Which Mac Pro for Logic Studio?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by seadragon, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. seadragon Contributor

    Mar 10, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Greetings everyone,

    I'm on the verge of ordering a new Mac Pro, but am tossed up over the quad 2.93 or the Octa 2.26. I'll be using it mainly for composing with Logic Studio.

    Does anyone know if Logic uses multiple cores? I googled this and couldn't find much on it.

    If I get the quad, I'm going to load it to the max of 8G RAM. If I get the Octa 2.26, I will get 12G RAM.

    Right now, I'm leaning towards the quad 2.26. I keep my Macs for a long time. I currently have a 4 year old G5 iMac with 2G RAM.

    Any Logic users here?
  2. cybeross macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2009
    I am a logic user! I have been pushing my 15in 2.4ghz mac pro to the absolute max for too long now... system overloads every time a project nears completion! I'm definitely ready for the upgrade, myself, and am also in the exact same boat. I had hoped to get the 2.26 mac pro (I was waiting until nehalem) but now I don't know which is the best choice, either.

    Basically, as far as I know, logic *can* use all 8 cores, so it would be worth the extra cores. If you have 8+ channel strips, than each channel strip can route to a different core. However, if you have 8x the plugins on ONE channel strip, then you still run the risk of overloading that core, and, getting the dreaded system overload message again.

    I am dying to know if the 2.26 is better for logic specifically, I don't care at ALL about photoshop, or video editing, JUST logic pro and tons and tons of VIs and 3rd party plugs w/o overloads.
  3. oban14 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2008
    Logic can and does use all 8 cores, but some plugins will only use one (get your act together, Native Instruments). The key thing with Logic is RAM. For that reason alone I would dissuade you from getting the quad model, as the RAM is limited to 8 gigs.

    I would get either last year's 2.8 or the best new octo you could afford. I think the 2.26 would be fine for most Logic activities.

    I have no intention of upgrading (except maybe my RAM) anytime soon.
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I can attest that Logic runs just fine on the early 2008 model but up that ram the best you can. You'll do fine on a oct-core base model (as in base model speed).
  5. oban14 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2008
    I should also add that there are ways to balance plugins across cores.
  6. nicolasmasset macrumors regular

    May 25, 2007
    How so? I was also thinking 8 cores for logic, ableton and NI Komplete..
  7. oban14 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2008

    I haven't had the need. NI should really do multi core versions of their apps, especially massive and kontakt.
  8. myca macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2005
    I was planning on upgrading my dual G5 at this refresh, but I find the UK prices ridiculous for what you get, especially seeing as last years octo 2.8 seems to be outperforming the new octo 2.26 in some early benchmarks, and that's over £700 more than the old octo 2.8.

    As for the new quad I think that's a rip off too compared to the old octo 2.8, less cores, less Ram slots, and judging by early benchmarks less perormance, for more money.

    Not that I'm angry or anything, just baffled :confused:

    I'd recommend an old octo 2.8 if you can find one, I can't find one at the moment so I'm gonna build an EFIX hackintosh, and if it works out I'll spend the money I saved on a Powercore X8. If it doesn't work well with Logic at least I'll have a nice gaming rig/Sound Forge box and I'll just have to wait until the next refresh and hope for better value, plus I'll boost my G5 with the Powercore X8 and some of it's nice reverbs.

    BTW, Logic can only access 4GB of memory, but if you're using lots of samples EXS24 can use more than the 4GB and it's allocated separately to Logics allocation of memory, I think some other sample based virtual instruments are starting to use the same method, so anything over 8GB at the moment would be a waste unless you rely heavily on sampled instruments.
  9. blinkfrog macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2009
    Here is the first nehalem mac pro's logic performance test result already, and it is very bad.
  10. cybeross macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2009
    i see no one read my post! BUT, yes, I said that you need 8+ channel strips or auxes, as logic sends each channel strip to a different core... in effect, I summarized the linked article already... :rolleyes:
  11. fabriciom macrumors 6502


    Feb 17, 2008
    Madrid, España
    A user in gearslutz has tried the Logic Pro benchmark project with his new dual 2,26 and said that it craped out at 17 tracks and it showed 16 cores but only 8 showed usage. My guess, they still need to patch logic or wait for snow.

  12. cybeross macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2009
    basically, i was told that there would be an "imminent" update if apple discovers incompatibility w/ logic and the nehalem architecture. For the moment, the guy I talked to on the phone gave me some interesting pieces of information...

