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#31
14th January 2012
Old 14th January 2012
  #31
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I guess I've been out of the PC long enough now that I'm unfamiliar with what you will and won't need for one to run, so my point isn't valid there. I think the biggest turn off is switching something that you've gotten so used to, and believe me, you need to be used to your operating system to run and really dig into some of these DAWs (I've been using Pro Tools on Mac for about 7 years now and learn more and more each day). I'd be completely lost trying to get a session for a client done on time using a PC everyday now. Be patient, save some cash, get the Mac, you'll be glad you did.

No disrespect to PCs.... I grew up on em
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#32
14th January 2012
Old 14th January 2012
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For Spectrasonics you'll want at least 8 GB ram and a quadcore..
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#33
14th January 2012
Old 14th January 2012
  #33
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I grew up with Macs and was trained on them in college using ProTools and such... but almost all of my personal DAW's were PC's. I still use a Mac for internet, but last year I used a PC for internet.

I think people who are used to Macs should stay with them. I often help my dad use a PC because he is mainly only used to Macs. He really struggles with basic tasks on a PC. He's not stupid, but it's just so alien to him and it's easy to tweak things the wrong way. And the issue with viruses and such is rather scary since he doesn't quite know what he's doing. Thankfully he has a decent anti-malware software package. And thankfully he isn't requiring the power and realtime stability of a DAW.

I go with PC's for my DAW's because I really like to customize my computers and operating systems extensively!!!! However, it really takes a lot of time and patience and very very careful tweaking and many many safety backups of partitions so you don't mess everything up permanently. Also it's important to do constant research and to learn how to keep everything compatible with each other in terms of both hardware and software and power supplies etc.

The PC OS I like best is Windows XP SP3. However, I have dabbled a little bit with Linux as well. I am possibly going to update my internet computer with Linux in a few weeks instead of Windows. I tried some Puppy Linux CD's along with some other distros and I kind of liked it. Windows on my internet PC worked fine, but I was always slightly nervous about malware or network/firewall configurations screwing things up.

I don't think I will ever allow internet on my DAW computer.

I've tried Windows Vista and Windows 7 and I really really don't like them. I wish there was a 64-bit Windows XP 2012 instead. The modern Mac OS's are OK to me, but I don't like the limited amounts of software that runs on them, and I don't like how Apple does business. Apple seems to be a control freak type of organization that slows progress just to make more money off of proprietary hype items.

So really the next time I buy a new computer I'm kind of in a bind. I don't want Windows Vista/7 or it's derivatives. But I don't want to buy into the expensive and limited Apple paradigm either.

If I knew Linux well enough I'd go that route, but every time I try Linux I hit a wall because of unfamiliarity with some basics about how to configure and customize or troubleshoot stuff. And again, some of the software types are limited in Linux.

I really don't know what a person is supposed to do these days if they don't fall into the "right" category. Maybe I'll ditch the computer next time and buy dedicated DAW hardware for a change, like I did way back in 1993-2000.
#34
14th January 2012
Old 14th January 2012
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kadi_girl View Post
My main reason for doing this is I really want to run a lot of things from komplete 8 and spectrasonics at once, not crazy overboard but it would be nice to run things without worrying about it slowing down my cpu to the point of clicking like it does on my macbook pro duo 2.4GHz. But I don't wanna do it killing the bank this time :(
I mainly do audio recording (musicians, bands) and do not use a lot of virtual instruments or sample banks.
So the MMS is more than enough for me.
If I wasn´t a big fan of Logic (and Logic user since the 90s), I would have never ever bothered buying a MAC for music production.

I also use an external mixing desk, and external DSPs for UAD plugins so medium latencies are not a problem - and even short latencies for keyboard tracking are possible.

But if you really are in for PERFORMANCE + LOW LATENCY during tracking and mixing in the box - they only choice for you is the PC.

