(MusicProducer) Will I be OK with Quadcore 2.66 over 8 Core 2.8?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DeadGiveaway, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. DeadGiveaway macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    #1
    I Can Get Pretty Intensive As Music Producer, And on the refurb site the 8 core is about $300 more than the 4. On the Filp side the Quad has 3gb ram and the 8 has 2gb. Should I go with more RAM? Im trying to spend $2k Will I be satisfied With the Lesser? Here are the specs.


    Refurbished Mac Pro 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon $2,149

    One 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor
    3GB (3 x 1GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory
    640GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200 rpm
    18x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 512MB GDDR3 memory

    ________



    Refurbished Mac Pro 2.8GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon $2,399

    Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors
    2GB (2 x 1GB) of 800MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM
    320GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
    16x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB (two dual-link DVI ports)



    You see...The last one is getting up there, since i also want to get apple care and stuff. Is the first one Adq for Music Production or am I messing with Small Potatoes here? Anything better you can think of for around $2k? Thanks!
     
  2. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #2
    Ram is cheap, and as far as i understand you want as much RAM and HD as possible and CPU is not as important for audio.

    In any case, get 8GB ram and atleast one HD just for audio scratch/swap
     
  3. pablol macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Berlin
    #3
    Wrong! CPU is probably the most important thing for doing music production as it's what determines how many tracks, how many plug-ins you can use, etc. For $300 more I'd go for the 8-core and then add more RAM later (4GB would be plenty for most cases, unless you are using gigantic sample libraries).
     
  4. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    #4
    RAM and CPU ('cores') play an important part in things like virtual instruments, plug-ins, etc - number of tracks doesn't depend on that - the number of tracks playing back audio at the same time - depends on speed of the hard drive. I used to produce 86 tracks on a 2001 titanium powerbook (1ghz, 512 mb ram) but the session was on a 10,000 rpm SCSI drive.

    What are you planning to do.. I mean, how intense is the production going to be? I've seen regular G5 workstations handle massive productions - again, I'm talking 15 k SCSI drives, maxed out RAM, etc.. so I would think that a 4 core would be more than sufficient.

    If you're going to be doing virtual orchestral stuff (like Vienna Ensemble) with tons of hard drive streaming samples, plug-ins, instances of the player, etc - then go for BOTH 8 core PLUS good amounts of RAM.
     
  5. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

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    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #5
    IMO, the better buy is the 8-core, and purchase some RAM from another vendor (I like Crucial myself).

    The additional cores will definitely come in handy with effects plug-ins and virtual instruments, especially "virtual analog" softsynths that use mathematical algorithms to simulate analog oscillators instead of samples. When I moved my Cakewalk SONAR from a single-core Athlon 64 to my Core 2 Duo iMac, my CPU usage meters dropped significantly-- much more than just the difference in clock speed would have done.

    The suggestion for an additional hard drive for audio/scratch data cannot be overstated, especially if it's a separate drive from the one holding any long orchestral samples you may use.
     
  6. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
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    Norway
    #6
    I'm not doing much music prodution anymore, but when i did on my Powermac G4 back in the days you could do alot of tracks, with effects and virtual instruments.

    RAM and HD was always the problem, not the CPU power. I did use 2x 36GB Maxtor Atlas 10.000 rpm Utra160 scsi drives, which probably are faster than the stock 640GB HD, and this is over 5 years ago...
     
  7. Banbeerd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    #7
    I think you're failing to realize that the cheaper model uses Core i7, while the more expensive one uses Core 2 Duo. The RAM is faster in the cheaper machine, and the GPU is better, which may translate into better performance for music apps in Snow Leopard, depending on what developers do with Open CL.

    If you're set on a Mac Pro, this is a no-brainer. Get the cheap one. Dedicate a hard drive or two exclusively for audio production. Upgrade the RAM at macsales.com

    I almost exclusively use virtual instruments, and I only use software plugins, so I appreciate horsepower. That said, if you don't have enough power for real-time operation, just increase your buffer size, and if necessary, freeze your tracks.

    Because those techniques work so well, I can't really recommend a Mac Pro anyway. The multitouch trackpad is a much more useful tool to me than CPU, GPU, RAM, etc.
     
  8. DeadGiveaway thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    #8
    Sometimes I end up adding a bit of stuff. I use a lot of "VSTs" (or AU :) with every track and 2 or 3 effects going each track too sometimes. I can get up to +8 Heavy tracks on my 1.7ghz 1gig dell laptop and it starts to get wierd... Vienna Ensamble looks pretty cool btw (thats prolly Sampled stuff right?).

    That trackpad does look cool ! (:) Is that only for macbook pro? no usb? looks like an awesome creative tool *thats the key. Yes ive been recently freezing my tracks and it seems to help! Right now the only secondary hard drive I have is a seagate 1tb (but its USB..(?) will not work? I cant really go too much past $2k so... gotta be as creative as i can. ITS wierd tho cus as of right now when I add vsts and do midi stuff with samples its totally fine (no latency) but when I add an audio track and monitor with a vst real time there is a bit of latency _ Im using a USB audio interface but I'm only using one track at a time. Its the computer not the interface? Am I wrong with this theory? or me needy tweeky buffer settings? (<<-- wtf language is that?) BTW WOW thanks soo much. I'll tell you anything, what a bunch of great responses!
     
  9. DeadGiveaway thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 28, 2009
    #9
    SO yeah... I only go one track at a time, but i love to build sometimes.
     
  10. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #10
    The USB drive will work, but not as well as a FireWire drive. USB tends to send its data in bursts; sustained throughput is not as fast as with FireWire, even though FireWire (400 Mbps) is slower than USB 2 (480 Mbps). If the drive has a FireWire port, use it.

    You may indeed "needy tweeky" your audio buffer settings. Some apps allow you to tweak the MIDI latency directly. Perhaps you could bump that up a few milliseconds; it can help bring your MIDI tracks in line with your audio tracks.
     
  11. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    Aug 23, 2005
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    #11
    Does ProTools even work with the new MacPro's yet?
     
  12. Banbeerd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    #12
    Pro Tools doesn't work with anything. ;)
     
  13. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #13
    LOL.... so true. :D
     

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