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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Dual Core or Quad Core for Music software, Pro Tools, Logic etc

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Member Since: Mar 23, 2011
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Im looking to purchase a Mac book pro for uni as i am doing a degree in music with a double major in creative production, and am looking to get pro tools and logic for some home recording and other software such as Sibelius and Auralia. Im tossing up between the new 2011 13 inch macbook pro with the 2.7 ghz dual core i7 and the 15 inch with 2.0 ghz core intel i7.

Im basically trying to decide between the dual core processor on the 13 inch, or pay more for the quad core processor on the 15 inch, so my question is, is it worth it to go for the quad core? Even though its a lower speed, does it it have such a big advantage in multitasking etc and does music software like protools or logic or even the plug ins, effects and instruments etc within them, really benefit from a quad core or not, and how does this compare to a dual core? And does pro tools or logic take advantages of multiple cores?

I plan to upgrade the RAM to 8GB from 4GB as from what i understand the more RAM the better with music software.

Also the less i spend on the computer the more i can spend on the software, audio interface (e.g Mbox), mics and etc so i dont want to fork out more than i have to. There is about a $500 AUD difference between the two models with the configuration and upgrades i want.
Any advice and insight would be greatly appreciated
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they will both be great for PT and Logic. a dual core can handle it, but the grunt of a quad core would be more zippy. The apps dont take full advantage of multi core (i.e more than dual) processors yet, but you will be future proofing your system for years by buying a better processor now. also you aren't sharing your CPU with the systems, and it will perform far better than a dual core.

faster hard drives are useful for pro tools and logic, because of the amount of audio you are pulling off it. i would look into SSDs, not only are they faster, but more reliable.

bear in mind logic is 32/64bit, and PT is only 32, and as such can only address 4GB of RAM.

an Mbox 3 mini starts at about 200, but PT 9 is native, so you could buy a third party interface for it, but the standalone version is expensive.

the standard Mbox is about 400.

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Read the specs of the software, see what it will use.
For example, some software will only use two cores -- no more.

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Don't hate Windows. Just use Parallels! Best of both worlds!
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I run DP on a G5 3.0 dualie and it's great. I can get just about zero latency at 256khz and it doesn't freak out the processor. I haven't gone lower to see what happens because 256 works so well. I don't record more than one or two tracks at a time.

But an older slower mac like mine will eventually run into problems if you are on the gear slut tread mill. Get off as soon as possible it only benefits merchants. If you can't make good recordings with basic equipment the newest fastest hot**** whatever won't help. Browsing could eventually be a problem with OS 10.4 apps. But I haven't seen it yet. Look into refurbs before you buy new. I've had three macs from over about an 8 to 10 year period and never a hiccup.

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