MBP 13 VS 15 for Logic: What wins?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thebeautyisfake, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. thebeautyisfake macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    #1
    Hi! Sorry if this is the wrong forum. I wanted to post it in the audio subforum but as I'm talking about hardware I put it here!

    I'm buying a Macbook Pro to complement my recording setup. I have a beefy Win7 PC and it works wonderfully, but I want to expand my horizons and add a Mac with Logic so I can get experience with both. As I mentioned, I have a desktop computer so the Mac HAS to be a laptop, so please don't reccomend the iMac! If I was a rich man I'd buy a bigass Mac pro :p

    So, what it burns down to is, is there a massive difference in performance with the 13 and 15 inch? I'm assuming they both use onboard audio from intel or similar. Would the 15 inch be more able to handle a multitrack recording as opposed to the 13?

    I'm not too fussy on screen size, I just need to make sure that if I go the cheaper route I'm not missing out (much) on performance.
    Thanks for any help you may give!
     
  2. sth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    The old world
    #2
    Both have enough CPU power to handle Logic well. RAM size and HDD speed are far more important, so I'd suggest getting 4gb RAM (standard on all models except the base 13.3") and a 500gb 7200rpm HDD (apple or aftermarket) for the time being.

    Personally, I wouldn't want to use applications like Logic on the 1280x800 resolution of the 13", though.

    BTW: If it isn't urgent: New models are expected soon. There's nothing wrong with the old ones but you'll probably get more for your money if you can wait a few weeks.
     
  3. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #3
    I suppose you have some kind of audio interface to get the signal in your computer. That's what performance will mostly depend on.

    I recommend the 15 only because of the higher resolution. IMO at 1280x800 audio-sequencer menus feel really crammed.
     
  4. thebeautyisfake thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    #4
    Thanks for the fast replies, guys. I've been reading these forums and have indeed heard of the upcoming updates. I'm in no rush to buy one so I'll just wait! Looks like the 15 inch model wins due to the 4GB RAM as standard :)
     
  5. Danielclark macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    #5
    Well if the only reason your buying the 15" is because of the 4 Gigs of ram, your are throwing a ton of money out of the window. Its much cheaper to either upgrade the entry level 13" with 2 extra gigs or just buying some after-market ram. The price between the 13" and 15" is much more than 2 Gigs of ram so you better want the extra res. If your going to hook it up to a external display anyways and you dont have that much money, go for the 13" with xtra ram, and maybe later put a SSD in to see huge speed improvements :)
     
  6. thebeautyisfake thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    #6
    Interesting point! Didn't realise that. Turns out the baseline 13 inch with an extra 2GB of RAM added is just 99p short of £1000 :p
    Not sure whether screen size will be an issue. As I've never really done heavy music work on a 13 inch laptop before I can't say. I have a Dell XPS M1530 though, and that's comfortable.
    Agh, so many spanners in the works already! Thought I had my choice :p
     
  7. c0mplex macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #7
    Im running Logic Pro on my 13" Through a small PreSonus Interface for when I am on the go. It's been working well. The only problems are that sometimes when it plays several tracks simultaneously with mutiple plugins on each track(7-10 with eq, compression, etc.) it will give a disk error. Im guessing that is because the HDD cannot render all the tracks fast enough. This only happens occasionally and not every time. Im on the Apple 160gb 5400 RPM. The only other downside would be small screen area. It's not too bad on a 13" but a 15" would definitely be better. It's not that big of a deal though. I'm running this with only 2gb of memory on a 13" 2.26 macbook pro. I like the 13" for the smaller size. All i need to carry with me is my MBP, PreSonus Firebox and my firewire cable and i have a mobile studio.
     
  8. Moocher macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    NE Atlanta area
    #8
    You can hook any spare monitor up to the 13" MBP if you need more real estate. It sounds like you have been in this long enough to have a spare around somewhere. It's also easy and inexpensive to hook up an external drive if you need more storage.


    Mooch
     
  9. Dozerrox macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    Exeter
    #9
    My housemate also uses logic on a 13 inch (with a fairly hefty external screen).

    The good thing about logic is how well it folds itself away into a single screen so I'd say if you're going to be travelling about then go for the 13 inch!

    He uses the built in audio interface and runs it through a mixer to his genelecs and get's really good performance.

    He's got the 2.53/4gig/320gig version.

    Good luck!
     
  10. MacYost macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #10
    I have used Logic for 5 years on a 12" PowerBook and am now running it happily on a 13" MBP. Screen estate is nice if you can afford it, but Logic runs fine on smaller screens. Because Logic started its life long ago on (by nowadays standards) a very small screen. And if you want a larger screen, you can always buy a (cheap) external display.

    MainStage is a different beast. Because it was recently programmed by Apple staff who want to force all musicians to buy at least a 17" MBP (or a 21" iMac), it looks cramped and is quite uncomfortable to configure on a 13" screen. Running a concert in full screen mode is OK, though. I am still using Logic Studio 8, so maybe the editing window design is improved in Logic Studio 9.
     
  11. stinkhorn macrumors newbie

    stinkhorn

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Someone told me recently that they had a (I think) 5400rpm HDD in their Mac (which is pretty standard..?) - but that because they were recording straight through firewire 800 onto an external 7200rpm drive, it rendered tracks faster. Is that right? Does the firewire 800 carry data outside the Mac quicker than the internal gubbins would do to its in-built drive?
     
  12. MacYost macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #12
    Yes, that's right. An external 7200 RPM firewire drive is faster than the internal 5400 rpm hard drive. And it is often cheaper to add such an external drive than to upgrade the interanl drive to 7200 RPM.
     
  13. Dozerrox macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    Exeter
    #13
    Yeah, in fact a lot of people suggest that you should record to the external, as the internal will be used for OS calls etc which could interrupt your audio stream recording and leave glitches and clicks in the recording.

    I haven't ever had a problem with the internal drive though.
     
  14. sth macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    The old world
    #14
    A seperate drive for audio can be faster. However, it's not necessary for "normal" use if the internal drive is fast enough.
    It also doesn't hurt to use 7200rpm drives for both. :D
     
  15. stinkhorn macrumors newbie

    stinkhorn

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    Feb 27, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    Thanks guys. Think I'll get hold of an external 7200rpm...
     
  16. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    #16
    Get the 13" and a SSD. Dollar for dollar, this will give you the best performance for most Logic tasks.
     
  17. Gen macrumors 6502a

    Gen

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    Jul 15, 2008
  18. stinkhorn macrumors newbie

    stinkhorn

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    So SSD = faster/(instant) compared to a 7200rpm HDD right?

    I've just about decided on the high-end 13" MBP (preferably cheaper than it is at the moment and with a free iPod *post-update* as I'm not bothered about gaming/graphics, although time is slowly running out).

    Choosing the smallest SSD adds about £300 to the price and halves the storage. I have thought about the 15", but again, the low-end 15" = exactly the same spec as the high-end 13", yet is a few hundred quid more...
     
  19. matthemercyless macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Hull, UK
    #19
    My thoughts on this, would be to go for the low end 13" Macbook Pro. If you know someone who is in further/higher education, buy the laptop through the education store to save yourself a few quid. You can just buy it in their name and provide proof via email that that person is in education.

    Add the right upgrades to the 13" Macbook Pro and you've got a storming little machine.

    http://www.aria.co.uk/VendorStores//OCZ+120GB+Vertex+Series+SATA-II+Solid+State+SSD+2.5%22+Drive+?productId=34581

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140387918516#ht_5491wt_941

    These 2 spring to mind :D
     

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