This article will discuss the best desktop PCs for music production, mixing-mastering, audio engineering, and sound design in 2023.
Desktop PCs have been a popular choice for personal computing for many years, with several advantages and disadvantages. One significant advantage of desktop PCs is their customizability, allowing you to select and upgrade specific components over time. That makes them great for production and other processor-intensive tasks requiring high-performance hardware.
Additionally, desktop PCs typically offer a larger display, better ergonomics, and easier maintenance than laptops. You can either assemble the computer as needed and hand-pick every piece of equipment or buy an assembled desktop PC from a retailer. Desktop computers are also priced less than laptops as integrating all components in a single micromachine takes more resources and capital.
However, there are also some disadvantages to consider. Desktop PCs are generally larger and less portable than laptops, making them less convenient for on-the-go use. They also require a dedicated workspace and a stable power source, which may limit their versatility. Additionally, desktop PCs may be more challenging to set up for beginners, and they can be more expensive than their laptop counterparts.
The 14 Best Desktop PCs For Music Production 2023
1. Apple iMac (M1) – Mid Range
Ideal for music production, Apple iMac offers a powerful and intuitive platform for creating, mixing, and mastering audio tracks.
Its robust hardware components and reliable software ecosystem ensure smooth operation, while the large and high-resolution display provides a visually immersive experience. With the included GarageBand and Logic Pro X software, iMac users can take advantage of a range of professional-grade tools and effects to produce music that sounds great.
The iMac’s sleek and elegant design makes it an attractive addition to any studio or home setup. In contrast, its compatibility with a wide range of audio interfaces and controllers makes it a versatile choice for producers of all levels.
- Efficient processing
With the inclusion of the M1 chip, the iMac boasts improved performance and efficiency. The chip has up to 8 cores that can effortlessly handle complex music production tasks and an integrated graphics processor for better visual performance.
In addition, the M1 chip enables longer battery life and faster performance when waking from sleep, making it a great choice for music producers who require a powerful and reliable computer.
- Faster processing
Available in various capacities, from 256GB to 2TB, the computer’s SSD storage options provide blazingly fast transfer speeds of up to 3.5 GB/s. Compared to traditional hard drives, these SSDs significantly reduce loading and saving times for large music projects, resulting in faster boot times and quicker loading of music production software and audio samples.
Additionally, the iMac’s SSD storage options offer faster access times, making it easier to retrieve data when needed.
Music production software can be very demanding on system memory, especially when working with large audio files or using multiple virtual instruments and effects simultaneously. The iMac’s RAM options range from 8GB to 64GB, allowing you to choose a configuration that meets your needs.
The more RAM available, the more easily the computer can keep frequently used data in memory, reducing the need to access the slower SSD for data.
- Reliable software ecosystem
Apple’s software ecosystem, which includes the macOS operating system, GarageBand, and Logic Pro X, is known for its reliability and ease of use. It is an excellent choice for music producers who want a stable and user-friendly platform.
- Powerful hardware
iMac’s hardware components, including its processors, graphics cards, and storage options, are all top-of-the-line and designed for high-performance tasks like music production.
- Large, high-resolution display
With its large display, the system comes in either 21.5-inch or 27-inch sizes and provides ample screen real estate for working with multiple windows and visualizing audio waveforms and other data.
- Sleek design
The computer’s sleek and elegant design, which features a slim profile and minimalist aesthetic, makes it an attractive addition to any studio or home setup.
- Compatibility with audio interfaces and controllers
Compatible with a wide range of audio interfaces and controllers, the system makes it a versatile choice for music producers who want to use their preferred hardware to capture and manipulate audio.
Regarding the iMac, there are a few potential cons to consider. One of the biggest is the limited upgradeability of its hardware components. Unlike other desktop PCs allowing individual component upgrades, the iMac’s hardware is largely integrated and difficult to modify.
You may need to replace the entire machine to upgrade certain components. The iMac’s slim design also limits its port selection, which can be problematic for those who need to connect multiple peripherals like external hard drives and other devices. In addition, the iMac comes with a higher price tag than many other desktop PCs, making it less feasible for producers on a tight budget.
Finally, the iMac’s sleek design may limit customization options, such as the ability to mount the machine on an adjustable arm or stand.
2. Dell XPS Tower Special Edition – Mid Range
The Dell XPS Tower Special Edition is a powerful, versatile desktop PC well-suited for music production tasks.
It features a range of high-end components, including Intel Core processors, NVIDIA graphics cards, and ample RAM and storage options. These components enable the XPS Tower to easily handle demanding music production tasks, such as mixing and mastering. Further, XPS Tower’s sleek design and customizable options make it a versatile choice for music producers requiring a reliable and efficient machine.
Featuring high-end 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i9 K-series processors, the XPS Tower Special Edition is equipped to handle demanding music production tasks such as recording, mixing, and mastering. With sixteen threads, fast clock speeds, and eight cores, these processors enable efficient multitasking and smooth operation of music production software, ensuring a seamless workflow for music producers.
