Top 13 Best Computers For Music Production (2024)

In professional music production, a powerful and reliable computer is essential to help you create, edit, and mix your projects. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the 13 best computers for music production in this article. Below are my top 5 choices.

best overall
Apple Mac studio M2 Ultra

Mac Studio M2 Ultra

The Mac Studio M2 Ultra is the ultimate desktop powerhouse. It’s actually decent value for what you get for the price; it includes the fastest and most powerful CPU available today, combined with the fastest RAM and fastest internal SSD in the market. It will dominate!

best budget
Apple Macbook Air M2 15

MacBook Air M2 15

If you’re on a budget but still want performance, you can’t go wrong with the Macbook Air M2 15. It’s completely silent, more powerful than any other laptop in its class, and comes with enough RAM and storage that can comfortably run your production projects on it.

best PC
PC Audio Labs MC X PRO

PC Audio Labs MC X PRO

If you work on Windows PC and want the best desktop custom-built for audio work, then you want to go with PC Audio Labs. Their computers set the industry standard for what professional musicians need. This rig is quiet yet packs incredible performance.

best High End Laptop
Apple MacBook Pro M2 Max

MacBook Pro M2 Max

If you want the top machine for a mobile setup then the Macbook Pro M2 Max is your best bet. This laptop packs incredible punch with its M2 Max processor, yet it’s whisper quiet due to Apple’s genius design on the chip and the machine itself. This is the producer’s dream.

best Budget PC
Dell XPS

Dell XPS

The Dell XPS desktop is a good basic PC package and you can build on it to get a solid music computer together. It won’t be customized and configured like the PC Audio Labs rig, but you’ll have a solid PC as a starting point. Dell computers are well made and easy to customize.

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Best Computers for Music Production

In this article, we’ll cover the best computers for music production available today that will give you all the power needed to take your productions to another level. 

As technology evolves, many options are available for your specific needs and preferences. From sleek laptops to powerful desktops, the best computer for music production will combine performance, portability, and ease of use to enhance your creative process.


  • Essential Components: A powerful computer is vital for music production, balancing performance, portability, and ease of use.
  • Component Focus: Consider CPU, RAM (16GB minimum), SSD storage (500GB+), and a compatible operating system.
  • Software Compatibility: Choose a DAW that suits your workflow and explore popular options like Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, FL Studio, and Studio One 6.
  • Customized Specs: Tailor computer specs to your music style; 32GB RAM and 2TB SSD for simpler projects, while complex setups may require 64GB RAM and larger SSDs.
  • Budget Consideration: Invest wisely, balancing quality and cost, and explore refurbished or older models without compromising critical specs.
  • Upgrade Strategy: Plan for future upgrades, as a computer should enhance your workflow and creativity without limiting your music production.

When searching for the perfect music production computer, consider essential factors such as processing power, RAM, storage capacity, and your preferred operating system. Your choice will directly impact the efficiency of your workflow, allowing you to focus on your craft without being bogged down by technical limitations. Investing in a high-quality computer ensures your music production setup will not limit your creativity or workflow.

We’re going to look into the full range, from the best desktop computers for recording at home to the best laptops for music production.

The processors, graphics chips and storage options have evolved with the latest technology achievements, and this list includes some of the very best options out there today.

Here are my top picks for the best computers for music production.

Best Desktop Computers for Music Production

1. Apple Mac Studio M2 Ultra

Apple Mac Studio M2 Ultra

Quick Specs

  • Processor: Apple M2 Ultra 24-Core
  • Graphics: Apple M2 Ultra 76-Core
  • RAM: Up to 192GB
  • Storage: Up to 8TB SSD

Regarding music production, the Apple Mac Studio M2 Ultra is a top choice for its exceptional performance and seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem. This powerful desktop computer features Apple’s latest M2 Ultra chip, providing unparalleled processing power and efficiency. With the Mac Studio M2 Ultra, you can run multiple demanding applications and work on large projects without any performance issues.

