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Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

For current or would-be users of Apple Mac computers, with answers to many FAQs.

Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

Postby pzykt » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:11 am

Hey everyone!!

I have a 3rd generation Mbox Pro (FireWire) and I'm currently hesitating between a high spec normal Macbook Pro with a hybrid hard drive and one with Retina display (SSD), which would imply buying a Thunderbolt adapter to connect my audio interface. Price is almost the same.

The problem with the adapter Apple manufactures is that it's a FireWire 800 to Thunderbolt adapter, and the port on the Mbox is made for use with a FireWire 400 connector. Would it cause any issues to have signal running through a 400 to 800 cable and then into a Thunderbolt adapter?

The display on the Retina is simply mind-blowing but I read there were still a few minor compatibility issues with Pro Tools 10. Any idea of when this will be taken care of?

Do any of you have Pro Tools installed on an SSD? If yes, how would you rate performance compared to a regular hard drive? Apart from booting and saving times, does it change anything??

Also are plug-ins handled by CPU or RAM? Would you go for 8 or 16GB for use with sample-based plug-ins like Superior Drummer??

Oh and I have no use for an internal optical drive so that's not something that I'll be considering.

Not sure I need the Ethernet port, although I know it's a go-to for a variety of DAW controllers. But then again, adapters exist...

What I do have use for though is the HDMI port on the Retina MBP.

I'd really appreciate some input on this as I've been hesitating for a while now... Not sure whether to stay with an all-compatible device with FireWire, Ethernet and a Thunderbolt port built-in or anticipate on future technology and go with the Retina version + adapter...?

Thanks in advance for your responses!!
pzykt
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Re: Regular Macbook Pro vs. Macbook Pro with Retina display

Postby desmond » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:18 am

pzykt wrote:The problem with the adapter Apple manufactures is that it's a FireWire 800 to Thunderbolt adapter, and the port on the Mbox is made for use with a FireWire 400 connector. Would it cause any issues to have signal running through a 400 to 800 cable and then into a Thunderbolt adapter?

No, it's just a different connector. No problems.

pzykt wrote:Also are plug-ins handled by CPU or RAM? Would you go for 8 or 16GB for use with sample-based plug-ins like Superior Drummer??

All software requires RAM to work in and CPU to execute. How much resources a given plugin uses depends on the plugin.
SD is a hefty plugin which requires a lot of RAM and also a lot of disk access. I would recommend 16GB of ram, as for a normal MBP ram is cheap (don't get it from Apple) and a Retina MBP it's non-user upgradable.
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