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  #1  
Old 05-07-2012, 02:00 PM
ryanlikealion ryanlikealion is offline
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Default IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

I am making the swith from PC to MAC this month. Please bear in mind that i don't have a great deal of experience with computers or making music on them. Macs seem VERY expensive so this switch is making me a bit nervous!

I am going to be using my new computer for music recording, digital photography (potentially at a semi-pro level) and possibly video editing. I have been advised to get someting with a good CPU (central processing unit.)

I have a budget of £1100 ($1800 US aprx.)

Here are my options as they stand:

13" mac book pro (2.4ghz i5, L3 cache 3mb) could be handy for portability and £850 will leave me money spare for software:

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FD313B/A

15" Macbook pro (2.0ghz i7, L6 chache 6mb) - out does the 13" in terms of processing - i think? but significantly more expensive at £1189:

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FC721B/A

Or i could just forget about portability and go for an Imac (2.7ghz quad core L3 6mb cache) which probably does everything i need:

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FC812B/A

Kind regards,

Ryan
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

Unless you really really need portability, I would go with the iMac. You'll find that the larger screen makes all types of editing (music, video, photo) much easier. You'll also get more for your money with the iMac, as there is a premium to be paid for cramming all that power into a portable device.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:15 PM
ryanlikealion ryanlikealion is offline
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

Yeah, i seem to be more tempted by imac today rather than Mac book. What do you use?
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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Originally Posted by ryanlikealion View Post
Yeah, i seem to be more tempted by imac today rather than Mac book. What do you use?
I've got 3 iMacs, 3 Mac Book Pros, 2 iPads, etc. (I own an A/V business, and we're 100% Apple).

While the MBP can be used for editing, etc, I much prefer to do that type of work on the iMacs. The iMacs are a pain to transport, however.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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Originally Posted by ryanlikealion View Post
Yeah, i seem to be more tempted by imac today rather than Mac book. What do you use?
i use a macbook pro 13" - it's great for travelling, recording and editing. you can simply plug in a larger screen if you need..

it's up to you :)
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

One more possibility. The Mac Mini. For about 900 bucks American, you can get a lot of Ram and a half decent hard drive. Add Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. You can add a CD writer and still come in under your budget.

This is a good choice if you already have a monitor, or a keyboard. I have used all kinds of Mac's and I like this option.

My second choice would be the IMac.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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Originally Posted by aaajn View Post
One more possibility. The Mac Mini. For about 900 bucks American, you can get a lot of Ram and a half decent hard drive. Add Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. You can add a CD writer and still come in under your budget.

This is a good choice if you already have a monitor, or a keyboard. I have used all kinds of Mac's and I like this option.

My second choice would be the IMac.
If you are using Pro Tools or other more advanced audio editing software, you'll need the faster hard drive (7200 rpm versus 5400 rpm). Today's processors are certainly fast enough (think of them as an engine with plenty of horsepower), but the internal bussing system needs to be able to keep up with all of that data moving back and forth from the hard drive (think of this as being able to drive on smooth pavement versus a dirt road). While it's possible that your audio editing software will run on a 5400rpm drive, it's too big a chance to take if you're at all serious about recording and mixing. And since we're discussing this here on DW, you're probably going to want to track live drums, which means you'll be asking a lot from your computer.

The best bang for your buck is the iMac, so if you don't need to be portable, go this route. Macbook Pros with 7200rpm hard drives start at around $2000 I think. You might check out older models on eBay. Don't get anything slower than a 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:48 PM
ryanlikealion ryanlikealion is offline
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalma View Post
i use a macbook pro 13" - it's great for travelling, recording and editing. you can simply plug in a larger screen if you need..

it's up to you :)
Thanks, yes this has been an option i've considered. The portability could be a real bonus.
If you have a minute, would you mind checking this link to see if you think this mac book will handle recording and photo editing. In terms of CPU (i don't have a great understanding of CPU myself.~)


http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FD313B/A
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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Originally Posted by brentcn View Post
The best bang for your buck is the iMac, so if you don't need to be portable, go this route. Macbook Pros with 7200rpm hard drives start at around $2000 I think. You might check out older models on eBay. Don't get anything slower than a 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor.
This is defintely moving me towards the imac. The ability to record Live drums is my main motivation for getting a new computer. The 15" Macbook in my links above only has a 5200rpm hardrive. And for a lap top this is really maxing out my budget.

