A Computer For A Composer

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MetzoPaino, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. MetzoPaino macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2012
    So I'm an aspiring composer, which might also mean often unemployed composer, but I've saved up some money and I was hoping people could help me figure out my next purchase.

    Currently I have an early 2008 MacBook Pro:
    • 2.5 Intel Core 2 Duo
    • 4GB DDR2 RAM
    • 5400rpm 250GB HD

    I use Logic 9 and Native Instruments stuff for composing, and when I have a moderate sized project three very annoying things things often happen:
    • Loading Kontakt instruments, which use large audio samples can take up to 30 minutes, not great for productivity
    • Too many synths causes a CPU overload, halting playback
    • Sometimes the disk cannot write quick enough, halting playback

    I'm considering an iMac because the MacPro is really pushing my budget, and a Retina MacBook Pro, while looking nice won't hold up in 5 years and i'll be in the same situation as now.

    Unfortunately I'm not sure which sized iMac to get, so I'm open to input. I figure I need:
    • Fusion Drive for the fast write speeds, but wether that is a 5400rpm or 7200rpm Fusion Drive who knows. Pure SSD is probably out of budget.
    • At least 16GB of RAM. I'm not sure if NI software or Logic 9 can benefit much from 32GB.
    • A decent CPU to stop the overloading problem, but I don't know how much improvement I will get from i7 over i5, or by having a bigger cache.

    Just to stop any derailing, I'm not going PC or Hackintosh.

    To encourage derailing for anyone interested, here is my portfolio website: www.MetzoPaino.com
  2. MetzoPaino thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2012
  3. nightlong macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2012
    in my experience you need as much of everything as you can afford ... Screen size (I would have loved a 27 inch iMac back when I was juggling several programs on small screens) .... Processor power, ram, storage space, especially if you are recording a lot in stereo and using big samples.
    So ... A maxed out iMac 27 ... Even better, if a new Mac Pro comes out next year, that with Thunderbolt Display and heaps of ram, mix of SSD and Hd. But that's serious money.

    Depends on your needs and budget, but I found using protools, with reason, ableton, sampletank, lots of effects and external midi gear, a few years ago, there was never enough of anything! Current software is probably more efficient, and maybe a maxed out new Mini mac with a dell Ultrasharp screen would be okay.

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