IMacs vs. Mac Pro??? Chassis for iMacs. No thundrbolt. STILL,,,
First, as we all know, there are no thunderbolt chips on the Mac pro's.
As well, it's been a long time since a refresh. Heard, maybe early summer which is right around the corner. But still, it's been way too long and I am wondering does anyone have any information regarding this issue.
Yet the matter, of course, is the iMac. The iMac will allow you to hook up many chassis using thunderbolt you could add graphic card, FireWire, just about anything you can imagine the Mac Pro could have you using thunderbolt.
What I've discovered though, with the latest versions of Pro-Tools be it 9 or 10 is that on some of the older MacBook Pro's - just a few years, say one generation BEFORE thunderbolt, meaning, pre-Nelham is that the FireWire chipset is very picky with PRO-TOOLS. Example, if you hook up the prosumer Avid Mbox Pro 3 and connect it to the 400 bus then have a few external harddrives connected to the 800 bus,
you R going to have to have problems (under runs, and so on unless the hard drive is in Oxford chipset
One, has this been rectified with 10? Why the 400 bus on most Prosumer machines and not 800? The work around was to install the Mbox to the mbp then attach the HDs to the Mbox. The only problem is that if you were booted up and mboxx did not attach and u turned it off. Down went your hard drives. I've had a solid connection since the 9.6 update. I got 10 for free. I also use logic.
Also. What would everyone recommend if they were using orchestral samples and lots of plug ins??? I remember reading about problems with the high end iMacs. Has this been resolved. I also read, ivy won't be a huge update. Bummer.
Many say a good i5 will do the job and many are building hack systems and I don't know why. This is the most competitive I've seen apple in a long time. Just wish I had gotten my hands on an 8 core 2.93 when the 12's 1st came out. So strange. It's always been 1-2-4-6-and 16 should have been next. Then 32.
First of all, with tons of new stuff around the corner, obviously don't buy anything right now.
I'm not saying any of this is confirmed, but by following recent possible "controlled" leaks, new macbook pros may include upwards of an Ivy Bridge 2.7Ghz quad core and iMacs upwards of an Ivy 3.4Ghz i7 quad. Both also having the possible update of "retina" displays which will double the current screen resolution.
Another developing option is the external thunderbolt->pcie enclosures from Magma and Sonnet which will offer 1-3 pcie slots over thunderbolt to allow macbooks and imacs the ability to interact with card-based systems (PTHD, SSL Madixtreme, pcie SSD storage, etc.)
If you want lots of dedicated internal storage, huge amounts of RAM, or true server xeon processor chips, then you'd be looking at a Mac Pro, but (even being the owner of one) I think we're slowing passing the time when the Pro is necessarily the "best" vs. "best for certain applications."
Now in regards to the firewire question, from recent speculation, apple might remove direct firewire ports on the computers (assuming those who need it will adapt over thunderbolt). I haven't experienced any issues myself using firewire drives on a pre-thunderbolt macbook pro and mac pro, both on PT9 and PT10. That's only my experience and YMMV, but here's to positive thinking
In regards to Firewire, all post 2007 laptops have only a FW800 bus, so attaching anything 400 speed to the 400 header brings the speed of all devices down to FW400 speeds, thus the problems with dropouts you refer to.
Current iMacs and Macbook Pros don't even have the 400 header now, iMacs only have 1..One!...firewire port. TB will obviously be an advantage here.
In fact were I purchasing today I'd have to balance whether I wanted a *used* Mac Pro (2011 six-core models have massive oomph but a price premium paid this late in the life cycle is a bad investment for smaller studios/single users imo) or if I could get by on a new iMac for a year...or even 6 months and then sell it. I personally find a lot of uses for machines retired for primary use, I often have 3-5 machines in here getting at least moderate use.
So I'd be able to potentially justify getting a new iMac now if I were in need of a new machine, and invest in either a TB enclosure or TB to FW adapter for my drives and use the FW800 header for any FW based audio devices I had. Meaning the resale value or 'post 2012 Mac Pro purchase' value of that iMac would be high enough to justify the added expense.
A used SandyBridge iMac is also not a bad idea, especially as many refurbs from Apple are just returns that had no issue to begin with (Apple can't repackage a return as a new sale).
I've had a Mac pro for years and my next MAC will probably be an IMAC. They have gotten powerful for the money. I'm on a 2007 Mac pro and it runs everything great with my Rosetta/lunchbox setup. I could only imagine what any newer iMac could give me. Besides the pci card deal and having to use a hub/adapter for multi FireWire.... For 1600 the iMac has my attention.
It's my opinion that if you are doing real work, then you need a real computer. Since you use Logic, then you need a Mac. The only real Mac is a Mac Pro.
Dump the Mbox and and get an RME PCIe soundcard. The Mac Pro has room for 3 data hard drives - that's 6TB worth of sample storage for a few hundred dollars.
If money's an issue, then dump Logic and build a PC.
I do real work in Logic and I do it on an IMAC. What you are saying above is your opinion . Imacs are every bit as powerful sometimes more powerful than some Macbook Pro's.
I see people doing Pro work on Mac Book Pro's as well.
Current Imacs and even the Mac Mini server quad core I7 are quite powerful enough for Pro work. They both have Thunderbolt ports and the IMAC have two of those along with a Firewire 800 port and 4 usb ports. That's enough to run an expansion chassis with any PCIE cards you may have.
Oh and the new Imacs yet to be released will have USB 3.0 ports as well.
Sorry but you can work without a Mac Pro these days lots of people do. Granted the Mac Pro is the Ultimate with the drive slots extra ram slots etc... Though honestly I will say this right now. In my opinion I would rather wait to see whats coming than invest in a current or older Mac Pro that does not have Thunderbolt.
Oh and I will add there are quite a few people doing Pro Work on the Mac Mini server 2 ghz quad core I7. In fact there are threads about it here on GS.