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  #1  
Old 02-28-2011, 11:34 AM
Hbthyname Hbthyname is offline
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Location: Southampton UK
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Default Which Macbook Pro to buy?

I'm fed up with my trying to get Pro Tools 9 to work on my Laptop so i'm looking into getting a mac.

I have a Mackie Blackjack USB interface and i'll pick up another external that has firewire.

Would either of the base models of the MBP be enough?

13-inch: 2.3 GHz

* 2.3GHz dual-core
Intel Core i5
* 4GB 1333MHz
* 320GB 5400-rpm1
* Intel HD Graphics 3000
* Built-in battery (7 hours)2
* £999.00

13-inch: 2.7 GHz

* 2.7GHz dual-core
Intel Core i7
* 4GB 1333MHz
* 500GB 5400-rpm1
* Intel HD Graphics 3000
* Built-in battery (7 hours)2
* £1,299.00



Or will I need this one?

15-inch: 2.0 GHz

* 2.0GHz quad-core
Intel Core i7
* 4GB 1333MHz
* 500GB 5400-rpm1
* Intel HD Graphics 3000
* AMD Radeon HD 6490M with 256MB GDDR5
* Built-in battery (7 hours)2
* £1,549.00



I will be using it througout university and will probably be running up to 30 track projects with many plug ins.

If I bought a base model and just upgraded the ram would that be ok?


Thanks for any help!
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2011, 11:52 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Which Macbook Pro to buy?

This is coming up a lot look at other threads on the same questions.

You will need one or two additional 7200 rpm disk drives (for sessions and samples - if you use samples heavily). Either Firewire of Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt will likely be expensive for a while. USB disk is not recommended by Avid, FW disk you may have issues that need playing to get it to work once you add a FW interface. Again you can search those threads here.

Others have pointed out that the core Intel graphics may not perform so well and having the AMD graphics will help offload stuff from the CPU. Although with these new MBP and the core graphics imprvements I'm kinda suspecting it might cut it.

I know you are a student but the price of underconfiguring a system is likely higher than the price of overconfiguring.

The biggest improvement you can make with general performance is to have a SSD system drive in these MBP. But that is an expensive option. 5400 drives are awfully slow in comparison. If you really have to buy a 5400 rpm drive now and are pretty handy with computers you might be able to upgrade it in future to 7200 rpm or SSD yourself for less than Apple wants

13" may be really small to mix 30 tracks on. Do you have an external monitor? 15" high rez or 17" would be my choice if not (but much more expensive). Or save up for an external monitor later.



Darryl
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  #3  
Old 02-28-2011, 04:16 PM
Hbthyname Hbthyname is offline
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Default Re: Which Macbook Pro to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
This is coming up a lot look at other threads on the same questions.

You will need one or two additional 7200 rpm disk drives (for sessions and samples - if you use samples heavily). Either Firewire of Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt will likely be expensive for a while. USB disk is not recommended by Avid, FW disk you may have issues that need playing to get it to work once you add a FW interface. Again you can search those threads here.

Others have pointed out that the core Intel graphics may not perform so well and having the AMD graphics will help offload stuff from the CPU. Although with these new MBP and the core graphics imprvements I'm kinda suspecting it might cut it.

I know you are a student but the price of underconfiguring a system is likely higher than the price of overconfiguring.

The biggest improvement you can make with general performance is to have a SSD system drive in these MBP. But that is an expensive option. 5400 drives are awfully slow in comparison. If you really have to buy a 5400 rpm drive now and are pretty handy with computers you might be able to upgrade it in future to 7200 rpm or SSD yourself for less than Apple wants

13" may be really small to mix 30 tracks on. Do you have an external monitor? 15" high rez or 17" would be my choice if not (but much more expensive). Or save up for an external monitor later.



Darryl


Thanks for the reply.

I found a lot of information on the differences between the i7 MBP and even some comparing them with the i5 but only a couple of posts about i3.

I will be using an external FW hard drive.

Sorry, I don't understand part of your post :). Do you mean the USB interface wont work also?

You are right.. Buy cheap buy twice.

At home i'll run it through another monitor.

The SSD drives are out of my budget unfortunately . I'm sure over the next year though I could upgrade to a 7200rpm.



So your thoughts are that the second model might work, but the 15" one for £1,549.00 would be fine?
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2011, 04:59 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hbthyname View Post
Thanks for the reply.

/snip/

Sorry, I don't understand part of your post :). Do you mean the USB interface wont work also?

/snip/

So your thoughts are that the second model might work, but the 15" one for £1,549.00 would be fine?
I am not sure exactly what is causing confusion in my post. USB disk is not recommended by Avid. A USB audio interface should of course work.

I can't really help you much more. These laptops will all run Pro Tools but you say you are running with lots of plugs and it depends on which ones and what you are trying to do. If you are doing that now on a PC or Windows laptop then the sizing and performance of that computer should give you some idea. And if you have looked at wether CPU, memory or I/O was being hit hard then that will help as well.

Darryl
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2011, 05:25 PM
Hbthyname Hbthyname is offline
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Default Re: Which Macbook Pro to buy?

Thanks for your reply!
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  #6  
Old 04-28-2011, 01:01 AM
daceymathers daceymathers is offline
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Default Re: Which Macbook Pro to buy?

My current machine is a 15″ MacBook Pro 2.16Ghz Core 2 Duo from Spring 2007. I installed 3GB of RAM, and the 160GB hard drive.It’s been a real workhorse, and the most trouble-free Mac I’ve ever owned.
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  #7  
Old 04-28-2011, 02:42 AM
AxeDye AxeDye is offline
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Default Re: Which Macbook Pro to buy?

If it's still working for you then you might want to wait for ivy bridge. If you can't wait, I'd wait for Lion, sure it will take a couple months to be qualified but it is supposed to be a much more stable release of OS X. If you had to choose today I would get the best 15 inch model. The processor will perform nearly the same but that graphics card is what I recommend. But at least with thunderbolt on even the 13 inch models, all are capable of expansion and no longer is the 17inch models express slot a complete off set. I've been thinking about getting the 13 inch core i7 dual.
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  #8  
Old 04-28-2011, 08:18 PM
WinTaper WinTaper is offline
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Default Re: Which Macbook Pro to buy?

Get the silver one
__________________
Pro Tools 2020 | Mac OSX 10.15.x
RME Ray-DAT | SSL Alpha-Link AX
2019 Apple Mac Pro 16 core / 96GB
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  #9  
Old 05-15-2011, 02:20 AM
huzzam huzzam is offline
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Default Re: Which Macbook Pro to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AxeDye View Post
...The processor will perform nearly the same but that graphics card is what I recommend.
What difference will that video card upgrade make for running Pro Tools? As far as I can tell, that's the *least* important upgrade for an audio computer. Do you know something I don't?

I'm not picking on you; I'm actually genuinely interested. I'm eyeing the lower end 15", and trying to gather all the information.

thanks
~peter in oakland
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  #10  
Old 05-15-2011, 04:05 AM
thegreyfox thegreyfox is offline
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Default Re: Which Macbook Pro to buy?

The graphics card will take stress off the CPU when it comes to rendering the Pro Tools GUI.
Less stressed CPU = more power for Pro Tools.
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