This week I’ve got a massive post on picking a laptop for FL Studio (and in most ways – music production in general).

In this post I’m going to list out what are the specific requirements we’re targeting for, which laptops meet them for every price range and what you should do after getting a laptop. Time to find out what is the best laptop for FL Studio!

Without further ado.

2018 June update. Last month Image Line released FL Studio 20 so I’ve decided to do an update on recommended laptops for FL Studio including the best laptops available in 2018 Summer and beyond.

What are we looking for?

A good place to start would be FL Studio 20 minimum requirements:

  • 2 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon 64 (or later) compatible CPU with full SSE2 support
  • WINDOWS 7 or later / macOS 10.11 or later
  • 4 GB or more RAM recommended
  • 4 GB free disk space
  • Soundcard with DirectSound drivers. ASIO/ASIO2 compatible required for audio recording

Looking at these requirements it seems that any recently released laptop would be more than enough. Well… yes and no. It might be enough to launch FL Studio but it is far from what you need if you’re using VSTs and sample libraries. Apparently some known plugin libraries have significantly higher requirements than FL Studio itself.

So do these requirements actually say anything?

I’d argue that the only thing that you should take from these requirements is that video card doesn’t matter at all and hard drive space matters only if you have an extensive sample library.

FL Studio team have written a lot more sensible guide for choosing a PC but that is mostly focused on desktop/tower setup.

In sum, it seems that we need to form our own custom requirements one by one.

Let’s dive in.


The CPU is the primary factor in your ability to run FL Studio with large complex projects.Image Line Support Team

Processor is THE most important thing that comes to FL performance. You do not need to get the best product to run it smoothly but a few extra bucks for a higher-end processor will surely help.

That is what we’re targeting for.

Cores vs Threads vs Hertz

FL Studio can use multiple cores and threads. But despite that, you should prioritize faster clock speed.


Each unit in the audio chain from the instrument through to the Mixer track and the effects must be processed in sequence on the same core. If one mixer track is linked to another, then all the instruments and effects on both Mixer Tracks now have a dependency and can’t be split across cores efficiently.Image Line Support Team

As it turns out, FL Studio (and you) will never balance out every single instrument through every channel without chaining multiple sends. And that causes not all the load being split equally.

That results in a peculiar case where you could run 2 instances of FL Studio both claiming to use 80% of CPU without glitching. That’s because FL Studio CPU Load doesn’t reflect usage of every core – as Task Manager does.

But how to avoid that?

Split your instruments into more channels, avoid using too many effects in the same chain. It is a lot better to split every generator into its own channel and give every channel only the essential effects they need instead of trying to balance multiple instruments in the same one.

This is especially noticeable when adding a lot of VSTs to the mastering chain. Since it comes last in the audio chain, it cannot be speed-up with multiple cores. Try to keep it clean and lean.

What does it mean for you when buying a laptop?

Your priority should be clock speed and not cores. In short – anything beyond 4 cores, at least right now, is not worth the extra money.

If I understand FL Studio correctly, this graphic should help you understand how dual core processor would handle a mixer with 5 tracks:


In this particular case, “the red core” helps out the main blue one and cuts down the time to prepare the master track by 31%, since blue one didn’t have to process Track 2, 3 and 4.

If Track 1 sends to Track 5, having extra cores will not help at all. On the other hand, if Track 5 is independent then 3rd core would speed up the process by 11% and 4th core by final 4%.

Obviously, this is not a real-life scenario unless you’re making a simple beat. Usually, you’ll end up using more tracks which can be processed in parallel but even then the additional gain is limited.

So which processors we’re looking for EXACTLY?

Anything in the higher range of the latest two series of processors. A higher-mid range is the Goldilocks zone for processors – not too slow and not too hot – just right.

To be sure how good a processor is I’ll use benchmarks from Notebookcheck and Passmark. Then I’ll prioritize single core priority over multi-core when comparing several models. I’d consider anything above Intel Core i7-3630QM very good. I have this processor in my own laptop for the last two years and it manages to handle ~20 generators going to ~20 mixer tracks with ~6 effects each. It can handle almost that much even without ASIO when oversampling isn’t used.