I'm guessing that any recording i do is going to have to be in the studio with an imac. Portability would be handy but i am going to be working the computer hard.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:01 PM
ryanlikealion ryanlikealion is offline
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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Originally Posted by aaajn View Post
One more possibility. The Mac Mini. For about 900 bucks American, you can get a lot of Ram and a half decent hard drive. Add Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. You can add a CD writer and still come in under your budget.

This is a good choice if you already have a monitor, or a keyboard. I have used all kinds of Mac's and I like this option.
Thanks for the suggestion- i'll look into it. I don't have monitor or keyboard though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalma View Post
i use a macbook pro 13" - it's great for travelling, recording and editing. you can simply plug in a larger screen if you need..

it's up to you :)
What is the rpm of your harddrive on this macbook? Is it ample for recording live drums?
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

I record drums on my 2009 MacBook Pro. I don't have many issues at all. It's also very simple to replace the HDD on a MacBook Pro if you have a bit of courage and a set of screwdrivers - of course, this will invalidate any warranty you have so it's best advised not to.

The iMac is best bang for the buck and they are superb. My Dad bought an iMac last year (base model for £999) and it is an absolute beast. The screens on both the MacBook Pro and iMac are just stunning. If I didn't already have an older iMac, I would consider buying one.

The real question is - do you need it to be portable? Really, that's all it comes down to. I need a portable computer and that's why I have a 15" MacBook Pro. It's as simple as that.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:19 PM
ryanlikealion ryanlikealion is offline
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

Could you give me the spec of your macbook pro. Harddrive rpm and processor details?
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  #13  
Old 05-07-2012, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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Originally Posted by ryanlikealion View Post
Could you give me the spec of your macbook pro. Harddrive rpm and processor details?
Mine's a 2009 model, so it's definitely out of date.

5400RPM drive, 250Gb. The processor is 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and it has 4GB of RAM running at 1067MHz, DDR3.

The modern processors are much better (i5s or i7s) but the HDDs are much the same. Apple offer an SSD as an option but it's very expensive from them. I have issues with the HDD recording audio but I don't tend to run more than five tracks live at the same time. I'm not sure about any more than that.

My two Macs are the best computers I have ever owned. One is five and a half years old and this one is nearly three years old. Very few issues. The older iMac runs like new.

There's also talk about Apple changing the line to use the new Ivy Bridge architecture from Intel. I would hold off for a couple of weeks and see what happens there.

http://lowendmac.com/macbookpro/15in...-jun-2009.html

Full list of specs there.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:58 PM
ryanlikealion ryanlikealion is offline
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
I record drums on my 2009 MacBook Pro. I don't have many issues at all. It's also very simple to replace the HDD on a MacBook Pro if you have a bit of courage and a set of screwdrivers - of course, this will invalidate any warranty you have so it's best advised not to.

The real question is - do you need it to be portable? Really, that's all it comes down to. I need a portable computer and that's why I have a 15" MacBook Pro. It's as simple as that.
So if i go for a 13"macbook with 500gb hd at 5400rpm i could "upgrade" at a later date if i needed to? Hmm this is tempting - i may go for the 13" macbook which will leave me money to get photoshop student version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
Mine's a 2009 model, so it's definitely out of date.

I have issues with the HDD recording audio but I don't tend to run more than five tracks live at the same time. I'm not sure about any more than that.

.
I'm asssuming you meant to say "I have no isssues" - Within the next year I can't see my self using more than 8 tracks - prob not even more than 4. I will be using bass mic, snare mic and 2 overheads for drums. If collaborators come into the picture I may use 1-4 instrument/vocal mics.

I really appreciate you're help so far but if I could ask you to check this link as this is what i may go for:

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FD313B/A

I realise a 13" screen may not be ideal for photoediting etc but £850 is better than £1000+! The portability is going to allow me to do my music work in the studio and my photo work in the house. This is a big advantage AS i SHARE THE STUDIO WITH FAMILY MEMBERS AND DON'T WANT TO HOG IT.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

I did mean 'no issues'. Indeed.

