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  • Another MacBook thread

    I've been doing a bit of research on which MacBook is best for running ProTools LE 8. I'm not a techie guy, so I don't understand even half of what I'm reading.

    I was looking at 13" models (I'll be using a separate monitor) and trying to decide between the i5 and i7. Will there really be much of a difference with the i7? Is it more worthwhile to get the i5 and upgrade the RAM to 8GB. Is 4GB of RAM enough?

    I'm completely overwhelmed and I've only just started researching to build a small home studio.

    Specs for the MC700LL/A (i5):
    2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
    320 GB Hard Drive, 8x DVD/CD SuperDrive, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, Precision aluminum unibody
    13.3 inch LED-backlit display, 1280-by-800 resolution
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
    High Speed Thunderbolt Port, FaceTime HD Camera, Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard
    Cost: $1136.98

    Specs for the MC724LL/A (i7):
    2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor
    500 GB Hard Drive, 8x DVD/CD SuperDrive, 4 GB DDR3 RAM
    13.3 inch LED-backlit display, 1280-by-800 resolution
    Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
    High Speed Thunderbolt Port, FaceTime HD Camera, Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard
    Cost: $1414.95


    For the most part, I'll be recording one track at a time, but I don't want to limit myself in the future. I do plan on getting Digidesign's 003 rack with ProTools 8.

    Can someone help me with some advice?

  • #2
    Buy the best machine you can afford.

    Comment


    • #3
      There is nothing wrong with a dual core processor but if you're thinking of doing heavy processing stuff, then a quad core is better. I know this bumps the price up a fair bit but that's the way of things.

      If you purely need the machine to run an external monitor, then it might be worth checking out the new Mac Mini Server. $999 and comes with a quad core i7 running at 2ghz..

      That said, no DVD drive (although you could buy an external) and no keyboard or mouse (not very expensive). How you would connect it to a monitor I don't know as it's new and probably has Thunderbolt as a display port. Just another angle really..

      If you don't need easy portability, then I personally would buy the 21.5" iMac and upgrade the processor to an i7 Quad (you can do this in their online store) or just stick with the quad i5.. Choices choices..


      Regards. Rimmer

      p.s. Don't buy ram from Apple. It's much cheaper to do an upgrade yourself..
      "(The New Testament) is a work of crude carpentry, hammered together long after its purported events, and full of improvised attempts to make things come out right." Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P

      Comment


      • #4
        There is nothing wrong with a dual core processor but if you're thinking of doing heavy processing stuff, then a quad core is better. I know this bumps the price up a fair bit but that's the way of things.

        If you purely need the machine to run an external monitor, then it might be worth checking out the new Mac Mini Server. $999 and comes with a quad core i7 running at 2ghz..

        That said, no DVD drive (although you could buy an external) and no keyboard or mouse (not very expensive). How you would connect it to a monitor I don't know as it's new and probably has Thunderbolt as a display port. Just another angle really..

        If you don't need easy portability, then I personally would buy the 21.5" iMac and upgrade the processor to an i7 Quad (you can do this in their online store) or just stick with the quad i5.. Choices choices..


        Regards. Rimmer

        p.s. Don't buy ram from Apple. It's much cheaper to do an upgrade yourself..

        Thank you Rimmer. I've done so much reading on various sites about this stuff, my head is spinning. Since writing my original post, I've been going back and forth between iMac and MBP... so now I'm even more torn and confused.

        For me, the big thing is going to be having a dedicated music computer. Not one where I have to wait til my wife gets done shopping on-line before I can take it downstairs and lay some stuff down. That said, having the portability of a MacBook is appealing just in case I want to do other things and not have to worry about the wife.

        I'm building a dedicated home studio (currently, I just have a MacBook and have been doing simple stuff with GarageBand). I'm investing in ProTools, a DigiDesign Rack 003, monitors, etc... The stuff I'll be recording (assuming I can figure it all out!) will have a lot of tracks... many layers... I don't do anything with virtual instruments now, but that may change once I get to a place where I have the ability to do it at my fingertips.

        Truly, I'm a beginner at this stuff and have always been too intimidated to try... but now, I think I'm ready to take the plunge.

        Comment


        • #5
          Luckily my girlfriend has her own iMac although she does steal my Macbook Pro from time to time surf from the sofa..

          Although the iMac is essentially a large laptop, what you get for your money is more than you will get from spending out on a laptop, in general. That said, the Macbook Pro's that come with quad i7's are hard to beat IMO.

          As already mentioned, get the fastest thing you can afford at a given time. Also, try and get the fastest option at a given time as while the years roll by, having the higher end option will slow the perceived ageing process of the machine. A quad i7 is a sensible choice whichever format that comes in..

          Regards. Rimmer
          "(The New Testament) is a work of crude carpentry, hammered together long after its purported events, and full of improvised attempts to make things come out right." Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P

          Comment


          • #6
            $2000 is the upper end of my range for this... I found a New 2.9 GHz, i7, Quad Core, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HD in this range. I would still need to buy a separate monitor though.

            On the other hand, for $2000, I can get a 27" iMac with 2.93 GHz, i7, Quad Core, 16 GB RAM, and a 1000 GB HD.

            Comment


            • #7
              $2000 is the upper end of my range for this... I found a New 2.9 GHz, i7, Quad Core, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HD in this range. I would still need to buy a separate monitor though.

              On the other hand, for $2000, I can get a 27" iMac with 2.93 GHz, i7, Quad Core, 16 GB RAM, and a 1000 GB HD.



              go with the imac, get a separate HD for audio files. and you can also connect a second monitor so you can have your edit window open on one and your mix window open on the other.

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