MacBook Performance in Garageband

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by justindelay, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. justindelay macrumors newbie

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    #1
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    Hi everyone, first post here. I just bought a new MacBook, 2.16 ghz C2D, 2 gigs of RAM, using a s my everyday computer as well as for portable audio recording and production. I am running Garageband right now, and I have noticed that when I have a couple of tracks of audio and virtual instruments running, the scrolling and video performance begins to slow down and get choppy. To test this, I went to the Apple store and built the same track on both a MB and MBP- the Pro did not have the same type of video lag. I'm thinking this is due to the integrated video processor in the MB vs the MBP.

    My question is this- as I continue to build more complex tracks and then upgrade to Logic Studio in the next month, will the integrated video on the MB vs the MBP significantly impact overall performance?

    If I were to upgrade to the MBP, is the 256 mb video card option overkill for audio recording?

    Further, any chance that upgrading the MB's 5400 rpm HD to a 7200 rpm HD will cure the video lag?

    Thanks for any advice here!
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #2
    It sounds like Garageband is saturating the front side bus to the point where the integrated graphics doesn't have enough bandwidth left over.

    The 128 MB MacBook Pro will be fine.
     
  3. brettanderson macrumors member

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    #3
    it depends how serious and professional your audio work is. some of the high end audio effects tax your graphics card and might not even show up on dedicated graphics cards from two years ago. I'm glad I have a MBP and don't need to worry about these sorts of things.

    BTW how many audio tracks, what instruments and effects are you loading into GB that is causing graphical lag on a macbook.
     
  4. justindelay thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Actually, I notive visual slowdown at times with just a single audio track playing. Ultimately I want to run Logic Studio and be able to record and play back 16 audio tracks with a couple of virtual instruments and effects. My debate is whether I should go for the 2.2 ghz/128 mb graphics vs the 2.4/256, which is considerably more. Appreciate all opinions.
     
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #5
    I'd check for a refurbished MacBook Pro first if you're on a budget.

    US$1,699 and US$2,199 is much better pricing if you have to deal with retail costs.
     
  6. aethelbert macrumors 601

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    Chicago, IL, USA
    #6
    It sounds like the 2.2 would be good for you. Personally, I don't think that it's worth another $500 for the 2.4. Some people need it, though. But I think that the 2.2 will be more than fine. You might want to wait to see if there are updates around the release of 10.5. It's unlikely, but if you buy now, Murphy's law will almost certainly prove correct. Both machines are great as they are now, but you never know what's around the corner. If nothing comes out with Leopard's release, you're safe.
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #7
    I second the motion for the 2.2 GHz MacBook Pro.
     
  8. MacinDoc macrumors 68020

    MacinDoc

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    #8
    My 2 GHz MacBook (with 2 GB RAM and Hitachi 7200 RPM HD) has no lagging with 4 tracks.

    Don't have Logic though, so I can't comment on that.

    Edit: it's a bit jumpy with 8 tracks.

    P.S. Why when I edit a post does it say "Vote Now" instead of "Save Changes"?
     
  9. justindelay thread starter macrumors newbie

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    I had a chance to further test both a Macbook like mine and a Macbook Pro tonight. I opened the same demo song in Garageband and played them back. When I click ahead in the song, the scrolling window jumps ahead and settles into position smoothly on both computers. I then added a repeating Apple Loop of a bass drum sample. I made about 50 copies of the bass drum and then played the track and tried to jump ahead. At this point, on both the MB and the MBP, the scrolling was lagging and jumpy. So my original hypothesis about the integrated MB graphics not being able to keep up seems to be debunked because the MBP exhibited the same performance. Can anyone help me understand why performance on both computers seems to suffer in Garageband? Note, the audio itself is not lagging or jumpy, just the scrolling of the screen. I really don't want to upgrade to the MBP from my MB if I will see the same behavior from either computer. Really appreciate any help here. Thanks!
     
  10. brettanderson macrumors member

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #10
    Something is not right, I've used a macbook to play audio projects with 25 or more audio tracks and tons of audio plugins (the cpu around 75%) and there is no visual lag like you are describing. This is in ableton live not garageband though.
     
  11. Wie Gehts macrumors 6502

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #11
    I have a macbook c2d 2ghz and logic studio. I play those big demo songs that came with it and don't have any video problems. Its not the computer. Somethings not right or you need to read about optimizing for audio.

    I haven't done much in GB either (this all new equipment/software for me) but I haven't any vid problems running you average song.

    At the very least, set you energy saver prefs to high performance for battery and power adapter. Set the both 'put to sleeps' to 'never' and uncheck 'put hd to sleep'

    If I don't do that, yeah, GB will complain real fast.

    Verify and repair permissions too
     
  12. justindelay thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 14, 2007
    #12
    Thanks for the replies guys, I will look more into optimizing for audio. Also, what do you mean by repair permissions?

    I guess what I am ultimately getting at is that I am concerned that my C2D Macbook will not have enough power to run Logic Studio smoothly. I saw the video performance lag and got worried that if it lagged in Garageband, Logic Studio would suffer even more. I looked to the MBP because of the dedicated video card and faster frontside bus, but after seeing the same kind of video lag in GB on a MBP, I'm beggining to think that I just need to optimize my computer for audio more.

    Instead of purchasing a MBP, I'm now thinking I should upgrade to a 200 GB 7,200 RPM drive and 3 GBs of RAM, and as I get more serious, record to a dedicated external hard drive. Will the dedicated video card in a MBP provide a significant performance boost by taking some strain off the frontside bus? Will the faster MBP frontside bus provide a real world peformance benefit?

    Really appreciate everyone's advise here.
     
  13. pkoch1 macrumors 6502a

    pkoch1

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    Boston
    #13
    Open Disk Utility (Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility), click your hard drive on the left column, then click repair permissions on the bottom right.
     

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