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I'm I crazy for thinking about a Macbook Pro?

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Help me decide: I'm a newer home studio diy enthusiast and I've outgrown my old macbook. I'm looking at a new machine and I'm wondering what you're thoughts are on whether one of the newly updated i7 MBP's would do the trick, or should I go with a Mac Pro? Mac Pro's I know are due for an update, so I'd likely wait, but I like the portability option for the MBP. What are your thoughts? I'm doing rock music with normally 6-8 guitar tracks, 4-8 vox, and then MIDI drums, keys, horns, etc. I work through an M-Audio profire 610; I'd also like to start offloading my library to an external HD (especially if I go the MBP route) to take some of the burden off my internal HD. Try not to be biased based on what you currently have, but instead please share what you think the true pro's/con's are for each. Basically, what would be the major downside to going the MBP-route? Am I likely to tap out it's CPU? I would think I'd be ok, considering I only start to run into issues on my 2007 2.2 core 2 duo macbook when I'm near the end of tracking. But I also want a system that will help me to retain the ability to grow and build on my studio for the next few years.


Which way would you go if you were in my shoes?



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Why go with mac mini server over just a regular mini with 2 hdds?


MMS = Quad Core.... compared to MM = Duo Core..


...and Apple do not offer twin 7200 HDs as a BTO option for the standard MMs. . Only HD and SSD.. Whereas the MMS offered both possibilities... with twin 7200 500GB drives as standard.


Finally, standard MM 500GB drives are only 5400's.... You have to upgrade to 750GB to get the 7200 speeds


So, all in all for a musician's purpose, the MMS is by far the better deal imho... as far as bang for your buck is concerned.


MM 2.7Ghz Core Duo + 1 x 7200 750GB HD + 8GB Ram = $1249.00


MMS 2.0Ghz Quad Core + 2 x 7200 750GB HDs + 8GB Ram = $1299.00


An extra $50 to get 8 virtual cores... and an extra 750GB 7200 HD...


'nuff said...

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It sounds like the choice is boiled down to:

the mac mini server with quad 2.0GHz i7, 2x 750gb 7200rpm HDDs, + external superdrive (for ROM), AppleCare, + external keyboard/mouse, and monitor = ~$1600


macbook pro 15" with an upgraded 2.5 GHz i7 Quad, upgraded display, 750gb 7200rpm HDD, and Apple Care, + second external HDD = ~$3200.


(both have 4gb RAM that I can take to 8gb on my own)


So the big differences I see are: MBP has faster processor, portability (laptop) & independent graphics chip while the MM has dual internal drives and the set-up costs about $1600 less once all is said and done.


Bottom line: it seems like the mini is the way to go IF I can handle all the processing I want to do. Does anyone think that I'd run into a processing bottleneck with the MM during mixdown and mastering? Does anyone have experience with tapping out their MM server's resources? I'd love to save the moola (and put it toward other toys), but not if it means i'll be regretting not getting more horsepower in a few months. I just looked at a song I wrapped up tracking and it has 43 tracks, w/ 13 being MIDI, and the rest being Vox and Guitars (wavs). I also have 3-6 plugins going on each track, +automation, etc. And I haven't really started mix-down. Like I said, my 2007 macbook (2.4GHz core 2 Duo) can still handle this, with care, but it's pushing it. Thoughts?

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For the almost the same money as the MBP you could get two MMSs and use VE Pro to link them together.. giving you double the performance. I was using VE Pro with both my MMSs today as an experiment and I was stunned by what i could do... given the outlay costs compared to a Mac Pro or MBP...


16 virtual cores... 4 TB of fast HDs.... and with the flexibility to bootcamp on one of them (for Windows VSTs via VE Pro) and/or keeping one MMS purely for Audio use and the other as a general use computer that also doubles as an extender system when needed.


It's the cost/performance/flexibility options that sold me....

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