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Old 09-20-2019, 03:44 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13,452
Default Re: Help for Protools-Mac updates/upgrades

The genetic answer is these iMacs can run Pro Tools well.

Do not buy one with a fusion drive (combined HDD and small SSD). You really want the SSD version, and if possible max out the size of that SSD. Those NVMe SSDs are so fast you can combine system, sessions and VI samples on the same drive. Being able to avoid any external drives is also nice. Timeline/Disk Cache in recent versions of Pro Tools also helps there, and a reason to get lots or RAM... but you can easily upgrade that yourself on these Macs.

The PCIe/NVMe SSD is also upgradeable but with a lot of hassle to open up the iMac, but at least it’s not soldered to the motherboard.

Some folks have had issues with 5K models with graphics performance with Pro Tools, but I think that is mitigated/tunable for most of those folks.

Your old HDD will be boat anchors compared to modern SSD... but great for backups. You can hang Thunderbolt 3 SSD like the Samsung X5 off the iMac and get ~performance of the internal SSD if needed. A bit cheaper than the internal Apple tax drive, but I would still get that internal drive as large as possible.

You can connect your HDMI monitor via an adapter dongle to Thunderbolt 3.

You may want to get a Thundetbolt 3 dock like OWC sells, that gives you a HDMI graphics port as well and multiple USB 3 ports, and S/PDIF output, etc. I find my one super handy.

How many CPU cores do you need? ... you hopefully can guesstimate that from your current system. if you have the budget there is no real downside in going for the 6 core. And also making out SSD... but that adds up.

You need to pay attention to what versions of MacOS your iMac can run... and be prepared to upgrade Pro Tools. This is often much more an issue than hardware stuff.
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