Quantcast
Thunderbolt options... - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Thunderbolt options...
Old 7th March 2014
  #1
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thunderbolt options...

For my tax return I am considering 2 options. I am going to invest in a mac mini and upgrade it to 16GB of ram because I want something small and portable but also desktop friendly. not a huge fan of laptops and play to use whatever large tv's or screens are available at my locations. For the interface however I am considering 2 options.

My first option is to get the Universal Audio Apollo Twin Solo interface.

My second option is the MOTU 828x interface.

Both offer thunderbolt but really I care more about quality. They both offer enough ins for my needs. Comparing the quality of the Apollo series with any of the MOTU interfaces, which would you consider a smarter investment. I just want great quality and great latency. I like the look of the Apollo Twin more than the look of the RME Babyface or anything that Apogee offers as well.

One last question, if I just went a little higher and got the duo, could i do a decent amount of mixing with UAD plug ins with it or would i max it out pretty quick? I'm sold on the solo already because i don't have much interest in mixing my session with uad plugs.
Old 8th March 2014
  #2
Lives for gear
 
sam c's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If you aren't going to use the plugs the solo is fine. But, just start using a few plugs and you'll wish you had the Duo, at least.

I also like the UAD pres and converters more than Motu's.
Old 8th March 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
thanks. im leaning more towards the UAD product. The duo does seem like a smarter move. If i decide to use the firewire port to add a uad satallite quad or something will it run with the thunderbolt interface? Also is usb 3.0 or firewire 800 better for my external drive. I don't have a drive but i'd like to know which port is better. I'd rather use the usb ports for drives.
Old 8th March 2014
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Billy Buck's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I don't have an Apollo Twin, but I do use an Apollo Quad over Thunderbolt with my 2 year old Mac Mini (5,1). I can't speak about the Twin specifically, but it is identical to it's big brother in sound quality, operation and performance. The bigger Apollo's have more DSP and I/O capability. But I can say that my Apollo works great over TB with my Mac Mini (plug and play). I use an external USB 2.0 7200HD in an enclosure for my audio drive. OS/apps on the main internal drive. If you do get a Twin, go for the Duo. The extra DSP will give you a lot more flexibility down the road not only when doing realtime UAD processing (one the Apollo's strengths), but when it is time to mix using UAD plug-ins from your DAW, as well. FWIW, a UA retailer stated that the Apollo Twin Duo's are out selling the Solo's by 6 to 1. Personally, maybe I am spoiled with my Quad, but a Solo would be too restricting for me. A couple of the more processing intensive UAD plug-ins and you are all but tapped out of DSP.

If you do get an Apollo Twin, take advantage of the special offer that UA provides when you first register your card. Pay an additional $399 and you get to pick any (3) UAD plug-ins from the UA webshop. You will be like a kid in candy store drooling over which plug-ins to pick.

Cheers,

Billy Buck
Old 8th March 2014 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
sam c's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Buck ➑️
If you do get an Apollo Twin, take advantage of the special offer that UA provides when you first register your card. Pay an additional $399 and you get to pick any (3) UAD plug-ins from the UA webshop. You will be like a kid in candy store drooling over which plug-ins to pick.

Cheers,

Billy Buck
I don't see that on any dealer site. Where do you see the $399 deal?

Thanks
Old 8th March 2014 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Billy Buck's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam c ➑️
I don't see that on any dealer site. Where do you see the $399 deal?

Thanks
It is a UA only deal (customer appreciation if you will) for those registering a new UAD device. You are given the option to pay an additional $399 when registering your new UAD device and you get to pick any (3) UAD plug-ins from the UA webshop. Depending on the plug-ins (say the more expensive $349 plug-ins) that you chose, you can really save big time ( as much as 3 x $349= $1047). I think UA also offers a $699 for any (6) UAD plug-ins to save even more (6 x $349 = $2096). This is only when registering a new UAD device on the UA website. Just another way (of many) to save a lot on the big ticket UAD plug-ins (plug-ins that are $299 and up). The key is you have to take the deal when you are registering as it is time limited before it goes away. (I think UA does give a 14-day grace period in case you change your mind. You may have to contact UA directly during the grace period). After that you are out of luck. Contact UA directly if you have any questions about it. It is a no brainer deal if you are looking for UAD plug-ins.......for example, get the Ampex ATR-102, the Lexicon 224 and the FATSO for basically $133/ea or spend $699 and get the Ampex ATR-102, the Lexicon 224, the FATSO, the Massive Passive, the Fairchild Collection and the API Channel strip for basically @116.50 ea. No brainer deal of the century!

