New iMac... thoughts?

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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by Maggieo » Sun Apr 25, 2021 9:37 am

matbard wrote:
Sun Apr 25, 2021 1:11 am
Maggieo wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:27 pm
Beware of Big Sur!!! It will break all sorts of stuff, even Apple applications.

I know the hard way.
No, not at all.

BS works for me with all of my pro audio apps.
I had to pony up for a new version of Logic, and it broke all of my photo applications. And there's no way I'm doing Adobe's subscription plan, that's just extortion.
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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by øøøøøøø » Sun Apr 25, 2021 1:25 pm

mediocreplayer wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:24 pm
Also as someone else observes, if you are making music at home there is probably a threshold for how capable your machine should be, beyond which it is just a waste of power.
Agreed, this is a good point.

With the possible exception of edge cases (tons and tons of processor-intensive sample libraries and virtual instruments), the computing demands exerted by music production workflows are easily handled by even fairly basic hardware in 2021.

We just bought a Mini (installed in a 1U chassis with PCI slots) for our Studio B (to replace our aging cheese-grater Mac Pro). This is a modest 32 I/O setup running (mostly) Pro Tools (via a single Burl mothership chassis over digilink), and so far there have been no issues.

An acquaintance who is in the market for a new studio computer was recently complaining about the cost of the current Mac Pro. But to me, we're not the audience for the Mac Pro anymore. We just don't need that kind of power.

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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by Nick and the Noise » Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:54 pm

BS works for me with all of my pro audio apps.
Well, Apple Silicon (M1) does break a lot things. I have a new MacBook Air for work related stuff, but I'm still waiting for a lot of drivers and plugins before I can move my audio stuff from my old creaky 2014 Air. A lot of stuff does work, but runs in emulation mode. Not ideal.

The new iMac? Likes: colours, M1 is a beast. Dislikes: small screen, no extension slots, separate monitor please.

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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by stevejamsecono » Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:25 am

øøøøøøø wrote:
Sun Apr 25, 2021 1:25 pm
mediocreplayer wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:24 pm
Also as someone else observes, if you are making music at home there is probably a threshold for how capable your machine should be, beyond which it is just a waste of power.
Agreed, this is a good point.

With the possible exception of edge cases (tons and tons of processor-intensive sample libraries and virtual instruments), the computing demands exerted by music production workflows are easily handled by even fairly basic hardware in 2021.

We just bought a Mini (installed in a 1U chassis with PCI slots) for our Studio B (to replace our aging cheese-grater Mac Pro). This is a modest 32 I/O setup running (mostly) Pro Tools (via a single Burl mothership chassis over digilink), and so far there have been no issues.

An acquaintance who is in the market for a new studio computer was recently complaining about the cost of the current Mac Pro. But to me, we're not the audience for the Mac Pro anymore. We just don't need that kind of power.
Mac Mini does seem like the way to go for this stuff. My uncle works in animation and his guys all use them right now. My aging AIO iMac is due for an upgrade by year's end, so I may look into doing this myself.
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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by burpgun » Mon May 03, 2021 11:53 am

I'm a Mac user who got on the boat in 1995, so I've been through 68K to PPC to Intel, from OS 7.5 through the OSX transition. Been through a few software regimes, once paid a discounted $1K for Logic and have been using both Reason and Live since V1.

I'm holding the line at Mojave on my 2017 iMac and my set up works fine. I keep looking over all this M1 stuff and I see a lot of promise but painfully slow software updates. Live, for instance, is popular and I suspect the company has resources, and they haven't updated for M1. The Arturia stuff doesn't appear to have updated either. It's all well and good to point to Rosetta, but when I sit down to work, I don't want to wonder if the gear will function and I don't want to troubleshoot. I'm going to hold off as long as I can before I update and fortunately most of the Apple gear I've owned over the years keeps plugging. I gave my friend a fully functional 2008 Powerbook last year and he put it to use, so I'm confident my iMac will hang in there, and I'm really hoping the software guys get their stuff in order.

I do understand Apple making the shift. Intel just seems to be fully stuck in the mud these days. No interest in anything Linux related and have no idea what's going on with Microsoft these days. My day job was still on Windows 7 before they allowed folks to have Macs if they wanted, so I've never so much as seen whatever version of Windows is current.

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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by snarf » Mon May 10, 2021 4:02 pm

If you get an iMac just make sure you use decent sleep and power saver settings. They probably improved a lot since I had one back in 2012-ish but I'm so traumatized from owning one I can't even look at an iMac.

Logic is one of my favorite apps of all time. Garageband got in me in to recording music so it was a natural next step.

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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by Singlebladepickup » Mon May 10, 2021 4:40 pm

There's a device, I think called Luna or something, you can use any mac or iPad as a second or main display. If I had an iPad that would make it much easier to go with Mac mini

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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by seenoevil II » Mon May 10, 2021 7:00 pm

Sheesh! I can't believe I'm still stuck trying to make the call between the new iMac and the M1 Mac Mini. It's really frustrating because Apple refuses to sell a completed product, so whatever I get, there's going to be an additional $350-400 expenditure on a thunderbolt hub and some external SSD's.