That is a very capable machine. The i5 is a very good processor so I don't anticipate any issues there. The graphics card isn't particularly good and can't be upgraded but should be ok for most things. I can edit video fine on mine and it's running an older card - the only place where it struggles is gaming when I use my Windows partition so that's a non-issue really.

Apple just use standard HDDs. There's no reason why you couldn't upgrade it provided you had an OS to install. The only difference between using a 5400 and a 7200 is that the battery life will slightly decrease with a 7200 drive.

It might be worth thinking about buying yourself a good-sized external monitor. I use an external monitor for a lot of my work, even though a 15" is a good size. I find having a larger screen helps a lot for some of the work I do.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

Thanks for your help/input - really useful. I'm going to go on walk now so I can process all of this info!
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

I edit video for a living and I greatly prefer to do it on my 24" iMac over my 17" MBP. Like these guys are saying....if portability isn't an issue go with the iMac.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

Ryan - lots of great advice already given here. To add my 2 cents -

First, every model mentioned would be more than capable of doing what you've described doing.

And in a nutshell, portability costs. The more portable the solution - the less power you get for its cost. But again, all of these solutions should work quite well.

A few other thoughts -

1. 5400 seriously degrade audio track counts - and I mean really seriously. I don't know that I'd put this upgrade on a "future wish list" if at all possible.

2. 13" screens are pretty much as cramped for music as they are for art. I can't imagine doing much lengthy work on either without tethering up a larger screen wherever possible. And I mean a 20-24" not just a 15".

3. RAM, RAM, RAM - that amount of RAM that Apple ships standard with its computers throws away 30% of that computers effective power - particular when doing the very things you are interested in - music, art, video, etc. If my only two choices were a slightly more powerful model with standard RAM or a lessor model with say, double standard RAM, I'd probably go with the lesser model every time. IMO unless you're just going to use your computer to write papers and surf the web,,, it needs more than the standard amount of RAM.

That said, shop around - as often the Apple RAM upgrades are over-priced (not always, but most of the time). RAM is incredibly easy to upgrade yourself - just be sure and buy it from an established Mac-based reseller, so you know you are getting the specifically right stuff. I use macsales.com a lot for my needs.

Also I'd have to give a thumbs up to the gentleman who recommended the MacMini earlier in the thread - as that is the solution I just went with in upgrading my studio set-up - basically replacing my 2007 MacBookPro with a 2011 MacMini Server - which I've been very happy with.

But again, of all the choices discussed, you should be well served regardless of the which one you choose.

David
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

Thanks for your input David. You're not the first who's emphasised the importance of Ram - definitely going to have to learn to upgrade it when the time comes. The imac is the most likely candidate for me so far here's the URL for anyone else wanting to to assist:

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FC812B/A

regarding Ram these are the details it gives:

4GB (two 2GB SO-DIMMs) of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; supports up to 16GB

Doesn't mean much to me at this moment but if i'm to spen this much on a computer, I'm sure I will learn!

I'll definitely sleep on this before making a decision though.

Wow you've played with Burt Bacharach! Great list of recordings there.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

It's VERY easy to upgrade the RAM yourself in iMacs. Easy as pouring piss out of a boot.

Why do I use that analogy? Because both have the instructions written on the heel. ^_^

(Honestly, when you lay the iMac on it's face to access the RAM, you suddenly find that they've printed the full RAM upgrade instructions on the bottom of the iMac's "foot".)
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

Upgrading the RAM in an iMac is incredibly easy and shouldn't invalidate your warranty.

