Mac upgrade questions ... 2019

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kinkujin
Posts: 96
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 08 Feb 2019

Hi all. I'm firmly planting my foot in Reason now. Very pleased to have found it.

I am running it on ancient hardware at the moment (current 10.2? I think). I use a 2008 MacPro with 32gig ram. I'm not having any issues but then again I've not completed anything yet either. Wondering about upgrading. Am curious as to what Mac users are using?

1) I have RE's - Complex-1, Synapse Legend and now Blamsoft Vk-2.
2) Also have Madrona Labs Aalto. VST.
3) Will eventually hook up my NI Komplete Kontrol controller and Maschine as well. Right now I'm running it standalone with a MacBook while I learn it.

Was thinking an iMac 2014 0r 2015 i7 with 16gig of ram? Or a MacMini 2014??

With these requirements, would anyone have any suggestions? I'm likely going to buy used. Also, not interested in Windows at all so keep that in mind. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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Karim
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Post 08 Feb 2019

I have a Mac Pro Late 2008 eight core 32 gib and a Imac 2016 I7 16 gb ( where now I work hard).


unfortunately I accuse the well known pop crackle problems for the weight that the VST have on the CPU
waiting for the update that should solve the above problems. :roll:
Karim Le Mec : Dj / Producer / Label Owner ( :reason: Vers 10.2 on  IMac 2016 21")
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kinkujin
Posts: 96
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 08 Feb 2019

Oh gosh, snap crackle and pop on the iMac 2016? sigh
Thanks for chiming in.

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Oquasec
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Post 08 Feb 2019

Propellerhead developed rewire and that has more features than the standalone version of Reason will ever have.
Might wanna learn a second daw cuz Reason is essentially just Maschine at this point.
Producer/Sound Designer.

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QVprod
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Post 08 Feb 2019

If you're not having any issues then don't bother. The Mac Pro were built well and are still fairly powerful (for audio and music) even now. I used a 2006 Mac Pro for about 3 years or so as my main rig over a 2010 Macbook pro. While the 2008 Mac Pro is no longer supported for the latest OS you can still upgrade some components on it. That said if you want to upgrade, don't buy a Mac Mini unless you're buying the 2018 version. I have one, and it's wonderful. For the price of a used 2015 iMac, you'd get more power out of a new 2018 Mac mini for the same money seeing as you already have a screen. Also it seems most people who have issues with Macs and Reason are have retina screens which at this point is all Macbooks and iMacs. The same problems don't exist on macs without those screens.

kinkujin
Posts: 96
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 08 Feb 2019

QVprod wrote:
08 Feb 2019
If you're not having any issues then don't bother. The Mac Pro were built well and are still fairly powerful (for audio and music) even now. I used a 2006 Mac Pro for about 3 years or so as my main rig over a 2010 Macbook pro. While the 2008 Mac Pro is no longer supported for the latest OS you can still upgrade some components on it. That said if you want to upgrade, don't buy a Mac Mini unless you're buying the 2018 version. I have one, and it's wonderful. For the price of a used 2015 iMac, you'd get more power out of a new 2018 Mac mini for the same money seeing as you already have a screen. Also it seems most people who have issues with Macs and Reason are have retina screens which at this point is all Macbooks and iMacs. The same problems don't exist on macs without those screens.
Great info, thanks!

kinkujin
Posts: 96
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 09 Feb 2019

Heya QVprod - what config of Mac mini did you get?

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QVprod
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Post 09 Feb 2019

I got the i5 with 16 gig ram and the 256GB hard drive. If you can afford the i7 Id say go for that. The Reason I got the i5 is because although the ram is user upgradable, you have to practically take the entire computer apart to upgrade it. So the i5 ended up fitting my budget better so I could have the 16GB ram pre installed. It's plenty powerful though.

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kuhliloach
Posts: 602
Joined: 09 Dec 2015

Post 09 Feb 2019

I believe your current system is ideal and if you have no problems that a newer system would solve there is no point in upgrading. More cores can help some people running programs that know how to take advantage of the cores, but have you all noticed clock speed hasn't really improved in over ten years?

