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  #1  
Old 09-12-2019, 10:39 PM
PhilJeffers PhilJeffers is offline
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Default Pro Tools version for older MacBook Pro

Hi everyone,

I use to work professionally but packed up my studio back in 2010. Since I have come into an older but still powerful MacBook Pro and would like assistance as to the version of Pro Tools that would be most reliable and stable on it.

Specs are below:

MacBook Pro (mid 2009)
OS X Yosemite ver.10.10.5
Processor: 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3

Please also suggest hardware options, my needs are fairly basic, but would be working with video and Time Code.

Thanks so much.

Phil Jeffers
Sydney Australia
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:08 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Pro Tools version for older MacBook Pro

Welcome to DUC. You really need to be able to work this out for yourself. And hopefully this gets you started...

You don't say if this is a 13, 15 or 17" model. A model code or EMC number would give more info. What GPU is in the computer?

The Core 2 Duo is not really a very powerful processor. And you only have 4 GB or memory that limits you to running Pro Tools 10 or earlier. You don't say what Hard Drive is in this computer. If it's only say a 4800 RPM drive then the machine is not likely to be great. and you might want to upgrade that boot drive. And you would want a dedicated audio/drive, ideally an SSD. On the 15" and 17" models you can replace the Optical drive with a second SSD (but need to check if that optical interface is at least SATA II not SATA I). But I'd question how much money to put into this computer, you would likely be better off buying say a a later used 15" MacBook Pro. In general a nice thing with MacBook Pro 15" and 17" from that era is how easy it was to max out the RAM and install two SATA SSDs inside them...with a quad core i7 CPU and dedicated GPU they were nice machines, but they are all getting old now.

We cannot guess what you really want to do and you give no clues what you are doing in the session, how large the sessions would be etc. With Pro Tools 10 or earlier, properly set up you should be able to run smaller sessions on this computer, you won't be able to run very heavy VI sessions.

You need to be able to work much of this out for yourself. Starting by finding info on the exact Mac you have and what upgrades if any you might want to make.

https://everymac.com/systems/apple/m...ody-specs.html

Looks like the last supported version of OS X on that hardware is El Capitan (El Crapitan), widely considered a bad OS X release. So you might want to stay on Yosemite or earlier if for no other reason.

OTOH the only chance you have with Pro Tools on this system is likely to run Pro Tools 10 or earlier, and Yosemite is already later than the officially supporters OS X releases for Pro Tools 10. Those Pro Tools 10 and earlier are all 32-bit will run in lots less memory than modern 64-bit versions of Pro Tools (11, 12, 2018 and 2019), and your MBP can only be upgraded to 8GB, the modern 64-bit versions can barely run in that, they really prefer 16GB minimum.

If you want to run Pro Tools 10 you can find used licenses from sellers, but you need to be careful about getting ripped off.

You also need to check any audio interfaces you want to use have drivers available that work on the OS on that computer.

I'm not sure what you mean by "working with video and time code". What video/format? Are you just playing? Are you editing the video on that Mac as well? With What? What interface/sync hardware are you using for video etc.? This Mac is going to be pretty underpowered/underconfigured for much modern video work.
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  #3  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: Pro Tools version for older MacBook Pro

Most likely this model.

Not very powerful, but officially capable of 8GB memory upgrade, which means having Yosemite installed PT 12.8 is supported, or, with El Crap 2018.12 even. And one can always try -- without support -- to run latest PT although officially 2019 requires Sierra or later.

But maximum of 8GB memory is going to be a slight problem. I would ask OWC if they have tested 16GB with this model. In their memory upgrade page they advertise 16GB for Late 2008 - 2010 models
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  #4  
Old 09-14-2019, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: Pro Tools version for older MacBook Pro

And as far as unsupported.. here.. instructions on how to install Sierra to your 2009 laptop. But don't do it with 4GB memory.

Oh, and welcome to the community!
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  #5  
Old 09-14-2019, 10:22 PM
PhilJeffers PhilJeffers is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools version for older MacBook Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
Welcome to DUC. You really need to be able to work this out for yourself. And hopefully this gets you started...

You don't say if this is a 13, 15 or 17" model. A model code or EMC number would give more info. What GPU is in the computer?