A few great and common laptop processors for FL Studio:

  • Intel Core i7-8750H
  • Intel Core i7-7820HK
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ
  • Intel Core i7-6820HK
  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ

Also, there are a few popular upper mid-range CPUs that are OK for FL Studio:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
  • Intel Core i5-8350U
  • Intel Core i5-6300HQ
  • AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
  • Intel Core i7-7500U

Here’s a graphic illustrating basic selection process.


How each processor is valued, especially below that line, depends more and more on their single core performance. For that I’ll use mobile processor list sorted by their score in Cinebench x64 using 1 core.

On social media I got a good question: “How these benchmarks scale up in real life FL Studio performance?“. I was given a personal example – a reader had a laptop with processor of ~4100 on Passmark benchmark page. And he wanted to upgrade it to a laptop having a processor with a score of ~8100. The simple question is, what performance gains would be realistic? As in, if right now the project runs at 100% – how would it run on the new laptop?

I love these types of questions as they help to apply all seemingly abstract benchmarks to clear real-life scenario. So this was my answer:

To get an answer to this I checked my FL projects from 2012 when I had a lot slower processor myself.
After doing a quick pen and paper “analysis” I saw that usually if you correctly setup your new PC, you should expect an improvement of 0.65 * benchmark ratio. That means moving from 4100 to 8100 would make your projects capped at 100% running on avg ~68%.
Though in reality, it depends on how you use FL. If you use under ~15 instruments while adding a lot of effects to them then the speed boost will be smaller. If you use a lot of instruments/samples with a few effects on each of them, then the difference will be more apparent. The best example of that is the master bus. If you put a lot of effects on the master bus you might get a rather small improvement. And if you have your master channel clean, you could get closer to ~60%.

ASIO Drivers Support

ASIO drivers are as close to The Holy Grail in digital audio processing as it gets. They allow DAWs as FL Studio to talk directly to the sound card.

And that matters a lot.

The good new is that basically every non-edge-case laptop released in the past two years will be compatible with some kind of ASIO/ASIO II drivers, usually ASIO4ALL.

If producing music is one of your hobbies – that’s enough. If it is more than that – you should get an external audio interface. I’ll touch this topic in a bit more detail later on in the post, but for now – let’s stay on course.


8 GB is the standard for RAM capacity. Though, in 2017, 16 GB is becoming the de facto choice for laptops starting at $1,000. You can go up to 32 GB if you’re absolutely certain that 16 GB won’t be enough. But 99% of the time it is plenty.

[…]32 Gb is only necessary if you typically use lots of sample based instruments (each running Multi-Gb orchestral libraries & ROMpler style plugins for example).Image Line Support Team

Just in case I’ll cover all my bases before getting a comment “what about memory speed/latency/dual channel?”. In this case channels won’t matter, frequency doesn’t matter and every laptop comes with CL9-11 RAM anyways.

One last thing we should consider is having extra slots for extra RAM later on. If you’re going for 8GB – that will surely come in handy if you’re planning to keep your new laptop for the long haul.

This can be a shortcut to better performance with very little additional spending (as you’ll see later on).

Hard Drive

In this case, you might face a hard decision if your budget is limited.

Now here’s why.

On one hand, 1TB of space can be used for a larger sample library. Meanwhile smaller SSD drives (for their cost) deliver gains in noticeable performance. This mostly improves the general experience of using a laptop and in our case – loading samples/VSTs and etc.

If you want the best of both worlds – pay the price for 1 TB SSD.

If you don’t care about extra hard drive speed – save your money for a better processor and just go for an HDD. That is completely viable since hard drive speed won’t hinder FL Studio.

If you’re on the fence, you could go for a hybrid solution which means having two hard drives – one (SSD) for Windows and FL Studio. And the second one for your samples. If SSD has 250GB+, most VSTs should fit too.

External screen ports

Working with multiple screens is a delight.

Firstly, good news! Almost every laptop has a connection for an external screen, usually via HDMI.

And now the bad news. A lot of laptops under 17″ have ONLY that connection dedicated for extra displays. You might be wondering what to do then if you want to rock out with a 2-3 external monitor setup.

