2k to spend - MacBook Pro i7 or alternative?
BirdNerd
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#1
29th March 2012
Old 29th March 2012
  #1
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2k to spend - MacBook Pro i7 or alternative?

Dear Gearslutz community,

I am currently looking to upgrade my current outdated Samsung laptop to the best possible laptop available for audio recording / mixing having just re-launched myself into the home recording world.

Typically I record into my Zoom R16 then mixdown with Cubase LE5 but I have serious performance issues whenever I have too many tracks or add VSTs to a few tracks (Asio or something?). I also intend connect a midi keyboard and add layers using something like East/West Symphonic Quantum Leap Strings when I get around to buying it.

Being a novice my first port of call was to obviously look at the new MacBook Pro 2.2gh / 4GB / quad-core / Intel i7 as one assumes Mac's are designed for audio recording but then I start hearing good things about PCAudiolabs Rok Box etc. I'm based in the UK.

Any recommendations would be gratefully received. Thank You
#2
29th March 2012
Old 29th March 2012
  #2
Sample Junkie
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: London
Posts: 92

Hiya!
Welcome to GS. I also use a macbook pro (mid 2010 version) with Logic 9 and currently using the built in instruments and it's great. A new i7 model would be a great choice.

One thing I've read about hollywood strings over at VI Control is that it tends to take a serious machine to run it, so much that some composers there use a separate slave machine, so do keep that in mind. I'm personally going for either LASS or Cinematic Strings 2.0 when I get better as they seem to be less resource intensive.

HTHs!
BirdNerd
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#3
29th March 2012
Old 29th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeafInTheWind View Post
Hiya!
Welcome to GS. I also use a macbook pro (mid 2010 version) with Logic 9 and currently using the built in instruments and it's great. A new i7 model would be a great choice.

One thing I've read about hollywood strings over at VI Control is that it tends to take a serious machine to run it, so much that some composers there use a separate slave machine, so do keep that in mind. I'm personally going for either LASS or Cinematic Strings 2.0 when I get better as they seem to be less resource intensive.

HTHs!
Thanks very much for the response.... This is very helpful.

It looks to me that there is no 'ideal' laptop for audio recording despite amount of budget as what's good for one programme is not so good for another. It's a shame about Hollywood Strings needing such resource as this seemed to be the ideal compromise between Vienna Symphonic given the huge cost difference.

Basically the stuff I'm recording is typical troubadour style stuff so not using a million tracks but I just wanted a couple of lovely realistic string textures over the top. I'll definately check out LASS and Cinematic Strings 2.0 and maybe just take a punt on the MacBook Pro... at least if anything goes wrong I can just take it down the road to where I bought it from!

You can tell I'm not very technical !!
#4
29th March 2012
Old 29th March 2012
  #4
Gear nut
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Ireland
Posts: 145

Hey BirdNerd

You should take a look at the ADK laptops that scan do.
3XS - DAW - Digital Audio Workstations

I just bought one a few weeks ago, I went for the 8600sb and with 2 hard drives(1 ssd)/16gb ram it cost me about 1800 sterling. They are in the UK and they configure the laptops for audio. So far mine is running like a dream and would highly recommend.
#5
29th March 2012
Old 29th March 2012
  #5
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Location: Nashville, TN
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I'd wait for one of the new Ivy Bridge Macs, hopefully coming in a month or two.
BirdNerd
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#6
29th March 2012
Old 29th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyed View Post
Hey BirdNerd

You should take a look at the ADK laptops that scan do.
3XS - DAW - Digital Audio Workstations

I just bought one a few weeks ago, I went for the 8600sb and with 2 hard drives(1 ssd)/16gb ram it cost me about 1800 sterling. They are in the UK and they configure the laptops for audio. So far mine is running like a dream and would highly recommend.
Hi Fyed,

Thanks for the heads up... will look into the ADKs this very minute!!

Love this forum, you guys are so helpful, especially to a technological neanderthal like me!!!
BirdNerd
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#7
29th March 2012
Old 29th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmckaygibson View Post
I'd wait for one of the new Ivy Bridge Macs, hopefully coming in a month or two.
Sounds very tasty Scott... Not heard of the new Macs but going to do a bit of research on Google ASAP.

Thanks!!
#8
30th March 2012
Old 30th March 2012
  #8
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Ivy Bridge MBP's will arrive in the first half of May. The chips wont be shipped until April 28th. Major expected upgrade is it will be thinner and have a retina display... we will see.

Sent from my LG-P925 using Gearslutz App
BirdNerd
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#9
8th April 2012
Old 8th April 2012
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projektk View Post
Ivy Bridge MBP's will arrive in the first half of May. The chips wont be shipped until April 28th. Major expected upgrade is it will be thinner and have a retina display... we will see.

Sent from my LG-P925 using Gearslutz App
Thanks for this Projek.... Think I'll wait and get myself the new Ivy Bridge MacBook Pro... possibly with the 8 GB Ram upgrade (if not standard). The other options seam a little complicated for a non-techno like myself.

Hopefully this should be able to cope with everything I want it to do, especially if I start using Logic instead of Cubase...

There are no easy answers with this digital recording lark!
#10
9th April 2012
Old 9th April 2012
  #10
Gear nut
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: New York City, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmckaygibson View Post
I'd wait for one of the new Ivy Bridge Macs, hopefully coming in a month or two.
Quote:
Originally Posted by projektk View Post
Ivy Bridge MBP's will arrive in the first half of May. The chips wont be shipped until April 28th. Major expected upgrade is it will be thinner and have a retina display... we will see.

