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New Macbook Pro

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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby rhythm_kitchen » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:37 pm

In all fairness to hardware engineering the above temp test on the Retina display i7 MBP was at a hotel and streaming a 'HULU' movie to boot. We all know how hotels love free HD movies over their access point.

Actually it says a lot that this machine can de-encrypted the TCP data (AES) and perform crc when needed, ignore spurious TCP packets, and still not glitch a HULU HD movie.

On the Kepler blurry cam photo one can see the NVIDIA GeForce 650M is approximately dead center under the QWERTY keyboard.

Intel Only graphics mode for closed lid operation?
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby stubbsonic » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:55 am

I'm in the lucky position of needing to choose a new macbook pro! But I'm wanting to make this decision carefully. The most demanding thing I do is using DP, AU plugs & VI's, and occasionally audio for video. I use Pianoteq, Kontakt, and MainStage2.

Though on some levels I'm a "power user" there are gaps in my knowledge. I could use some advice. I also can't put into perspective how much I might appreciate higher res display, flash storage, and a lighter laptop.

Below I've pasted a breakdown of the features and some things I'm trying to weigh. Any thoughts or advice would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!! Sorry it's a bit long-winded!!


FIREWIRE:
I have an RME FF800 and an Echo AudioFire4. The new standard MBPs have built-in FW, the Retina MBP does not. It is possible that both interfaces will work perfectly through a THUNDERBOLT-to-FW adapter.

AUDIO:
The Retina MBP has improved built-in speakers, and stereo mics, but lacks an audio input.
The Retina MPB is quieter because of improved fans and FLASH storage.

The STD MBPs have audio inputs. The speakers are not great.

PERFORMANCE:
I don't know how much I might gain from having quad-cores vs. dual-core. I can choose dual-core (13") or quad-core i7's in the standard 15" MBP, and the Retina MBP.

GRAPHICS:
I can choose integrated graphics only (at the bottom end) and super graphics at the top end, regardless of models. The retina display does look nice, but I don't know how important it is to me in the day-to-day.

STORAGE:
I can choose an SSD option for STD MBP's for $900. Or I can get the integrated flash with the Retina MBP.

STANDARD MBP

+ Includes FW
+ Includes audio INPUT
+ Integrated superdrive
+ Easier to service, swap out drive, battery, etc.
+ Optional 1680x1050 resolution
-  Weak speakers in 13" MBP
-  Heavier

RETINA MBP

+ Lighter
+ Super high-Res display 2880x1800
+ Integrated Flash (SSD)
+ Improved built-in speakers & mics
+ quieter (due to flash drive & quiet fans)
- No audio input
- Less servicable-- display, battery, etc.
- No native FW port (potential compatibility issues?)
- More fragile?

EDU PRICES (sans SSD):
$1582 13" MBP: 2.9 GHz dual-core i7, Standard 8GB RAM, AppleCare
$2208 15" MBP :2.3 GHz quad-core i7, 8 GB RAM, 750 GB ATA drive, Hi-Res Display, AppleCare
$3097 15" Retina MBP: 2.6 GHz Quad-core, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, add USB super-drive, AppleCare
RMBP (2.6 i7), FF800, DP8, Kontakt, Reaktor, K2661S, K2500RS, iPad4, also have a sawtooth G4 for running a few legacy apps and a UAD-1.
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby Todzilla » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:36 pm

stubbsonic wrote:I'm in the lucky position of needing to choose a new macbook pro! But I'm wanting to make this decision carefully. The most demanding thing I do is using DP, AU plugs & VI's, and occasionally audio for video. I use Pianoteq, Kontakt, and MainStage2.

As the OP for the wandering thread, I was in the same position as you recently.
stubbsonic wrote:Though on some levels I'm a "power user" there are gaps in my knowledge. I could use some advice. I also can't put into perspective how much I might appreciate higher res display, flash storage, and a lighter laptop.

Sounds similar to me.
stubbsonic wrote:Below I've pasted a breakdown of the features and some things I'm trying to weigh. Any thoughts or advice would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!! Sorry it's a bit long-winded!!

I've done a fair amount of research, although I'm not the total Mac fanboy some folks are.
stubbsonic wrote:
FIREWIRE:
I have an RME FF800 and an Echo AudioFire4. The new standard MBPs have built-in FW, the Retina MBP does not. It is possible that both interfaces will work perfectly through a THUNDERBOLT-to-FW adapter.

