New Powerbooks fast enough for Pro Tools?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Bhennies, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. Bhennies macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2004
    NYC & Baltimore
    Hi all...just wondering if the new Powerbooks will be powerful enough to handle Pro Tools LE (properly). My concerns are as follows...I currently have a dual 500 G4 tower with 996 RAM and it is NOT powerful enough for me at all (I've been trying to work with 1.25 gig files in Photoshop as well as heavy duty Pro Tools sessions w/ many plug-ins). I'm getting the 23 inch display as soon as it's updated this spring, as well as either a G5 tower or powerbook. I'd rather have the PB for portability (maxed out on RAM), but is it really going to be that much more powerful than my current g4 setup? Will it suffice as my primary computer? Maybe I'll have to wait a couple years till the technology is good enough for heavy duty audio/video work (g5 PB's with no bugs and sufficient power/ battery life). Please help me decide. THANKS SO MUCH IN ADVANCE!!!
  2. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    yes, it is.

    i have a 15" 1.25GHz model equipped with 7200rpm hard drive and 1GB ram, and connected to digi 002R and lacie d2 the thing runs protools smoothly. you know, protools works better with single 1GHz than dual 500MHz because it doesn't use the second processor very effectively, sadly.

    i very often do live sessions with this system, meaning i make a FOH mixdown and provide monitor sends while i record the band. i use all 16 inputs available and run reverb externally via spdif i/o. there are 8 outputs available and while the first two are always used for the foh sound, i sometimes use only two more outs for stereo wireless monitor system, but sometimes need to run 4-6 individual mono sends.

    as i do it live and in front of audience, i need to spare myself some cpu headroom for unexpected situations. so i stress the system up to 70% but not higher. that self-set limit in mind i usually put in 20-30 plugins including at least 10 waves renn channels.

    is that specific enough for you? :)
  3. adamjay macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2004
    i would wait for Powerbook upgrades, even if its only a G4 speed bump, a 15" Powerbook at 1.4ghz would be great for Pro Tools.
    but as JFreak's specs prove, a 7200rpm hard drive (either internal 60GB, or external firewire) maxed ram, and a few OS optimizations would help just as much as the faster processor.

    but also, just HOW important is portability for you?
    because a G5 dual processor smokes in ProTools if you use alot of FX, the headroom is amazing. and the gap is huge between a G4 Powerbook 1.25 - 1.4 , and a G5 PowerMac Dual 1.8 - 2.0. The G5 has a much faster Bus speed and this will effect your latency and overall CPU load alot. If portability is not a prerequisite, i would go with a powermac g5. If you need portability for performaning, i would look into software like Ableton Live for live performance, and keep the G5 running Protools in the studio.
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    for tracking, any 'book will be fine. it's during mixing (and using plugs) that the limits will be seen.

    fwiw, i did a tracking stress test w/ my g3 ibook (800/640/ext fw drive) w/ a digi002r. operating at 96/24, i was able to record 8 tracks while playing back 16. i was also able to play back 24, but was not able to record anything additional.

    i, too, have a dual g4/500 and am eyeing a dual g5, 'cuz i can't mix the way i want to (keep running out of CPU power when adding plugs). at no point did i consider a powerbook for my mix machine.

    Bhennies - i think you'll regret getting a pbook, for mixing, instead of a (dual?) g5.
  5. Bhennies thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2004
    NYC & Baltimore
    Thanks a lot everyone. I don't think that the PB is going to cut it. I'll go with the dual 2.4-2.5 g5 this spring and then wait 1 year or so for the g5 PB (I'll wait for rev that point they should have hardware "meltdowns" under control). I think that I have come to the conclusion I was praying I could avoid...I'm going to need both. At least I can get a tax write-off (business expense). There goes my savings account!

Share This Page