Go Back   Soundsonline-Forums > Topics > Hardware
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-27-2017, 07:05 PM
danielalgotsson danielalgotsson is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Sweden
Posts: 12
danielalgotsson is on a distinguished road
Default Need help choosing a new computer

Hi, I would appreciate some tips on a new computer.

My old MacBook Pro 13" (early 2011) has overstayed it's welcome to the point of ridiculousness so it's time for a new rig.

My software is also behind by several years. My main DAW is Pro Tools 10 and I own several older EW libraries (SO Platinum, Pianos Platinum, SC, SD2 etc). As soon as I have a computer that can handle it, I'm planning on buying the CC Plus as well as switching to Logic.

Biggest problem is the budget, my roof is at 3000 USD (only computer, excluding CC Plus). Now, I know virtually anything would outdo my current workhorse and I know I won't get something super impressive for that cash. However, I would like to take more then just one step up, so when I lay my hands on HO it isn't the same pain in the arse to work with as SO is for me in the present.

I have a plan for a system with a slave PC later on and if I could get a decent machine now that could work as master at that later stage, that would be stellar.

So, my question is what I could/should look for given my budget and future plans.
I'm currently split between an iMac with following specs:

either:
3,6 GHz Quad Core Intel i7 (7th gen)
16 GB 2400 DDR4
256 GB SSD
$2795 USD

or:
3,4 GHz Quad Core Intel i5 (7th gen)
32 GB 2400 DDR4
1 TB Fusion Drive
$2963 USD

The recommended system requirements (mac) for most libraries seem to be a late 2013 MacPro and I'm uncertain how the specs for the CPU compare. Are these specs in the ballpark of the recommended specs?

The second option sounds a bit better to me, but is 32 GB memory a good trade for an i5, an extra $170 and a Fusion Drive?
I'm welcoming more disk space, but it's not a priority over CPU or speed. Besides, every single creative I've talked to have shat on the Fusion Drive, but I've also read that it's possible to split it up to an HDD and an SSD. If that procedure is risk free as well as stable, then a Fusion Drive might not be a bad idea.

On top of all this, I have a third option.
The reason I'm planning on switching to Logic is the atrocious MIDI handling in PT10. Biggest issue is the lack of ability to freeze tracks or offline bounce so I have to bounce every track in real time (and I have to do it a lot with such weak computer).
Although, since PT12 has updated it's MIDI workflow to the 21st century, I can consider sticking with it. Even though my current EW licenses are locked to mac, since I'm going to buy CC Plus anyway, I could switch to PC and lessen the price tag for a new computer. The queasiness I experience with this option is the shift between PC and mac. I'm an old PC user (the Windows XP era), but have no clue how PC, Windows, Pro Tools and EW libraries goes together. So any input on that would also be helpful.

This became a long post so if you've read this far I'm genuinely impressed and thankful for your time.

Cheers!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-28-2017, 01:53 AM
JBlongz's Avatar
JBlongz JBlongz is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 464
JBlongz is on a distinguished road
Default

Personally, I would stay away from fusion drives....its kind of a gimmick that won't be very useful. If you can upgrade the SSD to at least 512 on the i7 system, you'll have a better balance.
__________________
Apollo Twin|Early 2013 Retina MacBook Pro 15" Loaded, Akitio Neutrino Thunderbolt + 2TB 850 Pro SSD) YouTube
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-28-2017, 08:31 AM
jspencer jspencer is offline
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Calgary, Canada, Eh!
Posts: 3,782
jspencer is on a distinguished road
Default

I would forget about an i5 and go with the i7, you can install third party memory later on. And like JBlongz mentioned, get a 512 SSD instead of a fusion (256 gets chewed up pretty quick).

If you can upgrade PT, offline rendering has been available since version 11, I believe. That way you could build a killer PC machine, totally pimped out for less than the cost of an iMac.

