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  #1  
Old 11-10-2008, 09:02 AM
fooloof fooloof is offline
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Default Buying a new iMac

there are several processing speeds available, ranging from 2.4ghz, 2.66, 2.8, and all the way to 3.06ghz. My plan is to buy the 3.06, mainly because I'm assuming that the higher processing speed I get, the longer my computer will be useful to me as the centerpiece of my studio. I wil only be making music (no video or anything) and I expect that I will be getting a lot of sound modules and soft synths (such as Reason 4, Battery, ) as well as the new Spectrasonics Omnisphere (this alone requires 50GB of free hard drive space, for example). I am leaning toward buying the 24-inch 3.06ghz (maxing out the RAM at 4GB) and staying with the standard 500GB hard drive rather than upgrading. The upgrade options are: 750GB for an additional $100 or a terabyte for an additional $250. I am also going with the lesser graphics package since I won't be doing video or gaming.

My questions are: 1. is the 3.06ghz processor overkill?
2. should the 500GB hard drive be enough?

Also, what's the best way to store files? As I see it, there are two main options:

1: Store both apps and files on the computer hard drive and put the files on an external hard drive, too.
2: Store only the apps on the external hard drive and keep all files on an external hard drive (and have an ADDITIONAL) hard drive as a back up to the first one).

I'm on a budget, so I don't want to get more than I need, but still want something that will be current for the next 4-5 years. Thanks in advance for all input.
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2008, 10:08 AM
edgarbc1 edgarbc1 is offline
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Default Re: Buying a new iMac

Q1: not overkill... buy as much computer as you can afford
and dont feel the need to be at the cutting edge 5 yrs from now.
this system along with a durable interface will last you this long.

Q2: 500 mb is enough for the operating system and other apps,
recommend to write audio to a 2nd external drive. if you plan to have
libraries of VI either another drive (#3) or put the libraries on your
imac drive #1. Others may have more input on the operability
of this kind of setup.

I like your Option 2 for file use and backup.
I have 2 external FW drives. 1 for backup, 1 for protools audio
the one VI i use (Strike) i keep the library on the iMac drive.
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2008, 11:55 AM
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smfelton smfelton is offline
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Default Re: Buying a new iMac

Out of interest how do you connect your setup together ?
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2008, 05:53 PM
edgarbc1 edgarbc1 is offline
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Default Re: Buying a new iMac

iMac
FW port 1 >> Profire 2626
FW port 2 >> Ext. Audio HD >(daisychain)> Ext. Backup HD
USB port 1 >> Mouse/keyboard
USB port 2 >> iLok

only turn on the backup HD if i want to backup
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2008, 09:33 AM
ShootTheMessenger ShootTheMessenger is offline
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Default Re: Buying a new iMac

Don't neglect RAM either; I filled my new iMac 2.4G to the brim w/4GB; it's pretty cheap nowadays.
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Old 11-15-2008, 08:28 AM
OddsAre OddsAre is offline
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Default Re: Buying a new iMac

I personally think 500GB is too big for a system drive. It gives you more room to store more crap, which over time will slow your system down and make Pro Tools less stable. If you could save money getting a smaller internal drive so that you could buy 2 external drives, 1 for audio and then a big mammoth one for backup and .mp3 and photo storage, that would keep your system drive clean as a whistle and performing top notch. And +1 for maxing it out with RAM! Also don't forget to get external FW drives with the Oxford 911 chipset and find an option that has no fan so you can have them up and running quietly while recording. OWC Mercury drives seem to be the most recommended here.
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Old 11-17-2008, 04:00 AM
fizzler fizzler is offline
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Default Re: Buying a new iMac

- you can never have enough RAM
- you can never have enough HD space (but for a dedicated audio computer 500GB should last)
- forget the oxford 911 - it's an outdated chipset for IDE drives.
the imac has only 1 firewire bus (1 controller for all ports) - record to the interal drive, you will get better results than with the external drive method.

my last recommendation is, save your money and buy the cheapest mac pro ;-)
i have an imac+2626 setup running, but i would not buy one again. too much limitations.

just my 2 cents.
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2008, 04:26 PM
OddsAre OddsAre is offline
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Default Re: Buying a new iMac

" record to the interal drive, you will get better results than with the external drive method."

I'm sure there are plenty of people who would beg to differ with you on that. The Oxford 911 chip may be out dated, but it is plenty robust enough to max out an LE system. I agree with you that the iMac is limited with 1 firewire bus and that sucks, but under no circumstances it using the internal drive "better" than an external Firewire drive. And the Oxford 911 chip might be outdated, but it is more than adequate for the job, just like a shovel makes more sense to pickup a small pile of rocks over using a front end loader.

"you can never have enough HD space (but for a dedicated audio computer 500GB should last)"

I also disagree with this. I'm positive any mac would be really sluggish with 450GB worth of stuff on your system drive then trying to run a Pro Tools Session with 48 tracks in it. Even with externals, I have 250GB and 500GB ATA and SATA drives that I have run for audio in the past and after about 60% filled they start throwing off buffer errors and hard drive errors because the system has a hard time managing so many files. When using an 80 or 120GB drive I don't get those errors until they are 95% filled. For me, the smaller the hard drives are, the more efficiently they perform and I can get nearly the full use of the drive. But nearly all my sessions run 32-48 tracks with quite a few plugins, I guess if your sessions were 8-16 tracks you would get better results with bigger drives, who knows.

"my last recommendation is, save your money and buy the cheapest mac pro ;-)"

ahhh, yes now I agree with you 100%!
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  #9  
Old 11-19-2008, 02:24 AM
fizzler fizzler is offline
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Default Re: Buying a new iMac

my point ist that I won't recommend anyone investing in outdated technology and the oxford 911 is proven working fine, but is for IDE drives.
there are also well testet "modern" oxford chipsets which use SATA drives, that are more quiet as well.

just my opinion... at least we have a choice ;-)
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