Cheers,

Billy Buck
Old 10th March 2014
  #7
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thats a pretty sweet deal. I'm definitely going to get the duo. Im going to pick up a usb 3.0 drive since they are common. I am also ordering 16gb of ram and replacing the internal drive with a 128gb ssd.
Old 15th March 2014
  #8
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Im curious

Mac mini with 2.6 ghz i7 16gb ram and 256ssd for $1400

Or

iMac 27" 3.2 ghz i5 8 gb ram 1tb 7200rpm drive and 1gb descrete card for $1600

My main concern is the 3.2 ghz i5 faster than the 2.6ghz i7? Thanks again
Old 15th March 2014 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by projektk ➑️
Im curious

Mac mini with 2.6 ghz i7 16gb ram and 256ssd for $1400

Or

iMac 27" 3.2 ghz i5 8 gb ram 1tb 7200rpm drive and 1gb descrete card for $1600

My main concern is the 3.2 ghz i5 faster than the 2.6ghz i7? Thanks again
Get the minimum RAM, takes about five minutes to add RAM, no tools needed.

The Quad i7 is more powerful, for virtual instruments and effects.

If you are handy with a screwdriver, you can add two drives of your choice.

Apple provided RAM, and SSDs are more expensive than 3rd party options.

I went from a MOTU 828Mk I, to an Apollo Duo the difference in sound is apparent.

Old 15th March 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Im mainly concerned if an i7 with a 6mb l3 cache is really faster than an i5 with the same specs but higher clocked. Only difference is the i7 does multithreading. Im looking at an iMac now to get a decent monitor out of it for only $200 more. So is a mobile entry level i7 faster than a higher end desktop i5?
Old 15th March 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I auditioned both the 3.4GHz i5 and the 3.5GHz i7 imacs before doing a BTO one. For single threaded tasks there was no difference in speed/performance.

In ProTools with EQ's and Compressors there was pretty much no difference in total CPU load for the same session. Only when I started adding VI's and effects (like the post above says) did I see the i7 able to do more. How much more? About 10% to 20% more. For low latency and lowest buffers I found that turning hyperthreading OFF yielded the best results - less spiking and minimal CPU errors.

The i5 I tried never went above 85degC CPU even at full load. The i7 hit 94degC and ramped fans starting ~70% CPU load ( I HATE fan noise)... but my sessions never go past 50% so imac is 1dBA above ambient noise at operator seat.

I owned the 2.6GHz mac mini 2012 before this imac. To me huge improvement with the desktop class imac CPU (much less spiking at low buffers) and way better thermal control

Short answer - the 3.4GHz i5 is faster at everything than the 2.6 i7. My opinion of course - YMMV

Although I eventual fell victim to (its only $200 more for the i7) I actually think the i5 would have been a better choice for me...
Old 15th March 2014 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by projektk ➑️
Im mainly concerned if an i7 with a 6mb l3 cache is really faster than an i5 with the same specs but higher clocked. Only difference is the i7 does multithreading. Im looking at an iMac now to get a decent monitor out of it for only $200 more. So is a mobile entry level i7 faster than a higher end desktop i5?
Depends if your DAW is multi-threaded, make a huge difference with Logic.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music...hmarktest.html

It will give you a rough idea how different models perform when using a multi-threaded DAW.

