely mandatory, something like this would probably work as a nice upgrade using the ASIO 2 drivers:

hope this helps!
FYI... That looks pretty similar to the Dell Inspiron 9300 Laptop I purchased this past summer. It was only about 1600.00 w/ the deal I got and it does run on a 7200 rpm hard drive. The feedback I got on this forum helped greatly. I also use an external SoundBlaster sound card for the ASIO capabilities and everything works great on my laptop.

I'm not sure how you feel about Dell computers but you should be able to get something through them that helps meet the minimum hard drive speed and even upgrade the sound card.
Thanks for the fast replies!  As far as the sound card goes, Best Buy only had this external card as an upgrade

Whether this would help or not I do not know.
The sound card would help, assuming you're going USB with the keyboard.�� However I think the post before said a lot.�� Just because it's a ";media center"; notebook doesn't mean that it'll perform better for audio tasks such as these.�� It does look beefy; but be sure you compare what you're getting.�� The more premium you get for ";stuff";, the more per-year cost a computer has.�� Personally, I'd go get a $1000 notebook, put in $400 more ram, $100 for an external 7200 HD, and then buy a flat LCD for $1000 for my bedroom.

Just for fun, here's an option.�� 7200rpm laptop drive, 2g ram, no TV, no premium sound.  It's also before any codes -- be sure to check out before you buy.


Inspiron 9300
Save $100 Intel� Pentium� M Processor 760 (2 GHz/2MB Cache/533MHz, Genuine Windows� XP Home Edition

Unit Price: $2,406
- $300



Inspiron 9300 Save $100 Intel� Pentium� M Processor 760 (2 GHz/2MB Cache/533MHz edit
Operating System (Office software not included) Genuine Windows� XP Home Edition edit
Operating System Backup & Recovery PC Restore recovery system by Symantec edit
LCD Panel 17 inch Wide Screen XGA+ Display edit
Memory 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz 2 Dimm edit
Hard Drive 80GB 7200rpm Hard Drive edit
External Hard Drive None edit
Combo/DVD+RW Drives 8x CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability edit
Video Card 128MB ATIs�� Mobility Radeon�� X300 edit
Primary Battery 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery (80 WHr) edit
Spare Power Adapter None edit
Wireless Networking Cards Intel� PRO/Wireless 2200 Internal Wireless (802.11 b/g, 54Mbps) edit
Purchase Intent Purchase is not intended for resale. edit
Mail- In Rebate None edit
Dell Printers None edit


Dell Service & Support Plans 1 Yr Ltd Warranty, 1 Yr Mail-In Service, and 1 Yr HW Warranty Support edit

[quote author=Josh link=topic=948.msg3847#msg3847 date=1136772546]
Thanks for the fast replies! As far as the sound card goes, Best Buy only had this external card as an upgrade

Whether this would help or not I do not know.

That is exactly the sound card I use. It works great.
I also was just toying w/ the dell website and a Inspiron 9300 similar w/ 2 GB Ram and an 80 GB 7200 rpm hard drive was about 1800.00. This also included the soundblaster sound card with it.

I'm actually only currently running 1 GB of RAM on my 9300 and it works great as is but it is nice to have the room to expand to 2 GB in the future.
Great advice drumcat and gbass. Thanks for chiming in!
Thanks for the advice guys.  I have -zero- experience with this kind of stuff other than changing the stock instruments with finale.  The demos are really impressive and I hope I can learn to use VDL to that capacity. 
Rumormill says Apple will be anouncing Intel-based laptops tomorrow, and you'll be able to install OS X [i]and[/i] Windows XP on it.  Intel just released dual-core laptop CPUs, so it will be significantly faster than anything out right now... except other companies using the same chip of course.  Dell also just released the Inspiron 9400 which uses the same ";Duo"; cpu. 

When it comes to the hard drive speed debate, a faster 7200 rpm drive used externally actually kills the performance advantage and limits the bandwidth to around the speed of a 5400 rpm drive.  Firewire and USB 2.0 limit drives to around 30 MB/sec even though the drive is capable of 60+.  If you are on PC you can download HD Tach 3 (free) or Quickbench for OS X (cheap) to test your results.  For example, my internal 7200 rpm drive on my laptop is 95 MB/sec but my external firewire 7200 rpm drive is 32 MB/s and even slower if the CPU load is heavy. 
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