2. Apple Mac Pro M2 Ultra

Apple Mac Pro M2 Ultra

Quick Specs

  • Processor: Apple M2 Ultra 24-Core
  • Graphics: Apple M2 Ultra 76-Core
  • RAM: Up to 192GB
  • Storage: Up to 8TB SSD

Another excellent option for music producers is the Apple Mac Pro M2 Ultra. This high-end desktop computer offers exceptional processing power thanks to its M2 Ultra chip. With a stunning design and an array of expansion options, the Mac Pro M2 Ultra ensures you have all the connectivity and upgradability you need for your music production setup.

3. Apple Mac Mini M2 Pro

Apple Mac Mini M2 Pro

Quick Specs

  • Processor: Apple M2 Pro 10-Core
  • Graphics: Apple M2 Pro 16-Core
  • RAM: Up to 32GB
  • Storage: Up to 8TB SSD

The Apple Mac Mini M2 Pro is a great option if you’re on a budget but still want a powerful desktop computer. It provides plenty enough performance for audio production but at a reasonable price. The base model could also work, but I recommend using the M2 Pro configuration.

4. Apple iMac M1

Apple iMac M1

Quick Specs

  • Screen: 24″ 4.5K Retina Display
  • Processor: Apple M2 Pro 8-Core
  • Graphics: Apple M2 Pro 8-Core
  • RAM: Up to 16GB
  • Storage: Up to 2TB SSD

The Apple iMac M1 combines power, simplicity, and a sleek design to provide a superb music production experience. Equipped with Apple’s M1 chip, this all-in-one computer offers impressive performance while maintaining a minimalist design that will fit any studio. The iMac M1 has a stunning 24-inch Retina display, making it a great option for music producers who value visual clarity.

5. PC Audio Labs MC X PRO

PC Audio Labs MC X PRO

Quick Specs

  • Processor: 12th Generation Intel Code i9 16-Core
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 2GB
  • RAM: Up to 128GB
  • Storage: Up to 1TB SSD x 3

If you work on Windows PC and want the best desktop custom-built for audio work, then you want to go with PC Audio Labs. Their computers set the industry standard for what professional musicians need. You’ll get the best performance with the ability to customize your machine. It’ll also be whisper quiet since they use liquid cooling for their MC X Pro series desktops.

6. Dell XPS

Dell XPS

Quick Specs

  • Processor: 12th Generation Intel Core i9 16-Core
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 24GB
  • RAM: Up to 128GB
  • Storage: Up to 2TB SSD

The Dell XPS series offers much for those seeking a powerful Windows-based desktop solution. It’s a desktop PC packed with the latest Intel or AMD processors. The Dell XPS provides excellent performance for music production tasks. With its sleek design, multiple USB ports, and various configuration options, the Dell XPS balances power, affordability, and aesthetics.

7. Dell Inspiron

Dell Inspiron

Quick Specs

  • Processor: 12th Generation Intel Code i7 12-Core
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER 6GB
  • RAM: Up to 64GB
  • Storage: Up to 1TB SSD

The Dell Inspiron series is worth considering if you’re on a budget but still want a capable music production computer. These desktop computers come with various configurations to suit different budgets and requirements. The Dell Inspiron delivers reliable performance and essential connectivity options, making it a smart choice for emerging music producers or home studios.

Custom Built PCs

Custom-built PCs are an excellent choice for those who want complete control over their system. Building your own desktop computer allows you to select the specific components that best suit your music production needs. 

You can choose the right processor, RAM, storage, power supply, and other components to create the perfect machine tailored to your unique requirements.

Best Laptop Computers for Music Production

When it comes to music production, choosing the right laptop is crucial for a seamless workflow and optimal performance. You need a reliable device with excellent processing power and ample connectivity options. Here, we discuss some of the best laptops for music producers.

