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Upgrading MacBook, any advice?

Young Dad

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
871
My 13 year old MacBook finally died. I mainly use it to run Logic Pro and make my home demos.
I was going to replace it with the most basic 13” MacBook available.
Bad idea? Anything I should look out for? I figure even the bottom of the offerings has way better specs than what I’m accustomed to.
thanks for any info
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,471
MacBook Air w/ M1 processor,.. $999 and up. 13' MacBook Pro starts at $1299. Both worthy machines. Buy new or Apple refurbished. If you run an extra monitor you should check w/ Apple which machines support additional monitors.
 

Funk'n Metal

Member
Messages
202
It depends on your workload and workflow, how much time you want to deal with file conversions, among other things. That said; I simply cannot recommend a Mac at any price when a 1/3 price Ryzen 5 or 7 will have nearly 3x the performance for multithreaded workloads. It also has significantly higher single thread performance which will have a positive effect on delay with live feedback.

That also said; you can't easily run your Logic Pro Mac software on it. So, I would recommend something with at least a M1 CPU and no less than 16GB of RAM and 2TB of total internal/external storage. You will definitely overpay for each level increase of screen size, RAM, and storage from any manufacturer compared to upgrading it yourself(sans screen). I tend to lean towards laptops that have the capability to at least expand RAM and storage. But the real truth is that you will pay more with your time in the future when the software becomes more taxing on the hardware by buying econo class.

Another thing to take into consideration depending on where you use it are battery life which can be as much as half when used with a high performance CPU and a 4k IPS screen compared to a medium performance CPU with 1080p. It appears that pretty much every Mac under $2k has only 8GB of memory which was barely enough for a workstation ten years ago, so I dunno. You can dive into seeing if they're expandable. Good luck.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,471
Staying with the OP's request about "most basic 13” MacBook available",.. You can run Logic Pro on a basic M1 w/ 8MB memory, of course 16MB is better. Battery life w/ the M1 is impressive. As most Apple people know, new machines are not expandable. Buy what you need at the get go. You can always run your files off an external SSD rather than pay Apples prices for additional hard drive space.
 

hw2nw

Member
Messages
2,506
The new MacBook Pros look amazing and even the base model will likely keep you running blazingly fast for years.
 

Stokely

Member
Messages
1,759
I have a feeling you could go with the basic M1 air or macbook pro (not a lot of difference between them), or the M1 mac mini and be blown away with the improvement compared to your old one. Heck I have a 2016 MBP that is pretty loaded out and from what I've read these new ones will leave it in the dust too, especially if all the software you are using has been converted/adapted for the new chips. Logic Pro of course has been.


As far as performance, my 5-year-old machine may not compete cpu-wise with this or that chip out there, but I can do dozens of tracks with heavy plugins like uhe's Repro and Diva and rarely have to resort to freezing tracks. The machine is super snappy doing everything, which is why I'm not yet upgrading myself. The one area of slowness I had was loading piano libraries from the slow internal drive, but this was easily fixed by adding a fast external SSD. My biggest library went from 3 minutes loading to about 7-8 seconds.
 

eupbin

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
396
If you need portability, then yes any of the new Macbooks look great....but if you don't Mac Mini is the way to go.
 

Young Dad

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
871
I realize this is a reach but does anyone know how to hook up a monitor to one of these new MacBooks? I tried googling it but no dice. My monitor has a mini DisplayPort
 

Exiled_On_Main_St

Senior Member
Messages
5,912
I’ve been debating 8GB or 16. Do you run logic on 8? Any issues?

I run it on Logic with 8GB with no issues. I’ll always say get as much RAM as you can but I’ve got my old projects open that I used to have to freeze tracks, and it’s been fine. Drummer tracks, VSTs, multiple Helix Native’s, and it’s all be absolutely fine. There are videos around where people are stress testing it with 8GB and they’ve been blown away. The way that it seems to utilise memory is also different.

It really does depend on what you’re using it for though mate, but for me, it’s great.

Have a read of this.



And this:


And watch this.

 

smolder

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,548
If you anticipate using it long term… buy the fastest, and the most memory / storage they offer. In 30 years and dozens of computers, this strategy has always stretched the life of macs for me. I also buy refurbished with AppleCare. I would never buy one used from a stranger.
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,310
I got the MacBook Air M1. Base model. used the education discount to save $100.
It makes my 2012 MBP with 8 GB Ram and SSD feel like a dinosaur.

