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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

MacBook Pro - 'New' or current Macbook Pro for Music Production?

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Member Since: Feb 07, 2008
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I'm looking for some advice in regards to Macbook Pro's. I have a Macbook Pro ordered and delivery to the supplier is expected within a day or two. It's a 17" 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM and a 200GB 7200rpm HDD.

The supplier rang today and asked if I would prefer one of the newer models instead, which are 'expected' in the next two weeks. Turns out this is a rumour, so it could potentially be much longer than that. It looks like these new models have a small Solid State Drive, which would be cool, but apparantly existing macbooks can also get an upgrade to have one of these, so it's not as much of a feature for me now. They use the new Penryn chip, which will apparantly give about a 20% performance increase and also use less battery and produce less heat.

This machine will only be used for live and not studio production, so I don't think that 20% is that important. My current setup is unreliable and I need a solid performance machine which is why I ordered the Mac.

So, my questions:

1. Is it worth waiting for the new Macbook Pro's? The benefits aren't that huge to my eyes, especially since later in the year there's talk of quad core Macbook Pros, so I'd just want to upgrade then anyway. I'm worried about the 'two weeks' becoming 'two months' or more, and being left without a solid live rig which I need for gigs in the next few months (first gig is in 3 weeks).

2. Do Apple have a history of bringing out new machines that are rock solid? My previous purchase was a Toshiba Dual Core that turned out to have an audio glitch, after the previous versions were recommended highly by other producers as being stable and flawless with audio and a MOTU Ultralite (which I have). I don't want to risk spending $4000 AU on a new Macbook Pro only to have some glitch appear... so when a new machine comes out, is it normally stable for audio?

Any other thoughts appreciated... thanks!
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My brother-in-law is a very accomplished musician even if he only does it as a 'hobby' though he's good enough that he's performed live gigs and made a little money in the past. Last year I convinced him to buy a regular old Macbook, second gen in the form of the Core2duo 2Ghz with a gig of RAM and 80gig HD type. I use mine for music editing, but my needs are simple since I don't make my own music, just record internet streams and edit them so I can put them on my iPod to enjoy while driving.

My brother-in-law, on the other hand uses his to mix and make his own performances. Vocals, guitar, piano, drums, he does it all. He has been quite pleased, and has made a couple of CD's of his own compositions and albums. He has also been getting with iTunes to sell his music.

So I would say that a current or even previous generation Macbook Pro would serve your needs quite nicely.
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