I'm about to buy a new laptop - thoughts?

Hi folks,

i’m actually thinking about buying a new laptop as GP-music machine.
I do have a capable PC in a suitcase, but it’s quite heavy and most probably it needs a certain amount of electrical power (haven’t tested it yet) - there’s a small open air gig coming up in June where we won’t have a 230V net available (there will be a small generator though).
So that’s why i first considered to get a Mini-PC/NUC, but then i also had to get a display, and then it also would need 230V power.
That brought me to the idea of getting a new laptop. The one i have is some years old now and the battery is weak, so a new one would be no shame. :slight_smile:

I looked around and found this model:

HP VICTUS 16-s0177ng
16.1" FHD IPS 144Hz, Ryzen 7-7840HS, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, RTX 4070

(German site)

I think this doesn’t look too bad…
8/16 cores/threads at a base frequency of 3.8GHz (up to 5.1GHz)
32GB of RAM
1TB SSD and another M2-slot available (if the HP homepage tells the truth)
16" display and quite a few USB ports

What do you think about it?
Will that do? Are there any caveats?

Thanks for your opinions. :beers:


Hm… ok, the PC the’ve tested was equipped with an Intel CPU, but an equivalent laptop with the Ryzen 7-7840HS wasn’t actually sooo much better:


Leaves the question: Can this be optimized with the right settings, or not?
And how bad would this effect be fwhen using GP?

'Ne Millionen-Dollar-Frage!

I think it can, but no one can be 100% sure unless they actually try.

When running on battery, the maximum performance of a laptop might be a lot less, even when tweaking power profiles. Tomorrow night, I can check this with my own laptop.

You could use an UPS, but one suitable for prolonged use will have quite some weight, so then, as the Dutch saying goes, you’d be throwing the baby away along with the bathing water.

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That’s a valid argument!
I’m really looking forward to hear what you’ve experienced tomorrow.
All in all i’m actually not making excessive use of CPU hungry plugins… but who knows?!

Sorry to be rude.
If you need battery power you need to go Mac. I had to do the same. I didn’t like this situation.
But now I can tell you: it is expensive but it works perfectly. Always.
I can play 3 hours with audio board, two midi controllers, only battery power.
And at the end of the concert I have energy for another one…

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I’ll admit to a bias up front. It’s been a LONG time since HP bought Compaq, but I have a history with Compaq that I won’t bore you with, except to say that I’d NEVER buy a Compaq computer. HP may have corrected the culture issues that plagued Compaq. Or not.

As a buying factor today, I’d rate that as low risk.

But I think there is a higher risk that I would want to think carefully about, and that’s the CPU. I’d be worried about possible compatibility issues with plugins and apps running on the Ryzen processor.

With laptops, build quality is something I get really focused on. Back when I had to work for a living, I hauled my work laptop around the world, up to twice per month. Millions of miles. Thousands of miles away from home. I couldn’t afford a hardware failure. Motorola was buying Dell laptops for the engineers who needed Windows, and there were a LOT of problems. I convinced them to let me buy an IBM ThinkPad. I never had a problem with it. Or the next one I bought. Or the one I’m running on now. Excellent hardware and keyboard. Limited bloatware.

Me, personally? When it came time to replace my 120V desktop when moving to France, I went to the ThinkPad website and picked the highest-end pre-built model that was on sale. Lenovo has maintained the high quality levels I liked about the IBM builds. My first gen P17 is over 3 years old now, and I’ve had precisely ZERO problems with it. Mine has 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, and I USE them, one for the gen 2 TB3 Workstation Dock port extender and one for a 2 TB Samsung X5 SSD that I use for my samples drive.

My 2 pfennigs worth.