With the ability to configure up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, the computer can handle multitasking and simultaneously run multiple music production software programs. This is a critical feature for music producers who work with large audio files that require real-time processing capabilities.
The machine’s ample RAM ensures a smooth and efficient workflow, allowing you to focus on the creative process without experiencing lag or performance issues.
Providing a range of storage options, the system includes both solid-state drives (SSD) and hard disk drives (HDD). SSDs offer faster read and write speeds, making them an ideal choice for music producers with large audio files requiring fast transfer rates. With the XPS Tower, you can choose the storage option that best suits your needs and workflow, ensuring they have ample storage space and fast data transfer rates for their music production projects.
Along with a sleek design, there are customizable options, such as adding a dedicated sound card or upgrading to a higher-end graphics card, allowing music producers to tailor the machine to their specific needs. That is particularly useful for producers who require specialized hardware to achieve the best sound quality.
The Dell XPS Tower Special Edition for music production may have limitations, including its limited upgradeability, port selection, and premium price tag, which may not be feasible for those on a tight budget. Its hardware components are mostly integrated and difficult to upgrade, requiring you to replace the entire machine if you want to upgrade certain components.
Additionally, its slim design means it has a limited selection of ports, which can be problematic for music producers who need to connect multiple peripherals like external hard drives, MIDI controllers, or other devices.
3. Geekom Mini IT8 – Budget
Being a compact desktop computer, the Geekom Mini IT8 can be a good choice for music production.
It features an Intel Core i7-10510U processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB SSD. While these specs may not be as powerful as other music production computers, they can still run music production software such as Ableton Live, FL Studio, and Pro Tools. Additionally, the computer has a small footprint, making it a good choice for those with limited desk space or who need a portable music production setup.
- Compact size
The computer has a small footprint, which makes it easy to fit into a small studio space or take on the go. This is especially useful for musicians who need a portable music production setup.
Priced as a budget or entry-level desktop computer, the system offers an affordable option for musicians seeking a capable music production computer at a lower cost. The computer’s compact size and fanless design may attract musicians requiring a portable or space-saving setup.
With 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, the Geekom Mini IT8 has plenty of memory to run multiple tracks and effects in a music production project. DDR4 RAM is faster and more efficient than previous generations, ensuring the computer can handle large and complex music projects.
With a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD), the system is a fast and reliable storage solution for music production. The SSD can access data quickly and reliably, which is important for running music production software that accesses large audio samples or sound libraries.
Multiple USB ports, including USB 3.0 and USB-C, enable fast data transfer rates when connecting external hard drives or audio interfaces on the computer. The HDMI port on the computer can be useful for connecting to an external monitor or display.
- Quiet operation
With a fanless design, the Geekom Mini IT8 operates quietly without generating distracting noise, making it an important consideration for musicians who need a quiet studio environment.
The GEEKOM Mini PC Mini IT8 is an affordable and capable music production computer, but there are a few potential drawbacks. One of the main limitations is its 512 GB SSD, which may not provide enough storage for musicians with large music libraries or who work on multiple projects simultaneously.
Next, the device has thermal and acoustic issues, running hot and loud under heavy loads. In addition, the RAM configuration is limited, requiring a dual-channel configuration to achieve the best performance. Additionally, while the device has a module for expanding with another SATA 2.5″ disk in an internal bay, the expandability options are relatively limited compared to larger desktops or workstations.
Despite these limitations, the computer still offers good value for its price point and compact size, making it a viable option for musicians looking for an affordable music production computer.
4. HP Omen Obelisk – Mid Range
HP Omen Obelisk is a powerful desktop computer that can handle music production demands.
It has a 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9900K/AMD Ryzen 7 2700 processor, 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1 TB NVMe-based solid-state drive. These specs make it fast and responsive for running music production software such as Ableton Live, FL Studio, and Pro Tools. The computer’s NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card also provides the necessary horsepower for rendering high-quality audio and video content.
Regarding processors, you get a 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9900K processor, a top-of-the-line CPU with eight cores and 16 threads, making it ideal for simultaneously running multiple music production software programs. The processor has a base clock speed of 3.6GHz and can turbo boost up to 5.0GHz, providing plenty of power to handle even the most demanding music production tasks.
Alternatively, the computer is also available with the AMD Ryzen 7 2700 processor, which has a 3.2 GHz base clock speed and eight CPU cores.
- High-speed RAM
With 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, the HP Omen Obelisk has plenty of memory to run multiple tracks and effects in a music production project. DDR4 RAM is faster and more efficient than previous generations, ensuring the computer can easily handle large and complex music projects.
A high-speed storage solution that can access data quickly and reliably is the 1 TB solid-state drive (SSD) included in the HP Omen Obelisk. When running music production software that accesses large audio samples or sound libraries, the SSD’s faster speed can prevent the bottleneck issues with traditional hard drives.
