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Topic: Getting a new Mac Computer

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  1. #1

    Getting a new Mac Computer

    I'm planning on getting a new Mac computer, and could use an extra brain or two helping me think through any issues I'm not thinking of.

    I'm thinking of either:

    1) 27" iMac - 2.93GHz Intel Core i7 (Quad-Core)
    or
    2) Mac Pro - 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem"

    I would add RAM to both of these systems.

    The monitor with the 27" iMac is not the biggest issue for me, as I have a monitor - not as nice as the iMac's but enough for me.

    My present computer is a Mac Pro G5.

    I'm concerned about the lack of harddrive possibilities for the iMac. I ideally would like to have my samples on one external disk, sessions on another external or internal, and the OS on the main internal drive. I have never "daisy chained" and not sure how well that works. I'm using ProTools LE can use a USB interface to save a firewire port.

    I plan to use Omnisphere, Trilian, Stylus RMX, East West Silk, RA, and Kontakt.

    Which computer system would you get and why? Or would you choose something else thinking both these systems inadequate? I appreciate all your ideas/thoughts.

  2. #2

    Re: Getting a new Mac Computer

    Either one of those systems would give you enough processor horsepower, but since your asking the question in this forum, the answer is the Mac Pro. You will end up using all of those nice, easy to install hard drive bays in no time. Just keep ordering monster size drives when they're on sale at NewEgg, slide them in the slots and load TBs of samples. The iMac would drive you nuts in this regard.

  3. #3
    Senior Member playz123's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a new Mac Computer

    Mac Pro. The 4 hard drive bays give you the opportunity to add three more high capacity drives in addition to the main hard drive giving you a LOT of hard drive space, especially if you buy large drives. IMHO, the Mac pro is an excellent computer for music enthusiasts.
    Cubase 7.0.3, Wavelab 7.1, Omnisphere, Trilian, Stylus RMX, Symphobia 1 & 2 , all Spitfire libraries, LASS 2, Requiem Pro, Voxos, Superior Drummer 2, Komplete 8, Cinematic Guitars, most EW libraries, Chris Hein Horns, Guitar & Bass, 2.8 GHz Mac Pro, 18 GB RAM, OS 10.6.8, RME Multiface II + HDSP PCIe

  4. #4

    Re: Getting a new Mac Computer

    I say MacPro - I have asked this questions a number of times, and I keep coming up with the same answer - especially for audio work.

    Also, see this link. It is a pretty good argument for one over the other.

    kc

  5. #5

    Re: Getting a new Mac Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by kclements View Post
    I say MacPro - I have asked this questions a number of times, and I keep coming up with the same answer - especially for audio work.

    Also, see this link. It is a pretty good argument for one over the other.

    kc
    I agree. The forward-thinking needs are something to be considered. While drive expansion is an obvious consideration, what is gained with the MP's multiple cores is a much broader leap from the iMac than what some initially consider. Of course it all depends on user's workflow and needs, whereby an imac may be fine for some production work.

    FWIW, I did not opt for a fully-decked out MP when I got mine two years ago (using that money for memory and drives). It turned out to be a prudent call.

    pax

  6. #6

    Re: Getting a new Mac Computer

    I just found this today:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/turnk...0_27/add_eSATA

    It seems like if you send your iMac to OWC, for $169 they will modify your iMac to have an E-SATA connector on the bottom.
    However, if it was me, I would take my iMac apart and do it myself.
    Interesting indeed.

  7. #7

    Re: Getting a new Mac Computer

    I have to disagree - an imac is an elegant solution - especially the 4 core one.

    Add in the RAM upgrades from OWC and you have a powerful machine - either use fw800 drives or the owc sata mod and you are off to the races.

  8. #8

    Re: Getting a new Mac Computer

    i have a new quadcore i7 imac and i love it. i upgraded my ram from 4 to 12 gigs with owc ram for about 250 bucks.

    if you need a mac pro, then you need a mac pro. but why do you need one? they are so expensive. i'm amazed that people who don't earn 100% of their income off of music would ever buy one for that purpose.

    for $2250 i have a quad core machine with 12 gigs of ram. and oh yeah - a 27" led screen. that same set up with a mac pro will cost you well over 4 grand.

    my point is, unless you're going to put over 16 gigs of ram into your machine, and external drives absolutely won't work (i don't know why this would be), and you already have a really nice monitor then the iMac is a no brainer.

    i'm not trying to get you to not get the macpro, but at least make sure you need one before you spend all that money.
    -Keith Fuller

    http://keithfullermusic.com
    ---
    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  9. #9

    Re: Getting a new Mac Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by keithjfuller View Post
    ii'm amazed that people who don't earn 100% of their income off of music would ever buy one for that purpose.
    I’m not sure if I should take this as an insult or not, but I will assume it’s not.

    I could not possibly realize the kind of music I create now, had I not invested in a mac pro - with multiple drives - a couple of years ago. I do not make 100 % of my income from doing this either (not yet).

    It does consume about 100% of my income, though, which is the point I think you are making : ) Joking, of course.

    But yes, the imac of today is a totally different beast, and I’m not disagreeing with you or others on that point. Thisman’s concerns about multiple drives (and future needs that this might entail), struck a chord with me as I recall being faced with a similar decision, and of constant bottleneck issues. Perhaps these are no longer concerns, and someone else is better able to clarify based on the specs he listed. I assume he's been using multiple drives for a while with his G5?

    I’m not quite certain about your math: A base, 2.8GHz Quad-Core Mac Pro is $500 more than the high-end imac, though without a display. If the display is a consideration, then yes, it starts to really add up.

    pax

  10. #10

    Re: Getting a new Mac Computer

    The iMac and Mac Pro (without extra RAM) I have compared are the:
    1) 27" iMac - 2.93GHz Intel Core i7 (Quad-Core)
    and
    2) Mac Pro - 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem"

    At Macmall.com (I've only priced there) that model iMac goes for $2,150.00 and that model Mac Pro $2,400, so a difference of $250.00. At crucial.com 8GB of RAM for the iMac would sell for $280 and for the Mac Pro $380. So then the price difference between the computers I'm looking at would be around $350. For me, $350 is no chump change, but also not enough to determine which one to get unless they are equal products (hence my putting the question to you all). I'm hoping to use whatever I buy for 4-5 years. Thanks for all your insights. I appreciate them all. Its helping me figure this out.

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