The entire Apple line up is indistinguishable beyond their form factor right now. Every current Mac product including the iPad pro is an M1 chip, with an 8 core GPU, configurable to 16GB of RAM. The only choice is if you want that in a thin laptop, a less thin laptop, a laptop with a touch screen that you have buy a keyboard separately, a giant tablet on a stand, or in a tiny aluminum box that comes with nothing.

When I configure the iMac and the Mac mini to what I'd get (526 GB and 16 RAM), there's $775 between their price. I have the peripherals form my current iMac, and an old (2004) monitor kicking around. I'm stuck on whether that 4.5K (why?) display, webcam, and dolby speakers are worth that extra dough that could easily be a used DRRI or a Shure SM7 or new brakes for my car.

Anyway, I've been reading this thread for more insights, and I like all of them. Coming from Brad, I feel confident in my instinct that music production doesn't really require all that much computing power (barring a session with 100+ VST tracks with 18 automated plug-ins each).

I hate these kinds of decisions, the ones where the two options really are equivalent, but ever so slightly different. Thank goodness I only have to make them every 10 or so years.
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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by matbard » Mon May 10, 2021 11:08 pm

iPad Pro and MacBook Air M1s have a disabled GPU core to cope with battery duration and lack of forced cooling.

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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by Singlebladepickup » Wed May 19, 2021 7:26 pm

Singlebladepickup wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 2:20 pm
I've been looking at replacing my 2012 macbook air, which is actually still running great....
Took a month, but I jinxed myself. It went full poobrains last night. Disk utility doesn't see a hard drive, so nothing to run repairs on and nothing to hold re-downloaded OS. I have backups saved onto an external SSD, but it's in storage and I doubt it would get me anywhere if I had it because it wouldn't download OS onto partitioned 16gb usb.

Hoping there's an M2 option this summer. I can probably hold out until fall if I start bringing my work laptop back and forth. Don't know that I can go until 2022. I'm embarrassingly obsessed with future-proofing everything I own, so I'm looking at the pro...

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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by HarlowTheFish » Wed May 19, 2021 10:33 pm

If any of y'all are in need and wondering whether to jump on a new Mac now or wait for a bit, word on the street is that Apple's dropping a gen 2 higher-power chip for the MBP and Mac Mini, and a higher-er-power chip for a new Apple Silicon Mac Pro within the next year, supply situation allowing -- kinda unclear whether these will all be on the same chip (either full-on or with some disabled cores/features for the lighterweight machines vs. the Mac Pro) or two different chips, some M2/M2X shenanigans.

To be honest, if I wasn't so settled in Windows on the software side and so attached to having a flippy screen with a pen, I'd probably jump on a prospective 14" M2 MBP (or a tiny-body 15", if they get rid of the bezels). Needing a Mac for computer things and and iPad for tablet things and at that point I might as well switch to an iPhone and save myself the hassle would be expensive, inconvenient, and to be honest not a particularly happy experience. I'm jelly AF of y'all Mac users who are gonna be getting pretty big generational improvements for the next little bit while I just wait for anybody to drop a decent Ryzen 5K 2-in-1.

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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by Singlebladepickup » Thu May 20, 2021 5:10 am

HarlowTheFish wrote:
Wed May 19, 2021 10:33 pm

To be honest, if I wasn't so settled in Windows on the software side and so attached to having a flippy screen with a pen, I'd probably jump on a prospective 14" M2 MBP (or a tiny-body 15", if they get rid of the bezels). Needing a Mac for computer things and and iPad for tablet things and at that point I might as well switch to an iPhone and save myself the hassle would be expensive, inconvenient, and to be honest not a particularly happy experience.
The iPad Pro could be all of this for me if I added the magic keyboard and pen, and the price and specs would be similar to buying a Macbook Air. It really annoys me that, despite this, the iPad wouldn't perform similarly with software because of the different OS. Maybe they will fix that at the upcoming development conference, but I doubt it. I hate using Windows, but this just doesn't sound like something that would ever happen with Windows devices. The Mac computers run OS X, the phones and tablets run iOS but can still "talk to" OS X...why can't the iPad Pro just run OS X? Is it an issue of 4g/5g/LTE? Just make software recognize that those functions don't exist on the computers. It seems like way more work to develop iOS to handle such a large range of hardware specs instead of just having an OS specifically for iPhone and an OS for everything else.

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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by Larry Mal » Thu May 20, 2021 6:02 am

Singlebladepickup wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 5:10 am

...why can't the iPad Pro just run OS X?
That's exactly the goal of what Apple is doing. Or really, there will be at some point some kind of merged operating system architecture that runs across the Apple lineup, erasing the distinction between mobile and traditional computing devices.

I have a Mac mini with the M1 chip arriving this summer as my work computer. There's a chance that I could bring it home, I doubt it.