- Graphics card
You get a GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card in the HP Omen Obelisk, a powerful graphics processing unit (GPU) ideal for video content, game sound design, and film sound. The GPU has 8GB of dedicated video memory, which provides smooth and fast performance when rendering complex video content.
HP Omen Obelisk has multiple USB ports, including USB 3.1 and USB-C, allowing fast data transfer rates when connecting external hard drives or audio interfaces. The Ethernet port provides reliable and fast internet connectivity, which is important for downloading and streaming audio content and collaborating with other musicians online.
The system is designed to be easily upgradable, with access to the internal components. The computer also has additional slots for adding storage, RAM, or even a dedicated sound card for better audio performance.
The HP Omen Obelisk is a powerful desktop computer well-suited for music production, but it has a few potential downsides to consider. One of the main drawbacks is its high price tag, which may be a barrier for some musicians or producers.
Additionally, while the system is designed for easy upgradability, there are some limitations to what can be upgraded. For example, the graphics card is not easily replaceable without voiding the warranty.
Finally, the computer does not have Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can disadvantage musicians who need to connect high-end audio interfaces or other peripherals. While these drawbacks are relatively minor compared to the benefits of the HP Omen Obelisk for music production, they are still important to consider when choosing a computer.
5. Microsoft Surface Studio 2 – High End
The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is a powerful, versatile, all-in-one desktop computer that can be a great choice for music production.
It features a large 28-inch touchscreen display that can be adjusted to different angles for a comfortable and ergonomic working position. The computer has an Intel Core i7-7820HQ processor, 16/32 GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, providing fast and reliable music production software performance.
Additionally, the computer has multiple USB ports, including USB 3.0 and USB-C, and an SD card reader for easy connectivity with external devices. With its high-quality display, powerful specs, and versatility, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is a great choice for musicians and producers.
- Large Touchscreen Display
With a large 28-inch touchscreen display that can be adjusted to different angles for a comfortable working position, the Surface Studio 2 is ideal for working with film and game sound. Additionally, the display is color-accurate, enhancing its suitability for creative work.
- Powerful Processor
Using the Intel Core i7-7820HQ quad-core processor with a base clock speed of 2.9GHz, this processor can easily handle music production software such as Ableton Live, FL Studio, and Pro Tools.
- Fast sample load times
Different computer versions have 16 and 32 GB of RAM, which is enough for running multiple tracks and effects in a music production project. Most importantly, working with huge sample libraries and virtual instruments is great.
The computer has a 1TB solid-state drive (SSD), a fast and reliable storage solution for music production. The SSD can access data quickly and efficiently, which is important for running music production software that accesses large audio samples or sound libraries.
Multiple connectivity options and USB ports on the computer, including USB 3.0 and USB-C, and an SD card reader, allow fast data transfer rates when connecting external hard drives or audio interfaces. It also has a built-in Ethernet port and Bluetooth capabilities.
- Versatile Design
With an adjustable stand, you can use the computer in different positions, such as a standard desktop or drafting mode. This can be useful for musicians who must switch between different tasks during a music production session.
While the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is a powerful and versatile music production desktop, there are a few potential drawbacks. One, the computer’s storage capacity may be a limitation for some musicians, particularly those who work with large audio samples or sound libraries.
Next, the computer’s all-in-one design may make repairs or upgrades more difficult, which could be a consideration for those who want a more customizable setup. Despite these limitations, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is still a powerful and capable music production desktop offering various features and capabilities.
6. Lenovo Idea Centre AIO 3i – Budget
Being an all-in-one desktop computer, the Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3i is a good option for music production.
With a 22-inch Full HD display, the computer provides a clear and vibrant workspace for working with music production software. It is equipped with an Intel Core i5/i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, which offer fast and reliable performance for music production tasks. Note that one of Lenovo’s models in the Idea Centre range is also available with an AMD processor.
The computer also includes multiple USB ports, including two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, and an HDMI port, allowing easy connectivity with external devices.
- Versatile Design
By integrating its components into the monitor, the Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3i is a versatile computer with space-saving options for smaller workspaces.
Comprising several ports, including four USB ports, an Ethernet jack, an HDMI output, a webcam, and a 3.5mm port for headphones, the computer makes it easy to connect external devices such as audio interfaces and MIDI controllers. In addition, the IdeaCentre AIO 3i includes a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, making it easy to use the computer without connecting any cables.
The Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3i features a full HD and anti-glare display, with touch-screen variants available. The touch screen helps you interact more deeply with your DAW, allowing you to control your faders, sliders, and knobs via the touch screen.
Starting at about a $550 price, the Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3i is a budget-friendly music production desktop. It is a great pick for musicians and producers looking for a capable computer without breaking the bank.
The desktop computer is a capable and affordable music production desktop, but there are a few potential drawbacks. First, the computer’s 256GB SSD may not provide enough storage for musicians with large music libraries or who work on multiple projects simultaneously.
