2013 MacBook Pro vs Mac Pro & nMP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Boneheadxan, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Boneheadxan macrumors regular

    Boneheadxan

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I own two Mac Pro rigs, the 2009 and 2010 models. Both are roughly around the 8-core base model with upgraded RAM.

    I run these for audio and music production, including film post, mixing and mastering etc. I also use a 2010 MBP which is haunted by a graphic card switching bug. My plan is to sell one laptop and a Mac Pro to fund for a new computer.

    I'm 90% inclining towards the maxed out latest MBP. It'll a) Make for a portable setup and b) Should be sufficient for heavy duty audio work (hopefully)

    But, then I started reading about the positive reviews the nMP were getting and started wondering how much more beneficial a Mac Pro would be over the latest laptops.

    Does the latest MacBookPro hold up well against the old and new Mac Pros? (Ignoring the heavy duty video needs) The benchmarks seem to suggest that it's almost as good as my 2009 Mac Pro or better?!

    I'm aware of the fan noise in laptops, but recently a fellow producer told me that the new ones are quite dead silent.

    Sorry, if the question is a bit vague. :D
     
  2. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #2
    How often do you need to work on the go vs heavy duty audio work?
     
  3. Boneheadxan thread starter macrumors regular

    Boneheadxan

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    #3
    Good question wheel.

    I'm just getting back into writing music, rather than engineering, this year. So a portable setup is a must. As I mentioned, my 2010MBP is plagued by the graphic card switching issue. Currently, using gfxStatus to keep it steady.

    A few months back, when the studio was blocked out, I tried working on my 2010 MBP and the fan noise was really annoying for delicate mixing/mastering work.

    Even on the current Mac Pros, I think I'm having more disk related issues than load or RAM. I use external DSP's and effects, so the computer load is barely at 18-20%. RAM usage is around 4-6GB. I get playback errors on really heavy sessions, but that could be the 7200rpm hard disk.

    I know the Mac Pros are a beast, but do the current gen MBP's live up to them? I will still have my 2010 Mac Pro in the studio.
     
  4. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #4
    You've just answered your own question ;)

    Chances are you'll be happy with a full spec rMBP, max is 16gb RAM, long battery life and should be more quiet then your 2010 MBP.

    Well the nMP is definitely a beast and will probably run circles around the rMBP in certain apps/tasks but based on your needs, a rMBP would serve you better.

    My story is the opposite, I used to be on the go quite often so a notebook is a must, but now that I travel only from home to work most of the time, the nMP with its size is very tempting and it's only ~USD300 more expensive then a full spec rMBP and it fits my needs more as I do engineering stuffs and the FirePros will be a huge boost compared to the GPU found in rMBPs. I dont mind luggin a 5kg computer around as my camera bag used to weigh just as much :D
     
  5. Boneheadxan thread starter macrumors regular

    Boneheadxan

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    #5
    Haha, that's exactly my doubt! The nMP is just a couple of hundreds off the full spec'd rMBP. Aaaaand, more importantly, current finances support it! In the future I might be broke, lol.

    I do need a laptop though and if I do need to go live on stage, I would need something stable.

    :( I think I'll just settle for a laptop for now. Thanks wheel!
     
  6. geta, Jan 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014

    geta macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Location:
    The Moon
    #6
    If most of your heavy work will be in the studio and you need laptop only for playing gigs and light work on the road, you should get MBA or 13" MBP, they will do the job more then fine ;)

    To take it one step further - if i was in your shoes and had the funds, i would sell them all (2 MP's and MBP) and would get the nMP for the studio plus MBA\13"MBP for the road...

    PS - as much as i would love to put my hands on the nMP, i had to settle over the summer for fully loaded MacMini for studio work (instead of the dead G5), it turned to be really powerful setup! and for gig and light work on the roads im still running my trusty 2009 13" MBP with 8GB and SSD.
     
  7. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #7
    Yup, that's a good suggestion as well. I guess I should have mentioned while you're on the go, are you expected to do anything heavy or to just play the music and maybe do some light touch ups? As if you do have the cash, you could get the nMP and probably MBA/13" rMBP as well, if you have the cash to spend that is :cool:
     
  8. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #8
    if you're using logic and you get stutters - check your CPU usage, it's possible that no setup will fix that - the one-core-overloading issue. you can alleviate it by using more busses to spread things out before sending to your master out(s). Not sure if this issue is overcome in "X".

    you and I have very similar setups (except i just offloaded my 2nd "b" 2010 tower). I like the portable rig, too. Unless I need a huge orchestral template, I can do most stuff on the laptop alone. i agree about the fan noise ( if using the built-in nvidia graphics) - but with gfx status I can keep logic using just the "i" or integrated graphics and things are fairly quiet.
     
  9. Boneheadxan thread starter macrumors regular

    Boneheadxan

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    #9
    Thanks geta. I need to have a backup machine, since the studio handles time-constrained film-work, for which it is rented out and I need to provide instant replacement if anything fails. I would love to sell everything and get a nMP as well, haha!

    13" MBP didn't float too well with me (had the 2008 model) and I hate the bezel on the current gen Airs.

    Most probably settling for a rMBP for now. nMP other issue is, I would have to fly it through customs and they are probably going to make me sell a kidney to pay the duty. :eek:

    ----------

    There's a good write-up about the core-overload issue on gearslutz. Iirc, it's not so bad on Logic X. My issues were with Reaper, which is very stable at high loads (much more than Logic, Cubase etc.) It might be a firewire bandwidth choking in my case, due to sound card and UAD or Hard Disk issue. Still trying to nail this one down.

    I would like the option of opening a huge session on the laptop, if needed. :)

    I too use gfxstatus to pin it down to 'Integrated'. On my MBP it restarts if it switches, so I have no other choice. It's a known issue and Apple offered some replacement for a brief period. Again, fan isn't an issue in most cases unless you're doing critical mixing or mastering. :(
     
  10. Scissors macrumors regular

    Scissors

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    I've never got on well with noisy computers, so much so that I sold my Mid-2012 15" rMBP and Mid-2013 Macbook Air. I'm now using a Late-2013 13" rMBP which is silent even under full load (e.g. handbrake) for relatively long periods - an amazing contrast from those other two. It's not surprising that quite a few people on the MBP forums have questioned whether their fan is broken! My search for a quiet portable computer is finally over and I intend to keep it for a few years. I'm looking forward to my nMP being just as quiet.
     
  11. Boneheadxan thread starter macrumors regular

    Boneheadxan

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    #11
    Wow, that is good to hear! My mid-2010 non rMBP was just too noisy under 20% CPU load for mixing.

    Air might be too weak for my needs. But, this no fan noise thing has me excited! :D Also, I still haven't experienced SSD speeds yet, for fear of having to install 100's of plugins.
     
  12. Scissors macrumors regular

    Scissors

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    #12
    Just to remind myself how quiet this is, I'm now running 8 instances of "yes > /dev/null &" and can't hear the fan at all. :D (http://osxdaily.com/2012/10/02/stress-test-mac-cpu/)

    I'm using the 2.4GHz version as I wanted to guarantee quietness and didn't mind sacrificing a tiny bit of performance.
     

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