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  • Dekuruy
    Posts: 148
    Joined: Nov 23rd, 2007, 07:28
    New MacBook Pro purchase - storage and performance questions
    MBP questions. OK, so here I go! I haven't actually owned my own machine for about four years. My first computer purchase was a 3G. I've purchased two other Macs for my son and wife, but the 3G was the only one that I've personally owned. I've been using the Mac that my school has given me since I stopped using the old 3G. So, that being said, I'm treating myself, but I'm also making sure I do this right, and so that's why I feel impelled to ask here - a place I've always been able to trust for good information. My main concern centers around system performance and storage. I plan to be running Logic for the most part from an external - ie. samples and audio files will be accessed from an external. Will this speed thing up, or slow them down. I also want to do the relative equivalent with iMovie, and maybe Final Cut in the future - and I may want to record (from Logic) direct to an external as well. Would you recommend this, Rounik? Can I have things operating faster this way, then just using the internal drive? What type of externals ( I assume firewire - but any in particular ) would you recommend. What also has to be considered is that I just bought a MOTU Firewire 8pre, so how will, or can, I negotiate the one firewire port when using both simultaneously? I know you mentioned piggy-backing once, but is this ok to do on a regular basis? Does it put a higher demand on CPU to piggyback? I'm also considering going for a solid state internal drive, but is this worth it if I'm using an external the way I've described? Or, if I have a solid state internal, is it less necessary to use externals for speed, assuming external firewire drives do indeed increase speed?? (I know solid states are more reliable in terms of not crashing, but I would still back up, regardless). Are solid states actually faster, or just more reliable? Is it better to just spring for an external solid state? Well, I can't think of anything else to ask right now. I really want to start going full steam with Apple technology, but do it in a well informed way, as well as diving in and learning from experience. Oh, Rounik, BTW, I've mentioned that I have some important things going on right now, and since you were the first to mention it to me, I have to tell you that I'll be applying to became an ADE. So, just another thing to thank you for. Just going through the process is already enriching me as an educator in general, as well as an educator who uses technology with his students. It seems like they look mostly at the video (the application is a video submission - two minutes max. - and a written - Powerpoint or Pages - application) and they outline certain things that they are looking for. Tough to get it all in a two minute video! Do you have any thoughts or recommendations along the lines of preparing a good application? I'm hoping they understand my value as an educator who works exclusively with Special Needs students, and that it's unique for me to be using Logic/MainStage with them in the ways that I do. I'm bringing the power of Logic to them, and in turn, Apple, and their products, are servicing them in a more complete and enjoyable way.
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  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: New MacBook Pro purchase - sto...
    Hey Adam! OK! First off I want to check what you mean by a 3G Mac? I take it to mean a MBP 2.4Ghz Core2Duo - as listed in your signature? You should always run the applications (like Logic and Final Cut, etc) from your System Drive - also known as the Bootup Disk. Then placing projects, samples etc on an External drive is a good idea. Use a Firewire 400 or 800 external drive running at least @ 7200rpm. That should give you good performance. Brand is a sore point for me at the moment. I've had/seen 3 externals die in the past 7/8 months. These include Lacie, Western Digital and (shock!!) my very nice G-Tech. That's not to say I wouldn't recommend any of the above... but I may not be the best person to ask about this right now... and it's a good idea to keep a backup of your er backup drive!! It's my opinion that these drives aren't built to last as well as they used to be - but that could just be bitterness creeping in ;-) Many audio interfaces can be daisy chained with an external hard drive. I like the "piggy backing" metaphor :) Check on MOTU's site - or give me the model number and I'll do some research. Firewire 400/800 is pretty reliable in terms of the bandwidth or flow of data begin streamed - so I've had better performance daisychaining HD and interface from one Firewire port than recording direct to the internal HD (which on standard MBP's is the slower 5,200rpm drive). Solid state drives are the way of the future. SSD's are used in the iPad and now MB Air - hence the ridiculously fast access and startup times. If you fit it in your budget then go for it. There have been murmurs about the SSD shelf life not being as good as it could be... though I haven't come across any hard and fast data for this yet. Congrats on applying for ADE status!! I hope it goes really, really well. I'm not sure how things differ in ADE regards across the pond, so couldn't really advise on any specifics. That and the fact I'm not an ADE :( From the things we've talked about over the last couple of years, you'll definitely have more content than 2 mins to show in the video application! I would say focus on what you feels makes your use of Apple tech unique. e.g. Your Mainstage sessions with the kids. If you've got video footage of them using the Mainstage rigs, end concerts, something about how you create, prepare and coordinate it all on your Mac - how it enables the Special needs students to achieve they would otherwise be unable to do... you know better than me :) If I was looking at the submission then I'd love to see content that covers - what your aim is, - why this would normally poses a problem - how you & your students use Apple computers and Software (both Pro apps and iLife) to create this... - Show the results and how the aim was achieved - extra, unexpected bonuses that came about as a result of using Apple products and how that has had a positive impact in the classroom for you and on the quality of learning for your students. Well... that's just me - it's certainly by no means what they might be looking for. I'd personally make the video clip in iMovie with some smart transitions etc and do the presentation in Keynote - again with some smart transitions! Hope that helps Rounik
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  • Dekuruy
    Posts: 148
    Joined: Nov 23rd, 2007, 07:28
    Re: New MacBook Pro purchase - sto...
