Computer Music for Beginners : Choosing hardware - About CPU

Author: sleepfreaks

About computer specs

“Mac or Windows” “Desktop or Laptop”

After making these decisions, your choices are narrowed down a considerable amount.

We will gradually take a better look into models,
but we find this area to be a little more daunting to beginners.


“CPU/memory/HDD” We see these confusing words and wonder what they might mean, or if you do know, how they pertain to music production?

This is all very important information,
and we will take a step by step look at each.

What is CPU?


Lets first take a look at what CPU is.

Simply put, CPU is the “smartness”
that a computer is born with.

It is difficult to change after purchase, and is the most important factor to keep in mind.

Without enough CPU, the work given to a computer cannot be run fast enough, and worst case scenario, will be abandoned!

If the CPU runs fast, work can be processed in a short period of time, and allow for stress free productivity.

CPU specs

CPU is measured in “GHz”

The higher the number, the smarter it is,
shown through numbers like “1.5GHz” or “2.8GH.”

One thing to keep in mind, is that there are different types of CPU.

Even the same “1.5GHz” CPU runs differently if it’s dual (2) or quad (4) core.

Minimum specs for Computer Music?

Although it differs widely depending on use,

a safe place to aim for when choosing a CPU would be

“Core i5” “Core i7” “Quad Core” “6+ Cores” with over “2GHz” of processing power.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with going well over these specs,
but when running multiple audio tracks and samples, consider “2GHz” as the minimum to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

How to check your CPU

  • Mac
  • Windows


Click on the Apple logo → click “About This Mac”


The section in the red box is your CPU.
The laptop shown runs at 2.26GHz with a Quad Core.


Select “Computer” from your start menu


Select “System Property”


The “Processor” section in the red box is your CPU

  • Mac
  • Windows

What happens when you don’t have enough CPU?

Cubase セッション

Your project will stop abruptly in the middle of producing music!

In worst case scenarios, you will be unable to get any work done from the constant stops.

Also, when recording guitar or vocals, the sound may be delayed to your headphones,
or you may experience the infamous pops and noise when you play it back.

To enjoy a stress free environment, please keep a certain amount of CPU in mind.