Welcome to the ultimate guide for finding the best laptop for FL Studio 21. As a music producer myself, I understand the importance of having a powerful and reliable laptop that can handle the demands of music production software. In this guide, I will share my insights from reviewing an extensive spreadsheet of recent laptop releases, comparing specs, and analyzing both professional and user-generated reviews to help you find the perfect laptop for your FL Studio 21 needs.
FL Studio is a robust digital audio workstation (DAW) that offers a wide range of features and plugins for music production, mixing, and mastering. Consequently, the ideal laptop for this software should provide enough processing power, memory, and storage for smooth and efficient workflow. Additionally, an excellent display and a comfortable keyboard are crucial for extended sessions in the studio or on-the-go.
Throughout my research, I've taken into consideration the unique requirements of FL Studio users. These include the need for a fast CPU to handle real-time audio processing, ample RAM for loading large sample libraries, and a dedicated GPU for seamless use of visual plugins and video editing. Furthermore, I've also considered the laptop's build quality, battery life, and port selection to ensure that you'll be able to connect all your essential peripherals. With these factors in mind, let's dive into finding the best laptop for FL Studio 21 that meets your specific needs and budget.
There have been some major developments in the laptop processor market that are relevant for FL Studio. Apple has released its own ARM-based M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M2 system-on-chip modules, which offer exceptional single-core performance and battery life. On the other hand, AMD has managed to take 20% of the CPU market, releasing their 6th generation Ryzen processors. Meanwhile, Intel is still on their 13th generation, with the 12th generation being the latest. Both Intel's and Apple's silicon chips have adopted a hybrid performance/efficiency core design (big.LITTLE) for longer battery life. If you're looking for a laptop mainly for music production with good battery life, Ryzen models are a good option.
FL Studio can be used on Windows, macOS, and Linux, but I'll focus on Windows laptops here. FL Studio is a multi-track audio sequencer, which means we need a CPU with good single-core performance. However, it's not all about the CPU – a fast GPU is also important for real-time audio effects processing. The best benchmark to compare CPUs for FL Studio is Cinebench R23, one of the most popular (and accurate) benchmarks for audio workstations. But, if you're looking for an all-around laptop for music production, it's best to look for a CPU with good single-core performance and solid multi-core performance (at least 8500+).
So, is a high-end processor necessary for FL Studio? That all depends on your budget. If you're looking for the best performance without breaking the bank, here are some recommended processors and their expected price range.
|Recommended Processor||Price Range|
It is no surprise that NVIDIA continues to dominate the laptop GPU market. Its most recent release of laptop graphics cards is in the RTX 30 series, such as the RTX 3070 Ti. Unfortunately, the new RTX 40 series of GPUs are not yet available on laptops and won't be until 2023. The desktop GPUs have also become a lot more power-hungry in recent years, which has widened the gap between laptop and desktop graphics cards. Additionally, NVIDIA has discontinued its Max-Q label for its RTX graphics cards, which means that laptop manufacturers (OEMs) have to decide on the exact wattage for their laptops. This can result in a wide range in graphics performance even in laptops with the same GPU chipset.
Although FL Studio is a digital audio workstation that can be used on a wide range of laptops, you don't need a dedicated GPU for audio production. But if you're looking to do some video editing and 3D modeling, then you might want to consider investing in a dedicated GPU.
When looking for a gaming laptop, it's always best to go for one with an Nvidia GPU, preferably an RTX-series GPU, since these will offer the best battery life compared to AMD laptops. However, sometimes you might have to sacrifice some performance for better battery life. I usually use 3DMark and Cinebench R23 to compare different graphics card performances. If you're looking for an affordable laptop with good graphics performance, look for one with an Advanced (or Advanced P-series) Nvidia chip instead of the regular U-series chips found in most budget gaming laptops.
To help you make a decision, here's a table of recommended graphics cards and their average laptop prices:
|Graphics Card||Recommended For||Average Laptop Price|
|Iris Xe Graphics G7||Minimum||Under $400|
|Quadro T500||Recommended||Under $800|
|GeForce MX550||High-end||Over $1000|
FL Studio is an incredibly popular and powerful music production suite that can be used for a variety of applications, from recording to mixing and mastering. However, it's also a memory-hungry application, which means you need to make sure your laptop has enough RAM to handle your projects.
