User Reaper on a Dell Wyse 5060 with Debian?
February 23, 2022 7:23 AM   Subscribe

How well would Reaper run on a Dell Wyse 5060 thin client, with Debian, compared to an old Apple laptop? I already put in a cheap SSD and bumped the RAM to 8GB. The CPU is an AMD G-Series Quad-core 2.4GHz. The basis for comparison is a 2011 MacBook Pro (I know, I know). (And if there is a better Linux DAW, I would love to hear about it!)

I am a Unix guy, so I have no real perspective on x86 performance. :7)

My son would use this for recording himself playing guitar and keyboard, so not super demanding.

But the laptop is just soooo slllooowwwww, and this thin client runs Linux pretty well. He is willing to learn Reaper if it's more capable than the old laptop.
posted by wenestvedt to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
I'm not much help on the laptop issue, but Bitwig is usually regarded as the DAW of choice for Linux users...
posted by kuanes at 8:51 AM on February 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

That clock and that ram should do fine, IMHO. As for other DAWs, I'm sure you've seen Ardour, right? You also might want to look at a 'tuned' distro like UbuntuStudio or AVLinux.

on preview: Wow, I'd never seen bitwig before. TIL.
posted by eclectist at 8:54 AM on February 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

Also for that matter if recording is the main use, you don't need a full DAW. Audacity may do enough of what he wants for now, and that's free, and even less resource intensive than Reaper.

Reaper does have an unlimited free trial, so just try it (it seems like you already own this Linux box?)!
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:55 AM on February 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: (it seems like you already own this Linux box?)

Yeah, I scooped it up from EBay two weeks ago, and the SSD upgrade was ridiculously easy....but then I dropped a case screw, and spent 90 minutes disassembling the entire thing in order to find the screw. Gaaaah.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:01 AM on February 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

On the other side Reaper runs quite nicely on Ubuntu on a 2012 mbpro, probably faster than Logic Pro X on the same machine running Mojave.
posted by aspersioncast at 10:31 AM on February 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

i'm not familiar with DAWs or recording, but if that produces a real-time-ish heavy number crunching signal processing workload, then you might want to check if the software has minimum or recommended requirements for a CPU with SIMD extensions (e.g. sse*, avx, avx2...), and compare that against what's supported by the CPU in your wysebox.

i've been running debian on a different model of wyse thin client as a home server for years, the thing is fantastic -- dead quiet, low power -- but my usage pattern is quite different to what your son would be doing, batch jobs & rare http requests, no number crunching, no desktop windowing system.
posted by are-coral-made at 11:35 AM on February 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

I don't know from Linux, but I've run Reaper (admittedly a few years ago) just fine on a Lenovo ThinkPad Z61 laptop from '06 with these specs: "Intel Core Duo T2400 (1.83GHz), 512MB RAM, 80GB 5400rpm HD, 14.1in 1440x900 LCD Windows XP"

Reaper uses, like, no resources at all, (some wag on Reddit said "you could run it on a potato") and it's free to try (also I'm pretty sure that once the "60-day free trial" is up all that happens when you open it after that is you get a dismissible pop-up asking you to donate, and it all still runs fine after you get rid of the pop up - I mean, you should pay for it because it's an awesome product, but if your kid is still hemming and hawing after 60 days it's not like all his tunes are gone), so just try it out.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:12 PM on February 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

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