Upgrade from 2011 MBP for music

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by superbass, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. superbass macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #1
    I'm a video editor for work and use the company's gear. At home I'm a music composer and take on occasional freelance video editing. I'd like more power for virtual instruments, USB 3.0 to run sample libraries on external SSD, and need to keep current with a modestly powered FCPX and Premiere system.
    (no 4k work yet).

    Currently running a 2011 MBP / 16GB RAM / 512 SSD / Radeon 6770M 1GB VRAM.
    Lacie TB2 Hard Drive, 27" ASUS monitor.

    Options:

    1.) I've located a dealer with a 2015 refurb w/ 1year warranty /2.5 Ghz / 512 SSD / AMD 370X for $1800.
    2.) Buy a new 2016 2.7 / 512 SSD / 555 for $2800 + $100 cables/dongles
    3.) Keep my 2011 and wait for the next MBP refresh.

    Thoughts? I'm stuck on a great deal vs possible future proofing. I like to keep computers about 4-5 years.
     
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #2
    I am curious as to what a mid 2017 update might be (and would recommend skipping the newest model) but that is a good price on the 2015. would make for a decent upgrade on what you have now and you get to keep using any extra power supplies you have. if you are making money with your machine I'd think buying the 2015 now is worth it. but maybe don't expect to keep it so long. the next few years will hopefully be more interesting than the last few.
     
  3. R3k macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Location:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #3
    Both 2015 and 2016 are almost equally powerful for your needs. Guess it's really about how much you want to spend. Is having a nice newer model worth the extra $1000? For me, yes. For a colleague, he went for a 2015 model a week ago. We both do music professionally.
     
  4. Charlesje macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    #4
    Sorry but there is a significant difference between the 2015 and 2016 model. Expect upt 15-20% performance increase in your daw, I tested this for the maxed out models in logic pro/ableton. Cinebench cpu tests also point to the same 15-20 perf increase and it's is possibly the best predictor for daw performance. It will also run cooler/quieter.

    But if i had the 2011 mbp, i would't change yet (not until 32 gb options are given).
     
  5. R3k macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Location:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #5
    This is great advice. 32 gb is worth waiting for, I routinely use over 20 for logic projects on my Mac Pro.

    How did you test with Logic and Ableton btw?
     
  6. dk808 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    #6
    I doubt 2017 is anything interesting. 32 gb ram most likely won't even be out until 2019. Id say he'd be okay for the next 3-4 years with a 2015 model
     
  7. minor251 macrumors newbie

    minor251

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    #7
    if you are taking music production seriously, your only real option would be the max spec 15 inch MacBook Pro. especially when you said you want to run a lot of sample libraries. the upgraded cpu cache would load your vsts 50% faster and would allow you to run a lot more channels at the same time, not to mention greater tolerance for buffer size when your project gets big, the faster SSD is a huge plus too. Really guys, if you are doing music and sticking to core audio, always get the latest top model of Macs.

    Speaking about Ableton, the new 15 mbp runs above 55C instantly even when opened a blank project with nothing loaded, when running Logic its a bit cooler at around 50C, I guess Logic being Apple's baby it's still the better optimised daw for the MacOS platform. The reason behind this is actually pretty funny, when opened either DAWs the laptop switches to the discrete graphics card for whatever reason, I guess apple thinks that GPU can help process audio now?
     
  8. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #8
    you can doubt if you like. skepticism is a good thing. but there almost certainly will be an appropriate Kaby lake part by Q2. So improved CPU with a much better integrated GPU. no word yet on the memory controller, whether it will give us 32GB. possibly a mobile RX 470 or 480 by then. but also important, the chance for Apple to address some of the issues that seem to be cropping up with this latest release. I also wouldn't be surprised at a slight price drop.
     
  9. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #9
    The OP kept his current machine for around five years. Given the problems with this model, it seems like a gamble whether they would be able to do the same with the 2016 model. That's why I wouldn't suggest it.
     
  10. dk808 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    #10
    The only thing i would expect is Kaby lake but thats not that much of an improvement. 32 gb ram wont be possible until 2019 for apple
    --- Post Merged, Dec 2, 2016 ---
    i said 2015. Also if i recall correctly i heard there were a lot of problems with the 2011,especially with the gpu on it. if it lasted that long then he would be fine with the 2016 this year too. Id still go for the 2015 in his situation with that great deal
     
  11. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #11
    The two are unrelated. The discrete gpu could last for some time if you rarely used it for anything. Mine lasted over 3 years in the 17" model. After that the replacement boards kept failing. These have shown issues within the first week. We don't yet know how long term issues might manifest.
     
  12. dk808 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    #12
    you could say the same for all gpus then
     
  13. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #13
    You might have misunderstood. I said he was lucky enough to avoid problems with that one, which might have been partly due to lack of discrete gpu use. It can still die anyway, but it may take longer. I wouldn't have suggested one once they started to exhibit major problems. The 2016 models have shown problems within the first couple weeks, so now I wouldn't suggest one of them. There's a chance either way, but visible confirmation is a good reason not to own one.
     
  14. dk808 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    #14
    Theres only been a few cases in proportion to the amount of them sold. If it really was that big of an issue then they would've done a recall. If its fine out of the box i doubt its going to have problems so soon. Anyways i dont see why we are arguing over the 2016 model when i suggested the 2015
     
  15. Charlesje, Dec 3, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016

    Charlesje macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    #15
    This is a known ableton problem, hopefully to be fixed someday in an update. However that's why i chose the 450 grapics with the 2.9 cpu. When opened I get about 40 (correction actually about 30 C in 8 track project) and after hours of sustained heavy ableton use i get about 60 degrees C. Never saw more then 61 C in projects with 60% on the Ableton CPU meter. You can barely hear the fans.

    Remember that the 2015 with dGpu is much, much louder under load. To me, that was its main problem for Ableton use. But it's really a good deal you have on it still.
     
  16. linguist macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    #16
    VST load time improvement is not from SSD speed ?
     
  17. minor251 macrumors newbie

    minor251

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    #17
    From SSD speed, yes. better CPU cache can allow you to insert more vsts into your channel with a lower cpu usage, thus faster loading time when your project gets big (both are important of course)
     
  18. superbass thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    #18
    OP here.

    Decided to stick with the 2011 mbp a little longer.
    Will go for a 2016 when any issues settle down, or maybe it's time to move to a desktop that
    will handle more RAM for samples.

    Thanks for your thoughts, everyone!
     
  19. andreyush macrumors 6502

    andreyush

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2015
    #19

    Did you encountered dgpu fails on your macbook ? :) I am just curious
     

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