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new computer

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new computer

Postby guitarsark » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:15 am

I'd like to buy a new computer for use with DP. Narrowed it down to three options:
used late 2012 quad core mac mini 2.3 i7
used or refurb 2013 i5 quad core imac 21.5
refurb 2015 i5 quad core imac (apple store)

the mac mini is on my local CL: for $550. I already have a 2009 imac that i'm pretty sure I could use for a monitor. just wondering if there is any benefit of the newer i5 models over the quad core i7 mac mini.

thank you
DP 7.24
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Re: new computer

Postby mikehalloran » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:06 am

You want an i7 quad core for DP if you have to make a choice. The floating point processor makes a big difference on many DP functions—for others, it makes no difference at all, of course.

The 2012 iMac 27" was the last year that one of these is easily upgradable to an internal SSD. It and the 2011 are very good choices—much better than a Mini.

2011 was the last year for the quad-core i7 in the Mini

You can't upgrade a late model 21.5" iMac easily (or at all depending on the upgrade).

You are still running DP 7.24? It will not install over OS 10.12 Sierra, the likely OS you will get from the Refurb Store. DP 7 is not supported anymore but it will work on OS 10.11 or earlier. Plan to update to DP 9 as part of the process.
July 2010 iMac 2.93G i7 Quad, OWC eSATA mod, 32G RAM, OS 10.13.1
828mkII FW; MOTU MTP/AV USB with Firmware 2.0.1; DP 9.5.1; IK-NI-Izotope-PSP-Garritan Antares, 32Lives, MachFive 3.2.1
LogicPro X 10.3.2, Finale 25.5, 2014.5, Encore 5.0.7, Notion 6, Overture 5, TwistedWave 1.18, DSP-Q 4.4, QuickTime Pro 7.6.6, SmartScore Pro X2 10.5.5, Toast 16
Test machine: G4-1K Dual Processor: OS 10.4.11 / OS 9.2.2; DP 5.13; Encore 5.05 & 4.5.5; Toast 9.07b, legacy apps
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Re: new computer

Postby guitarsark » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:41 am

yes planning to upgrade to dp9. thank you ! sounds like i should hold out for a 2011 or 2012 i7 quad core imac ?
DP 7.24
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Re: new computer

Postby Tidwells@aol.com » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:32 pm

There was a late 2012 Mac Mini with a 2.6 Ghz i7 Quad Core processor. To my knowledge, this is the most powerful Mac Mini ever made and is still upgradeable. I use two of them for our live show. I bought one off of Craigslist and one on Ebay and have been very happy with both of them.
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Re: new computer

Postby mikehalloran » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:10 pm

Tidwells@aol.com wrote:There was a late 2012 Mac Mini with a 2.6 Ghz i7 Quad Core processor. To my knowledge, this is the most powerful Mac Mini ever made and is still upgradeable. I use two of them for our live show. I bought one off of Craigslist and one on Ebay and have been very happy with both of them.
Doug

You are correct—I was off by a year. The Mini is great when you need something lightweight and portable.

Still, unless you need the portability of a Mini, I will still recommend the 27" iMac for the desktop. Faster, more powerful and can be upgraded to 32G RAM. The iMac also has a separate GPU with its own VRAM.
July 2010 iMac 2.93G i7 Quad, OWC eSATA mod, 32G RAM, OS 10.13.1
828mkII FW; MOTU MTP/AV USB with Firmware 2.0.1; DP 9.5.1; IK-NI-Izotope-PSP-Garritan Antares, 32Lives, MachFive 3.2.1
LogicPro X 10.3.2, Finale 25.5, 2014.5, Encore 5.0.7, Notion 6, Overture 5, TwistedWave 1.18, DSP-Q 4.4, QuickTime Pro 7.6.6, SmartScore Pro X2 10.5.5, Toast 16
Test machine: G4-1K Dual Processor: OS 10.4.11 / OS 9.2.2; DP 5.13; Encore 5.05 & 4.5.5; Toast 9.07b, legacy apps
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Re: new computer

Postby mikehalloran » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:31 pm

guitarsark wrote:yes planning to upgrade to dp9. thank you ! sounds like i should hold out for a 2011 or 2012 i7 quad core imac ?