At the moment I have a 12 core Mac Pro that is from 2011. Apple has already end of lifed it by making it ineligible for operating system upgrades, but I found a way around that.

Any of you that have existing Macs can download software from Geekbench, which will make a score for you showing the capabilities of your current computer and then you can compare that with the scores for the new M1 chip computers:

https://www.geekbench.com

I did that, and it showed that my 12 core Mac Pro is handily beat by the M1 chip Mac mini, which is no surprise, since the previous generation Intel chip Minis also beat it.

I had some questions about throughput, and was discussing that with Mike (mbene), but it turns out that the Mini will have sufficient throughput for me.

As it is now, I have five discs in my Mac Pro, the operating system disc on a PCIe chip, and I have a few other solid state drives, the relevant part here is that I have one drive to pull samples from one one drive to record to, neither of those runs the DAW or the operating system. I'll be able to recreate that arrangement, however, with a Mini it will require some additional hardware.

That's the deal with Apple... they are miserly to the point of frustration with ports and expandability.

However, for the cost, if I was replacing my Mac Pro today it would be with a Mini. I already own good monitors and such. The only reason I'm not doing that is because I think there might be an M2 chip coming out, there are rumors of it having 16 and 32 graphics cores and shit.

As of this moment I would not buy any Apple product with an Intel chip. I might change my mind if this Mini is a total lemon, I don't think it will be. But it might burst into flames or something, Apple has certainly released products that they told you didn't need fans before and they have been very wrong.

But from what I know right now, it seems to me that Apple has absolutely lapped what Intel has to offer, and the next generations should be a revolution in computing the likes of which we haven't seen in a while. This isn't entirely because of Apple and the M1 chipset, but mainly because I am pretty sure that Apple has kicked off the whole "system on a chip" concept and everyone will race to follow (a good thing).
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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by Singlebladepickup » Thu May 20, 2021 9:08 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 6:02 am
Singlebladepickup wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 5:10 am
That's exactly the goal of what Apple is doing. Or really, there will be at some point some kind of merged operating system architecture that runs across the Apple lineup, erasing the distinction between mobile and traditional computing devices.
...
I might change my mind if this Mini is a total lemon, I don't think it will be. But it might burst into flames or something, Apple has certainly released products that they told you didn't need fans before and they have been very wrong.
Apple has been saying that for a while, but whatever they are going to implement should have been loaded onto the 2021 Ipad Pro before shipping. I'm more impatient now, because if they're going to do something that will make Ipad a viable replacement for a work laptop then that could definitely convince me it could handle my business. The mini sounds solid, and I may end up going this route depending on upcoming hardware/software releases.

I'm definitely worried about cooling, which is what makes me consider the Mb Pro v. Air. The Pro has active cooling, whereas the Air throttles one of the cores to prevent overheating. I won't be video editing or anything, but I definitely need a bunch of things all running at once without slowing down due to temp... Before I got my first and only Apple in 2012, I had an HP that seemed way ahead of its time. It had a touchscreen that flipped around and closed with the screen facing up, so it was then basically a tablet. Within 2 years it was completely dead, and I learned that the model was poorly-designed so that it fried its own motherboard and would continue to do the same thing even if I replaced the fried one. The mac was like $1200 but thrived for 9 years, vs. the HP that cost like $450 and worked ok but lasted 2 years. Before the HP, I had a Dell that lasted like 9 years but was almost unusable for the last 6. I guess the point is that, more than fancy features, I ultimately want something that lasts a long time and maintains most of its function until it does suddenly - like my mac did.

I'm happy to hear that the system on a chip seems like a revolution in computing to someone who follows this stuff more than I do. My last computer was one of the first macs with the option for onboard SSD, and that felt completely revolutionary at the time. The M1 seems cool, I just want developers to work on more native software and Apple to work on integrating all M1 hardware and software.

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Re: New iMac... thoughts?

Post by Larry Mal » Thu May 20, 2021 9:25 am

I feel like if Apple could have ported Mac OS over to the iPad Pro or anything then they already would have done that. They are working hard at that, so is Microsoft, no doubt other companies are also. It's not that Apple doesn't want to do that, they've stated that they have for some time. The technology just isn't there.

Soon, though, we might start seeing these M1 chips end up in various tablets and other devices.

That's going be a big goal met in the world of computing. Literally everyone is scrambling to offer that.

And if you've upgraded to Big Sur, you maybe have noticed that it's not OS X ("ten") but it's actually OS 11. It might seem like an incremental upgrade, but they've been doing OS 10 since 2001 after breaking from what guitar geeks could consider the "vintage" Mac OS, OS X was a complete break from the vintage.

OS 11 isn't, but it is also a bridge between OS X and the future. Since OS 11 is built around the ARM M1 chips, it will be easier to merge with iOS or maybe replace iOS completely.

What I predict (and I'm not alone in this) is that the days of the desktop are going to be over soon, and that what you'll do is have some kind of access device and you'll run all your software on the cloud, using that as storage and the work environment.
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