Looking to buy used MP for AUDIO

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ben37, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. ben37, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012

    ben37 macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2012
    Hi there,
    I'm in the market for a computer that's sufficiently powerful for pro audio applications (project studio doing commercial production work, and original music).

    My current setup (2009 MBP 17 in, 2.93 Core 2 Duo 8 gb RAM) doesn't come close to doing what I need.

    I thought perhaps I'd describe exactly what I need, and maybe someone could recommend a computer, and/or a place to start looking. Btw, I use 32-bit Logic and Studio One 2.

    I want to
    1) Get multiple instances (10 or more, at least) of instruments (Omnisphere, Kontakt, Reactor, and multiple soft synths), each channel also loaded with 3rd party effects plugins, without having to ever worry about overload clicks and pops.

    2) Use 2 27" monitors.

    3) Be able to work on projects up to 70 tracks in length, (most audio but also probably 10-30% instrument tracks at any given stage of the project).

    3) Have (wireless) internet connection running while I work.

    4) I will not be working on any photos or video or anything very graphically intensive.

    5) I don't need much HD space because I already have an array of Firewire HDs.

    Budget wise, honestly don't know what to say! Hopefully you can tell ME what my budget should be... I'll pray it's not too high! :eek:

    Thanks :)
  2. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Getting new Mac Pro doesnt make sense much but if your work relies on it,having warranty is always good. Get Mac Pro from year 2009 or newer,older models are more difficult in terms of price for upgrades.

    Hex core model is a good compromise for lot of people. Buy aftermarket RAM, at least 16 (32gb maybe better for you). I run regular DDR3 memory which is very cheap.

    Mac Pro has four Firewire800 ports so youre covered. I would recommend using SSD for your system though.
  3. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Yes but only 1 FW bus. Keep that in mind. I too would probably go 2009 refurb and upgrade to 6-core W3680 (3.33) or W3670 (3.2GHz). Or 2010 refurb and do the same thing this way you get the 5770 GPU not the turd ridden GT120. Then get 3x8GB DDR3 3rd party.
    Here is one for $1819.00.
  4. TableSyrup macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2012
    I'd suggest a 2010 Quad 2.8 at least, or get the Hex if you can afford it (Or get the Quad and install the Hex yourself to potentially save some loot)

    I scored a 2010 Quad 2.8 with 5770, 32 GB Ram, eSATA Card, and a bunch of extras (SSD sleds, etc) for $1275, and under AppleCare through January 2014 - then I threw some different drives at it (Which I do on a regular basis due to commercial work)

    I felt it was a great deal. Great deals ARE out there, you just need to be ready to go, cash in hand, and keep yer eyes open

    I think anything less is going to fall short at some point. Especially with lots of instances of VI's
    (We do similar work, only, in different softwares)
  5. Spacedust macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2009
    I bought a Mac Pro 2009 with 2x Quad Core Xeons X5570's 2.93 GHz, 12 GB RAM, 3xGT120, 4x1 TB, Superdrive + BluRay burner just a month ago for just 1299 GBP :D
  6. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
    Are there many PCI slot additions which an audio professional could use in an MP?
    Does a 64-bit version of Logic have better performance than the 32-bit version the OP uses?
  7. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    My 2009 (which thinks it is a 2010) has each of the PCIe slots filled, but only one card is truly audio-related because I use a FW interface. The UAD2 Duo card that I use is one of UA's very popular line of cards which support its hardware-accelerated plug-ins.

    Many audio pros used PCIe-based audio interfaces; there are a number of different ones offered by a variety of manufacturers.

    I can heartily recommend the 2009 - 2010 EFI and CPU update. Easy to do. Took my 32 bit Geekbench scores from 8500 (quad 2.66 Nehalem) to 13,800 (hex 3.33 Westmere). Total cost for the used 2009 Mac and new CPU was about $1800.
  8. ben37 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2012
    Thanks so much for the replies, really helpful. There's several 09s and 10s on ebay right now, although I'm not sure that's the way to go.
    The upgrade quad to hex idea is interesting too by the way, thanks.
    My ideal machine is 6 or 8 core with threading ( i guess that means 2009 or later right?) and no additional HDs, then I put in a SSD for the OS. If the whole thing could cost less than 2500 I'd be really happy.

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