Macs perform nearly as god as PC at medium latencies that I use - but their performance drops with every single step of shorter latency.
At latencies fast enough for playing/recording live keyboard through virtual instruments, the mac has less than 1/2 the processing power of a similar PC.

http://www.dawbench.com/win7-v-osx-1.htm

And: For less or the same money you can get a PC that has a real fan and doesn´t rotate at 3000+ when pushed hard...
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#35
14th January 2012
Old 14th January 2012
  #35
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I've had my recording machine on the internet 24/7 since the turn of the century. There are threats out there, of course, and not limited to Windows, but, generally speaking, if one practices 'safe computing' and properly uses his platform's built-in firewall, the chances of problems are extremely low. But you must keep your software and OS up to date. That is one of the single, most serious security lapses that people make. (It's worth noting that MS -- with its famous commitment to backwards compatibility -- provides security updates going back as far as XP, introduced in 2001. Apple, on the other hand, focuses security updates only on the most recent OS version.)

It's also worth noting that the "safest platform" honors have arguably shifted over the last few years, as an article in MacWorld a few months ago suggested: "Windows 7 is actually more secure than OS X" -- Mac Defender: Pay attention but don't panic | Macworld

Hacker Pwn2Own organizer: Windows 7 is safer than Snow Leopard - Computerworld Blogs

OS X – Safe, yet horribly insecure

EDIT: None of the above, as far as I'm concerned should make one abandon the platform he feels most comfortable on. (And it's fair to suggest that Windows will continue to be the favored target of hackers for some time to come -- however, they are most likely to continue targeting XP because of architectural changes to Vista and W7, particularly copies of XP that have not been updated or which are hosting insecure apps.)
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#36
14th January 2012
Old 14th January 2012
  #36
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get the mac mini server, it's an amazing machine and a lot faster than the i5 iMacs. i've had one since november and haven't had a single crash with Reason 6 and Logic 9. i use a lot of virtual instruments, mainly Reaktor and haven't had any performance problems at all.

i've only got 4GB RAM in it too. see how you go with it and you can always put more in later. Apple overcharge for RAM so don't buy it from them. the upgrade is very simple, it just slots in.
#37
15th January 2012
Old 15th January 2012
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonGherkins View Post
And how the f can you say a custom configuration would have "eroded" your wallet yet offered no benefits?
Easy. I compared. To get a better box custom, I'd have to pay more. Much more. That's what I mean by "eroding my wallet".

I even looked at cost savings by building it myself using the cheapest available parts. I didn't do it because even an el-cheapo build would be more expensive than buying an off-the-shelf box.

Anyone can pay more to get something better. But that's the whole point, isn't it?
#38
15th January 2012
Old 15th January 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacMacMac View Post
Easy. I compared. To get a better box custom, I'd have to pay more. Much more. That's what I mean by "eroding my wallet".

I even looked at cost savings by building it myself using the cheapest available parts. I didn't do it because even an el-cheapo build would be more expensive than buying an off-the-shelf box.
You're wrong though. So very wrong. Multiple people in this very thread have noted a good custom build is not an increased cost. Much like your garbage dell box, there are custom pcs for all budgets.

Please stop spreading ignorant misinformation.


Not only that but we also have links right on this page how windows is more secure and has better low latency Audio performance. And the platform costs less.
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#39
15th January 2012
Old 15th January 2012
  #39
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Great buy: used Dell Precision 670 workstation ... less than 500$

- Easy to open and access cards or hard drives
- Quality built (professional workstation production)
- Dual 2-core Xeon 64bit
- Up to 16Go RAM
- Up to 4 HD serial ATA
- Combination of PCIx and PCIe slots (older Pro Tools HD cards)
- Tons of parts on eBay

http://basic-bg.com/Computers/PDF/DE...sion%20670.pdf

#40
15th January 2012
Old 15th January 2012
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These threads always amaze me.

I need a coffee.

I'm not even saying that system is bad just what exactly have you proved? We could build a similar system for that price or less custom, and this is not the norm for a dell computer (though could work).
#41
15th January 2012
Old 15th January 2012
  #41
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[QUOTE=astroidmist;7440517]
I go with PC's for my DAW's because I really like to customize my computers and operating systems extensively!!!! However, it really takes a lot of time and patience and very very careful tweaking and many many safety backups of partitions so you don't mess everything up permanently. Also it's important to do constant research and to learn how to keep everything compatible with each other in terms of both hardware and software and power supplies etc.

