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  #1  
Old 09-20-2014, 05:06 AM
CR92 CR92 is offline
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Default How much CPU and RAM?

Hey guys,

my mixing session (Protools 11) have grown a lot since i've started out. Nowadays my session take up 300% CPU usage :-D well that's what activity monitor tells me. So I need to update my mac. The questions i have are

1. Can I update my CPU or only the RAM?
2- How much CPU and RAM do I really need for mixing (just audio and maybe two "XPAND" VIs)
3. When buying a new mac, is a laptop (the "biggest" macbook pro) enough? They have "only" quadcore CPUs, the Macpro has a 6 core, but i've heard of PCs with 16-core processors? So is windows better?? Or do I need a SSD? Or should I use an external harddrive (that would suck!)?


My Rig: 13 inch Macbook Pro, Mid 2012, 2.5GHz Intel Core i5, 2x2GB RAM, 500GB SATA Drive (have empty), OS X 10.8.5, being cleaned regularly with "detox my mac" "disk utility" "empty thrash securly" etc.

let me know if you need further information. thanks for your help!!!
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2014, 08:50 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: How much CPU and RAM?

On a laptop, you can likely only upgrade the RAM. That CAN help, but an i5 dual core is not a powerhouse. The i7 quad is the way to go(unless you have the budget for more).

Is PC better than Mac? No. They are both highly capable, given proper setup and tweaks. Mac's cost more, PC's require a lot more homework(there are way more PC's that WON'T run Pro Tools well, than WILL run it well). A custom-built PC with the proper parts choices can rival a $6000 Mac Pro for performance(and you would have space inside the tower for several hard drives for samples and sessions).

A new i7 MBP can do a great job(you need an approved external drive for sessions). I watched a demo of HD/Native a couple of years ago and they were running over 150 audio tracks, plenty of plugins, AND 16:9 video(it was a commercial movie release soundtrack) at the 128 buffer, on a MBP i7. For laptops, the MBP is the only one I ever recommend(and this is from a serious PC guy)

Do you NEED an SSD? No. People like them for several reasons like, really fast boot time and snappy operation, but they are expensive(and you still NEED a separate hard drive for recording a decent-sized session). For small projects, recording to an SSD system drive can work pretty well, but given the cost, having lots of space(drive capacity) will cost a LOT of money

If you don't NEED a laptop, then an iMac(assuming you want to stay on the Mac platform) can be had with an i7 and 16GB of RAM. Avoid the Fusion drive and add a decent TB external drive and that would work nicely(as will a Mac Mini i7).
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2014, 09:06 AM
CR92 CR92 is offline
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Default Re: How much CPU and RAM?

Hey,

thx for your answer. But one thing isn't clear yet. I need an external harddrive. But why? How come streaming via usb be faster? Can i "fake" an ex. hd with splitting my internal into two partitions? Or can i put in a second hd instead of the cd drive?

I'm trying to keep my mixing (not recording) rig as simple as possible. I want to be able to fire up a mixing session anywhere without carrying an external hd with me all the time

thx!
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  #4  
Old 09-20-2014, 09:19 AM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
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Default Re: How much CPU and RAM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CR92 View Post
How come streaming via usb be faster? Can i "fake" an ex. hd with splitting my internal into two partitions? Or can i put in a second hd instead of the cd drive?
Can you beat the laws of physics? If you have a single spinning hard drive, can you fake it to have double amount of platters spinning around? Now if you replace the DVD with a HDD there's another set of spinning platters which will help you. Partitioning will not, because it won't double the amount of spinning platters (which comes back to laws of physics).
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  #5  
Old 09-20-2014, 10:19 AM
CR92 CR92 is offline
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Default Re: How much CPU and RAM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by albee1952 View Post
Is PC better than Mac? No. They are both highly capable, given proper setup and tweaks. Mac's cost more, PC's require a lot more homework(there are way more PC's that WON'T run Pro Tools well, than WILL run it well). A custom-built PC with the proper parts choices can rival a $6000 Mac Pro for performance(and you would have space inside the tower for several hard drives for samples and sessions).
I just custom built a windows laptop and it would cost 1000$ less than the MBP and has better features… :-( I know, this is an avid forum, but I'm also thinking of switching to cubase...

So is PC (with Cubase) better than Mac (with Protools)? man, i just wanna mix without playback errors, CPU crashes etc.

what do you use?
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  #6  
Old 09-20-2014, 12:36 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Default Re: How much CPU and RAM?

you're 4 GB short on minimum RAM for 11
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Thank you,

Craig
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  #7  
Old 09-20-2014, 01:45 PM
CR92 CR92 is offline
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Default Re: How much CPU and RAM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig F View Post
you're 4 GB short on minimum RAM for 11
It's 4GB minimum, 8 for video playback (which i don't use)

http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/e...m-Requirements
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  #8  
Old 09-20-2014, 01:49 PM
VRW VRW is offline
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Default Re: How much CPU and RAM?

