MacBook Pro with 2.8ghz or 2.53ghz with external harddrive for ProTools use

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RB1010, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. RB1010 macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2008
    Hi there everyone!

    This is my first thread so be gentle....

    I am a music student and mainly use protools and logic. I often get well over 25+ tracks with plenty of plugins, so the work ill be doing on it is pretty intensive.

    So im going to be purchasing the new Mbp within the next few days and i was wondering if i could grab some advice off you.

    Automatically im going to get the upgraded hard drive but with my current budget i can either afford the 2.8ghz or a 2.53ghz with an external hard drive (ive heard that its best to record straight onto external hard drive?)

    It is possible for me to get the external hard drive within the next couple of weeks after i get paid if the 2.8ghz is what i need but i dont want to have to get it if i dont need it.

    Could someone also direct me as to what hard drives i am looking for? Im thinking a 1tb of some sort? Should i get one that connects via fw800? Im new to using external hard drives for recording so assume im a noob and any advice would be appreciated!

    Thanks for any help that anyone could give me, Im a fresh pc -> mac convert and am ready to invest in my first baby.



    (p.s. Sorry for the essay)
  2. andy5000 macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2006
    Its recommended to get a fw800 drive for recording, there is an article on the digidesign site somewhere.
  3. naid macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2008
    I would go with a standard 2.53 config (not BTO) plus an external FW800 drive. This way, if your laptop is defective, you can just bring it to the Apple store and exchange it for a new one, rather than being without a machine for a few weeks.
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Here's the part where I don't understand why Apple won't stock the maxed out config anymore like they did with the older generation models.
  5. RB1010 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2008
    Thanks for the reply's so far!

    So will the 2.53gh mbp have enough processing power to run Protools with 25+ tracks and heaps of plugins no sweat? Thats the main issue that i need to know because i dont want to receive my mbp and then realize it aint up to the task.

  6. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    My philosophy is...get as much mac as you can afford at any point in time. You won't regret having too much power but there's a chance you'd regret not having enough.

    If you can afford it a 2.8MBP with 4GB of RAM and a 7200 RPM drive along with a FW800 external should chew through anything you throw at it
  7. Shawn Parr macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2008
    What plug-ins? If you are putting a reverb in every slot, then no, of course you need to be slapped and taught how to use Sends in that case also. ;)

    Also if you want a TON of virtual instruments you might start to see some crunch.

    If you are talking compression, EQ, the occasional autotune, maybe a guitar amp simulator, then you will probably be fine.

    I've been using Pro Tools on a Core Duo Macbook (the original white one) using Native Instruments software instruments, and various other plugs. I was able to do mix downs on that machine that made my G4 desktop I used previously puke hardcore. The Macbook Pro 2.53 I got yesterday is seriously more powerful than the Macbook was, although I haven't specifically loaded up PT on it yet.

    Realistically 25 - 32 tracks will run on the internal drive. However it is still a really good idea to get an external. Especially if you will be doing multiple large projects and the drive will start getting full.
  8. RB1010 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2008
    By the looks of things, I'll be getting the 2.53ghz mbp with the upgraded hard drive and also an external hard drive connected via firewire 800. Will it be more efficient for pt if i put all my session files and VI's on the external hard drive and run them from there?

    Can anyone also suggest me a decent External harddrive? Im looking at probably a 1tb one. How about the My Book Studio?

    Thanks for all your help guys, im slowly getting a picture of what im going to get.
  9. Shawn Parr macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2008
    It depends on which instruments you are using. I tend to keep my VI files on my internal drive, and put my PT projects on an external. That way if I'm using a VI that uses samples the recorded audio and the sample playback are spread across two drives. The hardcore users would have at least one hard drive for their samples, and at least one dedicated drive (probably more) for their audio.

    As far as specific hard drive brands, basically do plenty of research. Every company that makes hard drives, and every company that makes enclosures have great products and lemons. For instance Seagate drives tend to be very very good, however even they have a model run from time to time that have a high failure rate. So find three or maybe four options, then see what reviews and articles you can find out about them online. If you are shopping at a place like Amazon or Newegg that has a 5 star rating system then look at the overall scores and see if they are highly balanced towards the top or the bottom. If it isn't significantly towards either extreme I like to throw out the 5's and 1's and only read the rest to get a feel for what people think. If it has only 5's or only 1's I tend to move on.
  10. RB1010 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2008
    Would a hard drive with a 7200 rpm be fine? The mybook studio looks very appealing as it is especially formatted for macs.
  11. Shawn Parr macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2008
    Yeah, 7200 is fine. That was what was recommended 10 years ago, and the current ones are certainly much faster than those were.
  12. ekwipt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2008
    Don'tbuy a firewire 800 hard drive, ivest ina good quality Esata drive and esata card reader, beeter than the 800
  13. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2007
    Greener places than I used to live
    Better, in speck, but also very inconvenient. I purchased a dual sata hdd case with only esata connectors last year for my desktop. Now that I have a MBP, I'm really wishing I had bought a case with FW800 as well. That would get me near saturated speeds and the ability to connect to more computers. Esata expresscards are bulky and some cause kernal panics. Also due to the stiff esata cables and the non-latching design of the expresscard port, the cards easily become disconnected.

    All this has me waiting till I have a case with multiple connections and can find a recommended expresscard before giving esata a chance with my mbp. Still, it's so much less portable, and requires external power for the drives, right?
  14. allanibanez macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2008
    Here is something someone told me when i was making this same decision. The 2.8GHz processor provides 10% more power over the 2.53GHz and costs 12% more. To me that was fairly reasonable, much better than the old 2.5 vs 2.6 option.

    If you can fork out the extra cash do it and you will have an absolute monster on your hands. Extra money spent now will futureproof your mbp that little bit more which i think is very important with notebooks.
  15. RB1010 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2008

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