2011 iMac or 2016 Macbook Pro for Logic production.

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by R3k, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. R3k macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2011
    Sep 7, 2011
    Hi Guys.

    Of the following macs:

    2011 27’’ iMac 3.4ghz turbo boost to 3.8ghz 16gb Ram with SSD AMD Radeon 6970M

    2016 15’’ Macbook Pro 2.7 ghz turbo boost to 3.6ghz 16gb Ram AMD Radeon PRO 455

    Im wondering which would be faster for using Logic X for audio production? Very heavy audio production, maxing out the ram and stressing the processor.

    I used Geekbench on both and the MacBook Pro came out with a substantially higher score on the cpu test (4200 vs 3600). However, I’m wondering that under heavily load the cpu will throttle more willingly, clock speed will drop out of turbo boost range, and the iMac will be more powerful in the long run.

    Ill be working with 10gb external thunderbolt storage most of the time, so i guess internal storage speed may not be such a factor. I will be working with an external 34'' monitor. The iMac has the benefit of the 27'' being bigger than the 15'' for my 2nd screen. It will probably also be quieter with fan noise. The Macbook Pro will be more portable.

    Which computer do you guys think i should go with?

    I use a 2013 Mac Pro at work, but this will be for my home studio. Thanks!
  2. xb2003 macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2016
    I can't really think of any pro's for the iMac, except that it has replaceable parts. It's probably a bit cheaper, also.

    I doubt you would notice a whole lot of real world difference between the two, but the MacBook is definitely more powerful in about every way. Sandy Bridge ran really hot, so I doubt that the iMac would be quieter, but I don't have direct experience.

    I would consider the 2015 15" with the iGPU. If you don't need the GPU, it's better to not have it. Apple's record with dGPUs is less than stellar. Or if it's for a home studio and you don't do time critical work/have some room to tinker, Hackintosh. You can drop a high end i7 and 32GB RAM in the thing and never have to worry about power at a lower price tag than the MacBook.
  3. R3k, Mar 19, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017

    R3k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2011
    Sep 7, 2011
    Thanks for your advice. I actually own both of these already, wondering which one is better to turn into a production system, not a new purchase. If i was buying new, id probably get a refurb nMP.

    The reason why I'm asking for opinions though i already have the systems is because its so much work to install everything to get it running that its important i pick the right system off the bat. I only haven so many license seats etc so installing on both systems and doing real world tests is not feasible.

    On heat, i did run Cinebench on both. The Macbook Pro's fans kicked on in short order and quite loud, while the iMac's i could not hear. As this is probably leveraging the GPU i cant really say if this will be a similar situation using Logic.

    I think the dGPU is good as ill be running an external monitor so it'll help drive that. Hackintosh - i occasionally think of these, but yeah, my work is too critical as you say, maximum stability and productivity is a must.


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