Help with a new MAC owner...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lacassius, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. lacassius macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #1
    Hello everyone I am new to this forum and to mac. I recently purchased a MBP 15.4", 2.4ghz, 200gb HD, with 2 GB DDR2 memory. and will be recieving it in the mail very soon I have a few questions but first let me give you some more info.

    I use my mbp for recording music(pro tools on an external 7200rps 320GB HD). I use a firewire Interface also for recording. I also use my Mac for downloading movies and music for my ipod and web browsing.

    my questions are just for the recording aspect of it.

    1) I need to upgrade my RAM to 4 GB. How would I go about doing that. and whats the difference between DDR2 and DDR3? approximetly how much would that cost?

    2) also the mbp has only 1 firewire port. its not possible to connect an external HD and a firewire interface is it? I also read usb 2.0 transfer rate is faster than firewire transfer rate with external hd's, is this true? if it is i was thinking i should connect the interface to firewire and hd to usb

    3) Lastly for any music producers/engineers, what is the main cause of playback latency? is it RAM? HD? processors? etc. what do the pro's do to counter this?

    any answers is greatly appreciated

    any help is appreciated
     
  2. dvdhsu macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #2
    1. Just google it. It should also be on the Apple Support site. Not sure about the price.
    2. No, it's not possible. FireWire HDs are actually faster because they have a sustained rate of around 400 MBPS or 800 MBPSwhile USB technically has max 480. However, USB rarely can transfer data consistently at that rate. Instead, it goes up to 480 for a sec, then stays at 100 for like a minute.
    3. Shouldn't have any PlayBack Latency. If there is, most likely because of RAM- or a 100 RPM Hard Drive.
     
  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #3
    Can you clarify?
    Your post starts out reading as a first generation non unibody macbook pro, but you say it only has one firewire port. Any Macbook Pro with the 2.4Ghz C2D processor had Firewire 400 in addition to firewire 800 which is compatable via adapter or cable.

    The unibody macbook pros only have one firewire 800 port.
     
  4. lacassius thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #4
    sorry let me clarify...i havent recieved the mac book pro yet but its the new ones. dont know if thats unibody or not ive been pc my whole life untill i heard how much better macs are. especially for recording. also none of my songs are recorded with simultaneous tracks. everythings one track at a time.

    the reason i ask about latency is because my pc's latency was absolutly ridiculous. and it was a good machine. 4 gb ddr2 320 gb 5800 hd. even if i adjusted the sample rate and buffers it didnt help enough. I just dont want the same problem with my Mac because ill take it back as sure as i bought it.

    I was unaware it had 2 firewire ports. so i need my hd to be firewire 400 and interface to be firewire 800 compatible?


    ok ill google the info on RAM upgrades. are the RAM upgrades I can get at an apple store any better or worse then just buying one online?

    sorry I have so many questions. I just dont want to regret buying such an expensive machine. I know I should have researched more but time is money for me and the longer i go without my laptop the more money i lose. My main concerns are the latency and making sure ill be able to hook up everything that i need without a problem. ie. the new macbooks have no firewire.
     
  5. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #5
    I'd do it through Apple - 3rd party RAM was resulting in issues with the new Unibody, so buy the Apple branded RAM. You'd have to buy either 4GB or 2x2GB, as your current layout is 1x1GB. 2x2GB would provide dual channel, better going with that. Also, it'll only accept DDR3.

    USB 2.0 is theoretically faster than FireWire 400 (480Mbits/s against 400Mbits/s), but in the real world, FireWire 400 blasts USB 2.0 because FireWire has its own controller where as USB 2.0 uses the CPU. But long as you aren't using your external hard drive as a scratch disk, then USB 2.0 will be fine.

    Hard drive plays a role (slower RPM), but it'll work fine. I have a FireWire 400 mixer and use Logic Pro and the latency is very low. If there is a latency gap in the recording, then you can adjust the position of the track on the timeline.

    The new Unibody MacBook Pro's only have one FireWire port - FW800 (800Mbits/s). But it is fully backward compatible with FW400 devices; just you need to buy an adapter. But you can also buy a FireWire adapter for the ExpressCard34 on the side of your Mac and give yourself two more FireWire ports.
     
  6. lacassius thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #6
    1)what do you mean it only accepts ddr3? i thought mbp's have ddr2.

    2)What advantages does dual channels have?

