iMac Vs nMac Pro for Music Work

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fastlanephil, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    For music production is the iMac a better choice for many smaller studio and home studio users?

    Lets’ start with the iMac. A 27” i5 iMac with 16 GB of memory, 3 TB Fusion Drive and the 4GB GPU runs $2699.00. You purchase two of these and you’ll have a master-slave DAW using VE Pro 5 ($270)over ethernet.

    Total price. about $5400.

    The quad core Mac Pro is $2900. You’ll add two TB Displays for an additional $2000. Then you’ll add some external storage for at least $800 to equal what the two iMacs offer. I'm leaving out back up storage for now.

    Total Price $5700.

    If your software can take advantage of the Mac Pro dual GPUs it looks like a a pretty good horse race between these two configurations. But as far as I know there is very little audio software that does tap the GPU.Apple’s Logic X will but that is probably mostly for audio recording with some effects.

    So for right now and the near future those two iMac’s together will probably kick but on a Mac Pro. And you have two computers for greater flexibility.

    I’ll still wait for some reviews and tests of the Mac Pro to make my decision though.
  2. propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    You would probably have to convince me first that you need two imacs :)
    Spec wise there is not enough difference between a quad nMP and top imac that makes 2 imacs needed...

    But I will play a bit -
    For music work - Avid HD Native - I chose a 3.5GHz, i7, 27" imac with 256G SSD (The 3.4G i5 would be 90% as fast on just about everything). I don't do spinning drives and for a sample intensive environment (I mostly do live acoustic instruments - light VI work) I would heavily suggest investing in Thunderbolt Raid - no matter where you end up this will be a core component. The 4G video card looks like a waaste for this but it is small delta $$

    If you REALLY need a slave machine - now pretty much any modern mac will do that :). MacMini - imac (21.5" would work great) - 2009 or newer MacPro even.

    i5 Mac Mini + $300 27" hdmi ips monitor + same imac as mine would be in the $3500 range...
  3. iBug2 macrumors 68040

    Jun 12, 2005
    Well, I enjoy playing with Logic as an amateur composer and I always wanted to try VSL MIR, which is a spatial modeling tool for virtual orchestras. And since the introduction they always recommended at least an 8 core with 16 threads, which I didn't have. And I'll never have with an iMac either. I'm sure everything still works but the recommended config for such a software is above the iMac for now.
  4. fastlanephil thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    I really don't need two Macs but would like two 27" displays. I am using a 27" display and aI have 22 " HP display that can be rotated. My post was more of a general comparison.

    I do already have a 2011 27" i5 iMac. I just returned a 2.6 i7 fusion drive Mac Mini to Apple because it was crashing with the Vienna Ensemble software but that's a side story. My idea is to use my current iMac as the slave where my large collection of samples resides. That avoids going through all the authorizations on a different machine.

    True, the two iMacs would probably be overkill right now but probably not later.

    That's pretty much just a little insurance in case OPENCL can tap them someday.

    I compose mostly orchestral and hybrid pop/experimental/orchestral music. The better libraries can be real resource hogs especially as you build up large track counts.

    Really, two iMac's is a fairly modest setup compared to some of I've seen.

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