While choosing a computer for music production, desktop computers certainly have an edge over on laptops. They are more cost-effective, offer more power, are generally faster, and have better cooling systems as well. Audio processing, recording, and mixing is certainly something that requires a lot of real-time monitoring. In this article, we will look at some of the best music production PCs. Whether you are a creative music writer, an aspiring composer, or any audio profession, these are the computers that can help you take your work to the next level. We have included the best option from almost all popular brands for your convenience.
Also, if you’re looking for an audio interface to go along with your music production PC, we’ve got a guide on that as well.
Also Read: – Best USB Audio Interface for Podcasters
Best Music Production PCs
Dell XPS 8930: Reliable PC for Music Production
- Great speed
- Side vents allow plenty of airflow
- 11 connectivity ports
The Dell XPS 8930 is a wonderful choice for music production. It’s equipped with an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor that is designed for mighty speed and performance.
The 6-Core processor can work with the speed of light and can handle all sorts of audio editing and music composition. You can process everything without any lagging or latency issues.
The PC integrates NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 Series graphics that allow you to make use of the computer not only for music but video/audio editing and gaming as well.
The PC is remarkably silent. That’s a big advantage for music composers. With its thermally controlled fans, you won’t hear any distracting sounds.
The PC is intelligently constructed that allows plenty of airflow across your system. Optimized side vents provide plenty of air to the CPU and graphic card, and a separate vent keeps the power supply cool. The PC comes with a lot of connectivity options, allowing you to connect it with your existing DAW, MIDI keyboard, or any other digital mixers and composers comfortably. 11 ports with two USB-C ones are enough to cover your needs.
If you look at RAM, there is plenty to offer. With 16GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD drive, you got plenty of space for all sorts of albums, music, sample library, and other data.
Acer Aspire TC-885-UA92: Affordable Music Production PC
- Affordable desktop system
- Iconic design
- Clear sound system
Here is another sturdy system for music composers. The Acer Aspire is perfect for handling multiple devices and tasks simultaneously.
The 9th Generation Intel Core processing unit is both robust and fast. With lots of mixing and digital equipment, you need a processor that allows you to monitor sound recordings and mixings in real-time.
Acer Aspire provides speed, power, and storage that is essential for professional music compositions.
The PC comes with an iconic design. Its unique ridged edges give it a sophisticated look. The system offers HD 5.1 surround sound that enables you to listen to audio and special effects with better clarity.
The system has 128 GB SSD that gives fast boot times, and can handle a lot of editing, instruments, and mixing at a time. This 1TB hard drive also caters to all your archiving needs.
The 12GB of RAM seems less than other options for music production, but not if you are a beginner. Also, it comes with a Solid State Drive (SSD) that boosts up the system’s speed and capacity. This one is a bit more reasonably priced than our previous option, so the RAM capacity seems justified.
Its 9th Generation i5 processor is fast and efficient in handling your DAW and other digital instruments. With all these wonderful features, you get a full array of ports that allows all types of connectivity options.
Overall, it’s a fast and reliable system that is also affordable if you can’t afford Apple or Dell. It’s a very compact system that can rest over or under the desk comfortably.
HP Pavillion: Popular Choice for Music Productions
- Sturdy built
- Lots of connectivity options
- Comes with an HDMI port
- Expandable system
HP is another reliable brand when you are looking for a sturdy desktop system. This one offers impressive specs, especially when we need it for lots of audio editing and music production.
The PC comes with an attractive chassis and a solid build. It features 16 GB of RAM with a Solid State Drive that lets you run different applications for mixing and editing at a time. It allows you to run several programs in tabs without lagging or slowing down the system.
The HP Pavilion provides plenty of ports for easy connectivity options. You got 4 USB-2.0, 1 USB-3, and 1 USB-C port. It comes with an HDMI port as well. Overall, it’s a pretty competent system for music compositions. You can keep it upgraded and expand it later with time if and when you need it.
Microsoft Surface Studio: A Sleek All-in-One
- Sleek and stylish
- Touchscreen display
- Powerful processor
- Premium PC
This one is the premium option for artists, songwriters, and music composers, and creative producers.
It’s an all-in-one PC in a very attractive and compact form. The 28-inch display is a touchscreen and allows the clarity you haven’t seen before. The i7 Intel Core processor is fast and powerful for your music compositions and mixing.
A great advantage of having Microsoft Studio is a latency-free monitoring and mixing experience that all music producers need. The Intel processor is accelerated with an NVIDIA GeForce dGPU that makes it a mighty digitizer. You won’t notice any latency or delay.
The system is equipped with 32 GB of RAM with 2 TB of storage, which means a lot of space for your sample library. The memory is augmented with an SSD as well. Overall, it’s a beautifully designed PC that looks perfect on any desk with its sleek and stylish look. The system comes with a Surface pen, Surface keyboard, mouse, and a Surface dial as well. It also provides ample USB ports, Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack, which are all placed in the back of the system. Having ports at the back of the system is a little inconvenient but that’s the price you have to pay for the beauty and the elegant form factor of the system.
