Need a good laptop for VDL 2.5

I am looking for a good laptop for Sibelius 5 and VDL2.5. This laptop would be used only for composition and occassional emailing of music to students and staff.

I know that the MacBook Pro is one that Gabe has told me about...but I would really like to stay in PC land for a while longer...mac is scary to me...

My wife found this online: [url]http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Specifications-of-Gateway-15-4-Widescreen-Notebook-PC-MT6841/sem/rpsm/oid/185619/rpem/ccd/productDetailSpecification.do#tabs[/url]

I would update the hard drive to a 7200rpm (external if I have to)so that the DFD would work more effeciently.

Also as a general question how important is Bus speed in a computer? And lastly is it truly worth the 2k for a Macbook Pro? I am just afraid I will not even be able to set up the program in Mac...I know I had a hard time with VDL1 back in the day...

Thanks guys.
[quote author=drumcat link=topic=1970.msg9947#msg9947 date=1189227665]
Well, rumor is that 7 may ditch the registry...  we'll see.
[/quote]

At the cost of legacy compatibility it'd make me a happy panda.
Well, rumor is that 7 may ditch the registry...  we'll see.
[quote author=Josh Champagne link=topic=1970.msg9940#msg9940 date=1189185596]
Yeah, if I could run Sibelius and Cubase natively I'd be using Linux. ;) It's a shame, but I don't think Vista will be getting much better in the resource department. It's Microsoft's nature to produce bloatware and Vista is just it's latest. It's one of those things we have to live with, and wait until average hardware specs advance enough that it's not as noticable.
[/quote]

I fondly remember the weekend in graduate school that Microsoft flew me out for an interview, and I got to tell them how much I like OSX and traipse around Seattle on their check. :P

I think in the near future (decade?) Windows is going to really show its age compared to GNU/OSX offerings since so many of the core approaches of the OS are needlessly convoluted.  The best thing they could ever do is scratch their kernel and revision the way they do things (rather than build a resource-hogging eye candy layer on top), but that would just be such a moneysink trying to pull off the development--not to mention all of the years and years of work on security hole patching.  I just think in 2015 people aren't gonna want to still add/remove programs when they can just drag an application icon to the trash.  Registry/dll hell has to stop at some point.
[quote]This might be the best reason to stick with XP for now.
[/quote]

Yeah, if I could run Sibelius and Cubase natively I'd be using Linux. ;) It's a shame, but I don't think Vista will be getting much better in the resource department. It's Microsoft's nature to produce bloatware and Vista is just it's latest. It's one of those things we have to live with, and wait until average hardware specs advance enough that it's not as noticable.

Oh and those keymaps are awesome, saved me from having to make some myself! :P
[quote author=Ironman7 link=topic=1970.msg9923#msg9923 date=1189122439]
(the cat that made the Sib.5 VDL2.5 templates)[/quote]

Mike

Are you referring to the Keymaps? Yes, I made those.

[quote author=Josh Champagne link=topic=1970.msg9935#msg9935 date=1189168280]
... and it's a resource hog. [/quote]

This might be the best reason to stick with XP for now.

Anyway, glad to be of service

Late
Hugh
And for balance, I have Vista Ultimate 64.  It sits unused on a different partition in lieu of XP Pro.  Maybe when that Service Pack comes out it will be worth going back to, but I found it was not worth the headache at all.
I'm a Vista user and it's alright. There are some compatibility issues, still missing some driver support for audio hardware (especially for 64bit Vista) and it's a resource hog. That said I'm still pretty happy with it. I like the UI and functionality changes, and overall it will be a very solid OS in the near future. A service pack beta has surfaced and it's already fixing many of the complaints, networking, and performance issues, I believe MS is striving to have it out early/mid next year.

There will be some blood shed if you're on the cutting edge, but it also will save you some money from having to upgrade down the road. XP is of course the safe and stable way to go, with proven driver support, so really it's up to you. I like playing with new toys and ";tweaking"; things so it's not an issue for me, but some prefer to have things always work.
Of course I'm a little biased since I only work on Macs outside of work, but Vista is a few service packs away from being a decent OS.  There's plenty of problems with it and I know a lot of our IT completely rolled back from it back to XP as a result.