Sent from my LG-P925 using Gearslutz App
from what i hear, intel has run into some problems and the ivy bridge CPUs won't ship until the summer at least.
Intel reportedly delays Ivy Bridge launch until June, manufacturing process to blame -- Engadget
BirdNerd
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#11
23rd April 2012
Old 23rd April 2012
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Heard the 15" Ivy Bridge MBpro might be hear in May... Think this may be the droid I'm looking for...
#12
23rd April 2012
Old 23rd April 2012
  #12
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#13
24th April 2012
Old 24th April 2012
  #13
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Location: NYC

Do you need a laptop? Or do you want a laptop? If you are dropping 2k you can get a very good desktop setup either Mac or PC that will be much more powerful.
#14
24th April 2012
Old 24th April 2012
  #14
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2009
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Upgraded to a new mac book pro last year from a first gen mac book pro. Performance is phenomenal. You can run a silly amount of plugins in logic pro 9 and it won't even blink. A great choice if you want to use logic in particular.

Also runs other audio apps easily but logic performance is unreal.

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Gearslutz.com App
BirdNerd
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#15
26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
  #15
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Thanks for the advice guys... Yes I need a laptop so the new MBpro sounds tip top! Just wish they'd update on release date!!!
#16
26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
  #16
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Joined: Dec 2011
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Surprised no one has told you this, but when you get the macbook pro, get it with the stock 4gb RAM and then replace the ram yourself with 3rd-Party RAM. It's exactly the same but it will cost you about $40 to get it yourself instead of $200+ or whatever ungodly amount they try to charge you for ram. Did it myself with my iMac a few months ago, $80 for 16gb instead of $400+ from Apple, and it works great.

Also, they don't officially tell you this, but the macbook pros are indeed capable of handling 16gb of ram (2x8gb sticks), just FYI. current prices are still a little steep though compared to the 8gb (2x4gb sticks) that you are looking at, which is just relatively dirt cheap

Have fun with your new purchase regardless!
BirdNerd
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#17
26th April 2012
Old 26th April 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goreteks View Post
Surprised no one has told you this, but when you get the macbook pro, get it with the stock 4gb RAM and then replace the ram yourself with 3rd-Party RAM. It's exactly the same but it will cost you about $40 to get it yourself instead of $200+ or whatever ungodly amount they try to charge you for ram. Did it myself with my iMac a few months ago, $80 for 16gb instead of $400+ from Apple, and it works great.

Also, they don't officially tell you this, but the macbook pros are indeed capable of handling 16gb of ram (2x8gb sticks), just FYI. current prices are still a little steep though compared to the 8gb (2x4gb sticks) that you are looking at, which is just relatively dirt cheap

Have fun with your new purchase regardless!
I will do what you recommend 100%... I know that the warranty is still intact if you replace the RAM with an upgrade so it will be the first thing I do thanks Goreteks.

Is there a popular site that mose people use for purchasing good value / good quality RAM for Macs?
#18
27th April 2012
Old 27th April 2012
  #18
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I have 16gb in mbp 2,5 jan2012. Works much better with 16gb. I switch Mbp almost every year and this is by far the finest running machine of all.

I also put in the 1tb drive using the owc kit. Also recommended.
#19
28th April 2012
Old 28th April 2012
  #19
Gear nut
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 141

If you need a powerful laptop for audio production or performance - then latest macbook pro without question if you have the cash.

In my experince thats also true even if you just run windows 7 on it.

I would suggest get the best model and CPU you can afford and upgrade RAM and HD yourself.
#20
28th April 2012
Old 28th April 2012
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdNerd View Post
Is there a popular site that mose people use for purchasing good value / good quality RAM for Macs?
I'd check out Crucial and OWC. Currently running 12gb from crucial in my iMac... Very good chips
#21
29th April 2012
Old 29th April 2012
  #21
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,338

BEWARE of PORTS LIMITATIONS !!!!!!!!

MBP 15 = NO !!
MBP 17= YES
ADK or Studio Cats = YES
HP 8560W = YES
Dell precision 4600M = YES

In all case be serious about Waranty .....i see too many students crying because they didn't tokk the waranty extension and simply lose a 1800 Euros lappy because repair sometime are pretty out of their price!!!
#22
29th April 2012
Old 29th April 2012
  #22
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I highly recommend the HP Elitebooks. Amazing feature set, great price point (around 1k) and more highly-functioning than Mac available.
#23
29th April 2012
Old 29th April 2012
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezo View Post
BEWARE of PORTS LIMITATIONS !!!!!!!!

MBP 15 = NO !!
MBP 17= YES
ADK or Studio Cats = YES
HP 8560W = YES
Dell precision 4600M = YES

In all case be serious about Waranty .....i see too many students crying because they didn't tokk the waranty extension and simply lose a 1800 Euros lappy because repair sometime are pretty out of their price!!!

Which ports are you referring to?


Sent from my HTC Desire
#24
29th April 2012
Old 29th April 2012
  #24
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,338

MBP 15 = 2 usb2 , 1 firewire , 1 display/thunder,1 sdcard
MBP 17 = 3 usb2 , 1 firewire , 1 display/thunder,1 expresscard34
HP = 2 usb 3 , 2usb 2, 1 combo USB 2/esata, 1 firewire, 1 display , 1 vga , 1 sdcard , 1 expresscard 54 and docking ability (witch is just the beefy part!!)
BirdNerd
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#25
21st August 2012
Old 21st August 2012
  #25
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So I just ordered the rMBP 15" with 256 flash storage, 16GB SDRAM upgrade and upgrade to 2.6GHz... Hope it works!

Thanks for all the advice, now to get on with them toonz... !
#26
22nd August 2012
Old 22nd August 2012
  #26
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Jeezo, the ports on the 15" MBP are USB2/USB3 compatible. Find it kind of stupid that you would need to have different ports. Also, there is no longer a 17" MBP.
To op, that's a pretty good computer. Wish I could get one too. Need a few other things before that
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