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  #1  
Old 01-11-2021, 05:49 PM
kidbazooka kidbazooka is offline
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Default Recommendation for a 5,1 user

Recommendations please! My Protools home studio currently runs a modified 5,1 Cheesegrater tower. It now has 12-cores (two 3.46GHz 6-Core Westmere Intel X5690), with 64GB RAM (DDR3 1333Mhz, 8GB x 8 sticks). I’m running 10.12.6 Sierra but apparently I can go up to 10.14.5 Mohave. My PCIe slots are max’d with a video card, a card for my Apogee Symphony (first gen), and two Universal Audio UAD2 cards. My video card is a Radeon RX580 with 8GB RAM, so I have Metal support but no boot screen. I have two quite old 27” Apple Cinema Displays. FireWire 800, USB 2.0 and no Thunderbolt. I don’t use virtual instruments or MIDI and I record 2 to 12 tracks at once with a 128 buffer setting. My UAD cards do much of my plug-in processing. She’s running the latest Protools fairly well.

I now need to purchase a new low/medium powered computer for my job, preferably a laptop, but I’m open to other options. I’d prefer an Apple to Windows. Would the current top of the line MacBook Pro outperform and be more practical than the 5,1 tower described above for Protools? Or should I keep running Protools with my modified 5,1 Cheesegrater (with fingers crossed) and purchase a lower range notebook (or Mac Mini) for work? 

If/when my 5,1 dies I’ll have to bite the bullet, but right now it’s working well. It sounds like there will be new Apple options for Protools in 2021/22. I don’t think it’s a good idea to use the 5,1 for both work and Protools now as I don’t really want to stress the 5,1 by having it powered on all week for work.

I recognize that if I purchase a great notebook I’ll just have Thunderbolt (no PCIe) and I will need to upgrade Apogee and Universal Audio hardware. Not sure if the old monitors will work but I suspect yes.

So do I purchase a top MacBook Pro to cover work and my home studio, or do I just purchase a basic notebook or Mini for work, and keep running the 5,1 as long as I can? Is the current top MacBook Pro more powerful/practical than my 5,1 for Protools? Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2021, 05:32 PM
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DetroitT DetroitT is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation for a 5,1 user

What’s lacking with your 5,1 tower system? Mojave has new macOS things to learn but is a stable HDX 2020.12 power system. (Composition and Mixing/editing)

So be sure to Backup. Going Back is not so simple this time around. (Sierra to Mojave, firmware and drive formatting)
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:25 PM
Obsidian Dragon Obsidian Dragon is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation for a 5,1 user

It sounds like you are pretty heavily invested into your Mac Pro system for Protools and the cost to replace it will be considerable. I would try to get the most out of it while it is still working. Consider carefully what Mojave will offer you to see if it is worth the effort to upgrade and possibly run into compatibility issues with your current hardware (UAD, Symphony, Firewire, etc.). If Sierra works for you, keep it.

Having said that, For your work laptop, you might be a good candidate to try one of the new M1 based Macs. You mentioned a low/medium powered computer so this may be just right. It has the Apple Silicon that is the future for Apple and has gotten raving reviews for battery life, performance, and compatibility. The main complaints are the limited RAM (8Gb or 16GB) which is not upgradable and only two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports. It will allow you to run Big Sur as well as check for compatibility for programs running on the M1 with Rosetta emulation. When Apple comes out with higher powered Macs using the M1x (or whatever they'll call it) you will be more ready for the jump to replace your Mac Pro.
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Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro14,3
Processor Name: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 3.1 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 8 MB
Memory: 16 GB
MacOS 10.15.7 running Protools 2020.12

Last edited by Obsidian Dragon; 01-15-2021 at 10:09 PM. Reason: corrected to "Rosetta"
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2021, 06:07 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation for a 5,1 user

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obsidian Dragon View Post
It sounds like you are pretty heavily invested into your Mac Pro system for Protools and the cost to replace it will be considerable. I would try to get the most out of it while it is still working. Consider carefully what Mojave will offer you to see if it is worth the effort to upgrade and possibly run into compatibility issues with your current hardware (UAD, Symphony, Firewire, etc.). If Sierra works for you, keep it.

Having said that, For your work laptop, you might be a good candidate to try one of the new M1 based Macs. You mentioned a low/medium powered computer so this may be just right. It has the Apple Silicon that is the future for Apple and has gotten raving reviews for battery life, performance, and compatibility. The main complaints are the limited RAM (8Gb or 16GB) which is not upgradable and only two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports. It will allow you to run Big Sur as well as check for compatibility for programs running on the M1 with Rosetta emulation. When Apple comes out with higher powered Macs using the M1x (or whatever they'll call it) you will be more ready for the jump to replace your Mac Pro.
I'd stay away from an M1 until Avid approves it along with Big Sur. No need to live on the bleeding edge.
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  #5  
Old 01-16-2021, 10:46 AM
Obsidian Dragon Obsidian Dragon is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation for a 5,1 user

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman691 View Post
I'd stay away from an M1 until Avid approves it along with Big Sur. No need to live on the bleeding edge.
I agree that for Protools, stay away from the M1 based Apples, other than for experimenting purposes and self education. I was suggesting the OP can get one of the M1 models for day to day (non-Protools) work as it seems to perform very impressively given it's limited RAM. Eventually, he (and we) can decide if Intel or M1x is a better future direction for his Protools rig with this experience.
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Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro14,3
Processor Name: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 3.1 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 8 MB
Memory: 16 GB
MacOS 10.15.7 running Protools 2020.12
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2021, 11:50 AM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
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Default Re: Recommendation for a 5,1 user

Unless you want a windtunnel, stick with your tower as long as you can. And unless you need either NVMe SSD support or latest PT verstion you have absolutely no reason to "upgrade" from Sierra.

High Sierra introduced NVMe support, Mojave made it easier, but you need to hack your system up to Catalina to make it as snappy as Sierra.
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