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How's Your MacBook Pro Doing? Studio Monitors
Old 27th August 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

How's Your MacBook Pro Doing?

As much as I want to get a full Mac Pro set up, it's probably not feasible right now. I'm currently using a Powerbook G4 and really need to upgrade.

What sort of performance are you getting? I'll be using logic and hopefully soon an Ensemble. Track count? Plug ins? Drum/Piano software?

Thanks,
Alex
Old 27th August 2007
  #2
+1 on this question. Would be cool to hear the results you're having. I'm planning a 3 month out of town studio session work, and hope a macbook pro will be sufficient.
Old 27th August 2007
  #3
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Akoppenheffer's Avatar
 

My MBP is a beast. I can't slow it down. And I have the model from last year. 2.16 ghz w/ 2 gigs of ram. My past roomate had a G5 with an HD rig and I could run quite a few more plugins than he could. Tracks, I'm sure I could perform just as good if not better. They're incredible machines.
Old 27th August 2007
  #4
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hangman's Avatar
 

My 2.2ghz SR model is significantly faster than my Dual 1.8ghz G5.

to compare it to my powerbook, I had a1.5ghz G4 with 1.25gigs of ram.
in logic that thing seriously choked with very little going on. maybe 8 tracks of audio, an ultrabeat, maybe some other soft synths... always had to freeze tracks just to get by.

I can open those songs with my MBP, unfreeze all the tracks, and I barely register. maybe 10% CPU usage.
just for sh*ts and giggles, I recorded 16 tracks of audio, and put a bunch of Plugs on all the tracks, includeing multiple space designers on each track, the didn't even hit 50%.

I was so impressed I'm selling my G5.

-steve
Old 28th August 2007
  #5
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
It all depends. Getting a MBP was a big, big step up from my old G4 Titanium. However, I like to use a lot of soft synths, samplers and plug-ins simultaneously, plus I have RAX running in the background in Rosetta mode (for the Intel incompatible plugs). I find that the MBP chokes quite easily under this load. I am not exactly disappointed about that, I guess I am asking a lot from the machine. To cut a long story short, I am currently waiting for a 8-core Mac Pro. That should do the trick.
Old 28th August 2007
  #6
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I'm now using the MBP as my main home studio machine. This replaced 2 3ghz PC's and 1 dual 2.5 G5. Those other machines are now collecting dust, though I'll eventually set them up as soft synth machines.

The MBP performs MUCH better than the 3 machines I mention above. I've got a Mac Pro at work, and that's another story. I can hardly make that thing hiccup, but the MBP performance is good enough that I'm not really wanting to spend the $$ to get a Mac Pro at home.
Old 28th August 2007
  #7
Gear Addict
 

I'm running a MBP 2.16 2gig and using digital performer. It's got plenty of power for anything I'm doing (16 track recording with the typical plug ins and the odd VI). The only thing I'd like is firewire 800 while using the firewire 400 port.
Old 28th August 2007
  #8
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

I bought the latest top of the line 17" high-res model.

Seriously: best purchase of my life so far. I can't believe how much power you can carry around with you these days.

I can sit in a Starbucks and do the most fantastic, process-intensive stuff in my headphones while the "straight world" sips lattes all around me. 24/88.khz Reaktor 5 running live alongside Altiverb on multiple tracks. Plugins, VI's, samplers, Ableton Live, Reason. You name it. And while everyone else is getting caffeinated and chatting away, nobody has any idea that secretly I'm making Sgt. Pepper's 2008. Shhh... don't tell anybody.

Okay, delusional hyperbole aside, it is a great machine and I heartily recommend you get one. The larger screen is worthwhile if you do a lot of media or music work. You won't regret it. And yeah, I'm not really making Sgt. Pepper's 2008, but I am making music that is exciting to me and I don't have to think about whether I'm taxing the computer.

Their slogan should be simply "MacBook Pro... it's so nice."

- c
Old 28th August 2007
  #9
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adamcal's Avatar
 

if your not worried about the laptop form, the new Imac 20"seems a pretty good deal.

and with the right roadcase would also be reasonably portable.
Old 28th August 2007
  #10
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kittyboy's Avatar
 

Is the Pro definitely worth the bucks over the regular Macbook (with similar specs)?

I'll be using it for the same things y'all are...

Thanks!
Old 28th August 2007
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
imdrecordings's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittyboy View Post
Is the Pro definitely worth the bucks over the regular Macbook (with similar specs)?

I'll be using it for the same things y'all are...

Thanks!
NO doubt.
Inquiring minds would like to know.
Old 28th August 2007
  #12
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sleepwalker's Avatar
 

Macbook vs. Macbook Pro

My wife has a Core Duo Black Macbook with 2GB ram and I've got the 2.33 C2D with 2GB ram. Mine's noticably faster. I haven't compared performance in a DAW.