The 2011 is easier to upgrade and has more options. You can install two SSDs while keeping the optical Super Drive or three SSDs by replacing the optical drive (external USB DVD drives are cheap and outperform the Apple). The glass is held on by magnets and is easy to remove with suction cups. The 2011 has Thunderbolt 1, USB2 and FW800. Firewire does not pass the full spec on any Apple that also has Thunderbolt.

The 2012 has the outer glass fused to the screen for a display that is supposed to look better. It uses double-stick foam tape to hold the screen (the correct tool is the right thickness guitar pick—really). The 2012 has USB3 and Thunderbolt.
There is no optical drive. You can install one SSD in the SATA bus and a blade type SSD in the PCIe bus.

Replacement SATA SSDs run $250 for 1T, $600 for 2T, $1,300 for 4T (street $ for the excellent Samsung 850 EVO). Add about $50 for the bracket and heat sensor required to install an SATA drive in an iMac. The correct PCIe blade is about $1,000 for 1T and $1500 for a 2T.

The reason to consider the upgrade possibilities is two-fold. An iMac (or Mini) will run much faster with solid state drives. It will also run much, much cooler. Only on the hottest days can I hear the fans at all—usually a sign that it's time to turn on the air conditioner.
July 2010 iMac 2.93G i7 Quad, OWC eSATA mod, 32G RAM, OS 10.13.1
828mkII FW; MOTU MTP/AV USB with Firmware 2.0.1; DP 9.5.1; IK-NI-Izotope-PSP-Garritan Antares, 32Lives, MachFive 3.2.1
LogicPro X 10.3.2, Finale 25.5, 2014.5, Encore 5.0.7, Notion 6, Overture 5, TwistedWave 1.18, DSP-Q 4.4, QuickTime Pro 7.6.6, SmartScore Pro X2 10.5.5, Toast 16
Test machine: G4-1K Dual Processor: OS 10.4.11 / OS 9.2.2; DP 5.13; Encore 5.05 & 4.5.5; Toast 9.07b, legacy apps
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Re: new computer

Postby guitarsark » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:29 pm

Tidwells@aol.com wrote:There was a late 2012 Mac Mini with a 2.6 Ghz i7 Quad Core processor. To my knowledge, this is the most powerful Mac Mini ever made and is still upgradeable. I use two of them for our live show. I bought one off of Craigslist and one on Ebay and have been very happy with both of them.
Doug


Doug, yes this is the exact one I am looking at for $550 firm on CL. I told the guy I would let him know tomorrow but I will probably go for it. I've heard nothing but good things about this particular model mac mini and it'll save me a bunch over a new iMac. I think I can use my current iMac as a monitor for it too.
Mike I would love a 27" imac i7 but cant really afford one at the moment. I figure with the mini I can upgrade down the road to a bigger monitor and run the mini with my imac as a monitor.
thanks I will keep you posted.
:dance:
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Re: new computer

Postby guitarsark » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:23 am

I'm still on the fence re the mac mini. what are thoughts on the 2015 imac quad core i5 computers ? any good ? apparently my imac will not work as a monitor for the mini, so by the time I buy a monitor, keyboard and mouse for the mac mini I am looking at close to the same price as a new imac.
I will be using the computer with DP9 and apogee duet (so no multi-track recording, only 1 or 2 tracks at a time). I do use DP plugins, some mastering plugins, and some sapmletank/kontakt instruments.
still better off buying used i7 over new i5 quad core ??
thanks
DP 7.24
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Re: new computer

Postby Tidwells@aol.com » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:48 am

You probably can run the Mac Mini from your old iMac if you set up screen sharing on the Mac Mini. You would need to borrow a video monitor to initially set that up on the Mac Mini. Optionally, if you connect the mouse and keyboard from your old iMac to the Mac Mini, you would only need to purchase a video monitor. You can buy a cheap used one, doesn't need to be Apple brand.

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Re: new computer

Postby mikehalloran » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:59 am

Does an i5 work? Yes. On certain tasks, it is a lot slower than an i7.

