Custom Clevo Vs. Macbook Pro - looking for thoughts and suggestions

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
Sam Marks
KVRist
39 posts since 29 Dec, 2018

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:05 pm

I have only replaced the internal SSD storage to have 3TB of fast SSD space internally for my Kontakt libraries (including a Samsung 970 Evo Plus and a Crucial P1). But this I suppose that does not have any impact on the audio latency or stability. Now I have 3 different 1TB internal disks installed if in the future I need to install OSX. In this Clevo it is possible to install 3 SSD disks (2 nvme and one SATA).

The rest on the system is the same as configured by the Clevo reseller that sold me the laptop (a German company via Amazon). The computer originally came with the i7 9700 CPU, the Nvidia GTX 1660 ti, 1.5TB storage and 64GB RAM. Having a better performance and cooling than the new MBP 16 i9 (based on the benchmarks) it costs a quarter of the price of this equivalent MBP 16".And I love its mate IPS FHD 17.3" screen. I went for the 1660 ti instead of the RTX 2070 to avoid possible excessive heat and noise and it was an excellent decision, because the computer is dead silent when I am producing music and playing with CPU intesive plugins.

I have a MOTU Ultralite MK3 Hybrid that I connect to the Clevo via USB2 I also have an EMU 0404 USB2 interface. And I can compose, record, perform and produce on the go with the system. I was about to buy a MSI laptop, but I saw a video on Youtube in wich the computer gave several problems and glitches when tested with latencymon. I have reports of dropouts also on MacOS using USB2 audio interfaces, even there is no ASIO driver yet for my MOTU Ultralite under MacOS Catalina. So I am using Windows 10 and I am very happy with it. I use Live and Cubase 10. I could install also OSX on this Clevo whenever I want.

I also use a mid 2010 i7 MacBoo Pro and the stability of this Clevo for music production compared to the MBP (that is also stable) is very good. But with much more computing power, speed, storage and RAM. It performs very similar to the i9 iMac 2019, in some cases faster, and almost 8 times faster compared to my 9 years old 15" i7 MBP. An excellent and reliable machine this MBP, by the way, I have been using it on a daily basis during the last 9 years without a glitch and producing a lot of projects. I hope that this new Clevo would be as reliable as my MBP. Only time will tell.

TheZB
KVRer
6 posts since 16 Jan, 2020

Re: Custom Clevo Vs. Macbook Pro - looking for thoughts and suggestions

Post Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:33 pm

Seems like stock stuff from Clevo's website. There's a couple things from a quick google search you should know about, though.

For one, DPC problems routinely show up anywhere in 10 minutes (according to PCAudioLabs support) and I saw you only ran it for two. You've been super, super nice about giving info on this computer, and I don't want to make you do any more work on it, but I figured I would throw that out there if you need to debug in the future.

For two, according to Reddit, you can't run a Hackintosh for any OS after High Sierra on Nvidia GTX 1660 ti.

Thanks again.

Sam Marks
KVRist
39 posts since 29 Dec, 2018

Re: Custom Clevo Vs. Macbook Pro - looking for thoughts and suggestions

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:34 am

Thank you for your suggestion! I am satisfied to check that the results running the test during 10 minutes are fairly similar, very stable and rock solid, as you can observe in the image.

Regarding the GPU, you are right, there are no current Nvidia drivers of MacOS for my GTX 1660 ti, so if I use OSX Catalina on this Clevo I would use the UHD630 Intel GPU integrated the i7 9700 CPU, for Logic and other audio production this would be enough. A good thing to mention is that the Clevo laptop supports up to 4 additional monitors apart from the integrated screen so it can be used as a desktop computer as well (having desktop components and a good cooling system).

I can say that I am glad and very surprised with the good stability and low latency of my new Clevo laptop, even compared to my MBP i7 (where I have glitches sometimes when recording external audio) and the iMac i9 Vega 48 512GB SSD. I have been 10 years without using Windows for music production (from Win XP) and it seems that it has improved a lot of things relative to audio production, stability and realtime performance. Now I even consider stay with Windows 10 Pro and not installing OS Catalina on this Clevo :)

Should you have any additional question on this laptop I would be happy to help.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

legendCNCD
KVRian
840 posts since 23 Sep, 2004 from there

Re: Custom Clevo Vs. Macbook Pro - looking for thoughts and suggestions

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:12 am

Sam Marks wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:34 am
Should you have any additional question on this laptop I would be happy to help.
That DPC is actually very good for a laptop, especially for one "off the shelf" :o
Soft Knees at Bandcamp
Soft Knees - Demoscene

Sam Marks
KVRist
39 posts since 29 Dec, 2018

Re: Custom Clevo Vs. Macbook Pro - looking for thoughts and suggestions

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:44 am

You could imagine also my surprise when I tested the CPU and GPU (Geekbench, Cinebench, etc.) and obtained values not so far from the new base Mac Pro 2019 with this Clevo laptop. And so far it is very silent, cool and stable. The computer also came with a test sheet where the German reseller company reflected all kinds of technical tests and benchmarks perfomed to the laptop during its assembly to ensure that is was perfect (they did an excellent job indeed).

This laptop could well be a mobile music production workhorse with 64GB RAM, 8 cores (4.7GHz speed on all 8 cores turbo), a decent GPU (for video rendering if needed), 3TB fast SSD internal storage (and other 2TB conected via USB 3.1 Gen2, thanks to a Samsung T5) and a swappable battery for on the road audio production.

Another thing is that back in 2011, 9 years ago, the Apple tax was 35% of the price of a Windows comparable laptop (when I bought my MBP i7 15"), in 2020 this additional "tax" went up to a 300% (€1,400 vs €5,600) for a "comparable" machine in terms of performance and specifications (except for the screen and TB3 ports). Seeing YouTube videos I also observed that the new top MBP 16" i9 is very noisy at moderate to high CPU loads with audio plugins. So noisy seems to be the new MBP 16" that the reviewer had to switch off the turbo and hyperthreading, reducing also considerably the performance, measured as the number of tracks in Logic, trying to reduce the heat and noise of the MPB. This is not happening with the Clevo when I run several synth tracks and the fans are not audible and the CPU and GPU stay cool, even when they are slighly overclocked.

Sam Marks
KVRist
39 posts since 29 Dec, 2018

Re: Custom Clevo Vs. Macbook Pro - looking for thoughts and suggestions

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:19 am

legendCNCD wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:12 am
Sam Marks wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:34 am
Should you have any additional question on this laptop I would be happy to help.
That DPC is actually very good for a laptop, especially for one "off the shelf" :o
You will be surprised by the DPC problems, high latency and audio dropouts of some of the well known brands in the market, such as MSI, Asus, Acer, etc. Specially the so-called gaming laptops (that normally offer a good value but some are less than ideal for music production).

Some reviews in YouTube show the Latencymon tests for different laptops models. This is one of the reasons for me to choose Clevo. This laptop performs like a desktop but in a mobile form. Also the advantage of working with a proper desktop CPU is a plus for me. It even can overclock the CPU and GPU without increasing the heat or noise. For example, I have a mode in the laptop to provide 75W of power to the CPU instead of the standard 65W, and the turbo turbo frequency is also higher for all cores in this mode, all without dropouts or latency and from factory.

Return to “Computer Setup and System Configuration”