Which notebook: Want to run Logic Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by 3FLryan, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. 3FLryan macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2008
    So I will be purchasing my first notebook in a month or two, after I save some more.

    Here's what I want it to do:

    - Run Logic Pro 8, complete with things like external midi devices and guitar imput, etc. I am not a pro musician, but have gotten paid for compositions in the recent past and have prospects for the future (plus, I just love to do it in my free time). I want to make sure my computer can run this, no problem

    - Run some cool computer only games (like Civlization 4) - not exactly Call of Duty, but surprisingly graphics intesive

    - Last for a while (my current computer is an iMac from summer 2004 and it is starting to chug a bit - that's fine, I expect to have to get a new computer every 4-5 years)

    That's really about it. If it can do these things, it will be able to do anything else I expect from a laptop.

    These are the two choices I've narrowed down to:

    1. 2.4 GHz MacBook upgraded to 4GB RAM, Apple remote, applecare protection: $2,138.02 with tax

    2. 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro upgraded to 4 GB RAM, Apple remote, applecare protection: $2,668.02 with tax

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the difference in price is basically $100 for applecare and $420 for integrated graphics. Do I need integrated graphics to do what I want? That $500 some could really help out elsewhere (like, for example, buying Logic!). Also feel free to tell me if I am way off base on my desired specs.

    Thank you!
  2. mcruzader macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2008
    Until recently, I have been using a Macbook 2.1GHz 4GB Ram to run Logic Pro. No problems whatsoever, I mean you can't compare that to a Mac Pro which you will notice a HUGE difference, but for what you want Macbook and Macbook Pro should be fine. Also, I don't think the Macbook would suit your needs for gaming, that is really a question on how good you want the graphics to be and how often do you game. Remember though that you are not only paying for integrated graphics and applecare, but also for screen real estate which is ALWAYS a plus with Logic Pro and for gaming.
  3. 3FLryan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2008
    Thanks. Good to know logic works fine on that computer. And whoops, totally messed up with the integrated graphics, I meant discreet graphics, but you got what I meant I think.

    Good point with the screen size issue. Hmm. This'll be a tough one.

    Edit: HAHA man i just looked at the specs on my computer, haven't really done that in a while...1.25 GHz power PC G4, 1 GB DDR SDRAM, running 10.3.9...anything i choose will be heaven
  4. GeorgeD macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2007
    i would say get a clearance, old mbp if you are trying to save money.

    or get the new mbp but don't buy the ram from apple because it's a little overpriced.
  5. arthursiew macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2008
    SF Bay Area
  6. 3FLryan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2008
    Awesome. I would love a MBP but for my purposes and price range I really don't think its worth it. And I wouldn't feel right getting an "old" MBP with these great new machines out. Now I just have to decide weather I want a backlit keyboard (from what I've seen the 2.0 to 2.4 bump is negligible in terms of real world performance)...it's tempting to just say no and save the money but I'll research this before I buy.

  7. Phat Ham macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2008
    The lack of firewire on the macbook may be an issue once you record enough stuff to fill up the internal hard drive. A firewire drive will be fast enough to work directly off of. The better audio interfaces are also firewire, but if you're only recording 1 thing at a time a USB interface will do fine.

    screen real estate: The bigger (and higher quality) screen on the MBP is nice, but for the difference in price between the MB and MBP you can get a pretty big external monitor.

    The backlit keyboard is not worth $300.

    You can save some money by buying applecare on eBay.
  8. firecrasher macrumors member


    Oct 15, 2008
    Phat Ham is correct -- take the audio interfaces you have or want to purchase into the equation. The higher quality ones are all FW which means either the new whitebook or MBP with a possible FW card in the expansion slot.

    Logic works perfectly well on my friend's older MacBook, but it's incapable of playing just about any modern game (not even Civ4!).
  9. Sea5onS macrumors newbie


    May 15, 2006
    I think you should go with the MBP. If the last-gen MBP on clearance doesn't appeal to you, the new one will do you well. The new macbooks have real video cards now, but they won't be anything crazy good. The pros will be solid for running games now and for awhile yet (maybe not full-settings, but competitively for a notebook).

    I do a lot of Logic recording full bands and so forth. I think firewire is CRUCIAL for a laptop recording system. Others have hit on the good reasons:
    • External storage. Firewire is more reliable and faster for video/audio work.
    • The better audio interfaces are firewire.
  10. 3FLryan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2008
    Well damn. Just what I think I've made up my mind I get other advice.

    Okay, so I don't think no firewire will be an issue. 1) I'm not going to be recording multiple instruments at once. 2) I can't imagine taking up so much space that I need to work directly off an external hard drive. 3) I am a guitarist and want my guitar to be able to input to midi, and the device I want to get to do that is USB.

    Gaming: I really don't foresee myself doing tons of graphics intensive gaming. I have an xbox 360 for that. It would be great to be able to play civ iv, diablo III, or starcraft 2, though. From what I've read around the forums, the new macbook is performing beyond all expectations, particularly with WoW, and since diablo and starcraft are built for lower end systems and use lots of the same WoW tech I think it will be fine for that.

    In a perfect world, I would get a MBP and have a super sweet recording station as well as being able to run cool new games. Alas, I live in the real world, where after I buy a MB I will have to save for months to be able to connect my guitar to it.
  11. highjumppudding macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2008
    simple, any macbook pro. even a refurb or closeout model. as long as it has firewire as a minimum. the pro has fw800 and an express card slot so you can expand ports or buy an esata adapter for even faster external storage. stick with a macbook pro. any model that was released in the last year will do. current models are great as well.
  12. firecrasher macrumors member


    Oct 15, 2008
    Is there a FW 400 expansion card that will work well with Presonus? It needs a TI chipset to communicate properly.

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