Then you have 3 options:

  • Laptop with 2 HDMI connections
  • Laptop with 1 HDMI and a DVI/VGA connection
    The most common scenario which is completely OK. When dealing with graphics VGA (D-Sub) connection is inferior to others due to its lossy analog nature – at least somewhere people can agree digital is better than analog.
  • Laptop with (mini) Display Port and a multi-screen hub
  • Laptop with USB 3.1 Type C, preferrably with Thunderbolt 3 controller, so it can be used as DisplayPort
  • Laptop with plenty USB connections and then buy a USB to VGA/DVI/HDMI adapter

More about external screen “hacks”

Other ports

USB has been THE mainstream port for peripherals for a long time. Finally, it’s becoming a standard for external audio interfaces as well. Once a lot of devices rely on a single type of port – you’ll need a lot of them.

Look for 3 or more USB ports.

Of course a laptop needs a 3.5 mm audio jack but every single one has it. Even Apple left it intact after ditching every other port in their latest MacBook.

Sadly, FireWire is almost extinct from consumer-grade laptops. Its replacement – Thunderbolt is also found almost exclusively on Apple laptops with a few worthy exceptions I’ll mention in the suggestion section.

Battery life

Battery life requirement is entirely based on how you’re going to use the laptop. If it will be used mostly in home/studio – you can get away with a minimal battery life. Meanwhile, if a laptop is going to be your PC on-the-go – you’ll need every extra minute you can get. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Remember: advertised battery times do not represent actual time a laptop will run with FL Studio. As any other DAW, FL can be very performance hungry. Expect 1/2 – 1/3 of advertised battery time depending on a particular project and your workflow.

To keep things simple I’ll give extra points in my comparisons for laptops with good battery life.

Peace and Quiet

Working with a machine that requires a lot of power has one significant drawback – audible noise. Laptops aren’t designed to be liquid cooled (though you can try). That leaves laptops with the only other option – fans.

If you’ll want to record audio in the same room with a laptop – you’ll have a problem – a few extra decibels.

Thankfully, improvements in manufacturing and the speed of integrated graphics allowed some laptops to get away without using them. This is known as fanless design. Laptops with this type of cooling (or lack of it) only started getting traction in the last year or so. Their list is expanding and probably will double in the coming year.

Sadly they are limited in performance. So please consider them only if you’re fairly certain their processors will be able to handle the load you need.

That’s why fan-cooled laptops are here to stay for at least a few more years when it comes to music production.

How to minimize fan noise?

  • When possible, opt for newer generation processors – they tend to produce less heat
  • Coolers, cooling mats, and heat shields
  • Once a year clean laptop’s fans and radiators or bring it to a person that can do it for you
    As time passes by dust accumulates within a laptop. That forces fans to spin a little bit faster and louder day after day. Not cleaning it long enough can result in your fans working at max speed and still not managing to keep temperatures within a safe range (which is usually under 212° F/100° C). Then processor is forced to slow down. This is known as CPU throttling.
    The first time I cleaned my laptop, CPU/GPU temperature dropped by 20 degrees. Which was way beyond my expectations. To do this I bought a small screwdriver set on eBay for 5$ and watched a disassembly video for my model. Though if you’re new to PC hardware – you might as well leave it to a specialist.

What doesn’t matter

Dedicated graphics card won’t help you one bit. Unless you’re using more than 3 screens or they are beyond Full HD resolution, an integrated graphics chip will be enough. Audio processing doesn’t benefit from a powerful visual engine. So if you don’t work with video/3D and don’t play new-ish 3D games – spend your dollars on a better CPU/HDD/more VSTs/etc.

It is worth noting that there have been various attempts to leverage the tremendous power of GPU to work on audio. But even in tasks that are best suited for GPU as IR reverbs – it is not a mainstream practice due to its complexity and drawbacks.

I also did not weigh a few minor things as laptop speakers as anyways even the best notebook speakers fall way too short to be used for actual sound monitoring.



Will there ever be a native Apple Mac OS X release of FL Studio ? Once upon a time, the answer was no. Now the answer is YES! Never say never we suppose.Image Line Support Team

FL Studio finally fully supports Mac and it can be used on a MacBook. Hooray! I haven’t got a chance to use FL Studio on a Mac, but it seems working fine enough for most people with occasional crashes or plugin malfunction, but that’s FL Studio for ya.

FL Studio 20 can be used with close to every Mac even including MacBook Air. The only problem is, I don’t find entry-level MacBooks sufficiently performant to deal with FL Studio for a long mixing/mastering chain. For that you’ll need a MacBook Pro, preferrably a 15-inch model as only they come with a quad-core processor.