The Core 2 Duo is not really a very powerful processor. And you only have 4 GB or memory that limits you to running Pro Tools 10 or earlier. You don't say what Hard Drive is in this computer. If it's only say a 4800 RPM drive then the machine is not likely to be great. and you might want to upgrade that boot drive. And you would want a dedicated audio/drive, ideally an SSD. On the 15" and 17" models you can replace the Optical drive with a second SSD (but need to check if that optical interface is at least SATA II not SATA I). But I'd question how much money to put into this computer, you would likely be better off buying say a a later used 15" MacBook Pro. In general a nice thing with MacBook Pro 15" and 17" from that era is how easy it was to max out the RAM and install two SATA SSDs inside them...with a quad core i7 CPU and dedicated GPU they were nice machines, but they are all getting old now.

We cannot guess what you really want to do and you give no clues what you are doing in the session, how large the sessions would be etc. With Pro Tools 10 or earlier, properly set up you should be able to run smaller sessions on this computer, you won't be able to run very heavy VI sessions.

You need to be able to work much of this out for yourself. Starting by finding info on the exact Mac you have and what upgrades if any you might want to make.

https://everymac.com/systems/apple/m...ody-specs.html

Looks like the last supported version of OS X on that hardware is El Capitan (El Crapitan), widely considered a bad OS X release. So you might want to stay on Yosemite or earlier if for no other reason.

OTOH the only chance you have with Pro Tools on this system is likely to run Pro Tools 10 or earlier, and Yosemite is already later than the officially supporters OS X releases for Pro Tools 10. Those Pro Tools 10 and earlier are all 32-bit will run in lots less memory than modern 64-bit versions of Pro Tools (11, 12, 2018 and 2019), and your MBP can only be upgraded to 8GB, the modern 64-bit versions can barely run in that, they really prefer 16GB minimum.

If you want to run Pro Tools 10 you can find used licenses from sellers, but you need to be careful about getting ripped off.

You also need to check any audio interfaces you want to use have drivers available that work on the OS on that computer.

I'm not sure what you mean by "working with video and time code". What video/format? Are you just playing? Are you editing the video on that Mac as well? With What? What interface/sync hardware are you using for video etc.? This Mac is going to be pretty underpowered/underconfigured for much modern video work.
MacBook Pro 15"

Hardware Overview:

Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,3
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 6 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MBP53.00AC.B03
SMC Version (system): 1.48f2
Serial Number (system): W89323RA644
Hardware UUID: 030787E4-FAEA-5B28-A22C-2A59F6F8EF86
Sudden Motion Sensor:
State: Enabled

NVIDIA GeForce 9400M:

Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
Type: GPU
Bus: PCI
VRAM (Total): 256 MB
Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0863
Revision ID: 0x00b1
ROM Revision: 3448
gMux Version: 1.8.8
Displays:
Color LCD:
Display Type: LCD
Resolution: 1440 x 900
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Built-In: Yes

Model Identifier: MacBookPro5,3

So with only 4GB of RAM I'm limited to PT's 10, however, PT's 10 doesn't allow this OS? I'm sorry to sound so clueless, but I've looked at Avid's compatibility page and am finding it very confusing.
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  #6  
Old 09-15-2019, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: Pro Tools version for older MacBook Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilJeffers View Post
So with only 4GB of RAM I'm limited to PT's 10, however, PT's 10 doesn't allow this OS?
Yes that's right, PT10 is only qualified up to 10.8 (though with some shortcomings 10.9 is working) and with 10.10 you need PT 12.8 or later.

Which is why I would first ask OWC if your model really can take 16GB memory as they seem to advertise. Memory is cheap and even if you sold that laptop soon after the upgrade would still hold its value. What we know for sure is 8GB upgrade is possible (but it is bare minimum with PT11 and later).

Second, after successfully upgraded to 16GB you need to reinstate your support plan to get a compatible PT license and installer. If you want something else than the latest, you will likely need to contact support asking a link to an older version installer. But as I mentioned earlier, you can "hack" your way into Sierra and install the current PT version.

But that processor is not very powerful so whatever PT version you're going to use your plugin count might not be very high. Should be usable system though.
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  #7  
Old 09-15-2019, 11:48 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Pro Tools version for older MacBook Pro

For security reasons you probably should not post your Mac UUID publicly. All I asked for was the exactly, GPUs spec and disk details.

2.8 GHz MacBookPro5,3 so this one...

https://everymac.com/systems/apple/m...ody-specs.html

But you did not provide the EMC so may still not be this exact config. But life is too short to keep asking. So you likely have:

Upgradeable to a max of 8GB DRAM.

Came with a 4800 RPM HDD. That is just painful for even a boot/system disk.

