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  • 88keez
    Posts: 44
    Joined: Jan 16th, 2010, 08:37
    Buying a mac?
    I'm interested in buying a Mac. I would be interested in a desk top rather than a laptop. But I'm not sure what kind of "power" I would need. I will be using it for music, Logic, and other creative applications. (I currently have another computer for other misc uses) I don't want to buy something that I will need to upgrade in the near future. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what I would need to run Logic effectively. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Buying a mac?
    Hi 88keez, Welcome to the forums! Do you have an idea of the type of music you will be making? e.g. recording and producing mainly audio (guitars / vocals / real instruments etc) or using synthesised sounds created using Logic or other plugins? Any idea of number of tracks you would be needing when creating music? What do you mean by 'other creative applications'? What, like Video editing (Final Cut) or image manipulation (Photoshop)? Is this a hobby / semi-pro or for professional use? If you're in the market for a desktop Mac then really I would suggest two options: 1. An iMac is an all in one computer and very powerful these days. You can only realistically upgrade the ram (memory). Screen is glossy which may or may not suit. 2. A Mac Pro. Expensive, but will allow you to do a lot and most parts (HD, ram, graphics card etc) can be upgraded in the future when you need to. Many semi-pro's use iMacs especially with the latest models and can create, edit and achieve a lot right now. The Mac Pro's may be due for a refresh soon and are very very capable machines, but of course more expensive. I often run Logic on a one year old macbookpro effectively.... but of course this wouldn't do in a Pro studio needing 50+ tracks and a bunch of cpu guzzling plugins and instruments. Just something to bear in mind. btw, the most important thing you haven't mentioned is your budget! If money is no object then by all means look at the top of the range Mac Pro... Hope that helps Rounik
    Reply
  • 88keez
    Posts: 44
    Joined: Jan 16th, 2010, 08:37
    Re: Buying a mac?
    Thanks for the in-depth reply, Rounik. I'm a semi-professional using the computer mostly for orignal music and band applications. I have to admit I'm using a downgraded version of Cubase right now, but have heard a lot of good things about Logic and want to look into upgrading. I use a lot of keyboard sounds (via computer and external modules) but do use live bass, guitar and vocals. I have a couple of plug-ins at the moment but will acquire more as time goes on when I feel I need them. The other uses would be photoshop, video applications, etc. Nothing too extensive, but keeping my options open. I'm thinking the iMac might do what I'm looking for. Regarding the Mac Pro, although looking much more powerful, I don't think I can justify spending the money on that right now. Would you recommend the 21.5" screen, or the 27"? Should I spend the extra $$? If I bought the 21.5", I would use a second monitor as I do now. Is it personal preference, or is the 27" a better computer? Thanks again, 88keez
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Buying a mac?
    Hi 88keez, Thanks for the extra info! I think with the transition that Logic is going through (32bit to 64bit) getting the top end iMac could be a good move. I haven't comapred it first hand to the 21inch but the high end 27" is quad core! This should last you longer than the dual core version. having said that, I'm still using my 20" iMac from 2.5 years ago to do some work on... screen size is really up to you. Personally, I may find 27" too big... others love it... [url]http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_mac/family/imac?mco=MTAyNTQzNjA[/url] Get as much ram as you can... although this is something you can buy later (and cheaper) through retailers such as Crucial.com Logic is great... I would say that of course as I'm a Logic Trainer ;-) There's some free videos here on what's new in Logic 9: [url]http://www.macprovideo.com/tutorial/logicfirstlook[/url] and you've definitely come to the right place to learn Logic! One of the best things about Logic is the quality of instruments and effects plugins that are bundled with it. Logic Studio is really great value for money. A decent external firewire hard drive woud be advisable if you plan on recording more than two tracks simultaneously... and did mention lots of ram (4 would be fine to start with). You can always buy extra when / if you need to and when the prices drop! Hope that helps a little. If you get a chance, do pop down to an Apple Store and get hands on with the iMacs :) Rounik
    Reply
  • 88keez
    Posts: 44
    Joined: Jan 16th, 2010, 08:37
    Re: Buying a mac?
