Advice on new iMac purchase choice please

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SteveJCurtis
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Advice on new iMac purchase choice please

Post by SteveJCurtis » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:57 pm

Hi all.
A couple of years ago I changed from a windows based laptop and Reaper DAW setup to a secondhand MacBook Pro and Logic x.
The MacBook is seven years old so I am thinking that soon I may have to upgrade and would like an iMac.
The new machine would be dedicated to music production (as well as basic internet functions like checking emails).

I want to go for the largest screen size, but am not sure about which memory to go for? I currently use an external hard drive to store/save my Logic x files.

Any advice gratefully received. Thanks.

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Re: Advice on new iMac purchase choice please

Post by edmondredd » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:47 am

Hey Steve,
It all depends on several points:
. What kind of music are you planning to do, and what instruments (recording actual ones or using big sample libraries)
. What is your budget?
. If the issue is only screen estate, you could probably add an additional screen to your laptop.
edmond redd
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Re: Advice on new iMac purchase choice please

Post by SteveJCurtis » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:03 am

Hi Edmond.
Sorry, I should have said I record mostly Country/Blues/Americana and a bit of Folk and Gypsy Jazz. Using mostly acoustic instruments (guitar, Dobro, mandolin ) but also mic’ing up my amplifier when using my electric. For Bass I either DI my bass into the interface or use midi bass. Some vocals too. For drums I use Logic x Drummer and sometimes Addictive Drums 2.

I see what you’re saying about the screen, and that may be an option, it’s just I am not sure how much life is left in the MacBook bearing in mind it is seven now. Maybe a service would do it good.

Budget-wise, well I guess around the GBP 1500 approx USD1800 mark. I have to check the piggy bank! :D

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Re: Advice on new iMac purchase choice please

Post by cosmicdolphin » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:18 am

I hate Macs

We own 4 and 3 have died beyond economal repair. A 20" iMac , a 24" iMac and now a Macbook Pro just before Christmas . All logic board related failures.

Luckily none of them are my music machine, I use PCs in my studio and they are my wife's editing machines for her photography business.

When her 24" iMac failed I did a bunch of research and best machine for the money was the Mac Mini ... I think it was the mid range model about 18 months ago. But she was able to get a much better screen, a nice big IPS panel with a better dpi and more screen estate from elsewhere to go with it and it doesn't have that horrible high gloss finish like they put on the iMacs.

It was better spec and less outlay than the iMac overall and when it fails at least the screen can still be used with its replacement!

Mark

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Re: Advice on new iMac purchase choice please

Post by SteveJCurtis » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:27 am

Oh dear me! Sorry to hear that Mark. Got me thinking now... :o

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Re: Advice on new iMac purchase choice please

Post by cosmicdolphin » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:21 am

SteveJCurtis wrote:Oh dear me! Sorry to hear that Mark. Got me thinking now... :o
I'm sure loads of people who use them have no problems, but I was never comfortable with how hot the iMacs ran .. cramming everything into a small space like that is inviting problems IMHO.

Give me a box with plenty of space for upgrades and adequate cooling any day. I worked on the old Mac Pro towers years back...with dual xeons etc. Now that I'd be happy with. Like a military grade chassis!! Sadly replaced now.

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Re: Advice on new iMac purchase choice please

Post by andygabrys » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:14 am

cosmicdolphin wrote:
SteveJCurtis wrote:Oh dear me! Sorry to hear that Mark. Got me thinking now... :o
I'm sure loads of people who use them have no problems, but I was never comfortable with how hot the iMacs ran .. cramming everything into a small space like that is inviting problems IMHO.

Give me a box with plenty of space for upgrades and adequate cooling any day. I worked on the old Mac Pro towers years back...with dual xeons etc. Now that I'd be happy with. Like a military grade chassis!! Sadly replaced now.
Its not for everyone, but I have bought used macs, and with the advent of the "trash can" mac pro 6,1 you can get the older silver Mac Pro Towers (model 5,1) for a song. You can actually find used 6,1 trash cans as well for decent prices but we are talking much more than for the 5,1.

I am using a 5,1 tower and its great.
Its 12 cores @ 2.66 Ghz.
32 GB RAM.
1 256 GB SSD for system.
5 other mechanical drives for storage of sessions and other data and backups (you can replace one of the DVD slots with another SSD, or SSD plus a technical 3.5", or 2 SSDs).
2 512 GB SSDs on a Sonnet Tempo SSD PCI card which makes them blazing fast - sample streaming.

There are issues that do not make it future proof:

1) at some point Apple is going to stop supporting this model for newer operating systems
2) it doesn't have any Thunderbolt Connectivity
3) i would not buy less than 12 cores, and I would look for processor speed > 2.66 ghz.

But its worthwhile considering, especially if you are sort of "locked into" Logic as a DAW.

On eBay:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from ... 5573.m1684

take care that you look for 2010 and newer machines, preferably 2012 model year - those are the 5,1.

There are some older machines (2009 4,1) that are upgraded with stronger processors and RAM and a "firmware" hack. I wouldn't go for those.

Hope the perspective helps. You can search this forum and there are several LONG threads on discussion of these kind of machines.

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Re: Advice on new iMac purchase choice please

Post by SteveJCurtis » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:40 am

andygabrys wrote:
Its not for everyone, but I have bought used macs, and with the advent of the "trash can" mac pro 6,1 you can get the older silver Mac Pro Towers (model 5,1) for a song. You can actually find used 6,1 trash cans as well for decent prices but we are talking much more than for the 5,1.

I am using a 5,1 tower and its great.
Its 12 cores @ 2.66 Ghz.
32 GB RAM.
1 256 GB SSD for system.
5 other mechanical drives for storage of sessions and other data and backups (you can replace one of the DVD slots with another SSD, or SSD plus a technical 3.5", or 2 SSDs).
2 512 GB SSDs on a Sonnet Tempo SSD PCI card which makes them blazing fast - sample streaming........
AG.
Hope you are fine and well sir! As always, you give a mavellously detailed reply/advice and I am am grateful.
Not sure what I'm going to do yet. I shall gather as much info as possible and then make a decision.
But after switching from Reaper - which I really love btw - and a Windows Laptop, and going to Logic Pro x on the Mac, I am kind of "locked in" as you put it.
I really like the way LogicX works but I guess it's always a case of "horses for courses".
And if you cast your mind back, you gave me great advice a couple of years ago when I was thinking of buying this current Macbook, which has served me well, so thank you again! :D
Sending you best regards from the little island in the North Sea.

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