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Old 08-05-2015, 03:17 PM
lorabidner lorabidner is offline
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Default Advice on what Computer to use with Pro Tools

I am buying a new computer for school (music technology) I need some advice on what kind of Mac book Pro I should buy and what (if any) upgrades I should get to make my computer run the fastest with the amount of programs I'll be using. I 'll be getting the latest Pro Tools, and loading several plug ins like "The Grand", "Halion 4" "Kontakt" and "Cinematic Strings" to my computer.I want my computer to be able to manage all of this and multi-task well. Any suggestions?

I was thinking of getting the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro 2.7GHz Dual-core Intel i5 with Retina Display with 256 GB of storage to accomadate all of the software I'll want to keep on my computer.

But what is more important for what I want to do? More Memory, Storage, or a better processor?
My budget is 1800 so It's one or the other to upgrade.

Any advice would be much appreciated!!
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:26 PM
AlexLakis AlexLakis is offline
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Default Re: Advice on what Computer to use with Pro Tools

You'll want the fastest i7 processor and as much RAM as you can fit if you're going to be using it with the plugins you mentioned. You'll also need a large (preferably external / separate from your system drive) hard drive to store your samples for your sample-based virtual instruments. SSD is faster, but a 7200 RPM USB drive should do just fine if you're on a budget.

As far as "multi-tasking," its recommended that you run Pro Tools by itself, maybe alongside a re-wire client or two...it can be very finicky.
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:31 PM
lorabidner lorabidner is offline
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Default Re: Advice on what Computer to use with Pro Tools

Thanks for the response! So maybe instead of getting the extra storage I should upgrade the processor? and just have an external hard drive hold my plug ins?
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:38 PM
AlexLakis AlexLakis is offline
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Default Re: Advice on what Computer to use with Pro Tools

Well, its difficult to say, to be honest. You'll definitely want to max out your RAM, for sure, to run your virtual instruments.

Processing power is indeed important, and will allow you to run more plugins simultaneously, but you will no doubt need an external hard drive to store your plugins' sample data. (Just to clarify, you will install your actual plugins on your system drive; the plugins' sample data, however, should be kept on an external hard drive.) You MIGHT be able to get away with storing the sample data on your system drive, but Avid does not recommend it, and you'll want that space for photos and other programs.

So, yeah, you might be able to get away with an i5 for what you're doing now, but there will inevitably come a day where you'll wish you had the i7.

Hope this was helpful!
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:01 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Advice on what Computer to use with Pro Tools

Much already has been said, but I must add my 2 cents. Not only do you WANT an i7, and a lot of RAM. You also DO NOT want to run all that on a 13" screen. If Apple is your preferred platform, I would look at an iMac 27" with the i7 quad-core and max out the RAM(not from Apple, but from OWC). You will likely curse that little 13" screen, but you will love the 27"(I run a 32" 1080P LED TV as my EDIT window and I will never go smaller) Remember to avoid the FUSION drive
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:05 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Default Re: Advice on what Computer to use with Pro Tools

New MBPs are not post purchase upgradable so you must load them out from the onset.
If your classes induce working with picture, the i7 CPU and 16 GB of RAM are mandatory to run picture with Pro Tools
Plug-Ins and Virtual Instrument need to be on the system drive, VI sample libraries can be on a separate drive or the system drive if you have the space.
Pro Tools sessions should be on a separate drive
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:19 AM
lorabidner lorabidner is offline
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Default Re: Advice on what Computer to use with Pro Tools

Thank you for all the advice! I will be scoring to video, but it says in the protools system requirements that 8GB is needed for video playback, what component of using video requires the 16GB? If I need the i7 and the 16GB i will then not get the extra storage and stick with 128 GB. I suppose storage is the least important since I can have an external hard drive hold anything that doesn't fit? Thanks so much for the help!
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:32 AM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Default Re: Advice on what Computer to use with Pro Tools

Avid under specs requirements, the safe play is to always double their minimum RAM numbers
Plus your going to be using picture and VIs together, most likely
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