Which Refurb 13" MBP For Audio Recording?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hoodswigler, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. hoodswigler, Oct 31, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013

    hoodswigler macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2013
    Hello everyone. I am looking to purchase a refurbished 13" Macbook Pro to use for home audio recording, but I have a couple questions...

    I am looking at either the 2.5GHz Dual-core Intel i5 for $999

    or the

    2.9GHz Dual-core Intel i7 for $1269

    In either case, I would like to upgrade the hard drive to 7200rpm.

    I have found this hard drive for example http://www.amazon.com/HGST-Travelstar-2-5-Inch-7200RPM-Internal/dp/B0097LG9U8

    But I'm confused on the whole 2.5 vs 2.9 thing. The HGST says 2.5, but can I use it for the 2.9?

    I guess I just need some direction on what is best for what I want. My first instinct is that the 2.9 i7 would be best and to upgrade the hard drive on that, but I cant seem to find a 1TB 7200rpm drive for 2.9.

    Maybe I don't need to upgrade the 2.9 i7? If I got the 2.5 i7 and upgraded the hard drive to 1TB 7200rpm would it be the same or better than the 2.9 i7? Or am I better off not upgrading the hard drive and getting a 15" quad core http://store.apple.com/us/product/FD103LL/A/refurbished-macbook-pro-23ghz-quad-core-intel-i7

    I'm just a little lost here.

    I won't be recording an entire band, just vocals, guitar and using virtual instruments.

    Help me please! Thank you!
  2. hoodswigler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2013
  3. Windows&Apple macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2013
    I'd say, since the this is for audio production, go with the 2.9. But the 2.5 would be able to handle it just fine. I'm only worried if your audio projects get large enough, you might get a little lag from time to time.
  4. vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012
    Hands down 2.9GHz and up please. Don't waste time and money, not worth headaches down the road.
  5. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    This. Pony up the extra cash and you won't have to cry later down the road. I always say buy the most power enough is never enough.
  6. joonyaboy macrumors 6502


    Jun 27, 2010
    It's nice in this case to have a Retina as the noise from the laptop is hugely reduced
  7. hoodswigler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2013
  8. triplelucky macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2012
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    I would get the 15 because its a nicer display to look at. Either machine is overkill to record a little audio.

    Do you have an audio interface already picked out? Thats probably a harder decision than which awesome Macbook Pro to buy.
  9. hoodswigler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2013
    Yes, I was planning on getting the focusrite scarlett 2i4. I plan on using Logic Pro. I'll mostly recording demos, but since I won't be recording a bunch of live instruments, it'll be mostly virtual instruments. I also want to invest in something that will last me a while if I decide to take on bigger projects. I don't want to have to upgrade if I take on larger projects. I want something that will last me at least a few years. That's why I'm wondering if I should go with the 15"...I'm thinking it'll last me a lot longer.
  10. Broadus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2011
    I don't know what you budget limit is, but if you want to move up to a Retina display, check out the mid-2012 rMBP refurb for $1599.

    Instead of 4GB memory you have 8GB.
    Instead of a slow (though larger) 500GB hard disk drive you get a fast (though smaller) 256GB solid state drive.
    Plus, you get a super screen.

    That's well worth the extra $150. It will be a machine you won't worry about changing for several years.

    I've had this model for about a month and love it.
  11. johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2013
    I second the $1599 refurb option. Definitely a lot of bang for your buck there.

    And recording on a 13" is a major, major drag. The 15" retina display lets you have everything you need to look at in Logic on the screen at the same time, rather than being forced to constantly tab back and forth between windows.

    If you're not planning on using an external display, I would strongly advise against working on a 13" laptop.
  12. thekb macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    OK, first of all, the 2.5 in the hard drive description refers to the hard drives physical size -- 2.5 inches. The 2.5 and 2.9 in the MBP descriptions refer to the clock speed of the processors (Ghz). Both MBPs use a 2.5 inch hard drive, so compatibility would be the same between the two.

    The 2.9 Ghz option comes with 8 gb of RAM so it is the same as the 15 inch rMBP for $300 less.

    Music takes up a LOT of space so a larger hard drive might serve you well. I don't know how much an SSD matters in audio recording though. It may be worth it.

    Do you plan to connect it to an external monitor? If so, I would recommend the 13 inch 2.9 for portability.

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