Desktop Or Laptop For Music Production?

Desktop Or Laptop For Music Production

Considering desktops and laptops have been prevalently used in the music industry for a prolonged time, choosing between them can be challenging. The choice between them is notably harder for people new to music production due to having less or no experience using laptops and desktops to produce music.

Desktops and laptops have advantages and disadvantages that you must consider before deciding the one that suits you and your work best. This post takes a detailed look into these devices, discussing their pros and cons.

So continue reading!

Desktop Or Laptop For Music Production? (Quick Answer)

There is no clear-cut answer to this question since some people prefer desktops for music production while others gravitate more toward laptops. However, desktops are more commonly used in music production than laptops. Desktops provide a better performance, are more cost-efficient, and are easily upgradable. Conversely, laptops are more portable and hence better for traveling producers, DJs, musicians, and live sound engineers.

Desktop Or Laptop For Music Production Compared!

Let’s look at different aspects to see how laptops and desktops compare in terms of music production. This will help you decide what suits you best.

1. Performance

Desktops have better memory, better cooling, and better processors compared to laptops. It is also easier to expand a desktop’s RAM and storage and upgrade the CPU, improving its performance further. These reasons give desktops a significant edge over laptops regarding performance.

While you can easily find a laptop that packs incredible performance today, such a laptop will cost you a lot of money. You will pay more to get the performance offered by desktops in a laptop.

Winner: Desktop

2. Portability

Laptops are more compact, lighter, and portable than desktops, so moving them from one place to another is easier and takes less space. For this reason, they are a better choice compared to desktops if you travel frequently. Furthermore, a laptop is better if you intend to work in different places.

Winner: Laptop

3. Durability

If durability is high on your list of priorities when choosing a computer for music production, then you are better off with a desktop. A desktop is more rugged and depreciates more slowly than laptops because they stay stationary most of the time.

The lifespan of laptops is shorter since they are exposed to wear and tear and dust from being moved around often. Furthermore, since you can easily upgrade a desktop, this prolongs its lifespan.

Winner: Desktop

4. Noise

Recording music while the cooling fans are producing a lot of noise or the computer is generating any other type of noise is problematic, especially when using sensitive microphones. Keeping a desktop quiet is easier compared to a laptop, making it better for music production.

You can employ different strategies to ensure your desktop operates silently during music recording sessions. These include:

  • Using a PC case that’s made to be quiet
  • Installing quieter cooling case fans
  • Putting sound insulation into the case of the PC
  • Replacing HDD storage with SSD storage
  • Using a quiet cooling system

While you can make some of the above alterations to a laptop, achieving that is quite difficult. Also, some, including switching the case and putting in sound insulation, cannot be done on a laptop.

Note: when altering your PC to keep it quiet, consider hiring a professional to do so if you don’t have the skills to execute them.

Laptops tend to be louder because the fans work harder to keep them from overheating when executing resource-intensive tasks. This makes the cooling fans rotate more, thus making them noisy.

Winner: Desktop

5. Upgradeability

Although you can upgrade laptop components like RAM and storage, this is not always the case. Also, if you wish to add an extra hard drive, it will need to be an external hard drive. While this gives you more storage space, it will also create more unwanted noise.  

On the other hand, you can easily upgrade the processor, RAM, storage type and quantity, monitor, and even keyboard of your choice to your desktop.

Winner: Desktop

6. Price

When you compare the price of a laptop and a desktop with similar specifications, the laptop will cost you more. This is because a laptop’s circuitry and machinery must be packed inside one compact box. On the other hand, different components in a desktop can exist separately. These include the keyboard, CPU, mouse, and monitor.  

Consider building your desktop for your professional music studio or home studio. While this will take effort, time, and even some research, it’s an efficient and cost-effective solution.

Winner: Desktop


If possible, have a laptop and desktop for music production. With this option, you get to enjoy the power of the desktop and the portability of a laptop when traveling. If you cannot afford both, consider your needs and pick the device that will satisfy them better. Remember, your choice will mean you either compromise portability or performance. 


Tom is a network engineer and a tech consultant. He spends his time solving networking problems while keeping tabs with the latest in the technology field.

Recent Posts