The 8GB of DDR4 RAM may also be a limitation for musicians working on larger music production projects or multiple tracks with heavy effects, especially for producers who work with huge sample libraries on Kontakt, Omnisphere, etc. The computer’s tightly packed design may also have limited cooling options, leading to performance issues during extended music production sessions.
Finally, the computer’s integrated graphics may not be sufficient for more demanding visual work, such as video editing or graphic design. Despite these limitations, the IdeaCentre AIO 3 is still a capable and affordable music production desktop that offers good value for its price point.
7. Acer Predator Orion 7000 – High End
Combining high-performance processors, RAM, and graphic cards, the Acer Predator Orion 7000 is an ideal desktop computer for easily handling intensive music production tasks.
It features an Intel Core i9 processor, up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card. This configuration provides ample processing power for running Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and virtual instruments, and the graphics card can handle visualizations and video editing.
The computer also has fast storage options, with up to 2 TB of SSD and 2 TB of HDD storage. The Orion 7000 is a solid choice for music producers requiring a powerful desktop computer.
- Expansion Slots
It comes with multiple expansion slots, including PCI Express x16, x8, and x1 slots, and can support multiple graphics cards, allowing for further customization and upgrades.
With its USB 3.1 ports, audio jacks, and Ethernet port, the Acer Predator Orion 7000 offers several connectivity options, making connecting external audio interfaces, MIDI controllers, and other peripherals easy.
- Cooling System
Boasting a robust cooling system, the desktop computer ensures the components remain cool and operate optimally during intense music production tasks.
With its integrated Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5 sound card, the desktop computer delivers a high-quality audio output and supports 5.1-channel surround sound, ensuring an immersive audio experience for music production.
Orion 7000 is a highly customizable desktop computer with easy access to its interior for upgrading components such as RAM, graphics card, and storage. This allows you to tailor the system to their specific music production needs.
- Multi-Monitor Support
It can support up to three monitors simultaneously, allowing music producers to open multiple windows and view their work from different angles.
- Design and Warranty
Featuring a sleek design with RGB lighting, the Acer Predator Orion 7000 has an attractive and modern appearance. Additionally, Acer provides a limited warranty for its desktop computers, giving you peace of mind in case of any technical issues.
The Acer Predator Orion 7000 is a powerful desktop computer with several key features suitable for music production. However, there are some potential cons to consider. Firstly, the high-performance components and customizability of the system come with a higher price tag than other desktop computers, making it potentially unsuitable for those on a tight budget.
Secondly, the desktop computer is quite large and may take up a lot of desk space, which could be an issue for those with limited space. Additionally, due to its high-performance components, the Orion 7000 may generate more noise than other desktop computers, which can be distracting during music production.
Lastly, as a desktop computer, the Orion 7000 is not as portable as a laptop and is not suitable for music production on the go. It is important to consider these potential cons when deciding if the system is the right choice for your music production needs.
8. HP Envy 32 All-in-One
With its high-performance hardware specifications, the HP Envy 32 All-in-One is a versatile and powerful desktop that can provide an excellent option for music production.
Equipped with an Intel Core i7-9700 processor, the HP Envy 32 All-in-One offers high-performance capabilities suitable for running music production software. Additionally, the system has 32 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1 TB SSD, allowing for quick boot and application load times while providing sufficient storage space for music projects and files.
The desktop also comes with a 31.5-inch 4K UHD display provides an extensive and immersive viewing experience while working on music production projects. Lastly, HP has an AMD-based alternative with similar functions: the HP Pavillion 27″ All-in-one desktop, which you can check out if you prefer an AMD processor over Intel.
- Powerful Performance
With the system, the Intel Core i7-9700 processor provides high-performance capabilities for running music production software such as Ableton Live or FL Studio. With its fast clock speeds and eight cores, the processor can handle multiple tasks simultaneously without any performance issues.
- Large Display
You get a 31.5-inch 4K UHD display with the system, providing an extensive and immersive viewing experience while working on music production projects. This large display makes it easy to see fine details and work on intricate projects without straining your eyes.
- Ample Storage
With the 512GB SSD, you can quickly boot and optimize application load times and sufficient storage space for music projects and files. This means you can easily store and access all of your music files.
- High-Quality Audio
The HP Envy 32 All-in-One comes with Bang & Olufsen speakers and Audio Boost technology, providing high-quality audio drivers for music production. That makes your speakers produce crisp and clear sound, allowing you to hear every detail of your music.
- Multiple Connectivity Options
Multiple connectivity options include USB-C, Thunderbolt, HDMI, and DisplayPort. This makes connecting external devices such as audio interfaces, MIDI controllers, and external hard drives easy, allowing you to expand your music production capabilities.
- Wireless Connectivity
Regarding connectivity, the desktop has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, allowing seamless internet access and easy wireless connections with other devices. This is ideal for collaborating with other musicians or streaming music online.