    Oh, my! Exposed again! I guess I can say it's my dyslexia (well, I'm not really dyslexic, just left-handed lol!) but please read '3G' as G3!!!!! Yes, as in the G3 processors put into Mac computers in the late 90's - early 2000's! I was probably giving a little too much information in that first paragraph of my post, but I was just trying to say that I haven't owned my own machine since the G3. The MBP 2.4 Ghz Core2Duo is my school's - they've just been nice enough to let me use it and bring it home to work with. That first paragraph was just my way of saying that I thought I might deserve to spoil myself with a new Mac of my own! Sorry for the confusion I caused you, kinuoR! (Oh no, don't tell me you're a lefty too!?!) But really, speaking of confusion, you seem to be quite expert at clearing up any confusion at all in a very simple, clear, easy to understand manner that just gets right to the pertinent facts - quite a gift! Your clear answers to my questions here, and in any of my posts, go a long way in helping to give me what I need to accomplish what I set out to do. I'm sorry to hear about your recent negative experiences with externals. I don't think there's bitterness at all in expecting something you buy (no matter what the cost) to do what it's supposed to do. I recently had a Western Digital die on me. Doesn't surprise me considering how poorly the outer casing was constructed - just a lot of plastic poorly fit together. I got a Lacie Rikiki to replace it, though (I store my iTunes Music folder on it). Certainly looks and feels better than the WD. Speaking of Lacie (although I know you don't want too... ) what do you think of their 'Rugged' line - it wasn't one of those that died on you, was it? Also, do you have any thoughts on USB 3.0? I know Apple seems cool on that right now, but.... If I purchase a new MBP with a 7200 rpm internal drive, or an SSD, will the performance for recording, or working with video still be slower than using a 7200 rpm firewire external? I too saw some things about SSD shelf life (you're right, nothing conclusive - and iPads and MacBook Airs seem to be doing just fine so far) so I'll just have to weigh that into the decision. And hey, Rounik, thanks for those great pointers on the ADE application. I was thinking myself of some of what you suggested, and some of your other suggestions would be great for filling some of the guidelines they put out. There is a rubric, if you're interested in seeing it..... But what I appreciated most of all is that your points centered around the value to the students' learning, and how Apple products are being used to facilitate this. I hope I can just bring it all together in the video so that they can see that. The head of technology for our Special Ed. district is an ADE, and I spoke to her about how she was chosen, and she also seemed to emphasize the video. She said that she thought that they liked the creativity she displayed in her video, and that she created an avatar of herself for the video. So, in addition to other things, I've written a song that will be performed by my student band as music for the video. There will be shots included of them rehearsing (Logic, Mainstage, and iPads will be part of the performance, of course), but I know that I need to get a lot of what I do with my other daily classes in there as well. I have to mention, though, Rounik, that you, your blogs, and some of the ideas presented in the MPV tutorials have really inspired and informed me in what I do with my students. My morale as a teacher, and most importantly, the joy I see more and more of my students expressing, has been steadily increasing because of this! Millions of thanks to you, Rounik and MPV, always.
