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Old 9th August 2008, 12:42 AM   #1
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Default Best PC Laptops for running test tools -Clio , PC Scopes etc. ?

I'm posting this here because I assume speaker builders are more likely to have PC based test gear than those in other areas of the community but my question is for anybody who knows about PCs with regard to audio and testing.

The goal to put together a dedicated test notebook PC and I am wondering if anybody has strong/clear recommendations for laptops that would be particularly well suited to the task. My thoughts are to use CleverScope and Clio Lite (which requires installation of their proprietary sound card.) I'm thinking a fast machine that is electronically low noise and has a good display are three things to look for but when I do searches for quiet computers, of course the only thing they're thinking about is hard drive and fan noise. Questions directed to staff at the local computer stores as expected draw completely useless answers. (They're only there to make tuition money by selling to a much more general interest group.) Any hints, tips or straight out advice would be really appreciated. Specific Brand names and models a bonus!!

Thanks very much !
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Old 9th August 2008, 12:58 AM   #2
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How about a Panasonic Toughbook -

No fans, the HD is mounted in gel and legacy connections (on the one I use, anyway). 2 issues though....

You'd probably need 4 grand to buy one and CPU speed is usually a generation behind (for some neither is an issue). That being said, you'd have the best laptop on planet earth for almost any purpose IMHO.

The hardware seems to be ultrastable and truly proven/tested - the freakin thing DOES NOT crash.
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Old 9th August 2008, 01:21 AM   #3
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I may be misunderstanding the the Audiomatica site, but it looks to me like if you want to use clio lite, then you are going to need a desktop PC as clio lite uses a PCI card.

On the other hand, if you want to use a notebook, it looks like you need to use Clio Standard which has an external soundcard/interface which requires firewire and costs a lot more money.

On the other hand there are various measurement programs that work fine with a laptop and an external soundcard. Programs such as SoundEasy, Speaker Workshop, ARTA etc. and cost far less than Clio lite even when you factor in a mic and external soundcard.

Regards,

Dennis
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Old 9th August 2008, 05:42 AM   #4
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i use my lenovo thinkpad r61 for absolutly everything. From autocad and solidworks to eve online. It's sturdy as hell and is increadbly fast. With vista 64bit autocad and solidworks run like a dream
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Old 9th August 2008, 10:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
How about a Panasonic Toughbook -
mpmarino, thanks! They do look pretty amazing. I couldn't figure out for sure if they'll take a PCI card and if so which models do it. Does yours? I'll try calling somebody at Panasonic and see if they know. I tried local computer stores again today. They all said not possible then when I mentioned the ToughBook they all gave "Oh, that's possible" responses. In other words, nobody knows. It's a little frustrating when the people who are supposed to make it their business neither know nor care that they don't know.

djarchow, I think you're right. and I don't want to spring for the pricer Clio. I'll look at the other programs you mentioned , Thanks .


Bionic. . . I saw the Lenovos as I was searching around, They're beautiful machines but I didn't see any that take a full size PCI Card, does yours?


Thanks guys !
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Old 9th August 2008, 11:17 PM   #6
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Hi Hearinspace,
looks like the Panasonic doesn't have a PCI slot, at least this model: http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp...9&displayTab=F

Cliowin 7 allows the use of the software with an external sound card, only 2 types, but with some limitations: http://www.mclink.it/com/audiomatica/sounddevices.htm
I don't know if Cliowin 8 allows it too, you have to ask Audiomatica.
Anyway, in this way you have to buy a Transit card and don't use the Clio hardware.
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Old 10th August 2008, 12:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hearinspace


mpmarino, thanks! They do look pretty amazing. I couldn't figure out for sure if they'll take a PCI card and if so which models do it. Does yours?
..............

Thanks guys !
Oh..no. When you mentioned notebook It didn't dawn on me that it would be a PCI device. I've never seen a notebook that could accommodate that......

Good luck!
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Old 10th August 2008, 12:22 AM   #8
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Anyway, in this way you have to buy a Transit card and don't use the Clio hardware.
I can't see any point in going for the Clio software without the whole set-up. Would it really be so much better than the other programs out there? Probably better just to get a Firewire version ($$$!!!!) or go with something completely different at lower cost.


Quote:
Oh..no. ......Good luck!


Thanks mpmarino I'll figure something out!
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Old 10th August 2008, 02:10 PM   #9
claudio is offline claudio  Italy
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hearinspace

I can't see any point in going for the Clio software without the whole set-up. Would it really be so much better than the other programs out there? Probably better just to get a Firewire version ($$$!!!!) or go with something completely different at lower cost.

That's exactly what I was pointing out!
Clio is a software+hardware package, that means that in 1 minute you are ready to measure. Using a software like Arta, SW, Soundeasy, etc., means that you will have to spend some time for calibrations, setups, besides buy a sound card that works well with the choose software.
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Old 10th August 2008, 04:33 PM   #10
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Once those softwares are calibrated they don't need to be recalibrated each time. I believe Clio needs to run an initial calibration as well.

There are no laptops that run PCI, if you are dead set on running Clio lite and want a small portable computer for it, you will not be able to use a laptop. What you can do instead is run a small form factor computer which has pci slots. Another option is to use a PCI to USB device, which area really not intended for this purpose, and may not work.

My number one recommendation is DO NOT USE VISTA. I'm not bashing on Vista here, but there are so many glitches in the way it handles sound and media that I am having problems with the calibration of all my measurement software. Windows Vista has been trying to cause early hear loss in me since the start, I swear. The manufacturer of my ATB gave me a technical explanation for why these problems are happening, and says that at the moment, they have no fix.
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