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Last doubts before acquiring a 13" MBP

Discussion in 'Bar' started by Flow Of Time, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. Flow Of Time

    Flow Of Time Member

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    After the disappointment about the new Mac Mini, I decided to go with a 13" Retina MBP with the 2,9GHZ Dual Core i7.
    It will be my main machine for mixing. Can someone that has that Laptop give me an idea what I can/can't expect from it powerwise?

    Cheers!
     
  2. He's Dead, Jim

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    I have an early 2011 13" MBP with a 2.4ghz processor and 8 gigs of ram. So not quite the same, but very similar, with the main obvious difference being the processor speed. I find that it operates at the margins of easy mixing. By the time I put 2 guitar tracks, Superior Drummer, 2-3 bass tracks, and effects on everything, not including vocals, it's edging up on 45+% of CPU usage. I always have to freeze tracks before mastering, and I always put everything on low quality/oversampling. It's by no means awful, but it is a real hassle at times. But hopefully the faster processor will fix some of that for you.
     
  3. Flow Of Time

    Flow Of Time Member

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    Hmm.. That sounds not so good..
     
  4. Line666

    Line666 Fendurr

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    For serious mixing without a lot of printing I'd have to agree, quad core or bust, especially on a laptop.
     
  5. Arsonstudios

    Arsonstudios Member

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    I've got a mid 2012 MBPro with a 2,9 i7 dual core cpu. i use it as my main machine for mixing also. i use pt 9 so no 64bit. its running fine but i def max it out during mixing. with vcc on every channel etc i also have to master in a separete session (which i would anyway). this is with no virtual instruments (superior, synths etc) active. all printed. another instance of vtm for example would max it out most of the time during mixing.

    still i'm happy with it cause i can take it anywhere and work on my mixes. it's running smooth besides that. no complaints whatsoever. HD could be bigger tho. and i should have invested in a ssd.

    still i'm gonna build a hackintosh soon which will cost me about 600€ and will come close to a macpro when it comes to cpu and ram specs etc and i'll be able to use pci cards (UAD, Interfaces, PT HD, etc)
    so if you don't need to be mobile with your rig i'd go that route but if you need to i'd buy the MBPro
     
  6. Flow Of Time

    Flow Of Time Member

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    I actually have a Hackintosh right now. It's a beast, but poorly picked, since it wasn't meant to become a Hackintosh.

    The bugs are annoying the shit out of me, and they're getting more. For example, if I plug in a USB device, while the computer is running, the system freezes
     
  7. arvoitus

    arvoitus Member

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    Why a laptop for mixing? Laptops are designed for being portable and lightweight. Get a workstation.
     
  8. Flow Of Time

    Flow Of Time Member

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    Mac Pros are expansive, y'know?

    An iMac is no real option either, I guess, since I need to have an external screen.
     
  9. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    If this is a current version, it might be okay with a dual core. Last generations dual cores out perform quads from a few years ago. The current iphone is still dual core and is faster than its quadcore competitors with double RAM, it's not just about the number of Ghz or cores. However it might be a bit annoying to mix a very heavy session on it. Did you already buy it ? If it has not been set yet, you can probably still call or contact the sales service if you say you are interested in a quadcore option. I think it is worth the money if it is due to be your main system.
     
  10. Arsonstudios

    Arsonstudios Member

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    i hear you. i had the same problem before i bought the MB. sometimes it wouldn't boot... sometimes it wouldn't find connected external hard drives etc. and it wasn't also super fast and i wanted to be mobile so i got the MB.
    at the studio we have a new hackintosh with the suggested components from the hompage that you probably know and its a beast.
    we're running PT 8 HD on it and couldn't be happier. now i want one for at home :)
     
  11. Flow Of Time

    Flow Of Time Member

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    @LeSedna: I didn't buy it yet, but I think there's no QuadCore option on the 13" Version. That's only for the 15" :/

    @Arsonstudios: I'm flirting with the idea to build another one, but it bothers me that I have to tremble in fear whenever an update comes out, with a Hackintosh.

    PS: I meant 3,0 GHZ, not 2,9 in the OP. No clue what went wrong there...
     
  12. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    if you want to update regularly, like if you are gonna use a relatively light setup, with little hardware, or without protools, I dont think you need the hackintosh route as from my own experience, in these conditions, the update is almost every time flawless and 100% resolved in a few weeks by all companies maximum. If you plan on using outdated sound cards, pro tools, and things like this, stability is more of an issue. But here, with Reaper and several very big brands plugin packs, I've never had an issue updating the Os from day one, because my setup is 100% ITB from big companies and reaper based.

    Compare benchmarks of the CPU online, maybe that new dual core is not that bad for the price, I can't testify it. If you could compare to an early 2013 quadcore MBP15 retina I could tell you what I think of it, because I am very very comfortable with last year's entry quadcore performance. I can do a full mix of a mid / heavy session with mastering plugins on and be fine with it.
     
  13. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    Primatelabs for mine in 64 bit multi core : 14391
    For yours in i5 : 6616 a bit more in i7 but not much. It's okay but you might feel blocked in heavy sessions

    interestingly for you, late 2012 mac mini : 12700 with the quad i7 option
     
  14. Flow Of Time

    Flow Of Time Member

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    Thanks for the heads up! That's interesting, I'm going to compare some benchmarks.

    I wont use ProTools or stuff like that, so that won't be a problem. I like not to freeze tracks though...
     
  15. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    Basically, if you plan on using a lot of heavy CPU synths, or plugins like the slate ones, things like that, maybe it could be problematic on heavy sessions. With more stock plugins or light ones, you might be good enough with a 13.
    If you buy it physically in an apple store, check if you can use a "satisfied or paid back" (don't know the term in english) clause so if you are not happy about it after a week, you give it back and use the money for another product. Might give you time to experiment with it but only if you are already decided on buying a product from apple anyway. I know someone who returned an iphone 6 plus within a week because it was too big for him, so maybe you can do that as well ?
     
  16. Flow Of Time

    Flow Of Time Member

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    Dont we have the right, in the EU, to send back anything we bought on the internet within 14 Days?

    Sounds like a good idea, but looking at the benchmarks, the 13" is pretty weak. I guess I'll sell my current PC, build another Hackintosh and if that doesn't work for me, I'll get the 15" MBP
     
  17. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    if you can afford the 15, do it, you will thank yourself in the long run. I think it's the only real laptop that can fulfill 100% the role of a main computer for audio production without any fear or any need of tweaking anything out of the box. I mean, you can even pre-mix a whole heavy session with the laptop's core audio card at say 256 samples.

    Don't forget you can sell a macbook pro if kept in good conditions for a decent price. I upgraded from my 17in from 2011 to the 15 from late 2013, it cost me only 1000 after I sold the first laptop, for about 3 years of use, so that's about a 300 investment per year only. To get up to date to the best laptop in the market, that's not too bad. And the first one was still working perfectly, with its original battery, hardware, everything., and I can tell you my laptops travel a lot. I plan on upgrading next year or in two years just to update myself, and to get to 1To pcie SSD when it will be more affordable.

    Basically, it's all about the initial investment, "is the 500/1000 extra bucks worth it"

    In the meanwhile, the quad core Mac mini would be a very good bet if you're thiking about the hackintosh route. I would definitely think about it if I were you
     

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