Generally speaking, most mid-range laptops come with 16 GB of RAM and high-end laptops come with 32 GB or more. Latest-gen Intel and AMD CPUs support DDR4 and DDR5 memory, though DDR5 is still quite expensive and needs time to mature as a technology.
So, how much RAM do you need to get the best performance out of FL Studio? While 8 GB is the absolute minimum, 16 GB is recommended for most users. If you're looking for a laptop that can last you through years of FL Studio use, make sure it has DDR5 memory and at least 32 GB of RAM. If you're working on a project that requires a lot of instruments or effects, consider getting a laptop with 64 GB or even 128 GB of RAM. However, these laptops are not cheap and are not worth it unless you're working on high-end projects with a lot of tracks or using high-quality plugins.
In terms of latency and ECC memory, both are worth considering if you're looking for the best performance. However, both are more expensive than standard RAM and are not really necessary for most users.
Overall, here's what you can expect depending on your budget:
|Budget||Minimum RAM||Recommended RAM||High-end RAM|
|Low||8 GB||16 GB||32 GB|
|Mid||16 GB||32 GB||64 GB|
|High||32 GB||64 GB||128 GB|
FL Studio Laptop FAQ
Q: Which laptop is best for FL Studio 21?
When it comes to choosing the best laptop for FL Studio 21, it depends on your specific needs and budget. However, some top contenders in the market right now are the HP Victus priced at $890, the Dell G15 starting at $1,230, the ASUS ROG Strix G15 at around $1,860, and the high-end Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16 priced at $3,390.
What are the recommended laptop specs for FL Studio 21?
To ensure optimal performance and a smooth experience with FL Studio 21, we recommend the following specs:
- Memory: 16 GB for medium usage, and 32 GB for more demanding projects
- Graphics: For basic usage, the integrated Iris Xe Graphics G7 will suffice. For more complex projects, we recommend the Quadro T500 for professional work or the GeForce MX550 for gaming and general use
- Processor: i5-10310U for medium usage, and i7-1180G7 for advanced users and professionals
Can FL Studio 21 run on a budget laptop?
FL Studio 21 can run on a budget laptop, but it may not provide the best performance, especially for more demanding projects. If you're on a tight budget, we recommend looking for a laptop with at least 8 GB of memory and an i3-1115G4 processor. Keep in mind that you may experience limitations and slower processing speeds compared to higher-end laptops.
What processor do I need for FL Studio 21?
The processor is an essential component for running FL Studio 21 smoothly. For medium usage, the i5-10310U processor will provide adequate performance. However, if you're a power user or a professional looking for the best performance, we recommend the i7-1180G7 processor.
How much RAM is required for FL Studio 21?
The amount of RAM required for FL Studio 21 depends on the complexity of your projects. For medium usage, we recommend 16 GB of RAM to ensure smooth performance. If you're working with large projects or using many resource-intensive plugins, it's best to have 32 GB of RAM to avoid any bottlenecks.
Is a dedicated graphics card necessary for FL Studio 21?
While a dedicated graphics card is not necessary for basic usage of FL Studio 21, it can significantly enhance performance, especially for tasks like visualizations and handling multiple monitors. The Iris Xe Graphics G7 integrated graphics will work fine for most users, but if you're working on professional projects or plan to game on your laptop, consider a dedicated graphics card like the Quadro T500 or the GeForce MX550.
What are the storage requirements for FL Studio 21?
The storage requirements for FL Studio 21 depend on the size and number of projects you plan to work on. It's recommended to have at least 512 GB of storage, preferably in an SSD format for faster load times and smoother performance. However, if you anticipate working with a large number of projects, consider getting a laptop with 1 TB or more of storage space.
Can I use FL Studio 21 on a MacBook?
Yes, FL Studio 21 is compatible with macOS, and you can use it on a MacBook. However, it's important to note that not all MacBook models meet the recommended specifications for optimal performance. Make sure your MacBook meets or exceeds the recommended requirements, including memory, graphics, and processor specifications, to ensure a smooth experience.
