Reasoable High Perormance Laptop For Music

Recently I was looking to upgrade my laptop for music payback. I wanted as much ram and storage as possible using a solid state drive. Too many of the laptops I looked at that were set up for music playback were ridiculously expensive. Fortunately, I was able to find a great unit at what I feel was a reasonable price on Ebay. It was an Asus G750JW-DB71 that had 32GB of RAM , 1TB EVO Samsung solid state drive,I7 Pentium chip, blue ray with Windows 8 software. It cost me $2,314 with an additional $11.48 for delivery. The company selling them is called Computer Upgrade King and they do the upgrades and give you a 3 year warranty on their work. I installed J. River 19 to use as the GUI and J. Play for music playback and it works and sounds great! Yes, this laptop was really designed for gamers but it is hard to beat the price to performance ratio as a music server.
I use a MacBook Air ($1k) with 4GB of RAM and a basic 128GB SSD and Aurdirvana Plus and HDMI into a Oppo 105 for decoding. Works perfectly for me, see my previous post on this subject. I could not be happier with the results (sonic), ease of use and ergonomics.
I would highly recommend using a Oct 2009 Mac Mini. Purchase on ebay. With wireless keyboard and mouse and Snow leopard dis, it should be around $380.

Then do these things to it:

The 2009 Mini can use an upgrade DC power supply like the SR5-18.5 Makes a big difference.

ripping and playback:

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Steve what is the significance of that particular year and month for audio? Just curious as I am looking at getting a mini myself.
I use an Asus 14 inch laptop running Windows 7 64 bit with 500gb internal hd and a Western Digital USB3 2tb external hard drive. All my music files are on the 2tb external drive. The computer has an Intel i3 processor and 8gb of ram. I run the newest J rivers. All unnecessary software has been removed as this laptop is for music only. I get sublime sound running into a Musical Fidelity V-link 192 and a Wyred Dac 1. My total outlay on the laptop was 399.00 (it was on sale), & 150 for the external usb drive.
The computer has been tweaked to the max and I have very few services running.
What exactly does J Play do? Is it made by the same people that makes J River, or is the name just similar? It looks like some people use J Play as a music player, while others use it with a different music player. If it is a music player I don't see why you need something else.
Chose Lenovo Q190 and swapped the HDD with Kingston 250G SSD. I also have the back-up 2TB external drive to either archive music or retrieve back to SSD.
My next upgrade is to place it into rigit aluminium heatsink chassis and get rid of processor fan that's not even heard much.
Lwin, curious about the focus on the solid state. I know they are fast and have no moving parts, so it stands to reason they may be better for music. But have others found this to be true?
JPLAY is an excellent music software playback system developed by two talented gentlemen named Joseph & Marcin. JRiver says it doesn't work but you can try it for free and decide whether it is worh it.
Chrshanl37 wrote:
"Steve what is the significance of that particular year and month for Mac Mini?"

Oct 2009 Mini is the last Mini that used external DC power. The newer ones have a SMPS inside the box and they don't sound as good. The slower 2.26GHz processor also seems to be helpful.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
JPlay shuts down processes on your system to try to eliminate noise and timing issues from other processes running. It connects to another player, like J River or Foobar, for file management and UI. It seems to work best for people who have a lot of processes running. Some people hear a big difference, others do not. The J River people tried it on their systems and did not hear a difference. From what I can tell it is very system dependent as to whether it helps or not and, if so, how much. Its best performance mode completely shuts down most of the system, so you set up what you want to play and let it go. You essentially have to reboot to play anything else. Lots of people swear by it and lots think it does nothing.

Fidelize also shuts down processes but it runs as a separate process but does not directly interact with the player.
Skoczylas the reason I like an SSD is just as you stated, no moving parts. If you have a HDD running between 5-7K plus rpm; it will affect the sound. I demonstrated this to a music buddy. I played music back through 2 HDD laptops for him & when I put in the SSD he said simply that right from the start noticeably better. Computers have a sonic signature especially laptops which I prefer because I like to take my music with me. People at a party love it when they can request songs or artists & you can play what they want with a couple taps on a mouse. We live in an age of instant gratification.