Topic: Laptop recommendation for use with UFX+

Hello, we have been using our two UFX+ machines in conjunction with Octamics for about 4 years now, very successfully.  Now is time to upgrade one of our laptops and I'm looking for recommendations.  We have had two specific issues with earlier laptops that we would like to avoid:

1. Our earlier laptop (a Toshiba model) only had USB3 (no Thunderbolt).  We had a number of buzzes on the audio when recorded in the DAW - which showed as an error within the USB diagnosis.  The laptop was undoubtedly to blame - probably not a powerful or good enough model (hence asking for recommendations here).  This occurred when using any USB socket and different, and high quality cables.

2. Our second laptop was a powerful Gigabyte AERO 15 model.  While this should have been fine, it wasn't without its problems.  Generally USB3 worked well.  When using Thunderbolt, a strange crackling appeared on the audio ONLY (apparently) when airplane/flight mode was switched on.  We used it successfully in "normal" (non-airplane) mode but you would have expected this it should have been helpful to have disabled WIFI etc.  The socket was Thunderbolt 3, with a Startech adapter to Thunderbolt 2, then a Thunderbolt 2 cable.  A little more about the crackling, it seemed to increase in intensity with programme, so if it was quiet bit of music, there would be very little crackling, but loud audio had a lot of crackling. I know this issue has been mentioned in another post.

I would love to stick with the Gigabyte series as this has been so good otherwise apart from this issue mentioned about. Does anyone know if this strange crackling problem was unique to this particular type of laptop or a wider issue with Thunderbolt and/or implementation of an airplane mode?

Finally is Windows 10 Pro preferred over Windows 10 Home version?

Thank you for any advice!

2 (edited by ramses 2021-06-12 17:21:03)

Re: Laptop recommendation for use with UFX+

Regarding laptops. I would look at Lenovos, IMHO still better quality compared to HP, DELL, ... I like the business models with a real docking station as an option if you need one.

I would prefer Win10 Pro for several reasons, the most important for me: with HOME you are in a different update ring where you get updates very early, which makes you more or less a beta tester. With Professional, you can delay upgrades further and have more control over them through Windows Group Policies, which are more conveniently to use than having to patch the registry.

I prefer a local account on the PC (for privacy reasons I wouldn't use M$ online accounts, its better to have everything under control). With Pro you can still choose a local account. With Home you have to know to cut the network connection to get a local account offered during installation.

I personally wouldn't use Bitlocker encryption, but with Pro you could. Might be good for you if you are traveling to secure your private data.

Win10 Home only has a remote desktop client, it's not possible to connect to it from remote. But something this is a nice feature, at least good to have it as an option (or you need 3rd party software).

Up to 128GB of DRAM is supported by Home, which is more than enough for most users, with Pro it's significantly more. But the features mentioned above would be more of a reason to choose Pro.

BR Ramses - UFX III, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1680v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub13

Re: Laptop recommendation for use with UFX+

Hi Ramses,
Thanks for your reply.  I'll certainly bear in mind what you've said about Windows 10 Pro and laptops.

I would also like to ask if anyone else has had the problem I encountered with the Thunderbolt connection to laptop (the crackling when the Airplane mode was enabled).  This does seem like a very strange problem, and theoretically you don't need to be in this mode - but I wonder if it was due to a specific chipset or a more widespread issue.

Thank you.

Re: Laptop recommendation for use with UFX+

daniel.lock wrote:

Finally is Windows 10 Pro preferred over Windows 10 Home version?

Not totally sure this is still the case, but I believe Pro gives you better control over updates. My W10 Home laptop once ran a downloaded update while it was doing a live multitrack recording, with the concert about to begin. Luckily, I had a working backup running. But the way MS forces updates on users is [redacted].

Daniel Fuchs

Re: Laptop recommendation for use with UFX+

alexadaniels wrote:

@ Spam URL removed: I want to buy a laptop with a Firewire port (or with the option to add Firewire), and wondered if anybody has any recommendations. I'm currently using a Focusrite Saffire Pro 56 interface (hence the need for Firewire), with Cubase 7 (which I'll upgrade to 8.5). I have a budget of up to £1,000 (preferably less!). Many thanks!

I can't recommend this setup.
I had issues with the Focusrite ASIO drivers when I had the LS 56 together with a Focusrite Octopre.
We recorded in the evening and then while recording we noticed that we had a flat line on the recorded tracks.
So, we lost some recordings. I couldn't get the setup to work again with 128 samples buffersize at single speed.
It took a while to recognize that the interface needed at least 256 samples buffersize to work correctly, better more.

If a firewire based setup, then better based on RME components.
If it needs to be something from used market and ports comparable to LS56, then either RME FF800 or the old UFX.
Better to use the current devices like UFX II or UFX III for getting latest converter tech and features.

You will definitively get a much, much better overall quality, better drivers and better digital mixer.
Focusrite Mixcontrol doesn't have the flexibility and features of TotalMix FX.

BR Ramses - UFX III, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1680v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub13


Re: Laptop recommendation for use with UFX+

alexadaniels finally revealed himself as spammer and has been deleted.

Matthias Carstens