A technical support community for Apple Logic Pro users.

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Prem Nath
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Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:33 pm

Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:56 am

Greetings. Seeking advice. Need to get a second machine as I am stuck outside of where I live. Will be running the latest Logic on it. Am not one of those ultra heavy users but I want to be able to add a few plugins here and there. And maybe 10-15 tracks. Won’t run anything else while using Logic. Can also disable any power sucking eye candy or anything else that helps. Budget-wise I am considering 2017 MacBook Air but I am nervous it will be too little. The other option is a MacBook Air 2018 but I am told I’d be paying too much for what is a minor / irrelevant upgrade on the 2017 model. Would rather avoid second hand. Any recommendations? Would love to hear from people using these or other older machines. Thanks!
Last edited by Prem Nath on Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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David Nahmani
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:58 am

I'm running Logic Pro 10.6.1 on Big Sur on my 2013 MacBook Air with no problems at all. Much larger session than what you're describing too.
David Nahmani
• My Logic Pro X 10.5 book (Apple Pro Training Series)
Contact me for Private Lessons
Logic Pro X 10.6.1
MacBook Air 1.3 GHz i5 — MacOS X 11.0.1 — 4 GB RAM
iMac 3.2 GHz Quad Core i5 — MacOS X 10.15.4 — 8 GB RAM
 
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des99
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:01 pm

Mac Mini? Cheapest current Mac.
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Rodney
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Location: Leicester UK

Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:05 pm

If it were me I would buy a new M1 Chip Apple device. Either the Air, MacBook Pro or the Mac Mini.

If I were not able to afford it right now, I would keep saving my money until I could.

These are next generation devices that are 3x more efficient than anything the comes before. They also match the performance of devices that cost more than twice the price.

Regards

Rodney
Logic Pro X 10.6.2, Mac Mini M1 16GB RAM, RME UCX, RME ADI-2 DAC.
 
Prem Nath
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:06 pm

des99 Thanks that would have been a great idea except I’d prefer a laptop that I can carry back with me. With the Mini I’d have to abandon at least the monitors and keyboard and mouse. It’d be a nuisance for where I am now.
 
Prem Nath
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:08 pm

@Rodney thanks I already have a computer at home makes no sense getting a fancy machine
@David Nahmani that’s incredible what’s the secret sauce. Seriously do tell.
Last edited by Prem Nath on Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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David Nahmani
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:09 pm

Prem Nath wrote:
I already have a computer at home makes no sense getting a fancy. David Nahmani that’s incredible what’s the secret sauce. Seriously do tell.

There's no secret. It's a great little machine! :D
David Nahmani
• My Logic Pro X 10.5 book (Apple Pro Training Series)
Contact me for Private Lessons
Logic Pro X 10.6.1
MacBook Air 1.3 GHz i5 — MacOS X 11.0.1 — 4 GB RAM
iMac 3.2 GHz Quad Core i5 — MacOS X 10.15.4 — 8 GB RAM
 
Prem Nath
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:11 pm

So the MacBook Air 2017? Or the 2018. The difference is not huge, but it’s a second machine and I have other financial worries. P.S. I don’t care about the retina screen.
 
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des99
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:13 pm

I'm waiting for the new (M1X) MBP's...

If I've been a good boy, the rumours wil be wrong and we'll get new ones around spring time.
Otherwise, they'll come late summer and my current machine might have melted by then...
mu:zines | music magazine archive | difficultAudio
 
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David Nahmani
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:14 pm

Prem Nath wrote:
So the MacBook Air 2017? Or the 2018. The difference is not huge, but it’s a second machine and I have other financial worries. P.S. I don’t care about the retina screen.

My vote goes to the 2017.
David Nahmani
• My Logic Pro X 10.5 book (Apple Pro Training Series)
Contact me for Private Lessons
Logic Pro X 10.6.1
MacBook Air 1.3 GHz i5 — MacOS X 11.0.1 — 4 GB RAM
iMac 3.2 GHz Quad Core i5 — MacOS X 10.15.4 — 8 GB RAM
 
Prem Nath
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 1:46 pm

Really. Mind sharing your view as to why.
Also any suggestions on optimising the machine while using.
I’ll be running the latest Logic.
Might also get an SSD to house my Logic libraries.
 
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whitfield
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:15 pm

[caveat emptor here — I'm a relative newbie to all of this, so... probably listen to David]

This is an interesting conversation — I had only just looked at David's setup and was shocked to realize that he's running the current LPX on a 2013 i5-based machine! :shock: I'm a professional designer, so I have the "luxury" of already requiring a much stronger Mac, but even with my "baby LPX projects" (I just started with it a few months ago) I occasionally hit playback snags. I think that just demonstrates how someone with David's expertise knows how to avoid *needing* more computing power.

Anyway, I'm mainly just chiming in to extoll the benefits of the Retina screen. I'm totally biased, being a visual designer who really relies on it, but even in LPX I can't imagine "not caring" if I have the option — the UI just looks so much more crisp at that resolution, and tiny details like the Mixer level numbers are a lot easier to read.

I'll also throw in that if you're going to put anything on an SSD, I would think it would be the project files instead of the Logic libraries. I actually run the latter on a traditional HD to save space on my SS memory — it takes several seconds to open the project, and flipping through software instruments can be a bit annoying, but I'd rather have the performance disk devoted to project playback. [Edit: but you can always copy the Logic files for just the project you're working on to your SSD as well]

Sorry, one last thing: I've been a professional designer for over two decades and have never bought a new Mac. Yes, used computers are a risk in theory, but I've had lots of them and have really never had a dud. I do recommend eBay over Craigslist since you can see the seller's rating and have some (maybe) recompense available if the seller has screwed you over.

