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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 20, 2011
Hoping I can get some advice from someone with experience. I run superior drummer and a guitar modeling plug-in with garageband. I was using an older intel core 2 duo mac mini with an ssd and it was generally ok. I started having issue when I added too many tracks. I sold it and started using my 2017 macbook pro. Its ok on the laptop but I want a desktop. I was looking at late 2015 iMacs, but most of them on ebay have physical hard drives. The processors in these will be lightyears faster than what I was working with but will the physical hard drive bring the performance down? I haven't had a computer without an ssd in years.

I was considering the entry level mac mini that apple just released but I would have to add an external hard drive to hold my plugins since they are over 300gb.


macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2014
Horsens, Denmark
The spinning drive would make certain tasks in the ballpark of 10x slower. However, once you have things open it'll run off of memory. If you have enough RAM that means that booting up, loading apps and files and exporting will be slower, but working in the project will be alright.

You can also add external SSDs of course
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Sep 21, 2012
In the middle of several books.
I would stay away from eBay when it comes to high end Apple products. In my opinion, you would do better buying from the Apple refurbished store, or possibly in the MR marketplace, provided you have 250 posts.

The iMac is a workhorse and would definitely fit your needs. If budget is tight, do what you can to have more RAM and possibly run off an external SSD, as they are very affordable right now.
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macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
Get a 2017 5k 27" iMac with an SSD inside. You have to special-order these through Apple's build-to-order page, Apple Stores do not stock them.

Be aware that new iMacs will arrive later this year (probably June), but they're going to have the T2 chip inside, and many folks who work with audio who own T2-equipped Macs have been having problems with audio "interruptions" that seem to have something to do with the presence of the T2.

For that reason, for audio production, I'd jump on a 2017 iMac -- which DOES NOT have the T2.
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macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2015
get a mini and save thousands...the mini is so expandable and the money you pay for graphic upgrade in iMac you can buy an external for mini...don't waste your money.
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