PC with Cubase is a widely used combination as well as Logic with Mac (btw the most cost efficient solution)
but non of these systems will provide you the exceptional audio quality Pro Tools 11+a Mac will.

I´ve worked with most of the DAWs through the years but when it comes to audio quality nothing beats PT+Mac IMO.

Fact is that Pro Tools does need a separate drive for the audio files to be recorded to/played back from just to work properly.
There´s no way to beat the law of physics as JFreak used to say and it´s a basic requirement for Pro Tools.

I also see that you have only 4GB ram installed in your MBP which officially seem to be the minimum requirement for
PT11 but IMO it´s not appropriate for 11. From my personal experience 8GB Ram are basic, 16GB work better for 11.

Further how fast is your OS drive? Is it the original drive? Actually the originally drive that comes with this Macbook is too
slow for an OS drive and even more for an audio drive!!!
If you have tried to run PT11 sessions with this configuration without an external audio drive it is definitely no surprise
that your computer can´t handle it. I know what I´m talking about as I have exact the same Macbook.

If you would want to have a chance to run PT 11 successfully, you would have to replace your OS drive with a SSD (256GB
would be enough), put at least 8GB Ram into it and use an external drive with at least 7200rpm rotation speed connected
via Firewire 800 or USB 3 (USB 2 would be too slow again).

If you definitely hate the idea to use an external drive that much there would be only one way to solve this problem
which would mean to replace the optical drive with a 2nd SSD.

This is very easy to do, you could do it yourself and you would get the adapter you would need for $35.-.
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DDAMBS0GB/

You would finally have 2 internal drives (2 SSDs), one for the OS system and all
applications, the other (in the place of the former optical drive) for all your Pro Tools sessions including your audio files.

I´m aware of that buying 2 SSDs are a lot bucks but if you would have 2 internal drives in your MBP a HDD would suck
too much battery in the long run, so if going the 2-internal-drives-route only 2 SSDs would make sense.

If that would be too much actually and you would not stay with Pro Tools let me
strongly recommend Logic X Pro instead of Cubase.
I use Logic X Pro successfully with this Macbook and can run even large amounts
of tracks directly from the OS drive.
Logic X Pro is an adequate alternative to Pro Tools also if PT offers the better
audio quality in the end. But it´s definitely the 2nd option and it works very well with this Macbook.

However you should replace at least the OS drive with a SSD and put in at least 8GB Ram, also if using Logic because
all these modern DAWs are quite complex and need just a certain amount of power to work properly.

Anyway.
The best of luck and success to you,


VRW



MacMini i7Quad, 16GB Ram, MBP Mid 2012 2,5GHz i5, 16GB Ram, MacOS 10.9.5, Apogee Quartet+Duet 2, Genelec Active, Yamaha NS10,
Pro Tools 11.2.1, Logic 10.0.7, Waves, MCDSP, Duende Native, Softube, HOFA, IK Multimedia, NI etc.
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  #9  
Old 09-20-2014, 02:42 PM
CR92 CR92 is offline
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Default Re: How much CPU and RAM?

First of all, thanks for your detailed reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by VRW View Post
PC with Cubase is a widely used combination as well as Logic with Mac (btw the most cost efficient solution)
but non of these systems will provide you the exceptional audio quality Pro Tools 11+a Mac will.
When comparing DAWs i only compare workflows. Does Protools really sound better? Could you pls explain



Quote:
Originally Posted by VRW View Post
I also see that you have only 4GB ram installed in your MBP which officially seem to be the minimum requirement for
PT11 but IMO it´s not appropriate for 11. From my personal experience 8GB Ram are basic, 16GB work better for 11.
I just checked. I can upgrade to 8GB for 200$

Quote:
Originally Posted by VRW View Post
Further how fast is your OS drive? Is it the original drive? Actually the originally drive that comes with this Macbook is too
slow for an OS drive and even more for an audio drive!!!
Yes, it's the original

So basically i need to upgrade my entire macbook… what about the CPU? If that's also a problem I'll definitely buy the biggest macbook pro.
The thing is I have the budget for any macbook and i want a powerful long lasting rig. But the PCs components are a lot cheaper, so I get more bang for the buck.

So it's upgrading my 13 inch macbook vs. buying a "big" macbook vs. PC notebook with maybe other DAW and the best components
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2014, 04:31 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Default Re: How much CPU and RAM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CR92 View Post
It's 4GB minimum, 8 for video playback (which i don't use)

http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/e...m-Requirements

and my feet fit in size 12 shoes but I'm a lot nicer person when I have proper size 13 ... bare minimum is never a good thing

CPUs are solder into laptops and not changeable, same as the RAM in a new MBP

Windows laptops and Pro Tools are a tricky mix unless you get the approved HPs that are the same price as the Macs
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Thank you,

Craig
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