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Time to upgrade? Reverb/Delay Processors (HW)
Old 31st March 2016
  #1
Gear Head
 

Time to upgrade?

Hi There,

I hope you can help me with this.
I have been thinking about upgrading my home studio computer but have some reservations and wondered if you could point me in the right direction please?

Currently I have a
Mac Pro Quad core 2008
Mac book pro 2012 2.2GHZ

Apogee ensemble FW

both running Logic 9/Ableton 9 on Mavericks


The desktop is a bit sluggish and make a whining sound the oscillates, not sure if that is anything to worry about?

as Apple don't make towers anymore the choice becomes limiting.
I mac/ Macbook pro?
My current Mac pro tower has load if I/O analog/digital/Firewire 400/800 usb and am amazed that even the new mac pro doesn't have digital I/O as standard?!?!


If I purchased a new computer would the Ensemble work on El capitan? with a thunderbolt adapter,if not is the MOTU 16 A a good choice for an upgrade?

I have quite a bit of hardware so it would be good to have lots of I/O.

Although the computer is central to my workflow it becomes the last thing on the list over synths etc

Do you think that it is a good time to upgrade even though it is all working ok?


I would be very grateful for any input.

Thanks
Old 31st March 2016
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Depends on what you call "all is working ok". If you're not getting into any issues, like not having enough CPU power for virtual synths or not enough RAM for samples or whatever limiting factor, then there's no need for you to waste money. Then you better save that up for an even better machine later, once you feel you're limited.

A sluggish desktop that whines (ventilators?) might indicate that its at its CPU limit and running hot as well.

A modern PC at 4 GHz with enough of RAM and a speedy SSD is not sluggish at all, though, during daily normal use. And with a decent cooler on top, also not too loud.
Old 31st March 2016
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by voon View Post
Depends on what you call "all is working ok". If you're not getting into any issues, like not having enough CPU power for virtual synths or not enough RAM for samples or whatever limiting factor, then there's no need for you to waste money. Then you better save that up for an even better machine later, once you feel you're limited.

A sluggish desktop that whines (ventilators?) might indicate that its at its CPU limit and running hot as well.

A modern PC at 4 GHz with enough of RAM and a speedy SSD is not sluggish at all, though, during daily normal use. And with a decent cooler on top, also not too loud.
Thanks for the reply.

the CPU meter in Logic 9 is pretty minimal unless there is an arrangement with 20+ plug ins. however it sounds as if the machine is struggling, but not sure what to expect with a new machine either.

I'll try to avoid an apple rant but the psychology that they impose on consumers to constantly upgrade is ridiculous especially if things still work and if they don't then they change the OS to make sure that it doesn't anymore.

Most of my synths are 30 years old and still going, touch wood.
However I'm becoming worried that the machine will die soon, as spoke to a mac specialist and they said not to spend anymore money on the tower and would be happy to get a new machine if it had the same connectivity as my current one

The MPC 2000 has the ability to copy it's own OS onto a new floppy, that machine is almost 20 years old and still going!
Old 31st March 2016
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Can't say much about about your setup .... does Logic report the entire CPU usage or just itself? Might be better if you invoke a system monitoring utility. It might also struggle RAMwise.
Old 31st March 2016
  #5
Pretty soon Apple/Mac will put be putting a timer on all their new machines, and all operations will just expire ... "BOOM, BOOM, out go's the lights!" ... thus forcing people to buy a whole new computer! Ooops, I think I also just gave Steinberg a seed for a new idea for their software! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ QUICKLY, get yer Chasity belts on, and close the rear hatches!
Old 31st March 2016
  #6
Gear Nut
 

The again .. you said your instruments are old, so I assume they're all not VST machines ... so not much laod there. From my experience, many postproduction plugins aren't that CPU heavy ... maybe excluding things like complex modelled reverb etc.

Have you ever taken your tower apart? Usually theres a ton of dust after a while, which clogs up cooling and will stress your machine. It's well worth the effort to occasionally clean it with pressured air etc (stay off with the vacuum cleaner plastic hose, that's a static energy generator with air rushing past plastic).
Old 31st March 2016
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by voon View Post

Have you ever taken your tower apart? Usually theres a ton of dust after a while, which clogs up cooling and will stress your machine. It's well worth the effort to occasionally clean it with pressured air etc (stay off with the vacuum cleaner plastic hose, that's a static energy generator with air rushing past plastic).
I once took a leaf blower to an open computer tower case, had my 'slow' nephew hold onto the case, while I blew it from about 10 feet away

It actually worked great! I highly recommend it for Macs especially
Old 31st March 2016
  #8
Lives for gear
 
lestermagneto's Avatar
I take my tower apart every few months, and use special compressed air carefully to clean the fans and dust bunnies etc... DEFINITELY helps, I wouldn't recommend using your general variety vacuum cleaner etc because of electric charge and whatnot, and there are threads on this forum about it... there are some kind of expensive vacuum cleaners made for this application, but they cost around $100 or more I believe...

what is the whining you are talking about? is it coming from the computer itself? or is coming through in the audio through your speakers?

and I may be wrong, but I believe that el capitan "breaks" firewire over core audio, thus rendering your beloved (and MY beloved) Ensemble firewire a boat anchor (although could be used in standalone with another interface but wtf...)... so I definintely wouldn't go to el capitan if you don't have to... (and please if I am wrong on this, someone correct me, that is just what I have read..)

One of my systems is a 2009 4,1 tower, and loaded up with ram, and SSD etc, it is working great. STILL thinking of upgrading the motherboard on it, but haven't really had the need to yet, but do a quick search on this forum, there are many that have, and had great great results, and it seems to not cost THAT much, certainly less then a new deathstar.... (and have they updated those in awhile?)....
Old 31st March 2016
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by voon View Post
Can't say much about about your setup .... does Logic report the entire CPU usage or just itself? Might be better if you invoke a system monitoring utility. It might also struggle RAMwise.
currently mac pro is whirring up and down.

logic 9 project/ safari with you tube open.

Terminal

cpu
System 4.6%
User 8.60%
Idle 85%

good or bad ???
Old 1st April 2016
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Depends on what is whirring up and down. CPU cooler? GPU cooler? Powersupply? (I'm not sure how these macs look internally, I'm a PC person).
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