iMac vs Mac Pro

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
pierce200
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Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by pierce200 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:40 am

I went for the 3.4 GHz Intel i7 iMac 27" with 8GB of RAM.
I use plenty of VST/AU plug-ins and it's barely breathing.
I thought I'd always use a Mac Pro but it made no sense to spend the extra dough
and still have to get a monitor on a machine that has aged considerably between the last refresh.
Lack of horsepower is no longer a valid excuse for any lapse in creativity.

steko
Posts: 3347
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:29 pm

Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by steko » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:15 pm

Khazul wrote:Interesting set of benchmarks - old 12 core is still a beast then for Logic :)
And this with Logic only using a maximum of 16 (of 24) processing threads on 12-core Mac Pros…

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3561

Afaik Live doesn't have this cores/threads limitation.
Last edited by steko on Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rahad Jackson wrote:My Awesome Mix Tape #6

steko
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Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by steko » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:17 pm

Rahad Jackson wrote:My Awesome Mix Tape #6

steko
Posts: 3347
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:29 pm

Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by steko » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:41 pm

Earwax69 wrote:... Problem with apple is that you only have underpowered (imac, nice screen but i5 and low upgradability)
...
That said, i5 are not bad at all, almost as good as i7. I would take the big ass imac with the nice screen and fastest Ghz.
http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/s ... jIwNTQyNjE

-> http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MC8 ... jIwNTQ2NzM

-> 3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 [Add $200.00]
Rahad Jackson wrote:My Awesome Mix Tape #6

southsounder
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Location: Olympia

Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by southsounder » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:56 pm

Khazul wrote:
southsounder wrote:Mac Pro's do allow for massive internal storage but FW drives are almost as cheap.
These days you can get RAID boxes that connect via thunderbolt, so I dont suppose the old speed advantage of internal vs external storsge really matters anymore - though I havnt read any reviews of the few available thunderbolt drives yet.

Edit - after having a look for some - there is a good reason for that - apart from the Promise RAID box which is very expensive (and quick) - there arnt any yet :?
I hadn't meant an advantage in speed, but rather cost. With 4 drive bays, Mac Pros still offer a cheaper (and simpler) route to large storage capacity than iMacs.

The difference in cost between three external vs. three bare drives is certainly going to be less than the difference in cost between an iMac and a Mac Pro, but it's worth factoring into the total cost equation if you need a lot of storage.

alex1fly
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Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by alex1fly » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:44 pm

pierce200 wrote:I went for the 3.4 GHz Intel i7 iMac 27" with 8GB of RAM.
I use plenty of VST/AU plug-ins and it's barely breathing.
Barely breathing as in, using all your plug-ins is no strain on the cpu?

pierce200
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Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:09 am

Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by pierce200 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:39 pm

Exactly.
Can you give me an idea of what one of your sessions looks like
in terms of audio and midi tracks + plug-ins?

alex1fly
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Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by alex1fly » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:54 pm

On average I have 10 midi tracks, 10 audio tracks, 3-4 plug ins/effects per track including the Master track. This is about the most I have going at one time, before I start resampling and combining tracks to reduce the CPU strain.

Rave
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Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by Rave » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:11 pm

My i7 iMac with 8gb ram rocks. Freezing tracks not needed on heavy vst laden projects of up to 30 channels.

Khazul
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Location: Reading, UK

Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by Khazul » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:45 pm

Hmmm - good option for those with UAD DSP cards moving to MBP/iMac/Mini etc.
Actually - also good for expanding FW and USB ports - have to look into this...

Wonder when its going to be available - want one yesterday, though I suspect they are going to be very exensive - maybe even cheaper to just get an apple monitor if you just want it for ading USB/FW ports etc.
Last edited by Khazul on Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Nothing to see here - move along!

Khazul
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Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by Khazul » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:50 pm

alex1fly wrote:On average I have 10 midi tracks, 10 audio tracks, 3-4 plug ins/effects per track including the Master track. This is about the most I have going at one time, before I start resampling and combining tracks to reduce the CPU strain.
Thats nothing - pretty much any 2011 i7 mac will be good for that - depends proecisely which plugins - ie if they are really CPU heavy or not (for eg Aether and ACE can be CPU hogs on many machines, but run quite a few instances of both in many of my tracks on my MBP).
Nothing to see here - move along!

alex1fly
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Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by alex1fly » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:38 pm

Khazul wrote:
alex1fly wrote:On average I have 10 midi tracks, 10 audio tracks, 3-4 plug ins/effects per track including the Master track. This is about the most I have going at one time, before I start resampling and combining tracks to reduce the CPU strain.
Thats nothing - pretty much any 2011 i7 mac will be good for that - depends proecisely which plugins - ie if they are really CPU heavy or not (for eg Aether and ACE can be CPU hogs on many machines, but run quite a few instances of both in many of my tracks on my MBP).
You're right, it is nothing - which is why I get so frustrated when my 2008 Macbook can't handle this kind of work!

I have started producing music for other people, with them coming to my home studio, and I have to be able to meet their demands without audio dropouts and multiple mixdowns.

How can you tell which iMac is i7, and which is i5? I'll likely be looking at refurbished models, as new as possible.

Khazul
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Location: Reading, UK

Re: iMac vs Mac Pro

Post by Khazul » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:55 pm

alex1fly wrote:How can you tell which iMac is i7, and which is i5? I'll likely be looking at refurbished models, as new as possible.
The ones that let you select an i7 when you goto the apple store web site and select customise, same with minis, mbp etc :)
Some models already have an i7 (and customise option sometimes has a better one) - just check the tech specs.

Just check its a quad core i7 (I forgot they still have dual core ones as well for airs.)
Nothing to see here - move along!

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