... With all due respect to PC users but as a Mac user the above quote just sounds scary.
#42
15th January 2012
Old 15th January 2012
  #42
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Tonymacx86.com I believe your solution is here. You want affordability but want OSX. There are many recommended builds but if you could build a computer, which I believe you can, just get a gigabyte board and a 5770 graphics card and you should have no issues getting OSX to work for a fraction of the price.

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#43
15th January 2012
Old 15th January 2012
  #43
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Hey RonGherkins, be nice to MacMacMac He was just mentioning that a lot of crap hardware you think won't last, lasts a long time so don't go crazy with custom parts if you don't have to. I would say its sound advice cause I have old macs that are still running fine. My thread has one rule, no fighting! We're all talking ideas and everyone here has been so amazing and helpful that I wanted to say a big thanks to the awesome input, it really helped from everyone.

After reading everything and doing even more research I realized the mac mini server would be the best for me. It's portable, much faster then my current laptop and I can hook it up to sort of anything when I move around which is great for the kind of musician I am. And also it made sense what a lot of people said that if your used to mac, and time is of the essence then stay with mac. And I am, cause if I do anything that takes too long it will mess my next contract :S

I'm so tempted to get the solid state hard drive in it but its too expensive right now :S lol But thank you guys so much. I can't wait to test my suite on the new system and get back to work aha
#44
15th January 2012
Old 15th January 2012
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacMacMac View Post
Easy. I compared. To get a better box custom, I'd have to pay more. Much more. That's what I mean by "eroding my wallet".

I even looked at cost savings by building it myself using the cheapest available parts. I didn't do it because even an el-cheapo build would be more expensive than buying an off-the-shelf box.

Anyone can pay more to get something better. But that's the whole point, isn't it?
[bold added]


Yeah, right.


To anyone who's been around the build scene -- at all -- that bolded statement might as well read, "I have no idea what I'm talking about but I want to say something that supports my case."

If you'd said the knowledge and decisions in selecting good subsystems can be daunting, I'd say, absolutely. But it's absurd to suggest that a reasonably knowledgeable DIY builder can't typically deliver a machine of a given level at a lower price than venders.


Sorry to be blunt, but people talking out their hats in this forum has become a real vexation -- and it contributes to people wasting money and making bad decisions that cost them more trouble down the road.
#45
15th January 2012
Old 15th January 2012
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonGherkins View Post
You're wrong though. So very wrong. Multiple people in this very thread have noted a good custom build is not an increased cost. Much like your garbage dell box, there are custom pcs for all budgets.

Please stop spreading ignorant misinformation.


Not only that but we also have links right on this page how windows is more secure and has better low latency Audio performance. And the platform costs less.
Stop being insulting. You have your opinion. Fine. I could as well ask you to stop being ignorant, to stop spreading misinformation. But I don't speak that way.

Express your opinions, but keep your rants.
#46
16th January 2012
Old 16th January 2012
  #46
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I'm not ranting. Please explain the increased cost of a custom pc? I'm interested as I might be losing massive amounts of money picking all my parts myself.

It's far more unlikely a consumer grade pc will come with everything you would want for an audio pc workstation for most users. That is why your post borders on misinformation.

It is not out of most people's skill level to ask the right questions from an expert to get the right custom pc, though I'm glad the OP found the right solution for her, mac or pc.
#47
16th January 2012
Old 16th January 2012
  #47
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kadi girl,

Remember, you don't have to buy extra ram from Apple. You can get just as good ram elsewhere much cheaper.

Here's a great place to buy from:

Apple Mac mini Memory DDR3 / Ram upgrades for 2011 Mac mini unibody models

As you can see on this page, 8 gigs is much cheaper than from Apple. And, you can buy up to 16 gigs from this place. If they offer it, that means they tested it, and it will work, even though the Apple site says only up to 8.
#48
16th January 2012
Old 16th January 2012
  #48
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But don´t forget you loose processing power on a mac, if you want to use latencies of 256 samples and lower.
Latencies from 512 upwards don´t make that much of a disadvantage for the mac - but these are simply not acceptable for recording virtual instruments via MIDI keyboard...

