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best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

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best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby xchn » Wed May 16, 2012 4:29 am

hi all, i'm a noob here and to computers and have been trawling thru sites & forums everywhere to find out what's the best set-up for me.. basically, i'm an analogue guy having played around here & there for years using an arsenal of old synths and bits & pieces and have decided to go digital to get some solid recordings down.. i will probably use a daw like logic or pro tools and some vst's/plug-ins but will mostly be using my sh-101/tb-303/tr-606/six-trak/drumtraks etc individually dubbed with some midi.. (already been thru the FW/USB soundcard debate and with the low latency and jitter rates that usb audio interfaces offer like the roland quad-capture and NI KA6 i've been looking at getting, FW 800 is not really imperative.. especially with the advent of thunderbolt)..

have pretty much decided on mac for ease-of-use/compatability and had my heart set on a macbbok pro for portability but am leaning towards mac mini for bang for buck or imac for big screen/all-in-one cleanliness..

i will probably end up buying 2nd hand on ebay as only have a budget of about $500 but am thinkng i might be better holding off and maybe getting the latest $999 mini.. it seems like a lot of mac for the price and considering i can get a screen really cheap and any keyboard from a 2 dollar shop it could be the cheapest way to go - if i were to buy new then i could probably get away with the entry level mac mini, although even the $999 mac mini with server out-specs the cheapest imac with i7 over i5 quad-core (although the imac is 2.5GHz to the mini's 2.0) but the mini also has dual 500GB hard drives.. + thunderbolt!.

is anyone out there using a mac mini for audio or even imac that you could provide some feeback/tips for me?..

thanx
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby Paul Farrer » Wed May 16, 2012 6:08 am

I love my Mac Mini Server. I replaced the Mac Pro in my studio with a Mac Mini. I love the fact it's tiny, yet powerful and cheap.
Ironically the worst thing about the Mac Mini is that if you are upgrading from an older system it's LION only which isn't a complete killer but annoying and restrictive none the less particularly with older plug ins in your library.
If however you are starting with a fresh system you'll love it.
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby Scope » Wed May 16, 2012 12:05 pm

Love my Macbook Pro - powerful & portable.

Would consider an iMac over replacing my Mac Pro, love those Apple screens.
But for music on the go, the MBP is hard to beat.
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby MadManDan » Wed May 16, 2012 12:24 pm

I believe strongly in NOT having built in monitor. Got imac in 06 when, for that reason, I really wanted a mini. I said "what happens if screen cracks?". Wife said "I want an imac". So obviously she won :tongue:

Years down the road she has her own laptop, the imac becomes mine, and sure enough screen cracks.

If you're not gigging around town get mini. Separate monitor will be built more sturdy, and bigger. Cheaper to swap if it goes belly up.
Still usable if you upgrade computers or a mate wants to bring his 'puter.

Only go laptop if portability is priority. To me the imac falls into the grey zone- never again.
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby hollowsun » Wed May 16, 2012 12:56 pm

Just a note re Mac Mini and screens....

It will only run 1920 x 1080 maximum for a standard monitor. Fine for yer average 22", whatever, monitor but not for larger.

It CAN do bigger but only via its funny little DV output and only with a monitor (such as the expensive Mac Cinema) that can accommodate it.

I had a Mac Mini and wasn't impressed but it wasn't top of the range and was a year or two ago - it might have changed. But I'd recommend you check that it can cope with large (or multiple) displays for future use.

I wasn't too pleased with its 'closedness' either but I'll temper that by saying I have always had towers which can be expanded internally (I now have a super whizzy Mac Pro tower I bought on eBay stuffed to the gills with drives and whatever else and my relationship with it borders on carnal!).

And I am more than happy to be proven wrong about Mac Minis - several chums of mine have 'em and love 'em.

But there's wisdom above in the comment about not having a 'puter with a built in screen and much of it depends on how important portability is to you.
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby Scope » Wed May 16, 2012 4:13 pm

Can you explain " THE SCREEN CRACKED " ???

Never seen or heard of a screen 'cracking'.

Heard the dual core iMacs have a shite screen, but bad nothing before or since...
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby JPH » Thu May 17, 2012 11:49 am

Well, I got a 27" iMac in October last year after being finally ground down by PC problems and its never missed a beat. Couldnt be happier with it, it just... works...
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby Moony » Thu May 17, 2012 2:39 pm

Hi
I'm undecided between Macbook Pro and the 27" imac. Is the iMac really quiet? I've seen a few comments about noisy hard drive? Cheers
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby IAA » Thu May 17, 2012 7:37 pm

My 27" iMac i7 is v quiet, unlike some of my external drives.
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu May 17, 2012 7:39 pm

I'm writing this on my 27" 2010 quadcore iMac. Dead silent. Lovely piece of kit.

CC
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby JPH » Thu May 17, 2012 11:34 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:I'm writing this on my 27" 2010 quadcore iMac. Dead silent. Lovely piece of kit.

CC

+1, Quiet as a grave. No problem whatsoever with noise and mines a 2011.
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby Iain Boyd » Fri May 18, 2012 4:07 pm

And get the internal SSD if you can stretch to it and run your system, applications and current projects on it. Keep the internal HD for all those big samples and archived projects and back up. I guarantee you will have the neatest, fastest, quietest music production machine on earth, with which you will be very happy.

This 'screen just cracking' thing is complete bollocks, unless you're planning on throwing it into the back of your car. If you want mobile, get a MacBook Pro. For speed, comfort, value and screen real estate, get a big iMac.
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby Jeraldo » Sat May 19, 2012 4:04 am

Paul Farrer wrote:I love my Mac Mini Server. I replaced the Mac Pro in my studio with a Mac Mini. I love the fact it's tiny, yet powerful and cheap.
Ironically the worst thing about the Mac Mini is that if you are upgrading from an older system it's LION only which isn't a complete killer but annoying and restrictive none the less particularly with older plug ins in your library.
If however you are starting with a fresh system you'll love it.

I've been curious about this myself. Couldn't you wipe the HD and install, say, Snow Leopard if wanted? and run Lion on an external or partition, or all vice versa? Not sure how this plays out with the Server.
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Re: best mac for music.. imac vs mac mini vs macbook pro

Postby chris... » Sat May 19, 2012 9:07 am

hollowsun wrote:It will only run 1920 x 1080 maximum for a standard monitor. Fine for yer average 22", whatever, monitor but not for larger.

It CAN do bigger but only via its funny little DV output and only with a monitor (such as the expensive Mac Cinema) that can accommodate it.

Sorry to see you still making this stuff up as you go ;)

Unlike older minis, yours supported two monitors, and could do very high resolutions on it's Mini DisplayPort (now called "thunderbolt" on the current models), which you can connect to any monitor with a standard DisplayPort input.

IIRC sadly you rushed into buying an old monitor without a DisplayPort input, so things weren't to rosy.

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