What are the minimum system requirements for FL Studio 21?
The minimum system requirements for FL Studio 21 are as follows:
- Memory: 8 GB
- Graphics: Iris Xe Graphics G7
- Processor: i3-1115G4
Keep in mind that these are the minimum requirements, and while FL Studio 21 may run on a laptop with these specifications, you may experience limitations and slower performance, especially with more complex projects.
What laptops are compatible with FL Studio 21?
FL Studio 21 is compatible with a wide range of laptops, both Windows and macOS. To ensure compatibility, make sure your laptop meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements. Additionally, refer to the recommended laptop specs mentioned earlier for optimal performance. Some popular laptop options compatible with FL Studio 21 include the HP Victus, Dell G15, ASUS ROG Strix G15, and Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16.
4 Best Laptops for FL STUDIO 21
1.HP VictusHP Victus: Great for gaming, but display ghosting and lack of VRR are drawbacks.
- Delivers smooth gameplay at 1080p.
- Fast SSD.
- User-replaceable memory and storage.
- Good port selection.
- No VRR to reduce screen tearing.
- Some performance loss on CPU under load.
The HP Victus 15 is a powerful laptop for gaming, thanks to its Intel 12th Gen. CPUs and NVIDIA discrete graphics. It offers smooth gameplay at 1080p and has a fast SSD, user-replaceable memory, and good port selection. However, its 144Hz display suffers from slow response time and noticeable ghosting, and it lacks variable refresh rate (VRR) to reduce screen tearing. Additionally, there may be some performance loss on the CPU under heavy load.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 9i
- Relatively bright touchscreen
- Attractive chassis design
- Shallow and weak keyboard
- Slippery and awkward clickpad
2.ASUS TUF F15 FX507VU-ES53ASUS TUF F15 FX507VU-ES53: Budget Gaming Powerhouse with Minor Flaws.
- Superb 1080p gaming performance
- Strong productivity capabilities
- Great price
- Poor webcam, touchpad, and speakers quality
- Some games appear washed out on display
The Asus TUF Gaming F15 is a budget-friendly laptop that offers impressive gaming performance and strong productivity capabilities. However, it falls short in terms of webcam, touchpad, and speakers quality, and some games may not display colors accurately.
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 16
- Stylish, sleek form factor
- Gorgeous display
- Webcam quality is poor
- No biometric features
3.Lenovo Legion Pro 5Lenovo Legion Pro 5: A good-value mid-tier laptop with solid performance, but with some caveats.
- Good build quality and design
- Good screen and IO
- Competent CPU with multiple GPU options
- Competitively priced
- No Thunderbolt or biometrics
- Some hotspots while gaming
- Poor speakers
- So-so battery life
The Lenovo Legion Pro 5 is a well-built and competitively priced mid-tier laptop with a good screen and inputs. It offers solid performance, but potential buyers should be aware of the hotspots under sustained loads, limited battery life, and lacking speakers.
Lenovo Legion Pro 5
- Strong performance for the price
- Quality build and port selection
- Display quality and battery life are just decent
- Bulky and heavy
4.HP Omen 17HP Omen 17: A high-end gaming laptop with powerful performance, but falls short in some areas.
- QHD display with a high refresh rate
- Expandable working memory
- Thunderbolt 4 with Power Delivery
- Individual key illumination
- Slightly below-average performance for a RTX 4080
- High noise level
- Clattery case
- Meager battery life
The HP Omen 17 is a high-end gaming laptop that delivers strong performance for video processing, rendering, and QHD gaming. It features a QHD display with a high refresh rate, expandable working memory, and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. However, it falls short with slightly below-average performance for its GPU, high noise levels, a clattery case, and a meager battery life.
- QHD display with 165 Hz
- Expandable working memory
- Slightly below-average performance for a RTX 4080
- High noise level
Table of the Best Laptops for FL STUDIO 21
|ASUS TUF F15 FX507VU-ES53||$1,100|
|Lenovo Legion Pro 5||$2,630|
|HP Omen 17||$4,290|