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jam-s
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Location: Aachen, Germany

Post 09 Feb 2019

kuhliloach wrote:
09 Feb 2019
More cores can help some people running programs that know how to take advantage of the cores, but have you all noticed clock speed hasn't really improved in over ten years?
... and clock speed it is unlikely to increase further (at least for silicon based processors) as it has reached a physical limit where it is just not useful to further up the frequency as heat loss increases over-proportionally. Also structures cannot get much smaller as leakage currents become much bigger and thus again heat loss increases. So more cores it is and then memory bandwidth becomes a limitation. Moore's law is coming to a slowdown.
If you're in Aachen, come and visit us at the Voidspace.

kinkujin
Posts: 96
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 09 Feb 2019

Well, I am quite surprised to hear this. If I’m not going to gain any appreciable performance boost then I’ll stay put. Eventually I’ll probably have to upgrade OS-wise for Reason, but this is good for now. Thanks for the advice all!

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CloudsOfSound
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Location: K-Pax, Lyra

Post 10 Feb 2019

I use a MacBook Pro 2017 w/ TouchBar and a i7 Quad Core and 16BG of RAM.

It runs great with Reason 10, but seems to work harder if I use the integrated Intel GPU, so I've switched off the "Automatic Graphics Switching" option, so everything now runs using the dedicated ATI Radeon Pro GPU.
Don't know why, but measuring CPU loads and fan control statistics shows that it runs smoother with this setting off, and also disable the option in Reason's preferences to use multiple threads (only enable multiple cores) seems to make it run more smoothly, especially when using VST's.

Haven't done much research on this, but if you're considering a MBP, this model would be a good choice IMO.

It only has USB-C 3.1 / Thunderbolt 3 inputs, so be prepared to go on a dongle hunt to get your old gear running, but now I've finally gotten a USB-C Audio Interface and all the various adapters I need, so I'm a happy camper.

Only wished it had 32GB of Ram, but that would be too expensive in the Apple world.
:reason: 10 on  MacBook Pro 2017 15"
Software Developer / Wannabe Musician
"Computers are like bicycles for our mind"
- Steve Jobs

kinkujin
Posts: 96
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 10 Feb 2019

Thanks Clouds. No MacBook for me - it’ll either be a Mac mini (likely) or an iMac. But, the more likely option is to stay put, wait for Reason update(s) and see where that goes before deciding upon how to upgrade. I’m a used buyer so I’m always a tad behind-the-times. Can’t justify new Apple prices for this musical hobby of mine.

jlgrimes
Posts: 303
Joined: 06 Jun 2017

Post 11 Feb 2019

I would steer away from the 2014 mac mini.

It is an underpowered machine.

The current or even the 2012 Mac mini would be better as they both are Quad cores.

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CloudsOfSound
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Location: K-Pax, Lyra

Post 11 Feb 2019

kinkujin wrote:
10 Feb 2019
Thanks Clouds. No MacBook for me - it’ll either be a Mac mini (likely) or an iMac. But, the more likely option is to stay put, wait for Reason update(s) and see where that goes before deciding upon how to upgrade. I’m a used buyer so I’m always a tad behind-the-times. Can’t justify new Apple prices for this musical hobby of mine.
Ok. The new Mac Mini coupled with a decent USB-C external audio interface would probably be an awesome machine, but the older Mac mini's, hmmm... not so sure.
:reason: 10 on  MacBook Pro 2017 15"
Software Developer / Wannabe Musician
"Computers are like bicycles for our mind"
- Steve Jobs

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QVprod
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Post 11 Feb 2019

CloudsOfSound wrote:
11 Feb 2019
kinkujin wrote:
10 Feb 2019
Thanks Clouds. No MacBook for me - it’ll either be a Mac mini (likely) or an iMac. But, the more likely option is to stay put, wait for Reason update(s) and see where that goes before deciding upon how to upgrade. I’m a used buyer so I’m always a tad behind-the-times. Can’t justify new Apple prices for this musical hobby of mine.
Ok. The new Mac Mini coupled with a decent USB-C external audio interface would probably be an awesome machine, but the older Mac mini's, hmmm... not so sure.
Agreed here. You can even use a regular 2.0 interface with the new Mac Mini if that's what you have. Still using a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 with mine. The 2012 mac mini is better than the 2014 one, but I don't think it's enough of an upgrade from a 2008 Mac Pro. Save your money.