If you have to live in the PC world XP is a very good, stable OS.  The eye-candy of Vista is ok, but at its core it still has some work to do (not to mention there are plenty of outstanding software compatibility problems with it as well).
I have looked around a bit and found a few seemingly good/decent deals. I have renewed hope when I found out that Hugh(the cat that made the Sib.5 VDL2.5 templates) is using a Acer Travelmate 4202  -  Intel Core Duo 1.66GHz 100GB Hard Drive  -  2GB DDR2 Ram  -  Windows XP Pro  and is running Sibelius 5 , Garritan CMB and VDL:2.5 on this very system.

The one thing I am trying to figure out is if I want to go with XP(home or Pro??) or jump to Vista...

So many things to consider here...But after talking to Hugh I have renewed faith that I can find something reasonably priced that will suit my needs well.

'Mike

www.silverfoxpercussion.com
[quote author=Jedi link=topic=1970.msg9908#msg9908 date=1189016776]
I have to[i] really[/i] disagree about the musicxpc laptop.�� It has the stock, crap, built-in motherboard soundcard found in most PCs.�� It has a ridiculous price of $1969 but uses the same entry level parts found in a $499 Dell.�� It would still need a RAM upgrade too.�� They just threw some music marketing hype on it and said they ";tweaked"; it.�� Their online store doesn't even work.

The MacBook Pro is great, but the regular MacBook is also a great choice because it's almost half the price but still comparable in specs.�� ��It has a weak graphics card so there won't be any 3D gaming, but otherwise has almost the same specs as the Pro model.�� You can also get a refurbished Pro from Apple.com for about $500 off.�� I have had several refurbished Macs and they are like new- no scratches, same warranty, etc.��

If you still want a PC, you can't go wrong with Dell.�� Most power for the price.�� If you google ";Dell Coupons"; you can get amazing deals.�� Whether you buy Mac or PC, you'll want a sound card upgrade.�� Not a creative labs gamer card, but something for music recording.�� I recommend the M-Audio Audiophile USB and 2 GB of RAM.�� The Gateway you linked to would be fine, but see if you can get a better price at gateway's site.�� [i]Also, an external 7,200rpm drive is limited by USB 2.0/Firewire speeds which kills the performance of the drive so that it is slower than an internal 5,400.[/i]

Basically all laptops out right now use the Core 2 Duo cpu and a similar motherboard chipset.�� Aside from the pastic case and the OS, there's not a big difference between a Mac, Dell, HP, or anything else.�� Just hunt for the best spec/price combo online, because retail stores will always charge hundreds more.��
[/quote]
FWIW, I never had problems with the musicxpc. I had one before I went to Mac a few years ago.  I never pushed the musicxpc beyond basic music writing with Gigastudio.  I have always used a pro audio card and have never trusted the stock PC soundcard.  Mike, trust the guys making suggestions, they are all really experienced. 

Gabe
[quote author=Ironman7 link=topic=1970.msg9912#msg9912 date=1189035074]
I was thinking that gateway with an upgrade in hard drive ( an internal 7200 SATA drive I found online...its only 100GB but that should be fine. If I need more storage I can use an external for saving files ect...) the  M-Audio Audiophile USB soundcard(perhaps a firewire model if they make one). Not sure yet...may take the Mac plunge. I was looking at the Mac Books and they seem like a very nice option...only thing I don't like is that you can only upgrade to 2GB of ram. Would I need a new soundcard with a Mac Book? It seems a Mac Book with 2GB of Ram and an upgrade to a 7200 RPM HD would put me somewhere in the low to mid $1300 area...Still can't figure out whats best and most cost effective right now.

