If you are serious about audio production, then you need the right tools to help you achieve your goals. A good desktop, whether you want it at home or for your office, can go a long way in helping you master the art of audio production on FL Studio.
Now FL Studio is a professional software and requires a workstation-grade CPU and other components to go along with it in ideal cases. This means that entry-level builds are out of the question.
The minimum you can settle for is a mid-range build with perhaps the newer-gen Intel Core i5 or Ryzen 5 CPUs, however, the best desktops for FL Studio would almost certainly feature the likes of Core i7 / Ryzen 7 if not the Core i9 / Ryzen 9 CPUs.
The reason being that FL Studio scales very well with multiple cores and threads depending upon the complexity of your projects.
In addition to that RAM and storage are the other two important considerations, whereas, the GPU can be kept on the back-burner.
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What are The Requirements for the Best Desktops for FL Studio?
The general requirements for FL Studio are fairly minimal. The idea is that the better the hardware the more instruments you will be able to work with at a time.
The typical requirements for FL Studio are given here.
|OS||Windows / Mac|
|CPU||The more powerful your CPU, the more instruments and effects you can run|
|RAM||4 GB DDR4|
According to this, you need to have a minimum of 4 GB of Hard Disk space and 4 GB of RAM. When it comes to processors, they have left it to the user’s discretion to decide how many instruments they want to run at a time.
The good news here is that as a beginner the barrier to entry is very low. Therefore, if you are just testing the software out, you can get started with a fairly low-powered computer.
However, as is the case with audio production, things can get complex VERY soon, and having a decent Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) from the get-go will save you from future hassles.
I Explain More Below, but With that Said,
You can either build a workstation yourself or get a pre-built with. Pre-built desktops are hassle-free whereas for custom-built machines you have to procure and assemble each part by yourself. Again, in the end, it all depends upon what is cheaper and more convenient. There are budget options such as follows, Then there are the more expensive options. The issue with high-end pre-built workstation desktops is that the MAJORITY of them all feature at least a mid-range dedicated graphics card. As I explain below, a graphics card is NOT something that is of paramount importance for an FL Studio DAW. Hence, your option can disregard a GPU UNLESS you do something graphics intensive like gaming or 3D designing. For a top-of-the-line DAW, Intel Core i9 / Ryzen 9 are suggested but again, a dedicated GPU is still not necessary. Intel Core i9-12900K | 32 GB DDR4 | 512 GB SSD + 2 TB HDD
Window 11 Pro
You can either build a workstation yourself or get a pre-built with. Pre-built desktops are hassle-free whereas for custom-built machines you have to procure and assemble each part by yourself.
Again, in the end, it all depends upon what is cheaper and more convenient.
There are budget options such as follows,
Then there are the more expensive options. The issue with high-end pre-built workstation desktops is that the MAJORITY of them all feature at least a mid-range dedicated graphics card.
As I explain below, a graphics card is NOT something that is of paramount importance for an FL Studio DAW. Hence, your option can disregard a GPU UNLESS you do something graphics intensive like gaming or 3D designing.
For a top-of-the-line DAW, Intel Core i9 / Ryzen 9 are suggested but again, a dedicated GPU is still not necessary.
Intel Core i9-12900K | 32 GB DDR4 | 512 GB SSD + 2 TB HDD
What are FL Studio Processor Requirements?
FL Studio does not state any specific requirements. All it states is as follows:
The more powerful your CPU, the more instruments and FX you can run.
As such, the requirements for the processor for FL studio are entirely user and project dependent.
If you are a professional working on a complex project with a lot of tracks, instruments, and effects, then you’d need a powerful processor.
PugetSystems, in fact, recommends having an Intel Core i7 or even a Core i9:
CPUs like Intel’s Core i7 and i9 processors which provide both high clock speeds and a fair number of cores are ideal for light to moderate workloads in FL Studio. – PugetSystems
There are generally four categories of processors:
- Entry Level: These include Intel Celeron, Pentium, Certain Core i3 processors, AMD Athlon, and certain Ryzen 3 processors
- Mainstream: These mainly include Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processors
- High Performance: These include Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processors
- Workstation: These include Intel Core i9 and AMD Ryzen 9 processors
Unless you are a beginner or a student with a limited budget, we do not recommend going for anything lower than a mainstream processor.
Of course, the most recommended route is to go for a high-performance or workstation-grade CPU. However, you may notice that you may not see the drastic difference as you go up the ladder ESPECIALLY if your projects are not too complex.
This is because the more expensive you go, the higher the core count gets. For instance, the expensive AMD Ryzen 9 7950X has a whopping 16 cores and 32 threads. This is where the software’s capacity to scale with cores comes into play.
FL Studio, like most software, does use multiple cores but its gains will ONLY be seen if your project is complex enough to utilize all the cores.
How Many Cores Does FL Studio Use?
On the topic of Core compatibility FL Studio says:
Yes FL Studio utilizes multi-core CPUs but, beyond a certain point, more is not necessarily better. image-line.com
FL Studio can basically use as many cores as you can give it. This is one of the rare software that scales very well with multiple cores.
But the utilization of cores, as I have stated above, depends upon whether your project is complex enough.
Basically, the more plugins you have, the more tracks and instruments you have, and the more parallel tasks you have, the more you will benefit from a higher core count.
The following video explains this:
If your project is not or never going to be complex enough to utilize all the cores you have invested in, then you will have wasted your money.
Be Kind to Your Processor:
As FL Studio Says:
Show respect for your CPU and don’t throw 30+ high-cpu load plugins at it and then wonder why it chokes. image-line
Also learn to split instruments/effects into multiple channels so that the load across the cores is distributed.
The following comprehensive video shows how you can improve CPU performance if your CPU meter is in the red.
PugetSystem actually recommends 16-32 Cores for an FL Studio DAW. While this is true for professionals, for an intermediate user or a beginner, you can stick with 8 core processor as a minimum.
On GPU and RAM for FL Studio
A graphics card is perhaps the least important concern for an FL Studio workstation. In fact, a high-end graphics card with loud fans and blowers can actually prove to be a nuisance for your recording endeavors.
Does FL Studio Use GPU Acceleration? Should You Buy a Graphics Card?
Certain plugins may use GPU acceleration, particularly for UI, however, there is a general consensus that you don’t need to worry too much about the graphics card.
If your budget allows, buy a very cheap one, perhaps to add multiple display support. However, if you have a limited budget, maximizing it for the CPU is recommended.
A dedicated graphics card is a necessity for a workstation intended for creating simulations, animations or gaming and not much for audio production.
The integrated graphics cards on the processors should be more than enough to handle the video output for you.
Multiple Monitor Support
A good workstation comprises of multiple monitors. Multiple monitors are KNOWN to improve productivity.
Multiple Displays can Increase Productivity by 42% – Jon Peddie Research
Hence when buying a computer make sure that the PC has multiple video outputs. You will notice that the desktop may have a combination of DVI-D, HDMI, VGA, or DisplayPort.
Most desktops offer two video output ports. That way you can connect two monitors to them but it is not uncommon to find the majority of the DAWs featuring 3 or more displays.
Of course, the more displays you wish to connect, the more video output ports you’ll need. In case if your motherboard DOES NOT have sufficient ports, you may be forced to invest in a rather cheap dedicated GPU with multiple video output ports.
If you do decide to get a dedicated GPU for multiple monitor support, just make sure it DOES NOT have a fan or a blower to reduce the noise levels. Some entry-level GPUs, such as the NVIDIA GT 710, have passive cooling.
RAM is Paramount
Perhaps the most important component AFTER the CPU is the RAM.
Any workstation demands a high amount of RAM due to the number of assets and processes that take place at a given time.
Complex projects, for instance, with multiple tracks, and your collection of VSTs and plugins can devour your RAM.
You can always keep track of your RAM usage via Task Manager, but a good starting point is 32 GB of RAM.
Again, if your RAM usage is peaking, then you may need to upgrade it to an even higher capacity.
Notice how starkly this is different from the 4 GB stipulated by FL Studio. This is because the official requirement DO NOT do justice to the professional requirements. They JUST stipulate the minimum required to start the software and perhaps to play around with a single or two tracks.
Which Other Hardware Matters for Audio Production?
In order to spend your money well, you need to be aware of the hardware that matters the most when doing audio production.
We have already talked about the core hardware above.
The other two important factors are the Audio Interface / Sound Cards and the storage.
We will break down the rest for you here.
Equally as important as the processor is the sound card. A generic built-in soundcard on the motherboard will not be sufficient particularly if you are serious about your projects.
The noise levels, the low sample rate, and the lower number of output ports on the built-in soundcard are highly undesirable.
What you need to look for is a dedicated sound card either internal or external that supports Audio Interface (ASIO) drivers.
Unfortunately, good dedicated sound cards are quite expensive.
Getting an NVMe SSD is a No-Brainer These Days
A good and fast hard drive can drastically improve the speed and performance of your computer and can go a long way in improving the quality of life on your DAW.
There are two types of Hard Drives: Hard Disk Drives and Solid State Drives (SSD). The hard disk drives, or the magnetic drives, are your average hard disk with slower transfer speeds but a huge capacity for a low price.
Solid State Drives, on the other hand, are expensive but very fast. There are two types of solid state drive: SATA and NVME. SATA SSD drives are slower but have a speed of at least 5 times as fast as normal HDD.
NVME drives are the fastest as they are easily 6-7 times faster than SATA SSDs.
|Hard Disk||~150-200 MB/s|
|SATA SSD||~550 MB/s|
|NVMe SSD Gen 3||~3500 MB/s|
|NVMe SSD Gen 4||~7000 MB/s|
You can see how drastically better the NVMe SSDs are. While they are at least four times as expensive an HDD if you take their per GB rate, the performs gains are phenomenal.
From faster boot to faster installation etc, SSDs should be your primary drive.
For storage or archiving large files, you should get an HDD instead. SSDs should ONLY be used for “Hot-Data” or data that is frequently accessed.
Meaning, your OS, FL Studio and other auxiliary software should all be installed onto the SSD.
Before diving head first into choosing among the best desktops for FL studio, it is recommended that you first understand your requirement and the software’s requirements.
FL Studio is a professional software with many layers to it. Therefore, depending upon your level of use and the complexity of your projects, the hardware you choose and budget you’d need to set aside would vary drastically.
I highly liked this post, im not a beginner in production, but i did never find useful performance info about fl studio, and with all this details. I think im going to try the i3 10100 instead of the ryzen 5 5600g and use the money difference for an audio interface. Even if i got less performance, i will get more audio quality. Im very thankful guys!! I wasnt able to choose what to do and what to invest to. now i preferred to start small and grow up step by step! Cheers!