I also previously had a mac mini. That sucked compared to the MBP.

For DAW use, the regular Macbook should be about as good, but I'm very happy I spent the extra money.


Quote:
Originally Posted by imdrecordings View Post
NO doubt.
Inquiring minds would like to know.
Old 28th August 2007
  #13
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hangman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittyboy View Post
Is the Pro definitely worth the bucks over the regular Macbook (with similar specs)?

I'll be using it for the same things y'all are...

Thanks!
in terms of features, The Expresscard slot makes a big difference to me. not to mention the firewire 800 port.
if those are not options you think you would take advantage of, maybe it would not be worth it.
I've also found, after moving up from a 12" powerbook to a 15" MBP that the additional Screen space is VERY appreciated. and its still very portable.
Old 28th August 2007
  #14
Gear Addict
 
kittyboy's Avatar
 

What does the expresscard slot do?
Old 28th August 2007
  #15
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Any current Apple laptop will open up a huge world for you. Don't obsess on what you can't afford. Technology's moving quickly.

I bought the top-of-the-line and I don't regret it, but I probably could do most of what I'm doing on my studio partner's regular MacBook. It might be a little bit slower, but really, you're talking about miracle technology either way.

Even if you buy the bototm-of-the-line macbook, you're getting an AMAZING tool. We really have hit the place where your imagination is your only limitation.

It's exhilirating. It's scary.

No more excuses. Do something amazing w/ it.

- c
Old 28th August 2007
  #16
the only thing that bothers me on my MB is the lack of an express slot...
other than that, the FW800/400 thing doesn't impress me since it's all on the same bus on the MBP.
Old 29th August 2007
  #17
Gear Addict
 
kittyboy's Avatar
 

What does the express slot do?
Old 29th August 2007
  #18
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hangman's Avatar
 

the Expresscard slot is basically a mobile version of PCI express.

there are obvious performance advantages bandwidth and latency being two of the major ones.

an example of a very useful product that takes advantage of the express slot is Apogee's Symphony Mobile. with that card and some of appogee's converters you can have up to 32channels of AD-DA with latency that rivals protools HD... all on your laptop.
quite impressive.

I agree with Silver sonya though... for the standard macbook really does not differ that much from the Macbook pro in regards to processing power.
if you are using a firewire or USB interface, I would save yourself the $.

-steve
Old 29th August 2007
  #19
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Dysanfel's Avatar
My MBP is the greatest computer I have ever owned. OSX is incredible.
Old 29th August 2007
  #20
Gear Addict
 
kittyboy's Avatar
 

How important is the amount of GDDR3?

I'm looking at two refurbs on the apple page. The cheapest MBP has 128K of GDDR3 and the others all have 256...

If I have the express slot that means I could run the new UAD DSPs right off that slot w/o affecting other busses, is that right?

Thanks for your help!
Old 30th August 2007
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeronimo View Post
the FW800/400 thing doesn't impress me since it's all on the same bus on the MBP.
You sure they use the same bus? My FW800 drive doesn't slow down when my FW400 interface is connected. If they shared a bus they'd both turn to FW400 ports?
Old 30th August 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittyboy View Post

If I have the express slot that means I could run the new UAD DSPs right off that slot w/o affecting other busses, is that right?
yes
Old 30th August 2007
  #23
Registered User
 

Quote:
How important is the amount of GDDR3?

I'm looking at two refurbs on the apple page. The cheapest MBP has 128K of GDDR3 and the others all have 256...
The difference between 128MB or 256MB of graphics memory is not important for you if you only use it for audio applications. Only if you want to run graphics applications or do some 3D gaming it will be a point.

So if audio is the only thing (and maybe the usual internet / office stuff, too), then the 128MB model will absolutely do. The chipset of the graphics card in the MBP is a very fast one anyway.
Old 30th August 2007
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SFTPH View Post
You sure they use the same bus? My FW800 drive doesn't slow down when my FW400 interface is connected. If they shared a bus they'd both turn to FW400 ports?
humm, almost 100% sure, but it depends on what iMac version is it.

I think the newest ones, the high end version different busses, but everything before is sharing.

There are papers on Apple's website... I don't have the link, but they are there...
Old 5th September 2007
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
vaka's Avatar
 

I got a Macbook Pro C2D 2.16GHz w/ 2GB RAM. I use Pro Tools with an MBox2 and an external 7200rpm drive connected via FW800.
I got the Music Production Toolkit so I have a max track count of 48 stereo (or mono. not 48 stereo - 96 mono. Digidesign are dicks).

I've maxed PT out with 48 tracks (maybe 4 of 'em stereo) and used every available buss (both for sub grouping and FX). I've had maybe 4-5 stereo reverbs and 3-4 stereo delays on the AUX'es and atleast 1 insert on every channel.
My good old MBP still handles the load. Admittedly, the CPU meter is around 70-80%,
but it handles it.
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