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Old 09-29-2017, 09:54 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Default new studio computer on the way

My early 2008 Mac Pro cheese grater gives me enough issues these days that it discourages me from recording. I was toying with the idea of buying a used 2012 12-core version but I'm not sure I want to invest money into old firewire technology. Then I considered buying a used 2013 12-core Mac Pro trashcan. They have Thunderbolt so it's an upgrade in that respect, but it's Thunderbolt 2 rather than 3, so it's still old technology in a sense. Plus, I'd be spending near $5k on a 4 year old computer. That gave me an uneasy feeling.

For a while I was trying to hold out until the new modular Mac Pros came out but that's going to be in 2018 at the earliest and may even push into 2019. A new iMac Pro is coming out at the end of this year but the base price is $5k. By the time I put in upgrades, I'm probably over the $7k mark. Seeing the price of that made me realize the modular Mac Pro will likely be even more expensive and I'm ruling that out.

So after much hemming and hawing, I'm rolling the dice on a new 27" iMac with a 4.2GHz quad core and 32gb of 2400MHz DDR4 ram. It's half the cores of my old Mac Pro but it's about triple the processing power. I ordered it with only 512gb ssd storage but I'm adding an Akitio Thunder3 Quad Mini 4-bay enclosure to the mix which will let me attach 4 1TB ssd drives via TB3. I'm adding the TB option card to my Apollo Firewire and the lack of pcie slots means I'll be selling my UAD cards (two solo and one duo) and adding a TB Octo satellite.

I've got all the components sitting in a pile here. Just waiting for the new computer to be ready for pickup. It was a special order and won't be ready until next weekend.

Fingers crossed that this machine is powerful enough to meet my needs.
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Old 09-29-2017, 11:37 AM
endpin endpin is offline
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I did a similar search of what is out there and settled on an iMac with SSD and a 5K screen. I think the extra screen real-estate is well worth it.
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Old 09-29-2017, 11:46 AM
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Built my current music computer (PC). It's a way to get a quiet computer with the specs and layout you want and at a reduced cost.
Most any computer from the last few years has enough power for recording music and running multiple tracks. Good luck
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:41 PM
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i love having a 27" imac even if it is from 2010. still works great.

have fun.

play music!
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:51 PM
KevWind KevWind is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
My early 2008 Mac Pro cheese grater gives me enough issues these days that it discourages me from recording. I was toying with the idea of buying a used 2012 12-core version but I'm not sure I want to invest money into old firewire technology. Then I considered buying a used 2013 12-core Mac Pro trashcan. They have Thunderbolt so it's an upgrade in that respect, but it's Thunderbolt 2 rather than 3, so it's still old technology in a sense. Plus, I'd be spending near $5k on a 4 year old computer. That gave me an uneasy feeling.

For a while I was trying to hold out until the new modular Mac Pros came out but that's going to be in 2018 at the earliest and may even push into 2019. A new iMac Pro is coming out at the end of this year but the base price is $5k. By the time I put in upgrades, I'm probably over the $7k mark. Seeing the price of that made me realize the modular Mac Pro will likely be even more expensive and I'm ruling that out.

So after much hemming and hawing, I'm rolling the dice on a new 27" iMac with a 4.2GHz quad core and 32gb of 2400MHz DDR4 ram. It's half the cores of my old Mac Pro but it's about triple the processing power. I ordered it with only 512gb ssd storage but I'm adding an Akitio Thunder3 Quad Mini 4-bay enclosure to the mix which will let me attach 4 1TB ssd drives via TB3. I'm adding the TB option card to my Apollo Firewire and the lack of pcie slots means I'll be selling my UAD cards (two solo and one duo) and adding a TB Octo satellite.

I've got all the components sitting in a pile here. Just waiting for the new computer to be ready for pickup. It was a special order and won't be ready until next weekend.

Fingers crossed that this machine is powerful enough to meet my needs.
I forgot what DAW you are using but

I would think 4.2 GHz and 32 GB of 2400Mhz DDR4 would be a superb recording machine and reasonably future proof . And 512 GB of SSD on the boot drive is more than enough. The 4 - 1 TB ssd storage drives should also more than enough storage ,
Will be interested to hear your impressions once you get it up and running.

The 27 inch screen is really nice. I have an older 27" Apple Display and would find it hard to go back to anything smaller.
So far my Mid 2010 Mac Pro 3.33 GHz 6 core 24 GB RAM is still running strong. I did upgrade it to a 512 PCIe SSD boot drive which made a big difference in boot and launch times.