Apple MacBook Pro

A MacBook for FL Studio
$1,500 - $2,500

I recommend going for a 13″ 256 GB model ($1,500) or any 15″ model with at least 256 GB.

Intel Core i5-7360U and up
8 GB
256 GB
Great battery and average weight
2x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
Noise level
Noise level is rather low
13-15 inch

MacBooks have absolutely great displays with 500+ nits brightness, 100% sRGB coverage and a high resolution.

View on

Windows laptops

Consumer level laptops have reached a state where their hardware does not limit the creative process. You might still want to buy an audio interface if already don’t have one but apart from that consumer grade is no longer something professionals can laugh at.

Here I cherry picked a few best-rounded laptops paying a lot of attention to previously outlined requirements.

Just like one famous Canadian rapper, we’ll start from the bottom.

ASUS VivoBook F510UA

Cheapest laptop for FL Studio

Just to get this out of the way – this laptop is not as fast as the others on the list. But damn, it’s as close as you can get at this price. It’s definitely best budget FL Studio laptop. It doesn’t have most of the premium bells and whistles but it is a surprisingly decent computer for its price tag.

Intel Core i5-8250U

Intel made great strides with their 8th generation processors. This i5 processor performs as well as 7th gen i7 U-series processors. In fact, i5-8250U is the best processor you could find in a laptop under $700. If you don’t insist on having all of your synths running straight to your final mix, you should have a fairly smooth workflow with this notebook.

8 GB
8 gigabytes – exactly what I would want in a budget laptop. You won’t have a problem in this departament.
1000 GB HDD
Plenty of space considering you won’t be able to run too many plugins/samples at the same time anyways. Hehe. In all seriousness, trying to get a good processor and a large SSD is not an option at this price. I’m not a fan of HDDs but it’s good enough. Also, this laptop can be upgraded with an M.2 SATA SSD.
Subpar battery, lighter than average weight
Battery is reported to work ~3 hours for light work. In other words, it should last around 1.5 hours on FL Studio.
HDMI, USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.0, USB 2.0
There’s almost nothing to complain about. HDMI port is perfect whenever connecting an external display. Having USB 3.1 Type C in a $500 laptop is quite good.
Noise level
Fans and HDD
Fans are quite loud. As expected.
15.6 1080p
Just an average 1080p TN panel display.

There’s also a very similar Acer Aspire 5 laptop with 256 GB SSD instead of 1 TB HDD.

View on Amazon

Best value laptops (~1000$)


Best value for raw performance

A balanced machine which shines in all the compartments but portabilty.

Intel Core i7-8750H
You’ll not get a better than this without stepping over $2000. It’s great seeing this CPU at this price point.
16 GB
512 GB SSD
2.5 hours
Expect ~1-2 hours of working with FL Studio. The weight is reasonable (2.5kg/5.5lbs) considering its performance.
HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, USB Type C
Noise level
Can get loud under stress
15.6 IPS Matte 1080p
IPS display should provide good contrast and viewing angles while matte display should reduce screen reflections with possible trade off in backlight brightness.

A great laptop if you want the best performance your buck and you don’t care about portability. Also, it has subpar speakers but I guess no one should write or mix music without at least decent headphones or audio monitors.

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HP Omen 15t (upgraded)

Laptop for FL Studio and gaming
Intel Core i7-8750H
16 GB
512 GB SSD (NVMe) + 1 TB HDD
A fast SSD for Windows, FL Studio and plugins. A large 1 TB HDD for sample libraries.
3h battery life; on the heavy side
HDMI, mini DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Type C, 3x USB 3
Noise levels
Fans are audible under load
15.6 IPS 1920x1080
Rather dim

If you’re looking for a similar, but a 17-inch laptop, take a look at MSI GL73 8RC032.

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Razer Blade Stealth

Ultrabook for FL Studio
Intel Core i7-8550U
16 GB
512 GB SSD (NVMe)
Fast Samsung NVMe SSD for Windows, FL Studio and VSTs.
Average battery life; lightweight
HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C, 2x USB 3.0
Noise levels
Less noisy than previous Blade
13.3 Touch 3200x1800
Great resolution for small screen with touchscreen. It also benchmarks very well in display brightness, contrast and color accuracy.
[Razer Blade] is an ideal platform for music production with the highest quality internal components, a powerful CPU, pristine graphics and high-quality audio output.Image Line

How could I not talk about best FL Studio laptops without mentioning the laptop that comes with FL Studio as part of its package? Even though it comes with FL Studio 12 Producer Edition, it is still covered under Lifetime Free Updates policy, so there’s nothing stopping you going straight for FL Studio 20. Image Line itself has a dedicated page for this deal with all necessary instructions and a few tips on how to optimize Razer Blade for FL Studio. Looks like a match made in heaven!