I have hear that the only time to upgrade to more RAM or to the Pro is if you re running video/graphics editing often.
 

Stokely

Member
Messages
1,759
I’ve been debating 8GB or 16. Do you run logic on 8? Any issues?

This is how I think about it. Since you can't upgrade later, you have to decide not only for now but also for the future that you'll use it. If you are a person that tends to use things a long time, I'd probably do what I can to upgrade. If you think you might upgrade the whole machine relatively soon, I probably wouldn't.

The problem is that Apple charges a lot (too much) for upgrades. But it's what is there.

Non-music example, when I bought a house being constructed, the builder offered a longer garage. I REALLY wanted a longer garage, but man were they charging a ton, and it is irritating since you know it doesn't really cost them all that much to add two feet to a garage they are building from the ground up anyway. Fast forward--not a day or week goes by that I don't wish I had a longer garage. We ended up with a van that can *barely* fit in there and it's a PITA almost every day.

But then again, unlike me with my garage you might not ever regret it--it's hard to predict the future but people don't seem to be running into issues with 8GB, and I'm not sure how likely that is to change.

Not recommending you spend the money or not spend it, this is just how I think of it. Bottom line the number of years of use is a factor for me.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,471
I've ordered a M1pro MBP 16 inch. 16MB memory, 1TB ssd. I used to get at less 32GB memory w/ previous machines, but from the research I've done this new MBP w/ the new chip w/ be blazing w/ the 16MB.

And this M1PRO 16" is $500 less than what I paid for my 2018 13" MBP. I'm ok w/ that.
 

Young Dad

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
871
This is how I think about it. Since you can't upgrade later, you have to decide not only for now but also for the future that you'll use it. If you are a person that tends to use things a long time, I'd probably do what I can to upgrade. If you think you might upgrade the whole machine relatively soon, I probably wouldn't.

The problem is that Apple charges a lot (too much) for upgrades. But it's what is there.

Non-music example, when I bought a house being constructed, the builder offered a longer garage. I REALLY wanted a longer garage, but man were they charging a ton, and it is irritating since you know it doesn't really cost them all that much to add two feet to a garage they are building from the ground up anyway. Fast forward--not a day or week goes by that I don't wish I had a longer garage. We ended up with a van that can *barely* fit in there and it's a PITA almost every day.

But then again, unlike me with my garage you might not ever regret it--it's hard to predict the future but people don't seem to be running into issues with 8GB, and I'm not sure how likely that is to change.

Not recommending you spend the money or not spend it, this is just how I think of it. Bottom line the number of years of use is a factor for me.
Thanks for the input. I’m going with the 16GB!
 

TonyCass

Member
Messages
1,145
These new M1 macs are so ridiculous. When they first launched I picked up the base model M1 Mac Mini to test. I’ve never been so blown away by the speed and performance of any computer.
 

Kennyscrown

Member
Messages
2,805
My 13 year old MacBook finally died. I mainly use it to run Logic Pro and make my home demos.
I was going to replace it with the most basic 13” MacBook available.
Bad idea? Anything I should look out for? I figure even the bottom of the offerings has way better specs than what I’m accustomed to.
thanks for any info

I've just bought an M1 MacBook Air with 16GB and a 1TB SSD. Compared with my 2013 iMac, it is like magic - thing happen instantly. It also doesn't has a fan, so is silent, and has the exact same spec that the M1 MacBook Pro has - same ports etc. just a different keyboard/touchbar.

I would definitely go with 16GB.

There are a couple of things to bear in mind with MacBook Pro or Air though - you'll almost certainly need an additional hub that has a power pass through, or you won't be able to use your monitor, interface and additional storage at the same time. For that reason, I went with the larger SSD.

Final thoughts - I bought Mac Refurbished. So glad I did, my MacBook Air costs £250 less than the exact same model brand new, and it is immaculate - like new, boxed, not a mark on it. Well worth it. Going refurbished paid for the addition 8GB Ram.
 

FusionRock

Member
Messages
630
There are a couple of things to bear in mind with MacBook Pro or Air though - you'll almost certainly need an additional hub that has a power pass through, or you won't be able to use your monitor, interface and additional storage at the same time. For that reason, I went with the larger SSD.

I just bought the 16", MBP (16 GB RAM / 1TB SSD).
The new MBPs come with 3 Thunderbolt-4 ports plus MagSafe for charging, SDXC card slot, and HDMI output.

Probably won't need a hub.
 




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