8. Apple MacBook Pro M2 Max

Apple MacBook Pro M2 Max

Quick Specs

  • Screen: 16.2″ Liquid Retina XDR Display
  • Processor: Apple M2 Max 12-Core
  • Graphics: Apple M2 Max 38-Core
  • RAM: Up to 96GB
  • Storage: Up to 8TB SSD

The Apple MacBook Pro M2 Max is an excellent choice for music producers. Its powerful M2 Max chip provides incredible processing power and high-performance capabilities, making multitasking a breeze. The spacious keyboard and gigantic touchpad ensure a comfortable user experience, while the Mini LED display offers stunning visuals.

9. Apple MacBook Air M2 15

Apple MacBook Air M2 15

Quick Specs

  • 15.3″ LED Liquid Retina Display
  • Processor: Apple M2 8-Core
  • Graphics: Apple M2 10-Core
  • RAM: Up to 24GB
  • Storage: Up to 2TB SSD

For a more portable option without compromising performance, consider the Apple MacBook Air M2 15. It offers the same reliable M2 chip but in a sleeker and lighter form factor. The fanless design ensures noiseless operation, which makes recording and editing sessions more enjoyable.

10. PC Audio Labs MC Mobile X Pro

PC Audio Labs MC Mobile X Pro

Quick Specs

  • Screen: 17.3″ Full HD
  • Processor: 13th Generation Intel Core-i9 24-Core
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 12GB
  • RAM: Up to 32GB
  • Storage: Up to 1TB SSD x 3

Much like its desktop big brother, the PC Audio Labs MC Mobile X Pro is the very best option if you’re looking for a Windows-based audio laptop. It doesn’t get better than this. It’s a great choice and will have you running every possible app and plugin you’d ever need for your audio recording needs in your music studio.

11. Dell XPS 17 Laptop

Dell XPS 17 Laptop

Quick Specs

  • Screen: 17″ UHD+ touch display
  • Processor: 13th Generation Intel Core-i9
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 12GB
  • RAM: Up to 64GB
  • Storage: Up to 2TB SSD

The Dell 17 XPS Laptop series offers powerful Windows-based laptops that efficiently handle music production software. With options like the Dell XPS 13 and Dell XPS 15, you can choose the perfect size and configuration to suit your needs. These laptops boast high-quality displays, dedicated graphics, and high-speed data transfer rates with Thunderbolt ports.

12. HP Envy 17 Laptop

HP Envy 17 Laptop

Quick Specs

  • Screen: 16″ UHD+ touch display
  • Processor: 13th Generation Intel Core-i7
  • Graphics: Intel Arc A370M Graphics 4GB
  • RAM: Up to 32GB
  • Storage: Up to 2TB SSD

The HP Envy 17 Laptop series combines power and affordability for music producers. Its sleek design, high-quality audio, and robust performance make it suitable for running demanding DAWs and plug-ins. HP Envy laptops also have customizable configurations to cater to your production requirements.

13. Lenovo ThinkPad P16

Lenovo ThinkPad P16

Quick Specs

The Lenovo ThinkPad P series offers reliability and excellent performance for music production. Known for their solid build quality, these laptops endure the test of time. Many music producers appreciate the renowned ThinkPad keyboard’s comfort and responsiveness during long sessions.

Key Components for Music Production Computers

When looking for the best computer for music production, it’s essential to consider the key components contributing to your overall experience. Here are the crucial aspects to keep in mind:

Processor (CPU): The heart of your music production computer is the central processing unit (Intel Core or equivalent), as it determines the overall performance of your system. For the smooth operation of virtual instruments and applications, opt for at least a quad-core processor, ensuring your projects’ speedy and efficient processing.

RAM (Random Access Memory): RAM plays a vital role in music production, allowing you to run multiple applications simultaneously. Having at least 16GB of RAM is recommended, but if you’re working on more complex projects or using many virtual instruments, you will need at least 64 GB of RAM.

Storage (Hard Drives and Solid-State Drives): Storage capacity is crucial for any music production computer. Opt for a solid state drive (SSD) for faster data access and improved performance. It’s also a great option to have a secondary hard drive for additional storage; the more, the better. The minimum internal SSD capacity, in my experience, is 1TB, though you should get as much as your budget allows.

