Advice appreciated. 2011 iMac for music production via Logic or Garageband.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jimmy Flynn, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Jimmy Flynn macrumors newbie

    Jimmy Flynn

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Location:
    Parma, Ohio
    #1
    Opportunity to buy the following for music production via Logic:

    iMac 27 in. Mid-2011 3.4GHz i5 12GB RAM 1TB HDD/200GB SSD $800.00 PRICE NEGOTIABLElogic

    I am new to Apple products, but I am willing to go through the learning process. No experience with Logic or ProTools. Been recording on a Boss 16 Track Digital Recorder, so I have a lot to learn.
    Songs on www.Jimmyflynn.net/songs

    Suggestions/advice appreciated.
     
  2. AmazingRobie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #2
    Too much. I purchased the very same spec'd machine two years ago from an electrician who wanted to upgrade for less than $600. I think it was $575. This model has graphic chip and display problems which are well documented on the internet. That said, if you are able to cut a deal and do decide to purchase, if the seller will allow you, take into Apple store and have them run a thorough diagnostics on it, if thats asking too much from the individual, at the very least run the diagnostic at first boot by holding down the D key after depressing the power button. Not the "extended" test as that could take hours and is not likely to yield any different results. If there are any errors, google them, then make your decision. Depending on the severity of any errors, you can use as a bargaining chip for a deeper discount on the unit. FYI, Display replacements from Apple store on this unit are $700, Logic Board replacements are $550-600. These prices are higher from Apple, but if theres a quality repair shop nearby (check Yelp!), it can be had for close to half those rates. Given Apples current track record on faulty units, recalls and whathaveyous, this unit is likely just as good as anything else you can get if its in working condition and cheap. Also, id look around these forums, because there are always people asking about "recycling" these older models so you might be able to snag a nonfunctioning unit for extra parts very cheap. I have two 2011 models and theyve both had various repairs, but they work fine when they do work. Good luck with your decision.
     
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #3
    Don’t go for the 2011 for the reasons stated above.

    Just to also add: the CPU isn’t that great, lack of hyperthreading really hurts performance. I had a 21” 2011 iMac with 32GB RAM running LP9 and the CPU was maxed/stuttering and stopping live playback as a result. Project had around 40+ AU (Kontakt plugins mainly) & audio channels, even without an I/O bottleneck - the HDD had been replaced with an SSD. Conversely the same project was buttery on my 2012 15” MBP with a mobile processor and didn’t exceed 40% CPU.

    That was LP9 which was a little more resource heavy compared to LPX but still, not worth the cash IMHO. Also the 2011 is soon to be EOL. Better to save and get something better & futureproof.
     
  4. Fishrrman, Jan 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018

    Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    The iMac for sale in the original post sounds like it's been opened to install an SSD.
    For that reason, I'd avoid it.

    Having said that, for music production you DO want a 27" display.
    The audio timeline will look much better and more room for other open tool windows.

    I wouldn't buy anything earlier than 2012.
    With the 2012's, you should have USB3.
    You DO NOT WANT any Mac UNLESS it has at least USB3.

    You don't need tons and tons of "CPU power" unless you intend to run many, many plugins.

    I still do audio recording on an old 2006-vintage "base model" white iMac (with USB2) and a firewire audio interface. It still works, but I don't push it hard.

    If you don't yet have experience with Logic or ProTools, I'd like to suggest an alternative:
    Cubase.
    It's a great "blend" of both power and ease-of-learning-and-use.
    It offers the best setup for audio editing I've seen.

    You also need to give some thought to which audio interface you'll be using.

    Again, I suggest Steinberg (Cubase) -- their line of USB interfaces automatically "integrate" with Cubase, again making setup and use easy.
     
  5. Jimmy Flynn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jimmy Flynn

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Location:
    Parma, Ohio
    #5
    I'd like to thank the three people who have responded to my post asking for advice already. For some reason I never received a notification about the second two responses. So I apologize for the tardiness of my reponse herein. Per advice received, I will pass on the iMac I originally mentioned.
    I now have a new possibility. Here are it's specs:

    "Barely used, one-year-old iMac, OS X El Capitan 10.11.1, 3.3 GHz Intel Core i5, 27” screen, great for graphic designers, 8 GB Memory, keyboard and mouse included. $2,400 new. Asking 1,000 now."

    Would the above be a good machine for me for the stated use as outlined in my original message? Would it have the minimum 3 USB ports as suggested?
    Thank you in advance. This forum is terrific.
    ~ Jimmy
     
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #6
    What kind of storage it would be worth an extra $300 just to have an ssd or a 2TB or 3TB fusion in there, other than that the specs jusst fine unless it has a spinning HDD and no flash storage.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    OP:

    The iMac you described in post 5 above sounds like a good deal, IF it's legitimate and IF it's in good working order. (actually, the price seems almost "too good to be true", and you already know about such deals, right?)

    If you go to see it, make sure the seller has it up-and-running BEFORE you put any money down.
    Also... ask him to power it off, ALL THE WAY. Then, "reboot from cold". Watch carefully what happens. You want to see a normal bootup.

    MAKE SURE the seller has "signed out" of iCloud, iTunes, or any of those services. If not, could give you trouble later on.
     
  8. Jimmy Flynn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jimmy Flynn

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Location:
    Parma, Ohio
    #8
    ---
    Thank you, Samuelson2001. -
    Would it be OK to begin with this amount of storage and then add an SSD later as needed for Logic, or does Logic need more to begin with to work most efficiently?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2018 ---
     
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #9
    Its not just logic, an ssd will make everything faster 10-15 seconds boot time and instant application opening, very fast file transfer and movement, not to mention very fast loading of projects and samples and streaming in logic.

    HDD's have been the main bottle neck in computers for at least the last 15 years and its only with an ssd that your computer can perform as it should its that simple.

    Of course if this is a what you can afford or a what you can get hold of issue, then you get what you can. But even booting and running from an external ssd over usb 3 is a far better experience than running from an internal HDD.
     
  10. Jimmy Flynn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jimmy Flynn

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2018
    Location:
    Parma, Ohio
    #10
    --- Post Merged, Jan 19, 2018 ---
    Thank you. I am going to pursue purchasing this 2017 iMacx then add an SSD as soon as I can afford it. Your's and the others' advice has been very helpful. Much appreciation.
     

Share This Page