I recommend Orca for RAM upgrades. Good customer service, a helpful 'search' function and good quality components:

http://www.orcalogic.co.uk/asp/defau...FUdItAodwSlLzQ

I've used them successfully more than once.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

I'm not sure if you can order from the Apple store online, but to the left down near the bottom they have great deals on refurbished Macs. They carry the same warranty as the new for the same year and model. My son has had two such refurbs and has had no issues what so ever.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

if you get an imac i would go with the 27" because in my yearbook class we use all apple and have a mix of 21" and 27" and i like the 27" because you have all the room you need. its like working on a tv
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:04 AM
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if you get an imac i would go with the 27" because in my yearbook class we use all apple and have a mix of 21" and 27" and i like the 27" because you have all the room you need. its like working on a tv
Yes but it's also significantly beyond the scope of the original poster's budget.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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Originally Posted by Kalma View Post
i use a macbook pro 13" - it's great for travelling, recording and editing. you can simply plug in a larger screen if you need..

it's up to you :)
I use the same setup...works great and very small.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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1. 5400 seriously degrade audio track counts - and I mean really seriously. I don't know that I'd put this upgrade on a "future wish list" if at all possible.

Ok, it's likely that I'll get an Imac BUT if I were to get a macbook pro anything above 5400 seems far too pricey for me at this stage. Is it possible to upgrade this at a later date? I think someone mentioned you can do it but you'll lose you're warranty.

Also is it easy to upgrade RAM on macbook pro - like on an imac?
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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Ok, it's likely that I'll get an Imac BUT if I were to get a macbook pro anything above 5400 seems far too pricey for me at this stage. Is it possible to upgrade this at a later date? I think someone mentioned you can do it but you'll lose you're warranty.

Also is it easy to upgrade RAM on macbook pro - like on an imac?
It certainly is possible. The bus is just a standard bus and the HDDs are standard. It's even possible to buy conversion kits so that you can mount an SSD along with an HDD and lose the optical drive. I've been tempted by this more than once - last time I checked this would set me back 200 pounds or so but it would mean opening it up and invalidating the warranty.

The RAM is likewise upgradeable but the same would apply. You would have to get the screwdrivers out and that will invalidate the warranty. Last time I checked it was very easy to upgrade the RAM on an iMac and you wouldn't lose your warranty but that may have changed in the last year or so.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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Originally Posted by dcrigger View Post
Ryan - lots of great advice already given here. To add my 2 cents -

First, every model mentioned would be more than capable of doing what you've described doing.

And in a nutshell, portability costs. The more portable the solution - the less power you get for its cost. But again, all of these solutions should work quite well.

A few other thoughts -

1. 5400 seriously degrade audio track counts - and I mean really seriously. I don't know that I'd put this upgrade on a "future wish list" if at all possible.

2. 13" screens are pretty much as cramped for music as they are for art. I can't imagine doing much lengthy work on either without tethering up a larger screen wherever possible. And I mean a 20-24" not just a 15".

3. RAM, RAM, RAM - that amount of RAM that Apple ships standard with its computers throws away 30% of that computers effective power - particular when doing the very things you are interested in - music, art, video, etc. If my only two choices were a slightly more powerful model with standard RAM or a lessor model with say, double standard RAM, I'd probably go with the lesser model every time. IMO unless you're just going to use your computer to write papers and surf the web,,, it needs more than the standard amount of RAM.

That said, shop around - as often the Apple RAM upgrades are over-priced (not always, but most of the time). RAM is incredibly easy to upgrade yourself - just be sure and buy it from an established Mac-based reseller, so you know you are getting the specifically right stuff. I use macsales.com a lot for my needs.

Also I'd have to give a thumbs up to the gentleman who recommended the MacMini earlier in the thread - as that is the solution I just went with in upgrading my studio set-up - basically replacing my 2007 MacBookPro with a 2011 MacMini Server - which I've been very happy with.

But again, of all the choices discussed, you should be well served regardless of the which one you choose.

David
That may have been me, I am looking at a Mac Mini now. According to Apple's web site:

"Both models configurable to 750GB (7200-rpm) hard drive; 2.5GHz model also configurable to 256GB solid-state drive or 256GB solid-state drive and 750GB (7200-rpm) hard drive, only at the Apple Online Store."