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High-end laptops (1500$+)

Eluktronics N857HK1 Pro-X Special Edition

Workstation laptop for FL Studio
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
32 GB
A massive amount of storage.
8.5h of battery life when browsing the web. For FL Studio laptop will work approximately 3-4 hours; 14″ inch with IPS looks similar to Macbook dismissing the actual design of the laptop, plus it weights 4.2 lbs (1.9kg)
HDMI, 2x mini DP, 1x USB 3.1 C, 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
Plenty of ports. Having a Thunderbolt 3 instead of a regualar USB 3.1 C would be perfection.
Noise levels
As expected
15.6 FHD IPS

If you want a similar laptop from ASUS, check out their ROG STRIX GL503GE SCAR Edition

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Intel Core i7-8750H
32 GB
An extraordinarly large and fast Solid State Drive.
10 hour battery life; average weight - 4.6 lbs (2.1 kg)
HDMI 2.0, mini DP, 3x USB 3.1, Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type C)
Noise levels
relatively quiet and no HDD
Noise is the main issue for this laptop. It can produce up to 50 dB under load.
15.6 IPS Touch

Extraordinarly good laptop. It almost achieves the trifecta of high performance, great battery life and light weight.

View on Amazon

Custom-built music production laptops

I have found several sellers offering custom built laptops specifically for music production/DJing. In most of these machines I haven’t found much of a difference between them and general consumer laptops. One notable exception would be FireWire port which is only ever found in workstation grade laptops or Macs. If you have equipment that uses FireWire and you’ll need it for your laptop you should check out these custom solutions.

Price and performance wise none of the websites I played around with managed to beat out the consumer level laptops. Despite that, if you have very unique needs, you still should check these websites out:

Beyond the laptop

Audio interface

This can be a topic of its own but if you don’t already have one – something like Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or something simple from M-Audio. If you’re just starting out, you don’t need an audio interface at all.

Setting up

Do not forget to clean all the useless pre-installed software that is usually added to PC laptops to maintain their prices low. Then install your FL Studio copy, move your VSTs and samples in. Finally check that you have ASIO4ALL or FL ASIO installed. If not, grab a copy. Then setup your FL settings and copy your projects to your new laptop. Happy producing!

Read if you haven’t – Optimizing FL Studio performance.

Table of Best Laptops for FL Studio

LaptopPrice (approx)
Apple MacBook Pro$1,500 - $2,500
ASUS VivoBook F510UA$500
PROSTAR Clevo N850EJ1$1,200
HP Omen 15t (upgraded)$1,400
Razer Blade Stealth$1,500
Eluktronics N857HK1 Pro-X Special Edition$1,700

Final thoughts

I’ve showed what is important for a FL Studio laptop, what are good guidelines and which laptops are best for each price range. You might have some custom needs that are beyond this article, so adjust accordingly.

I hope this has helped you choose your next FL Studio notebook. I’ll shamefully close this post by quoting FL Studio Knowledge base:

Your grandfather used a four-track tape recorder and made albums like A Hard Days Night and Aftermath that changed the face of modern music. Even the lowliest of modern PCs will put that 4 track to shame. Limitations breed creativity, work with what you have and rejoice in the democratization of modern music production.Image Line Support Team

73 thoughts on “Ultimate guide to 7 best FL Studio 20 laptops (2018 June update)

  1. It should be noted that a soundcard with true ASIO (i.e. not ASIO4ALL) will give a fair performance boost since audio will be processed by the sound card and not by the CPU.

    Another useful thing if your project uses a lot of CPU is the “Switch smart disable for all plugins” macro. Although it may cause some effects (particularly some reverb modules) to cut off abruptly, it won’t affect the final exported mix and will spare CPU cycles.

  2. This is exactly the guide I’ve been looking for. I’m also looking for a good portable machine to run FL studio on. My attention has turned to the Lenovo Yoga 14. It’s a 2in1 laptop with 8gb of ram, a 1tb drive, and runs a 5th Gen i5 Processor (5570 I think). Can anybody please confirm for me if that spec would be enough for fl? I use a M-audio fast track pro currently, so externally I’m covered. But will this machine work?

