View Full Version : Choosing my first MAC desktop for music

May 14, 2011, 01:58 PM
Hey guys,

I'm a music composer using 2006 2.16 Core Duo (500GB HD & 2GB ram) with logic 8 for almost 5 years. Due to increment of software instruments and sound quality demand, I need to invest to a desktop computer.

I've been doing research of both Mac Pro and iMac, still haven't decided which one to go!

I don't really do recording (only record vocal for demo purpose), I use mostly Kontakt and EWQL stuffs for my projects and I only compose between 24 to 32 midi channels. Currently I'm working with 44/16bit and wish to go for 48/32bit.

The new top of the line iMac with i7 and SSD+1TB plus 16GB of 3rd party ram is what I'm looking at, is this machine can really handle what I desire? Or I should really go for 8-core Mac Pro?

I have all my samples, instruments and sound fx stored at my LaCie external and wish to migrate them to the iMac 1TB if I get it. I also have other FW HD for other data.

Currently I'm using M-Audio FireWire solo and will switch to duet 2 soon!

Can someone in this forum who are experienced composers to advise me with the next desktop investment, thanks!

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May 17, 2011, 11:17 AM
Id recommend going with the iMac. From what I remember reading the 8 core Mac Pro can't be fully utilized by Logic yet (at least when it first came out that was what happened).

I use mostly soft synths, but I quite often run 4-8 instances of Kontakt at once on my core 2 duo without trouble. Kontakt, being a sampler takes up quite a bit of RAM, but I would imagine that the 16 GB should be fine. Next time you are running an instance of EWQL check the top of kontakt, it'll say in MB how much memory it's using for that instance. From there you can probably estimate what's happening.

As far as CPU goes, the new i7 should be able to handle that, from what I remember Kontakt isn't very CPU heavy unless you are running a ton of scripts or effects on each instance.

May 17, 2011, 08:21 PM
Go for the iMac and save yourself some money.

May 18, 2011, 02:20 PM
Thanx guys!!
iMac with SSD option it is!

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May 18, 2011, 03:25 PM
Thanx guys!!
iMac with SSD option it is!

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So that is the extent of your reaserch? One post to a forum? The best thing woud be to take one of your projects to an Apple store and try running it on a few computers.

Also on your current mac. Look at what "Activity Monitor" says. See if the current PU is maxed out of it RAM or the disk is the bottle neck.

All that said, I'd think you would doOK with a new quad core iMac if you have enough RAM.

May 23, 2011, 04:19 PM
Unfortunately there's no Apple Store in my current city, we only have premium resellers here and they don't have any machine with pro application installed, plus we don't have much freedom to test drive the latest Mac as in Apple Store!

(I'm a Canadian working in Taipei, Taiwan)

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May 25, 2011, 10:27 PM
When I was shopping between the imac and mac pro...it was quite evident, the limitations the imac had. I use my mac for both music and video editing. So at the end I got the mac pro, added SSD as my boot drive and 16gb of ram. I also use a 4tb external raid for my samples and use 2 additional internal hard drives for use as a scratch disk and the other for storage. But what really sold me was the expandability of the mac pro and multiple firewire ports vs only one which is annoying.

May 25, 2011, 10:36 PM
I'd say go with the Mac Pro.

The expandability, upgradability, and ease of repair will be worth it in the end.