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  #1  
Old 04-11-2020, 06:55 AM
clancychris clancychris is offline
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Default MBP advice

Hi,

I currently work on an upgraded 2010 12 core Mac Pro. It looks like I'm going to be travelling more and will need to do mixing, or at least work with mixing sessions on a laptop. I'd like to stay with Macs.

The new MBP 16" are the obvious choice but also a lot of money. Just wondering if anyone has had a similar situation and finds an older model powerful enough. I can use up to 70-80% CPU on my Mac Pro on occasion.
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  #2  
Old 04-11-2020, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: MBP advice

I still use a 2011 MBP running Sierra with maximum RAM 16GB, SSD system drive and a Lacie SSD drive connected via Thunderbolt port and it works fine for me. I don't do a lot of heavy VI sessions on it but I'm guessing that could slow it down, but I haven't really had any issues using it. I would think a 5 year old MBP or younger would work fine, especially with maximum RAM and SSD drives.
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2020, 02:44 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: MBP advice

Personally I'd not be optimistic about travelling a lot any time soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clancychris View Post
Hi,

I currently work on an upgraded 2010 12 core Mac Pro. It looks like I'm going to be travelling more and will need to do mixing, or at least work with mixing sessions on a laptop. I'd like to stay with Macs.

The new MBP 16" are the obvious choice but also a lot of money. Just wondering if anyone has had a similar situation and finds an older model powerful enough. I can use up to 70-80% CPU on my Mac Pro on occasion.
If you really maxing a 12 core Mac Pro expect significant load on a laptop.

Unfortunately nobody can really tell you whether a recent MBP is needed or not for your workload. The 16" is very nice, but there are 6 core MBP in older 15" versions (like the one I'm using).. but the keyboard is better on the very latest models including the 16".

Seeing 70-80% CPU usage implies some combination of well performing/set up system and maybe just heavy plugins. Are you using freeze and commit to reduce CPU load? If not start there and see if that reduced things significantly. Hopefully you have the IO buffer set as large as it will go.

Don't just focus on CPU, how much memory might you need? That might well push you into a 32GB or 64GB new MBP config. But again freeze and commit can help lower memory usage.

The internal PCIe SSD in any recent MBP is one thing that unlikely to be a bottleneck, if you can give all you need onto the internal PCIe SSD do so, get the biggest internal SDD you can afford. If you have huge sample libraries then maybe stick them on an cheaper external SATA SSD.

My bias with MBP because of the closed nature of them is buy the biggest one you can afford and try to get it to last as many years as possible. Look as well at remanufactured units, but yes that put you you into the weak scissor keyboard designs, which I would avoid if you can.

And at some point... you have to test your workload on a MacBook, Apple has a return period, and I'd plan on testing any potentially returning it within that period.
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Old 04-12-2020, 12:43 AM
clancychris clancychris is offline
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Default Re: MBP advice

Thanks for the advice all,

I could manage with less CPU by committing and just working differently. I like plugins like Gullfoss and Soothe but I use them on individual tracks sometimes, also VI guitar/bass rigs at times. I could do more work with auxes.

I have a mid 2012 MBP 13" but the resolution is too low to see some plugins and its not happy with sessions but it was never intended to be used for that although I have had to do work with it.

And you're right, I'm definitely not travelling for a while, which is why I'm taking my time and I'm in no rush but when this is done I should be doing a fair bit of touring as a musician and I need to work to keep an income. Also I work a fair bit from home and also at a studio 200 miles away. Packing up my Mac is a job compared to using a laptop.

I know using that much CPU seems nuts but I work with a lot of metal bands who need a lot of processing. I just did the latest release for a band called Ex Deo which had around 60 tracks of orchestration so its pretty full on stuff at times and the plugins add up.

Doing other bands I might hit 40%.

