Fast enough for mainstage.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Orange Computer, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Orange Computer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    #1
    I am thinking of getting a Macbook Air to run Mainstage, because my 2009 Macbook Pro is a bit too slow for the task and I don't want to spend the money on a Retina Macbook pro if I don't have to. Does anyone do this? Is the performance of the computer good enough for the task?
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    Don't use mainstage, but my 2013 MBA runs Logic Pro very well. What are the specs on your 2009 MBP? I have a 2008 15" MBP with 2.4ghz core2duo. My 2013 i7 MBA is somewhere between 2 to 3 times as fast for most CPU bound tasks. But it can rip a DVD in 15 minutes that takes 75 minutes on my old MBP.

    I think it's safe to say that the current MBA will run circles around your old MBP. :)
     
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #3
    Have you maxed out the RAM and installed an SSD? This is often a more cost-effective solution to vastly increase the performance of your computer.
     
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #4
    Only if you're running out of memory or you're bound by disk performance.

    If the OP is being limited by his laptop's processor then these upgrades you're suggesting would be a complete waste of money.
     
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    An SSD upgrade is never a complete waste of money and does, in part, compensate for a CPU bottleneck. OS X also utilises as much RAM as it can. Of course you will eventually hit the limit of the CPU, though the suggested upgrades are certainly cheaper than a new MacBook Air, hence the comment of it being a cost-effective solution.

    The performance on Mainstage will be undoubtably improved with an SSD & RAM upgrade. It seems a shame to purchase a new computer when there's a lot of potential still left.

    OP, if you have Activity Monitor open you can see how much CPU power is being utilised when you're doing your work, and you can make an informed decision from there.
     
  6. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #6
    Exactly, the OP needs to figure out if performance is being limited by the CPU, RAM, or storage before he makes any purchases.

    If he upgrades the RAM and storage and sees no performance improvement, then he'll end up buying the MBA anyway, and he might as well have flushed the RAM/storage upgrade money down the toilet.

    It's not safe to assume that "performance ... will be undoubtably improved" by RAM/SSD upgrades. Sure, some stuff will be faster but not necessarily the scenario that the OP is trying to improve.
     
  7. AFEPPL macrumors 68030

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
  8. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #8
    Well, Mainstage seems to run just fine on my 2007 iMac (2.0 GHz C2D), but I'm not running a whole lot of stuff at once. And it's got an SSD installed.

    I do have a 2015 MacBook Air 13" 1.6 GHz i5, 8GB RAM/256GB SSD and it's a lot more responsive running Mainstage and Logic Pro X, as expected. I haven't seen much lag at all on either, even though Mainstage can get a little buggy sometimes and eat up the CPU on our quad i7 Mac Mini that is located on stage where I work. It runs pretty much the same on my 13" rMBP (Late 2013 Haswell 2.4 GHz i5).

    The 2015 Air is a definite upgrade, and the SSD in the 13" benchmarks over 1,000 MB/s. The Pro is better, and a little more solid IMO and the screen is a huge upgrade. But if you just want to save a little cash, the Air will do you well. I'd opt for the 8GB RAM option though with Mainstage/LCPX running. Or just grab the rMBP if you can afford it or go refurb/open box.
     
  9. Orange Computer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    #9
    I have a Seagate hybrid disc in there (similar to a Fusion drive) and the computer usually works OK, but it occasionally lags and this isn't acceptable in a live performance. Also, my laptop is kind-of physically worn out and ready for replacement (hey, I got a good life out of it). Because I think I want 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB flash drive I'm starting to think the pro is worth the extra cost.

     
  10. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #10
    I'd definitely recommend the MBP. It's a newer machine design wise as the current MBA was updated in 2010 where the retina MacBook Pro is from 2012 and has a bit better cooling system with the cutouts and just feels more solid.

    And the display is beautiful, it's pretty hard to go back to a regular panel.

    The extra power is nice and you will absolutely love it. I came from a 2008 MacBook very similar to your '09 spec wise and it was a wonderful improvement.

    The i5 is exponentially more powerful for all applications and it's more noticeable when you're using something that's CPU intensive and multithreaded, like Mainstage. Shouldn't have any lag with the current crop of CPUs.
     

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