Can anyone tell something about the laptops from XMG?
They advertise them as “Audio laptops” with low DPC latency…
With a complete configuration (32GB, 2nd SSD, bigger battery) it’s not sooo much more expensive:

XMG CORE 15 (M24)

DISPLAY:  1 x 15.3" IPS | 2560×1600 px (16:10) | 240 Hz | 100 % sRGB
GRAFIKKARTE:  1 x NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop | 8 GB GDDR6
PROZESSOR:  1 x AMD Ryzen 8845HS
ARBEITSSPEICHER:  2 x 16 GB (32 GB) DDR5-4800 Samsung
SSD (M.2):  1 x 1 TB M.2 Corsair MP600 PRO NH | PCIe 4.0 x4
SSD (M.2):  1 x 1 TB M.2 Corsair MP600 PRO NH | PCIe 4.0 x4
WLAN-MODUL:  1 x Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 | Bluetooth 5.2
AKKU:  1 x 99.8 Wh battery
TASTATUR:  1 x RGB keyboard | German
GARANTIE:  1 x 24 months standard warranty | pickup & return
STROMKABEL - Für enthaltenes Netzteil:  1 x Power cable with C13 plug for C14 socket | EU


I think that’d be not too bad, if it keeps its promises.

FWIW, I have been happy with my Lenovo Thinkpad P16s (Gen 2). I bought two near duplicates about a year apart from each other. That last one uses this chip: Gen 13 i7-13850HX (in both cases, integrated graphics), 64GB ram (the most recent is upgradeable to 192 GB ram).


XMG, Schenker, these are Clevo China rebrands.

Since 3 years I have a CLEVO PB51DDS-G
Intel Core i7-10875H
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
15,6 Zoll Full HD 1920x1080 IPS 144Hz
32GB (1x 32GB) DDR4 3200MHz Samsung
2x 1TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus SSD M.2
Alu / plastics body

Runs great so far. My main production machine since I switched to Gig Performer.
I have had a RAM issue after 6 months, causing memory hungry actions like loading my gig file into GP to crash, this was solved in days by a warranty replacement even by Clevo Germany.

From start, I’m running it with a compatible custom BIOS from XMG, so it starts with a XMG logo …
XMG BIOS has a lot more options controlling performance, hyperthreading etc., for audio performance tweaking. XMG support even helped me with questions although I bought from Clevo directly.

These are gaming laptops trimmed for performance so the fans are quite noisy. They have a tool for adjusting fan control that helps.

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I’ve been a Windows only guy for 20+ years and had many different Win Laptops and Mini PCs for live use.
And it always have been trade offs between power, size and fan noise.
About two years back I finally moved to a MacBook Air M2, 24GB RAM, 512GB SSD + 2TB external M2 SSD via Highspeed Thunder Bolt Case.

Since then I never looked back.It was the best decision for me. Lots of Power , even on battery , and totally silent.
I also run some Windows only Plugins via Crossover and audiogridder.

My laptop goes full pull when in performance mode, but beamer in the church where I play makes more noise and no-one seems to bother, so I don’t worry too much about it.

Specs look good, at least on paper. The rtx 4060 might be overkill, if you’re not going to use the system for gaming. Downside of the graphics card is that it takes (relatively) a lot of power, even when it’s not being used, so that will probably limit the time it runs on battery.

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After poor experiences with 2 HP laptops…I will never use one onstage again. My curremt one is relegated to rehearsals only.

Crappy BIOS. Didnt play nice with any of my audio interfaces.


Welp, it sure looks like my concern was well-placed. A Compaq by any other name is still a Compaq.

When I tested the Compaq Lunchbox “portable” back in the late '80s for possible use in field programming and troubleshooting of the RTUs (Remote Telemetry Units) I designed for use in oil & gas applications, I had a lot of BIOS issues when trying to port my RS-232 SCADA protocol driver to it. Never got it to work reliably. Returned it.

@schamass …Eric - IMHO, if you’re set on Windows (as am I) and are set on a laptop, just go for an ASUS. I have experimented and lost way too much money with other manufactures (HP included) based on specs and prices in the process. If the BIOS isn’t up to snuff, then the specs are meaningless.

