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Pro Machines - Which One ??


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Just Finished an Album and looking at buying a new powerful machine for my music production set up for Album 2.


I primarily use Logic Pro X and always the current version (10.3.1) at the time of this post.


My question is to users or owners of these machines. My question is not a Value for Money Question, as I can see the iMac is better value for money at this time. The main thing I want to know is about the performance of tasks in logic x where each machine variant excels and is lagging.


I am either buying this iMac:

• 4.2GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz)

• 32GB of 2400MHz DDR4

• 512GB SSD

• Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB of video memory


Or I am buying this Mac Pro:

• 3.5GHz 6-core with 12MB of L3 cache

• 16GB (4 x 4GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC

• 512GB PCIe-based SSD

• Dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM each


We are talking around the same $ for either of these.


I would like to know what machine you would choose and why, I currently can see that the iMac has a faster speed yet has less cores.


I can say personally, I have always liked the Mac Pro idea, I can see that it has been very well engineered and designed. It looks very strong and sturdy. Also it looks well cooled and there was a lot of thought which went into the machine. I tend to own Macs for circa 6-7 years no less hence I think it is likely to last the distance.  However, I  have never owned one, and I have struggled with lesser Macs making music.


In the past I have always got a Mac Mini and spec'd it up to its maximum power. However the Mini's these days have not improved really since the 2011 one I have in front of me now. This has prompted me to bite the bullet and look at other desktops.


By the way, I also use outboard gear "Screens" keyboards, mouse, Interface, external HDs, etc.. I dont have much care for peripheral devices being Apple products. Except I have always liked their keyboard. Its only ever been the brain in my setup which is Apple. (So I can use logic)


Interested to know how logic utilises these 6 cores or 4 cores..??

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I believe that the Mac Pro will accept more than 16GB of RAM, and so what I would probably do (not being a professional here) would be to choose the Mac Pro and to add more RAM to it at time-of-purchase.  Most vendors can easily put in whatever memory-chip set you like, since the machine doesn't have to be disassembled to replace them.


"How much RAM do I want?  Well, how much will it take?"


"Your Ferrari will be stuck in traffic on a narrow road right next to a Yugo."  In my experience, the thing that holds a machine back first, and most seriously, is lack of RAM, because everything that the CPU does requires instant access to the necessary data in RAM.


As far as I know, Logic reserves one core as its "real-time activities" core, and allocates other cores to other tasks which occur while the real-time core remains focused on anything that must be done "at a particular instant in time."  How much utilization of these resources you experience will depend very much on what you are doing.


(Also being someone who uses a computer for many years, I make good with a much, much smaller system through frequent use of bounce-in-place features, so that my machine, which might not be able to do it all "in real time," no longer has to.  But, I doubt that you'll be experiencing this anytime soon with either of these systems.)

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  • 2 months later...

Hey Mike, Thanks for the answer. As it Turned out, I actually went with a highly spec'd iMac, the value for money was just not there on the current version of Mac Pro. Sure its a beast and I liked the trash can look, and the fact I could use my current 2 screen set up. But it just is too much money for what it is. I ordered a iMac 4.1Ghz i7 machine, with 500 SSD and upgraded RAM to 16Gb , which in my experience is fine for Logic. 


I do have a new question though about migrating the old Mac to this one. It's really important to me not to lose anything. Both working projects and also the huge amount of third party plugins I own. I will make a new thread for this question though. 

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