I get what you're saying about getting something more overkill because you can't upgrade it later. I want to spend as little as possible but also not get something that doesn't do the job
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Old 04-12-2020, 06:50 PM
bashville bashville is offline
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Default Re: MBP advice

I went for the 2018 MBP which has quite nice specs and put in 32 gig of RAM. There's a lot of criticism of the keyboards on those, which honestly if you're going to be integrating it into a larger system anyway wherever you go, you can run a USB keyboard into it and avoid that whole issue. I'm running mine in clamshell mode right now, and when I'm home, I will always do that; so I shouldn't be wearing the key mechanisms down obviously during that time.

My issue has been with Mojave security permissions not letting me install the HD driver, which fingers crossed I'll have figured out soon.

The big consideration of course is getting all the connectivity happening with adapters, multi-boxes, and extra drives. All the advantages of having the tower--now it's on you to organize all of that.
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  #6  
Old 04-15-2020, 06:59 AM
clancychris clancychris is offline
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Default Re: MBP advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by bashville View Post
I went for the 2018 MBP which has quite nice specs and put in 32 gig of RAM. There's a lot of criticism of the keyboards on those, which honestly if you're going to be integrating it into a larger system anyway wherever you go, you can run a USB keyboard into it and avoid that whole issue. I'm running mine in clamshell mode right now, and when I'm home, I will always do that; so I shouldn't be wearing the key mechanisms down obviously during that time.

My issue has been with Mojave security permissions not letting me install the HD driver, which fingers crossed I'll have figured out soon.

The big consideration of course is getting all the connectivity happening with adapters, multi-boxes, and extra drives. All the advantages of having the tower--now it's on you to organize all of that.
Yeah that's something I need to consider. I run an Apogee Symphony with the PCIe 64 card. I'd need a thunderbolt to PCIe chassis for that and my UAD Octo PCIe card. That's another £300 or so.

It's all Pros and Cons. In the studio, a tower makes total sense. When this lockdown ends and things start getting back to normal next year onwards and I'm on the road a lot then a tower makes zero sense on a tour bus which leaves me unable to work.

My latest thinking is I could pick up an older model Macbook Pro with a retina display that's more capable than my 2012 13" and use it for editing, rough balancing etc and save the heavy work for my studio machine
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  #7  
Old 04-15-2020, 08:00 AM
Lynn Gräber Lynn Gräber is offline
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Default Re: MBP advice

Moved to a 2018 MBP from an 8 core MP about a year and a half ago. This thing is a beast.

Get as much RAM and SSD as you can afford. Make sure you leave some budget for a TB dock of some sort and a few adapters. I went with a Glyph Dock, which also has an NVME hard drive built in.

My current mix rig all fits in a SKB studio flyer and Ive flown many times with it.
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Old 04-19-2020, 08:18 AM
clancychris clancychris is offline
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Default Re: MBP advice

Just an update for the thread because I see so many threads go where you don't hear the end of the story lol.

So I took your guys advice and picked up a 2018 MBP 32GB i9. The keyboard sucks on it, I can see why there's complaints about that but I can deal with that.

The thing is a monster. I'm actually half convinced is more capable than my 2010 Mac Pro.

The fan noise is the only issue but in the grand scheme of things it's negligable.

Thanks for your input, really happy with the result there. I can now do some editing work sat at my kitchen table and leave my mixing for the studio :)
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2020, 08:37 AM
originalscottyg originalscottyg is offline
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Default Re: MBP advice

For the fan noise, disabling "Turbo Boost" really helped with both a 2016 Touchbar MBP, and especially a 2018 i9 32GB MBP. I use Turbo Boost Switcher, a freeware app, with a paid Pro version (I use the free version).

You do, theoretically, loose some CPU headroom, but as I understand it, when the CPUs start to heat up, they end up getting under-clocked to compensate, actually reducing the CPU power. But don't quote me on that last one. I know this was an issue with the i9s in the 2018 MBPs when they were first introduced, but a software patch may have improved that.

At any rate, Turbo Boost Switcher significantly reduced fan noise on my 2018 MBP.
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Old 04-20-2020, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: MBP advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by originalscottyg View Post
At any rate, Turbo Boost Switcher significantly reduced fan noise on my 2018 MBP.
Thanks, my friend was just looking for a solution to this
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