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  #1  
Old 09-16-2019, 05:34 PM
dcboucher dcboucher is offline
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Default Supported iMac Computers PT 2019

I'm trying to help a friend upgrade his iMac for PT 2019. It looks like the only 27" iMac supported is the 3.6 i9 with the upgraded video card. Is that possible? Only a BTO iMac will do? Is it that they don't test anything other than the top of the line machine? The supported 21.5" is also the top of the line in that size, albeit with no added BTO options. Maybe a Mac Mini with a monitor is the way to go. I'm open to ideas, but I want something supported.

Thanks,

-d
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2019, 05:49 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Supported iMac Computers PT 2019

Why don't you have your friend post here directly and you help them if they need it?

You are trying to help them upgrade what they have or buy a new computer? Lets double check they really need to buy a new computer first. And they want an iMac not say a Mac mini? (I see you asked that same question... so tell us what they want to do).

Completely ignore the approved list, it's so-not updated it's useless. With Macs most anything will work if configured properly.

What exact model (ideally give us the model # and EMC # printed on the computer) they running on now? Why do they need to upgrade?

What are they doing? How large a session? (storage on disk). How many tracks? What VIs? What sampel rate? etc.... you can run Pro Tools on just about anything with a few light plugins and a not many tracks.

basic iMac advice - You want a minimum of 16 GB of RAM, Do *not* get a Fusion drive. Ideally get an internal SSD and try to make that large enough so that *everything* (OS, plugin samples, and audio sessions) all fit on that internal SSD. Old advice about needing dedicated audio drives no longer applies witht these super fast NVMe SSD drives.

If getting an iMac I would get a iMac 27" model. Nice big screen and the RAM is user upgradeable on those, not so on the 21.5 " models.

How much CPU to get... that depends on what you they need.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:20 PM
dcboucher dcboucher is offline
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Default Re: Supported iMac Computers PT 2019

Amazing. Thank you, Darryl. Here are the answers as I best I can provide.

1) Val is a guitar player. A stunning guitar player. He is not a computer person. He runs ProTools 8 like a tape machine on a 10 year old 27" iMac (11,1 SMC 1.54f36, Core i5 2.66GHz, 4MB RAM, OSX 10.6.8) with Black Lion modded 002R. He edits by punching in and knows the very basics of crossfades and consolidations to play on and return material he receives. I'm helping him because he is a good friend and I like working with him and I hire him every chance I get because he is one of a kind. Please don't be confused. He is very successful with his methods. I talked him out of upgrading 3 years ago because his creative process is so uninhibited and effortless.

2) David (that's me) has a decent amount of experience on ProTools. I run PT 2019 Ultimate with great success. I do not play the guitar well.

3) Val's sessions are small. 16-24 track at most and there are no VI's or even very many plug-ins. His biggest hurdle is reminding people to save a session in whatever the LE 8 session file format was. He wants to upgrade.

4) If indeed these support documents are not valid, I'd suggest the Refurbished 27-inch iMac 3.7GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 with Retina 5K display 16GB RAM 512GB SSD for $2,209.00.

5) I really do appreciate your input. Thank you.

-d
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:12 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Supported iMac Computers PT 2019

Brilliant.

So he has this iMac...

https://everymac.com/systems/apple/i...009-specs.html

Just to be clear this old iMac can run macOS Sierra (oldest macOS version that officially supports the current versions of 2019) and can be upgraded to up to 32GB of DRAM (see OWC). So you could actually install Pro Tools 2019 on that. Sure it's going to be near its end of useful life... and may not be worth the RAM upgrade, but I just wanted to point out this is posible.

That new i5 iMac looks fantastic for him.

So few plugins, that means the CPU load is very low. And I doubt Val is running at crazy sample rates so there is no way you *need* a 6 core CPU, but what you are buying with a bigger CPU (and bigger SSD, since that is soldered to the

No VIs means Val won't need a lot of disk space. So putting everything on the internal SSD is definitely the way to do. Apple charges a lot for them, but they are great. And remove needs for external drives/cables etc.

The SSD on these iMacs is not soldered to the motherboard and is upgradeable with some pain, but at least that means you are not forever trapped with a 512GB drive.

Does his interface have drivers available that work on Mojave? I'm not sure, you need to check that. It's way past official support.

----

Do not clone the old drive to the new iMac, do not use the System migration utility to to migrate applications or drivers... I would not even use it to move user accounts. Reinstall all the software from scratch on the new drive.

Since backups are being discussed elsewhere I would make sure Val has good backups, including sessions copied to a cloud storage (like Google Cloud or Dropbox) and likely Carbon Copy Cloner used to make clones of the boot drive (e.g. to at least two separate external 7,200 rpm USB-C HDD).

Optimize the computer, explain to him things like Disk Cache (set it to a few GB), etc.

If he is moving sessions on drives to other users then it may be time to do that on a USB-3 memory stick (just used asa transfer volume)... just get off fragile HDD.

(and to be clear, all old advice about needing dedicated audio drives, or not using an i5 CPU do *not* apply here).

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 09-16-2019 at 07:22 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2019, 08:02 PM
dcboucher dcboucher is offline
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Default Re: Supported iMac Computers PT 2019

Thanks again, Darryl.

Since he already has multiple external drives and the experience of using them, I figured the 512GB would be plenty. I'm sure he could learn to work off the internal and backup to external if he needed the extra speed. He currently works off of a FW800 drive and backs up to a USB 2 drive.

I have seen people on the forum reporting no issues with the 002R, but with varying setups. I think if we had to upgrade the interface, he wouldn't be that sad. The Black Lion mod seriously improved that box, but it's by no means a "desert island" piece.

I like your environmentally friendly idea of upgrading the RAM and OS and installing 2019.6 although it is $160 put into a computer that the local school wouldn't even accept as a donation and that may be a tough sell to my pal.

The other conversation we had was about trying to score as well on this test as we did 10 years ago (yes, I set that one up for him as well). In general, buying more computer than needed has meant more longevity in my experience.

-d
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  #6  
Old 09-16-2019, 08:43 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Supported iMac Computers PT 2019

Remember he will need a Thunderbolt 3 to Firewire 400 adapter for his 002 interface.

You can do that with Apple dongles by going Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt dongle then a Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 dongle, then a third party Firewire 800 to 400 adapter. A bit of a PITA.

What I have for for Firewire peripherals is a 13-port OWC Firewire Dock (https://www.amazon.com/OWC-Port-Thun.../dp/B01N51P3BB). That provides a Firewire 800 port, the later 14-port version of that dock does not provide one. You might be able to find a used 13-port dock cheap somewhere. I find that dock really handy for multiple things, including a utility S/PDIF out, etc.

Given low costs (~$80) of a current 1TB USB 3 7200 RPM HDD I might ditch those old Firewire drives and buy a few new drives.
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