Thoughts on upgrading an aging system

I run win7 on a Lenovo t420 i5 8gb ram Runs ableton live with next to no latency. I have been using this system with an echo audiofire 4 for about 3+ years with hardly a hiccup.

I occasionally feel some anxiety about upgrading my hardware. How do you all manage your anxiety and execution with regards to computer upgrades adversely affecting your work?

One way would be to keep your old computer and associated gear and add a new computer. Then you won’t lose the ability to do anything and you can gradually move your work over to a new computer. I did it a couple times and it helped with my fears of the same type (but probably smaller in degree).


I just use the old computer :confused:
Why do you think an upgrade is necessary? I’m very envious of ‘hardly a hiccup’.


I’m with @Galapagoose on this one.

Why do you feel the need to upgrade?

My main music computer is a 7 year old Core2Duo iMac. It’s pretty much locked down at this point - I won’t be upgrading the software much if at all - but it has everything I need on it and runs smoothly. Which is probably the most important part.

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Regarding hardware : i manage that by looking at the prices of new laptops and observing that i can buy ten times the used one i currently have for the amount of money. Moreover, since CPUs model numbers stopped being of any use to intuitively place them on a scale of performance, i decided to not obsess with that like i used to from the 386 to the P4.

My biggest concern is (was) with software updates ! On linux systems configured for general desktop purpose, i find it is easy to endure some regressions (esp. regarding low latency audio, and if wine is involved) a few times a year. I always start with a minimal system but years passing, with the need to try this or that app, i end up with mountains of packages installed;
i used to like to start fresh every now and then, but nowadays i feel it would be just another manifestation of procrastination so i just use the thing.

My current setup being based around software that compiles on many platforms/architectures, i’m not really concerned by a potential hardware failure and change anymore.


I’m not an expert by any means, so take my opinions with a grain of salt, but I think any gains you’ll get from a new laptop will be marginal since you’re running smoothly now. It is a shame the Lenovo won’t go above 8GB RAM. Have you upgraded to a SSD?

Currently running a 2012 MBP with a 2.7 i7, 16 GB RAM, and a SSD. I only have problems if I’m trying to run like 10 instances of Operator and tons of effects in Ableton. I’m going to hold off on upgrading OSX as little as possible, because that seems to give me the most problems (just weird behavior more than performance issues).

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At this time no upgrade is really necessary. This has easily been the smoothest machine I have had. In live, I run a few monome apps, studimux for iOS, a few vst fx, a couple thru fx channels for hardware and often times serato scratch running in the background. Amazingly, it all works… no issues for like a while.

I did image my hd and swap over to ssd last year. That was a no brainer. But nothing else is imminent or necessary and perhaps my anxiety is unwarranted. Still curious as to how and when others choose to upgrade.

I upgrade when something new or old doesn’t work or gets too slow to be bearable. In the old days this happened about every 3-4 years. It seems to be happening less frequency lately. More like 4-7 years.

That being said, I have 5 computers, personally. My wife has another one. And there’s an iPad and two iPhones in the house. If one of them breaks, I can generally make another one work. Working with web technology for the last 18 years has forced me to take a cross-platform approach. I’ve grown to a point where I can rebuild any of my systems on the same or a different platform (with variations per platform) in a day or two. That ability to rebuild from scratch is what keeps me from worrying.


I’ve only had two music computers in the last 13-14 years. But I don’t exactly do that much to stress them. They’re electronic tape recorders. I use a DAW, a few effects, the odd VST instrument and standalones such as Max. I don’t try to keep anything that up to date because I really don’t need to for the music I do. Still using Cubase SX5 for example!

I replaced my original one because it broke, was 6 years or so old by that point, and really wasn’t worth the cost of fixing. Not sure what I’ll do when my current one dies which is the only thing that will make me replace it. I have it cloned and may just try to find the same computer again and redo it on that :slight_smile:

Yes this what did when I upgraded from my t410. That wasn’t a bad migration at all. That change was sort of forced upon me and the upgrade seemed the logical route to take.

I have protools 11 on a windows XP pro 64bit PC. Find it solid and powerful for all the things i do. I have opted out of protools subscription. I wonder how long I have got with this set up. who will get me first…Microsoft pulling support for xp. some mystery upgrade sabotaging pro tools? Im hoping for at least another 4/5 years.

Coming towards 4 full years of non-stop use of this desktop i7 I built as a hackintosh. It runs latest macos, latest versions of DAWs, except Audition ($). Good power, runs silent, i do not mess with the hardware, only upgrade OS when Logic (or Pro Tools) necessitates it. Computers don’t advance as fast these days, it’s comforting not to think about upgrades, I have no anxiety, no plans to upgrade it, even going through 2018. Laptops, especially Apple’s, seem to have decent lifespan but become annoying with heat, noise, and slower graphics… and ports. Highly recommend a desktop, especially a build you can research and control.

Windows XP support ended April 8, 2014.

haha…well it still updates so there must be some kind of support going on , but I suppose support exists on different levels and the basic committment is gone.

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doesn’t all tech support in this regard begin with the question…
-what do you want to do with this machine?
also, the wise consul…
finish whatever project you’re working on first, then back-up, then uphrade