Has Firewire 800 and USB 2. USB 2 is painfully slow for audio drives. Slower even than SATA I. Which is why in this general era upgrading the internal drive(s) to SSD was popular. Older versions of Pro Tools and limited memory anyhow means you can't run disk cache so need to be pretty careful with disk performance. You could potentially find a Firewire 800 7,200 rpm external drive and use as an audio drive. Depends on what you are doing with video etc.

I would upgrade the slow SATA III HDD boot drive to a SATA III SSD.

Even with Pro Tools 10 if you working with video you should upgrade to 8GB RAM, so you will be opening up the case... likely upgrade RAM, two internal SSD and give everything a good clean. Maybe new battery as well.

In this model optical drive can be replaced with a 2.5" SSD using an adapter tray (from OWC), But this is one of the MacBook Pros in which a SATA III drive will only run at SATA I speeds. An old SATA II SSD can run at SATA II speeds, but the choices there are pretty thin.

So you might be able to get a SATA III SSD and a SATA II SSD installed internally. If you were running heavier audio sessions I'd put them on the SATA III drive and boot off the SATA II. But where are you putting the video and again, what exact video?. You might end up trying SATA III as the boot drive with video on that and SATA II as the audio drive.

Good it has a discrete GPU.

Quote:
So with only 4GB of RAM I'm limited to PT's 10, however, PT's 10 doesn't allow this OS? I'm sorry to sound so clueless, but I've looked at Avid's compatibility page and am finding it very confusing.
Yes limited to Pro Tools 10 or earlier with 4GB, or upgrade to 8GB and be able to run limited amounts of later Pro Tools, but not really able to run the most recent Pro Tools like 2019 which has many improvements over 11/12 etc..

But you mentioned *video* with no details of what you meant.... and that may mean you have additional memory issues anyhow. And possibly CPU issues, the Core 2 Duo was not a fast CPU.

Who cares what OS is installed now? All that matters is what OS versions can be installed. Your first move with any used computer should be to wipe the drive and do a full clean OS install. It's up to you to work out what the best OS version to install is.

Since this one has such a slow boot HDD and I'd be wanting to upgrade that to a SATA III drive (like a Samsung 860 Evo). You need to obtain a suitable installer from Apple support if you don't already have one and likely install that on to the SSD while in an external USB SATA drive dock, boot off that drive and see if it works, and then open up the MacBook and install the SSD there.

---

Personally I would be running away from this laptop. You could run Pro Tools 10 on it with small audio only sessions, with say just some better disk. But the moment you mention video uh...

I would not want to sink much SSD and RAM upgrade money and time into doing all that. I might sell it/swap it for a different model. The last gen unibody macBooks Pros were much more powerful. e.g....

https://everymac.com/systems/apple/m...sb3-specs.html

Quad Core i7, so much faster CPU, 16GB RAM, Has the same SATA III/I optical drive bay stupidity, but has USB 3 so you can use an external SATA III SSD, Can run Mojave so you can be on Pro Tools 2019 with disk cache and other goodies and many stability improvements.

We don't know what your budget is, or how handy you are with wanting to upgrade stuff yourself, etc.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: Pro Tools version for older MacBook Pro

Darryl has a good point regarding boot drive, but it shouldn't prevent you from running PT if you have external FW800 drive for sessions. Upgrading memory is more crucial if you want to keep using that laptop, and you better top it up so if OWC says 16GB is good for it just do it.

EDIT: it is 8GB max. I missed the part of MacBookPro7,1 only when they said up to 16GB for 2008-2010 models. But the 8GB kit is cheap enough to give it a try.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: Pro Tools version for older MacBook Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
I would upgrade the slow SATA III HDD boot drive to a SATA III SSD
Sure, if the guy is confident enough to do it. Have to open the case for memory upgrade anyway so half of the trouble is there already.

This is cheap so seems like a no-brainer.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:53 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Pro Tools version for older MacBook Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
Darryl has a good point regarding boot drive, but it shouldn't prevent you from running PT if you have external FW800 drive for sessions. Upgrading memory is more crucial if you want to keep using that laptop, and you better top it up so if OWC says 16GB is good for it just do it.

EDIT: it is 8GB max. I missed the part of MacBookPro7,1 only when they said up to 16GB for 2008-2010 models. But the 8GB kit is cheap enough to give it a try.
And where do you put the video?... likely why you want a SATA III boot drive and *try* putting it there.
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