Min. hardware for DAW/Reaper?

Of course the more power behind your computer hardware the smoother the operation of the DAW but I wasn’t able to find out what the minimum hardware requirements are to run reaper.

As it changes with the tasks the DAW should do a short overview:

  • Take the signal from an e-drum set and make it sound good with a VST
  • Record 2-5 Tracks

That’s literally it.
Especially interested in people using old hardware they got gifted or left over just for their DAW in general and specifically Reaper.

1 Like

you should be fine, just bounce the track to an audio file or freeze the tracks once you are happy with them and it will free up the CPU as it won’t have to process any plugins.


Thanks for the answer but… that doesn’t help me with a buying decision for hardware. What does that mean? The cheapest hardware I can get?

1 Like

This really depends a lot on the drum VST/VSTi. If it is a drum trigger sample player that should not require much. If you are planning to do serious processing to the e-drum sounds themselves that’s another story.

That said I agree, you can probably do just this stuff on a relatively low power machine.


Just this.
The playing around I can do on a “real” machine.
But due to my research about e-drumsets I came to the conclusion that I need a VST for good sounding drums, at least in the budget range that I am looking at. (~300-600€)

Okay. Good to know. Now I just need to find a friend or aquintance who has an old laptop…


Yeah, for this kind of thing latency will be more critical than processing power. It doesn’t really matter how long it takes to render the song with drum samples triggered, but it matters a lot that the drum hits are processed with low latency.


which will be driven by the DAI and the buffer size in your DAW (which you can adjust)


Mostly. But as you decrease the buffer size the cpu load goes up. This is almost never a problem on modern machines but used to be a larger issue.

1 Like

agree, but only so many ways to manage latency. I will say @juli0r if you wanted to spend a little bit, Ableton Live (even lite) may be better at doing what you want.


I use:

  1. a desktop from 2012 with i7 processor no SSD and 12 GB of memory
  2. a laptop from 2013 with i7 processor, Samsung 840 EVO SSD and 24 GB of memory

I dont do any e-drums but both work well with my keyboard midi controller and guitar through iRigHD2 with Amplitube 4/5 or with Reaper and all the plugins i have.


Actually I did some experimenting and Reaper was significantly less CPU hungry than Ableton at the same buffer sizes with the synths I was using. Assuming neither of them were lying about CPU usage :slight_smile: