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Computer Hardware Audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces, control surfaces, MIDI controllers & USB MIDI keyboards (not motherboards or system components)

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Old 7th July 2012 , 12:40 AM
Son of 'Z'
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 1,864
Default New MBP

Right then. As I've been working hard and had some good news....and a good offer. I've been and bought myself one of the latest gen Ivy-Bridge i7 MBP machines.

I've had it hours, so it's still a case of 'new and shiny' syndrome. However. I'll do some comparisons against my current machine.

Spec wise. My new MBP is the entry level 15-inch model. So that's a quad core Ivy-bridge i-7 2.3 GHz processor, 4GB of RAM (1600 Mhz), 500GB HD, Intel 4000 Graphics and NVidia GT with 512MB.

My older machine. 13 inch Macbook. 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM (self upgrade and runs at 667 MHz), 250GB HD (self upgrade), Intel GMA X3100 Graphics. No Discrete video card.

I'm not gonna lie. These new machines are ridiculously powerful. I have a Reason project from The Freemasons that wouldn't play on my old Macbook, even under generous conditions like upping the buffer sizes to max etc. On the new MBP it doesn't stress the system much at all. I think it peaked on the DSP meter at 15%. That's with small buffer sizes.
The screen is a massive improvement as well. Not just because of the increase in pixels from 1300 x 800 to 1440 x 900, but most probably because it's LED backlit rather then LCD. I'm finding it much easier to look at when not wearing lenses. I didn't pick the Retina option for a few key reasons tho. It costs more, has no optical drive and can't be upgraded at a later date. Yes it comes with more RAM, a better version of the Nvidia card and chips that run at slightly faster clocks....but the fact it costs so much and can't be upgraded really is offputting.
One thing I have found a bit naughty is Apple using 5400 RPM HDs. But since I'm planning on ripping that out for a smaller but faster SSD & putting 8GB of ram in. I let that go. It'll do for a few weeks until I get the time, money and knowledge to upgrade. It's not so straightforward as it was with older versions of OSX, since Apple no longer give you a physical copy. It's hidden in a partition of the drive. So I'm not sure if my usual old trick of using Super-Duper is gonna work out this time.

I'm still in the process of reinstalling my software. Logic 9 has gotta go on, so has Ableton Suite 8, Traktor 2.5, Battery 3, Massive. The smaller plugins & Reason I've done already. So when it's fully laden with the same software, I'll be able to give a fairer assessment. This is where I'm hitting some snags now. It's failing to recognise large dmg image files. There's one from Apple for the MBP firmware, Ableton won't pass validation, nor Traktor and even Reason won't open again. I have already tried repairing permissions but to no avail. I'm hoping there isn't anything more sinister wrong...the inability to load large disk images can be a symptom of much bigger problems in hardware.

If anyone's wondering what swayed it for me... I finish college this week. With student discount it costs just over 1250. They also give you a 70 voucher for the App store (however I think it just goes to your user ID and can be spent in Itunes as well). Plus today I got a card with 0% interest for 13 months if used before the end of July and 1.3% rate if not paid off within that time. I'll sell my old machine for a couple of hundred. Meaning it'll cost me just over 1,000 in total. It was simply too good a deal to miss. If I wanted one next month I'd be paying full price and not be able to spread the cost of it.

Off to find solutions to this dmg issue. How funny. I get most of my plugins on but no host to use them !
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Old 12th July 2012 , 02:01 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Burnley, Lancashire
Posts: 603

Yo Ed.

How are you finding the MBP then?

I was looking to get one of the new laptops so i'm able to do projects whilst out and about. I can't justify spending 1k+ though when it would only be used for basic editing.

How much are you looking for your old one?

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