    1. 5570 isn’t Intel i5 processor – it’s Xeon and those don’t come with laptops.

      I’ve found Yoga with 5200U, but that is a bit of a low-end processor for the price. I’d suggest looking for a better one or increasing your budget just enough to have Intel Core i7-5500U or better. That should be enough for light to medium usage.

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  4. Good Lord, this is confusing for a mom trying to be Santa on a $500 laptop budget. The “dirty cheap” option looks a little too cheap, especially with 4gb. I’ll have to study for hours to comprehend all the techno lingo and shop around, but I don’t have the time with a demanding work schedule. Any other cheap suggestions under $500?

  5. Well mom,
    I agree the jump from a USD350 to a USD1399 is a big high. There are options in between. But maybe at a USD 500 budget you shouldn’t be looking at using FL Studio?

    I have no idea where your kids are in terms of music production, but there is other software that runs on less demanding machines and is often even better for starting producers. Have a read at this:

    Reaper (for only USD 60) is a nice programme with a step-in & step-up version. It runs on very old machines, so even the USD 350 option will take it.

    If your kids are more advanced, maybe yo buy them a good mic instead of a computer. I’m just working with a youngster, who was asking his parents for a new Macbook Pro to run FL Studio through bootcamp (Windows on Mac). Costs USD 1200-2600.

    Instead I upgraded his old MacBook PRO fro 4 to 16GB of memory, switched the CD drive for a fast SSD ( Flash) drive and bought Reaper, costs less then USD 450. And it is working as a new machine. So there are other options.

    Sorry cannot cut out all the tech.

      1. I was looking at the Asus UX-305 older version laptop and it’s processor is the Intel Core M-5Y10. The laptop is the ASUS Zenbook UX305FA-ASM1 Intel Core M-5Y10.
        Does this laptop meet the same requirements as the newest version?
        Any feedback would be very helpful.

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    Just ordered this Lenovo. Seems to fit the specs you’ve laid out in your article. I caught a one day sale at Best Buy for only USD 700. I’m not sure of the exact processor model though. Do you think it will perform well?

  8. For 700 USD, that’s a great deal. Now, I can’t see the CPU spec, but knowing other Lenovo Z70 models, I’d say it has Intel Core i7-5500U. It is probably as slow as i7 processors go. That means it will work OK but you’ll need to rely on long buffers (1024+ samples in your ASIO panel) and you’ll have to limit the amount of plugins you’re using. Remember to keep your mastering chain light. Depending on your workflow, it might not be a limiting factor.

    Finally, don’t forget to use “Smart Disable” for FL Plugins – this can save you from underruns when CPU usage reaches 90%+.

    1. Only for drafting melodies and making drum tracks.

      Forget about using more than a couple of plugins. I would guess ~6 tracks, each with ~2 lightweight plugins each (EQ, linear compressor) and possibly an EQ and multi-band compressor on the master chain. And that’s assuming you’re using ASIO with largest sample sizes, no oversampling and low-medium settings on synths.

      In short, it is usable but it would be a nightmare to work on a track from start to finish.

      1. Okay, thank you. And yes i would probably guess the same thing but i thought that maybe fl studio 12 can’t be run on it, because the requirements for fl studio 12 is 2ghz processor as a minimum?

  9. Hi, does the Lenovo Thinkpad IBM T440P laptop ( Processeur : Intel Core vpro i7-4600M , 2,9 GHz up to 3,6GHz 2 core and 4 threads including an SSD hard drive and 16 RAM memory ) will be OK for a full project in FL Studio 12 ? Thanks

    1. It will be OK but you’ll be limited to some extent. It all depends on the plugin set you’ll be using.

      If you’re a heavy plugin user, you’ll soon have to raise all your ASIO buffer sizes to the maximum and you’ll possibly need to limit the quality settings in some demanding plugins like reverb.

      I’d say, it will be OK, but quite far from ideal.

  10. I just won a auction on Ebay for a Asus X501A for $124 (which I know is a bargain despite anything you might say), It has Intel Core i3-3120M (2.5GHz), it has 4GB RAM, and it has 750GB storage. I want to know if it has the requirements to run FL Studio and create a project using mainly samples.

