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iMac for Logic


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I have been spending way too much time at my friend's and the local Apple store playing with Logic 8. I am truly enjoying it even with some of the bugs and issues. This has really gotten me wanting to switch back to Mac so I can get Logic 8. Both setups I have used have been on MacPros which there is no way I can afford.

 

I am just a hobbyist but I use a ton of virtual instruments. If I decided to get an iMac am I really going to regret it down the road? From what I am reading, an iMac will work but having to use a firewire interface seems to make using external hard drives an issue.

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The interface I am using right now on my Windows PC is firewire and I do want to move to an Apogee Duet in the future. I know I can get an SATA port expander but not sure I'd want to void my warranty because it would be a major modification to use it on an iMac.
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I have external usb drives for samples and stuff but use the internal for projects. I have just got an apogee duet and it's simply amazing the best piece of kit I have used for a long time, and i am using it all with an iMac ;)
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thanks for the info. It is making me feel a bit better about going the iMac route. Being a PC guy for sooo long it is still going to be hard to give up my quad-core pc and move to a platform with almost no upgrading path.

 

I know Intel is going to offer quad mobile cpu sometime next year. If I knew I could pop one into an iMac (the new iMacs use a zif socket) I would be a lot less hesitant. Of course that would also void my warranty.

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Using an interface and HD on the same FW bus frequently leads to problems. The bus' bandwidth becomes a bottleneck as your projects' complexity grows. Some devices are more susceptible to this than others, and "YMMV" definitely applies, but stutters and crashes are common. Some people have used USB HDs successfully, although I've always found them to be too slow for sustained audio. My experience with USB audio interfaces is limited, but was characterized by high latency. Before deciding, it'd be worth it to get specifics about the previous posters' setups and decide if they'd work for your purposes.

 

You might also consider a MacBookPro instead of an iMac. You can add an eSATA card to it without affecting your warranty, and the machines are comparable in power. SATA2 drives are available in very large sizes and are several times as fast as FW800 drives. They would be excellent choices for audio. If you got a card with port-multiplier capability, you could add multiple drives to an enclosure. The downsides are a lower RAM ceiling and smaller internal HD capacity. People regularly use MBP's, however, in audio production.

 

If a MBP wouldn't work for you, and you're sure you can't afford a Mac Pro, maybe there's a way to add eSATA to an iMac without making permanent changes to it. Anybody heard of anyone who's done that?

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I thought about a MBP but I could not live with out dual screens. Yes I can run an additional monitor off the MBP with the laptop monitor but my eyes are not what they use to be.

 

You can find a SATA port multiplier for around $100 or an entire enclosure with multiplier for around $250. The only thing to run out of the iMac would be a single SATA cable. Where the cable would come out of the case, I am not sure but I would imagine a rather noticeable hole would need to be drilled.

 

Here is a link to the a SATA port multiplier for those that are interested

 

http://www.cooldrives.com/cosapomubrso.html

 

If only Apple would add eSata to the iMac.

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i have the 24", 2.4ghz imac. it's been a very good purchase so far, but the only problem i had is with the firewire. From what i've heard, Apple decided to use cheaper LSI firewire chipsets on the new aluminum iMacs instead of using the Texas Instrument chipsets they've used in the past.

 

Why was this a problem for me? Because currently, the RME Fireface 400/800 has issues with the new iMac because of this... as of now, RME just recommends daisy-chaining the Fireface to another firewire device that works with the iMac.

 

Just a warning, cuz there may be other firewire devices out there that exhibit similar problems.

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  • 1 month later...
i have the 24", 2.4ghz imac. it's been a very good purchase so far, but the only problem i had is with the firewire. From what i've heard, Apple decided to use cheaper LSI firewire chipsets on the new aluminum iMacs instead of using the Texas Instrument chipsets they've used in the past.

 

Why was this a problem for me? Because currently, the RME Fireface 400/800 has issues with the new iMac because of this... as of now, RME just recommends daisy-chaining the Fireface to another firewire device that works with the iMac.

 

Just a warning, cuz there may be other firewire devices out there that exhibit similar problems.

 

i had this same problem and was able to solve it by using a fw800 cable instead of the stock 400. took me a while to find one, but it fixed the issue

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There's nothing that states how serious you take your art like a big heavy tower that makes fan noise, such as the PowerMac G5 next to me.

 

The iMac - sure, it's sexy, slim, and will pretty much run circles around my tower. By the time the new iMac meets software and plugins that it can't keep up with it might be time to get a new machine anyway.

 

But what if it gets cold? Towers help keep rooms toasty. The iMac - nah. It just sits there with it's dual-core processor as if to say "no sweat."

 

Literally.

 

Going with the iMac may be a decision you regret during the winter.

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I thought about a MBP but I could not live with out dual screens. Yes I can run an additional monitor off the MBP with the laptop monitor but my eyes are not what they use to be.

 

You can find a SATA port multiplier for around $100 or an entire enclosure with multiplier for around $250. The only thing to run out of the iMac would be a single SATA cable. Where the cable would come out of the case, I am not sure but I would imagine a rather noticeable hole would need to be drilled.

 

Here is a link to the a SATA port multiplier for those that are interested

 

http://www.cooldrives.com/cosapomubrso.html

 

If only Apple would add eSata to the iMac.

I would also recommend the MacBook Pro as the better option. And if you need the external screen, that's totally fine. I use a cheap Sony 17" external monitor plugged into the DVI port of my MBPro. The 15" laptop screen and 17" external automatically link together when you plug the external in, creating a really big, dual-screen workspace. It is plenty big for my needs and eyes. And 19" and even 23" monitors are now really cheap. You could get a good external for less than you're thinking about paying for this iMac port-multiplier business.

 

Then you'd have:

 

- Just as powerful a machine.

- As much or more screen real estate.

- The eSATA option with the ExpressCard port (a fantastic thing, in my experience)

- And a portable computer as well.

 

Best of luck to you with whatever you choose. 8)

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I run Logic on my 1st gen Imac (2-gigs) 1.8 ghz. and I'm having no real issues - course it's mostly guitar with drum loops being done with addictive drums and basslines done with my Midi Keyboard - no sweat - the Imac is a great machine. I have 2 external FW drives and I use a small Inline ART pre-amp as my guitar interface so there's no firewire there...
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