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MacPro question RAM vs CPU?
Old 24th August 2007
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Spesifikk's Avatar

MacPro question RAM vs CPU?

Hi, I have a question about the MacPro.

I've been doing some research, but I am still a bit confused about what to prioritize when it comes to CPU vs. RAM for music production. I.e. the number of plug ins and the amount of tracks I can use.

I was planning to go with the Quad-Core 3GHz, with 4Gigs of RAM. (running Logic 7, and probably upgrade to OSX Leopard when it is released).

Do I really need the Quad-Core CPU, or should I spend my money on more RAM instead? Overkill in any way? Or just save of the money and buy plugins instead (DSP units Duende, LM, UAD, Poco)?

Any experience/suggestions?

Thankyou for any help provided.
Old 28th August 2007
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Spesifikk's Avatar

bump*** ...anyone?
Old 28th August 2007
Gear Maniac
Dickens's Avatar

Good question. it is a little confusing isn't it.
I was always told that the CPU power is more important than extreme amounts of ram when running native programs.
On a fence myself.
Old 28th August 2007
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abell1234's Avatar

Depending on what type of studio you are running (home, project, prof.) your answer will vary as far as how much RAM you will need. That said CPU is what you want to spend your money on. 4gigs should be plenty of RAM, go with the quad you thank yourself later on down the line. CPU is what makes your music program run fast not RAM. RAM holds things, CPU "processes" things.
Old 28th August 2007
Don't skimp on either, get the latest fastest CPU and load it with lots of RAM.

on the money front, the CPU will be a lot of $ to upgrade.

but the RAM - you can always add more later (if the need arises)

thus, it's wiser to invest on the faster CPU if $ is an issue.
Old 28th August 2007
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TREMORS's Avatar
Take with a grain of salt.

Ideally, some badass octo-core with 16gigs of RAM would probably get you to the moon and back

However, I think some of this is how the particular program addresses the RAM.
Also, a faster CPU with less RAM will still have to wait for the RAM to provide the data it requested. (i.e. If the CPU is asking/looking for a million pieces of data, yet the RAM can only provide 500k, the CPU will have to wait on the RAM no matter how fast it is)

I would try and find middle of the road solution that fits your budget.

I also may not know exactly what I am talking about. I'll provide the salt.


P.S.-Also, some have suggested that RAM ordered from Apple is overpriced. You may want to skip that, and buy your own RAM after.

Last edited by TREMORS; 28th August 2007 at 11:38 PM.. Reason: add'l info
Old 28th August 2007
Gear Head

RAM is important for most VIs such as drum modules, samplers, etc...

CPU is important if you want to have the least latency possible when tracking. Its is also crucial for running real time processing effects.

In the end, CPU is most important with at least 2gig of ram to start with.
Like someone else mentioned, Ram can be added as you go while CPU is a different story.

MacPros are great whichever one you get btw...

good luck

Old 29th August 2007
Quad Core

I think with a Quad Core and 4 gigs of RAM you'll have plenty of power to start. I agree with the previous post that you can always get more RAM, but processor, especially in Mac's is WAY less upgrade friendly.

Also, I wouldn't buy the RAM upgrades through Apple when you order the machine. You can get the same amount from for half the price. Crucial makes great memory, and Apple is really jacking people on that deal.

Get plenty of processor and add RAM as funds become available and/or you prove you need it.
Old 29th August 2007
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Spesifikk's Avatar

Thankyou for your answers guys thumbsup. It made my choice a whole lot easier.

I'll go with the CPU and get the additional RAM when needed.
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