Which mac to buy for Music production???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Micksauce, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Micksauce macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2010
    I apologize in advanced for posting on this since lots of people are asking similar questions. I feel that I have to because others are wondering for general reasons, while mine are specific...

    Im dissapointed (to say the least) that the 13" mbp was not updated with the new processor. I really want the portability and it sucks that they just made my decision tough. I will be using the laptop for music production, sometimes recording up to 13 channels at one time with a firewire interface.

    My questions is will the i5 (faster) processor make a difference for music production, or should I worry more about the hard drive and ram????
    I would love to have the 13", because of its portability, but if the new processor on the 15'' will make a large difference, then that's what I'll get. Is there anyone here who can give some some much needed advice?????

  2. genericman macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2010
    The only difference is screen size and real estate. You can fit more tracks and such on the 15". RAM and HDD affect the speed to find samples and open programs. I would suggest the base 15 and hi rez screen. Save money for a SSD and more RAM. This is what i am doing, VERY PLEASED.
  3. Micksauce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2010
    Thanks Genericman.
    so just to get it straight, when recording multiple inputs at once, what's really needed: fast processing, or RAM?
  4. instabusto macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Mick every one of those cpu's should easily be able to record a lot of inputs at once, unless you throw a ton of plugins on every input channel and use them "live" the same time you record. 4gb of memory is easily sufficient. So i'd say if thats your main priority, then a fast hdd is definately the most crucial part since everything else in those mbp's is easily fast enough for multiple tracks recording
  5. Sn0wball macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2009
    CPU is for more VSTi/VST-fx plugin instances.
    RAM is for VSTi samplers and data handling.
    Hi-Res for seeing more channels, plugin windows and GUI on-screen at any one time.

    4GB should be ample though. Remember you can always upgrade the RAM at a later time, but you cannot upgrade the CPU. So I say the CPU is more important as it dictates the limits of using plugins. Some plugins can be CPU hogs (such as NI Massive, all the Moog emulations, etc.). An i5 (even the 2.4GHz i5) would give you greater benefit over a Core2Duo I feel. Hyperthreading could also give you an additional performance boost.

    Not sure about SSD vs. HDD, I think SSD is faster and quieter. But am not sure as to how well SSD would deal with constantly writing/reading audio data to it as I've never researched it, or whether an SSD would be overkill. However make sure you check out and/or post on the Sound-On-Sound Mac forum for more advice regards this kind of stuff, they're pretty clued up:


    However HDD is tried and tested and should work well. 7200RPM will stand to give you slightly greater performance in terms of a greater track-count, quickness of loading samples, songs and programs, although 5400RPM should still be enough. But if you're using heavy multi-channel audio or programs that use the HDD heavily then a 7200RPM would be a boon. An SSD, if appropriate, would be quieter, use less power, and be possibly faster, but much pricier (and possibly overkill). Again I'm not sure how the SSD will last out given the heavy read/write usage, you'd have to look this up.
  6. Micksauce thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2010
    All- thanks for the great advice. I think im going to go with the base 15" (i5) model and upgrade the internal HDD to a 7200 RPM HDD myself. Once RAM prices go down (hopefully this year) i'll upgrade to 8GB. Sound good??

    Again- thanks for the advice everyone.

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