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  #1  
Old 04-01-2013, 12:24 AM
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pzykt pzykt is offline
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Default Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

Hey everyone!!

I have a 3rd generation Mbox Pro (FireWire) and I'm currently hesitating between a high spec normal Macbook Pro with a hybrid hard drive and one with Retina display (SSD), which would imply buying a Thunderbolt adapter to connect my audio interface. Price is almost the same.

The problem with the adapter Apple manufactures is that it's a FireWire 800 to Thunderbolt adapter, and the port on the Mbox is made for use with a FireWire 400 connector. Would it cause any issues to have signal running through a 400 to 800 cable and then into a Thunderbolt adapter?

The display on the Retina is simply mind-blowing but I read there were still a few minor compatibility issues with Pro Tools 10. Any idea of when this will be taken care of?

Do any of you have Pro Tools installed on an SSD? If yes, how would you rate performance compared to a regular hard drive? Apart from booting and saving times, does it change anything??

Also are plug-ins handled by CPU or RAM? Would you go for 8 or 16GB for use with sample-based plug-ins like Superior Drummer??

Oh and I have no use for an internal optical drive so that's not something that I'll be considering.

Not sure I need the Ethernet port, although I know it's a go-to for a variety of DAW controllers. But then again, adapters exist...

What I do have use for though is the HDMI port on the Retina MBP.

I'd really appreciate some input on this as I've been hesitating for a while now... Not sure whether to stay with an all-compatible device with FireWire, Ethernet and a Thunderbolt port built-in or anticipate on future technology and go with the Retina version + adapter...?

Thanks in advance for your responses!!
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2013, 07:14 AM
Hugh-H Hugh-H is offline
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Default Re: Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

Hello,
My useless opinions -

Quote:
Not sure whether to stay with an all-compatible device with FireWire, Ethernet and a Thunderbolt port built-in or anticipate on future technology and go with the Retina version + adapter...?
You summed it up - work fully now, or add stuff to a better display and smaller form factor for a more future-resistant machine. For the Retina model you need to buy a bit more initially because the ram is difficult to upgrade, the hard drive is easier but not for some folks.

Eventually Avid will release PT with better graphics on the Retina models. I fully expect there will be performance issues initially as the app juggles more pixels, Avid may wait and do it for a 64bit version which also will have initial problems.

SSDs are great with a few caveats you can find on the web. PT runs great off an SSD and you can, generally speaking, record to the system SSD because it's fast enough. Research is your friend here to determine problems, things like TRIM mode require time to accomplish, Sandforce sometimes does it on the fly, there are a number of things to consider. You're still safer recording to an audio drive as a general rule.

Plugins are handled by both cpu and ram. More ram = more plugins BUT - PT is limited by it's 32bit operation, so plugins are limited. Having 8GB or 16GB is good for a few reasons. While PT is still 32bit having more than 4GB means PT gets it's own 4GB space with some of the OS and other concurrent apps above that if you're booted in 64bit mode, so you get a bit more effective memory in PT. When PT (finally) goes 64bit you'll appreciate it. In the meantime if you're sample-heavy folks have had good luck running PT with VEP, using the memory above 4GB for samples.

FW 800/400 adaptors work fine, it will reduce your FW bus to 400.

Tough decision, I know. Good luck,
Hugh
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2013, 09:10 AM
scottgreiner scottgreiner is offline
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Default Re: Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

I just bought the non-retina version - 2.6GHz Core Intel i7 - from the "special deals" section of the Apple store. It has one thunderbolt, two usb and one firewire 800 port. I am able to later update the RAM, which you can't do on the retina. I think the battery is the same deal (replaceable). Couldn't be happier. Pro Tools performs the same as on my colleague's retina with the same spec's.
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2013, 01:20 PM
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jryser jryser is offline
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Default Re: Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

And why do we need a retina for Protools? Well for some of us "Because we can!" Bit good deal on the good deal...


