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need a new computer
Old 17th November 2009
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
need a new computer

so my music computer is a 2008 mac mini 2ghz core2 duo with 2gb ram. I bought it in dec of last year. I replaced a g4 original 1.4 ghz 1gbram mac mini that i had for about 3 years. I never had a system choke because I don't use that many plug ins. the biggest session i had ever done was around 18 tracks or so. I've been on pt mpowered since 6.1, currently on 8 now.

I'm starting to do some things with software instruments and it's reallllllllly choking the system big time, and very quickly too. I've been messing around with the digi software instruments and also native instruments komplete5. I understand PT8 is pretty computer inefficient so I just bought logic to see if i can tolerate the learning curve, but i havne't really used it yet. Either way i know I need to get a new computer to handle the software instruments. But I figure if I can stand (or even like) logic, it might make more sense to use for the production stuff.

I can't afford a mac pro. otherwise I'd just buy an 8 core and not buy a computer for 10 years. an i7 imac is almost as much as a mac pro (i have a decent screen and keyboard, mouse etc....), and that hurts. So I'm thinking about getting another, current, mini. the new minis are 2.66 ghz core2 duo and accept 4gb ram. with a 500gb internal drive it runs about $1200. that isn't bad considering the i7 imac is about twice that and the mac pro an extra $1000 on top of the imac. So I'm leaning toward just getting a current mini. But I don't want it to choke on me. I'm not doing big orchestral midi things, probably just 5-10 instrument tracks of varying things plus my live instruments. a midi drum drack, a sampled bass thing, some keys, pianos, pads, strings, etc.... and live stuff on top of that. but I want to be confident it will work. I have no experience in the software instrument realm so I'm looking for opinions based on experience. It will really hurt if I have to come up with another grand or two for a computer, but if I could afford it, i wouldn't even think about it, I'd just get the 8 core macpro and be done!

lemme know, thanks for the advice!

Old 17th November 2009
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years
You can do what you want on a Mac Mini, but those computers are not designed to work very hard (heat dissipation) but to be small ... so

My advice:
Knowing all these computers (having all of them around at work and at my place) I think the new iMac quad-core gets all you need and much more and let you be quiet for a while.
This is exactly what I'll buy if I were you:

2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
1TB Serial ATA Drive
ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
8x double-layer SuperDrive
Apple Mouse
Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) and User's Guide
AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac - Auto-enroll


Upgrade to 8GB of RAM to feed your cores (without buying it at Apple) as soon as possible.
Thus you'll have quite a beast and would be able to do lots of things you don't even think about. So, maybe wait a bit instead ...

In any case, always take the AppleCare plan with your "all in one" macs (laptops, iMac and Mac Mini). You don't have to get it when you buy your mac, but can buy it during the first year at anytime, and give an extra 2 years of guaranty. Those little baby are quite sensitive, on average ...
Old 17th November 2009 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years
I mean, if you can't afford something else go for a Mac mini.
But if you can wait and find a way to buy an iMac quad, go for it, they're not the same beast at all.
Old 17th November 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
thanks for the reply..... logic is running more smoothly on my existing mini than PT does but it's still choking a little bit in places I would not expect it to. looks like I'll be going for the imac....

Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
hogo's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Yes, I agree with Manuel on the iMac Quad. I'm about to get one next week, but the i7 for only 200 bucks more is an all in one beast. It is considerably cheaper than the mac pro's, even the Quad 2.93 Mac pro, which the iMac holds it's own against.
It has been said many times on this forum and it is still true: It's better to wait an extra month or whatever it takes to get something that will last awhile. +1 on the RAM thing.
Old 18th November 2009
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
Hey Bro, i have bought both PT M Powered 7 and 8 however i'm a die hard Sonar guy....sonar runs great on systems that Pro Tools chokes out....effieciency isn't even close.... - your running a Mac - i'm betting Cubase will kick ass on your current computer....

my opinion - don't buy new computers because certain companies can't write effeicient apps....i mean c'mon!? you've got a dual core Mac with 2 gigRam and you've said you mostly use audio tracks.....think on it a bit...you should be able to get lot's done on that machine!
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