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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!

Benchmarks?! 2011 refreshed MBA vs. 2011 MBP for Ableton, Traktor Pro, Logic, Etc.

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Member Since: Jul 25, 2011
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Hello All,

I am new to posting on this forum, but have had great experiences with MacBooks. On my previous 2010 white MacBook I started creating and producing music using Ableton Live and Logic. So for the new 2011 Macbooks, let's discuss based upon benchmarks and experience which would be better for music production, especially when involving heavy CPU usage; for example, when syncing Ableton, Traktor, Reason, etc.

I am looking to purchase either a new, refreshed 2011 Air 13inch 1.7GHz 128GB or to go with the 2011 Pro 13inch 2.4Ghz 350GB. I am trying to decide between the two based on processing speed:

I am looking at the recent benchmarks. It seems because of the new solid state HD in the Air, it is producing excellent benchmark scores in the range of the MBPros in the areas of zip files and the such for files that are located on the solid state HD.

BUT let's say that I have a ton of acapellas and instrumentals on my external harddrive and I will have Ableton read them from the external. Would the processing speed of the Pro then outperform the Air since data is coming from a different source other than the solid state HD? Here, I am talking about the duo core i5s, 1.7Air and 2.4Pros. But we can compare the i7s as well.

OR does that not even matter since Ableton, etc. will be installed on the solid state HD.

Hopefully I am getting my point across. Basically, what is the best computer, Air or Pro, for music production and creation based on processing power (and taking into the fact that an external HD will house most of the files being manipulated in the music programs)??

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I don't know if it would be a good idea to go with the Air since it's limited to 4 GB of memory, no disk drive, and a fairly hefty price. Both the 13" MBP and Air use the Intel HD 3000 GPU so no difference there. You can always add a SSD drive to the 13" MBP if you wish and upgrade the memory to 8 GB. Those are things you can do yourself.

Just my opinion of course. You have to ultimately make the decision based on your needs and budget.
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Go with the MBP and an external FW hard-drive for your projects, instrumentals and acapellas.
I use Live, Logic and Traktor Pro on my 15" 2007 MBP/4GB RAM and it never let me down while on the road.

MBP 3,1 & 4,1 w/ Vertex 4 SSD | Logic Pro 9 | Ableton Live 8 | Traktor Pro 2 | AKAI MPK-49 | Roland MV-8000, TR-808 & TR-909 | Ensoniq ASR-10 | x0xb0x #911 | Denon DN-MC6000 | (3) Technics SL-1200MK1 | 3000+ vinyl records
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