LiveAct / DJ SET: What Macbook Pro would be the best choice?

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TechnoLover
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:57 pm

LiveAct / DJ SET: What Macbook Pro would be the best choice?

Post by TechnoLover » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:35 am

Hey everybody!

I am starting a new thread because it differs from the original one and I believe people are tired to read a 2 pages posts even before starting to read it. :mrgreen:

As new laptop, I finally choose the Mac option; so I am gonna buy a MacBook Pro ! As my budget isn't limitless, I really need to take care of it and make a good choice.

The 2 "options" I have (seeing this budget) are :

- Macbook Pro 13" i5 (2.3 Ghz, dual core - 320 Go HDD)
- Macbook Pro 13" i7 (2.7 Ghz, dual core) - 500 Go HDD)

The i5 is 300€ cheaper than the i7.

I am gonna use it for my live acts and for DJ sets. I won't use it for "intensive" production but I'll use it to produce when I'll be in the plane or sleeping at hotels. (got a big monster as studio computer)

Thanks for your help!

Cheers!

salatspinatra
Posts: 235
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 5:17 pm
Location: NYC

Re: LiveAct / DJ SET: What Macbook Pro would be the best choice?

Post by salatspinatra » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:51 pm

Thought I'd help out and get the responses moving for you, just realize it's been since January 2006 that I was on the market for the latest mac! With that in mind, I'm on the original Core Duo, and I push my routing, plugins, pretty damn hard, ending up with about 11% CPU when idling. Depending on what you're doing, either option you're looking at should be able handle most anything you throw at it, with discretion. By discretion, I mean don't use a convolution reverb in your live set, for example, just because you need to have everything. Or if you're going to test out the Tyrell VST synth, you better cater to the amount of processing its going to suck off your machine (for now).

The short answer is, go with as much as you can afford.

The rpm of your drive does make a difference, has for me anyway. I stick to 7200. In any case, if you can trust yourself to use only half of the drive before replacing it, the larger drive will give you faster seek and read (I'd still go with an external drive for you media files or collect your media files for the session.) because you will be using the sectors from the center of the tray first.

Next, you really want to sink your change into ram. You can always buy the minimum ram up front, which is often good if you don't want to "pay twice" for a configuration that bridges over more than one of your limited ram slots. You'll save more if you buy and install the ram yourself (do people do this anymore in a unibody mac?).

I really haven't heard much compelling evidence that the CPU of those two models makes a noticeable difference, and I don't know if you're compromising on the graphics card: that would make a difference for apps like pixelmator or your favorite games, but shouldn't effect ableton.

TechnoLover
Posts: 236
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:57 pm

Re: LiveAct / DJ SET: What Macbook Pro would be the best choice?

Post by TechnoLover » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:08 am

Thanks for the answer man! Helps a lot!

I still have a studio computer (i7 2600K with 8GB of Ram) + a laptop (for movies, surf, games, ...) so my mac will be ONLY used for live acts (nothing graphic at all, no games, ...)

I can afford the i7 but it's a bit higher than my budget so that's why I would like to know if it's really worth it or if I won't have any problems with the i5 ^^

TechnoLover
Posts: 236
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:57 pm

Re: LiveAct / DJ SET: What Macbook Pro would be the best choice?

Post by TechnoLover » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:57 am

Gotta order it in a few hours so if anyone have some advice to give, it would be really helpful :oops:

braduro
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Re: LiveAct / DJ SET: What Macbook Pro would be the best choice?

Post by braduro » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:29 pm

Hey man, looks like you're clear for take-off. I confirmed some research on the i5 vs i7. Unless you wait for another year or 2 when intel's layered chips come on the market, the i5 is like your GTI of chips or something to that effect-you'll get plenty of play. (Just don't drag against a ferrari). Let's face it, with a performance set-up it's stability first. Although plenty people scroll around 64 tracks while in their set, I'm inclined to keep things lean and mean, in which case I have not even outgrown the 32-bit versions of anything.

With the ram boost, which you should really price out first (I like Other World Computing OWC), and that thunderbolt port (plus the firewire 800, which is really better for more bandwidth/tracks), you won't have any of the limitations I faced.

TechnoLover
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:57 pm

Re: LiveAct / DJ SET: What Macbook Pro would be the best choice?

Post by TechnoLover » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:39 pm

So, do you think I should take some more ram ? I see even the 17" i7 has 4GB ...

I am almost ready to buy it, I think the i5 should be great enough... Will be done in 2 or 3 hours :D

Thanks for the advice!

JAMM
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Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 8:03 pm

Re: LiveAct / DJ SET: What Macbook Pro would be the best choice?

Post by JAMM » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:58 pm

fast enough and the price is okay. Benchmarks and tests shows that a 2011 13 inch sandy bridge i5 is faster then a 2010 15 inch MBP. Also the Pricedifference between the 13 inch i7 and the 15 inch mbp quatcore is only 300 euro, so then i would go for the 15 inch.

JAMM
Posts: 727
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 8:03 pm

Re: LiveAct / DJ SET: What Macbook Pro would be the best choice?

Post by JAMM » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:02 pm

Forgot..The 15 inch quatcores become hot and have noisy fans. Also Next year probleby new processors and new MBP line. I would go for the "cheap" i5

TechnoLover
Posts: 236
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:57 pm

Re: LiveAct / DJ SET: What Macbook Pro would be the best choice?

Post by TechnoLover » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:23 pm

I see... Okay, gonna order the i5 now then! I'll order some additionnal RAM later if I feel it's needed... I am gonna use much VSTs during the set/live as they will be rendered so I think it should run great...

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