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To Anybody whos got the New IMAC DSP Audio Systems
Old 11th September 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

To Anybody whos got the New IMAC

Quick Question for you


Im looking to upgrade my current Mac. I do alot of R&B records so heavy on the stacks and harmonies. Sessions can be around 40-50 tracks of audio.

Do you think the new IMAC can handle this or would i be better going for the Mac Pro
Old 12th September 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
headwerkn's Avatar
go for a Mac Pro, if you can afford it.

i have a previous gen iMac 20"; it's a great system for the price and for what I use it mostly for (graphic design and web development) but having your I/O limited to a single firewire and single USB2 buss (2 and 3 physical ports respectively) can really limit your options once you look at using multiple 8 channel audio interfaces, external hard drives and firewire-based DSP solutions like the Duende, Powercore and Liquid Mix... Firewire is fast and stable but it has its limits... the new Firewire DSP units in particular seem to be problematic if they don't have a FW buss to themselves.

plus with the Mac Pro you get some PCI-X slots (option to go PT HD/Accel one day, or just add some Firewire cards), room for 3 extra S-ATA internal HDs, a vastly higher RAM ceiling, and the option of quad- and octal-core CPUs. there's much more scope for upgrading, and thus it would be safe to assume it would enjoy a longer service life before needing to be replaced outright.

if you're serious about production - and if you're talking about 50+ audio tracks at once, I'd say you are - then have a long hard think about it.

hope this helps.
Old 12th September 2007
  #3
Gear Nut
 
Soundproof's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by headwerkn View Post
plus with the Mac Pro you get some PCI-X slots (option to go PT HD/Accel one day, or just add some Firewire cards)
Just chiming in to say that the slots in the Mac Pro are PCI-Express which is a different thing than PCI-X. PCI-X are found in the earlier G5s for instance.



Oh, and +1 for the Mac Pro if money's no object!
Old 12th September 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
headwerkn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundproof View Post
Just chiming in to say that the slots in the Mac Pro are PCI-Express which is a different thing than PCI-X. PCI-X are found in the earlier G5s for instance.
You're very right - my bad. I thought the -X was short for Express but the correct shortening is actually PCIe.

Either way, the iMac doesn't have them, which could limit your options.
Old 12th September 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
dlmorley's Avatar
Agree with everyone.
I have an intel iMac and love it. Great machine, but will probably upgrade to a pro due to the pci slots. I use my ssl alpha link with an M-Audio Profire (firewire I/O) and that is my firewire buss taken up. No further options for expansion.
I still haven't found out whether then new iMac has 2 firewire busses (as they were 2 seperate firewire connections but running on the same bus)
Old 12th September 2007
  #6
You could have 50+ tracks on the new iMac, using one FW for external HD and one FW for audio card (8 x 8 channels). The 400/800 speed won't be an issue IMO.

I'm not personally a big fan of DSP cards as they're a waste of money and causes extra hassle as far as I'm concerned. Some nice plug-ins, but nothing you can't get as good in native today.

There's plenty of juice in the new iMac for processing power.

But if you can afford it the Mac Pro is more flexible and of course packs an extra punch.
Old 12th September 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
dlmorley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
You could have 50+ tracks on the new iMac, using one FW for external HD and one FW for audio card (8 x 8 channels). The 400/800 speed won't be an issue IMO.

I'm not personally a big fan of DSP cards as they're a waste of money and causes extra hassle as far as I'm concerned. Some nice plug-ins, but nothing you can't get as good in native today.

There's plenty of juice in the new iMac for processing power.

But if you can afford it the Mac Pro is more flexible and of course packs an extra punch.
I agree with what you are saying, but the one thing is for example in my situation. I have the M-Audio Profire on the firewire port for my I/O. It needs the whole port. In theory you can't add anything else to the firewire port as both the 400 and 800 are on the same bus as far as I am aware.

Apart from that, the iMac's are certainly powerful enough.
Old 12th September 2007
  #8
Gear Head
 

roger that.


sounds like the Mac Pro will be the way to go. Grrr have to update my Power PC Sound Libraries to intel but i knew this day as gonna come so....
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