My ASUS i7 laptop (10th gen) with 64GB of RAM handles anything I throw at it without blinking an eye. In many cases I am running 10 or more VSTs at the same time, including the IK Bx-3, Arturia stuff, Omnisphere, etc. No worries. And it behaves with any audio interface I throw at it (so far: Tascam, M-Audio, and SSL).

I have since moved to an ASUS desktop PC in a flight case for live shows, because I’m completely mental…but the laptop is always there as my backup and I am completely confident in it.


I’ve done some testing.


  • Windows 11
  • Focusrite 4i4 gen 3. 48Khz/128 samples
  • Cpu I7-10750H (6/12 cores/threads)
  • Test performed using three Guitar Rig v6 plugins with a preset-from-hell cpu-wise :-). These drive the cpu usage somewhere between 60-100%. This setup is not something I would use in production.

Battery versus mains:

  1. It makes a difference. On battery the audio glitches regularly. On mains it sometimes does.
  2. It does not really reflect in the cpu usage. I guess it has more to do with dpc processing.
  3. Choosing a larger buffer size helps, but is not probably not preferable
  4. Tweaking the power profile helps a little, but not convincing

Wrap up: running on battery decreases performance (and I would refrain from that)

Edit: please read the next post. (After watching Lois and Superman) I went on testing, cause reviewing one’s own findings might lead to a more nuanced conclusion.

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Some other checks:

  1. On battery it appears that there were also glitches just passing through the audio (no plugins in the rackspace whatsoever). So these were to originate from a different source. I replaced the focusrite with a behringer umc1820 (with its own power supply). Then the glitches disappeared
  2. Reinstated the plugins. Now the original setup works better.

Conclusion: Running on battery has side effects, but I not sure whether the cpu is the problem. It is (at least at my laptop) possible to tweak the power profile to the point that battery or mains makes less difference. Except for usb devices that are powered by the usb port

I think it needs more testing (sorry about being rather vague)

My final conclusion (for what it’s worth): battery versus mains make a big difference. Whatever I tweak: performance always drops when on battery. Of course this is how my laptop handles things.

I am a Surface Pro 8 user as some members may know. There are possibly other SP users here, but they are probably few and far between. Perhaps the main reason for their scarcity is the price, but in my opinion, you get what you pay for.

I have used most of the Surface line including SP 2, SP, 3, SP 4, SP 6, and currently, SP 8. At one stage when my current machine was still quite new, I decided to buy a back up laptop. My local friendly appliance store manager let me take home a succession of laptops (all high spec’d) over a weekend to try to try out. I went through 3 or 4 machines and for various reasons, none of them suited me. I eventually bought a second SP 8 to use for backup. I have since sold this to my daughter, as having just one machine has proven sufficient.

My amateur opinion for choosing the same machine time after time, would be small footprint (I can mount it on a mic stand using a Hercules clamp), reliability, performance and quality of construction. I also believe that because MS make the hardware and the software (like Apple), and choose the components that will integrate the best, then the overall product is great for use with Gig Performer. Remember, it’s just an amateur’s opinion.

The SP 10 was recently released which doubles the performance of the SP 9, which doubled the performance of the SP 8, my current machine. Microsoft have released a business version that my friendly appliance store manager says he can get for me even though it is not available generally to consumers. The business SP 10 has a 1 Tb SSD and 64gig of ram. As a poor pensioner, I am budgeting strongly to buy one of these before this year is out. It may even be my last upgrade, but we will see what happens.

These are my thoughts about Surface Pro machines since 2014 when I first bought Gig Performer. I would not buy any other machine.


I would probably go laptop over NUC mainly because of portability.

Main things I would consider is

  1. Single Core performance. (important for playing stacks of VSTis live)
  2. SSD space (especially if using big sample libraries)
  3. Build quality. (Important for live Use as you will put the PC under more wear and tear than casual home use)
  4. Battery Life (upgradability).

I bought a MSI laptop several years ago. It checked the first two criteria boxes but the latter two left a bit to be desired. The monitor went bad. The battery then became useless.

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