System requirements

I use Audacity 2.0.3 and Win 7. I digitize vinyl using good turntables and an NAD PP3i D to A converter. I was wondering what the requirements are to run Audacity. Here’s why;

In the past I’ve used laptops by HP and Dell.The Dell isn’t too old and runs Win 7, i7 processor, 4 gb RAM. I would have occasional glitches and have to start a recording over once in a while due to static or distortion. My old Desktop machine has a 2.3 mhz processor speed and 1 gb RAM. Audacity won’t work at all. Choppy sound and it sounds like the buffer is overloaded.

I’ve been using a fairly new HP desktop machine with a good, fast processor and 8 gb of RAM. Also WIN 7. Since then this program has run perfectly. I’ve never experienced any issue whatsoever. It’s great.

My question is; is Audacity a bit too heavy for the average laptop running windows? Does it need a lot of RAM?

Audacity is extraordinarily sensitive to the hard drive. Everything Audacity does is real time. There’s no such thing as waiting for a spreadsheet to recalculate because the drive is so slow. The next musical note is coming right along after this one and if either fullness or high order fragmentation is preventing the data from being written that’s the end of the digital world.

Bumping up the drive or simply cleaning well and making room goes a long way to making a simple, not particularly powerful PC work properly. There are other things certainly, like not running extra drivers, processes, or other programs at the same time. There’s oddball things too. The computer has to keep track of each and every icon on your desktop. Are you a person that spackles his desktop with icons? That’s where your processor power and speed went.

Nothing like a virus protection program to get it in its craw that it’s going to inspect each and every Audacity sound packet.

Then there’s the dreaded Windows Registry problems. How long had the machines been used? Were the registries the size of Montana?


Did you check here ?

If any of your machines are running 64-bit Windows then you need twice the RAM that you do for 32-bit.

1 GB RAM is the minimum needed just to run the operating system on Windows 7 32-bit (unless you have Win 7 Starter where the minimum is 512 MB).

If you run Audacity 2.x on a computer which only just meets the minimum specification, recording may be compromised unless you go through msconfig and shut down un-needed processes and start-up programs. Editing more than a three minute song may be very slow.


In my experience, almost all programs run badly on a computer which only just meets the minimum OS specification.

I’m amazed by this story :frowning: Ten years ago, I was recording analog signal with Audacity in 32 bits/72 khz on a Pentium MMX 233 with 32 MegaBytes of RAM with mixed IDE and SCSI disks(including external devices like Castlewood Orb or Fujitsu Gigamos) and it was working well under microsoft windows NT 5 (with Audacity display refresh while recording disabled) :astonished:

I’m amazed by this story Ten years ago, I was recording analog signal with Audacity in 32 bits/72 khz on a Pentium MMX 233 with 32 MegaBytes of RAM

Yeah… I was probably recording audio on a 100mHz machine (0.1GHz) machine…

But Windows is “hogging” a lot more CPU time than it used to (I think I was using DOS when I first started recording on a computer), and there may be other programs running in the background. I was reading about some hackers that managed to load Windows 7 on an old computer and it took something like 20 minutes to boot up! :smiley:

Also if you happen to be recording at 196kHz/24-bits (total overkill for analog vinyl) , that’s 6 times as much data as 48kHz/16-bits.

So you should consider using a less consuming OS :open_mouth:

Very interesting discussion here.

My 64 bit win 7 laptop machine has 4 gb of RAM, my newer desktop has 8 gb.

I keep things at a minimum with msconfig but I understand about the anti-virus, desktop icons and so forth.

Thanks to all for the comments.