Hardware requirements?

I see the basic hardware requirements, but would like more specifics. (2 GB of RAM, 1 GHz processor). I have used and appreciated Audacity with Windows 10 on a laptop for years without knowing (or wanting to know :slight_smile: what the computer specs were. That computer finally went belly-up and I’m shopping for a laptop or tablet hopefully in the $200+$300 range that can work well with Audacity. Was gifted a Chromebook 3 that I use for other computer needs, so plan to dedicate the new laptop just for Audacity and perhaps Photostage slide creator.
I see where Audacity recommends “much higher” RAM/processor capacity if recordings are to be “lengthy multi-track projects” and this is where I would like more specifics. I usually use 4 to 6 tracks around 4 minutes long before calling it good and exporting. (Samples on youtube under “Myer Hollow” used Audacity and Photostage.)
Any help with my shopping for the hardware would be much appreciated! Have considered the HP Stream 11.6 w/Windows, but again, not sure if it would easily handle these programs.


It’s mostly just a matter of processing speed/time so you don’t generally need a powerful computer for Audacity. The hard drive is probably-usually the bottleneck.

Things get “more difficult” if you are multi-track recording because the audio comes-in a fixed bitrate/data rate and if the computer can’t keep-up you get glitches in the recording.

Also, if you are doing “high quality” recording (or multitrack recording) you’ll be using an external audio interface or a “studio-style” USB microphone (instead of a regular soundcard) and that hardware is important.

and I’m shopping for a laptop or tablet hopefully in the $200+$300 range

Several years ago I bought a cheap laptop for a specific short-term purpose and I later regretted not getting one with an HDMI port when I wanted to use it for something else. Maybe they all come with HDMI now, but give it a little thought so you don’t end-up “missing” a feature. :wink: