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  #1  
Old 07-05-2019, 03:02 AM
jamesleonard jamesleonard is offline
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Default Purchasing a NEW 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

I NEED to purchase a new iMac for Pro Tools 2019. Will this be ok now

* 3.6GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
* 1TB SSD storage
* 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory (obviously, I will buy my own RAM, which will be maxed to 64GB - apple RAM is way expensive)
* Radeon Pro Vega 48 with 8GB of HBM2 memory OR, Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory (What is the best graphics option for Pro Tools 2019?)

Thanks

Last edited by jamesleonard; 07-05-2019 at 03:27 AM.
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Old 07-05-2019, 06:01 AM
sw rec sw rec is offline
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Default Re: Purchasing a NEW 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

Really should put in a secondary recording drive instead of recording to the system drive.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:07 AM
jamesleonard jamesleonard is offline
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Default Re: Purchasing a NEW 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw rec View Post
Really should put in a secondary recording drive instead of recording to the system drive.
Is this practise still applicable in this day and age? What I really want to know is: Between the two examples given, what is the best graphics option for Pro Tools 2019?

Thanks
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  #4  
Old 07-05-2019, 08:09 AM
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Southsidemusic Southsidemusic is offline
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Default Re: Purchasing a NEW 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesleonard View Post
Is this practise still applicable in this day and age? What I really want to know is: Between the two examples given, what is the best graphics option for Pro Tools 2019?

Thanks
You don’t need an external drive to record to as those Apple drives smokes any external drives so I would use the internal drive only. Maybe a fast Spinner for sample libraries down the road as the big ones are quite well priced compared to something like a 4TB SSD drive.

PS. I would go with the Radeon Pro 580X as I know others who have great experience with their new Macs.
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2019, 08:50 AM
sw rec sw rec is offline
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Default Re: Purchasing a NEW 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

One of my former students (one who didn’t listen all that well) was recording to his system drive, and the installation of a plugin wiped out half the files in a session he’d been working on for weeks. For no more than they cost, a secondary drive is a no-brainer. Yeah, it might work without one, but the majority of us prefer not to take shortcuts.
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:36 AM
jamesleonard jamesleonard is offline
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Default Re: Purchasing a NEW 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw rec View Post
One of my former students (one who didn’t listen all that well) was recording to his system drive, and the installation of a plugin wiped out half the files in a session he’d been working on for weeks. For no more than they cost, a secondary drive is a no-brainer. Yeah, it might work without one, but the majority of us prefer not to take shortcuts.
I'm already one step ahead - my Flash Storage failed (not so long ago). Guess what? I had an external drive... I always have done.

The 'thing' that threw me was: I was asking about specific questions relating to the purchasing of a newer iMac i9 - which was: What is the best graphics option for Pro Tools 2019?

If a song and its settings are good enough I will transfer it to M-disc.

Last edited by jamesleonard; 07-06-2019 at 09:38 AM. Reason: I'm not as clever as I look
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:38 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Purchasing a NEW 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw rec View Post
One of my former students (one who didn’t listen all that well) was recording to his system drive, and the installation of a plugin wiped out half the files in a session he’d been working on for weeks. For no more than they cost, a secondary drive is a no-brainer. Yeah, it might work without one, but the majority of us prefer not to take shortcuts.
There had to be more to this. Just installing a plugin will not trash sessions unless the plugin installer is toxically broken... and so what plugin was that to save everybody else here pain?

Risk analysis is not so simple as one anecdote of failure. External drives bring risk of accidental disconnection. Made worse by the ease of disconnect with USB-C connectors. Having two drives increases the chance of failure. The system drive failing may take down the system and that may corrupt the audio drive etc. and for most external drives.. the internal PCIe/NVMe SSD will give vastly superior performance. Yes disk cache masks many differences, but not all.

A dedicated audio drive should not be the first line of defense against audio data loss, that needs to be achieved with multiple backups.

If I was buying an iMac today I would max the size of the internal PCIe SSD as much as I could justify, and have my working sessions on that drive. You probably do not want to be opening one of these up to upgrade them, so spend the money now. And regardless of how you do stuff have your act together with boot/system drive image backups, as well as separate session archives to HDD, and (likely) cloud storage. Archives in at least three separate locations, using more than one separate technique/technology, and tested to work.

Decisions gets trickier what to do with larger sample libraries with storage cost/performance trade offs.

—-

My dumb ass approach to graphics on these iMacs or MacBook, etc. is to go for the highest end.. unless somebody knows there is a specific issue. You are stuck with the GPU on these closed boxes, and I tend to want the computer to last as long as possible, and more GPU should only help there, and the GPU pricing is not as horrible as other Apple options.... its an insidious tax, but when going for these Apple computers I think it is better to overpay and get more life out of them than underpay and end up under configured. Ah Apple profit genius.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 07-06-2019 at 01:24 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-07-2019, 12:08 AM
sw rec sw rec is offline
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Default Re: Purchasing a NEW 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

“There had to be more to this. Just installing a plugin will not trash sessions unless the plugin installer is toxically broken... and so what plugin was that to save everybody else here pain?”
I didn’t ask him, sorry. I was too busy beating my head against the wall. Agreed, installing a plugin SHOULDN’T affect a session, but this one did, and if he’d had his session on a separate drive, it probably wouldn’t have happened. The chance of it being operator error is pretty good, by the way. (Maybe his drive was full and the installer just procured space for itself? Can’t say, because, again,I never heard of this before. But I never record to the system drive, either.) This particular student didn’t have it in him to pay attention to details to begin with.
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  #9  
Old 07-07-2019, 04:12 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Purchasing a NEW 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

We don’t any idea what happened, so maybe not sure what conclusions to make, but if you want to go there let me guess a likely cause.. esp. since it is hard to imagine a plugin installer that could damage stuff like this, including with a full disk. No installer I have ever seen will itself delete other files if it runs out of space.

But if the disk filled up installing the sample libraries and the user then tried to run a session on the disk then sure they might lose work. They will fail just the same if they fill up a dedicated audio/session disk. Yes hopefully it’s less likely to get filled by other actions than recording music...

But let’s review the path to serious loss here (i am assuming your student had a serious loss not just one recording session here)

Decide to install stuff without checking space requirements, or getting them badly wrong?
Run installer and fill up drive.
Likely get multiple failure/error messages.
Ignore errors-do nothing to free up space or get help from somebody else
Run Pro Tools anyhow on a full drive
Pro Tools crashes during use or session save.
Do nothing to free up space, or seek help, or copy previous auto save sessions elsewhere. (Which should get acusable session back quickly with some work lost).
Not having a proper session backup/archive, ideally a nightly copy or manual copy after their last working session, that should have been able to get them back again.

If even a good fraction of those things happened, that person needed serious help and is an accident waiting to happen. And again backups/archives need to be the primary source of data protection. I don’t see anecdotes here as practical justification to strongly un-recommend running audio/sessions on the boot/system drive. Not given there are counter arguments going the other way, including increased chance of disk failure from having two or more drives, increased chance of corruption with unintended disconnect of external drives etc. who knows how all those actually balance out.
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  #10  
Old 07-07-2019, 04:43 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Purchasing a NEW 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southsidemusic View Post
You don’t need an external drive to record to as those Apple drives smokes any external drives so I would use the internal drive only. Maybe a fast Spinner for sample libraries down the road as the big ones are quite well priced compared to something like a 4TB SSD drive.

PS. I would go with the Radeon Pro 580X as I know others who have great experience with their new Macs.
Samsung 860 EVO 4TB $580
Samsung 860 Pro 4 TB $950
Samsung 860 QVO 4 TB $500

All from B&H in NYC.

But Yeah - a 4TB 7200 rpm spinner is way cheaper $180 for a 4TB WD Black from B&H - supply your own case as you would with the above ssd.

Have no idea if a 4TB nvme drive even exists and if it does the price would be astronomical.
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