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adfielding
Posts: 487
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Post 12 Feb 2019

In my experience, the words "Mac" and "upgrade" don't really belong together - but that's neither here nor there.

My suggestion for the past few years with regards to people wanting to get a newer Mac has always been to wait it out, and see what Apple bring with their upgrades... but they've been pretty stagnant lately.

If you're looking to upgrade, I would strongly suggest getting the best processor you can afford, at least 16gb RAM, and with an internal solid-state drive. You can always expand your storage externally, but swapping out internal iMac components is a nightmare. I recently called an Apple store and asked them if they'd be willing to swap out my internal Fusion drive for a full SSD - nope, no dice, they said the cheapest Apple-authorised SSD for my setup would be "cost prohibitive" at £1k. Which is hilarious. You can technically do it yourself, but I haven't tried because I don't hate myself that much.

edit: the same "get decent internals because you can't upgrade them easily" logic applies equally to Mac Minis as much as it does iMacs.

kinkujin
Posts: 96
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 15 Feb 2019

Hmmm ... have done a bit of browsing online at Mac mini's. The 2018s are more dollars than I can justify. The 2012 still has firewire and Tbolt. I may have to get one of these in a bit.

The thing I'm trying to stay ahead of is the Reason curve. I don't want to be closed out of upgrading Reason due to OS constraints. A 2012 might get me a few more years? Any soothsayers around?

Nonetheless, I'm having no issues and will probably stay put for now. Honestly though, I think the iMacs are just great - super screen for Reason. Almost don't need a second monitor.

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CloudsOfSound
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Location: K-Pax, Lyra

Post 15 Feb 2019

kinkujin wrote:
15 Feb 2019
Hmmm ... have done a bit of browsing online at Mac mini's. The 2018s are more dollars than I can justify. The 2012 still has firewire and Tbolt. I may have to get one of these in a bit.

The thing I'm trying to stay ahead of is the Reason curve. I don't want to be closed out of upgrading Reason due to OS constraints. A 2012 might get me a few more years? Any soothsayers around?

Nonetheless, I'm having no issues and will probably stay put for now. Honestly though, I think the iMacs are just great - super screen for Reason. Almost don't need a second monitor.
Besides, there is a lot of trouble with using USB audio interfaces on all Mac's that use the stupid T2 Security chip technology.
I didn't realize this until lately when using a USB interface on my MacBook Pro with TouchBar, that uses this technology.

It's a big deal for lots of users, as you can see by checking out these links:

https://ask.audio/articles/is-apples-t2 ... recordings
https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopi ... 66#p136666
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/au ... t-27096653
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-c ... 018-a.html


Apple has to get their act together or they risk loosing a lot of loyal customers, the music creating crowd. Once upon a time Apple made Professional Products that just worked. Not so much anymore.

So maybe you should wait until this issue is solved before considering any model containing this technology.
:reason: 10 on  MacBook Pro 2017 15"
Software Developer / Wannabe Musician
"Computers are like bicycles for our mind"
- Steve Jobs

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QVprod
Posts: 2171
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Post 16 Feb 2019

CloudsOfSound wrote:
15 Feb 2019
kinkujin wrote:
15 Feb 2019
Hmmm ... have done a bit of browsing online at Mac mini's. The 2018s are more dollars than I can justify. The 2012 still has firewire and Tbolt. I may have to get one of these in a bit.

The thing I'm trying to stay ahead of is the Reason curve. I don't want to be closed out of upgrading Reason due to OS constraints. A 2012 might get me a few more years? Any soothsayers around?

