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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Macbook Pro vs IMac???
    Hi everyone,

    I'm a complete beginner in music composition / recording / production, and am about to get a macbook pro or an imac - my old macbook is on its way out as the results of leaving it in the lounge with cats! Whilst I'm a beginner I work in transmission so do long shifts and get a lot of time off to practice so looking for something that will handle Pro Tools / Cubase / Nuendo in the future.

    I've seen this question asked a lot on the internet, however all of the posts i saw were well over a year ago - i wanted to know what everyone thought now. I've had a laptop all my life, so at first i thought about going with that, but the imac seems to have better specs. Main specs im thinking about are 8GB ram and I7, at least 2.5GHz.

    Im buying it on finance so i dont mind paying more for the laptop, but from what i gathered it sounded like even the higher end laptops have worse specs than the mid range imacs??

    Unfortunately there is no way I can afford a macbook pro with separate monitor before anyone suggests that option!


    Cheers,
    Alan.

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    The first thing you need to decide is whether you need portability. The MacBook Pro is portable...the iMac is not...completely different "animals".

    Once you make this decision...then your question is answered.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
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  3. #3

    robduckyworth's Avatar
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    the reason iMac's have better specs is because they are desktops, nad so they have a bit more space in the box to play with.

    an i7 processor will run music software extremely well. 8GB of RAM will help drastically with alot of sampler instruments (Xpand!2 or structure for example, to name the PT ones.)

    i use Pro Tools 8 at the moment, and it runs great on a Core 2 Duo iMac/MBP 13". so i can safely say, that any of the current line of Macs can run it well.

    you may want to consider Pro Tools 9: they have added native support for third party interfaces, and standalone mode (meaning you don't have to plug in your Avid hardware just to get PT to open.) This is especially important if you want full portability (and my main jealousy when seeing people with PT9).

    I personally think you should go with the macbook pro, for when the time arises that you wanna do some production on the go.
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  4. #4

    Kevriano's Avatar
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    +1 to that ^^.
    For the purpose you want it for, the Macbooks portability would swing it for me.
    They are very capable machines now, especially with the i7 chip.

    Yay, I +1'd you for a change Rob...
    Try my custom Mac Forums Search Engine: Mac Forums Google Search

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  5. #5


    Member Since
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    Thanks for your replies! robduckyworth - yeah i was also thinking of pro tools 9 in the future, thanks for the info. Portability isnt something that ive had to deal with that much as i dont go to a studio or anything - the main thing im concerned about is how much better is the imac than the mbp?? As in is does the MBP sacrifice too many better specs to be portable? Or better, will i miss or not notice the better specs the iMac gives? Cheers

  6. #6

    Kevriano's Avatar
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    I don't think there is much in it to be honest, the Pro is pretty much designed to be a very workable alternative to the iMac IMO.
    Really going to be down to cost and aesthetics I think.
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  7. #7

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alancheeky View Post
    I've had a laptop all my life, so at first i thought about going with that, but the imac seems to have better specs.
    This statement is what confused me. If you've had a laptop all your life...then you probably are not really familiar with the restrictions that a desktop will bring. If you've had a laptop "all your life"...you probably take the portability of a laptop for granted.

    Now if you said that this new computer purchase was going to be a 2nd computer (in addition to your current laptop)...and a "faster" laptop wasn't necessary...then I would say go for the better spec. iMac.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8


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    pigoo3 - yeah you're spot on, the only thing about holding me back from getting the imac is the portability, which i dont think will affect me much now, but maybe in the future. Unfortunately this old laptop is very close to dying - so id scrap this once i get the replacement. If i keep on hearing that there isnt much difference in performance between the 2 id go for the mbp, but just wanted to know if the iMac's extra performance warrants sacrificing portability

  9. #9

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alancheeky View Post
    If i keep on hearing that there isnt much difference in performance between the 2 id go for the mbp, but just wanted to know if the iMac's extra performance warrants sacrificing portability
    The one parameter you're not including in this equation is cost. Generally & traditionally speaking...you almost always get more computing power for the same money with a desktop.

    Or another way of looking at it. If you were looking at a 1500 iMac (assuming you're in the UK)...to get a MacBook Pro with the same computing power you will probably have to spend a 200-300 more (these are just rough estimates).

    The point is...a laptop with the same computing power as a similar spec iMac...usually will cost you more. The one "wild card" here being the different monitor choices with the iMac's (21.5" vs. 27")...will confuse things a bit.

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  10. #10


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    Thanks for the info pigoo3. Im going to buy it on the apple uk finance scheme so id be happy to spend an extra 200-300 more if it meant i wouldnt regret it in the long run. I think ill go for the mbp then as it seems from feedback that as long as i put a bit more money in ill get a laptop that will match the imac for peformance. Cheers for your help!

  11. #11

    robduckyworth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevriano View Post
    Yay, I +1'd you for a change Rob...
    wheeey
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  12. #12


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    Hey mac musicians, why you dont use Logic Studio for recording and editing?
    I think that the main question is wheter you need portability or you dont?

  13. #13

    robduckyworth's Avatar
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    I am very much a pro tools man. I really don't like logic.

    I am forced to use it for Uni/because i dont have my Mbox with me (still on PT8) and honestly, i hate the workflow. Also its not really what i am about: i like to record music, logic to me is more a digital computer musician medium, for electronic music producers.

    Pro Tools is the way to go for audio: very good metering and transparent sounding plug ins.

    of course it all depends on the OP. if they create electronic music, youll get alot further in logic, with its array of synths.
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