Apple iMac: Ultimate Choice for Mac Lovers
- Stunning looks
- LED with backlight
- Expandable Memory
- Combines power and speed
For Mac lovers, the Apple iMac is the ultimate choice. Whether you are looking for a lot of mixing, compositions, multiple tasks at a time, or lag-free performance, the iMac is an ultimate choice for music producers.
The Mac computer is a performer with stunning looks. Its 3mm thin design gives it a stylish edge over all other PCs in this list. The 21.5-inch display with LED backlight enhances the aesthetic appeal of the system.
Moreover, the iMac not only wins us over with good looks, but with impressive performance as well.
The 2.5 GHz dual-core i5 processor has a Turbo Boost of 3.6 GHz. Nothing is difficult with this power and capacity. It offers 8 GB RAM with 1 TB Fusion Drive that means lots of space for your audio albums and back up files.
Memory is fast enough for basic music production. The good thing is that it allows expandability as well. You can go for SSDs as well.
If you want to add an SSD to your iMac, we recommend purchasing it separately. Adding SSDs in this system will increase the cost of the system. You can buy it separately at a much reasonable price.
Overall, it’s a good option for Mac users and provides the finish, sheen, and design that you expect from Apple iMac. The ventilation behind the hinge keeps the system cool.
The only downside we can mention is that all Apple devices are insanely expensive, but there is nothing like it if you can afford it.
Dell OptiPlex 7070: Best Music Production PC Overall
- Designed for productivity
- Multitasking Processor
- Space-saving design
- Lag-free performance
If you are willing to spend on a Windows system, then this Dell OptiPlex 7070 is a great option. It’s a modern-day sturdy desktop system that is designed to expand your productivity. The system is intelligently designed for fast performance and expandability.
The compact style of the system makes it a space-saving option that keeps your desk well organized. It covers less space on your desk, leaving space for a DAW. The 9th Generation Intel Core i7 processor is designed for multi-tasking. It is fast enough to handle complicated audio editing, recordings, compositions, and mixing at a time.
The system comes with 16 GB of RAM and further boosts performance with a 256 GB SSD. The fast memory and storage gives you the lag-free performance that you need for real-time monitoring of your audio files. The system boots up fast, and less time is spent on opening the different applications or when you have connected the system with your DAW.
Overall, Dell OptiPlex 7070 Desktop system provides plenty for music productions. It gives the storage, speed, and smoothness you need for music compositions.
Buying Guide of the Best Music Production PC
Desktop computers are considered best for music productions. They can provide better power and performance as compared to laptops. Audio processing is a very CPU intensive task that requires lots of real-time processing. So you need to be careful while selecting any computer for your future endeavors. They are easier to cool as well. Once you decide to go with the desktop system, here are a few things you need to consider while selecting a PC for music production.
Mac or Windows
Mac was considered an ultimate choice for music composers in the past. But nowadays, it’s just a matter of choice. You get a good variety in Windows PC as well. So it’s a personal choice which system you are comfortable with. Also, if you already have a DAW, you need to see its compatibility as well.
For music production, you need powerful processors. It requires a lot of real-time monitoring, mixing, and recording. You need to attach the system with many plugins and instruments. You need a system that is powerful enough to handle running multiple applications at a time.
While having more cores always help, audio processing relies heavily on single-core performance. Hence, you should pay attention to the single-core performance of the computer as well.
So, as a general rule, look for the maximum number of cores along with a good single-core performance in your budget. Right now, Intel i9 computers are certainly the best choice in terms of number of cores and good single-core performance.
If you are a professional, you must need plenty of space for all audio albums, files, and libraries. A minimum of 8 GB of RAM is required, though it always helps to have 16 GB of RAM, especially if you are looking to attach several acoustic instruments with your system and have a sample library.
Hard Drive or SSD
The internal storage of your desktop will be much faster when equipped with a Solid State Drive. They make the system incredibly faster than the Hard Drive Disks. So boosting up your system with a SSD can make a big difference to the speed of your system. SSD drives can be bought separately.
If you are a beginner with a tight budget, you can expand your system’s memory later with external SSD options. For that, you need to make sure you choose a system that allows expandability.
Some other factors that help while choosing the best music production PC are:
- Connectivity options: Goes without saying, it should have as many ports and connectivity options as you can get. You will be plugging in a lot of devices and instruments into your computer.
- Expandability: Make sure the system can be expandable. You might not need much RAM or SSD now, but if you grow professionally, the system should be expandable to meet your growing needs.
- Size: The smaller the better, you can get some space for a DAW on the desk.
- Quiet operation: Noisy systems can be very distracting, especially during music composition.
All options in our list of the best music production PCs are carefully chosen due to their performance, speed, and storage. We choose Dell OptiPlex 7070 as our best bet due to its impressive specs, reliability, and multi-tasking abilities. Make sure you choose an option that meets your needs with some room to grow. If you are familiar with PC components, , you could build a sturdy computer yourself, but that is time-consuming and requires a lot of expertise. So, we recommend you to do that only if you are a computer geek and understand the in and outs of building a computer.
A decent computer is also the core of a great podcasting setup, and if you’re interested in starting your own podcast, check out our guide on the best podcast equipment to learn everything you need to know about a podcasting setup.
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.