Nonetheless, I'm having no issues and will probably stay put for now. Honestly though, I think the iMacs are just great - super screen for Reason. Almost don't need a second monitor.
Besides, there is a lot of trouble with using USB audio interfaces on all Mac's that use the stupid T2 Security chip technology.
I didn't realize this until lately when using a USB interface on my MacBook Pro with TouchBar, that uses this technology.

It's a big deal for lots of users, as you can see by checking out these links:

https://ask.audio/articles/is-apples-t2 ... recordings
https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopi ... 66#p136666
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/au ... t-27096653
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-c ... 018-a.html


Apple has to get their act together or they risk loosing a lot of loyal customers, the music creating crowd. Once upon a time Apple made Professional Products that just worked. Not so much anymore.

So maybe you should wait until this issue is solved before considering any model containing this technology.
Interesting. I'm using a Focusrite 18i20 (1st gen) with my Mac Mini and I don't have dropouts. Occasionally when turning it on it has some clocking issues but that's fixed by just opening the Scarlett mix control app and it's smooth sailing after that.
kinkujin wrote:
15 Feb 2019
Hmmm ... have done a bit of browsing online at Mac mini's. The 2018s are more dollars than I can justify. The 2012 still has firewire and Tbolt. I may have to get one of these in a bit.

The thing I'm trying to stay ahead of is the Reason curve. I don't want to be closed out of upgrading Reason due to OS constraints. A 2012 might get me a few more years? Any soothsayers around?

Nonetheless, I'm having no issues and will probably stay put for now. Honestly though, I think the iMacs are just great - super screen for Reason. Almost don't need a second monitor.
I only had mentioned the Mac Mini 2018 because you stated interest in a 2015 iMac which would be about the same price but less powerful. Otherwise, yes your 2008 Mac Pro is fine. Buying a 2012 won't get you more years of OS upgrades if your intent is to stay with the most recent. Macs from 2012 are the oldest compatible with Mojave so I'd imagine the next OS Apple releases will not be compatible with it. And of course the 2014 Mac mini isn't worth bothering with.

kinkujin
Posts: 96
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 16 Feb 2019

QVprod wrote:
16 Feb 2019
CloudsOfSound wrote:
15 Feb 2019


Besides, there is a lot of trouble with using USB audio interfaces on all Mac's that use the stupid T2 Security chip technology.
I didn't realize this until lately when using a USB interface on my MacBook Pro with TouchBar, that uses this technology.

It's a big deal for lots of users, as you can see by checking out these links:

https://ask.audio/articles/is-apples-t2 ... recordings
https://www.forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopi ... 66#p136666
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/au ... t-27096653
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-c ... 018-a.html


Apple has to get their act together or they risk loosing a lot of loyal customers, the music creating crowd. Once upon a time Apple made Professional Products that just worked. Not so much anymore.

So maybe you should wait until this issue is solved before considering any model containing this technology.
Interesting. I'm using a Focusrite 18i20 (1st gen) with my Mac Mini and I don't have dropouts. Occasionally when turning it on it has some clocking issues but that's fixed by just opening the Scarlett mix control app and it's smooth sailing after that.
kinkujin wrote:
15 Feb 2019
Hmmm ... have done a bit of browsing online at Mac mini's. The 2018s are more dollars than I can justify. The 2012 still has firewire and Tbolt. I may have to get one of these in a bit.

The thing I'm trying to stay ahead of is the Reason curve. I don't want to be closed out of upgrading Reason due to OS constraints. A 2012 might get me a few more years? Any soothsayers around?

Nonetheless, I'm having no issues and will probably stay put for now. Honestly though, I think the iMacs are just great - super screen for Reason. Almost don't need a second monitor.
I only had mentioned the Mac Mini 2018 because you stated interest in a 2015 iMac which would be about the same price but less powerful. Otherwise, yes your 2008 Mac Pro is fine. Buying a 2012 won't get you more years of OS upgrades if your intent is to stay with the most recent. Macs from 2012 are the oldest compatible with Mojave so I'd imagine the next OS Apple releases will not be compatible with it. And of course the 2014 Mac mini isn't worth bothering with.
Thanks again. I guess I just wait and hope that I don’t get locked out of the next major version of Reason. This is the price I pay for not being “current”. :roll:

kinkujin
Posts: 96
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 19 Feb 2019

Hi again. Decided to go for the best I could afford right now. Got the 2012 mac mini, with 16gb ram and 1tb ssd. Will be a step up in Reason and will also make Maschine run snappier, i hope. 2014's just didn't have it, 2018's just were not in the cards. Maybe in about 4 years I'll get one.

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CloudsOfSound
Posts: 80
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Location: K-Pax, Lyra

Post 19 Feb 2019

kinkujin wrote:
19 Feb 2019
Hi again. Decided to go for the best I could afford right now. Got the 2012 mac mini, with 16gb ram and 1tb ssd. Will be a step up in Reason and will also make Maschine run snappier, i hope. 2014's just didn't have it, 2018's just were not in the cards. Maybe in about 4 years I'll get one.
Congratulations on your upgrade!

I think this demonstrates the benefit of using Mac's vs. PC's; the period of time that your devices remain useful and actually performs satisfactory, and the second-hand value, which is much higher on Apple Mac computers than on PC's.
Try selling a PC from 2012 today, and you're lucky if anyone will have it if you're giving it away, compared to a 2012 iMac or MacBook Pro, that's easy to get rid of for a good price.

I think this is what many critics of the "Apple Ecosystem" of devices doesn't take into account. Ok, Mac's ARE too expensive compared to similar hardware running Windows or Linux, but the return value is also considerably higher when it's time to upgrade to a newer model, so it evens things out quite a bit. Also helps with sustainability in broader terms, environment and all that...

I still have an iMac from 2011 that I use from time to time for recording, using a FireWire audio interface and FireWire external hard-drives, and it runs like a clock using Mac OS High Sierra. Never had a problem with this machine.

Also the MacBook's I've had through the years have been a pleasure to use until the day I sold them for a good price, and eventually upgraded to newer models.

The only grudge I have with Apple and the new MacBook I use these days is the T2 chip that it uses, that interferes with external audio-devices plugged into both USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 and via USB 2.0 Type A -> USB-C converters, as I mentioned earlier in this post.

This should be a priority for Apple, or they WILL LOOSE a lot of customers.
:reason: 10 on  MacBook Pro 2017 15"
Software Developer / Wannabe Musician
"Computers are like bicycles for our mind"
- Steve Jobs

kinkujin
Posts: 96
Joined: 01 Mar 2018

Post 20 Feb 2019

Thanks CloudsOfSound. Pretty pleased with the price and looking forward to the upgrade.

I used to use a Windows setup and since trying out the Mac platform I will not be going back. I find tremendous value in a trouble free setup which so far my Apple experience has been. And to think that I just purchased a 2012 computer in 2019 and it's an upgrade, speaks volumes to me about value.

I appreciate all the advice and opinions on this thread.

Anyhow ... on with the music!

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CloudsOfSound
Posts: 80
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Location: K-Pax, Lyra

Post 21 Feb 2019

kinkujin wrote:
20 Feb 2019
Thanks CloudsOfSound. Pretty pleased with the price and looking forward to the upgrade.

I used to use a Windows setup and since trying out the Mac platform I will not be going back. I find tremendous value in a trouble free setup which so far my Apple experience has been. And to think that I just purchased a 2012 computer in 2019 and it's an upgrade, speaks volumes to me about value.

I appreciate all the advice and opinions on this thread.

Anyhow ... on with the music!
I'm a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, and have held that certification for ten years or so, but I never use Windows or Microsoft based products outside of a job setting, unless physically forced to.

The more you know about the chaotic, stone-age based code base and components called Windows, the less you want to use it.
😜
:reason: 10 on  MacBook Pro 2017 15"
Software Developer / Wannabe Musician
"Computers are like bicycles for our mind"
- Steve Jobs

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