Sent from my Pro Tools beating heart.
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A Rig: MacBook Pro Spring 2013, 2.8Ghz I7, 16GB RAM,
OSX Mavericks 10.9.4, PT 11.2, MBox Pro 3, Glyph GT 050 Qx3 1.5 TB drives Thunderbolt-FW400, Presonus Faderport. 10 REMOVED!
B Rig:MacBook Pro Spring 11, 2.33 GHz I7, 16GB RAM, OSX Mavericks 10.9.4, PT 11.2, MBox Pro 3, Glyph Portagig 62 portable 1 TB drive Firewired with 400, Presonus Faderport. 10 REMOVED!
I am the main songwriter/performer for Midwest Whitetail, Cabela's Deer Nation, Spring Thunder, and Northern Waters Series!
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2013, 02:37 PM
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groundcontrol groundcontrol is offline
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Default Re: Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottgreiner View Post
I just bought the non-retina version - 2.6GHz Core Intel i7 - from the "special deals" section of the Apple store. It has one thunderbolt, two usb and one firewire 800 port. I am able to later update the RAM, which you can't do on the retina. I think the battery is the same deal (replaceable). Couldn't be happier. Pro Tools performs the same as on my colleague's retina with the same spec's.
Excuse my intrusion. How's the fan noise at high CPU load? (Curious since there are reports of the Retina heat management having been optimized and I need a new laptop very soon.)

Thanks!
:)
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2013, 03:03 PM
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pzykt pzykt is offline
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Default Re: Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

It's apparently very low, barely noticeable compared to the regular model.
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  #7  
Old 04-01-2013, 03:31 PM
KMcK KMcK is offline
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Default Re: Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

Quote:
Originally Posted by groundcontrol View Post
Excuse my intrusion. How's the fan noise at high CPU load? (Curious since there are reports of the Retina heat management having been optimized and I need a new laptop very soon.)

Thanks!
:)
I have the 2.7ghz i7 non-retina 2012 MBP and the fan has never been an issue. If it's kicking in during high CPU load sessions I'm not hearing it. The OWC Helios enclosure and the OMNI HD in my rig both have noticeable fan noise, the laptop does not.
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2013, 05:36 AM
anthony.k11 anthony.k11 is offline
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Default Re: Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh-H View Post
Hello,
My useless opinions -



You summed it up - work fully now, or add stuff to a better display and smaller form factor for a more future-resistant machine. For the Retina model you need to buy a bit more initially because the ram is difficult to upgrade, the hard drive is easier but not for some folks.

Eventually Avid will release PT with better graphics on the Retina models. I fully expect there will be performance issues initially as the app juggles more pixels, Avid may wait and do it for a 64bit version which also will have initial problems.

SSDs are great with a few caveats you can find on the web. PT runs great off an SSD and you can, generally speaking, record to the system SSD because it's fast enough. Research is your friend here to determine problems, things like TRIM mode require time to accomplish, Sandforce sometimes does it on the fly, there are a number of things to consider. You're still safer recording to an audio drive as a general rule.

Plugins are handled by both cpu and ram. More ram = more plugins BUT - PT is limited by it's 32bit operation, so plugins are limited. Having 8GB or 16GB is good for a few reasons. While PT is still 32bit having more than 4GB means PT gets it's own 4GB space with some of the OS and other concurrent apps above that if you're booted in 64bit mode, so you get a bit more effective memory in PT. When PT (finally) goes 64bit you'll appreciate it. In the meantime if you're sample-heavy folks have had good luck running PT with VEP, using the memory above 4GB for samples.

FW 800/400 adaptors work fine, it will reduce your FW bus to 400.

Tough decision, I know. Good luck,
Hugh
Audio drive.. hahaha good one. According to me, TRIM is best out of SF controllers. Latest Intel 520 SSD have embedded proprietary Durawrite technology which enchances the way TRIM operates. SF always does TRIM on the fly. No strings attached :)
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2013, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

Thanks for your reports guys!
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2013, 09:32 AM
lancemcv lancemcv is offline
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Default Re: Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

One added note is I have a quad core 2.6ghz 2012 i7 MacBook Pro non retina. I removed the DVD drive and replaced it with a western digital 7200rpm 750 gig drive and my system drive is an owc ssd 250gig. I can do all my tracking to the western digital and have the benefits of the boot and load times of the ssd. It's a great setup and no need for an external drive, leaving the FireWire port to connect to the mboxpro. The one thing you don't get is the ability to run three monitors like you can with a retina, but you can run one extra monitor with the standard MacBook Pro and possible two if you had two apple monitors via thunderbolt. I bought it refurbished and put 16 gigs of ram in it as well. It's about 400 dollars cheaper than the retina after all my upgrades and it is a smoking machine, it runs sessions with less CPU usage than my 2008 Mac Pro 2.8 8 core.
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