DAW Bench : DAW Performance Benchmarking

I like the MMS because I like Logic and only sparesely use sample based VI´s because I don´t like multisampling but prefer to use virtual modeling and real instuments most of the time.
So for my amount of VI´s the MMS can cope.
For massive sample based VI use it´s simply too restricted - especially considering the price tag for what basically comes as a laptop without monitor, keyboard, mouse, optical drive and battery.
#49
16th January 2012
Old 16th January 2012
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacMacMac View Post
Stop being insulting. You have your opinion. Fine. I could as well ask you to stop being ignorant, to stop spreading misinformation. But I don't speak that way.

Express your opinions, but keep your rants.
But he's not spreading misinformation nor is he ranting... That's sort've the point.
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#50
16th January 2012
Old 16th January 2012
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grooveminister View Post
But don´t forget you loose processing power on a mac, if you want to use latencies of 256 samples and lower.
Latencies from 512 upwards don´t make that much of a disadvantage for the mac - but these are simply not acceptable for recording virtual instruments via MIDI keyboard...

DAW Bench : DAW Performance Benchmarking

I like the MMS because I like Logic and only sparesely use sample based VI´s because I don´t like multisampling but prefer to use virtual modeling and real instuments most of the time.
So for my amount of VI´s the MMS can cope.
For massive sample based VI use it´s simply too restricted - especially considering the price tag for what basically comes as a laptop without monitor, keyboard, mouse, optical drive and battery.
Is it really that bad though? cause everything I play is on the keyboard and even my mac pro laptop with its duo runs everything really well with no latency issues with tons of instruments. It only slows me down bad at certain points and I just got greedy and realized I wanted some more power and switch the purpose of my laptop lol But my worry is if I get that mac mini server, isn't it running mac os x server? what the frak is that? ! :O lol
#51
16th January 2012
Old 16th January 2012
  #51
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#52
16th January 2012
Old 16th January 2012
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#53
16th January 2012
Old 16th January 2012
  #53
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What's up, Kadi girl

I'm shocked everybody missed this important bit:

[QUOTE=kadi_girl;7438559] I would like a main computer where a lot of audio units/vsts can run at once without eating into the cpu too bad.QUOTE]

Another HUGE thing part to factor in, is the fact that if you go PC, you will LOSE all of those wonderful AU plugins! Audio Units are Apple-proprietary plug-ins, so all of that money that you spent on those plug-ins will be wasted, as you know not all AU plugs have a VST equivalent. Mac Mini Server for the win!
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#54
16th January 2012
Old 16th January 2012
  #54
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Let's face it, both platforms work.

Sorta like beer... or coffee... or even (gasp) music... everyone has a favorite and also many reasons why all/many others suck the weed.

So go with what ya like the best. Comfort/cost/looks/speed/aesthetics/recyclability/demilitionableness/etc. or whatever means a lot to you.

Mac/PC debates are soooooooo 10 years ago, fellas.

They're just computers, getting all horned up over one platfrom or another seems kinda weird to me these days. Then again, I prefer Atari ST's so my opinion should probably be disregarded when it comes to Modern Computing.
#55
16th January 2012
Old 16th January 2012
  #55
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use both.

We're going to keep the '09 2.66GHz (8GB) 10.7 MacBook Pro setup w/ Logic 9 + Reason 6 for hashing out ideas / songwriting.

...then bump up to a PT10 / ADK PC (via Scott) for live tracking / mixing once we get a decent space + moving files over to a commercial studio will be a tad easier.

Just seems like you get more bang for your buck w/a PT 10 Audio PC vs. a Mac Pro Tower.

Granted I'm an Apple evangelist.
#56
16th January 2012
Old 16th January 2012
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kadi_girl View Post
Is it really that bad though? cause everything I play is on the keyboard and even my mac pro laptop with its duo runs everything really well with no latency issues with tons of instruments. It only slows me down bad at certain points and I just got greedy and realized I wanted some more power and switch the purpose of my laptop lol But my worry is if I get that mac mini server, isn't it running mac os x server? what the frak is that? ! :O lol
You have to look at the numbers of plugins those tests are running. They're mostly pretty big. In many cases, depending on the DAW software, you may see a marginal-to-moderate benefit from switching to Windows, because it does do a better job of many low level functions and has arguably superior architecture -- but it's not likely to be a huge difference unless you' re really pushing your system.

