best value laptop for music production

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bob2131, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. bob2131 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    hi, i am going to buy a laptop mac, primarily for pro tools and logic music making.

    would a mac book suffice? or pro better?

    pro tools recommends 7200rpm drives, mac book does not have these.

    would it be ok to put 3rd party ram into the latptop, along with apples ram?
    people have said to buy 3rd party ram, as its cheaper than apples+tax.

    is there no way of putting a 7200rpm drive into the mac book?

    thanks people
  2. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

    May 5, 2008
    Mainland Europe
  3. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    thanks. but i dont care about too much about battery life.
    im more concerned with pro tools/logic knock on affects.
    if it would be noticably slower etc.

    i mean , black looks the best. pro dont come in black. just silver.

    damn shame mac book drive is not 7200.
    pro is a bit big and bulky.

    when you boot up an application, the speed it opens up, is it to do with hard drive speed, or RAM? or both?
  4. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

    May 5, 2008
    Mainland Europe
    It depends on both of these, plus the capacity of the bus.
    From the few comments I've read who installed 7200rpm drives into their macbook all is good, and the drive is fulfilling their expectations. I'll try and look for those threads again...
  5. jezzym81 macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2008
    MacBook All good


    I went out and bought the bottom of the range MacBook but spec'd up the HD to the 250GB drive.

    I then went to the crucial website and bought 4GB RAM, waited for them to be delivered and installed the extra RAM (really easy to do).

    Logic and Aperture rely more on Memory to perform that anything else these days because processors are more than fast enough to compute the vast amounts of data they require. Obviously the most over-priced items on the Apple website are memory upgrades, so save yourself £hundreds and do it yourself.

    I have pretty much every application on my Mac running at the same time (including Microsoft suite, Apeture, Logic, all the iApps) and the thing still flys!!

    Hope that helps
  6. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    hard drive size dont matter, as much as the speed of it. your hard drive is not 7200rpm is it? its the 4gb ram you bought from crucial, is this fitted in the macbook ALONG with the apple ram? or did you take the apply ram out????

    we cant by the macbook with NO RAM can we? i mean the black one comes with 2gb ram.......i wanna put my own in, like from crucial. ok to mix 2 brands of ram? but i guess both ram slots will be full with the base models....

    so youre saying youre macbook is flying by with 4gb ram and not so fast hard drive........good to hear. i dont think im gonna get 4gb of ram, 2 or 3 should be fine. ill see.

    i just need to decide on whether to go with pro, cause it has 7200rpm drive.

    is there no way to put a 7200rpm drive internally into the macbook??

    black macbook looks the best by far. silver and white are for girls. lol
  7. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    what does refurbished actually mean?

    good choice?
  8. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    Means Apple takes computers that people returned for various reasons, fixes them up, and then puts a one year warranty on it.

    Click here to read more about the process.

    And to me, it's a good choice. Only difference is that it comes in a brown box instead of the original box.
  9. Tom B. macrumors 65816

    Tom B.

    Mar 22, 2006
    The base model MacBook comes with 2 X 512MB sticks. The black MacBook comes with 2 X 1GB sticks, meaning that upgrading either one to 4GB will result in taking out all of the standard RAM. But you could probably sell it on eBay to get some money back.
    Yes there is.
    Refurbished Macs are generally machines that have been returned and repaired. They go under stringent test to make sure that they work fine. The only negative things are that they may have aesthetic problems, and they come in plain brown boxes. Otherwise, you are getting a very good deal.
  10. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    tom b, thanks.

    so how do you get a 7200rpm drive into a mac book?
    would it be an apple hard drive or 3rd party?
  11. Tom B. macrumors 65816

    Tom B.

    Mar 22, 2006
    You would have to buy a third party 7200rpm hard drive, and replace it yourself, which is surprisingly easy to do, as shown in this video.

