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Getting the right Mac Pro (December 2012)
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TheBeatDoctor
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#1
30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
  #1
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Getting the right Mac Pro (December 2012)

Hello GearSlutz users
Please skip the blue parts to avoid backstory and get into the good stuff.

I have been a watchful ghost on this website on and off for around a year and a half now. I have usually found the answers to my recording questions by searching this website and reading through the various arguments, opinions and confirmations within the community. I am on the verge of a financially huge commitment, with my previously described tactics of research not yielding the usual results. It is for this reason I have decided to create an account, and ask the GearSlutz community directly for their greatly valued opinion.

I am well aware this thread will cause some users to be less than pleased, and I am happy to be directed elsewhere to find answers should this be possible. The "what Mac should I buy" question is a frequent one, but I feel for good reason. Allow me to explain my position;

I currently run a very old PC which still boasts Sonar 7 as the primary DAW, and made use of software based vst instruments and effects. Not much outboard equipment was used at all as it was more used for MIDI composition and occasionally audio projects consisting of acoustic guitar, drums, bass, piano and vocals. I am now in a much better paying job, which has finally allowed me to save up the money for the Mac Pro I've always wanted since recording on them at college and in local two local studios.

Being a firm believer in "you get what you pay for" so have saved up the big bucks for a really nice Mac Pro, but have been told by another engineer that I may be buying too much Mac for my money!? I am told that the set up I intend to buy may be overkill, for example, paying out for a better processor is unnecessary since the lower spec processor can handle the same jobs without struggle, rendering the higher spec processors redundant with nothing to process!



My question: "Is this Mac Pro overkill for what I need?"

The Mac:

Two 2.40GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon processors (12 cores)

12GB (6X2GB)

1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive

ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB

One 18x SuperDrive

Software it will need to run:
(Audio recording is priority, with VST instruments being used mostly for compositions)
Logic Pro 9 / Final Cut Pro X / Native Instruments Komplete 8 /

PRICE: £3,273

That's basically it, I will have outboard compressors, reverbs and so on and mixing desk will be on the bill too, but as far as software is concerned I would like your opinion on this Mac Pro versus its "little brother" of the following spec;

Mac "2"

One 3.33GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon processor

12GB (3x4GB)

1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive

ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB

One 18x SuperDrive

PRICE: £2,629.00

I would once again like to thank you in advance for your insights, I have always valued the GearSlutz community, let the discussion commence! Further details available on request

Thank you!
#2
30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
  #2
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Joe Porto is offline
if you plan to monitor using VIs and Plugin processing at lowest possible latency, the 3.33 may be a better choice as Logic can only use a single processor for live monitoring.
TheBeatDoctor
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#3
31st December 2012
Old 31st December 2012
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I see, I do plan to monitor with plugins and virtual instruments at first, but a few months down the line they will not be used as intensively as I will switch to outboard gear. I guess I want to know if both Mac Pro's can handle projects using "intensive" VST's and plugins (I'd say no more than a maximum of 26 tracks) as fast as possible without buckling. Obviously I know the main factors here are processor, RAM and hard drive speed, but I did not know about Logic only being able to monitor live through one processor. Still relatively new to the depths of Logic. Thank you for your reply
#4
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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Toeheads is offline
macbook pro for logic pro 9

Hi im new to this so please forgive me if im posting in the wrong section but the heading was what i was after.
Ill keep this simple.
i have logic pro 9 and will be using it to record/edit mostly rock/experimental music.
i have an external audio interface & will be using live and digital instruments.

Im after a new computer preferably mac as that's what im proficient in.
I was considering a
MacBook Pro 13"
2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x4GB
1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

will this handle what i want to do
or will the quad core 15" be the wiser choice
(keep in mind the steep price jump)
i don't want any lag so to speak or crashing due to hardware capabilities

any help will be much appreciated

Thanks
#5
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
  #5
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Location: London
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Welcome to Gearslutz ,I'm not sure it might be an overkill , however this is Gearslutz ......so i would suggest you wait for the new Mac pro for an even bigger overkill .

Good luck finding out ....you will enjoy your Mac system new or old.
#6
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
  #6
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Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toeheads View Post
Hi im new to this so please forgive me if im posting in the wrong section but the heading was what i was after.
Ill keep this simple.
i have logic pro 9 and will be using it to record/edit mostly rock/experimental music.
i have an external audio interface & will be using live and digital instruments.

Im after a new computer preferably mac as that's what im proficient in.
I was considering a
MacBook Pro 13"
2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM — 2x4GB
1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

will this handle what i want to do
or will the quad core 15" be the wiser choice
(keep in mind the steep price jump)
i don't want any lag so to speak or crashing due to hardware capabilities

any help will be much appreciated

Thanks
Again i'm not sure but what i know is ,if you are going to use a drive for audio , its better to have the 7200RPM drive .
#7
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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vinuprsu is offline
#8
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
  #8
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Posts: 3

lauradogin is offline
good. would suggest you wait for the new Mac pro for an even bigger overkill.thanks for your sharing
#9
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
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6 core box is what you want, I have the 8 core here. The new Macs wont be out till later this year
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Logic X 10.06, Cubase 7.5.20, StudioOnePro 2.6.2
#10
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
  #10
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Posts: 456

xgman is offline
Either wait for the new (if ever) Mac Pros, or get a maxed out new 27" imac with and ssd and external Thunderbolt drives for project and library storage. Either way you should be good. I wouldn't invest in any new Mac Pro now other than used or deep discounted refurb. The tech is just too old. I just sold a 6 core 3.33 and got the imac.
#11
11th January 2013
Old 11th January 2013
  #11
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First ask yourself whether you need the expandability of a "Mac Pro" eg PCIe, 4 x 3.5" slots (for HDD or SSD), 2 x optical size bays, RAM slots etc. If so, I would either wait for the new "Mac Pro" version or buy the current 3.33GHz 6-core.

If you don't need all that expandability, something like the quad-core i7 Mac Mini ($799) can give you similar ballpark processing power (although a little less) as a Xeon Mac Pro but at < 1/3 the price.

If you've saved this long, I would really wait 6-9 more months and see what Apple has planned for a new "Mac Pro." It should have faster processors, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt etc.
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