    3)with the latency gap in the recording how can i listen to myself as i record? it'll be delayed

    so i can hook more than 1 thing that requires firewire through the use of an adapter. thanx

    last thing. Scratch disk?
     
  7. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #7
    Not since October when they were updated. The unibody MacBooks use DDR3 and the old style use DDR2. They are NOT cross-compatible.
     
  8. lacassius thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 7, 2009
    #8
    I dont understand how that can be. I was in Best Buy today just to look and play with the computer a lil and Im almost positive it said 2gb ddr2...maybe im wrong or maybe i mis read but im pretty sure it was the new ones. mpb 15.4" screen, 200gb hd, 2.4ghz intell duo, 2gb ddr2 i think..$1500. if thats how much the non updated ones cost than wow
     
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #9
    DDR2 in the ones without a black bezel, DDR3 in the ones with.
     
  10. efedor macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #10
    Best buy is a total ripoff when it comes to memory and cables, I have the exact model your about to receive and I walked into bestbuy to buy 2-2gb modules=$160 HELL NO. I went to compusa and there were 3 different sets with 3 different prices, Centron for $21 each 2gb module among others up to $50 a module. So $42 later I have 4gbs and they work great, same speed as the $80 module so definitely do your homework.
     
  11. dvdhsu macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #11
    Very well said.
    I would like to +1 on the fact that you should use Apple Memory for the MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro has been having issues with 3rd party memory for some reason.
    Also, I think that there should be no latency, but I could be wrong.
    I'm also 100% that the MacBook Pros use DDR3- even the MacBook use them.

    Have fun with your new Mac and welcome to Mac Rumors.
     
  12. lacassius thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #12
    first off I want to say thanx to everyone for helpin me out. after buyin such an expensive machine and equipment these forums are worth the whole $0 they cost to use them. i really appreciate it.

    my last 2 quesions are

    1) is there any advantage of having ddr3 over ddr2 when it comes to recording music?

    2) does anyone have any good suggestions for a firewire interface? ive only used usb. i can only spend $300-$400

    thanx again
     
  13. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #13
    You HAVE to have one or the other depending on your model. If you already bought a unibody, you MUST get DDR3.

    If you already bought a pre-unibody, you MUST get DDR2.
     
  14. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #14
    I'm sure you meant that as a complement....BUT...It wasn't. To say the forum is worth the WHOLE ZERO DOLLARS it cost to use them is not a complement. :D But I got what were saying.
     
  15. lacassius thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #15
    sorry if it wasnt. i thought it was. like the forums should cost more but they cost a whole $0. after spending so much on apple products its a relieve to get free advice. i dunno i guess im wrong. i apologize.

    i know i can either have 1 or the other betweein ddr2 and ddr3 but i was just wondering if there is an advantage of having ddr3. is 2gb ddr2 the same as 2 gb ddr3. or is ddr3 just faster.
     
  16. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #16
    DDR3 is much faster (1066MHz as opposed to 667MHz).

    Course, depending on what you are doing in the real world, you won't even notice any difference. You might though. For recording music, just think a few years ago! How did they manage?!

    You'll be fine!
     
  17. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #17
    DDR3 is faster as it uses a full 1067mhz bus. It may be a bit ahead of it's time but it's much better to have a computer that's more future proof otherwise you will feel compelled to sell it sooner than necessary in favor of the next model.

    No worries, nobody's offended but when you say the forum is "worth" the whole zero dollars you paid for it to get advice, you're saying that the free advice isn't worth paying for. :D I got a chuckle out of that. I know you meant well. And yes, this forum CAN be very helpful.
     
  18. lacassius thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #18
    ok well i believe i have all the info i need for now. i know exactly what i need and want. well accept for which interface im going to get, but its probobly going to be a digidesign or somthing. ive read good things.

    thanks again to everyone. im sure ill be back with a new thread asking more questions.

    for the record this forum is worth as much as the mbp. but the 17" not da 15"...hahaha :cool:
     
  19. DirtyDan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Nevada, Texas
    #19
    RAM is really cheap on Newegg.com... like $40 for 4GB of RAM... It's $150 for 4GB from Apple. I think I'll take my chances for $110 especially since I haven't heard about any problems with 3rd party RAM except from one person in this thread... :p

    Edit: My apologies, you were right... there are some 3rd party RAM issues, and the stuff I had seen before wasn't for Unibody MBPs.

    Guess I'll be getting my RAM from Apple.
     

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