How much RAM does Pro Tools need? What laptop is better?
Regardless if you’re still new to the music production industry or a seasoned professional who has worked on high-tier projects, this article is perfect for anyone in search of the best Pro Tools laptop.
Pro Tools was developed by Avid Technology and is widely considered the go-to DAW software for music creators around the world. One of its biggest upsides is that it can be used for small beginner projects equally as efficiently as large-scale music production undertakings.
The biggest hurdle that users face when trying to get the maximum out of Pro Tools is the inability of their devices to provide enough resources for the software to run efficiently.
While you can install Pro Tools on a cheap laptop to get some mileage out of it, if you want to avoid constantly suffering from lags, freezes, and performance drops, consider getting one of the laptops for audio editing reviewed below.
CPU: 9th gen Core i7 | GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB | Display: 16-inch | Weight: 8.23pound
⊕ Redesigned and improved keyboard
⊕ Convenient, large touchpad
⊕ Top-notch sound quality
⊖ Lacks touchscreen controls
⊖ High price, given the configuration
If you’re looking for a Mac for ProTools, you can’t go wrong with MacBook Pro. It has a 16” Retina screen, a max resolution of 3072x1920, and a dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU that provides a total 4GB of VRAM.
This model comes with a ton of connectivity options, as it includes 4 USB Type-C inputs and Thunderbolt 3 support. MacBook Pro also offers a Touch Bar that is compatible with Pro Tools and a heavy-duty battery that can last over 10 hours on a single charge.
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H | GPU: GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 1000GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 8.28 pounds
⊕ Satisfying 6-core performance
⊕ Stylish look and 144Hz screen
⊖ Can’t go higher than 1080p resolution or Core i9 CPU
⊖ SSD is separated into multiple smaller partitions.
There are several reasons why this model might be considered the best Pro Tools laptop, mainly its 9th-gen i7 processor and NVidia graphics card that allow you to enjoy terrific performance even when tackling large-scale projects. The battery life of 8 hours is also impressive and allows you to do music production on the go.
CPU: Intel Core i5-9300H | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB | Display: 15.6 -inch | Weight: 7.28 pounds
⊕ Great build
⊕ Minimalistic, clean design
⊕ Reasonably compact and lightweight
⊕ Good keyboard and trackpad quality
⊖ Dim, dull display
⊖ Low travel keyboard
⊖ Can heat up quite a bit when running demanding software
The Aspire 7 is a solid laptop for recording music that offers a slim body, trendy design, a 15.6” display, and an i5 CPU that can handle most music production software. This Acer product is also supplied with a GTX 1650 GPU, which ensures all graphics are properly rendered and run smoothly.
The IPS screen offers solid viewing angles, high contrast, and color accuracy, but the max brightness setting isn’t high enough given the price of this model.
CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 8.8 pounds
⊕ SSD, RAM, and WLAN can be replaced with better components
⊕ Enthusiast-grade graphics card
⊕ RGB Chroma backlight
⊕ Great performance that makes it suitable even for gaming
⊖ Synapse demands an internet connection
⊖ Doesn’t have a fingerprint reader, SD-card slot, or RJ-45
⊖ Tends to heat up
The Blade 15 makes a solid case for being the best Pro Tools laptop due to the inclusion of the NVidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU and 10-gen Intel Core i7 CPU that allow you to enjoy terrific performance regardless of what you’re doing. The 15.6-inch screen has a 144Hz refresh rate and offers 1080p resolution, providing all the detail you need when working in Pro Tools.
This laptop comes at a premium price, but that is to be expected given the quality of its build and graphics card. Keep in mind though that this option isn’t perfect, as the produced heat can become a problem if you’re not careful.
CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H 10th Gen| GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB| Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 4.65 pounds
⊕ Thin chassis
⊕ 144Hz screen
⊕ Terrific DAW and gaming performance
⊕ Battery lasts a long time
⊖ Thick top and bottom bezels
⊖ Uninspired touchpad design
The m15 doesn’t suffer from any weaknesses that should stop you from getting it as your new laptop for music production. It offers a durable battery and a thin body.
Additionally, it provides a 144Hz display refresh rate along with reimagined voltage regulation, Cryo-Tech cooling, and a 10-gen Intel i7 CPU, all of which allow this product to handle most DAW software without any issues.
The m15 comes in a robust magnesium alloy, copper, and steel body while still being surprisingly lightweight. Other interesting features of this option include the fabulous AlienFX lighting and state-of-the-art technology that lowers blue light emission.
CPU: Intel i7-10750H | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 5.29 pounds
⊕ Unparalleled performance in its price range
⊕ Robust design
⊕ 144Hz screen
⊖ 512GB of storage isn’t a lot for music production
⊖ Subpar battery
The Predator Helios is the best Pro Tools laptop in its class. It provides a robust build and magnificent performance. The bulk of the processing is done by the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card that can handle even the most demanding software.
The only drawbacks that need to be mentioned are the subpar storage space and disappointing battery life, but those are weaknesses that you can easily make peace with given how cheap this laptop is.
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 4.39 pound
⊕ Reliable, slim, and lightweight chassis
⊕ Convenient keyboard
⊕ Individual key backlight
⊕ 1TB SSD
⊖ Disappointing performance given how expensive it is
⊖ Doesn’t take advantage of having a 144Hz screen
This is a solid ProTools laptop that offers a slim, lightweight build and a 15.6-inch screen. The display has a 144Hz refresh rate, 3ms of response time, and 100% sRGB coverage, allowing you to enjoy software, movies, and games with terrific, rich colors. The Zephyrus is also equipped with a durable battery and an efficient cooling system, which can be used in different modes.
MacBook ProOur Choice
|CHECK PRICE →|
MSI P65 CreatorCompact
|CHECK PRICE →|
|CHECK PRICE →|
Pro Tools is one of those utilities that demand a lot of hardware power, meaning a laptop has to offer high-end specs to meet the recommended requirements, which usually isn’t the case with such software.
When it comes to storage, it’s highly advised to consider laptops for Pro Tools that are equipped with an SSD rather than an HDD. The primary reason why the former is better than the latter is speed, but another important aspect is fragmentation.
When an HDD becomes nearly full, the data becomes spread across the entire drive, which requires more time to access and process it. Meanwhile, an SSD doesn’t fragment the files since they aren’t stored in a specific physical spot. The faster your laptop can access data, the more efficiently you can spend your time working in Pro Tools.
Another upside of SSDs is how silent they are. Even the most expensive HDDs produce some noise, while SSDs don’t have any moving components that can emit sound.
Connectivity is among the first aspects you have to pay attention to when making your DAW laptop choice. It’s recommended to go with a model that has USB and FireWire/Thunderbolt ports that can be used for connecting sound equipment like an audio interface.
HDMI and VGA are also valuable input options, as they allow you to use a second display to increase your productivity. Other standard ports such as eSATA, Ethernet, or SD-card slots are welcomed additions but aren’t a necessity. Whatever you do, try to avoid small laptops with brand-specific inputs whenever possible.