Making Music - Which Mac to Buy?!?!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by evolutionbeats, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. evolutionbeats macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2009
    Ok...I have been doing a lot of research on this but I have not been able to get a good clear answer so I figured I would just ask myself and see what people have to say...

    Yes it is back to the quad vs 8 core debate....however...

    this is my deal....I am doing music recording, production, editing, tools, ableton live, logic, etc....

    I was wondering which computer would be better for this?

    I understand a lot of programs cant even use all 8 cores yet, but I plan to have this computer for years, so would it be smart to get an 8-core for when they can finally be utilized?

    or is it overkill and should i just go for the quad core?

    also whats the deal with a 3.0 ghz processor quad vs a lesser ghz 8 core? is one better for the other for music making?

    so to sum it all up....i've read more cores are better for multi tasking and music making has a lot of plugins and programs so this seems to be the right choice

    Thanks in advance
  2. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    Get the 8-core, more apps will be able to take advantage of more cores in the future. But the Quad-core is great for today.
  3. guydude193 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2009
    The 8-core will be great. But even more important than the processor is the memory. Get around 4-8 GBs if you can afford to. And your HDD(s) should be 7200 RPM or higher.
  4. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a


    Dec 27, 2008
    make sure further to a 7200rpm drive you have another drive for recording audio. This will help with recording audio solidly. :)

  5. chrisd1974 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2009
    London, UK
    I guess if money is no object go for it, but if you've got limited budget then prioritise the other things which will aid the creative process, since audio isn't the harshest user of raw processing power.

    I am switching from Logic to ProTools 8 at the moment, and my shopping list looks like this:

    7200rpm firewire or internal drive dedicated to audio only
    Decent slug of additional memory
    Dual monitor setup
    Multi-io firewire interface with high end preamps
    A new control surface

    According to the DigiDesign website, they really don't recommend USB for the audio drive, which is making me make the switch.

    Worrying that the non-firewire macbooks are not qualified by DigiDesign for ProTools. It will run, but they won't commit to optimal performance. Glad I didn't buy one now!

    BTW thanks for prompting me to make my first post after lurking for a while in the shadows. Enjoy whatever you end up buying!
  6. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a


    Dec 27, 2008
    "also whats the deal with a 3.0 ghz processor quad vs a lesser ghz 8 core? is one better for the other for music making?"

    The 8 core computer will be able to calculate things up to double the speed.. its like 2.53 x 8 (8 core) 20.24
    3.00 x 4 (4 core) 12

    So the 8 core can calculate 8 more things per second. So it is in all intensive applications a faster computer, especially if the apps your using are going to use the cores. Protools will probably be able to use quite a few of those cores, particularly if you use alot of reverb, and delays etc etc
  7. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    CPU speed is irrelevant for music production. If you have inferior hard drive system, it will always choke up first. So put your money into streaming data as fast as possible and worry about CPU speed last. Memory is also irrelevant as long as you have at least 4GB. Maybe later systems can benefit from more but as for now you'll have to stress the system very far until you notice 4GB is not enough. And it is trivial to add more later.

    Trust me on this, even though I've only been ProTools user since 2003 so my perspective into this is not very long ;)

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