    Thanks again. I will definitely go to an apple store to see which I like better in relation to screen size. I will also check out some of the tutorials on this site. It seems they've got a lot of things covered here. You mentioned that Logic was going through a transition. Should I wait to get Logic 9 or would it matter? Also, is Logic 9 the top of the line from Logic? Thanks.
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Buying a mac?
    Hi 88keez, Glad it's helped somewhat. Yes, the tutorials here are priceless! Really wish they'd been available when I began learning Logic many moons ago! If they had it would've saved me a year of my life ;-) The Core Logic: Logic 9 101 tutorial would be the very best place to start learning Logic IMHO. Logic is transitioning from 32bit to 64bit. This has been in the works for a long while and is necessary and good thing. The update (logic 9.1.0) was released about a week ago and enables users of 64bit Macs and Snow Leopard (latest operating system) to use more than 4 GB ram. Generally the consensus has been very favourable. But now it's down to 3rd party plugin developers to release 64 bit versions of their plugins. Spectrasonics are already doing so and other 3rd party developers are following suite. Basically, the latest update for Logic has fixed quite a few niggling bugs and provided a way for Logic to access more ram and not hit an artificial limit. When you head down to the Apple sore ask them if they can show you around Logic on the iMac too. They should be running the latest version... Let us know how you get on! Rounik
    Reply
  • brezerkr
    Posts: 34
    Joined: Nov 15th, 2007, 10:42
    Re: Buying a mac?
    my friend is a tech at syracuse universities,newhouse school. the budget for new computers for the recording engineer programs allowed for the phurchase of 35 new macs. after testing them all, the opinion was the top end imac was all they would require. "really not the big macpro tower" nope...imac is the bomb, they came in under budget as a result of not having to buy all those monitors keyboards and mice.....i myself hope to be out of my powermac and into an imac soon.
    Reply
  • 88keez
    Posts: 44
    Joined: Jan 16th, 2010, 08:37
    Re: Buying a mac?
    Thanks for your help again. I've since been shopping for a Mac. I'm very excited about what they have to offer. I do have a couple of questions for anyone who may care to respond. Right now I'm looking at the 27" monitor. But should I spend the extra $$ for the quad core? Also, should I upgrade to 2.8 GHz rather than 2.66 GHz. Should I also go from 4 to 8 GB of RAM? I will be primarily working on the Mac with Logic 9.1 and other creative applications. I don't know what benefits this will give me if I do up grade. Any advice? Thanks, 88keez
    Reply
  • JamieInNC
    Posts: 186
    Joined: Nov 16th, 2009, 01:04
    Re: Buying a mac?
    Hi 88, If I may interject here amidst all of the great suggestions, you sound very much like myself when I am about to make a big purchase. Going back and forth...what's better, should I do this, or should I do that. I don't have a 27" iMac, yet, but it is within a couple of months. After trying them out at the Apple store and witnessing for myself how many programs you can open right along the Dock one after another, and how FAST they load, I am pretty convinced that the 27" (i7 or i5) would be a great choice. They don't carry the 27" i7 in the store, but what I saw the i5 do was stunning. Personally, I plan on getting the 27" i7 with basic RAM, and then upgrading that to the full 16GB through an online supplier. I figure that it's capabilities, purchasing AppleCare of course, will serve my purposes for at least a few years if not more. If you like the 27" quad core, get it. I honestly think that going overboard a bit is better than running out of room, speed, and capability for $500 or $600 less... Jamie
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Buying a mac?
    I too would recommend the i7 Quad Core iMac. It is comparable in power to a Mac Pro Quad!!! However, and I wish there was a way to whisper on a forum... there seem to be some screen issues with the latest iMacs that Apple are doing their best to resolve: [url]http://www.macrumors.com/2010/02/04/apple-reportedly-offering-15-refunds-to-purchasers-of-troubled-27-inch-imacs/[/url] Personally, I'd hold off for a little while longer on the i7 27" iMac until the screen issue is completely resolved. But in general, I agree with Jamie: When you buy any computer, consider that you're buying for now and the future. Purchasing the best processor possible is a good idea as this is difficult (pointless) to upgrade later on. RAM can be added at a later date easily, so you may wish to look at 3rd party RAM providers such as crucial.com to compare price - or even purchase it later on. Hope that helps, Rounik
    Reply
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