System upgrade - How much of an increase?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by joe.cavers, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. joe.cavers macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2008

    So I'm currently running Live and Logic on a MBP 2.33Ghz with 3Gb of RAM. It's starting to choke on my Live sessions, dropout and crackles, even with the buffer raised quite high (4096).

    I'm considering buying an iMac (I never do much in the way of location recording any more, much more of a bedroom producer/composer these days), and I was wondering what sort of an increase I could expect if I upgraded to a 3.06Ghz Dual Core with 4Gb of DDR3?

    On some of my toughest sessions just now, when everything is playing the CPU is spiking around 80% in Live and still not coping.

    I'd like it to be future proof for at least a while (I bought this one second hand, definitely regret that now), but if the increase isn't going to be massive, I'll probably wait for the quad-core MBP refresh, rather than save money by going with a 21.5" iMac.

  2. newuser2310 macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2010
    I'm running the base spec 21" Imac, I probably use 25 audio/software tracks on average each with loads of plugins/effects, with the i/o buffer set to 64.

    Performance has been faultless. I'm not sure how much of an increase you would notice though and I wish I had spent more money and got the i5 or i7.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    In general you have to about double the specs on the computer to see a noticeable improvement. That would put you square into "Mac Pro Land".
  4. joe.cavers thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2008
    This sounds encouraging, any chance of a screenshot of a typical session? That said however, if you reckon I wouldn't see much of an increase, holding out for an i5 (at least) is probably worth it.

  5. newuser2310 macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2010
    I noticed a huge difference because my old machine was a lowly ibook 64! I couldn't even play most of my tracks in real time, they had to be bounced down first!

    I'm not running logic in 64bit mode as it causes quite a few third party plug ins to become glitchy and cause crashes.

    I am running logic along with itunes, firefox and transmission(torrent) though.

    Currently my set up is more than adequate but I plan to buy an Access Virus ti polar later on this year so I will probably look to upgrade to an i7.

    The track is just something I made the other day, not overly taxing on the computer but gives you an idea.

    Attached Files:

  6. joe.cavers thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2008
    That's definitely superior to my machine, that's for sure! I might ask the local Mac Store if I can take some of my heavier sessions in and try them out on the iMac's in store, I know they have a 21.5" in there.

    Cheers for the help!

    I checked out the Geekbench scores for the quad iMacs vs my current machine and they absolutely slay it, so still could be well worth saving for.

    Any other input?

  7. Comma macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2010
    Quitting Firefox should give you a fair amount of RAM back. Also. Show me a screenshot of your Mixer page.

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