New MAC buying advice

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
dave999z
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Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 6:16 am
Location: Washington, DC

New MAC buying advice

Post by dave999z » Sat Oct 01, 2005 12:26 am

Hi all,

I'm contemplating getting an iMac G5 to hold me over for a couple years. (Currently I have a B&W G3 MAC that's upgraded to a 650 MHZ G4--just unusable at this point for Live.)

I of course am tempted to just hold out for June '06 or whenever the Mactel laptops will appear, however...

Do you all think Live is going to run on those from day 1?
Isn't there some weird type of porting or VPC-ish translation that needs to happen?
Is that going to = a performance hit?

If so, then I should just get an iMac now and move to a Mactel in a couple years when they're actually running smoothly native (and are on Rev 2, with the bugs worked out).

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you may have.

Cheers,
Dave

atomic
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Location: Toronto, Can

Post by atomic » Sat Oct 01, 2005 12:41 am

I would wait for sure. They are going to do the laptops and the mini first if i remember right. If you are hurting for powre just pick up a cheap pc to hold you off. You can pick up a desktp pc that will run fast as hell for about 600 bucks. I have a dual g5 and dont use it for live as it is way to slow for me. I use a amd that i run at about 3.8 gigs with no problems. I am not going to spend more than a couple hundred bucks in the next couple of years on computers and that will be on something like liquid cooling just to keep things nice and quite.

Peace
ABIT NF7+AMDXP@2500, RME Multiface, TC Powercore Element+Virus, UAD-1, Nord Lead2, Reason2.5, impOSCar, Microtonic, Reaktor5 and some other stuff...

mike holiday
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Post by mike holiday » Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:01 am

going thru the same debate myself i decide to upgrade my old powermac
(800 to duel1.8 )
yup the upgrade works i think im safe for untill the "mactells" come out!

rasputin7
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Location: Chicago

Post by rasputin7 » Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:41 am

atomic wrote:I would wait for sure. They are going to do the laptops and the mini first if i remember right. If you are hurting for powre just pick up a cheap pc to hold you off. You can pick up a desktp pc that will run fast as hell for about 600 bucks. I have a dual g5 and dont use it for live as it is way to slow for me. I use a amd that i run at about 3.8 gigs with no problems. I am not going to spend more than a couple hundred bucks in the next couple of years on computers and that will be on something like liquid cooling just to keep things nice and quite.

Peace
Dual G5 is running way too slow for you? Wow. I'm using a Powerbook and getting results. Just curious about what your rig is like and what a typical composition looks like for you. I haven't been keeping up on the latest Mac stuff, and am curious about the Mactel news. What's up with that?
PowerBook G4 1.33/2G
Kontakt 2/Pro-53/FM7/Battery2/Reason3

AdamJay
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Location: Indianapolis, USA

Post by AdamJay » Sat Oct 01, 2005 5:12 am

"3.8 gigs" on an AMD?
even the $1,000 AMD FX-57 only runs at 2.8ghz stock.

what kind of cooling are you using???????
does it keep your house warm in the winter months?

computo
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Post by computo » Sat Oct 01, 2005 6:17 am

You must be doing something COMPLETELY wrong if you're running a G5 and having ANY problems.

Whats your ram like?

something is seriously wrong here...

inis
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Post by inis » Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:36 am

Dual G5 with stock ram should be fine. Ive never heard of anyone with a G5 having any kind of performance problems.

hambone1
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Post by hambone1 » Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:42 am

I don't have any performance problems with a 2 x 2GHz G5, unless I throw stupid amounts of softsynths/FX at it.

I bought a little iBook yesterday for other purposes, and I tried Live on it just for grins. I was surprised just how capable it was, even with only 512MB RAM.

A bargain at £499 (about 900 bucks). Bluetooth, Airport Extreme, etc.

atomic
Posts: 403
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Location: Toronto, Can

Post by atomic » Sat Oct 01, 2005 10:13 am

rasputin7 said.....
"Just curious about what your rig is like and what a typical composition looks like for you."

I seem to get up to about about 13-15 tracks going. I use a compressor on each track off the UAD and two reverbs off the Powercore card as a startup point. My main sound sources are Impulse, microtonic, imposcar, poercore virus, reason2.5 and reaktor5. I tend to use some delay and filters from ableton and my eq's mostly come from the powercore and the UAD.

"Adam Jay
3.8 gigs" on an AMD?
even the $1,000 AMD FX-57 only runs at 2.8ghz stock.

what kind of cooling are you using???????
does it keep your house warm in the winter months?"

LOL ya sorry i should have been clearer on that. If the chip went by the AMD trying to compair there chips to intell speeds thing. eg. The AMD XP3600 chips ran at a clock speed of 2.4 gigs i think. Sorry was not trying to pull the hole "my computer is faster than your computer" thing. And yes it runs quite warm and somewhat louder than I would llke.

Ok here is the story....
I was running a dual 1.8 G5 with two gigs of ram and it bonked when running soft synths and compressors+fx and so on. The AMD that I run has an actual clock speed of 2.5 gigs and I run it with a gig of ram. This amoung of ram is not enough anymore when running live with reaktor and sometimes reason at the same time. The UAD card would not run with my powercore at the same time due to the way that the pci bus is on the second revison of the dual1.8G5 so i went back to pc. Besides the proformance from the G5 was just sad when put side by side with my AMD box.