Old 15th March 2014
  #13
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Im going to go with the imac. Its a refurbished 2012 model and at only $200 more I do expect a higherclocked desktop i5 to slightely out perform the mobile i7 for what I do. Mainly my decision is based on getting a second thunderbolt port and a 27in monitor which at that resolution would cost quite a bit to add to a mac mini. I also hate the idea of spendong money on a mac mini at full price when it hasn't got a refresh since 2012. At least with the 2012 refurbished iMac I get a considerable discount. The haswell equivalent appears to be close to $2000 and the $1600 is after taxes.

Honestly though a dual core mac mini is powerful enough for my needs I just want something that will last me long enough.

Anyone know how much a broken iMac 27" screen repair direct from apple would cost? Does apple care cover broken screens?
Old 16th March 2014
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I just bidded on the same model on eBay! I think its a good choice because I have the i5 2500k on PC, it never choked EVER!

Once Turbo boost kick in(and its magic when it do) its a wrap. As soon as you think the cpu usage is going to increase, it DON'T it gets lower...

I threw a test project at it using cubase and the i5 laughed at it! I added hundreds of notes of Kontakt and Reaktor but the CPU never exceeded 35%.

So I'm happy with i5 performance. I personally think the i5 is a i7 with HT turned off, so you're not splitting cores and most of the raw power is still their.
Old 16th March 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years

Last edited by classictunz; 16th March 2014 at 07:50 PM.. Reason: double post
Old 17th March 2014
  #16
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Waiting till the 1st to get my return is killing me lol. Im looking at an i7 model now. Really its going to come down to the sales available on the first and what models apple may have in their refurbished store. Im sold on an iMac mainly for the integrated screen. No matter what I get I'll still be investing in the apollo twin duo.
Old 17th March 2014 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by projektk ➑️
Waiting till the 1st to get my return is killing me lol. Im looking at an i7 model now. Really its going to come down to the sales available on the first and what models apple may have in their refurbished store. Im sold on an iMac mainly for the integrated screen. No matter what I get I'll still be investing in the apollo twin duo.
Me to it has adat in! Hopefully they will with the cards soon to increase DSP!
Old 17th March 2014
  #18
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i'd like to see an octo satellite with 2 thunderbolt ports and just keep it all thunderbolt for me. personally im not really sure i want that much power for uad. I'll start with the duo and go from there.
Old 17th March 2014 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by projektk ➑️
i'd like to see an octo satellite with 2 thunderbolt ports and just keep it all thunderbolt for me. personally im not really sure i want that much power for uad. I'll start with the duo and go from there.
well if they make multiple units work together, (the way it use to be) then you would be able to use FireWire to thunderbolt adapter.

I'm hoping uad make a move soon, like you said there's no tb satellites...
Old 18th March 2014
  #20
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i want pcie bandwidth in a satellite. Either way I have no idea if I will even use the duo to it's full capabilities. If I do need more power I'd get at least a quad satellite if they never released an octo version. Maybe start saving up, by the time a TB satellite is released I could have enough for the ultimate bundle. Time will tell.
Old 18th March 2014 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by projektk ➑️
i want pcie bandwidth in a satellite. Either way I have no idea if I will even use the duo to it's full capabilities. If I do need more power I'd get at least a quad satellite if they never released an octo version. Maybe start saving up, by the time a TB satellite is released I could have enough for the ultimate bundle. Time will tell.
I just picked up my 27 inch iMac today, its Only a Later 2011 model but it has best graghic card for that year l, a 6970m!

Its also have a FireWire 800, 2 thunderbolt ports, SD card reader and the slot DVD drive. The only thing its lacking is USB 3.0 which is fine because I plan on getting thunderbolt SSD...

Logic is almost finished installing and Cubase ISO is getting downloaded now. My eyes is on the Apollo twin once I get everything going.

But yes you will use up the twin duo, especially if you like the newer plugins! I plan on using a channel strip on the way in with the twin, so that should reduce my need for one less compressor. I usually use the 1176 blueface then the La2a for vocals.