Do you have an opinion on the solid state drive? I wish this lap top had one, the hard drive is sputtering lately and I suspect its terminal. So if you don't hear from me anymor
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

I vote for an iMac, they're pretty nice computers. You can get a 27" refurbished for £1,199.00: http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FC813B/A

That's a 2011 model, so its fairly up to date (and you get Thunderbolt ports). Its a quad core 2.7GHz i5, which is a pretty quick processor, and the graphics card is also decent, its a 512MB HD 6770. It comes with a 7200 rpm 1TB hard drive, and 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM, which you could upgrade up to 16GB, if you felt like you needed it for some reason. Honestly though, the best part of this computer is undoubtedly the screen. Working on a 2560x1440 27" LED screen like that is a dream. It is the brightest, sharpest, most vibrant and crystal clear display I've ever used. If you have an Apple store nearby, go and look at one of the 27" iMacs. Those things cost around 1000USD by themselves, so I feel that the iMacs are definitely the best buy once you take that into consideration.

If you spec for spec'd that computer and built it yourself, then bought a comparable display, I think you'd actually come out just about even. Its a solid computer, and a fantastic display. I have a 2 year old one, and it has no trouble with any of the multi-track recording that I do, or any of the mixing and mastering, or any of the video processing. Everything is fast and easy, I don't even have to worry about my hardware resources most of the time.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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I vote for an iMac, they're pretty nice computers. You can get a 27" refurbished for £1,199.00: http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FC813B/A

That's a 2011 model, so its fairly up to date (and you get Thunderbolt ports). Its a quad core 2.7GHz i5, which is a pretty quick processor, and the graphics card is also decent, its a 512MB HD 6770. It comes with a 7200 rpm 1TB hard drive, and 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM, which you could upgrade up to 16GB, if you felt like you needed it for some reason. Honestly though, the best part of this computer is undoubtedly the screen. Working on a 2560x1440 27" LED screen like that is a dream. It is the brightest, sharpest, most vibrant and crystal clear display I've ever used. If you have an Apple store nearby, go and look at one of the 27" iMacs. Those things cost around 1000USD by themselves, so I feel that the iMacs are definitely the best buy once you take that into consideration.

If you spec for spec'd that computer and built it yourself, then bought a comparable display, I think you'd actually come out just about even. Its a solid computer, and a fantastic display. I have a 2 year old one, and it has no trouble with any of the multi-track recording that I do, or any of the mixing and mastering, or any of the video processing. Everything is fast and easy, I don't even have to worry about my hardware resources most of the time.
I've just bought this!! I was going to go for the 21.5" screen but they had none in stock today. So i've taken the plunge into the world of mac's. Most expensive thing i've ever bought!!

Thanks for your help everyone. I've spent about 3 days umm-ing and ah-ing about this and finally been able to make what I think has been an informed decision!

I may be back on this thread asking for tips on maintaining the mac and using it efficently/wisely etc.This forum has been a lot more useful than the mac forum!

Last edited by ryanlikealion; 05-08-2012 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

You got the 27"? Great buy! That is one Hell of a computer. Even the base model has a fantastic display. I can't say enough good things about the displays on Apple computers.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:42 PM
ryanlikealion ryanlikealion is offline
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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You got the 27"? Great buy! That is one Hell of a computer. Even the base model has a fantastic display. I can't say enough good things about the displays on Apple computers.
Yeah just went for it in the end. Just felt right.

So now i'll have a semi-sound proofed room (parents's garage) to which I have ulimited access. An excellent drum kit with mic's and a 2011 Imac with 27 inch screen. Can't wait to get set up.

Going to sell some drum equipment to. Going to try and "steam line" and keep only what I need/use. I'll be selling some top quality paiste hi-hats (15" soundedge) and Orange County Piccollo Snare. And also a Sabian ride cymbal (for beginners really.)
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

Well you made a very good decision. That's just a fantastic computer. I'm really quite envious!
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

some pictures of your recording gear would be nice to see
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:06 AM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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Originally Posted by ryanlikealion View Post
I've just bought this!! I was going to go for the 21.5" screen but they had none in stock today. So i've taken the plunge into the world of mac's. Most expensive thing i've ever bought!!

Thanks for your help everyone. I've spent about 3 days umm-ing and ah-ing about this and finally been able to make what I think has been an informed decision!