I have no experience with the adapters, but I assume the FW 400-800 adapters (which come in cable form) are more reliable than the current crop of early Thunderbolt adapters. I'm looking forward to the high end interfaces (Apogee? RME? Lynx?) to adopt this new Thunderbolt standard. For now, I'm more comfortable with FW adapters. For reasons I explain later on, I'm not a fan of the Retina MBPs, especially for DAW purposes.
stubbsonic wrote:AUDIO:
The Retina MBP has improved built-in speakers, and stereo mics, but lacks an audio input.
The Retina MPB is quieter because of improved fans and FLASH storage.

The hype from Cuppertino is better speakers, quieter fans. But I read a review that said the fans sound different though not really quieter. As for speakers, I wouldn't consider any laptop speakers to be remotely adequate for real audio work, same for mics.
stubbsonic wrote:The STD MBPs have audio inputs. The speakers are not great.

Again, I doubt the RMBP is anything to crow about.
stubbsonic wrote:PERFORMANCE:
I don't know how much I might gain from having quad-cores vs. dual-core. I can choose dual-core (13") or quad-core i7's in the standard 15" MBP, and the Retina MBP.

For 64-bit applications, where DP 8 is already and most the apps you cited are, or are going to be, you'll need lots of CPU cores (4 is better than 2) and lots of RAM. I just upgraded my late 2011 15" MBP with 16G RAM for $95 and ten minutes of work. As I use more 64 bit applications, I'll have tons of headroom.
stubbsonic wrote:GRAPHICS:
I can choose integrated graphics only (at the bottom end) and super graphics at the top end, regardless of models. The retina display does look nice, but I don't know how important it is to me in the day-to-day.

I'm using a late 2011 15" MBP right now and frankly, the display is pretty amazing. I'm sure the retina model is better, but how good does it have to be to be a DAW?
stubbsonic wrote:STORAGE:
I can choose an SSD option for STD MBP's for $900. Or I can get the integrated flash with the Retina MBP.

If money is at all an issue, you can save a ton by buying the base model and putting your own SSD in. I got a 256G Crucial M4 SSD for $179 when I bought my MBP from bhphotovideo.com. Apple charges waaaaay too much for an SSD and RAM. It's an easy upgrade too. I spent less than $2000 and I'm upgrading to 16G RAM, a 256 SSD and a secondary 7200 RPM HD in place of the optical drive. If I paid Apple to do it, I would mortgage my first born.
stubbsonic wrote:STANDARD MBP

+ Includes FW
+ Includes audio INPUT
+ Integrated superdrive
+ Easier to service, swap out drive, battery, etc.
+ Optional 1680x1050 resolution
-  Weak speakers in 13" MBP
-  Heavier

The fact that it has legacy ports (FW, Ethernet) and user-upgradeable RAM and Storage is HUGE to me. As my audio needs evolve, I'll be able to evolve my MBP around them. This was the single biggest driver in my decision (that, and cost).
stubbsonic wrote:RETINA MBP

+ Lighter
+ Super high-Res display 2880x1800
+ Integrated Flash (SSD)
+ Improved built-in speakers & mics
+ quieter (due to flash drive & quiet fans)
- No audio input
- Less servicable-- display, battery, etc.
- No native FW port (potential compatibility issues?)
- More fragile?

Since you can upgrade drive to SSD on the standard MBP, you've eliminated your pluses to Retina display and ALLEGEDLY quieter fan
stubbsonic wrote:
EDU PRICES (sans SSD):
$1582 13" MBP: 2.9 GHz dual-core i7, Standard 8GB RAM, AppleCare
$2208 15" MBP :2.3 GHz quad-core i7, 8 GB RAM, 750 GB ATA drive, Hi-Res Display, AppleCare
$3097 15" Retina MBP: 2.6 GHz Quad-core, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, add USB super-drive, AppleCare

If you really are concerned about cost, you can get the late 2011 models for very cheap. They are ever so slightly slower and only support USB 2.0, not 3.0 like the new non-Retina models. I got my 15" 2.2GHz late 2011 for $1499 from B&H. No sales tax, free shipping, half priced AppleCare, free Parallels software, and great discounts on RAM and SSD.

I could certainly be accused of giving you advice to defend my decisions, but I think my research has been objective and geared toward the same goals you're seeking. I may perhaps be a bit more of a penny-pincher and a fearless do it yourself.
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby stubbsonic » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:14 am

Thanks, Todzilla. (only saw your response today, friday).

I submitted my choice for the retina mbp, with 16 GB RAM, and 512 GB Flash Storage. For the sake of offering a different perspective, I'll offer my reasoning.

I think the cost of a standard MBP upgraded with similar features to the R-MBP would be fairly close. A standard MBP with a non-SSD drive is of course optimal in terms of affordability. So the money question is down to SSD vs. Hard Drive.

As for the TB to FW adapter question, I've gotten personal emailed assurances both from Echo and from RME's USA tech support that the Apple TB/FW adapters should work fine. Both companies seem pretty well-integrated with Apple's core services and AMS.

As for the built-in speakers, though I would not use them for anything critical, I do use them ALL the time, so it is no small matter to have them be a little louder and a little less high-passed. I heard them in the apple store and they sound better-- not great, though.

The fans are a fairly small matter; though if I can record in the same room, it will be a bonus. The Apple store was a circus, so I couldn't hear the fans at work. According to Apple the fans are not quieter, but are less frequency specific, spreading the sound over a slightly wider frequency range-- more like noise, less like hum. With quad-cores, and more intensive chip activity, the fans might end up working harder anyway.

I was swayed by having the nice display-- which I think I will come to appreciate more in use. And I was swayed by the light weight of the rig. I carry my laptop around in my laptop all the time. A few pounds makes a nice difference in my day-to-day shlep. Though I don't care how thin it is. They sure went through so much trouble, removing useful ports and killing features in order to make the rig thinner. I do like that the rig is lighter, but would have been happier with the same form factor, but including all ports and greater durability.

The stupid trade-off with this thinness war is that I now will need to carry my usb micro-recorder to use as an audio i/o, or a TB to FW adapter for my larger audio/MIDI interfaces, a superdrive to play DVD's & CD's.

Some of the port & format choices by Apple are a bit like pushing the future. (read "pushy")

I don't spend this kind of money easily or often. So I usually wrack my brain about the pro's & con's of this kind of decision. One thing that swayed me is that this will probably be my main computer for the next 4-6 years (hopefully more), and it is an important tool for me. The risk with the FW adapter feels a little scary, but if I get stuck, I have other options.
RMBP (2.6 i7), FF800, DP8, Kontakt, Reaktor, K2661S, K2500RS, iPad4, also have a sawtooth G4 for running a few legacy apps and a UAD-1.
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby Matcher » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:25 am

I had looked into getting a MBP for some months, and now after the upgrades it was time to make a decision. Out of the new pack, the RMBP seemed like a winner because the price difference was only 400, for which you get +4GB RAM, SSD, and the display etc. The downsides are no FW, no superdrive, no upgradability, and the display for non- retina content, but it still seemed like a better choice of the two available.
Then I got a deal for previous gen 2,2GHz i7 for 1599 and now I'm typing from it :) It's everything I need, processing power, 8GB RAM (after upgrade), enough HD space, FW, superdrive, and I can even swap the superdrive for a second HD, an SSD, in the future.
In my main work space I'll be using a 27" thunderbolt display, with an external keyboard and a magic trackpad to get the most efficient possible setup for complex work.

Right now I'm in the process of installing about 200GB of programs, and at the same time getting to know OSX Lion, so far so good!
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby stubbsonic » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:14 am

Congrats! And thanks for the report.

What's the issue with display for non-retina content?
RMBP (2.6 i7), FF800, DP8, Kontakt, Reaktor, K2661S, K2500RS, iPad4, also have a sawtooth G4 for running a few legacy apps and a UAD-1.
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby Matcher » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:55 am

Thanks and congrats to you too, I'm sure it's hard to regret getting the RMBP :)

I read a bunch of reviews and for the time being there seems to be some compatibility issues, that at least prevent getting the most out of retina. The engadget reviewer says Right now, seemingly every third-party app on the Mac looks terrible which is less or more correct, but as I will be using a bunch of third party stuff, and maybe windows in parallel, the retina offers less benefit for buck.

Here's some reviews about it in case you haven't read them.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6023/the- ... y-review/6

http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/13/appl ... ay-review/
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby dsbenson » Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:42 pm

I just got one of the new Retina MBPro's, and it's great. HOWEVER, I can't for the life of me figure out how to authorize Digital Performer. I've downloaded 7.24, which is supposed to be compatible with Lion, and I've done DVD Sharing from a Mac on my network that *has* a CD drive, so that my original DP disk is visible in the Finder (just as if I had a DVD drive on this MP Pro). I can even install just fine from the DP disk. However, when I try to authorize 7.24, it won't work. Just keeps asking me to authorize again.

This is obviously a huge nonstarter for me. I've sent a message to MOTU, but beware!!!!
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby micihch » Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:26 pm

Did you try the trick with a new account?

I.e. make a new account on the Macbook with admin rights, switch to this new account (or log out and log in to the new account) and try to authorize from the new account.

