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PC/MAC - Laptops/Desktops - What's best?
Old 12th January 2017
  #1
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PC/MAC - Laptops/Desktops - What's best?

I was considering to buy a 2012 model i5, dualcore 2.5 ghz Macbook Pro, and upgrade it with max RAM + Double SSD. Preferably, it shoulda been quadcore, but can't find any used on the market now. Is this a viable option in 2016, for running Logic Pro X at great performance? If not, what are my alternatives? The new Macbooks got soldered RAM ?!?!

For desktops, I already got an iMac5k late 2014 which is a beast, but the fact that I made the bummer of getting the 1TB fusion drive, instead of SSD, and the absolute unbelievable pain in the ass it is to customize/upgrade the internal hardware of it (Haven't even tried, the tutorials are freakin scary), makes me thinking of selling it, and investing my money wiser. This machine can handle a lot of tasks, but the fusion drive slows me down, the processors ain't that impressive (especially not for extensive Logic projects) and the only user-friendly upgrade I can perform is to throw in some more RAM, which I did. I hate the Apple stringpulling, forcing this design, so you have to get all the top specs when ordering the iMac. It's ridicilous IMO. With their pile of cash, they should be able to make a more user-friendly design and care a little bit more about their quality-seeking customers. I guess they're just another company though, grabbing as much as they can.

I feel like my rig is already getting outdated for my growing interess in music production, but where do I go from here? Should I build a monster of a Hackintosh? Split open my iMac, and risk destroying vital components for the potential reward of a better performing system? Get a Mac Pro? I'm kinda lost these days, and I want a system where I can keep upgrading components, but I love LogicPX... To which machine do you turn in order to get the most power for Logic projects? What are the essential specs? I wanna make huge projects, without having to bounce the tracks in place every other plugin used!

In the end.. I'm open for any suggestions/advices regarding this topic - Good/bad investments, with a vision for some years to come

Soldered RAM tho, are you kidding me
Old 12th January 2017
  #2
If you need serious power it's a no brainer, get a custum built PC with 6-8 core i7, liquid cooling and stock it full of ssd's lots of ram and a great motherboard. Then in 3-4 years you upgrade and so it goes. Better to use 1500 usd every 3 years than 3000 usd every 6 year!

I wouldn't touch a 2012 macbook even if somebody payed me, especially i5..
Old 13th January 2017
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatsNo View Post

I wouldn't touch a 2012 macbook even if somebody payed me, especially i5..
LMAO
I'm obviously not well informed on specs.

You made it sound (?) really convincing. I reckon it's time for me to build my first pc. That looks kinda interesting anyway, handpicking each component and squeezing it all together to a proper powerhouse.
I feel like I'm about to trigger my OCD-review-addiction again. Searching for those 5-star items for decades!

As for laptops, anything you can recommend?
Old 13th January 2017
  #4
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For my late 2013 iMac, I just moved to an external USB3 solid state drive for my boot drive. Like you, I looked at the tutorials, and will not dig into my iMac. I've done extensive work on laptops and desktops, but no way am I going to mess with the insides of an iMac. Never say never, I guess. USB3 solid state is a vast improvement over internal mechanical hard drive. I'm not getting the full speed the SSD is capable of, but it is far superior to the internal mechanical drive. I use the internal drive for storage now.
Old 13th January 2017
  #5
sqr
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I have to buy a new laptop and I'm currently trying to decide between a last gen 15" MBP w/ 2.8 ghz i7 (Haswell) and the current gen 15" MBP w/ 2.6 ghz i7 (Skylake).
Is there a significant difference in performance between these two processors, and if so, which one wins out?
Old 13th January 2017
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqr View Post
I have to buy a new laptop and I'm currently trying to decide between a last gen 15" MBP w/ 2.8 ghz i7 (Haswell) and the current gen 15" MBP w/ 2.6 ghz i7 (Skylake).
Is there a significant difference in performance between these two processors, and if so, which one wins out?
There is not a big performance difference. The only question is do you want to be more future proof with TB3 and USB-C or do you need/want the older ports and don't want to use dongles. I went for the newer model myself as it is more future proof.
Old 13th January 2017
  #7
sqr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richpjr View Post
There is not a big performance difference. The only question is do you want to be more future proof with TB3 and USB-C or do you need/want the older ports and don't want to use dongles. I went for the newer model myself as it is more future proof.
Thank you! I'll probably go with the older model then, I'm allergic to dongles and it's a bit cheaper.
Old 13th January 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
 