I may be back on this thread asking for tips on maintaining the mac and using it efficently/wisely etc.This forum has been a lot more useful than the mac forum!
You're going to be very happy :D When mine arrived, I nearly wet myself with happiness, haha. My whole life became a little bit more enjoyable, and working with music became about 10x easier. Here's my setup now:

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Old 05-09-2012, 02:49 PM
ryanlikealion ryanlikealion is offline
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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some pictures of your recording gear would be nice to see
I've got a big declutteing job to do first. Got to sort stuff into piles of: "Needs selling" "Needs dumping" "needs returning to owner" "needs fixing" "needs keeping"

The room is so clutterred right now it's in dyer need of some tlc!

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Here's my setup now:
Cool speakers and desk - looks uncluttered too which is impressive!
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:40 PM
ryanlikealion ryanlikealion is offline
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

[quote=LukeSnyder;997633 Here's my setup now:
[/QUOTE]

What are those speakers? Did the foam underneath ome with them or is that a diy job?
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

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What are those speakers? Did the foam underneath ome with them or is that a diy job?
Those are KRK Rokit 8 inch monitors, pretty good for the money. That foam is Auralex foam, its designed to decouple the monitors from the stands.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

Perhaps some more information that might help guide your purchase from http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily...172800495.html :

Apple’s Sweatshop Problem: 16 Hour Days, ~70 Cents An Hour
By Henry Blodget | Daily Ticker – Fri, Jan 20, 2012 12:28 PM EST

We love our iPhones and iPads.

We love the prices of our iPhones and iPads.

We love the super-high profit margins of Apple, Inc., the maker of our iPhones and iPads.

And that's why it's disconcerting to remember that the low prices of our iPhones and iPads — and the super-high profit margins of Apple — are only possible because our iPhones and iPads are made with labor practices that would be illegal in the United States.

And it's also disconcerting to realize that the folks who make our iPhones and iPads not only don't have iPhones and iPads (because they can't afford them), but, in some cases, have never even seen them.

This is a complex issue. But it's also an important one. And it's only going to get more important as the world's economies continue to become more intertwined.

(And the issue obviously concerns a lot more companies than Apple. Almost all of the major electronics manufacturers make their stuff in China and other countries that have labor practices that would be illegal here. One difference with Apple, though, is the magnitude of the company's profit margin and profits. Apple could afford to pay its manufacturers more or hold them to higher standards and still be extremely competitive and profitable.)

Last week, PRI's "This American Life" did a special on Apple's manufacturing. The show featured (among others) the reporting of Mike Daisey, the man who does the one-man stage show "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," and The NYT's Nicholas Kristof, whose wife's family is from China.

You can read a transcript of the whole show here. Here are some details:

