Buying Core i7 macbook.

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Piplodocus
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by Piplodocus » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:23 am

The whole point of me getting a laptop is to be mobile and portable (and I'll use it for stuff other than music). So, I'm moving away from a desktop as it's FAR too much stuff to move along with my guitar rig. It already takes me most of an hour to pack everything and load my van (then I have to set it up when I get there, and do the reverse when I go home again). I want to reduce this time; so I know what all the latest and greatest 8/12-core desktops will do, this isn't an option though. Equally, I'm not going to be mixing fantastic platinum quality albums for Muse or Madonna in my house, with full orchestras and what-not, no matter what I buy! I just want to know that I can happily slap as many synths/VSTs/audio tracks down as any other top-notch laptop user without getting glitches and odd problems using my firewire MOTU with Snow Leopard 10.6.4 (or whatever's latest), Ableton 8.1.4 & the i7 2.66GHz.

In terms of what's around the corner for the next macbooks; I've yet to be shown ANY laptop that has quad-core that will perform much better than the dual-core i7...

The only examples in this thread we've had are the quad core iMacs, which have desktop processors (and yes, blatantly beat the macbook pros because of it). A (very nice) desktop replacement laptop with a desktop processor, which will no doubt run down the battery fast, and since I'll be using it unplugged around the house, and when I'm in at uni part time, that's probably a bad idea. The only proper quad cores NOTEBOOK processors I've seen are 1.7GHz per core. This would give a (rough non-practical) approximation equivalent of a single 6.8GHz processor (4x 1.7GHz), vs the (rough non-practical) approximation of 5.32GHz of the Dual-core i7 (2x2.66GHz). The fact that most stuff won't take as good advantage of the quad though unless it's very well threaded, means you can say they're about the same using this approximation, and for some stuff the dual core may seem better.

So, I'm still looking for these elusive PROPER (non-desktop processor) laptops that are quad core and faster. So I'm not holding my breath for a huge leap in ,acbook speed/processors anytime soon.

I've been waiting to have the cash for this for the last 2 years (wedding and buiying a new van got in the way), and was kinda waiting for the i5/i7. I'll finally have enough in about september hopefully (assuming no surprise bills), so unless there's something else I should know, or better examples, then it's still the best bet to go for as far as I can tell based on current info. As mentioned the "Apple Tax" might be a few hundred quid, but the thing isn't plasticky, it's thinner, lighter, and got a good trackpad/screen/support/etc, so it's kinda fair to pay a bit more IMHO.
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White_Rabbit
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by White_Rabbit » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:07 pm

I'm in a similar position as you Piplodocus of being close to buying a macbook pro and trying to decide which to go for, is the i7 worth the extra price over the i5, 2.4/2.56/2.66ghz etc.

What I would like to find out is the limit of how many & which instruments and effects people are able to run simultaneously at a low buffer rate without having to freeze tracks. The point where adding more would cause audio drop outs. The only info I've found is this quote
Tarekith wrote: For the OP, my current song in progress uses 12 instances of Omnisphere, 4 full versions of Stylus RMX, Zebra2, and a couple Synplants. CPU reading is only around 36%, so don't think that a lowly dual core is not going to be good enough for some real serious music making. Underpowered it is not.
You're using an i7 2.66ghz with 4gb ram and 5400rpm hdd aren't you Tarekith? or have you upgraded something since.

Something similar to Live 8 Performance Test Results thread but testing the limit rather than Live CPU meter reading per a test set.

I'm still using a IMac G5 so whatever I get is going to be a huge speed up but I'm likely to use it for a long time so want to choose wisely.

Tarekith
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by Tarekith » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:10 pm

White_Rabbit wrote:
Tarekith wrote: For the OP, my current song in progress uses 12 instances of Omnisphere, 4 full versions of Stylus RMX, Zebra2, and a couple Synplants. CPU reading is only around 36%, so don't think that a lowly dual core is not going to be good enough for some real serious music making. Underpowered it is not.
You're using an i7 2.66ghz with 4gb ram and 5400rpm hdd aren't you Tarekith? or have you upgraded something since.
Correct.

