Macbook air for music production..?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by L11, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. L11 macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2012
    To give you a quick background to where I am at the moment:

    I have a HP 11" laptop - Amd E450 processor, 4gb ram, 500gb hard drive, amd graphics - I also have a i7 (1st gen) windows desktop, 8gb, 1.5tb hard drive, 2GB graphics card

    The desktop is kept in my basement and I literally only use it for music production (on windows I use FL Studio and a multitude of vsti's, mainly Native Instrument Komplete - Which is more taxing on RAM and HD than Processor)

    I'm thinking of consolidating both of these machines into one device and I think the macboook air is that device, my main concern is which one to get, because if I make the wrong choice I am complete screwed (i.e no upgrades)

    The 8GB ram upgrade and 128GB are 100% decided no matter what (well 75% decided on the HD upgrade, i may just buy a big USB3 HD and keep all the sound libraries on that) - And the screen size is a choice only I can really make - But the main thing I cant decide is whether to get the i5 or the i7 - What real world difference will this make for what I want it for? (music production)

    Thanks for any help anyone can give me!
  2. Magrathea macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2008
    I am considering one of these for light video editing in FCPx so for music production you should be fine. Storage for my needs is sometimes an issue, I currently have an SSD in my mac mini and it's just 128gb so I'm always trying to get rid of larger files onto other drives, but audio files are smaller so you should be ok. I do have FCPx and the entire Adobe Production suite installed and have about 60gb left.

    I'd get the i7 as I believe it has hyper threading but some say i5s are just as good. Thunderbolt is a nice option but again USB3 should be fine for audio.
  3. L11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2012
    I'm pretty sure the i5 has hyperthreading too?
  4. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    If you are dead set on a MacBook Air then you need to max out everything you can, especially CPU. I wouldn't recommend that computer for Music Production, but it will run okay. Definitely get 8GB RAM and the i7, and as much storage as you can afford. 128GB will run out quickly and you don't want the drive to constantly be 99% full either. On the rest of the laptops the i5 does not have hyperthreading, only the i7. I'm not sure about the MBA variant but I would go with i7 regardless. Apps need the CPU power and on a machine not designed for heavy duty editing, you need all the mobile processing power you can get. The updated i7 is good for that. You'll also want the 13" for editing anything, no question.
  5. TheMTtakeover macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2011
    for something like music production I would really recommend the pro line of MacBooks.
  6. L11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2012
    Thanks for the advice so far..

    Why would you recommend a macbook pro? A 13" macbook pro with 128gb SSD, 8GB Ram and I7 would cost be £1329 - An 11" Macbook air with 128GB SSD and 8GB Ram and i7 would be only be £1139 and far more portable (although with a lower screen res - To be honest the screen size isn't a problem at all, when it's in my 'studio' it will be connected to an external monitor, soundcard, keyboard, mouse etc so on the road the smaller the better really)
  7. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    My understanding is that the 11" and 13" MBA have a higher res screen than the 13" MacBook Pro. (1366x768 vs 1440x900 vs 1280x800). The MacBook Pro line has a faster CPU which will help a lot when processing data using your audio editing applications. If you plan on using an external monitor, both the MBA and MBP have the same Intel HD 4000 GPU. A 15" MacBook Pro is really the next step up from your potential MBA configuration in terms of graphics performance... so get a maxed out MBA with the i7, 8GB RAM, and as much storage as you can afford and be happy. Keep in mind the built in graphics on the MBA will strain on a screen over 24".

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