I find some of this to be very confusing..some systems have insane bux speeds but slightly slower 1.8ghz processors whereas others have 2.0Ghz processors but bus speeds of like 667 or 800...I am lost here...haha

It seems I know just enough about what I want/need to be dangerous.
[/quote]

Take everything I said and still apply it; mac or otherwise.  The real decision should be if you have other software that's windows or mac only...  having to buy another copy just for mac is silly, unless you plan on running on bootcamp all the time...
Bus speed is pretty irrelevant today.  What you want is the Core 2 Duo, not Core Duo, Turion, Celeron, or previous Pentium Ms. 

I don't understand why Apple limits the MacBook to 2 GB of RAM.  All laptops have 2 memory slots and a Core 2 Duo system should accept the 2 GB sticks.  I think it's to distinguish the Pro model, but who knows. 
I was thinking that gateway with an upgrade in hard drive ( an internal 7200 SATA drive I found online...its only 100GB but that should be fine. If I need more storage I can use an external for saving files ect...) the  M-Audio Audiophile USB soundcard(perhaps a firewire model if they make one). Not sure yet...may take the Mac plunge. I was looking at the Mac Books and they seem like a very nice option...only thing I don't like is that you can only upgrade to 2GB of ram. Would I need a new soundcard with a Mac Book? It seems a Mac Book with 2GB of Ram and an upgrade to a 7200 RPM HD would put me somewhere in the low to mid $1300 area...Still can't figure out whats best and most cost effective right now.

I find some of this to be very confusing..some systems have insane bux speeds but slightly slower 1.8ghz processors whereas others have 2.0Ghz processors but bus speeds of like 667 or 800...I am lost here...haha

It seems I know just enough about what I want/need to be dangerous.
I have to agree.  Get a good spec laptop, and consider something like the WD 1TB RAID drives, having an internal 7200rpm, and don't try to find a laptop with a good soundcard that comes with - they effectively don't exist.  Plan on buying it separately.

What I found in searching out hardware from these ";Music"; machines is that essentially they need a premium to survive.  If it's a box, you should build your own.  Even with the mistakes and extra heatsinks I bought, I came out well over $1000 ahead.  For laptops, there's no real anti-fan; every laptop has to use a small fan because of the size involved.  Then what, you have your pre-installed software?  That's not very valuable.

Just be prepared to get a powered USB hub, an external drive - $319 @ costco for a TB RAID, and a soundcard, roughly a minimum of $100.  Then save the $ on getting the best machine, and put it all together.

Also, if you're getting a Dell, don't forget to check for coupon codes -- techbargains.com/coupons.cfm
I have to[i] really[/i] disagree about the musicxpc laptop.  It has the stock, crap, built-in motherboard soundcard found in most PCs.  It has a ridiculous price of $1969 but uses the same entry level parts found in a $499 Dell.  It would still need a RAM upgrade too.  They just threw some music marketing hype on it and said they ";tweaked"; it.  Their online store doesn't even work.

The MacBook Pro is great, but the regular MacBook is also a great choice because it's almost half the price but still comparable in specs.  It has a weak graphics card so there won't be any 3D gaming, but otherwise has almost the same specs as the Pro model.  You can also get a refurbished Pro from Apple.com for about $500 off.  I have had several refurbished Macs and they are like new- no scratches, same warranty, etc. 

If you still want a PC, you can't go wrong with Dell.  Most power for the price.  If you google ";Dell Coupons"; you can get amazing deals.  Whether you buy Mac or PC, you'll want a sound card upgrade.  Not a creative labs gamer card, but something for music recording.  I recommend the M-Audio Audiophile USB and 2 GB of RAM.  The Gateway you linked to would be fine, but see if you can get a better price at gateway's site.  [i]Also, an external 7,200rpm drive is limited by USB 2.0/Firewire speeds which kills the performance of the drive so that it is slower than an internal 5,400.[/i]

Basically all laptops out right now use the Core 2 Duo cpu and a similar motherboard chipset.  Aside from the pastic case and the OS, there's not a big difference between a Mac, Dell, HP, or anything else.  Just hunt for the best spec/price combo online, because retail stores will always charge hundreds more. 
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