Does anyone know if the twin comes with a free mic pre like the Apollo?
Old 18th March 2014
  #22
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
yea but i also use waves so i know i will use the duo. I just don't think i'll need more uad plug ins beyond that to produce is good mix is all. also if i really need to i can save all the settings as a special easy to identify preset then print the tracks and just use more on other tracks. if i can completely turn of the UAD plug ins after printing that will be even easier to go back and make minor adjustments and just reprint the track again. there will be a definite work around i am willing to deal with.
Old 18th March 2014
  #23
Lives for gear
 
climber's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I know it's more than yo think you'll need but I have an Octo running in a Sonet chassis on my nMP. It's the balls...
Old 18th March 2014 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by projektk ➑️
yea but i also use waves so i know i will use the duo. I just don't think i'll need more uad plug ins beyond that to produce is good mix is all. also if i really need to i can save all the settings as a special easy to identify preset then print the tracks and just use more on other tracks. if i can completely turn of the UAD plug ins after printing that will be even easier to go back and make minor adjustments and just reprint the track again. there will be a definite work around i am willing to deal with.
If you print or freeze track you should be fine.
Old 18th March 2014
  #25
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Also for the price of an octo card I can just build another pc and create a server with VEP 5. Probably a lot more power. But even that I really dont do mixes beyond 10 tracks. 18 to 20 if I work on a full band.
Old 19th March 2014 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by projektk ➑️
Also for the price of an octo card I can just build another pc and create a server with VEP 5. Probably a lot more power. But even that I really dont do mixes beyond 10 tracks. 18 to 20 if I work on a full band.
It look like the twin is for you! I think you may get the classic analog pack with original mk 1 versions of great plugins. But I like the twin because it has adat inputs, thats 8 extra inputs if your needs grow.

Right now I fly 8 channels of adat to my PC and 8 to my iMac, so the twin will integrate well with my existing workflow...
Old 19th March 2014
  #27
Lives for gear
 
projektk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yea thats why I am aiming small but still powerful. with the 12 inputs put together I should never need more IO. I record a lot of rap so I'm in no hurry to add an adat converter. When I do I will be adding a BLA Modded Behringer ADA8000. Should sound good enough and still be portable enough for my setup.
Old 19th March 2014
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Dysanfel's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
If you want to make an external Thunderbolt external drive and save some money try what I did and build it yourself.

1. Get a Thunderbolt options...Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter. They are going for around $100.
2. Get an empty Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable External Case 2.5 Hard Drive Enclosure. They go for $20 or so.
3. Get the largest and fastest SSD you can afford.

You'll save a ton of money and have a superior drive than most T-bolt externals out there.
Old 19th March 2014 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysanfel ➑️
If you want to make an external Thunderbolt external drive and save some money try what I did and build it yourself.

1. Get a Thunderbolt options...Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter. They are going for around $100.
2. Get an empty Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-Portable External Case 2.5 Hard Drive Enclosure. They go for $20 or so.
3. Get the largest and fastest SSD you can afford.

You'll save a ton of money and have a superior drive than most T-bolt externals out there.
I'm glad you reminded me about those go flex tb adaptors!!!

But how do you get an external in closurecase to work with Go Flex? I have a Go Flex do I take it apart and put my own drive in it?
Old 19th March 2014 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Dysanfel's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by classictunz ➑️
I'm glad you reminded me about those go flex tb adaptors!!!

But how do you get an external in closurecase to work with Go Flex? I have a Go Flex do I take it apart and put my own drive in it?
The bare enclosure pops open and you can insert any 2.5 drive you want then pop it back together. Then you slide that enclosure into the TB adapter. It works great.

I haven't tried an enclosure that came from Seagate with a drive already installed. I imagine you can get the drive out and replace it with some elbow grease. I am sure your warranty vanishes though.
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 84 views: 68357
Avatar for Melodnb
Melodnb 2nd July 2012
replies: 2376 views: 404624
Avatar for didier.brest
didier.brest 3 days ago
replies: 916 views: 204632
Avatar for gcabaltica
gcabaltica 27th October 2017
replies: 54 views: 8197
Avatar for fewture
fewture 23rd December 2014
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump