What's new

Upgrading from 2011 MacBook Pro

tpatx

New Member
Hey all. Here's my current set up:
  • MacBook Pro 13" Early 2011
  • 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5
  • 8 GB RAM
  • OSX 10.9.5
  • Pro Tools 11
  • East West Hollywood Orchestra Diamond
  • Axe FX II XL+ (guitar effects processor & audio interface)
  • PreSonus Audiobox USB 96 (audio interface)
I write/record orchestral rock and do midi score mockups; however, I am unable to use EW beyond a few tracks with my current setup. I will be adding more sample libraries, so I need a system that can do some heavy lifting down the road. My budget for a computer is $1500-$2500.

I'm all ears for suggestions on an upgrade (Mac or PC options). I've not built a PC before; however, I have a friend (Apple developer and long time builder) who has offered to help.

Thanks for the help!
 
Last edited:

RRBE Sound

Active Member
Hello! :D

So, I am sure, as there are a lot of other threads here on the forum where people debate whether to get Mac or PC, that people have their opinion on the matter...

My advice would be to go for what you like! And maybe what you are used to (e.g. Mac).

But, the best advice from me would be for you to aim for the most RAM you can get. As RAM is the ''driver'' for sample libraries! :) - And also have an SSD for your main system and DAW. You can always add external HDD's or a NAS (collection of drives).

I hope this gave you some direction..?
 

Loïc D

Monkeying with libraries
If you want to stick to your good old MBP, you may also want to consider upgrading the specs.
Hopefully, this is possible with the older range of MBP (before everything was soldered on the MB).

A quick search in Google threw this result :
http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/compatible-upgrade-for/Apple/macbook-pro-(13-inch,-early-2011)

So a 16GB RAM + 1TB SSD upgrade is possible without spending too much.
That said, all the rest (starting with CPU) won't upgrade...
 
OP
T

tpatx

New Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thanks RRBE! I'm considering a PC build since that will allow me to maximize the amount of RAM, get a high performance CPU, and have more $ for SSDs.

Thanks for the link Lowweek! I had considered an upgrade; however, the CPU is a bit outdated...
 
Last edited:

Tyll

Member
What exactly is it that you need help with? Do you you need help selecting a laptop? Do you need help building a Windows Desktop? What is your budget? Do you prefer to buy at the best price/performance ratio or rather have a super high end computer? Do you think you will need more than 32GB RAM?
 
OP
T

tpatx

New Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
What exactly is it that you need help with? Do you you need help selecting a laptop? Do you need help building a Windows Desktop? What is your budget? Do you prefer to buy at the best price/performance ratio or rather have a super high end computer? Do you think you will need more than 32GB RAM?
My budget is $1500-$2500. I'm torn between buying a used 2010-2012 Mac Pro and building a Windows desktop. Not looking for a laptop. I understand that I can get a more powerful and more current computer going the custom build route; however, I am more comfortable working in MacOS. Also, I'm new to VI so not sure if I need more than 32GB RAM.
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
Whether you need more RAM depends on how many pounds of sample libraries you're trying to lift. Most kinds of RAM aren't very expensive these days, and it makes sense to get more than you need than less.

The main thing is not to get/build a machine that won't address as much RAM as you may need in the future.
 
OP
T

tpatx

New Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Whether you need more RAM depends on how many pounds of sample libraries you're trying to lift. Most kinds of RAM aren't very expensive these days, and it makes sense to get more than you need than less.
Ok thanks.
 
OP
T

tpatx

New Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
My machine was $1350 1-1/2 years ago: upgraded Mac Pro 5,1 (that's the model number), 3.46GHz x 12 cores, 64GB RAM. You can find those on ebay and Craigslist if you're in the US.
The CPUs in those older MPs are quite outdated. How does that affect overall performance?
 

Tyll

Member
Personally I'd go with a windows build with an 8700K CPU. For about $1800 you'll get a computer that can hold up the maxed out $7000 Mac Pro - for me that would be reason enough to switch to windows. You could even max it out further and get an 79-- X CPU, but I personally think that's overkill. Also the 8700K is in the sweet spot between price and performance right now. For the 79-- X line you pay about twice as much per benchmark score point. Also the 8700K is super strong already and definitely workable. To save some more money you can even start with 32GB (2x16GB) and just add the other two stick later when needed.

Here's a list of the components I'd get:
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/3Rxpmq
 

Tyll

Member
OP
T

tpatx

New Member
Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Personally I'd go with a windows build with an 8700K CPU. For about $1800 you'll get a computer that can hold up the maxed out $7000 Mac Pro - for me that would be reason enough to switch to windows. You could even max it out further and get an 79-- X CPU, but I personally think that's overkill. Also the 8700K is in the sweet spot between price and performance right now. For the 79-- X line you pay about twice as much per benchmark score point. Also the 8700K is super strong already and definitely workable. To save some more money you can even start with 32GB (2x16GB) and just add the other two stick later when needed.

Here's a list of the components I'd get:
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/3Rxpmq
Thanks a lot Tyll. That's very similar to a build I am looking at. I appreciate the feedback and good call on the RAM.
 
Last edited:

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
The CPUs in those older MPs are quite outdated. How does that affect overall performance?

I wouldn't say they're outdated.

The chips now are faster, but that doesn't mean the older ones are outdated. 12 3.46 GHz cores is a lot of horsepower no matter when they were made.

You also have to consider the price.

Personally I'd go with a windows build with an 8700K CPU

I'd turn that shit into a hackintosh if I were building a machine like that.

My Windows slaves are nice, but I wouldn't want to switch from Mac just for faster hardware.
 
Top Bottom