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Logic 8 How Much Mac Do I Need? - Jump from G5 to MacPro w/LogicPro

Discussion in 'Logic 8' started by radionowhere, May 30, 2009.

  1. radionowhere

    radionowhere New Member

    I'm consistently hitting the wall with my Dual 2.0ghz, 4GB of RAM G5 system while trying to mix typical pop/rock projects (that is, I keep getting the system overload message, even when I freeze most of my tracks).

    I'm getting ready to trade up to a recent-model MacPro, but I'm a little confused as to which one to get. Yes, I know I should always buy the fastest CPU I can afford, but I can't afford that one, and I'm wondering whether one of last year's models will work for me.

    Specifically, I'd love to get away with picking up a 2008 quad-core or even a dual-core machine, and I'm hoping that people who are mixing comparable projects on those computers can chime in with their experiences. My goal is to be able to mix, at the highest i/o buffer setting, without having to freeze tracks, or worry about triggering the dreaded system overload message.

    Here's the rundown on one of my typical projects:

    - 28 tracks of audio
    - 10 virtual instruments (mostly Rhodes, GPO piano, Wurly, EXS24 percussion, rather than CPU-intensive synths)
    - BFD2 for all drums

    - UAD1 eqs and compressors on many tracks
    - NI Guitar Rig 3 on 2 to 4 guitar audio tracks
    - 2 or 3 PSP Vintage Warmer 2 plugins
    - I don't use many other 3rd party plugins, or Logic's more CPU-intensive plugins
    - I do like to set up a few longer delays as send FX (semi dub-style), which really seems to put a hit on my processor

    As I said, I'd love to hear from people who are doing similar projects on 2008 MacPros, but anyone's input would be very welcome. Thanks!
  3. Markdvc

    Markdvc Administrator Staff Member

    err - high may be taken to mean settings of 512 or 1024 samples, do you perhaps really mean you want low settings such as 64? Sorry to get stuck into semantics, but this I think is worth clarifying...

    Just bear in mind that you can overload single cores on a multi core machine, which will result in playback stopping with the dreaded overlaod message. Have you looked at the FAQ here:


    specifically, the article FAQ 15 links to will give you plenty of pointers.

    That really souldn't present any difficulties. The only thing that
    *might* be of concern is running several instances of guitar rig (others on the list may be able to say more about that).

    I am using the original 2007 8 core and haven't come anywhere close to overloading it, since I started using it I have been working with double sample rate audio, with plenty of 3rd party AUs from UAD, Waves, Sonalksis, Ohm and many more with no trouble whatsoever

    kind regards

  4. Legacy

    Legacy Member


    I'm in a similar situation. Do you mean to tell me that even with the newer models of quads and octo cores, a few instances of Guitar Rig will STILL max out the CPU? Seriously? This was one PITA limitation that I was really looking forward to putting behind me when I upgraded....
  5. zerobeat

    zerobeat Senior member

    Get the fastest MacPro you can afford. Even the least capable one will blow away your G5. The "low end" are 4-core and the high end are 8-core. And make sure to get at least 5GB RAM (EXS24 kicks into another mode when you have 5GB or more). By the way, although it's true that all MacPros take RAM in matched pairs, it goes a little further than this: Depending on the model, it can be to your advantage to get in matched quads (4 of a kind).

    The MacPro has 4 SATA bays (one is obviously filled up with the boot drive). So get at least one more new SATA drive (you can even put a SATA drive from the G5 in there). The internal SATA drives in the MacPro will be way faster than any external Firewire/USB drive.

    If you have any PCI cards, they won't work or physically fit in the MacPro (which uses PCIe). If you actually bought the last generation G5 (October 2005), then it does indeed have PCIe slots anyway.
  6. radionowhere

    radionowhere New Member

    Wow! Thanks, everyone, for all the info - very helpful.

    Markdvc, yes, I was talking about mixing at 1024 samples, not 64; no need for low latency at mix time.

    I should also clarify that my projects are all (currently, at least) 24bit/44.1khz, and that I have my Logic install on the boot drive but am recording to a separate internal SATA drive.

    Zerobeat, I do have one of the older G5s w/PCI only, so part of my upgrade plan is to trade my UAD1 in on a UAD2 card.

    So I'm getting that an 8-core rig will solve my problems. Anyone able to weigh in on whether a quad-core machine will be able to handle my mixes? Thanks!
  7. michaelo

    michaelo LUG Emeritus

    I'd try to spring for an 8 core. What tends to happen is that when you get a lot more power you end up finding ways to use it. A 2008 8 core is a totally kick ass machine and will give you room to grow. You will also find that the extra bags of CPU grunt will enable changes to your workflow that can save time and open up new possibilities.

  8. intchr

    intchr New Member

    Happy to say here that I'm using a MacPro 2.93mhz quad with 6 gigs of RAM over here and I as of yet can't figure out how to break this thing. My largest track so far has 6 CPU-hungry softsynths from Reaktor 5, Battery 3 with a bunch of samples and routing schemes and a bunch of recorded tracks with effects on everything, and even then I'm only running at about 25% across all 4 cores. A 2nd gen octo would give you even better performance of course but if you're not looking to spend the money for one, a quad will do just fine for quite a while.

    Good luck!
  9. radionowhere

    radionowhere New Member

    Hey intchr - thanks for the input! When you say "a bunch of recorded tracks", how many are we talking about: 12? 20? 40?
  10. intchr

    intchr New Member

    This song so far has 21 tracks going in it right now, 8 are for vocal arrangements, 2 for an acoustic guitar (one near and one far), 2 for shakers and another near/far setup on a mandolin. 6 of the vocal tracks are routed through an aux strip with effects, the acoustic guitar and mandolin has reverb and delay on them, the shakers have reverb on them, my snare hit has reverb and delay, my hi-hats have reverb, I'm using 3 bass drums with EQ on each to layer them, 3 softsynth pads, 2 softsynth leads and a subtractive softsynth for a place-holder bass until I can get a buddy over to lay some bass down. Not the most tracks out there but there's a lot of stuff pulling on the CPU none-the-less and the results have exceeded my expectations wildly.

    It's pretty obvious that if you own a Mac that Logic is *the* software to use. It's so nicely optimized for the current Macs that another DAW would probably struggle to compete. I started out as an electronic musician and have been transitioning into more organic pieces over the last year, and the last few projects that I did in Ableton Live were really starting to tax my old machine. Of course I noticed a vast improvement when switching to the new Mac but what I'm finding is that when I open the same synths in Logic, the load is significantly lower. Everything else is following suit as well, and even though I sometimes miss the session view's capabilities in Live, the benefits of Logic outshine Live in so many ways for my personal needs. Of course Ableton is still running in 32 bit and hasn't rolled out quad-core and up optimizations, but imo they'd have to completely revamp their automation lane windows and sound engine to get competitive against Logic.

    Perhaps once I'm done writing and I get some gigs lined up I'll start thinking about what Ableton Live can do for me, but until that point comes I'm absolutely sold on Logic and its power and dependability.
  11. daveyboy

    daveyboy Senior member

    I'm running a 2.8, 8 core with no issues and tons of tracks. The thing I love is the fact that I can keep my buffer very low for tracking, like 64 or 128. I'm running stuff like bfd2, K3, rmx, waves gtr3, etc. In running Digital Performer 6 I get some serious hickups with small sessions and forget running anything at 64 buffer! I can only imagine how fast the newest macs are. I honestly don't think I would need that unless I was doing some serious film scoring work (which I'm not).
    One thing is that you might have some buffer issues or other issues with the uad-1 verses the uad-2. I had the uad-1 for a while and it did work but I think there were some issues when running the project at a lower buffer. No issues with the UAD-2.
  12. radionowhere

    radionowhere New Member

    Hey, thanks again for the advice, everyone. I ended up with last year's 3ghz Quad-Core. Looking forward to making some music with it!

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