    Basically, he said that the only computer faster than the old 3.2 is the new octo 2.9. Furthermore, the new 2.26 is only on par w/ the old 3.0ghz, or, rather, slightly slower. For those waiting for snow leopard, aside from general compatibility, logic *won't* see any big improvements, as it's more for non-multithread aware apps. Also, logic isn't switching to 64bit any time soon. I'm sure some of these kinks will be worked out, but the bottom line is, it's never going to be faster than the 3.2 ghz model of last year.

    Nehalem has major improvements in memory and bandwidth, and these tremendous improvements bring up a 2.26 chip to around 3.0 harpertown. BUT, it won't make it *better* than that....
  13. Keniff macrumors 6502a


    Dec 21, 2008
    United Kingdom

    Oh damn it!

    I'm really confused now, after reading that, and THIS

    I think I may pause my order for now...
  14. Matt Dean macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I could afford a new octo 2.66 but I decided to go for the 2008 oct 2.8. First of all, I saved over $2000 CAD - bonus! But mostly I was thinking of compatibility right now. who knows how long it will take all the 3rd party software developers - ie: Knotakt, VSL, Spectrasonics, UAD-2, etc. - to make their products run smoothly.

    Waiting for Snow Leopard could take even longer to work out issues.

    So, for things to work smoothly NOW, and to have a really great machine, I chose last years model.

    However......the new architecture and faster RAM could really come into play when streaming samples from RAM. I have yet to here of a user maxxing out there octo 2.8, so how much power do you need?

    Personally, I wouldn't recommend any of the 2.26 MP's. I would go for at least a 2.66. Processing power does matter with audio.

    Good luck!
  15. seadragon thread starter Contributor

    Mar 10, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks for all the great information guys! Truly appreciated.

    Well, I'm really leaning towards the 2.26 Octo with 12 gigs RAM. I'm going to wait a bit more till I see more test results etc. But I'm upgrading from my 4 year old 1.8 GHz G5 iMac so I'm sure that ANY of the new machines will scream in comparison!

    Please keep the comments coming. I'd be really interested in hearing from anyone using Logic on any of the new machines.

    Thanks again!
  16. Keniff macrumors 6502a


    Dec 21, 2008
    United Kingdom
  17. blinkfrog macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2009
    Is it possible to turn hyperthreading off on new mac pro? I think, it would solve performance issues (due to current Logic limitation on using max 8 cores).
  18. seadragon thread starter Contributor

    Mar 10, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Well, I just pushed the Submit button on my purchase...

    Two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    12GB (6X2GB) RAM
    ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB
    Two 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    Two 18x SuperDrives
    AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi Card
    Apple Mighty Mouse
    Apple 24 LED Cinema Display

    I'm sure I'll notice a huge speed bump going from my current 1.8 GHz G5 iMac.

    I looked at going with the 2.66 processor but I just couldn't afford to go that extra step.

    I think this system will do me fine for the next few years.

    Thanks for all your advice and comments everyone!
  19. indiochano macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2008
    you gave apple tons of money for ram you couldve purchased at owc for waaaaaaay less...
  20. seadragon thread starter Contributor

    Mar 10, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Yeah, I considered this. But, it would cost me $230 plus tax, shipping and dollar conversion to CDN, probably just shy of $300 all said and done.

    I paid Apple $331 to upgrade to 12 GB. Its just easier for me given the difference works out to about 50 bucks. Plus, I won't have 6 x 1 GB to get rid of.
  21. bassoonx macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2009
    8GB makes no sense! Due to triple-channel you should use 6GB!
  22. Ploki macrumors 68030

    Jan 21, 2008
    waw. i got about 60.. and i see others have done even better!
    i have cluttered HDD and too little RAM. :)
    27 is VERY bad.
    showing 16 cores means nothing if each gets only 1,2ghz of power, NI will crap out on that :S forget about absynth4
  23. fernmeister macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2007
    There were some mixed reports on initial performance with the new Mac Pros and Logic. Anyone been following that in more detail?
  24. seisend macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2009
    Switzerland, ZG
    I would take the 2008 8 Core or the 2009 2.26 8 Core ! Don't take the nehalem Quad ! A 8 Core 2008 is much faster than the nehalem quad, and much cheaper too !! The 2.26 8 Core isn't really better than the 2008 core...
    I just ordered my 2008 8 Core yesterday, I am using Logic Studio with a MacBook Pro 2.4ghz at the moment. You can't go wrong with an older 8 Core !
  25. blinkfrog macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2009
    People who ordered (or intend to order) new mac pros, I have a favour to ask of you. Please do aforementioned benchmark and post results here. Thanks.

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