    Newegg sells many MacBook-compatible hard drives.
  12. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

    so i guess i would have to sell the apple hard drive on ebay, and the apple ram too............yeah?
    no way of buying a macbook with no hard drive or ram?

    man its scary, spendind so much money on a mac, and then tampering with it. things always go wrong with me. i think im cursed with computers.

    would the apple warranty be invalidated if you put your own hard drive or ram inside??
  13. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    so if you put in your own hard drive, you would have to install the operating system............does this come on cd when you buy the mac?

    im assuming the operating system is pre-installed when you buy from apple?

    say if things dont work out and you need apples help somwhere down the line.
    when you take it to them, they will no doubt instantly know that you have
    tamplered with the hard drive/ram.........

    would they help? fix things? even if you have upgraged yourself?
    i mean, for a service charge of course. or would they refuse?

    the hard drives that come inside the macbooks, it says on tech page, eg they are not 'apple' hard drives, they are the same hard drives that we can buy from shops/net?
  14. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Apple uses the same Samsung, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Seagate or Western Digital drives that can be bought third party.

    If you buy a new drive for your MacBook, then buy a $20 SATA/USB enclosure. Put the new drive into the enclosure, use CarbonCopyCloner to make a bootable clone of your internal drive to the new drive. Then physically swap the drives. Voila - you have a ready-installed larger drive, and an external drive you can make backups to.

    If you install 4 GB of RAM, the Apple RAM has to come out, there are only 2 sockets. You can sell it for a few bucks, or keep it in case you have any warranty problems - reinstall the Apple RAM before sending it in for repair.
  15. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    canada ram = man......i like that trick.
    (but then how do you connect the apple drive again? say if you wanna format it and sell connects via usb?

    sigh.thisis getting hella stressful. if i had the money i would justget the high end pro.........

    im now thinking = get cheapest mac book, and external 7200rpm drive(pro tools requires this) , and get stuck into pro tools. i need to learn that package asap.
    and then......gradually ...get some more ram..........and then if need be, get an internal 7200rpm drive also (no rush) one step at a time.

    sound like a plan?

    does it make sense to have 2 to 4gb ram and fast speed hard drive..........if the processor is only 2.1ghz?
  16. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    You put the old drive into the USB enclosure.Then if you want to reformat it, take it out and sell it, you can.
  17. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    im noticing lower L2 cache and system bus figures with the refurbished macbooks.

    is this not good for music production applications like pro tools and logic??

    are there some fig that i should not settle for??

    like the system bus of 667mhz........and 2mb L2 cache...........are these figs ok? ........the new macbooks have system bus of 800mhz and 3mb L2 cache.

    apple staff said L2 cache dont really matter for my purpose.
    and that system bus high fig just mean faster speeds.

    any thought?


    are there any other hidden no so obvious specs i need to watch out for when looking at refurbished macbooks? (for music production)

    im gonna upgrade the ram and hard drives anyway. so just other things.......

    and ive noticed some use intel core duo processors! NOT intel core 2 duo.
    thats pretty important id say.
  18. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    I'd get 4 gb of RAM here: World Computing/53C4DDR2P4GB/

    Get a new hard disk here: (i'd got 320gb if you really want to make it worth it at this point...There's 200gb drives that a SLIGHTLY (4.12 v. 4.2ms seek times) but they're only 200gb...

    And get the middle of the line MacBook so you get the Superdrive (DVD-R) that point you'd be spending ~1600.00 + tax...

    Or you could get the MBP w/ a 200gb 7200rpm drive for 2100... then you still have to upgrade your ram for like 100.

    These prices would be 1-200 bucks less if you have a student discount available to you.
  19. bob2131 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    thanks....i live in uk tho...superdrive just allows you to write to dvd....combo drive can still read a dvd disc........combo would be fine, i think.

    about the hard drive seek times. i think pro tools says to use a drive with less than 10ms seek time (i might be wrong)........what does all this seek time mean?

    im gonna get an external 7200rpm drive and maybe even an internal one, after getting the macbook. im probly gonna go with refurbished too.


    L2 cache and sytstm bus?
  20. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2007
    Shanghai, China
    this is my personal opinion as i was in the same position as you:

    buy a macbook (i went for the middle range one as it was the best value in terms of features)

    upgrade the ram to 4gb (for the uk the cheapest ive found is crucial ram, which is one of the best too)

    buy a 500gb (more or less for your needs), 3.5" 7200rpm external firewire hard drive. this drive is just to record audio onto, your internal 5400rpm drive is fine for everything else.

    thats pretty much what ive done, and i use logic with heavy midi work and recording max 2 tracks at a time. i was contemplating getting a 7200rpm internal drive, but with the smaller 2.5" size a larger 3.5" external firewire drive was the better option

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