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  #1  
Old 07-29-2014, 11:01 PM
statalovich statalovich is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
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Default Need advice on new iMac setup for stability

Hi I'm switching over to a iMac and PT from PC and Cubase. My concern is iMac has only 1 HD. I was do not partition it. I was also told upgrade to flash storage. I'm wondering is 512GB enough it's super expensive at $500 upgrade. I use NI Komplete, Omnisphere, superior drums etc, etc...

So is there a stable set up? I'm using UAD Apollo Twin. Do I use an external drive for songs and the flash drive for samples and applications?

Any help appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2014, 02:13 AM
VRW VRW is offline
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Posts: 1,318
Default Re: Need advice on new iMac setup for stability

To get Pro Tools to work properly you definitely will need to get an external drive for the song data and audio files.
It´s still officially required by Avid as you will not want to record onto the OS drive with Pro Tools, specifically when
recording and playing back more than 4-5 tracks in a session.
Partitioning is no solution as there are 2 separate drives needed.

As you say you are using a lot of VIs with large libraries like NI Komplete etc.
These you also should not put on the OS drive to have your PT system work flawlessly.

So I personally would suggest to only buy the 256GB Flash drive which is more than enough if you only
have your applications and some small basic libraries (from the Pro Tools basic VIs like Xpand e.g. etc.) on it.

Then as an external drive-solution you could get one of these.
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/METB7DH2.0T/
e.g. the 2x1TB version for $399.99 which would give you 2 external 1TB 7200rpm
hard drives connected via Thunderbolt (optional USB3) which would be a great, fast solution for this price.

These are 2 separate 7200rpm hard drives in 1 chassis.
On 1 hard drive you could put your song data and audio files, on the 2nd you could put all the large libraries
from Komplete, Superior Drums etc. and all other samples etc.
This would provide you a fast and stable system indeed.
You would have to use it in Independent mode, not in Raid mode to be able to use both drives individually though.

If you would be on a very tight budget and you have got/would want to buy a 27" iMac model anyway,
you even could skip the SSD for the OS drive as the new 27" models all come with a 1TB 7200rpm hard drive originally
which would be fast enough for Pro Tools Native.
The 21.5" models however only come with an original 5400rpm hard drive which will be too slow.
That´s a requirement by Avid again and too my personal experience with Pro Tools Native
(different to Pro Tools HD which uses disk cache).

Me personally use a 128GB SSD as an OS drive e.g. and I use Logic additionally to Pro Tools which installs it´s libraries
automatically on the OS drive (50-60GB) and I´m still good as I have put my Kontakt stuff and any other large
libraries/samples on one of my external drives.

To sum it up.
You will need at least one external drive for the song data and audio files
and to have a well working system you also should use another external drive
for all the large libraries of your VIs.
These external drives at least have to be 7200rpm rotation speed and have to be connected
via Firewire 800 at least (no USB 2), still better via Thunderbolt (USB 3 is optional).

As to the OS drive it has to be at least one with 7200rpm again, the more convenient solution of course would be a SSD.
Anyway a 256GB SSD would be definitely enough for only the applications and the small stuff.
If you would be on a tight budget and you would buy a new 27" iMac model, you even could stay with the originally 1TB OS HD
because these are already 7200rpm ones. So you could save money if needed.
This also would work out.

Hope this will help in a way.
Best of success,

VRW




MacMini i7Quad, 16GB Ram, MBP Mid 2012 2,5GHz i5, 16GB Ram, MacOS 10.9.4, Apogee Quartet+Duet 2, Genelec Active, Yamaha NS10,
Pro Tools 11.2, Logic 10.0.7, Waves, MCDSP, Duende Native, Softube, HOFA, IK Multimedia etc

Last edited by VRW; 07-30-2014 at 11:32 AM.
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2014, 05:28 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Soprano State (NJ)
Posts: 17,776
Default Re: Need advice on new iMac setup for stability

All that VRW said with an addition: do NOT get a Fusion system drive in the iMac. There are plenty of threads here and elsewheres with people having issues with them and running PT.

And one other addition: a good reason to go for the 27" iMac is you can add your own ram easily; it's soldered in in the smaller iMac and not user replaceable. Apple ram is way overpriced and adding your own ram does not violate AppleCare terms. Get the base amount of ram from Apple and add your own. OWC has what you'll need.
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iMac dead & retired as of 11/4/17

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