But if Mac is your weapon of choice, Logic Pro is absolutely wonderful.
__________________
http://www.jeremyspencer.ca
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-28-2017, 09:43 AM
LMW's Avatar
LMW LMW is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,809
LMW is on a distinguished road
Default

With $3.000 you can actually buy quite a decent system, IMO. I´m mainly a PC user,
but most of the technical stuff is the same ... so here goes:

RAM: 16GB is too little. If you´re going ComposerCloud Plus, then you need at least
32GB, 64GB would be even better. I don´t think that MAC goes up to 128GB, otherwise
I would be suggesting that. Those libraries simply take up a lot of space due to 24-bit
recordings and multiple microphone positions. Having 1GB for a single
instance isn´t unheard of!

CPU: I won´t get into the details, but get the i7 if possible.

OS drive: It doesn´t exactly matter, since you won´t be loading any samples on here.
Doing that will result in a large strain on performance. It´s quite noticeable, actually.

SSDs would, of course, be the best, but HDDs are also ok. 7200rpm being a must then.

Samples drive:
64kB sectors and nothing else on it except samples.
7200rpm are a minimum, SSDs being even better. Remember to leave
space free. 1/4 for HDDs and 20+GB for SSDs.

Fusion drive: For samples, this is totally worthless. The essence of the fusion drive
is a small SSD included in a large HDD. The data is first delivered from the HDD
to the SSD and only from there to the computer.

For office work this might actually be quite useful, since the "important" file can
be kept on the SSD - .xml, .doc. etc don´t take up much space - but samples
are a totally other business!
__________________
Lorenz W. - EastWest Technical Support

Some helpful threads: Sample Path, Library Sizes, Tips and Tricks, On Harddrives
Hardware: OS W7 Pro, i7-4910MQ 2,9 GHz (Overclock to 3,9 GHz), 32GB RAM, int. 3TB 840 EVO SSDs,
ext. 1TB Samsung T1 + 6TB backup + UR22 Interface + Kawai MP7 (88 Keys) + Yamaha MS60S Speakers
Software: Cubase Pro 8.0.30, PLAY v6.X.X, EastWest et multi alii
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-28-2017, 09:51 AM
LMW's Avatar
LMW LMW is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,809
LMW is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielalgotsson View Post
Even though my current EW licenses are locked to mac, since I'm going to buy CC Plus anyway, I could switch to PC and lessen the price tag for a new computer.
You´re licenses are NOT locked to the mac. You can transfer them to another computer
quite easily. If you´re using machine licenses, then simply deactivate them on
the first computer via the Installation Center or the iLok License Manager and
then activate them on the second computer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by danielalgotsson View Post
The queasiness I experience with this option is the shift between PC and mac. I'm an old PC user (the Windows XP era), but have no clue how PC, Windows, Pro Tools and EW libraries goes together. So any input on that would also be helpful.
Oh, WIN-XP era? There are a few differences between XP and 7/10 (never go 8!).
However, I actually found it quite simple to switch to the newer versions.

WIN and EW don´t have any problems. PT is no problem, either.
There are installation manuals / instructions etc. available, so I
won´t go into that here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielalgotsson View Post
This became a long post so if you've read this far I'm genuinely impressed and thankful for your time.
Cheers!
I´ve seen longer.

No problem. Always glad to help.
__________________
Lorenz W. - EastWest Technical Support

Some helpful threads: Sample Path, Library Sizes, Tips and Tricks, On Harddrives
Hardware: OS W7 Pro, i7-4910MQ 2,9 GHz (Overclock to 3,9 GHz), 32GB RAM, int. 3TB 840 EVO SSDs,
ext. 1TB Samsung T1 + 6TB backup + UR22 Interface + Kawai MP7 (88 Keys) + Yamaha MS60S Speakers
Software: Cubase Pro 8.0.30, PLAY v6.X.X, EastWest et multi alii
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-28-2017, 07:43 PM
danielalgotsson danielalgotsson is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Sweden
Posts: 12
danielalgotsson is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBlongz View Post
Personally, I would stay away from fusion drives....its kind of a gimmick that won't be very useful. If you can upgrade the SSD to at least 512 on the i7 system, you'll have a better balance.
Thanks, noted

Quote:
Originally Posted by jspencer View Post
I would forget about an i5 and go with the i7, you can install third party memory later on.
Thanks . I updated my current MacBook Pro from 4 to 8 GB with third party memory, but heard subsequently that apple computers might be picky about what third party hardware you install. Apparently I was lucky that my memory worked out, but is this a cause for concern if I want to upgrade an iMac?