I am however still using the original Apple installed 1 TB and 2 TB HDD drives for my Pro tools session storage and my Final Cut Pro x project storage . But because of the RAM cache feature in Pro Tools the session while in use is on the boot ssd.
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:04 PM
rob2966 rob2966 is online now
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I also use a 27" iMac.

I didn't go with the 5K display but other than that is was pretty much fully loaded at the time (this was almost 2 years ago).

- Quad core i7
- 32GB RAM
- 256 SSD, I didn't bump to the 512G SSD since I have a 3TB Thunderbolt external Lacie drive anyway.

My previous computer was a 2008 24" iMac (8G memory) and was starting to max it out with Plugins, etc. My new one barely even registers, on any of the 8 CPUs.

Good choice.

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Old 09-29-2017, 01:20 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endpin View Post
I did a similar search of what is out there and settled on an iMac with SSD and a 5K screen. I think the extra screen real-estate is well worth it.
27" is a little smaller than what I've been using a Philips 32 inch LED monitor with 2560x1440 resolution. But the new screen will have higher resolution so perhaps the decrease won't be an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
I forgot what DAW you are using but

I would think 4.2 GHz and 32 GB of 2400Mhz DDR4 would be a superb recording machine and reasonably future proof . And 512 GB of SSD on the boot drive is more than enough. The 4 - 1 TB ssd storage drives should also more than enough storage ,
Will be interested to hear your impressions once you get it up and running.
I'm using Pro Tools 12.

Apple wanted $360 to upgrade from the 512gb ssd to 1tb. I considered it but that's more money than I've paid for a 1tb Samsung 850 Evo. I can't see spending $360 for another 512gb of storage. I knew I was adding the extra bays for additional hard drives and I figure the 512 will do if I'm judicious about what I put on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob2966 View Post
I also use a 27" iMac.

I didn't go with the 5K display but other than that is was pretty much fully loaded at the time (this was almost 2 years ago).

- Quad core i7
- 32GB RAM
- 256 SSD, I didn't bump to the 512G SSD since I have a 3TB Thunderbolt external Lacie drive anyway.

My previous computer was a 2008 24" iMac (8G memory) and was starting to max it out with Plugins, etc. My new one barely even registers, on any of the 8 CPUs.

Good choice.
That alleviates some worries. Thanks.
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Old 09-29-2017, 03:04 PM
KevWind KevWind is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
27" is a little smaller than what I've been using a Philips 32 inch LED monitor with 2560x1440 resolution. But the new screen will have higher resolution so perhaps the decrease won't be an issue.



I'm using Pro Tools 12.

Apple wanted $360 to upgrade from the 512gb ssd to 1tb. I considered it but that's more money than I've paid for a 1tb Samsung 850 Evo. I can't see spending $360 for another 512gb of storage. I knew I was adding the extra bays for additional hard drives and I figure the 512 will do if I'm judicious about what I put on it.
If it were me and I had the space in my studio I would use both screens and split the edit mixer windows to their own individual screens

I can't imagine you will be using even 1/2 of a 512 GB boot drive if you are storing the PT sessions on an external unless you are running a number of wild applications ?

For example: I am running PTHDN 12.8.1 --Reason 8.3 -- Final Cut Pro X 10.3.4 Apple Compressor and Motion for FCPX --V Control Pro --- iLOK Licence Manager plus all the Apps that come with Sierra, and Google Chrome . As well as Waves ,Slate Digital, and Sonivox and Air Music Technologies apps folders
And have used 105.73 GB of the 512


So I am assuming it is shipping with High Sierra, PT is not yet qualified but people are reporting it working over on the DUC
You might want to check if your UAD will work with HS also
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:39 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
If it were me and I had the space in my studio I would use both screens and split the edit mixer windows to their own individual screens

I can't imagine you will be using even 1/2 of a 512 GB boot drive if you are storing the PT sessions on an external unless you are running a number of wild applications ?

For example: I am running PTHDN 12.8.1 --Reason 8.3 -- Final Cut Pro X 10.3.4 Apple Compressor and Motion for FCPX --V Control Pro --- iLOK Licence Manager plus all the Apps that come with Sierra, and Google Chrome . As well as Waves ,Slate Digital, and Sonivox and Air Music Technologies apps folders
And have used 105.73 GB of the 512


So I am assuming it is shipping with High Sierra, PT is not yet qualified but people are reporting it working over on the DUC
You might want to check if your UAD will work with HS also
I don't have the room for split screen right now but when I upsize my house in retirement, I'll be able to make that happen. It's part of the long term plan.

I'm thinking that all I need on the boot drive is the OS, PT, and the assorted plugins I own. Pretty much everything else can go onto the ssd storage drives.