The HP Envy 32 All-in-One is a great music production PC with impressive features such as powerful performance, a large display, ample storage, and high-quality audio. However, it would be best to consider the downsides before making a purchase decision.
First, the poor monitor adjustability, lack of touchscreen or pen support, and color accuracy are not as good as claimed. Additionally, the sound volume of the built-in Bang & Olufsen audio is extremely loud, which may not be ideal for you. Finally, the Envy 32 lacks an optical drive and has a chintzy mouse.
Despite these drawbacks, the HP Envy 32 is a powerful and elegant all-in-one desktop suitable for various applications, from video rendering to gaming to entertainment streaming.
9. Dell Inspiron – Budget
Dell Inspiron is an affordable and feature-rich desktop computer for music producers on a budget.
As a budget-friendly option for music production, the Dell Inspiron desktop can be a suitable choice for those who don’t require a high-end computer. It has a powerful processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and a dedicated graphics card, making it capable of handling most music production tasks.
Additionally, it offers a range of customization options, including upgradable RAM and storage. However, the computer desktop may not be as powerful as other high-end desktops, and its design may not be as sleek and modern.
- Reliable & Fast Processor
Featuring a fast and reliable Intel Core processor, the Inspiron by Dell is a suitable desktop computer for music production. Its high clock speed ensures that music producers can work with large audio files without experiencing any lag or slowdown, making it an ideal choice for running Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and other music production software.
- Sufficient RAM
With up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM, the desktop computer provides fast data transfer rates and ensures smooth performance when working with multiple software programs and large audio files. This allows music producers to run multiple software programs and plugins simultaneously without experiencing any lag.
- High storage capacity
With up to 2TB of hard drive storage, the system provides ample space for storing music production-related files such as audio files, software libraries, and projects. The hard drive’s fast read/write speeds ensure that music producers can quickly access and load large audio files and software libraries, allowing for more efficient and streamlined workflows.
You get several connectivity options, including USB 3.1 ports, HDMI output, and an SD card reader, making connecting external audio interfaces, MIDI controllers, and other peripherals easy. The HDMI output also allows you to connect to external displays for a more immersive editing experience.
- High Visual Processing
The Dell Inspiron desktop computer delivers better graphics performance with an optional dedicated graphics card, which suits music producers engaging in video editing and 3D rendering tasks.
The Dell Inspiron is a versatile and reliable desktop computer, but there are some potential cons or drawbacks. One of the most significant is the lack of upgradability, as the desktop computer’s components cannot be easily replaced or upgraded. You may need to purchase a new computer when you require more power or storage.
Another potential drawback is the desktop computer’s noise level, which may be louder than other computers due to its fans’ high-speed rotation. Additionally, with a more traditional and functional design, the computer may not be as aesthetically pleasing as other computers.
Lastly, its all-in-one design may limit its ability to expand or modify, which may concern some producers who prefer a more modular approach to their computer setup.
10. ASUS ROG Strix G10DK – Mid Range
With its powerful hardware specifications, the ASUS ROG Strix G10DK is a great option for music production.
It comes with an AMD Ryzen 7-3700X Processor 3.6 GHz, which provides excellent performance for running resource-intensive music production software. When it comes to graphics, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card also helps render high-quality audio and video files. The system also has ample storage space with a 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, allowing you to store large music files and projects.
Packing the AMD Ryzen 7-3700X Processor with a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and can turbo boost up to 4.4 GHz, the computer provides optimized performance for running music production software like Ableton Live, FL Studio, or Pro Tools with its eight cores on the CPU.
Ample storage space is available on the PC, featuring a 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD for faster boot and application load times and a 1 TB 7200RPM HDD for storing large music projects and files.
The system has 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, which can be expanded to 64 GB. This allows you to run multiple programs simultaneously without any performance issues.
Regarding temperature, the ASUS ROG Strix has a comprehensive cooling system with large fans and air vents to keep the system cool even during intensive music production tasks.
- Great Connectivity
You get several ports, including USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C, HDMI, DisplayPort, and Ethernet. That allows you to connect external devices such as audio interfaces, MIDI controllers, and hard drives.
Designed with customizable RGB lighting on the front panel and the interior, the desktop PC has a sleek and smart design. The chassis is also easy to open for upgrading or adding components.
The ASUS ROG Strix is a powerful music production PC with top-of-the-line hardware specifications that provide excellent performance for resource-intensive software. However, there are a few potential downsides to consider before purchasing. One of the most significant cons is the system’s price, which may not be affordable for everyone.
Moreover, while the chassis is easy to open for upgrading or adding components, certain parts, such as the power supply or motherboard, may be challenging to upgrade for some users. Next, the system’s noise level could be another potential drawback, as the large fans and air vents required for cooling may produce considerable noise during intensive music production tasks.
The large fans and air vents needed for the cooling system can produce considerable noise during intensive music production tasks, which may be distracting or annoying for you. Lastly, some of you may find that the system has much pre-installed software or bloatware, which can take up valuable storage space and slow down the system.
11. CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme Supreme Liquid Cool Gaming PC – Mid Range
Boasting powerful hardware specifications, the CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme Supreme Liquid Cool Gaming PC can be an excellent option for music production.
It has a 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, which provides high performance for running music production software. Additionally, the system has ample storage space with a 1 TB SSD for faster boot and application load times.
The PC also has customizable RGB lighting and a liquid cooling system to keep the system cool during intensive tasks. Lastly, it’s also available with AMD Ryzen 7 Processor 5800X processor, which has a better clock rate, but it’s also priced higher.
- Quiet Operation
Despite its high-end hardware and liquid cooling system, the CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme Liquid Cool Gaming PC operates quietly, thanks to its low-noise fans and cooling system. That is ideal for music producers who prefer a quiet environment while working.
There’s plenty of room for expansion with four PCI Express x16 slots and one PCI Express x1 slot. That lets you add components like audio interfaces, graphics cards, or sound cards.
It also has built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, which allows for seamless internet access and fast file transfers, ideal for collaborating with other musicians or streaming music online.
Regarding connectivity, the PC has a variety of ports, including USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 3.1 Gen 2, USB-C, HDMI, and DisplayPort. That allows you to connect external devices such as audio interfaces, MIDI controllers, and hard drives.
You get customizable RGB lighting, which can help set the mood in the studio and enhance creativity. You can customize the lighting through the pre-installed software. In addition, the system is available with both AMD and Intel processors.
- Processor Speed
The system comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with a base clock speed of 3.8 GHz, which can be boosted up to 5.1 GHz. This provides fast and efficient processing speeds, ideal for running complex music production software.
Its non-extreme version, available with the AMD Ryzen 7 Processor 5800X processor, has a clock speed of 3.8GHz, eight CPU cores, and an AMD B550 Chipset.
- Liquid Cooling
The comprehensive liquid cooling system helps keep the PC’s temperature down, which is essential for long music production sessions.
The CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme Liquid Cool Gaming PC is a powerful and reliable PC for music production with several impressive features. However, buyers should consider some potential downsides before making a purchase. Firstly, the system’s high-end hardware and features come at a premium price, which may not be affordable for everyone.
Additionally, some of you may find that the system comes with much pre-installed software or bloatware, which can take up valuable storage space and slow down the system. Another potential drawback of the system is the limited SSD storage, as the 1 TB SSD may not be sufficient for those who require more fast storage for their music projects.
Lastly, while the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card is powerful and suitable for most music production tasks, it may not be sufficient for those who require even more graphics processing power for tasks such as video editing or 3D rendering. Overall, potential buyers should weigh the pros and cons carefully before purchasing.
12. MSI Trident AS – Mid Range
Featuring an Intel Core i7-10700F processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card, the MSI Trident AS is a compact and powerful computer that is ideal for music production.
The system boasts ample storage with a 1TB SSD and 1TB HDD, providing faster boot and application load times while also allowing for large music projects and files to be stored. It has customizable RGB lighting and a quiet cooling system, which make it suitable for music producers who prefer a calm environment.
With 16GB of DDR4 RAM that can be expanded to 64GB, you can run multiple music production programs simultaneously without experiencing performance issues.
- VR Ready
Featuring a high-performance NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card, the MSI Trident AS is easily equipped to handle virtual reality music production software. This allows you to create an immersive experience while working on music projects, providing a new level of creativity and expression.
By leveraging the advanced graphics capabilities of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, the MSI Trident AS can deliver stunning graphics and smooth performance that is essential for virtual reality music production software.
- Easy to Upgrade
The MSI Trident AS has an easy-to-upgrade design, allowing you to add or upgrade components like RAM, graphics cards, and storage.
- Quiet Operation
With the system, you can work or record for longer periods without any issues of overheating or fan noise. It features a quiet cooling system that operates at low noise levels, making it a great choice for music producers requiring a quiet environment.
- Pre-Installed Software
With pre-installed software such as MSI Dragon Center, the system allows you to optimize system settings for optimal performance. In addition, Nahimic 3 enhances the audio quality for an immersive listening experience.
- Optimized CPU
Featuring an Intel Core i7-10700F processor with a base clock speed of 2.9 GHz and can turbo boost up to 4.8 GHz, the computer provides high-performance capabilities for running music production software such as Ableton Live or FL Studio.
The MSI Trident AS is an excellent music production computer offering music producers high-performance capabilities. However, it would be best to consider some potential downsides before making a purchase decision.
While the system has an easy-to-upgrade design, you may struggle to upgrade certain components like the power supply or motherboard. Additionally, although the system has a large 1TB SSD, it may not be sufficient for those who require more fast storage for their music projects.
Lastly, the MSI Trident AS doesn’t have an optical drive, which may be an issue for those who need to read or write CDs or DVDs.
13. Apple Mac Pro – High End
Apple Mac Pro is a powerful and versatile desktop computer designed specifically for professionals, including music producers.