Machinesworking
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by Machinesworking » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:22 pm

leedsquietman wrote: If Machines had been an East German in 1989 blah blah blah...
I'll remember to put you on the list of people who when talking hardware, don't have a clue.
I'll bet you got into big arguments about how CPU was everything back in the day when things like buss speed and caches would boost performance significantly didn't you?
Read Piplodocus's post after yours. While you continue with allegories and rhetoric, most of us have moved on to discussing facts and real world use. It seems the reality distortion field isn't just about Apple devotees anymore it's moved to encompass PC users who have some sort of need to wag their e-dick if someone talks about buying an Apple product these days? Hopefully you guys get together and fight it out to the death over who gets to keep it and leave the rest of us alone. ;)

I'll give you one little bit of credit though, anybody buying Apple hardware should be aware of when the line was last upgraded, and what the length of time is before the next upgrade. http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#MacBook_Pro As it stands it doesn't look like Apple is going to use some 1.6 quad in their machines, and wisely IMO is going for individual speed in laptop CPUs, so the next version will likely be dual 2.8, which I'm willing to bet outperforms a quad 1.6 by a long shot.

Simmo
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by Simmo » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:25 pm

I've decided to go back on what I said earlier about the HP Envy - as HP are proving to be a real pain in the arse (no customisation options in the UK, no global warranty (I travel alot so need this), build quality has been questioned a number of times)

.. so am going to my local Apple store tomorrow with cash in hand for a MBP17-inch i7, 8gb, 500gb 7200 drive :)

The other real problem I've got with virtually every laptop is that they have the vents on the bottom so they overheat when you put them on your lap - the MBP doesn't (lets hope it doesnt overheat now Ive said that!)

Cheers, Simmo

leedsquietman
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by leedsquietman » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:34 pm

No, I did not get into debates on my CPU or 'wag my dick' although if I did wag it, you better jump high, it would cut you in half ;)

I used Apple computers in my work for 8 years, so apart from thinking they are a bit overpriced, I like them and support them - for DAW work they offer advantages such as CoreMIDI being the best protocol for MIDI.

What the heck, I offer an alternative opinion, a few of you jump on the bandwagon to diss me, it's water off a duck's back mate - if we were in a bar I'd take you all down !

Anyway, spend your money on whatever - while I go and cry and cut my wrists because MW took me off his 'people to trust on hardware' FFS :P MW the fucking oracle of the universe doesn't like me, boo bloody hoo :lol:
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

solitarypartygroover
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by solitarypartygroover » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:59 pm

Simmo wrote:I've decided to go back on what I said earlier about the HP Envy - as HP are proving to be a real pain in the arse (no customisation options in the UK, no global warranty (I travel alot so need this), build quality has been questioned a number of times)

.. so am going to my local Apple store tomorrow with cash in hand for a MBP17-inch i7, 8gb, 500gb 7200 drive :)

The other real problem I've got with virtually every laptop is that they have the vents on the bottom so they overheat when you put them on your lap - the MBP doesn't (lets hope it doesnt overheat now Ive said that!)

Cheers, Simmo
Well, you could get a laptop cooler for £20...

Hidden Driveways
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by Hidden Driveways » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:12 pm

I've got a 2.4 gHz i5 MBP with anti-glare and the 500GB 7200RPM drive. Powerwise I'm satisfied. I don't regret saving my $200. My only complaint is that the 7200RPM drive gets loud sometimes. I look forward to swapping it out for an SSD when the prices come down some more.

Simmo
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by Simmo » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:13 pm

solitarypartygroover wrote:
Simmo wrote:I've decided to go back on what I said earlier about the HP Envy - as HP are proving to be a real pain in the arse (no customisation options in the UK, no global warranty (I travel alot so need this), build quality has been questioned a number of times)

.. so am going to my local Apple store tomorrow with cash in hand for a MBP17-inch i7, 8gb, 500gb 7200 drive :)

The other real problem I've got with virtually every laptop is that they have the vents on the bottom so they overheat when you put them on your lap - the MBP doesn't (lets hope it doesnt overheat now Ive said that!)

Cheers, Simmo
Well, you could get a laptop cooler for £20...
Got one - Zalmann NC2000 ;) Its bloody heavy though!

Machinesworking
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by Machinesworking » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:13 pm

leedsquietman wrote:No, I did not get into debates on my CPU or 'wag my dick' although if I did wag it, you better jump high, it would cut you in half ;)
wait? you're bragging about having a needle thin dick??? You're a strange one?