The guy who's going to help me get set up is good with the Apple stuff (much much better than I am) and he says he can d/l Sierra or El Capitan on the new machine if needed. We'll figure it somehow.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:12 PM
KevWind KevWind is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
I don't have the room for split screen right now but when I upsize my house in retirement, I'll be able to make that happen. It's part of the long term plan.

I'm thinking that all I need on the boot drive is the OS, PT, and the assorted plugins I own. Pretty much everything else can go onto the ssd storage drives.

The guy who's going to help me get set up is good with the Apple stuff (much much better than I am) and he says he can d/l Sierra or El Capitan on the new machine if needed. We'll figure it somehow.
I am running PTHDN 12.8.1 on Sierra 10.12.6 and it is running great
I skipped El Cap altogether and went from Yosemite to Sierra as EL Cap seemed very problematic with PT
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:25 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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I am running PTHDN 12.8.1 on Sierra 10.12.6 and it is running great
I skipped El Cap altogether and went from Yosemite to Sierra as EL Cap seemed very problematic with PT
I'm running Yosemite currently and never ran El Cap. I know there were headaches for a while. If we have to go backwards, we'll probably go Sierra. And judging from what I'm reading on the UAD forum, that's probably what we'll do.
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Old 09-30-2017, 08:04 AM
KevWind KevWind is online now
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Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
I'm running Yosemite currently and never ran El Cap. I know there were headaches for a while. If we have to go backwards, we'll probably go Sierra. And judging from what I'm reading on the UAD forum, that's probably what we'll do.
After you get it up and running for a while, please report back .
While I hope to get another 4 to 6 years out of my system (one never knows) At some point I will have to make a decision as to the direction I am going to go, what with having a PCIe HD Native card I will be waiting to see what the new Mac Pro will actually bring to the table


Hopefully Avid will get HS qualified in the next few months.
My machine will be supported for HS (with a firmware update) but I will most likely stay at Sierra for a good while before switching .
Apple has announced that with High Sierra they will phase out support for 32 bit apps and as of Jan 2018 all apps submitted by developers will have to be 64 bit. Which is a not a big deal for current PT users but could possibly have an effect of some third party software.

The new file system with HS looks to be a real upgrade to Apple's old File system but may be a fairly big task for App developers to get compatible with ??

Here are two articles about HS that are on the Pro Tools Expert blog

http://www.pro-tools-expert.com/home...ibility-update

And

http://www.pro-tools-expert.com/home...under-the-hood
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:30 AM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post

The guy who's going to help me get set up is good with the Apple stuff (much much better than I am) and he says he can d/l Sierra or El Capitan on the new machine if needed. We'll figure it somehow.
I wouldn't be completely assured you'll be able to install an older MacOS on a new Mac. I don't keep up with this like I used to when I was part of a group supporting a large number of Macs running Pro Tools, but Apple used to do a couple of things to frustrate people in that situation, and I still believe they never issue drivers for any new hardware in a new model Mac for older versions of the MacOS. You'll probably be OK with one version back as I don't think your model of iMac has been updated lately.

I get the impression that Pro Tools is getting better at supporting new versions of MacOS more rapidly, and KevWind's reports from the Pro Tools user forum seems to indicate that even if it's officially not supported, you may be OK.

The only reason I'd be concerned about having enough computer for digital recording is when one uses a lot of real-time plugins and virtual instruments. Acoustic recording and the typical mixing and mastering needs of acoustic-centered musician/recordists is not very demanding.

In the old days, the curve of increased resources being needed for new versions of operating systems and applications was much steeper than it is today on personal computers. You never can tell, so "future proof" is never absolute, but within the limits of probability you should be fine.

Using an outboard Thunderbolt hard drive for recording sessions is still a great idea.

I love lots and lots of screen real-estate for digital recording and editing. I'll envy you when you get the space for the two higher than HD resolution screens!
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:20 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
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I wouldn't be completely assured you'll be able to install an older MacOS on a new Mac.
I just called Apple and was told the same thing. However, they also told me that because I placed the special order on Sept. 22, before High Sierra was released, that my computer would ship with Sierra. Crisis averted.
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:09 PM
KevWind KevWind is online now
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Originally Posted by jim1960 View Post
I just called Apple and was told the same thing. However, they also told me that because I placed the special order on Sept. 22, before High Sierra was released, that my computer would ship with Sierra. Crisis averted.
Great that will get you going until UAD and Avid qualify HS. And the nice thing according to the PT expert articles I linked your machine will be able to take advantage of the new hardware and software acceleration protocols coming in High Sierra. Where my machine will be supported, to run HS but won't be able to use the new acceleration features
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