If you want to floor your dual 1.8G5 just open reaktor5 and open an ens. with a carbon2 playing a four note chord and then add a green matix for a nice fat bass line and you are pretty much there. Add a imposar leed line and then you are hitting the wall for sure. I just checked this out using (not the the best of soundcards...a Mbox running at 48k) In this case Reaktor puts use to both cpu's and ableton pretty much sticks to one from what I can tell. When you look at it you have a 1.8 processor to do ALL your ableton audio work and the other processor to take care of your GUI and what ever audio app you can run via rewire or a reaktor like program.

I took the time to setup the EXACTLY same set on my dual G51.8 with 1.25gigs of ram and a Mbox running at 48k. And my AMD windows xp box running with 1gig of ram and the cpu running at 2.5gigs (actual clock speed). With a RME multiface soundcard. Like above I took a Carbon3 playing the "house piano" midi clip from live 4 factory content folder and had it play the Klong snap(preset). I then took the "house bass" midi clip from the same folder and set it up to play carbon2 with the "absolute clasic" snap. Then on the third track i took the Imposcar and loaded up the defualt patch to play the "house lead" midi clip also in the same folder. This is how it broke down... (remember that the RME soundcard is helping processing for the AMD a bit here)

With the carbon and the green matrix playing only...
Dual 1.8 hit 70% (ableton and reaktor meters)
And the AMD hit 47% in the reaktor meter and 45% in the pc meter.

When i add the imposcar....
Dual 1.8 hits 85% and starts snaping and poping.
AMD hits 51% ableton meter and the reaktor meter goes up to 48.5%

Just for the hell of it I added another VST to the AMD to play the second "house piano" part, enter audiobulb sophia... one of the cpu heavy vsti's i have ever used...
AMD hits 73%

I then added a impulse to play the drum parts with the default Artefact Delirium kit....
AMD hits 78% and still no clicks and pops.

I am not mac bashing here just saying it as it has been for me. I am typing this on a mac and right beside it is my AMD. I did know that the mac would be slower when I bought it but I had no idea how much slower. I dont regret buying it as it is a fantastic computer and it gets its use. I have talked to the music store where I bought the mac and is in no way a new topic for them. People come in and expect to have the dual G5's blow away the PC's but it is not the case at all. We did side by sides in the shop between some brand of music PC and a dual G5 2gig and the PC won with ease. There is nothing wrong with my mac. It is a great computer, just not as fast as many others that are out there for half as much cash. Is speed the only thing that is important? NO not at all.

Hope that helps.

Peace
ABIT NF7+AMDXP@2500, RME Multiface, TC Powercore Element+Virus, UAD-1, Nord Lead2, Reason2.5, impOSCar, Microtonic, Reaktor5 and some other stuff...

swpspce
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Post by swpspce » Sat Oct 01, 2005 1:01 pm

If you are in the market of getting a new computer - I would suggest waiting for the Rev B.s of the MacIntel AND when Mac OS X hits X.5.3. Do not believe the hype, I have seen the MacIntel here at University and yes, it does run "great" but not as Steve Jobs put it....

Secondly, as for the apps - I would wait for at least the 2nd Universal Binary of your favourite app...do not jump ship just yet - be patient...

let the corporation know that you make the choice for yourself and not they for you.
Apple PowerBook 12" 1Ghz 512mb Ram...ReMOTE 25, Live 4 beta 4, Kontakt, Reaktor

atomic
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 9:45 pm
Location: Toronto, Can

Post by atomic » Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:15 pm

I thought I would get a reply to that post. Oh well hope it is usefull to someone.
ABIT NF7+AMDXP@2500, RME Multiface, TC Powercore Element+Virus, UAD-1, Nord Lead2, Reason2.5, impOSCar, Microtonic, Reaktor5 and some other stuff...

Moody
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Post by Moody » Tue Oct 04, 2005 6:17 pm

Just by a PC they are cheaper. :P
Ableton’s engineers are hard
at work developing code that will allow our software to predict the future, but we don’t
anticipate having this available until at least the next major release.

pearsonart.com
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Post by pearsonart.com » Tue Oct 04, 2005 6:40 pm

Just visiting after a post in the wallstreet powerbook thread.

Coming from the lowend side, it's difficult to see how anyone would be struggling with a G5, let alone a dual G5. I suppose it's just a matter of what you get used to?

I've always felt like limited resources were a good thing, often leading to creative solutions. For instance, does anyone else ever bounce/submix tracks anymore? Rendering tracks with cpu-intensive fx, freezing etc...they are all useful and practical alternatives to chasing the latest hardware technology. I like the idea of committing to SOME creative decisions (like submixing and "printing" fx) early in the recording process to "fix" a direction for what I'm doing. I also think nothing of obliterating entire sections if necessary to move an idea forward. I suppose that's a result of also being a painter. No undo's there, only advances.

Just my thoughts. Best wishes to everyone. If you have the resources to buy the latest, great. I prefer to see lower heat, higher energy efficiency, longer battery life and better written apps.

wavejumper
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bouncing

Post by wavejumper » Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:52 am

pearsonart, I totally feel what your saying, all my early tracks were done on a tascam 4 tracks cassete recorder. Bouncing galore. Taught me a few things about planning ahead and getting my submixes right. All the optons I have now I don't really mind when something starts hogging the system, it gets resampled and on we go. Personally I think its down to self discipline.

hoffman2k
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Post by hoffman2k » Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:11 am

For 12 October
Image

:wink:

Probably that damn video ipod..... But you never know....

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