Best mac for Garageband on a budget

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jinny1, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. jinny1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    #1
    My friend is a songwriter and wants to get a mac and use garageband as a composing/demo tool. She only has vocals, guitar, and maybe down the road a midi keyboard.

    She's on a really tight budget and I was wondering if an off the shelf mini would give her the power she needs to run Garageband.

    I saw a 1.66 intel mini with 1GB of ram on craigslist for $699. That's more than budgeted, but I think the extra ram would be the most essential thing.

    Also, if you buy from the Apple refurb shop, can you get them to upgrade the ram?
    Thanks,
    Jinny
     
  2. mdickson macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, La.
    #2
    The 1.66 ghz mac mini will be fine for that. But instead of buying off CL I'd get one form the apple retail store for $699. Granted, it only comes with 512mb of ram, but you can buy a 1 gig stick of ram for under 75 bucks.
     
  3. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #3
    I'm no expert, but I've been able to do small dumb songs using the provided loops on my 933MHz iBook. It starts to choke when I have a lot of software instruments, other than that its fine.

    So for demoing I expect it to work fine.
     
  4. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #4
    The RAM is important but so is the speed of the HD. On a 4200rpm drive in my 1.25Ghz Powerbook, even with 1.25GB RAM, Garageband doesn't like more than three or four long tracks.
     
  5. jinny1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    #5
    I watched a video of someone installing ram into a mini....It looked really tricky, but I'm willing to try that route.

    I'm skittish about buying off craigslist and inheriting someone else's problems, but if it's still under warranty I could still get it serviced as the second owner, true?
     
  6. mdickson macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, La.
    #6
    I wish I could answer that question, but I just don't know.

    I typed 'retail' in my original post, obviously it should've been 'refurb'.
     
  7. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #7
    If you start using effects and virtual instruments, it will take up the CPU in no time at all. I'd want at least a Duo...
     
  8. jinny1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    #8
    So, maybe she'd be best served getting the refurb duo and upgrading the ram later.
     
  9. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a

    ricgnzlzcr

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #9
    I recorded a handfull of songs with various loops and tracks on a 1.33 Ghz powerbook with 768 ram. It was just fine. A core duo mini would do the job amazingly.
     
  10. jinny1 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    #10
    thanks everybody!

    I'm gonna recommend the refurb duo.

    if you're curious about the tunes, check itunes under: Wendy Bucklew.
    preview "I'm In".
     

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