Recommended Laptop Specifications for Starting a Podcast

When first starting a podcast, it can seem as though you need a huge amount of equipment. Tools like good quality microphones and other recording equipment are crucial for a professional-sounding podcast. But a piece of equipment that few people consider as important is a laptop.

woman wearing purple dress sitting on chair near window starting a podcast
Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

Your laptop is important for the recording process and essential for the editing process. To properly edit a podcast, it is important that your laptop can support sophisticated editing software. If it does not, then your podcast won’t have the professional sound that it needs.

A lot of people think that podcasts are simply people talking to each other in an unedited ramble. But, if you don’t edit your podcast and use sophisticated podcasting software to produce it, then you will have a difficult time gaining (and keeping) any listeners.

So, what should you look for in a laptop? Here’s our guide to the most important specifications to look for in a laptop for podcasts.

RAM

Just in case you aren’t sure, RAM is a type of computer memory that stores working data. Essentially, it is the computer’s short-term memory. 

The amount of RAM a laptop has determines how much it can do at one time. RAM works incredibly quickly and has a fast connection to the CPU. (Read on or scroll down to section 3 to find out more about the importance of the CPU). For podcasting, you will likely need a large number of systems running at once, all of which you will need regular access to.

This means that it’s important to invest in a laptop with relatively high RAM. This should be around 16GB or more. We definitely don’t recommend buying a laptop with less than 8GB of RAM. This is because RAM will help to support recording and editing software. This means that you will be able to run multiple programs at the same time, as well as any additional plugins. 

Hard Drive

Just as RAM is important for storing data, so is the hard drive. The hard drive is the internal storage of your laptop. So it is very important to have a large enough hard drive space to support all of your saved recordings. Remember, if you edit your podcast, you’re going to have many different versions saved. Hard drive space will be especially important if you find yourself recording very long podcasts before you edit them. If your podcast runs for even a short time, you will need to have space on your hard drive for saving all of them. 

Another factor to consider is the type of hard drive. Hard disk drives have high seek times. This means they can delay audio signals. This obviously isn’t great for recording a podcast. Another option is a Solid State SSD. These save data digitally instead of directly onto a disk. But, they do have less storage space than a disk hard drive.

Processor (CPU)

CPUs are quite complicated and can be difficult to understand. Especially if you have no previous experience with computers. The CPU is the Central Processing Unit. The CPU is essentially the processor which performs tasks. So, if you’re using editing software, you are essentially providing the CPU with instructions on what to do. The CPU takes these instructions and uses its internal workings to execute them. 

While other features such as the RAM, hard drive, and microphone are all very important, none of them would be of any use without the CPU. The CPU essentially carries out the tasks that you tell your laptop to do.

So, what’s the best kind of CPU for a podcasting laptop? Essentially, the best CPU will perform tasks as quickly as possible. Although low storage or a poor-quality microphone can be irritating, they can be easily solved. But, there is nothing more irritating than your laptop running slowly. This will impact the performance of all software and will definitely impact your podcasting.

CPUs are made up of “cores”. You will likely recognize this term as it is often used in advertising. Most laptops run on dual or quad cores. Essentially, the more cores a CPU has, the faster it will run, and the faster you can work. So, while it shouldn’t be the only factor to consider when choosing a laptop for podcasting, you should always check the CPU and number of cores before making a firm decision. 

We recommend using a CPU with at least four cores and 2.5GhZ. A dual-core processor might be able to do the job. But I recommend four cores to ensure you can work quickly and efficiently. 

Recording Software

While you can easily download recording software or use a plugin, a laptop will have its own built-in recording software. 

The arguments between MAC and PC users have been raging for a long time and will likely continue to rage. So, we’re not going to tell you which we think is the best. I am also not going to tell you which laptop we think is the best laptop for podcasting as, once you have considered all these factors, your choice will ultimately come down to personal preference. 

Ultimately, the differences between Mac and PC recording systems aren’t that major. It’s difficult to compare the two as there are so many different iterations of MACs and PCs. This is ultimately because few people use their laptops for recording. Laptops are used for recording every now and again and the microphone is mostly used for video conferencing.

While there are differences between the recording systems of MACs and PCs, I do recommend checking out some other software. These will generally provide you with a more high-quality and professional sound. With this in mind, choosing your podcasting laptop should come down to RAM, CPU, and hard drive space, rather than whether it’s a MAC or a PC.

Summary

When choosing your podcasting equipment, it’s important not to forget how integral to the process a laptop will be. While a laptop isn’t essential for a podcast and you can record without one, it is the most efficient and easiest way to record a podcast.

This is especially true if you’re just starting out. When you’re first starting a podcast, you don’t want to invest in huge amounts of equipment that you may rarely use and or use at all. With a laptop, you aren’t buying it solely for use in podcasting. You will be using a laptop for a wide range of other purposes.

Also read: The Best Video Editing Software for Mac and Windows in 2021

The specifications needed for a podcasting laptop are similar to those required for a lot of other purposes. So, you will be able to use it for lots of other things. Unlike a professional recording system which only has one use. 

So, it’s important to invest in a laptop that will be best suited for podcasting but also all your other needs. When it comes to additional equipment, it’s best to buy it as and when you need it. Start off with a good quality laptop and, if you then find that you need additional equipment such as a microphone or an external recording device, then you can begin looking into them.

Overall, the most important factors to consider are the CPU and RAM. Hard drive space is also important but memory can be transferred to other devices. CPU and RAM will ultimately determine how well and how fast your laptop will run. They will also determine how easily and efficiently you will be able to record your podcast.

Feel free to follow my podcast as well. :)

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