How about we stay on the subject? I don't care what you think of me as much as disinformation being spread.
You're offering up only half the story, and then making lame allegories in defense.

Let's stick with facts here:
- It's looking IMO like more than a year before Apple laptops get quad chips, PCs have them, they're basically desktop machines though.
OP wants battery life so that's out.

-You're arguing for chips that aren't out yet, the laptop quad chips are vastly underpowered at this time. It's probably not going to happen for over a year that Macbooks get quad 2.5 laptop chips.

-So OPs choices are wait six months or so before PC laptops have quad 2.5 chips, or a year before macbooks do. Or get a dual 2.66 laptop now and get on with making music.
He likes OSX so that seems like the smart choice.

Is there anything there you disagree with? because from where I'm at all that looks like fact.
Try to answer without using a car analogy if you can! :wink:

leedsquietman
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by leedsquietman » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:42 pm

The Imac already has a quad core 2.8 i7 processor option available and a 2.66 i5 quad core option. The Imac uses laptop architecture, so you wonder how long it will be for a quad core to come to a MBP. If Apple stopped their pissing competition with Intel over Nvidia etc, it could happen faster.

The HP Pavilion DV6T has a quad core i5 - 520M 2.4 processor and is available with win 7 and 6GB ram for $1100 (customized from the base $800 model) and you can get complete care including accidental damage and spillages for $179 for 2 years. It has firewire too (albeit the weaker ricoh chipset).

I googled this in 5 seconds. There are options.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

jasonjbundy
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by jasonjbundy » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:07 pm

With Apple MBP's you do get what you pay for: top notch quality hardware, excellent choice of software (Logic, Digital Performer, Metasynth, etc.) and excellent customer service. I used to be a Windows user until late 2006: I had the cash and bought an MBP and will never look back since I am now on my 2nd MBP.

@leedsquietman: Since you have so much foresight, why didn't YOU wait until the quad core systems appeared on your precious plastic Windoze machines?

Bizon
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by Bizon » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:36 pm

Not sure if this has been pointed out since I have not read all the posts but these new I7’s (2.66Ghz) heat up like a mother! When running a full project with the CPU load at around say 40-45% the thing heats up so much that I can’t even have it on my lap.

As a side note, I use to have the 3.06Ghz Macbook Pro (late 2009) and I swear that thing was faster and certainly did not heat up as much. However, one day when Ableton is able to take advantage of the 2 “extra” virtual cores, I am sure this thing will surpass that of my old comp.

leedsquietman
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by leedsquietman » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:41 pm

Jason, my last computer was given to me (to my wife) for free by Dell as a gesture of goodwill (as we have bought 8 previous Dell computers, and my wife has serious health issues and needs a computer) for my wife's computer breaking through her own fault (even though it was out of warranty) and then they actually fixed the broken computer too, so my wife allowed me to keep the new model, an XPS 1530 (better than the model which was broken) - so not exactly bad customer service there ...


BTW - nice touch, a mac user who hates on windows. Although I have windows machines at home, I used Mac at work and liked them, I don't have any hate for Apple, if you read this post and several others you would realize this. The hardware in a Mac is virtually identical to that in a PC machine (budget models excepted) and PC also has excellent programs such as Soundforge, Sonar, Samplitude, Wavelab etc.

If you had so much foresight, why are you judging someone you know nothing about and trying to get personal when I have only given an objective opinion. Should I get personal with you and guess you are homosexual and wear turtle neck sweaters since you embraced Mac ? I couldn't care less either way ...
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

3dot...
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Re: Buying Core i7 macbook.

Post by 3dot... » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:44 pm

there we go again.. pcs... macs.. and dicks...

bottom line(s) :
Live... is built for a modern machine... so just get one.. they're all fast enough...
the other option is... get a 4-track and some instruments... (for much less $)

the higher the specs...the shorter the battery-life... and higher track count..

whether it's mac or pc.. no one cares.. excepts fanbois
it's a matter of preference..
any modern machine you get will do the job..
the OS only matters if you're outsider of Live browsing the web or playing games..
(or you want to use logic/DigitalPerformer)

waiting for a machine that doesn't exist yet will not help you make better music
..or better anything for that matter..
might be (slightly) faster process..when rendering.. but you're not there yet
Last edited by 3dot... on Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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