Update to newest MBP for audio recording?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wrx07, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. wrx07 macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2007
    My Macbook Pro is 22 months old (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz, upgraded to 4GB RAM) and I'm considering updating to the newest version. The laptop crapped out about a month ago, and Apple completely replaced the logic board for no fee. However, the battery is beginning to no longer hold its charge; according to CoconutBattery it's running at 33% efficiency.

    I'm a student, so I regularly use Word (et al) for school work, but I also do quite a bit of songwriting/audio recording via Pro Tools, Logic and Cubase. Can anyone comment on what kind of specific improvements I would see in regards to audio performance with a laptop upgrade? Perhaps someone made a similar transition.

    If I upgrade now I am eligible for a free iPod touch, which I can in turn sell (already have an iPhone)...BUT, the newest Macbook Pro's no longer have Firewire 400 ports. With my current MBP I have an interface connected to the 800 port and an external drive connected to the 400 port. But if I upgrade, I will choose the 500GB 7200 RPM version which will hold most of my plug-in libraries.

    How much is a fair asking price for my current MBP with the details I've listed? It's in perfect cosmetic condition as I've always had it in a Vyper case, but the battery is pooping out.

    I use quite a bit of RAM-intensive plug-ins like Omnisphere and Ivory, so the more juice I can get out of a computer, the better. Right now, I get sputtering when recording just a handful of tracks with plug-ins.

    Wait? or Buy Now?
  2. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a


    Dec 27, 2008
    I use the next gen model machine up from what you have, with the better GFX, n faster HDD. (if i remember rightly :s) the machine is brilliant, i dont have any issues running 60 odd tracks in logic with alot of compressors, and EQ etc. I dont however use CPU intensive plugins (too expensive) just the bog standard reverbs, and delays. So i cant comment on that, just on what i know from knowledge..With plugins and audio recording, the more RAM ya have the better, and your machine is already topped out-4GB is the max.

    One of the main improvements you can look-to-see in upgrading, is faster RAM access, 600mhz vs 1066 so that is a big bonus, and more RAM upgradability in the future. Upto 8GB!! As you mention the 7,200RPM drive is also faster, than the 5,400 so you can record stuff more easily, without it getting in the way of the system disk access speeds n whatnot :)

    Having said all that, i have seen people using mainstage, on a white macbook. So its not impossible to record, and play stuff using a outta date machine.

    I wouldnt necessarily say its a bad idea to upgrade, however i would choose wisely, what with SL coming out soon, and if your a student gonna want to do word and stuff-like you say. So 17" would be out im assuming?

    The macbook pro line were only updated a couple of months ago, and are approaching midcycle so it isnt a bad idea in buying now.

    As a side note, you can daisy chain FW800 and 400 devices together, using adaptor cables etc. upto 5 HDDs, or 3/4 Audio devices. So i would bare that in mind as well, if you do decide to go the upgrade route.
    Hope that helps

  3. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    I agree with most of what MWPULSE has said.

    You are getting stuttering currently? Are you using an external drive? If s, what chipset is in the external drive? Which program are you getting stuttering?

    I am currently running Pro Tools LE 8 on multiple machines (I gave up the fight years ago). Honestly, the performance is not significantly different between an October 2008 white Macbook with 4gb RAM and my June 2009 unibody 15" Macbook Pro. I regularly run Reason 3 through ReWire without any issues on either machine. I have 7,200 RPM internal drives and 7,200 RPM Firewire drives.

    The Macbook Pro is faster, and will handle intensive plug-ins better, but it is going to be marginal improvement at best. Today's hardware, even on the white Macbook, is still ahead of the large majority of the software available.

    Upgrade if you want, but not for performance reasons. A replacement battery is much cheaper.

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