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Faulty MacBook. Do I need an iMac?

Discussion in 'PC/Mac Builders, Mods, Peripherals - New' started by hozierschurch, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. hozierschurch

    hozierschurch Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    My Late 2011 MacBook Pro is dying due to a GPU fault so I'm looking for an upgrade but with limited funds.

    I use LPX and want to start creating large orchestral projects using EWQL e.t.c.

    Portability isn't a huge concern - more of a bonus ...

    My budget is pretty dismal (about £1200) but if I have to sell some of my peripherals including the faulty MacBook I will do so.

    Is the best solution an iMac because of needing more RAM?

    Used Late 2015 maybe? Which processor speed?

    Can the 16GB RAM and 1TB Samsung Evo SSD from my MacBook go in an iMac?

    If not, which is the most important to worry about first ... buying an iMac with an SSD or buying an iMac with plenty of RAM installed?

    Would 512GB SSD be enough?

    I'd really appreciate any advice here guys!

    Current Set-up

    MacBook Pro Mid 2011, 2.2ghz i7, 16GB Ram, 1333 Mhz, DDR3, 1TB SSD

    2 x Samsung Evo 1TB SSD (to store EWQL samples and others)
    1 x Seagate 4TB Hard Drive (back-ups)
    5 x 1TB Drives (projects e.t.c.)
    2 x Thunderbolt Docks / Hubs
    2 x External LG Monitors
  2. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

    Which EWQL libraries do you use? If it's any of the Hollywood Diamond series, RAM will be your biggest bottleneck. However, if you are getting by fine with your current setup and templates, then 16GB should suffice. I have a few 50-100 track templates on my MacBook that consist of numerous VI's including Hollywood Strings & Brass Gold. But since a MacBook can't hold more than 16GB, and iMac might be your best option; in which case, I would recommend a 27" i7 quad core from the last few years. If you went with a MacBook Pro I would personally go with something even as "old" as a late 2013 (that's what I have), as they are no slouch in the power department. Your current peripherals will still work great, so you wouldn't need to upgrade any of that stuff in either scenario. If you went the laptop route, and found you needed more Ram later on, you could build Windows slave and use that for your VI's (it works wonderfully!). In fact, I recommend hosting all of your VI's inside VEPro, even when using a single machine; Logic runs much smoother.
    hozierschurch likes this.
  3. Nick Batzdorf

    Nick Batzdorf Moderator

    Sep 14, 2004
    Los Angeles
    hozierschurch likes this.
  4. Wolfie2112

    Wolfie2112 Senior Member

  5. OP

    hozierschurch Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Hi there. I'm using Hollywood Diamond mainly but also some heavy synths too so yes, I think the iMac would be the way to go.

    In the short term though I could get a GPU replacement as Nick suggests for £189.

    Can you advise what sort of spec I would need with a PC slave as I haven't been near a pc for nearly forever haha!

    And is an SSD essential for the iMac OSX or would the Fusion Drive be okay?

    Many thanks :)
  6. boochyan

    boochyan New Member

    Mar 21, 2017
    Late to the party but just saw this - this summer I replaced the logic board of my early 2011 Macbook Pro (also dead GPU). It was an excellent/inexpensive stop-gap while figuring out the next computer move. Not to mention, those Macbooks were great, so it's awesome to have around even if it's been retired from music. :thumbsup:
  7. bjderganc

    bjderganc Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2015
    I went through this issue with my 2010 Macbook Pro. If it's the same as my mac (random frequent crashes), the issue has to do with voltage fluctuations in the GPU rails on the mainboard.

    gfxCardStatus is an app that forces the machine to stay with the internal GPU (vs. dynamically switching to the dedicated card for more demanding tasks).

    It's been updated for Sierra by a new developer, which you can read about here.
    boochyan likes this.
  8. boochyan

    boochyan New Member

    Mar 21, 2017
    Wow thanks for that, that's fantastic. I was wondering about that at the time...with 2 GPUs in this machine, why I'm completely screwed if 1 of them still works. I'll keep this around for the next time, considering the Logic Board I swapped in also is a ticking time bomb as far as its discrete GPU.

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