Graphics Card (Video Card): While not as critical as the CPU and RAM, having a decent graphics card will ensure a smooth visual experience when working with audio and video applications. Look for at least 2GB of video memory, although many music producers can manage with integrated graphics.

Operating System: Choose an operating system compatible with your preferred DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and software. Windows PCs and Macs have advantages, so selecting between them largely depends on your preference and the applications you plan to use.

Audio Interface and Connectivity: Your computer needs to interface with various audio components like microphones, instruments, and studio monitors. Ensure your system has sufficient USB or USB-C ports to support your audio interface, MIDI controllers, and other peripherals.

Screen Size and Resolution: A clear and spacious display is essential for a home studio setup. Consider a screen size of at least 27 inches and a resolution of 2560×1440 or higher, allowing you to manage and monitor your projects effortlessly.

Portability and Battery Life: Portability and battery life become important considerations for producing music on the go. Aim for a laptop with good build quality, decent weight, and at least 6 hours of battery life for your music production needs.

Power Conditioner: A power conditioner is not physically a part of the computer but an extremely important component for the computer and other studio gear. It will protect your equipment from unstable power and power surges.

By focusing on these components, you will be well-equipped to choose the right computer for your music production setup. Take the time to research and compare various options on the market, ensuring you invest in a system that meets your requirements and produces the best possible results.

Storage Considerations

When choosing a computer for music production, considering storage options is crucial. Your computer should have enough space to accommodate large audio files, samples, and virtual instruments. Having at least a 500GB SSD for music production is recommended.

Solid State Drives (SSD) are preferable for music production, as they have no moving parts, leading to read and write speeds. This aids in quicker project loading times and ensures a smooth workflow. Additionally, SSDs are less prone to failure than traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDD) with moving parts.

Though SSDs may be more expensive, they are worth the investment for the performance benefits. However, if your budget is limited, you can opt for a smaller internal SSD (minimum 256GB) and supplement it with an external hard drive. This can be an economical solution, allowing you to store your large audio files, sample libraries, and backup projects externally.

Clock speed, which measures how fast your CPU processes information and sends commands to other parts of your computer, is another factor to consider. A higher clock speed typically indicates better performance; a minimum of 2.4 GHz is recommended for music production.

In summary, for optimal music production, invest in a computer with a suitable SSD size, at least 500GB or higher, and a processor with a clock speed of 2.4 GHz or more. Don’t forget to consider external storage options as a cost-effective way to expand your storage capacity and effectively manage your large audio files.

Software and Compatibility

When it comes to music production, selecting the right software is key. Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) are the foundation for producing, editing, and mixing music. Choosing a DAW that works well with your preferred computer and operating system is essential.

Many professionals within the music industry use Apple Macs due to their stability and performance. Macs are compatible with industry-standard DAW software like Logic Pro, designed specifically for macOS. Besides Logic Pro, other popular music production software, such as Ableton Live, Pro Tools, and FL Studio, also have macOS versions.

But on the other hand, Windows can be configured to be just as reliable. Getting the computer set up properly will take more initial configuration. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go with a Mac.

Exploring different DAW options is crucial as each has unique features catering to specific production styles and techniques. When selecting a DAW, consider your computer’s hardware capabilities, experience level, and the scope of your projects. 

Let me tell you a secret; All current professional level DAWs are just as good. Your choice will depend on two factors –

  1. Which DAW fits your workflow the best? If you don’t know, test out all of them and pick the one that makes the most sense to you and stays the most out of the way of your creative flow.
  2. If you collaborate a lot with others, what DAWs do they use? It can speed up your collaboration if you’re on the same DAW as you don’t have to import and export tracks, you exchange project files through Cloud storage services.

