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What computer should I get?
Old 14th September 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 

What computer should I get?

I have been running on an imac 2.16Gz all white model from 2007 for the past 3 years. I added some more RAM so I am now up at 3 Gb and I have replaced the hard drive and power supply. The thing is still dragging and I think it's time to upgrade.

I have been using Ableton the past 3 years but I think I am going to switch to Logic. That's for another thread but I want to set myself up with something that won't break the bank but will let me do what I need to with plug-ins and Logic for the next 4 or 5 years.

My studio is pretty simple when it comes to hardware... midi keyboard, monitors, and a sub. I have invested quite a bit of cash into acoustic treatment so it's pretty minimal when it comes to gear.

I was looking on gainsaver.com and they have some pretty good deals, an A+ BBB rating, and they offer extended warranties. I think you need to dress the machines up a bit from their base models but can anyone advise what would be a good start and any essential add-ons?

I am thinking Macbook pro with a second monitor... or do I go quad core Mac Pro Desktop? It's not essential that I have the potability but if I am not losing much performance I would be open to the idea.

Thank you!
Old 14th September 2011
  #2
Gear Head
 

on second thought I think I would prefer to have a laptop so I can work out of the studio too and potentially use for djing down the road. Plus If I buy an additional monitor I can use the laptop as m secondary.

Im all over the place with this because I really don't know much about computers.. I just know what I want to be able to do!

1. produce in the studio with multiple plug ins, with several tracks
2. hook up at very least my midi keyboard and preferably a keyboard and controller for live performance
3. The capability to play live out at clubs with it (obvioulsy I know I will need an interface) so stability is required
4. Longevity - something I can use for the next 4-5 years.
5. Hook up another monitor (27" display to use as my main display when in the studio)
Old 14th September 2011
  #3
I'm a big fan of HP business models and anything ASUS
Old 14th September 2011
  #4
Gear Head
 

Thanks fast... appreciate the reply

I should have specified... I prefer the mac platform.

LOL so I guess I am narrowing this down myself just by posting seems like I need to go with a macbook pro... from what I read the I7 is better - is there minimum HD memory I should go for? Is the quad core going to suffice with 8GB of Ram? OR is this overkill for what I am trying to do?

sincerely,
Scatterbrain
Old 14th September 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Any one of those Macbook Pros will be light years ahead of what you've got.

I would suggest that you get the lowest priced 15inch one, which is the 2.0 quad core I7 ($1799). I say this because I think 13inch is too small and might be frustrating. And by getting the quad core I7, you have plenty of room to grow. Even if you're not using all the power now, your needs might change, and you won't feel like you have to run out and buy something else quite so soon. And having the Thunderbolt ports (which are on all of them) will give you plenty of expansion options.

And buy your ram aftermarket and save some money.
Old 14th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
zephonic's Avatar
If you decide to go with a tower, the '09 (nehalem/bloomfield) single-cpu models are the sweetspot right now.

Can be had for <$1500, still sports the latest tech (X58) and is relatively cheap to upgrade as it uses generic RAM (unlike the earlier models).

If you feel like it, you can drop in a W3565 CPU for $300, which makes it essentially identical to the current $2899 model, except for the GPU.

And if you need it, you can do the firmware hack and add a hexacore (W3670/3680) for $600.
Old 14th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Based on the criteria given, there is only one choice available to you, and that choice would be a Macbook Pro of course. The only thing to decide is which particular model best suits your needs.

There was a rumor circulating today on all of the Mac rumor sites about Macbook Pro speed bumps coming this month. If it turns out true, then you will get a little more bang for your buck, by getting the newest CPU in it.
Old 14th September 2011
  #8
Gear Head
 

Thanks guys. It's going to be the 15" macbook pro like nst7 suggested. I like the idea of the tower but after rethinking I do want to have the ability to work on the road and use it for live performance.

Old 14th September 2011
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
Smitty Black's Avatar
 

:face palm:You knew what to do. Go with your gut next time!
Old 14th September 2011
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty Black View Post
:face palm:You knew what to do. Go with your gut next time!
Just making sure I am thinking along the right path here. Again, I really don't understand computer specs.

These are the specs of the MBP I am looking at. Do I just need to upgrade RAM to 8Gb and then I will be set? Also, I don't want to spend 900 on the thunderbolt display... maybe 200-300... any suggestions? I assume I will be able to drag Logic to that screen and use it as my primary screen for viewing.
  • 2.0GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
  • 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
  • 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
  • SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • MacBook Pro 15-inch Glossy Widescreen Display
  • Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
Old 14th September 2011
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
evilberg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by forsyth View Post
Just making sure I am thinking along the right path here. Again, I really don't understand computer specs.

These are the specs of the MBP I am looking at. Do I just need to upgrade RAM to 8Gb and then I will be set? Also, I don't want to spend 900 on the thunderbolt display... maybe 200-300... any suggestions? I assume I will be able to drag Logic to that screen and use it as my primary screen for viewing.
  • 2.0GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
  • 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
  • 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
  • SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • MacBook Pro 15-inch Glossy Widescreen Display
  • Backlit Keyboard (English) & User's Guide
I would upgrade the hard drive to 7200rpm if I were you & up the RAM to 8GB.
Old 14th September 2011
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilberg View Post
I would upgrade the hard drive to 7200rpm if I were you & up the RAM to 8GB.
Thanks Evil!!

Any suggestions on the screen? Am I limiting myself by not going with the Apple Thunderbolt?
Old 14th September 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Don't buy your RAM from Apple, other sources are MUCH cheaper.

Old 14th September 2011
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdoubleyou View Post
Don't buy your RAM from Apple, other sources are MUCH cheaper.

10-4! That seems to be common advice!

Any suggestions on a screen between 200-300 bucks? And, am I missing out on anything special by not going for the Apple Thunderbolt Display? Any other manufacturers making the Thunderbolt compatable displays that cost less?

Sorry all... this is the final piece of the puzzle that will allow me to put together a package. I hope this helps someone else down the line - I feel like I have received some valuable advice!
Old 14th September 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
 

You can buy pretty much any display and use it with an adapter. The only advantage to the thunderbolt display is that it functions as a hub for other things (FireWire, etc.). But there will be other options for that soon enough.
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