Its hardware components are top-of-the-line, including Intel Xeon processors, AMD Radeon Pro graphics, and various RAM and storage options that can be customized to meet your needs. These components enable it to handle demanding music production tasks much more easily.
You may not need the neural engine and GPU cores that the Mac Pro offers if you want to create music. But this computer may be the right choice if your work is beyond that, like Artificial Intelligence tasks, video editing, game programming, etc.
Featuring the Intel Xeon, the system’s high-performance processors are designed for professional-grade tasks like music production. Its powerful 8-core Intel Xeon W processor can be upgraded to up to 28 cores. It also supports a massive 1.5TB DDR4 ECC memory and can be configured with various AMD Radeon Pro GPUs. Additionally, the Mac Pro can support up to 8 displays and has multiple PCI Express expansion slots for added flexibility.
- A sufficient number of cores
With the system, you get 8-28 cores, significantly boosting performance for music production tasks, resulting in faster processing times and a smoother workflow.
- Fast sample load time
The Apple Mac Pro can be configured from 32 GB to up to 1.5 terabytes of high-bandwidth memory (HBM), which is highly beneficial for music producers who work with large and complex sample libraries, such as Kontakt libraries. These libraries require significant amounts of RAM to load and playback smoothly.
That allows efficient multitasking, running multiple music production software programs simultaneously, and working with large sample libraries without experiencing lag or performance issues, resulting in a more efficient workflow and higher-quality productions.
You get various storage options, including solid-state (SSD) and hard disk drives (HDD). SSDs, available from 512 to 8 TB in storage, provide faster read and write speeds, which benefits music producers who work with large audio files and require fast transfer rates.
Mac Pro is designed for expandability, allowing you to easily add or upgrade hardware components. It has eight PCI Express expansion slots, offering high-bandwidth capabilities and supporting multiple configurations.
Its expansion capabilities are enabled by four x16 root ports on the Intel Xeon W processor, providing 64 PCI Express lanes and a high-bandwidth architecture. This is particularly useful for music producers who require specialized hardware to achieve the best sound quality.
As a powerful workstation, the Apple Mac Pro is designed to meet the needs of professionals in various fields. However, it also has its limitations. Some of the major cons or disadvantages of the Mac Pro include its high price, limited upgradability, and restricted hardware compatibility.
Next, Mac Pro customers have reported difficulty upgrading internal components due to its specialized design. The lack of compatibility with certain hardware components, such as graphics cards, can be limiting. Another drawback is the limited support for audio software, which can affect compatibility with certain applications. The Mac Pro’s large size and weight can make it less portable than other Apple devices.
14. Lenovo Legion Tower 5 – Mid Range
With its AMD Ryzen 7 5800 and 16GB of RAM, the Lenovo Legion Tower 5i can handle demanding software programs such as Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and plugins, making it a powerful desktop computer for music production.
It features an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, which can also assist with rendering and visual effects, which is helpful for musicians working on films and video game sounds. The tower has plenty of storage space with a 512GB Solid State Drive (SSD) and a 1TB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for storing large audio files.
The Tower 5 has various connectivity options, including USB 3.2, HDMI, and Ethernet, making it easy to connect to external audio interfaces, monitors, and other devices. Note that another model of Lenovo Legion called the Tower 5i is available with an Intel i7 processor instead of an AMD one.
With a base clock speed of 3.4 GHz and turbo boost up to 4.6 GHz, eight cores, and 16 threads, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800 processor is powerful and can effortlessly manage intensive tasks. This makes it ideal for running complex software programs, such as Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and plugins, ensuring you can access the processing power required for smooth audio production.
Comprising 16GB of DDR4 RAM, this computer provides sufficient memory for most music production tasks. The DDR4 RAM standard delivers faster data transfer rates than its predecessor DDR3, resulting in more seamless performance when working with multiple software programs and large audio files.
- Graphics Card
Consisting of a 3070 graphics card, the Tower 5 is a high-performance graphics card that can provide smooth rendering and visual effects while working with DAWs and plugins. It has 8 GB of GDDR6 memory, easily handling complex visual effects and graphic-intensive tasks.
The system has a 512GB Solid State Drive (SSD) and a 2 TB Hard Disk Drive (HDD), providing ample storage space for large audio files and software programs. The SSD provides fast boot times and quick access to frequently used files, while the HDD provides additional storage space for less frequently accessed files.
- Great Connectivity
You get several connectivity options, including USB 3.2, HDMI, and Ethernet. These allow for easy connection to external audio interfaces, monitors, and other devices, making it a flexible and versatile option for music production.
The computer is designed with an advanced cooling system that ensures efficient heat dissipation, preventing overheating and ensuring stable performance during extended music production sessions. The system includes a thermal intake system that brings in cool air and a dual-fan exhaust system that expels hot air, keeping the computer running smoothly.
