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  #1  
Old 10-28-2017, 07:31 PM
John Claus John Claus is offline
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Default Is a new MacBook Pro enough for PT12 and a bunch of VIs and plugs?

Is anyone out there running a new Kaby Lake i7 MacBook Pro with Pro Tools 12, Logic, or DP and a number of VIs and plug-ins for filmscoring? If so, how’s that working for you? Is the max of 16G RAM a serious limitation, regarding the number of VIs and plug-ins you can run, even when you have an SSD internal drive and an SSD external sounds drive? I'm trying to put together a mobile filmscoring rig that will allow me some semblance of power and head room. If I could get at least 12-15 VIs going, each with 2-3 plug-ins, plus 4 plugs in Aux mode, I'd probably be okay for the portable thing. Can I do this on a 16G RAM, Kaby Lake i7 laptop with a 3.1 chip and SSD’s. I don’t want to spend $4000 only to discover that extreme limitations and lots of hoop jumping work arounds are required.

Thanks very much!
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Old 10-29-2017, 11:27 AM
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lesbrunn lesbrunn is offline
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Default Re: Is a new MacBook Pro enough for PT12 and a bunch of VIs and plugs?

Is it really 4000? I expected it to be under 3000. Not a mac guy, but Macbook pro is the deal for laptops.

If portability's very important, then maybe...For the kind of sessions you describe, though, I'd go for a 6 or 8-core with at least 32GB of RAM.

I'm sure the Mac users here will give you more definite advice.
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Old 10-29-2017, 11:56 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Is a new MacBook Pro enough for PT12 and a bunch of VIs and plugs?

If this is the same question as posted here before? You can test this fairly quickly on your current Mac Pros by boot option reconfiguring memory and CPU cores and testing.

16 GB is exactly in the range where I expect heavy VI use to cause problems for some users with some workloads. Of course you also have freeze and commit available to help reduce load, but how tolerable that is for how you work we can’t guess, or know how much you freeze/commit stuff already.

Doing sone quick tests to give you some guidance is likely more useful than any opinions folks have here. If you want help on how to do that just ask.

And yes your MBP should be around $4K, especially because you should max out the internal SSD (incl. to run sessions off that) because they are not upgradeable.

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Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 10-29-2017 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 10-29-2017, 12:40 PM
Sardi Sardi is offline
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Default Re: Is a new MacBook Pro enough for PT12 and a bunch of VIs and plugs?

Apart from what Darryl suggested, don't forget Apple allow you to return the machine (even BTO) within 2 weeks for a full no questions asked refund.

There's nothing better than trying it out for yourself on the actual machine.


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Old 10-29-2017, 12:53 PM
John Claus John Claus is offline
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Default Re: Is a new MacBook Pro enough for PT12 and a bunch of VIs and plugs?

Thanks! I have been checking some existing sessions, in a range of sizes, using the Activity Monitor to look at memory use. The range tends to be 8-9G usage, on the smaller end, to roughly 17-22G on the higher end. If I freeze all the VI's in a somewhat larger session, I've been able to bump things down around 4G. So, for example, I was just able to lower a session that was using 17.5G RAM to 13.8, by freezing all the tracks. I know of a few other basic tricks for lowering RAM usage, so maybe with a maxed out Kaby Lake i7 and attention to RAM use, we can get to where we want to be with this mobile rig (more detail about that follows, if anyone's interested, as I know specific programs and plugs have different consequences for RAM use, etc.).

Working in Pro Tools, I hope to be able to comfortably run 12-14, or hopefully more, VIs, including, a mix of: some Kontakt sources (e.g., Spitfire strings and other stuff, REV loops and/or pads, Signal, Sonic Couture sources, Kontakt library stuff, etc.); a track or two of Ivory; maybe some tracks of RMX drums; Omnisphere; Absynth; BT Phobos; Lounge Lizard, Sampletron, odd synths, etc.... And, at least 1-2, or more, plugins on each track (e.g., EQ, comp, delay, chorus, imager, other) and 3-4 aux reverbs (1-2 Lexicon, 1 Altiverb, 1 Blackhole or other). I don't use any full blown orchestral templates, which can be quite large and RAM consuming.

Also, again if anyone cares, our home rigs are 2012 Mac Pro 12 cores with 3.33 processors, separate internal and sound library SSDs, USB3 connectivity, and more. We don’t expect a 16G RAM laptop to do what these machines do, and we're happy understanding that we'll often come home and add to and polish work we've done while away. We just don’t want to spend over $4,000 on a mobile rig only to discover we can’t really do much work without major work arounds and frustrating limitations.

Thanks much...
j2filmmusic.com

Last edited by John Claus; 10-29-2017 at 01:14 PM.
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  #6  
Old 10-29-2017, 01:24 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Is a new MacBook Pro enough for PT12 and a bunch of VIs and plugs?

I'm not sure what memory metrics you are looking at (the best quick guess would come from just looking at total "Memory Used"+some amount of "Cached Files"), but it can be hard to understand what is going on. Including because many of the memory numbers will vary based on how much memory use pressure there is on the system. That often overestimates memory needed if looking on a system with lots of memory, so likely in the good direction here.

You can try tuning down Pro Tools disk memory cache size.

And then there are some programs, like the Google Chrome Browser, that can use lots more memory that many people expect.
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:03 PM
John Claus John Claus is offline
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Default Re: Is a new MacBook Pro enough for PT12 and a bunch of VIs and plugs?

Yes... thanks! The numbers I gave are the total memory used numbers (App Memory plus Wired Memory)...
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:35 PM
John Claus John Claus is offline
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Default Re: Is a new MacBook Pro enough for PT12 and a bunch of VIs and plugs?

Given we don't need to be totally, everyday mobile for, say, use on planes and in hotels, etc., I'm now investigating another option. I'm wondering if we might not be better off with a MacPro trashcan with 32 or 64G RAM, top level processor, etc. and a smallish screen, instead of the MBP with only 16G RAM?? We really just need to be able to pack the rig in a large suitcase for longer term use (e.g., 2-12 weeks) in a single location away from the home studio.

If the portability of the trashcan idea holds, wouldn't we get better performance out of that than from a 16G i7 laptop? Not as good as our home 2012 MacPro 12 cores with 64G RAM, I know, but better than the new laptops, yes?

Thanks for any feedback!
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2017, 02:17 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Is a new MacBook Pro enough for PT12 and a bunch of VIs and plugs?

If you are doing this much thinking about this I would be doing those tests on your current system(s).

You can reduce memory to 16 GB with

sudo nvram boot-args="maxmem=16"

You can reduce CPU cores to 4 with

sudo nvram boot-args="cpus=4"

Or reset to default

sudo nvram -d boot-args

Obviously you have to reboot to get these to take effect.

For more detailed info on boot-args see: https://superuser.com/questions/2551...or-darwin-os-x
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:17 PM
John Claus John Claus is offline
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Default Re: Is a new MacBook Pro enough for PT12 and a bunch of VIs and plugs?

Thanks for the specifics, Daryll! Good idea...
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