The Chinese city of Shenzhen is where most of our "crap" is made. 30 years ago, Shenzhen was a little village on a river. Now it's a city of 13 million people — bigger than New York.
Foxconn, one of the companies that builds iPhones and iPads (and products for many other electronics companies), has a factory in Shenzhen that employs 430,000 people.
There are 20 cafeterias at the Foxconn Shenzhen plant. They each serve 10,000 people.
One Foxconn worker Mike Daisey interviewed, outside factory gates manned by guards with guns, was a 13-year old girl. She polished the glass of thousands of new iPhones a day.
The 13-year old said Foxconn doesn't really check ages. There are on-site inspections, from time to time, but Foxconn always knows when they're happening. And before the inspectors arrive, Foxconn just replaces the young-looking workers with older ones.
In the first two hours outside the factory gates, Daisey meets workers who say they are 14, 13, and 12 years old (along with plenty of older ones). Daisey estimates that about 5% of the workers he talked to were underage.
Daisey assumes that Apple, obsessed as it is with details, must know this. Or, if they don't, it's because they don't want to know.
Daisey visits other Shenzhen factories, posing as a potential customer. He discovers that most of the factory floors are vast rooms filled with 20,000-30,000 workers apiece. The rooms are quiet: There's no machinery, and there's no talking allowed. When labor costs so little, there's no reason to build anything other than by hand.
A Chinese working "hour" is 60 minutes — unlike an American "hour," which generally includes breaks for Facebook, the bathroom, a phone call, and some conversation. The official work day in China is 8 hours long, but the standard shift is 12 hours. Generally, these shifts extend to 14-16 hours, especially when there's a hot new gadget to build. While Daisey is in Shenzhen, a Foxconn worker dies after working a 34-hour shift.
Assembly lines can only move as fast as their slowest worker, so all the workers are watched (with cameras). Most people stand.
The workers stay in dormitories. In a 12-by-12 cement cube of a room, Daisey counts 15 beds, stacked like drawers up to the ceiling. Normal-sized Americans would not fit in them.
Unions are illegal in China. Anyone found trying to unionize is sent to prison.
Daisey interviews dozens of (former) workers who are secretly supporting a union. One group talked about using "hexane," an iPhone screen cleaner. Hexane evaporates faster than other screen cleaners, which allows the production line to go faster. Hexane is also a neuro-toxin. The hands of the workers who tell him about it shake uncontrollably.
Some workers can no longer work because their hands have been destroyed by doing the same thing hundreds of thousands of times over many years (mega-carpal-tunnel). This could have been avoided if the workers had merely shifted jobs. Once the workers' hands no longer work, obviously, they're canned.
One former worker had asked her company to pay her overtime, and when her company refused, she went to the labor board. The labor board put her on a black list that was circulated to every company in the area. The workers on the black list are branded "troublemakers" and companies won't hire them.
One man got his hand crushed in a metal press at Foxconn. Foxconn did not give him medical attention. When the man's hand healed, it no longer worked. So they fired him. (Fortunately, the man was able to get a new job, at a wood-working plant. The hours are much better there, he says — only 70 hours a week).
The man, by the way, made the metal casings of iPads at Foxconn. Daisey showed him his iPad. The man had never seen one before. He held it and played with it. He said it was "magic."

Importantly, Shenzhen's factories, as hellish as they are, have been a boon to the people of China. Liberal economist Paul Krugman says so. NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof says so. Kristof's wife's ancestors are from a village near Shenzhen. So he knows of what he speaks. The "grimness" of the factories, Kristof says, is actually better than the "grimness" of the rice paddies.

So, looked at that way, Apple is helping funnel money from rich American and European consumers to poor workers in China. Without Foxconn and other assembly plants, Chinese workers might still be working in rice paddies, making $50 a month instead of $250 a month (Kristof's estimates. In 2010, Reuters says, Foxconn workers were given a raise to $298 per month, or $10 a day, or less than $1 an hour). With this money, they're doing considerably better than they once were. Especially women, who had few other alternatives.

But, of course, the reason Apple assembles iPhones and iPads in China instead of America, is that assembling them here or Europe would cost much, much more — even with shipping and transportation. And it would cost much, much more because, in the United States and Europe, we have established minimum acceptable standards for the treatment and pay of workers like those who build the iPhones and iPads.

Foxconn, needless to say, doesn't come anywhere near meeting these minimum standards.

If Apple decided to build iPhones and iPads for Americans using American labor rules, two things would likely happen:

The prices of iPhones and iPads would go up
Apple's profit margins would go down

Neither of those things would be good for American consumers or Apple shareholders. But they might not be all that awful, either. Unlike some electronics manufacturers, Apple's profit margins are so high that they could go down a lot and still be high. And some Americans would presumably feel better about loving their iPhones and iPads if they knew that the products had been built using American labor rules.

In other words, Apple could probably afford to use American labor rules when building iPhones and iPads without destroying its business.

So it seems reasonable to ask why Apple is choosing NOT to do that.

(Not that Apple is the only company choosing to avoid American labor rules and costs, of course — almost all manufacturing companies that want to survive, let alone thrive, have to reduce production costs and standards by making their products elsewhere.)

The bottom line is that iPhones and iPads cost what they do because they are built using labor practices that would be illegal in this country — because people in this country consider those practices grossly unfair.

That's not a value judgment. It's a fact.

So, next time you pick up your iPhone or iPad, ask yourself how you feel about that.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: IMAC or macbook pro - advise from Mac users please!

Thanks for that DMC. Too late for you he's already bought it.

Where do you think Dell get their parts from?
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