10-24-2012, 11:04 AM
I'm new here and have been trying to find out if my next computer should be one of the new upcoming Macs that were just introduced yesterday. I'm fully aware that currently there is no "ideal" computer and that whatever I chose there will be somewhat of a trade-off.
As far as Macs go I'm (for now) looking at two alternatives and I'd like to get some input where they differ in actual performance and some of the details that are not posted on the Apple site's specs.
Purpose: replace current Windows PC for music production and photo editing plus some more standard tasks such as web browsing, emails, Word/Excel, etc. In an ideal world I would just go and buy a Mac Pro, two top shelf Eizo screens and call it a day. But that's not in the budget and I don't know yet if a Mac is ultimately right for me.
A) New Mac 27" as announced for December with i7 quad core, 16MB ram and ideally two hard drives (one SSD for the system and a large capacity 7200rpm drive for data, probably something I'd have build in by OWC if that's possible; don't like the idea of the new hybrid drive for audio processing)
B) Get a Mac Mini i7 quad, add 16MB RAM and put in an SSD as the first drive, 7200rpm drive with max. capacity - not sure if that's still possible on the new version; I would go and get the old one and do it but I like the idea of having USB3 for external data management and future audio interfaces). The appeal here is that I could get two very good 24" screens which would work better for me then one decent 27" Apple screen. I also like that it still has firewire unlike the new iMac.
So conceptually I like option B better because I'd have control over my screen choices and changing drives would be easier (hopefully). Performance I expect to be more of a compromise on the Mini even tough processor and Ram would be pretty much the same (or would it?). So where would I lose out there? Price would be over $2000 for either system probably which seems like a lot for a compromise.
For audio production I'm still on Cubase and Lexington Lambda - but looking to start over on either Logic or ProTools LE with a new interface. Probably don't need more than 24 or so tracks. I play guitar and would use virtual instruments via midi for most of the other stuff. Potential portability of the Mac Mini would also be a plus for recording outside the house. But I'd probably add a Mac Book Pro for that at some point also.
Hope this makes sense. So where are the performance differences between A and B and where do they come from?