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  #1  
Old 12-24-2007, 07:54 PM
davidp158 davidp158 is offline
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Default Starting over w/PT - Mac Pro vs iMac?

After a 2 year break from ProTools, I want to get back into it and have to get a new Mac to replace my old one. I have a Digi 002, a Presonus Digimax and some outboard mic pres that I will use with the new Mac. I don't intend to do any location recording, so a laptop doesn't appeal to me. That leaves the Mac Pro and iMac box options. BTW, I have looked at the Digidesign compatibility pages, but I'm still left with some questions, and looking for help choosing between a Mac Pro and iMac. I'd like to spend around $2,000-2,500 and buy additional memory and drives from a 3rd party. I'd like to get by with an iMac, but wonder about limitations down the road.

• Where does the Quad core/8 core processing help ProTools? Track count and/or plug ins?
• What internal expansion issues limit the use of the iMacs? Aside from noise, do internal ATA drives perform better or offer any advantages over external FW drives?
• Will using external FW drives effect the performance of the 002?
• I read somewhere in the LE forum about FW bus problems with some of the new Intel iMacs. This would concern me regarding my 002, so I'd like to know more about this.


Thanks in advance for any feedback and suggestions.
cheers,
Dave
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2007, 08:41 PM
Slim Shady Slim Shady is offline
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Default Re: Starting over w/PT - Mac Pro vs iMac?

Quote:
• Where does the Quad core/8 core processing help ProTools? Track count and/or plug ins?
Plug-ins mostly, and instruments, Elastic Audio etc. PTLE has a built-in track count limitation, any machine currently on the 'new' market can get that track count pretty effortlessly.

Quote:

• What internal expansion issues limit the use of the iMacs? Aside from noise, do internal ATA drives perform better or offer any advantages over external FW drives?
A 2nd internal SATA drive in a Mac Pro will get better performance than a FW400 or FW800 drive. The 32 track limit is very achievable on a FW400 drive though, so unless you're also streaming video or samples (or have a ton of edits) than either a FW or SATA drive will work fine with PTLE.

Quote:
• Will using external FW drives effect the performance of the 002?
No.
Quote:

• I read somewhere in the LE forum about FW bus problems with some of the new Intel iMacs. This would concern me regarding my 002, so I'd like to know more about this.
Can't help you there. I haven't seen it come up very often on this forum, so if it is an issue, it doesn't affect very many models.
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  #3  
Old 12-25-2007, 09:22 AM
davidp158 davidp158 is offline
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Default Re: Starting over w/PT - Mac Pro vs iMac?

Slim Shady - Thanks for your reply. My initial searches for PTLE with iMacs didn't reveal many posts, so I wonder if it will be a restrictive machine.

My previously-approved Quicksilver Mac performed fine with PTLE 6, yet became a boat anchor with PTLE 7 about 16 months after I bought it. I was a bit late getting into PTLE 7, so for me the Quicksilver had a short life span. With Digidesign's hardware and software changes forcing frequent computer upgrades, I wonder if the additional expense of the MacPro box will outlast an iMac.

happy holidaze,
Dave
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Old 12-25-2007, 09:53 AM
stiefelmusik stiefelmusik is offline
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Default Re: Starting over w/PT - Mac Pro vs iMac?

I was faced with a similar decision when it came time to upgrade my Quicksilver Powermac G4 w/Digi 001 setup awhile back. When I first bought that system I had decided to go "pro" by going for a tower, with PCI expandability, multiple internal hard drives, dual monitors, etc. plus the iMacs of that generation were not all that exciting and not quite up to the task.

That has changed, however, with more recent models of the iMac, which I now consider a viable alternative to an expensive tower, even for professionals. So when it came time to upgrade last time around I opted for an iMac, and I have no regrets.

I will still eventually replace my Powermac G4 with a Mac Pro down the road, because I've come to appreciate the versatility and expandability of towers: they remain useful much longer for that very reason! But for the time being, I'm getting a lot of work done with the iMac.
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2007, 12:29 PM
davidp158 davidp158 is offline
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Default Re: Starting over w/PT - Mac Pro vs iMac?

stiefelmusik - Thanks for your comments.

My reservation with the additional cost of a Mac Pro is that there is no guarantee it will be an approved/supported ProTools machine in 2 years. The Quicksilver dual gig machine I bought was approved by Digidesign, had the potential for expansion and long service life, yet I only got 16 months out of it. I bought it after the transition to OSX and before PTLE7, and being an Digi-approved box, I hoped it would work with future versions of PTLE. It didn't, so I have to factor this into my next computer purchase.

Dave
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2007, 01:19 PM
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audiobob audiobob is offline
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Default Re: Starting over w/PT - Mac Pro vs iMac?

I don't think you'll have the same issues with a Mac Pro that you did with the Quicksilver. The QS was released right at the transition between OS 9 and X. Then came Power PC switch to Intel so I think the Mac Pros will be hanging in there for a long time.

That being said, the iMacs are great deals and very powerful. If you don't think you'll need the expansion of PCI-x cards, all that extra ram, internal drives or dual monitors then the iMac is a great choice. The 24 inch iMac is sweet. You can probably do a dual screen with the iMac anyway.

The Pros are quad core and are smokin' fast which really helps with LE. You can't go wrong with that machine either.
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