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OT: Looking at a MAC - need advice!


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So my 4 year old PC laptop is pretty much done. Trying to do a big video or audio project seems to always end with it crashing and me swearing. I recently had a major crash which resulting in me having to totally re-format and re-install everything.. still trying to recover all my data files.

 

I am not exactly swimming in cash, but need to make an investment in a Mac laptop that can handle some pretty advanced video editing (with effects) and of course great for audio.

 

The only Apple experience I have is with IOS products, so I have NO clue where to even start as far as looking at specs. Also looking at suggestions for a good DAW, as my current one (Reaper) is not available for MAC. I am not adverse to getting a refurbished unit.

 

Just looking for some ideas and suggestions from Mac laptop users as to what to look for in the way for memory, processor, etc., what to avoid and any tips... esp. those who do video editing as well.

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If this isn't an April Fools joke, I can possibly help. :D

 

What's cool about the limited range of Mac laptops is that you can focus on getting the best machine you can afford and you're pretty much set. The things come with iMovie and GarageBand*, and you can get started with those and see what works for you.

 

Also, get as much RAM as you can afford. Third-party RAM is almost always cheaper than buying it from Apple, but I've had situations where it was reasonably close so I went with theirs.

 

Pro Tip: Look at Apple's refurbished units on the Apple Store site - you can get a recent model at a decent discount, with a full Apple warranty.

 

I'm still trucking with a 2009 MacBook Pro. Especially after replacing the HDD with an SSD, I've been very happy with it.

 

*What I mean by this is that iMovie and GarageBand lead nicely to Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro, respectively. They're not the same, but you'll be able to do a bit with the free versions and see what you want next.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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15" MacBook Pro

 

What's your budget?

 

For video editing, I would definitely buy 16GB RAM.

 

If you put your projects on the internal SSD, you will want more than 256GB. However, there are some new portable Thunderbolt drives that are very nice for this purpose.

 

For video editing, you need a graphics card. I would not rely on integrated graphics.

 

What is your budget?

 

I repeat this because for video editing, you're going to want the most powerful machine you can afford.

 

Whatever specs are good enough for video editing will be fine for a DAW.

 

Good luck!

 

Tom

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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It's not like Apple offers a ton of choices - there are only two. The Macbook Air and the Macbook Pro. For your purposes, the Pro would be best.

 

http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/macbook-pro

 

All of these laptops now come with the retina display, which is fantastic.

 

The only choices are where you want to put your money. 13" or 15"? How much RAM? How fast a processor? How much storage?

 

Apple offers pre-configured models, or you can customize them as you see fit.

 

So it's not complicated. You just have to decide how much you're willing to spend, and then decide how to allocate the money amongst screen size, processor speed, RAM, and storage. Done. :)

 

 

Michael

Montage 8, Logic Pro X, Omnisphere, Diva, Zebra 2, etc.

http://www.youtube.com/keybdwizrd

 

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Thanks for the replies. I will spend whatever I need to in order to get a machine powerful enough to do my work, but the more I go over $2,000 the more I will cringe.

 

So what I see is MBP, 16gig ram, external thunderbolt drive for media and an graphics card - that is pretty much the kind of information I am looking for.

 

Thanks again for the input guys. :)

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By the way, I recently decided to replace the iMac I'd bought in 2007. I really only wanted to spend $1,200 for a new one. But after a lot of agonizing, I sucked it up, and bought the top-of-the-line 27" model. It is a beautiful thing. :)

 

It hit my bank account pretty hard, but I figured that 1) I use the thing almost every day, and 2) I am going to (hopefully) be using it for the next five years. Why spend the next five years wishing that I'd bought a faster machine or one with a bigger screen?

 

An extra $500 spent on a computer you're going to use for five years comes out to about $0.27 a day. I decided it was money well spent.

 

Michael

Montage 8, Logic Pro X, Omnisphere, Diva, Zebra 2, etc.

http://www.youtube.com/keybdwizrd

 

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Go with a Macbook Pro, not an Air. :thu:

Last year I replaced my 2008 MBP with a 13" Air and I really like it. It's considerably lighter than the new Pros and it has plenty enough firepower. The main thing to be wary of with the Air is that the memory and SSD are not user-upgradeable, so you'd want to bit the bullet and max things out. For all I know they may no longer be user-upgradeably on the MBP either. Sad that this is the direction they're going.

 

With Macs you do pay a premium going in, but if you take care of the machines you'll get most of that premium back if you sell. Used PC laptops retain relatively little value after a few years.

 

And if you find that there's some tasks that require Windows or you just prefer Windows for those tasks, Windows 7 runs really well under VMWare Fusion. (Never used Parallels but I'm told it's essentially the same). Really is the best of both worlds.

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Thanks for the replies. I will spend whatever I need to in order to get a machine powerful enough to do my work, but the more I go over $2,000 the more I will cringe.

 

So what I see is MBP, 16gig ram, external thunderbolt drive for media and an graphics card - that is pretty much the kind of information I am looking for.

 

Thanks again for the input guys. :)

The cheapest 15" MacBook pro is around $2000 so if you're gonna add ram and a TB drive you'll be closer to $2500.

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Buy a refurbished machine on the Apple site or at a licensed Apple dealer. There is no better Mac deal.
Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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The cheapest 15" MacBook pro is around $2000 so if you're gonna add ram and a TB drive you'll be closer to $2500.

Quoting myself but just to add: like the MacBook Air, the new MacBook Pros are not expandable in terms of ram or hard drive capacity.

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For video work go for the top of the line $2,599 model. Much cheaper to buy the extra memory and HD space now than upgrade later. Plus, the top model has the better graphics card. Something I'm pretty sure you cannot upgrade later. I've got this model and a decent MacBookAir. The Air is great for running Reason, not so great for video. The new Pro's are much lighter than the older models. I'm guessing a lot of the "air" is now built into the pro's.
This post edited for speling.
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Quoting myself but just to add: like the MacBook Air, the new MacBook Pros are not expandable in terms of ram or hard drive capacity.

 

Tell that to these guys!

 

MacBook Pro SSD Upgrades

Very interesting and I stand corrected. I'm curious as how their price compares to just ordering the MBP with the bigger drive in the first place (I know you wouldn't get your original drive in an external case then). Also they say this upgrade is for the 2012 and early 2013 MBPs - not the current models (unless they just haven't updated that page).

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