imac i7 or 8 Core tower? music production use only.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by discojuice, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. discojuice macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    #1
    I am new to this board, sorry if this sort of question has been answered before.

    I am looking to upgrade to a new mac and have been set on getting the new 8 Core tower. A few people have told me I would be better off getting the new imac i7 instead.

    I am only going to be running logic 9, ableton 8, and protools le 8.. My sound card is a digi002 rack. I will only be using this machine for these purposes and no other.

    Would it be better to just go ahead and get an 8 core tower or would the imac i7 be just as good if not better? And, would the imac i7 be as durable with a full time work load?

    thanks!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #2
    I think the main question is do you need the expandability what Mac Pro offers, i.e. PCIe slots and HD bays? Your sound card appears to be FireWire but the next issue will be that you're limited to USB externals and trust me, you need more storage for audio stuff.

    I can't really answer which is faster for Logic but it support multiple cores pretty well though. Another thing is that iMac comes with monitor while Mac Pro does not
     
  3. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    Australia
    #3
    Mmm, if it is ONLY for music production and that is your only priority... I'd say the octo would be good, HOWEVER, would programs do you use? Pro Tools?

    Is the 2.8 or 3.2GHz Quad Mac Pro an option? The iMac is a great deal though, it includes a large screen and that real estate is good.
     
  4. discojuice thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2010
    #4
    I guess the main thing is storage. I do not need PCI slots since my card is firewire.

    But since there is only one firewire port on an imac and no other hard drive bays, I will be forced to use the internal drive for everything which makes me nervous.

    I have always used two internal drives in my g5 tower. One for software and apps, the other for my music projects. I was told never to use the same drive for both, even if its partitioned. Is that still true?

    As far as backup goes I do not mind using a USB 2 hard drive because it will be strictly for backup purposes.

    The difference in price is pretty big.. By the time I add up everything on a tower, monitor included, its almost twice the price.
     
  5. discojuice thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2010
    #5
    Yes I do use protools le 8

    the 2.8 or 3.3ghz is an option of course, but my budget is limited which is making me lean towards the imac. I just do not want to regret it down the road
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #6
    It's still recommended. If your OS drive goes bad, your data drive will keep working.

    If you're located in US, you could think about sending it to OWC and paying 170$ for eSATA port, that will eliminate the external HD issue.
     
  7. D'Illusion macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    #7
    The iMac should be good enough. If you start to run out of steam you can always freeze tracks which will create an audio version of everything on that track. Not the most ideal solution but certainly a whole lot cheaper than getting an Octo-Core.

    Depends on which VSTs you want to run. I installed Omnisphere recently and stress tested my iMac which is a C2D 2.16 with 2GB RAM. Using all 8 multi-timbral parts I was using around 55% CPU and almost all the RAM. If I turned the Arpeggiator on in some of the patches Logic just crashed. This was in 32bit mode. Omni is native 64bit which should give it some extra juice.

    The 2.93 Quad iMac with 8GB has 3 times the CPU power even without Hyper Threading and 4 times the RAM. Omnisphere is about as intensive as VSTs get. You could easily run 3 instances with 8 parts for a total of 24 tracks.
     
  8. D'Illusion macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    #8
    Just relying on one drive is indeed dangerous. If it goes you lose everything. I have everything on one drive which then backs up to an external drive over Firewire using Time Machine. As it's only a back up drive it wouldn't really matter if it was over USB2.
     
  9. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    Yeah, I thought so. My dad uses Pro Tools with his Mac Pro (08 octo).

    Just in case you didn't know, whatever you do, try and avoid buying the RAM and HDs from Apple. Buy them yourself from a third party like otherworldcomputing.com, Apple charges nearly 3x the price of the RAM at OWC, which passes all the apple specifications for RAM as well, and has a lifetime warranty.

    Does Pro Tools work with hyperthreading now? I remember something about that with the Nehalem's... that's fixed right?

    My dad uses an SSD for his OS drive and he says he noticed improvements with Pro Tools in terms of latency (guitar), I'd recommend that.

    I'd recommend the 2.8GHz (or 3.2) quad w/ the 5770 and with an 80GB Intel G2 SSD as the OS drive, and a few (500GB, 1TB or 2TB) hard drives for your PT media. The 3.33GHz is getting a bit expensive but good nonetheless!
     

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