Here are some of the most popular DAWs and their main features:

  • Logic Pro: Exclusive to Mac, offers a comprehensive suite of tools for recording, mixing, and mastering. Known for its intuitive interface, powerful plugins, and built-in instruments.
  • Ableton Live: Compatible with Mac and Windows, it’s widely used for live performances and electronic music production. Offers a seamless workflow with its unique Session View.
  • Pro Tools: Available on Mac and Windows, favored by professionals in the recording industry. Provides advanced capabilities for audio editing, mixing, and mastering.
  • FL Studio: Runs on Windows and Mac, popular among electronic music producers and beatmakers. Well-known for its user-friendly interface and extensive sample library.
  • Studio One 6: Studio One 6 is a newer DAW made by Presonus. They combined all the best features from each industry standard DAW into one incredibly well-flowing software package. Available for both Mac and Windows.

Regardless of your computer choice, compatibility should always be taken into account. 

Verify if your preferred music production software is supported by your operating system, and ensure your hardware meets the required system specifications. This will guarantee a smooth and reliable music production experience, allowing you to focus on your creativity and achieve the best results.

Top Picks for Your Needs

When finding the best computer for music production, your specific needs and personal preferences play a crucial role in decision-making. As a professional music producer, your workflow and project needs will determine the processing power, memory, and storage capacity requirements.

If you’re producing mainly beats and vocals, 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD would most likely be enough to completely cover your software, sample libraries, and project storage on the internal SSD of the computer.

But if you’re using the more demanding virtual instruments like pianos, sample-based synths, and orchestral instruments, you’d want at least 64 of RAM and 4TB of even 8TB of internal SSD storage.

As soon as you have to move virtual instrument samples to an external drive, you lose performance, as the external connections never provide as fast access speeds as internal m.2 SSD drives do.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top laptops for music production?

Some top laptops for music production include the Apple MacBook Pro, Apple Macbook Air, and the Dell XPS 15 laptop. Each offers a powerful processor, sufficient RAM, and efficient storage, making it suitable for handling complex music production tasks.

How much RAM is needed for music production?

It is recommended to have at least 16GB of RAM for music production. However, 32GB or more is preferable for running multiple applications and plugins and working with larger projects and higher sample rates.

Should I choose a desktop or laptop for music production?

The choice between a desktop and a laptop for music production depends on your needs and preferences. 

Desktop computers often provide more powerful components and better performance. However, laptops offer portability, allowing you to work and produce music from anywhere.

What are the essential specs for a music production computer?

Some essential specs to look for in a music production computer include a powerful processor (such as Apple M2, Intel Core i7 or Core i9, or AMD Ryzen 7 or 9), a minimum of 16GB of RAM (32GB or more is recommended), a fast storage drive (SSD is a must), and a dedicated graphics card if you’re going with a PC.

Both Macs and PCs are great for video editing or use graphics-intensive plugins assuming the graphics card you choose is powerful enough.

Is a MacBook or Windows laptop better for music production?

Choosing between a MacBook or Windows laptop for music production largely depends on personal preference and the specific applications you plan to use. 

MacBooks are popular among musicians due to their reliability, performance, and the availability of macOS-exclusive software such as Logic Pro. 

On the other hand, Windows laptops offer a wider variety and often more affordable options while also being compatible with popular DAWs and plugins.

How can I find affordable options for music production computers?

To find affordable options for music production computers, you can start by researching budget-friendly models from reputable brands. 

Additionally, consider looking for refurbished or used computers that meet the required specifications. A generation or two older models are often also a good choice as their prices have decreased over time, yet they still provide great performance.

Remember that it might be worth investing in slightly better specs to avoid compromising performance and your music production workflow.


The ideal computer for music production depends on your needs, budget, and preferences. It needs to be powerful enough that instead of slowing you down, it helps your workflow and feels more like another instrument rather than something you wait around to catch up with your speed.

Consider the factors mentioned above when exploring your options, and weigh the pros and cons of each system to find the one that best fits your music production journey.

End of the day the best choice is what gives you enough performance and the cost is withint your budget.

It’s a never-ending battle between those two elements. If your budget is limited, keep in mind this rig won’t be your ‘forever’ computer; I typically upgrade my computers every 3 years. If you need to budget more this time around, just get something that will get you working and keep your inspiration going. Then upgrade again later.

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