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Old 05-30-2021, 09:52 AM
djh108 djh108 is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 17
Default Re: Seeking Macbook Pro Buy Advice From Geniuses :-), (plz)

Originally Posted by dominicperry View Post
Can you return it?...
I really appreciate your insight and guidance, Dominic. Thank you! I decided not to return bc I needed the travel rig imminently and didn't have time to start over. I've got your post bookmarked for if/when I may run into a need to troubleshoot...

Wanted to check back in here for anyone else who may find this thread useful...

The Gist:

I have encountered symptoms of the issues. BUT, aside from a worrisome initial stress test, I've actually found the laptop to do a good job at the projects I've attempted so far...

More Deets:
  • Right off the bat, as soon as I tried an external monitor and stress-tested with an intensive post production pro tools session, my laptop got really hot and fans a blazing...and my heart sunk.
  • BUT, interestingly, it has been pretty ok since. And I'm using the same gear and working similar sessions. The only thing I can figure that is different: it's possible with my first test, the laptop was propped on a piece of gear that was itself hot (it was being used as a make-shift attempt at ventilation). Also, the room I was in at the time was kinda warm already, but that strikes me as less relevant.
  • I did begin by using a demo of iStats and can confirm the wattage jumps from about 4 watts to about 18 with an external display.
  • I've done (most of) 2 post production projects on this rig and things have been ok. These projects utilize many tracks, complex bus routing, playing a reference video (which has been positioned both on the laptop screen and the external display), and concurrent 3rd part software like izotope RX, web browser's, mail app etc. Fans do work consistently, but they aren't crazy loud (I should note that a lot of the time I'm on headphones and may not hear everything, but am pretty clear fan noise is reasonable).
  • In terms of heat, things can get kinda hot around the touchbar. But not "burning" hot and doesn't strike me as particularly out of the ordinary.
  • I've used 2 different external displays: A samsung 24" using an hdmi adapter, and a 27" apple thunderbolt 2 display using a TB 3 to 2 adapter. The thunderbolt display seems to do a little better.

My Setup:
  • My power supply and primary dock is an OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock...always plugged into the right side.
  • When using an hdmi display, I use an additional OWC brand usb-c to hdmi adapter and don't remember noticing a particular difference whether this was plugged into the dock above, or straight into the computer on the alternate, left, side (but not 100% sure).
  • When using the thunderbolt display (my home setup), I use an apple brand TB 3 to 2 adapter (what I'm using right now as I type, with a pro tools session open). It has been connected separately on the left side of computer. Its working well and haven't bothered testing another configuration (like plugging into a different port, though power supply dock is still on the right).
  • I don't know if OWC's rep for great gear is playing any beneficial role, but maybe.
  • I have tended to keep the laptop slightly elevated for ventilation (though at the moment, it is flat).
  • I also use a wireless mouse (not bluetooth, uses a usb receiver) and a wired usb external keyboard. Don't know if staying clear of the laptop itself holds advantage, but throwing it out there.
  • I've yet to resort to any other measure, such as changing refresh rate, or toggling "turbo boost" mode (though I have heard that last tip is utilized with some music production folks at times with little-to-no performance hit in music production sessions).
  • I have yet to stress test a particularly intensive music production session.
  • I have also yet to stress test any sort of intensive video editing project (though I did fiddle with a simple premiere project and didn't notice anything crazy).

Bottom Line:

In terms of my main, imminent goal of being able to work on post production mixes remotely, the laptop purchase has been an (expensive) success both in terms of computing power and avoiding any show-stopping issues related to the external displays.

Whether or not it can compete with my 2012 12 core mac pro with other types of projects, I'm not sure yet.

Hope this helps someone else. thanks.
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