    1. For $124 it’s a really good choice. Usually, a laptop like that would cost ~$400.

      Sadly, it’s not fast enough to work on complex projects. But if you go easy on the mix and you do not stuff plugins on the mastering chain (especially something like Ozone, multiband compressors, multiband saturators/”exciters” etc) – you should be able to work on small-to-medium-sized projects, especially if you’re working with samples and not synths.

  11. First I really appreciate this article. My boyfriend will be running FL studio on a computer I purchase him. I was going to get the Dell i3542-6003BK you recommended but will the dell inspiron 11 3000 series 2-in-1 work as well?

    Dell inspiron 11 3000 specs:
    Intel Core m3-6Y30Operating SystemWindows 10 HomeRAM4GBHard Drive Size500GB
    Hard Drive TypeSerial ATADisplay Size11.6Native Resolution1366x768Graphics CardIntel HD Graphics 515Video MemoryShared

    Thank you so much!

    1. I’m very sorry for my late answer. I feel guilty that you took the time to ask for help and I somehow missed you in my comment list. I’m not used to this amount of comments (╥﹏╥)

      Well, if that helps, I can say that Dell Inspiron 11 3000 is too slow for FL Studio. Well, at least anything above basic type of creative work. It has a very slow processor and only 4 GB of RAM which is a lot lower than recommended.

  12. Hello, very good article. I guess HP 15 /AC114 is not a very good option? My budget is around $750. Thanks a lot.

    1. No, sadly it isn’t a good option for FL Studio.
      A 15.6 inch HP Pavilion would be a great pick for just ~$700. Very solid CPU (i7-6700HQ), 8 GB of RAM and plenty of storage. Sadly, it doesn’t have an SSD but it’s impossible to have a laptop with a large SSD and a processor of the right caliber.
      Hope that helps!

    1. It will run it pretty well. Once in a while, you’ll hit its limits. But if you start with a proper ASIO setup (with generous sample sizes), and you’ll not use oversampling – i5 6400 can go a long way.

  13. Hello there
    Just wondering if this meets the requirements?

  14. Do you have articles on Desktop for FL studio? Where does surface line from microsoft fit on your recommendation?

    1. Sorry, I don’t.

      Surface laptops are not ideal for FL Studio unless you need a light laptop for FL Studio in Live mode where you’re using it to perform with already rendered samples.

      But for general full-stack mixing/mastering, you’ll hit the limits with MS Surface laptops (including Surface Pro and Surface Book). Even the most expensive laptops in these lines have mid-range i7 CPUs (i7-6600U, i7-6650U), which is enough to run FL Studio, but they are significantly slower than what you could get at the same price point.

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  16. I know your guide is for Laptops, but the section you wrote up on processors brought up a question. Since FL Studio seems to favor faster cores to more cores, do you think that getting the dual-core Haswell G3258 and overclocking it a bit would be a solid choice for $70?

    I am good with computers and software, I have built my own. I was considering making my boyfriend a desktop capable of running FL Studio smoothly for the holidays, as I have many of the parts necessary to do so laying around.

    I just need to purchase a small case and a processor. I have no experience with FL Studio or related software myself, except seeing that it runs flawlessly on my quad-core, overclocked gaming machine with 16gb of ram when he tried it out.

    He currently edits on a 2009 iMac that has a Core 2 Duo in Logic Pro X and has quite a few slowdowns. He said that he probably never uses more than 40 different instruments.

    Thank you!

    1. It depends on how he prefers to arrange his music. If he uses a lot of instruments (~35 is about an average you’d expect from a finished record) with very limited post-processing, more cores would be a better pick. But if he likes to use a lot of effects and routing between audio channels, getting a cheaper CPU with good performance per core is smart.

      I like your thinking – you could save quite a bit by going for the Pentium CPU.

      I’d bet G4500 (or G4400) are a bit better for their price compared to G3258 but you probably don’t have LGA 1151 w/ DDR4 RAM laying around :D G3258 is still a solid choice.

      1. Thank you Bjørn,

        I thought the G3258 would have been a unique option because of its potential to overclock, unlike all the other non-K series chips.

        I ultimately ended up building with an i3-6100 as the motherboard I was hoping to use, unfortunately, was defective.
        Luckily Microcenter had a great deal on the i3 when buying it with a motherboard, and they also had a very nice micro-atx motherboard that let me use the DDR3 ram I already had instead of buying some DDR4 ram.

