Minimal laptop requirements to avoid total frustration

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Minimal laptop requirements to avoid total frustration

Post by redmeg » Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:03 am


I'm hoping to spring for a laptop soon with all the Black Friday sales going on. I currently have Finale 25, Garritan PO5 and World Instruments running on a creaky old desktop that is likely to die sooner than later. A Windows laptop will replace it.

Lacking infinite dollars, what are the minimum specs I should look for to avoid Finale usage to be a complete exercise in frustration? I'm especially wondering RAM, SSD vs HDD (I saw a few sale models that had both that seemed interesting but they sold out quickly) and screen size. From reading the Finale site, it sounds like 16 GB is needed for Garritan, but does that mean I simply won't be able to use it with 8 or 12, or that it will just take longer?


Re: Minimal laptop requirements to avoid total frustration

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Re: Minimal laptop requirements to avoid total frustration

Post by BuonTempi » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:52 am

Finale's requirements are still pretty light (given that it's essentially software designed years ago). MM's System Requirements page state a computer with 4Gb of RAM and Core 2 Duo CPU, which is average for a computer built more than 10 years ago. :lol: ... quirements

GPO5's requirements are also for a computer with 4GB of RAM, though it does say that "There is a direct correlation between the amount of available RAM and the number of sounds that can be loaded." ... uirements/

On My Mac, Finale uses under 500 Mb of RAM, while playing back 16 tracks using Garritan. It does, however, use one entire core of the CPU while doing so (a known bug). So you definitely want to get a 4-core CPU, so that the whole computer doesn't grind to a halt when Finale monopolises the CPU.

I'd recommend 16Gb as a useful minimum for any brand new computer, not because of Finale, but because of the other demands of a modern OS and other applications you may have running at the same time.

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Re: Minimal laptop requirements to avoid total frustration

Post by HaraldS » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:51 am

The real source of frustration with Finale on a laptop for me woud be the small screen size, not any other technical spec. 17'' or the like is not enough to display enough music to work senseful in Finale, as is my experience.

Working speed in Finale depends highly on the ability to copy things; this works best when you have the source and destination measures on the screen simultaneously. A small screen requires more scrolling than a larger one, which slows down the working progress considerably.

Additionally, laptops tend to have a slightly bigger audio latency than desktop computers. I found this also to be true on new laptops, even if the latency is noticable less than in former times. This will only be an issue if you want to enter notes and have Finale play the appropriate VST sounds back immediately when pressing a key. You could avoid that with better external audio hardware, but then you have an additional device.

That's why I would avoid a laptop at all.
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Re: Minimal laptop requirements to avoid total frustration

Post by Djard » Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:17 pm

If you don't click hurriedly and wait for Finale to complete tasks, especially when closing a document or exiting, a laptop with the minimum recommended specs will be just fine. When buying a computer, nothing beats plenty of RAM for performance and reduce problems related to processing power; so if you must choose between HDD size and RAM, choose the latter. You can always add an external USB HDD for more storage (and security) later as well as add a second monitor (in extension mode).

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