(2019) Macbook Pro vs. Mac Mini - Cores vs. Speed!

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(2019) Macbook Pro vs. Mac Mini - Cores vs. Speed!

Post by jonvalt » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:10 pm

Mac hardware question. I'm asking here instead of GearSlutz, etc. because we are all Ableton Live users, which I think is an important distinction.

I'm currently using a friend's MacBook Pro (2.8ghz quad i7 / 16GB) aka "Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015". I've had issues with Ableton getting overloaded at times once I start loading up VSTs and effects. The CPU meter thing starts jumping around, and I get glitches etc.

And because it's a friend's, I've been thinking of getting my own. Here is what I've run up against. Faster speeds or more cores? I've read that Ableton uses a single core for each chain, so having, say, 18 cores isn't automatically better than having 8. (extreme example).

A fully-maxed out Mac Mini has:

3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)

A full-maxed out Macbook Pro has:

2.4GHz 8‑core 9th‑generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz

If I ignore generations (is that a mistake?) and just focus on speed / cores, it looks like Mini has fewer cores, but faster speed. Mbp has more cores but slower speed.

Also I can't get over the fact that my CURRENT mbp has a 2.8ghz processor, but 4 cores. So a new mbp will be "slower" on each core.... and if Ableton doesn't multi-task well, it might actually be slower?

Mini also can do 64gb of RAM which might be useful for the little bit of video editing I do. I haven't even gotten started on comparing the graphics cards of each.

Reviews of mini that I've read say it's really quiet. Ableton has my current mbp blowing hot air loudly all the time.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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