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  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: New MacBook Pro purchase - sto...
    Thanks Adam!! Too many compliments for my brain to compute at this time of night! Much appreciated :) Sounds like you definitely need to spoil yourself with a new Mac... maybe two for all the good work you do! Good point I should check out the more rugged HD's - there is a Lacie one which runs at 7200rpm as well... I've found their connector cables and power supplies a bit mean at times... but it seems to be the luck of the draw as my G-Tech failed on me after a year... of very, very solid use - still looks soooo nice and solid I've kept it to look at!! SSD will give better performance than a 7200rpm but it all comes down to what you need. I have a 7200rpm internal drive and very rarely record more than 4 tracks simultaneously - which my MBP has handled ok. When recording to an external it handles it fine too. Not needed more than that tbh... But in theory 7200rpm ext will give you better performance than 7200rpm internal for recording. Logic is being run from the internal drive and then writing / recording to the external... How many simultaneous individual tracks do you think you'll need to record? USB 3 - looks the business! Apple, I'm sure will support it at some stage... but they are developing their own standard called Light Peak. Also looks great! But until we see these widely used in computers and will built-in support from interfaces and drives then it's difficult to pass opinion one way or the other... One thing I would suggest is, if you can, wait a short while... It looks like there might be an iPad2 in the coming weeks which attracts all the big news.... but also the macbook pro is due a refresh soon: [url]http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#MacBook_Pro[/url] Of course this is just speculation - and even if a new model arrives you can never guarantee whether it'll be worth the wait... but just to let you know ;-) I thought you'd already have had these ideas for the ADE application - and glad to know you've got someone who's been through the process. Sounds like you've got a great plan to present the info! You know we're really stoked to know that macProVideo forums, Blogs and videos are so helpful to you, your students and others! It gives us that warm glow inside to know this. Thank You!! :) Rounik
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  • Dekuruy
    Posts: 148
    Joined: Nov 23rd, 2007, 07:28
    Re: New MacBook Pro purchase - sto...
    Thank you, Rounik, for your response. Good heads up on the MBP purchase - just another thing to consider. Because I now have several iPads to use with my students, I want to be able to run them through an interface and into Logic/Mainstage when necessary. That's why I got the MOTU 8pre. So, I could very well be using 8 audio channels as well as many (7 or 8) discrete MIDI channels at times. Thus my thoughts about faster, more powerful audio/MIDI recording solutions. Your advice has certainly been helpful. Many thanks, as always. Adam
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  • Dekuruy
    Posts: 148
    Joined: Nov 23rd, 2007, 07:28
    Re: New MacBook Pro purchase - sto...
    Hey Rounik, How's things?!? Well, I'm writing this with a big smile after seeing the new MBP! Glad I listened to your well informed advice! There are lots of improvements on the new MBP's, and all for the about the same prices as the old ones. And - Thunderbolt! So this is what you were referring to when you mentioned LightPeak above! Looks very promising here: [url]http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2380870,00.asp[/url] So, it won't be too long until I have a new MBP - finally. Thanks so much for the expert guidance, Rounik. Take care, Adam
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: New MacBook Pro purchase - sto...
    Hey Adam, That's coo! I'm glad I could help... I was pleasantly surprised to see the 15 and 17" MBP's go Quad-Core... It's more than I had hoped disappointed that SSD is not included as standard. Not a biggie as you can always swap out the HD in the future. Check out the Geekbench benchmarks for the current 2011 MBPs here: [url]http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/primatelabsblog/~3/zQtuW8gFzRc/macbookpro-benchmarks-early-2011[/url] Then either compare it to the range of Macs upto 2010 here: [url]http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/[/url] or download the Geekbench app for free and see what benchmark your Mac gets! Looks like the Current 2011 15/17" MBPs and very very powerful workhorses - comparable to the current Desktops Mac Pro's - and with the bonus of Thunderbolt (Light peak) included... If you're getting your new MBP soon, do let me know how you get on and your performance with Logic and Mainstage. I'm particularly excited with this MBP revision. Thanks ! Rounik
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