  17. Hi there! Great article.
    How would you consider the i7-6700HQ vs i7-6820HQ CPU?
    Obviously 6820 has a slightly higher clock speed, but would this really make any noticeable gain in performance in a FL studio project? And would you say it’s worth the extra money?

  18. I just wanted to say thank you for this article and having this all figured out would have cost me months :)

    Still hoping for a native Mac OS X solution, but meanwhile considering buying a mini pc (not a mac mini) to work with FL Studio.

    Thanks again and have a great Christmas and New Year :))

  19. Just got a Dell Inspiron 15-5578 2-in-1 touch display with Intel i7 core, 7th gen. I don’t know how to figure out how much RAM I have because I got it as a gift and it’s brand new. Would this work with FL Studio?

  20. Hello!

    I did some research and I am very close to choosing this one:

    Can you please tell me what do you think about it?

  21. Hi, we humans hope to live long and to do some thing special in our life…. But most of us can not fulfill our destiny….. I have a dream to become no1 DJ of the world and I will b some day… But to become no 1 I need to use no 1 products as vst’s like syrum, Nicky Romero, synth master and many more….. To use those I will have 2 buy products which have high end requarment… But right now the budget is really low around USD 800-900rs. Can this budget be the starting point of my career….

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  23. Looking at using a ASUS ROG STRIX GL 553 VD-DS71 with FL STUDIO. I noticed that the ASUS uses 32GB SODIMM ram, instead of the newer DDR variety of RAM. Will SODIMM memory result in noticeably less performance with FL STUDIO?

  24. Hi will this computer work for fl?? Thanks!

    Dell Desktop PC Tower System Windows 10 Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 4GB RAM 160GB Hard Drive DVD Wifi with a 17″ LCD – Refurbished Computer

  25. This is the best “guide article” if ever read. I haven’t set up a music computer since “Cake Walk” in 1995. Now on a limited budget, I need to set up my son (who has some real talent). I have experienced the limitations of poor planning so I want to get this one as good as I can. I found a refurbished HP Laptop ENVY 15-K081NR which seems to fit the bill.
    What do you think?

  26. I am having difficulty figuring out what laptop to get for me to use fl studio perfectly without having problems or without worrying about storage or anything. Would you mind helping me figure out a couple laptops that are suitable for fl studio and its plugins.

  27. Hey what if I get a laptop with Dual Core Processor but the clock speed is 2.7-3.5 GHz. Would it run FL smoothly??
    Or should I get a Quad core one??

  28. Intel Core i7-8550U
    Its best low budget cpu for music production.
    ACER and Lenovo laptops now use this cpu and make low budget systems.

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  31. Between a Core i3 laptop with 8gb ram 2.3ghz and 500gb hdd and a core i5 3300U 4gb ram 1.7ghz and 500gb hdd….Which is best to run FL studio 20?

  32. What laptop would you recommend me getting with a $850 budget i am going to be traveling with it allot so i would like good battery life.

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  34. I have the samsung Notebook 7
    I7 7500
    32 gig ram
    1T HD hard drive
    It works wonderful
    Just a lag on vocal recording.
    I switched it to other settings . But still not comfortable with the recording lag…I will be seeking a higher grade of laptop.
    I spent 2k on this one…3,700 is my next budget.

  35. Hey if buy a laptop with processor i78750h(base clock of 2.2ghz and turbo boost of 4.1ghz),with 16Gb of RAM. Will it be enough to run a sum of atleast 10 tracks using heavy demanding vsts like kontaktv.5 and serum with lots of effects on it?

  36. Hi
    I’m using a HP laptop with an i3 that lags a lot when working on FL studio so I was thinking of changing it to an envy with a 8th Gen i5, 8gb of RAM and 256 SSD. Is that going to be enough to run the DAW most VST???

  37. Hello Zyg,

    As we all know FL Studio is use for music production and for that I like the most is Apple MacBook Pro. And another option which I like the most in this list is Razer Blade Stealth. You have done such a great job because all the listed laptops are from different budget and also capable to handle FL Studio.

  38. It is hard to choose the best fl studio laptop as there are variety of laptops available on the internet and no one knows which is better. But you made it possible by sharing your knowledge. Thank you so much for such an amazing help. I really appreciate your effort.
    Thank you

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