If you like Macs and the way Apple does business doesn't bother you (it certainly bothers me, but clearly doesn't bother many Apple customers), then you're probably well advised to stick with what's familiar.


Also, as noted only a few posts above this one, you had earlier talked about running your AU plugins -- and you'll only be able to do that in OS X.

Also, don't forget, since you say you're only having problems sometimes with system slowdowns, you may well find some relief by freezing tracks with soft synths and/or CPU-guzzling plugins.
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#57
20th January 2012
Old 20th January 2012
  #57
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Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me and posted. I read everything a million times carefully and did a lot of research. After all the reading I have done I have decided to stay a mac girl because my laptop will still be my weapon on the go and I would like my home system to be the same. But a PC is definitely in the cards for the future I am thinking

Anyways!

I have decided to go with the Mac Mini Server 2 GHz i7 with 8 gigs of ram. The only thing I am really torn on is what hard drive I should get for it or what to do. I'm really tempted to get the 256GB SSD drive for it because of all the good things I have seen and read about them and I also like the idea of when I have to move the mac mini around like a concert or something else, its nice to know its all solid inside instead of a normal hard drive BUT it gets so confusing for me because wouldn't that mean you want mostly everything running on the SSD or just the mac os x system itself? It's just that the Komplete 8 I run is around 100 gigs as it is, with spectrasonics on top of that it gets close to 200 lols! So I'm so confused as to the right hard drive set up to have. Should I run the system and the music applications on the SSD and have an external thunderbolt drive for where all my recorded audio goes? Or should I just leave it at two 500 internals like apple gives you already. God I have been reading too much lol
#58
20th January 2012
Old 20th January 2012
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhorwinkle View Post
What exactly does one achieve by picking out the "best" parts? Will the better parts last longer? If so, does it matter?
Yes it does matter. We have crap motherboards and power supplies failing left and right. GPUs die too if they're really cheaply made or if the cooling system is inadequate. Just look around at how many people are selling replacement computer parts or fixing damaged ones. I'm one of them.

Plus, there's all that junk software coming on brand-name or preinstalled PCs. That stuff not only annoys you, it can even slow the machine down to being essentially useless for the task you want it to do. If you want a PC, you should do some research first. Let someone with knowledge in the area assemble it for you - it's highly unlikely that you don't know ANY computer nerds.

Anyway, the OP made the right decision for her - went with the Mac Mini because that's what she's accustomed with. As for an answer to the drive question - i'd take the SSD and keep recorded audio on the externals.
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#59
20th January 2012
Old 20th January 2012
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kadi_girl View Post
Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me and posted. I read everything a million times carefully and did a lot of research. After all the reading I have done I have decided to stay a mac girl because my laptop will still be my weapon on the go and I would like my home system to be the same. But a PC is definitely in the cards for the future I am thinking

Anyways!

I have decided to go with the Mac Mini Server 2 GHz i7 with 8 gigs of ram. The only thing I am really torn on is what hard drive I should get for it or what to do. I'm really tempted to get the 256GB SSD drive for it because of all the good things I have seen and read about them and I also like the idea of when I have to move the mac mini around like a concert or something else, its nice to know its all solid inside instead of a normal hard drive BUT it gets so confusing for me because wouldn't that mean you want mostly everything running on the SSD or just the mac os x system itself? It's just that the Komplete 8 I run is around 100 gigs as it is, with spectrasonics on top of that it gets close to 200 lols! So I'm so confused as to the right hard drive set up to have. Should I run the system and the music applications on the SSD and have an external thunderbolt drive for where all my recorded audio goes? Or should I just leave it at two 500 internals like apple gives you already. God I have been reading too much lol
i use the 1st drive for all my software and the 2nd for all my projects and sample libraries.
#60
20th January 2012
Old 20th January 2012
  #60
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I'd go for a refurb,They have a full warranty and have been )double checked"...

there is a server for $850 with 4gb ram...just get some after market and I would go up to 16gb with the VI's you are using.The SSD for the the samples would make this a very fast machine.This is a good deal.If I needed another mac I'd get it.

Refurbished Mac mini - Apple Store (U.S.)
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