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Is My Mac Outdated?

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

Is My Mac Outdated?

Postby cyberdaniel82 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:49 am

Hi guys! I love making music, but I'm not very technologically-minded. I only tolerate the tech side of music production because, well, it's a necessary part of the game.

I've noticed lately that my Mac's OS is too old to run certain programs. Granted, I can upgrade the OS a little bit, but I feel like I might be approaching a threshold where my computer is too antiquated to do what I need it to do. I have two machines; they are almost identical to one another. I already had an old Mac, and then I inherited another from my late Aunt. I wiped the latter and Apple kindly installed the newest OS it will handle. I believe these Macs are only worth about $250 each, which further makes me think that I'm probably overdue for an upgrade. Both are roughly ten years old. Here are the specs of each:

My Studio Mac:

Apple Mac Pro 1,1 4-Core Intel 2.66 GHz, 14 GB Ram, 500 GB Drive, OS X 10.6

Mac Inherited from my late Aunt:

Apple Mac Pro 1,1 8-Core 2.8 GHz, 2 GB Ram, 2600 XT, 500 GB Drive, OS X 10.7

To give you an idea of how pitiful I am: I just learned about the benefits of upgrading to SSD drives. I have a lot of nice instruments and gear, and I'd hate for my machine to bottleneck or stifle my studio capability. When I look at purchasing a new $1500-$2000 Mac, though, the specs - to my layman eyes - don't appear incredibly improved from what I already have. I expect that I'm simply not appreciating the differences. So my question to you is this:

Do I sell these two old machines and pick up a newer Mac, or would I get similar performance if I just update the OS of my current machine and invest in SSD drives? Thanks in advance for your advice!
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Re: Is My Mac Outdated?

Postby Dave B » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:08 am

Depends on the specs you can afford to upgrade to in the $1500-2000 range.

So those machines are fine for 10 years ago, but unless you are just running minimal projects, they will struggle fairly quickly if you want to use modern plugins. I don't know what software you are using / want to use - if you want to use more modern software, then this might be an issue (I don't remember which version of OSX is the minimum for Logic Pro X).

But if you have a working system that does what you want, then you could just leave them as is. I would personally move the memory from your old machine into the new machine (more memory is always a good thing) and possibly pick up a cheap 7200rpm second hard drive (so your projects are on a different physical disk which is more efficient).

In terms of updating, I would be looking for a last generation 2012 Mac Mini with 16Gb ram and an SSD (and an external drive of some sort for a second drive). That should see you good for another few years - I use one and haven't maxed it yet.
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