You don't buy the computer first for DAW use. You determine exact needs and budget first. There are other threads here that get into those specifics (use search). From there, some may use a DAW app that will only work with PC or Mac or work better on one platform if it uses both which then will determine further choices. What you need for an audio interface will often determine what you need in computer hardware and especially it's ports / motherboard slots. Start at step one, skipping steps is what gets many less than the best setup for their needs and costs them more in the long run.
Old 14th January 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claurence View Post
For my late 2013 iMac, I just moved to an external USB3 solid state drive for my boot drive. Like you, I looked at the tutorials, and will not dig into my iMac. I've done extensive work on laptops and desktops, but no way am I going to mess with the insides of an iMac. Never say never, I guess. USB3 solid state is a vast improvement over internal mechanical hard drive. I'm not getting the full speed the SSD is capable of, but it is far superior to the internal mechanical drive. I use the internal drive for storage now.
Guess we're kinda in the same boat. Do you have sufficient power to handle bigger projects, or have you considered other options? What processor do you have? i got the i5 3,5 ghz quad, and I regret not getting the i7 chip, which woulda given me the opportunity to utilise hyperthreading (If I'm not mistaken?)
I'm hearing great things about the Thunderbolt connection, why did you choose the USB3? I'm assuming you got a thunderbolt connection on your computer here.

I believe my 4 cores are bottlenecking my projects at a certain point, and there's not a lot to do about that, is there? I will definitely consider investing in an external SSD (Thunderbolt or USB3?) and use that for bootup, like you did, if that's something you can recommend.

Also, I've used up quite a lot of space, only got 300 gb left of my hd. A lot of it are non-essential software, but I'm unsure of how to clean it up, any suggestions for this? Was thinking of collecting my sample library and other things I want to save, then format the drive, is this a good idea?
Old 14th January 2017
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
You don't buy the computer first for DAW use. You determine exact needs and budget first. There are other threads here that get into those specifics (use search). From there, some may use a DAW app that will only work with PC or Mac or work better on one platform if it uses both which then will determine further choices. What you need for an audio interface will often determine what you need in computer hardware and especially it's ports / motherboard slots. Start at step one, skipping steps is what gets many less than the best setup for their needs and costs them more in the long run.
Thanks, this makes a lot of sense.
Old 14th January 2017
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyHoLetsGo View Post
Guess we're kinda in the same boat. Do you have sufficient power to handle bigger projects, or have you considered other options? What processor do you have? i got the i5 3,5 ghz quad, and I regret not getting the i7 chip, which woulda given me the opportunity to utilise hyperthreading (If I'm not mistaken?)
I'm hearing great things about the Thunderbolt connection, why did you choose the USB3? I'm assuming you got a thunderbolt connection on your computer here.

I believe my 4 cores are bottlenecking my projects at a certain point, and there's not a lot to do about that, is there? I will definitely consider investing in an external SSD (Thunderbolt or USB3?) and use that for bootup, like you did, if that's something you can recommend.

Also, I've used up quite a lot of space, only got 300 gb left of my hd. A lot of it are non-essential software, but I'm unsure of how to clean it up, any suggestions for this? Was thinking of collecting my sample library and other things I want to save, then format the drive, is this a good idea?
It's enough power for me, but I try to run things lean. I wish I could have purchased with an i7 and flash drive, but I didn't. C'Est la Vie. USB3 costs a lot less than Thunderbolt - that's the only reason. I didn't want the perfect to be the enemy of the good. USB3 is good enough at this point. I had already been using a smaller SSD drive via USB3 for samples only. Now I have the OS, most of my data, and my samples on the same SSD. I can save projects to my mechanical drive (also USB3) or the internal drive.

You'd have to pay an awful lot for a MacBook with the same power as your iMac. If you're running out of processing power, you might consider running Vienna Ensemble Pro with a slave desktop PC. Do you use a lot of virtual instruments? They are the primary consumers of processing power.

Your Fusion Drive should be giving you fast boot up, so no need to move the OS to an external drive like I did. If you are getting pops and clicks as some have said happens with Fusion Drives, you may consider a change. But, you should move samples and projects to external drives for sure if you haven't already.

If you are taxing your processing power, maybe consider Vienna Pro 5 on a slave PC.

Fusion Drive issue referenced here (includes happy users): http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=384114

Last edited by claurence; 14th January 2017 at 05:41 AM.. Reason: Fusion Drive stuff
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