i5 or i7 for Logic Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jerrydpi, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. jerrydpi macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2013
    Hi guys!

    Just joined this great Forum and this is my first Post.

    Here's what I need a 13" MacBook Pro to do for me.

    I will use it at home to record my original songs, and I will use Logic Pro 9, MainStage 2 and Addictive Drums on it.

    I will purchase a USB Interface that will have 4 inputs and 4 outputs.

    The most I will ever record at one time will be 2 tracks, perhaps 4 (if I record my Kronos in stereo and Addictive Drums in stereo, all at the same time).

    What I plan to do is get enough of the song down so I can take it to my Guitar Players Studio, where he has a ProTools HDX System (and Logic Pro 9 as well) and he will add Guitar, a real Bass, backup Vocals, etc.

    So my question is, for my needs, will a 2.5 GHz i5 with 8GB and a 500GB Hard Drive work as well as a i7 2.9 GHz with 4GB and a 750GB Hard Drive?

  2. mackid1993 macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2009
    Go for the extra RAM if you are dealing with audio. You really won't see much of a performance increase with your day to day usage–– the processor will really make a difference with high intensity tasks. I suggest however, that you get the base model and upgrade the RAM yourself. It's incredibly easy to do–– plus you save a lot of money compared to what Apple would charge you. Also, you may want to look into an aftermarket SSD such as the Samsung 830/840. That will lend you a huge day to day performance increase, much more so than a better processor would.
  3. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    It doesn't sound like you're using tons of effects or VSTis , so it shouldn't be an issue.
  4. jerrydpi thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2013

    I got lucky (it's about time)!

    I went to Best Buy and they had some open box units (customer returns, with Full Warranty) that they got in today.

    I knew I had 15 days to decide which is better (and eventually return one of them), so I decided to buy (2) mid 2012 13" MacBook Pros, with the following specs and prices:

    1) i5 with 2.5 GHZ, 8GB, 500GB $1099.00
    2) i7 with 2.9GHz, 16GB, 700GB $1299.00

    Would you spend the extra $200.00, knowing my needs?
  5. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    Open boxes are great - I found my 15" cMBP 2012 for $1488 as an open box.

    Are you positive you're not going to make more intensive recordings?

    I only say that, because the quad core in the 15" cMBP would be much better for audio recording. With the dual core you're eventually going to reach a ceiling, in fact there's a video on youtube of somebody showing a 13" "lagging out" during a Logic Pro project.

    It seems like for a few hundred more you can negate that from happening, and end up with a truly great portable recording studio.

    But if you're not using effects, and only recording 1-4 tracks at a time, I really think either one would be fine.
  6. jerrydpi thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2013
    Two questions:
    1) Will the 16GB on the i7 make it noticeably faster than if it only had 8GB?
    2) Would you spend the extra $200.00 to get twice the RAM, a larger Hard Drive and a faster processor?
  7. mackid1993 macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2009
    The differences probably won't be notable as long as you aren't doing anything insane–– however if you have the 200 bucks the i7 is a pretty good deal.
  8. jerrydpi thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2013
    The differences probably won't be notable between:

    1) The i7 with 16GB vs a i7 with 8GB?


    2) The i7 with 16GB vs the i5 with 8GB?

  9. yly3 macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2011
    get the quad core for music production trust me.
    The thing with music is that you will always want to experiment and "outdo" yourself thus bigger projects. Plus the 15" helps a lot.
  10. jerrydpi thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2013
    I know the 15" would be better, but remember what I said originally.

    This computer is for me to use at home to get the basic original songs down.

    As projects get bigger (and as I add more tracks/plugins to my songs), I will go to my Guitar Player Studio where he has a 12 Core Mac Pro.
  11. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008

    I used late 2008 2.53 core2duo for years. I had an 8core mac pro which I mostly fired up when i needed to do either 88.2khz or 96khz or 5.1 sound.

    I now have 15" retina and the fans don't even start when I'm doing my fattest projects, from productions to movies to orchestral mockups.

    No worries, 13" i7 is plenty..
  12. trigonometry macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2010
    South Carolina
    When did Best Buy start selling 13" MBP's with 16GB RAM?
  13. mackid1993 macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2009
    All of them. 16 GB is definitely overkill for most people–– but it's cool to have. In terms of the i5 vs i7, with intense tasks you will see a difference, but for general day to day use–– an SSD will make a much larger difference than a faster processor would. However, you may want to consider the more expensive model out of principle. You snagged a pretty good deal. :cool:
  14. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    They're both phenomenal computers...the 16G/i7 though is an excellent price, typically you're paying 200/250 extra just for the proc bump...the added RAM is nice.

