Retina iMac: Is it bad the i5 has no hyperthreading (for Logic)?

apfelmann

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
341
85
I just found out, the i5 chips in the retina iMac are not capable of hyperthreading.

Does someone know, if I will need hyperthreading in LOGIC PRO X? Or is the i5 enough?
 

mike1123

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2007
266
32
Here's the thing with Logic and any other software-based music production software, for that matter: processor speed is almost always your greatest bottleneck. Hyper threading does enable twice as many virtual cpu channels in Logic, and Logic X is pretty efficient at distributing CPU load (but each instance of a software instrument/audio plug in is usually restricted to a single channel, hence multi-timbral instruments don't really benefit from multi-threaded distribution).

Bottom line: Hyper threading helps, clock speed helps more. For music production in general, the faster the CPU, the better. If you're serious about producing, do a BTO with the 4.0GHz i7. Not just for the hyper threading, but for the additional clock speed. You will get by with the i5, but it will show its age much faster, and given the nature of an all-in-one like the iMac coupled with the 5K screen, you're going to want to future-proof whatever you get. Also highly recommend 16GB RAM and at least a fusion drive, if you can't afford a full PCI-e SSD upgrade.
 

apfelmann

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
341
85
Here's the thing with Logic and any other software-based music production software, for that matter: processor speed is almost always your greatest bottleneck. Hyper threading does enable twice as many virtual cpu channels in Logic, and Logic X is pretty efficient at distributing CPU load (but each instance of a software instrument/audio plug in is usually restricted to a single channel, hence multi-timbral instruments don't really benefit from multi-threaded distribution).

Bottom line: Hyper threading helps, clock speed helps more. For music production in general, the faster the CPU, the better. If you're serious about producing, do a BTO with the 4.0GHz i7. Not just for the hyper threading, but for the additional clock speed. You will get by with the i5, but it will show its age much faster, and given the nature of an all-in-one like the iMac coupled with the 5K screen, you're going to want to future-proof whatever you get. Also highly recommend 16GB RAM and at least a fusion drive, if you can't afford a full PCI-e SSD upgrade.
Thanks a lot for your reply!
I have to choose between a 15" rMBP and the retina iMac.
I think I'll take the iMac and use my 2009 MacBook Pro for audio recording at other places. Single track audio recording should still work fine on older hardware in low latency mode, am I right?
 

mike1123

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2007
266
32
Thanks a lot for your reply!
I have to choose between a 15" rMBP and the retina iMac.
I think I'll take the iMac and use my 2009 MacBook Pro for audio recording at other places. Single track audio recording should still work fine on older hardware in low latency mode, am I right?
I'm still using my 2009 MacBook Pro, and it's starting to get rough around the edges but still running strong. I have used it for mixing/production in the past. The beautiful thing about OS X is Core Audio, which gives you low latency pretty much across the board, unlike Windows, where ASIO is all but required to make music. Of course, that is mainly for software instruments.

For single track audio? You are totally fine. Latency for audio recording is far less of an issue than it is for MIDI-generated software instruments a la Omnisphere, Native Instruments plugins, etc... Most important factors for good audio recordings are a quality microphone and a good DAC. Stock MBP DAC can squeak you by for jotting down ideas/phrases/tests, but you'll want to invest in an external sound card and better microphone for serious recording. That said, because of the external nature of those components, your current MBP will run just as well for audio as a new one would with the same equipment, so invest in the mic and external DAC/sound card and you'll be in great shape. :cool:
 

apfelmann

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
341
85
I'm still using my 2009 MacBook Pro, and it's starting to get rough around the edges but still running strong. I have used it for mixing/production in the past. The beautiful thing about OS X is Core Audio, which gives you low latency pretty much across the board, unlike Windows, where ASIO is all but required to make music. Of course, that is mainly for software instruments.

For single track audio? You are totally fine. Latency for audio recording is far less of an issue than it is for MIDI-generated software instruments a la Omnisphere, Native Instruments plugins, etc... Most important factors for good audio recordings are a quality microphone and a good DAC. Stock MBP DAC can squeak you by for jotting down ideas/phrases/tests, but you'll want to invest in an external sound card and better microphone for serious recording. That said, because of the external nature of those components, your current MBP will run just as well for audio as a new one would with the same equipment, so invest in the mic and external DAC/sound card and you'll be in great shape. :cool:
thanks again for sharing your know-how!