Additionally, It shouldn't be any problem opening up and install new memory like I'm used to, but I've understood that newer macs solder stuff together and I doubt I have the dexterity to deal with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jspencer View Post
If you can upgrade PT, offline rendering has been available since version 11, I believe. That way you could build a killer PC machine, totally pimped out for less than the cost of an iMac.

But if Mac is your weapon of choice, Logic Pro is absolutely wonderful.
Yes, correct, and in the newest update of version 12 they have introduced freeze tracks as well. Finally

Aside from the impact on my wallet I'm quite happy wielding mac, so I'm still hesitant to a switch. Still, I'm gonna check the PC option out closer.

LMW: Thanks for all the info

Quote:
Originally Posted by LMW View Post
RAM: 16GB is too little. If you´re going ComposerCloud Plus, then you need at least
32GB, 64GB would be even better. I don´t think that MAC goes up to 128GB, otherwise
I would be suggesting that. Those libraries simply take up a lot of space due to 24-bit
recordings and multiple microphone positions. Having 1GB for a single
instance isn´t unheard of!
Currently I usually write one instrument section in one instance of Play with one mic active and bounce it down to audio, deactivate Play and repeat the procedure with next section and a new instance of Play. Of course, the more I add I often need to revisit written sections to make adjustments and then bounce it out anew. When everything is arranged to my satisfaction I bounce down the different mics in turns and use exclusively audio files during mixing. And yes, with only realtime bouncing possible this is exhausting as hell...

Even though I would prefer to have enough RAM to muck around with more mics and FXs in Play, I'm content for the near future with sufficient RAM for basically the same routine but in HO and newer libraries, providing I don't need to real time bounce, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LMW View Post
You´re licenses are NOT locked to the mac.
Good golly, I purchased the Complete Composers Collection to mac years ago and realise now that the mac option only determined the HDD format

Quote:
Originally Posted by LMW View Post
I´ve seen longer.
If I had a penny for every time I've heard that...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-29-2017, 08:19 AM
jspencer jspencer is offline
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Calgary, Canada, Eh!
Posts: 3,782
jspencer is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielalgotsson View Post
If I had a penny for every time I've heard that...
Ha ha!

Regarding Ram upgrades, you can buy compatible Ram for a newer iMac at online sites, such as Crucial. I have never done this myself, but I've heard good things about them.
__________________
http://www.jeremyspencer.ca
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-29-2017, 08:27 AM
LMW's Avatar
LMW LMW is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Germany
Posts: 1,809
LMW is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jspencer View Post
Regarding Ram upgrades, you can buy compatible Ram for a newer iMac at online sites, such as Crucial. I have never done this myself, but I've heard good things about them.
I´d be worried about the possibility of the RMA not going through due to
"willful opening of the hardware", or something similar. Apple is a bit
annoying on this part.

You´d have to check about that.
__________________
Lorenz W. - EastWest Technical Support

Some helpful threads: Sample Path, Library Sizes, Tips and Tricks, On Harddrives
Hardware: OS W7 Pro, i7-4910MQ 2,9 GHz (Overclock to 3,9 GHz), 32GB RAM, int. 3TB 840 EVO SSDs,
ext. 1TB Samsung T1 + 6TB backup + UR22 Interface + Kawai MP7 (88 Keys) + Yamaha MS60S Speakers
Software: Cubase Pro 8.0.30, PLAY v6.X.X, EastWest et multi alii
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.