You can add more RAM or storage space as needed, which makes the system upgradable and customizable to your needs. That also makes it a flexible and future-proof option for music production, allowing it to adapt to changing requirements over time.
The Lenovo Legion Tower 5 is a powerful desktop computer offering many musical production strengths. However, some potential drawbacks should be considered before making a purchase. Firstly, the computer comes with a high price tag, which may not be feasible for those on a budget.
Additionally, the advanced cooling system in Tower 5 can still produce significant noise during heavy usage, which may concern those working in quiet environments or recording studios. The system is also a large desktop computer, which may not be ideal for those with limited desk space, and it has a limited number of USB ports, which may be an issue for those who need to connect multiple external devices.
Finally, the desktop comes with pre-installed software that some may consider unnecessary, which can take up storage space and slow down the computer’s performance.
Mac Studio – Mid-High Range
The Mac Studio is a powerful desktop computer optimized for music production.
It features an M1 (MAX/ULTRA) chip with a 10/20-core CPU, up to 64/128 GB of RAM, and up to 8 TB of SSD storage, delivering high performance for running Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and virtual instruments. The computer also has a fanless design, resulting in a quiet working environment.
In addition, several connectivity options, including Thunderbolt 4 ports and 10 Gb Ethernet, make connecting external audio interfaces, MIDI controllers, and other peripherals easy. The Mac Studio is ideal for music producers demanding powerful performances and a quiet working environment.
- M1 MAX and ULTRA chips
M1 MAX and M1 ULTRA chips are Apple’s latest high-end silicon chips for desktop and laptop computers. They offer faster processing speeds, better graphics capabilities, and more memory than the original M1 chip. The M1 MAX has up to 10 CPU cores, 32 GPU cores, and up to 64GB of unified memory, while the M1 ULTRA has up to 10 CPU cores, 32 GPU cores, and up to 64GB of unified memory.
Both chips are designed for demanding tasks like music production, video editing, and 3D rendering. The M1 MAX is used in the new MacBook Pro, while the M1 ULTRA will be used in the upcoming Mac Pro. You can order a Mac Studio with either of these.
Featuring up to 128GB of unified memory shared between the CPU and GPU, the Mac Studio can easily handle large audio files and complex projects without slowing down or crashing, providing reliable and efficient performance for music production.
- Neural Engine
The Mac Studio includes up to 32 Neural Engine cores, which can accelerate machine learning tasks. This feature is especially useful for music producers who use machine learning algorithms to generate music, analyze audio data, and automate certain tasks.
- Multiple Displays
Utilizing the ability to support up to five displays, music producers using the Mac Studio can work on multiple projects simultaneously, making it particularly useful for recording engineers who need to monitor multiple audio tracks or composers who require multiple windows open for editing and arranging music.
Featuring Thunderbolt 4 ports, USB-A connectors, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, and an audio jack, the computer provides various connectivity options that make connecting external devices such as audio interfaces and MIDI controllers easy and external hard drives.
- Thermal Architecture
Its unique thermal architecture keeps the system cool without making noise, which is particularly beneficial for music producers who need a quiet workspace when recording audio.
While the Apple Mac Studio is a powerful computer designed for creative professionals, it does have some drawbacks. Firstly, it is quite expensive compared to desktop computers, which may make it unaffordable for some music producers.
The Mac Studio offers no upgrade options, as its components are soldered onto the logic board. This means that you cannot upgrade the RAM, storage, or graphics card in the future. Finally, the Mac Studio’s design is not very customizable. These limitations may be a drawback for some music producers who prefer more flexibility and control over their computer’s components and design.
What Should I Look For In A Music Production Desktop PC? (Key Factors to Consider)
If you’re looking to build or purchase a computer for music production, there are a few key specifications to consider. The CPU/processor is the most important component, with a recommended minimum single-core processing score of 10,000, at least four cores, and a high clock speed.
The next important aspect is the RAM. 8 GB is sufficient for entry-level producers, while 16 GB is recommended for more experienced producers. However, if you run huge sample libraries and instruments like Kontakt and Omnispher, I recommend using 32 GB RAM. Read further on this matter.
In terms of storage, 500 GB SSD or 1 TB HDD is budget-friendly, while 500 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD are ideal, and anything above that is high-end. SSDs are recommended over HDDs for their speed and reliability, with NVMe-based SSDs offering faster data reading-writing speeds.
Other important specifications to consider include USB ports, screen size and graphical capabilities, and weight for travel. Ultimately, a well-equipped computer for music production will provide the processing power and storage space required to handle complex audio files and software. Now let’s get to the main topic of discussion.
Shaurya Bhatia, is an Indian Music Producer, Composer, Rapper & Performer, who goes by the stage name MC SNUB, and is also 1/2 of the Indian pop music duo, called “babyface”. A certified Audio Engineer & Music Producer, and a practicing musician & rapper for more than 6 years, Shaurya has worked on projects of various genres and has also been a teaching faculty at Spin Gurus DJ Academy.