Mike
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby daniel.sneed » Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:12 pm

dsbenson wrote:[...] I've done DVD Sharing from a Mac on my network that *has* a CD drive, so that my original DP disk is visible in the Finder (just as if I had a DVD drive on this MP Pro). I can even install just fine from the DP disk. [...]
My two cents : Any chance thru hooking a real external CD drive?
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby stubbsonic » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:11 pm

CRAP! I didn't even think of that. I remember there was a thread about someone trying to install DP without a built in DVD drive. Errrg!!

Did that ever get straightened out? Even if it did, I won't be expecting a MOTU tech-note on it. :wink:
RMBP (2.6 i7), FF800, DP8, Kontakt, Reaktor, K2661S, K2500RS, iPad4, also have a sawtooth G4 for running a few legacy apps and a UAD-1.
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby Todzilla » Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:51 am

stubbsonic wrote:Thanks, Todzilla. (only saw your response today, friday).

I submitted my choice for the retina mbp, with 16 GB RAM, and 512 GB Flash Storage. For the sake of offering a different perspective, I'll offer my reasoning.

I think the cost of a standard MBP upgraded with similar features to the R-MBP would be fairly close. A standard MBP with a non-SSD drive is of course optimal in terms of affordability. So the money question is down to SSD vs. Hard Drive.

As for the TB to FW adapter question, I've gotten personal emailed assurances both from Echo and from RME's USA tech support that the Apple TB/FW adapters should work fine. Both companies seem pretty well-integrated with Apple's core services and AMS.

As for the built-in speakers, though I would not use them for anything critical, I do use them ALL the time, so it is no small matter to have them be a little louder and a little less high-passed. I heard them in the apple store and they sound better-- not great, though.

The fans are a fairly small matter; though if I can record in the same room, it will be a bonus. The Apple store was a circus, so I couldn't hear the fans at work. According to Apple the fans are not quieter, but are less frequency specific, spreading the sound over a slightly wider frequency range-- more like noise, less like hum. With quad-cores, and more intensive chip activity, the fans might end up working harder anyway.

I was swayed by having the nice display-- which I think I will come to appreciate more in use. And I was swayed by the light weight of the rig. I carry my laptop around in my laptop all the time. A few pounds makes a nice difference in my day-to-day shlep. Though I don't care how thin it is. They sure went through so much trouble, removing useful ports and killing features in order to make the rig thinner. I do like that the rig is lighter, but would have been happier with the same form factor, but including all ports and greater durability.

The stupid trade-off with this thinness war is that I now will need to carry my usb micro-recorder to use as an audio i/o, or a TB to FW adapter for my larger audio/MIDI interfaces, a superdrive to play DVD's & CD's.

Some of the port & format choices by Apple are a bit like pushing the future. (read "pushy")

I don't spend this kind of money easily or often. So I usually wrack my brain about the pro's & con's of this kind of decision. One thing that swayed me is that this will probably be my main computer for the next 4-6 years (hopefully more), and it is an important tool for me. The risk with the FW adapter feels a little scary, but if I get stuck, I have other options.


Hey, makes sense to me. I'm a little stingier w $$$, I wanted more user-upgradeability and I find the pre-Retina displays to be plenty delicious.

Enjoy your new device!
-Todzilla
Huge sound generation & capture facilities
On the banks of the River Eno
__________________________________________________
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby rhythm_kitchen » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:03 pm

Ck this thread out. Motu chimes in re Apple's USB-3 (no USB 1.1 MIDI). M-Audio dead in the water at the moment. NI bad news bears as well.

http://createdigitalmusic.com/2012/06/u ... operating/
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New Macbook Pro

Postby kgdrum » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:26 pm

Interesting article,I hope this can be solved with some rewritten drivers & firmware updates.
It's hard to believe all of these new "standards" that promised backwards compatibility weren't actually totally developed to deliver as promised.
I see this as tech oriented business practices that are just accepted as standard operating procedure.
It always bothers me the way tech oriented manufactures like Intel can build planned obsolescence into their business model and turn usable products into abandon-ware & it's shrugged off as the advancement of technology.
I just find this very puzzling and really wonder if these are mere oversights or profit generated moves and these companies just do these things with out a caring about the end user and they realize they can operate like the Wizard of Oz.
Imagine if a car manufacture or a drug/medical manufacture operated the same way & didn't have to worry about the repercussions.
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Re: New Macbook Pro

Postby HCMarkus » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:25 am

That current 6 or 12 core Mac Pro is looking better and better... no surprises, guaranteed. I'm currently awaiting the total damage I'll have to pay for the rebuilt motor I put in a family car (and the initial DP on PC reports) before I know if I am going with a Mac, a Hack, or a Windoz PC. I am sooo ready to upgrade, but must confess ye' old Quad G5 is still perfuming like a champ.
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