Okay, now I'm done. :)
________________________
whit the sh*t · a.k.a. JGWR
guitarist · drummer · singer/songwriter · SoundCloud ›

LPX 10.6 • 2016 MBP/16GB/2.9Ghz • Novation Impulse 49 • Yamaha DTXpress + M-Audio MIDIsport 1x1 • ATR2100-USB mic
 
Prem Nath
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:38 pm

@whitfield thanks for the reply.
- For me the library thing is also about less space on my hard disk. Is there any reason you are suggesting not adding them on an ssd. General wisdom seems to suggest otherwise.
- Don’t know what the screen was like on the 2017 machine but will check it out. My current purchase is a bit of an experiment so I am really keen to save. Which machine do you have currently.
- I like the idea of buying second hand but I’m a bit wary that someone might sell me a machine that’s been through a lot of work. Also, the Indian second hand market is not as well organised as the one in the US I think.
- I’m as pleasantly shocked about David’s machine and would love to know if he has any tricks up his sleeve that makes older machines rock. Also wondering why he is preferring the 2017 over the 2018. Maybe it’s because of the USB ports?
 
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Glenn Lancaster
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:31 am

The cheapest alternative in a macbook is the new M1 Air. The CPU is the same, one less GPU core, but no fan. From what you describe, it would handle what you want to do with ease. I have one of the new Minis. Basic model, 8 gb RAM. It almost makes the computer in my signature seem sluggish, in fact scratch the 'almost.' The MB Air is under $1000 afaik.
2020 M1 Mini, macOS 11.4, Logic 10.6.3, RME FF802, Novation 61SL Mk II. Martins and Fenders and Gibsons, oh my!
 
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David Nahmani
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:38 am

The reason I suggested the 2017 is for the arguments you yourself pointed out: it's a second machine, you have other financial worries, and the 2017 Mac will be WAY enough anyway to accomplish the tasks you need it for.

Not sure what is shocking about my 2013 MBA performing the way it does. No tricks involved. You don't need the latest and newest Mac to produce music with Logic!
David Nahmani
• My Logic Pro X 10.5 book (Apple Pro Training Series)
Contact me for Private Lessons
Logic Pro X 10.6.1
MacBook Air 1.3 GHz i5 — MacOS X 11.0.1 — 4 GB RAM
iMac 3.2 GHz Quad Core i5 — MacOS X 10.15.4 — 8 GB RAM
 
Prem Nath
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Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:43 am

Got it thanks! :)
 
Prem Nath
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Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Fri Jan 22, 2021 6:55 am

Was actually wondering if the MacBook Air 2018 would be worth the price difference.
 
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David Nahmani
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:20 am

Prem Nath wrote:
Was actually wondering if the MacBook Air 2018 would be worth the price difference.

How much is the price difference?
David Nahmani
• My Logic Pro X 10.5 book (Apple Pro Training Series)
Contact me for Private Lessons
Logic Pro X 10.6.1
MacBook Air 1.3 GHz i5 — MacOS X 11.0.1 — 4 GB RAM
iMac 3.2 GHz Quad Core i5 — MacOS X 10.15.4 — 8 GB RAM
 
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whitfield
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Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:40 am

Prem Nath wrote:
- For me the library thing is also about less space on my hard disk. Is there any reason you are suggesting not adding them on an ssd. General wisdom seems to suggest otherwise.

I can see that, and if you can feasibly put both on the SSD then I think this question is moot. I'm just suggesting that having your project files on the SSD is probably advantageous for playback/processing.

Prem Nath wrote:
- Don’t know what the screen was like on the 2017 machine but will check it out. My current purchase is a bit of an experiment so I am really keen to save. Which machine do you have currently.

Funny, I wasn't even thinking about the fact that both of the machines you're talking about are newer than mine — it's a 2016 MBP (see signature). As such, I would think both of them would necessarily have the Retina screen, but maybe I'm wrong?

Prem Nath wrote:
- I like the idea of buying second hand but I’m a bit wary that someone might sell me a machine that’s been through a lot of work. Also, the Indian second hand market is not as well organised as the one in the US I think.

Ah, that makes sense, I didn't consider that aspect of the situation. Do you have eBay there? If so, maybe you could buy from outside of India. But I understand why you might want to avoid taking a chance with that.

Prem Nath wrote:
- I’m as pleasantly shocked about David’s machine and would love to know if he has any tricks up his sleeve that makes older machines rock. Also wondering why he is preferring the 2017 over the 2018. Maybe it’s because of the USB ports?

I can confirm that having an all-USB-C computer is annoying. :)
________________________
whit the sh*t · a.k.a. JGWR
guitarist · drummer · singer/songwriter · SoundCloud ›

LPX 10.6 • 2016 MBP/16GB/2.9Ghz • Novation Impulse 49 • Yamaha DTXpress + M-Audio MIDIsport 1x1 • ATR2100-USB mic
 
Prem Nath
Topic Author
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Cheapest machine that can run Logic Pro X in 2021

Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:11 am

David Nahmani wrote:
Prem Nath wrote:
Was actually wondering if the MacBook Air 2018 would be worth the price difference.

How much is the price difference?


About 20 to 25% more.
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