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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!

Questions about hard drives and RAM when it comes to Logic Pro X


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Gunzar

 
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Member Since: Mar 05, 2014
Location: Indiana, United States
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Mac Specs: Mac Mini with 2.6GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, 4GB of RAM and 1TB Fusion Drive

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Hello everybody! First off, let me say that I'm a complete Mac newbie. I just purchased my first Mac (a Mac Mini to be exact) last week after being a Windows and Linux user for a number of years. Also, I searched around for the answer to the questions I have but didn't really get any relevant answers to my case specifically. However, if there's a similar post that would answer my questions, and I just happened to miss it, please link me to it! Thanks!

Before I get started I should also say how I intend to use Logic. I usually have around 16-20 tracks by the time one of my projects is completed. I VERY rarely need to use more than 25-30 tracks. Also, I use a lot of software instruments in my projects, and throw in some apple loops from time to time as well. On top of all of that, I do record my own guitar/bass/vocal tracks, and a lot of times record MIDI input from a USB keyboard I use. Okay, now that that's out of the way..

I want to get the most out of my Logic Pro X experience. That being said, I'm open to any options to improve my experience (well, besides buying a new mac). One of the performance upgrades I saw someone talking about was using an external hard drive to store Logic's sound libraries and loops. Something else I read, completely un-related to music, is that the Mac Mini that I have can hold two hard drives with a hard drive kit I can purchase online. If I bought a second hard drive and used it to store my Logic sound libraries and loops and such, would I notice a significant improvement? Would the improvement be that much better than just using a USB 3 or FireWire hard drive, as the internal hard drive actually uses SATA (I assume)? And finally, is there any real improvement to storing these files somewhere else, or should I just keep my current configuration of having everything on the same hard drive?

The other big question I had was relating to RAM. I have 4GB in my system now, and it seems to do pretty good for the number of tracks that I record. I'm actually quite impressed at how well it runs Logic. Should I plan on upgrading my RAM soon? I found a nice 2x8GB memory kit at a local hardware store that would be compatible with my Mini for $150, which I see as very affordable. Would I get a significant improvement by upgrading my RAM? I don't record 100+ tracks or anything crazy like that so I don't know if it's all that important to me personally.

Here's my Mac Mini specs as it is now:
2.6GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 processor
4GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
1TB Fusion Drive (my friend said to get this instead of the SSD option, was that a bad suggestion?)
Also, I said I purchased this last week, but just to be 100% clear, this IS the newest current model (Late 2012 model).

Thanks so much for your help! I really appreciate it!
-Gunzar
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chscag

 
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Member Since: Jan 23, 2008
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, 3 iPods, OS X Mavericks

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If you can install a second hard drive within the Mini, that's the way I would go since it will be faster than an external USB 3 drive. Of course a SSD would be best if you have the $$ to spend.

And as far as memory is concerned, by all means upgrade the memory to as much as you can afford as that will future proof your Mini for any upcoming apps that need it.

You might wish to take a look at what Mac Sales has in stock. They're Mac specialists and highly recommended by most folks in our forums. Here is the LINK.
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Gunzar

 
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Member Since: Mar 05, 2014
Location: Indiana, United States
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Thanks for the reply!

When I was doing research, I saw that it looks like you can split the Fusion drive to make the mac look at it like a 1TB hard drive and a separate 128GB SSD, rather than just one hard drive. I guess you lose the caching features there, but would it be worth it to split them and just throw my Logic files on the 128GB SSD portion? And since both drives share the same SATA port, could this limit my overall system speeds?
Maybe I could just buy a small 64GB or 128GB SSD, since all I really use on my mac anyways is Logic. What do you think?

I'll definitely buy some memory soon, thanks for the suggestion! And that store looks promising, thanks for the link!
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chscag

 
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Member Since: Jan 23, 2008
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, 3 iPods, OS X Mavericks

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I'm not a proponent of Fusion drives - at least right now. There have been problems with them which Apple has been quick to resolve. I would personally stick to a pure SSD large enough for future needs. Same goes for any memory upgrade.
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Gunzar

 
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Member Since: Mar 05, 2014
Location: Indiana, United States
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Alright, I got the answers I needed!

Thanks again for your help! I appreciate it!
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