    You'll have NO issues doing what you're doing with either computer---or with 8G vs 16G of RAM. Keep in mind, Logic was last truly updated when Core2Duo and 4GB of RAM was a top of line computer. However...moving forward, if and when Apple does update Logic, you'll see differences...mainly in your finalizing times, exports and as alluded to earlier, VSTs. If it was me making the decision, that extra $200 spent for the i7 and extra RAM seems tempting. I wouldn't pass it up. Also, being open box @ Best Buy--make sure to thoroughly inspect the entire computer from ground up--make sure you're satisfied before making the decision.

  15. jerrydpi thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2013
    ***Update as of April 6, 2013***


    First of all let me thank all of you that have helped me!

    Here's the lastest on my 13" MBP quest.

    I took the i7 (which doesn't have Apple Care and will run out the Apple Warranty in a year) back to Best Buy because one of my friends (who is a local Musician as well) wants to sell his new condition 13" MBP i7, with 16GB/750GB also, that he bought in July of last year.

    We have dickered back and forth and he has finally agreed to sell it to me for $1050.00.

    That being said, it is about to run out of the Apple Warranty in July.

    So at this point, it basically boils down to keeping the Best Buy 13" i5, with 8GB/500GB (that I found out has the Full Apple Care Protection Plan that will expire in June of 2015), or buy my friends i7.

    If you haven't guessed by now, it's not really about the money anymore, it's just about that if the i5 will truly be all I need, any additional money spent is just wasted money.

    That being said, I can buy the Apple Care for the i7 (for around $250.00, I believe) if I need to.

    So my two questions are:
    1) Because of the roughly $50.00 difference, would you go for the i5 or i7?
    2) If you say the i7, would you get the Apple Care for it?
  16. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    would buy AppleCare for any computer I buy. I don't think you need the i7, but it sems to be $50 cheaper + $250 AppleCare, so $200 more than the i5. GPU upgrades or HDD to SSD would be more worthwhile than 8 GB more RAM and 250 GB more HDD.
  17. jerrydpi thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2013

    What SSD would you put in the i5, and how much will it cost?

    The part I don't understand about the SSD vs the stock i5 Hard Drive, is that, assuming that the SSD is 120GB/250GB, will that be enough for me (vs the 500GB stock drive)?
  18. B..., Apr 6, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013

    B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    I think that while 256 GB should be doable, 512 would be more comfortable for audio production. I would get either the Crucial m4 or Samsung 840. Look at newegg.com for good deals. 512s can go for around 300 USD at a good sale.
  19. josh2007 macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008
    my 13" i7 8gig ram runs addictive drums and Logic without breaking a sweat. Lots of plugs and soft synths. Just get a good fw drive and you're good.
  20. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    Since you're not using VSTi's, or huge software libraries, your needs are different than other musicians.

    If you're trying to save money, you could probably go with the i5, 4gigs ram and 120gb ssd... Unless you work with bigger or lots of files with other programs.

    Your music use is pretty light, and nothing now a days should have difficulty with it.
  21. jafingi macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2009
    Take the i7 16GB. You will love the extra RAM when you have multiple audio tracks :)

    If the 200 bucks isn't a problem. Take it :)
  22. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    I don't think i7 and 8 more GB RAM is worth 200 dollars more. 8 GB RAM goes for around $60, and the i7 is useless if you don't use it/ need it. Besides, it is still dual-core, not quad-core (which would be worth it). You are spending arouns $130 more for a dual-core processor at a slightly higher clock speed with a little bit more cache.
  23. jerrydpi, Apr 7, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013

    jerrydpi thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2013
    Do-do guys, you've really got me thinking now:)

    If I'm going to spend $200.00 or so (if I keep the i7/16GB), would it be better for me to keep the i5/8GB and buy a SSD?

    One I found that looks interesting is a Samsung MZ-7TD250BW 840 Series Solid State Drive (SSD) 250 GB Sata 2.5-Inch Drive.

    Is that a good one, or should I look at another one?

    Also, will 250GB be enough for my songwriting/recording needs?

    What do you think of my option?

  24. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Jan 24, 2013
    250 would be fine.

    Some software libraries are 100s of GB worth of samples. Since you're not using those, you have much less to worry about. And regarding ram - When you're messing with VSTi's and effects is when you want the 8-16 gigs.

    Recording audio for only 1-4 tracks without effects is pretty basic, you're way over thinking this.

    If you feel you need to record more involved projects, get a quad core, but otherwise anything current should be fine..

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