Example: I was called in to sweeten a live concert recorded originally to 2 track. The master track was over 2 hours. I had previewed it on my 2010 iMac i7 and it took a couple of minutes to open—a bit long but acceptable. I l opened it on the studio's 2011 i5 and we waited 20 (billable) minutes for it to open. No one was happy about that, of course, but the house engineer was not surprised. This was a few years ago, DP 7.24 with mechanical hard drives.

I happened to have an identical 2011 i5 machine at home, down to the same 8G RAM so I installed DP 7.24 and loaded that same file and waited the same 20 minutes. I then reduced the RAM on my i7 to 8G and the file took less than 3 minutes to be ready.

Over the years, I have run many other A/B comparisons between the two. Both have been updated to SSDs and additional RAM. There's always a noticeable difference and it is always in favor of the i7. Intel says 30% but that's not accurate—with some processes, it's barely noticeable while, with others, it's dramatic.

My recommendation is to spend the extra $ for an i7 if running Digital Performer. What is your time worth?

Before I ran into that situation, my plan was to switch iMacs with my wife to get one with Thunderbolt. That will never happen.
July 2010 iMac 2.93G i7 Quad, OWC eSATA mod, 32G RAM, OS 10.13.1
828mkII FW; MOTU MTP/AV USB with Firmware 2.0.1; DP 9.5.1; IK-NI-Izotope-PSP-Garritan Antares, 32Lives, MachFive 3.2.1
LogicPro X 10.3.2, Finale 25.5, 2014.5, Encore 5.0.7, Notion 6, Overture 5, TwistedWave 1.18, DSP-Q 4.4, QuickTime Pro 7.6.6, SmartScore Pro X2 10.5.5, Toast 16
Test machine: G4-1K Dual Processor: OS 10.4.11 / OS 9.2.2; DP 5.13; Encore 5.05 & 4.5.5; Toast 9.07b, legacy apps
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Re: new computer

Postby HCMarkus » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:21 am

A possibility you may wish to consider.

Review this thread to its end:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=62800

You can get a 2009 quad core 4,1 Mac Pro for $500 here and potentially for less elsewhere:

http://www.macofalltrades.com/Mac-Pro-1 ... c-e09a.htm
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Re: new computer

Postby guitarsark » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:31 am

thanks everyone. sounds like maybe that 2012 mini i7 is the way to go. price is decent at $550 ? seller wont budge
DP 7.24
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Re: new computer

Postby mikehalloran » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:00 pm

guitarsark wrote:thanks everyone. sounds like maybe that 2012 mini i7 is the way to go. price is decent at $550 ? seller wont budge

If an i7 Quad, I'd snap it up. These often go for a premium.

Throw one or two SSDs into it—if not the Server version you may need a bracket to install 2. Otoh, a 2T Samsung 850 EVO can be had under $600 so one may be enough for your needs.

Good, inexpensive HDMI displays are readily available and work with $6 adapters. If accessing the internet and running DP, you will want to max out the RAM to 16G.

Without having a Mini Quad i7 to A/B against an i5, my gut prefers the slower i7Q for DP.
July 2010 iMac 2.93G i7 Quad, OWC eSATA mod, 32G RAM, OS 10.13.1
828mkII FW; MOTU MTP/AV USB with Firmware 2.0.1; DP 9.5.1; IK-NI-Izotope-PSP-Garritan Antares, 32Lives, MachFive 3.2.1
LogicPro X 10.3.2, Finale 25.5, 2014.5, Encore 5.0.7, Notion 6, Overture 5, TwistedWave 1.18, DSP-Q 4.4, QuickTime Pro 7.6.6, SmartScore Pro X2 10.5.5, Toast 16
Test machine: G4-1K Dual Processor: OS 10.4.11 / OS 9.2.2; DP 5.13; Encore 5.05 & 4.5.5; Toast 9.07b, legacy apps
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Re: new computer

Postby guitarsark » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:43 pm

thanks Mike. I think I will jump on it. worst case I can resell it for probably more than I pay for it.
DP 7.24
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Re: new computer

Postby guitarsark » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:42 am

well I got a 2012 mini with 16gb ram. I'd like to upgrade it to a solid state drive. what is recommended ? thanks
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