New MadBook Pro: 13" or 15"?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by grigoriso, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. grigoriso, Dec 1, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010

    grigoriso macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2009
    I'm in the market for a new MacBook Pro, and am trying to decide between a 13" and a 15". If I get the 13", I'll be able to afford to upgrade to a SSD, but if I go with the 15", I'll have to go with the base model. I mostly record 1 or 2 tracks at a time live, with VSTs or other audio tracks added later, rarely more than 16 total; I also will be using this for other typical computer applications. In addition, I do have an external monitor, so the size of the screen isn't a primary issue. I also have some external hard drives, both USB and Firewire, as well as a Firewire audio intereface.

    Do the advantages gained by going SSD outweigh those of the i5 processor, or vice versa? Thanks in advance.

    [edit: yes, I mean MacBook, not MadBook... ]
  2. polaris20 macrumors 68020

    Jul 13, 2008
    I would go for the 13" (and I did, actually) and upgrade the drive. While the CPU is of course still a factor with recording, RAM and drive speed are a very important factor too, sometimes more so than the proc. with 16 tracks with 2 at a time, I think you'd be fine either way. But personally I'd rather have the smaller size with the speed of an SSD. I'm actually running the Seagate SSD/HD hybrid drive.
  3. grigoriso thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2009
    Thanks for the feedback, polaris20. One of the arguments I've encountered against going with the 13" is that I can always upgrade the HD to a SSD in the future, but I'll never be able to upgrade the processor, and since you're using the Seagate SSD/HD hybrid in your 13", I assume you upgraded after purchase as well (as opposed to the Apple-offered option). Am I correct in that assumption?

    Unfortunately, I can't wait for the next rumored revision (April 2011), as I have other computing needs as well as audio.
  4. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place
    I use Logic Pro on a mid '09 2.66 15" so it is very similar in performance to the current 13" 2.66. As long as you don't have a ridiculous amount of processing, you could be ok but it can get a little close without freezing tracks. I would seriously recommend the i5. The problem with recording is eventually, you do hit that point when you have too much for your CPU. Then your stuck waiting for 5 minutes while tracks freeze and (I don't know about you but for me) that can be the difference between catching a moment of creation and losing it altogether.

    I should just buy a Mac Pro :D
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    i say go for the 15" and get the faster machine. you'll be recording your audio to an external drive, so an internal ssd won't really help you there.

    if you're like me, and buy a new machine every 4-5 years, then the extra CPU towards the end of that timeframe will help.

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