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New Mac recommendations

Discussion in 'Mac OS' started by guitarmann13, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. guitarmann13

    guitarmann13 Member

    Hard drive upgrade suggestions

    This post originally requested information regarding the purchase of a new Mac. After some research I am considering upgrading my hard drives instead.

    My current system is a MacBook Pro 6.2 with a 2.4 Ghz i5 and a full 8 Gigs of memory running Mountain Lion. I have an internal 320 GB 5400 rpm hard drive with my applications on and a 2TB Iomega drive connected via FireWire 800 that I use for my project files. I work with mostly audio tracks, very few software instrument tracks, and my projects are in the 20 to 40 tracks range. I don’t do any video at all.

    I spoke with a sales rep at OWC yesterday and got some information regarding SSD drives and some recommendations as well. I would like to run them by you folks that have actually implemented these changes and hear how they worked for you.

    The path we worked out involves:

    Upgrading my system drive to 480GB OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G

    Replacing my optical drive with a 1.0TB Samsung 840 EVO Series SSD 2.5" Serial-ATA 9.5mm 6Gb/s Solid State Drive

    Using my existing Iomega drive for backups.

    She recommended the 6G drives over the 3G in spite of my systems 3G limitations.

    I have a couple questions for you guys.

    If I were to do this in stages which single step would give me the biggest improvement in Logic Pro X? Upgrading the system drive or the project drive?

    I can save some money if I go with a smaller system drive. How small would you consider going?

    Would you expect this system to meet my needs for a few years?

  3. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Senior member

    Adding a faster system drive will make your system faster, make apps load faster, and maybe let you play a few more audio tracks.

    It will not give you more CPU power for more instruments and effects.

    If you want more power the money would be better used on a quad i7 machine.

  4. guitarmann13

    guitarmann13 Member

    Thanks for the input. Currently the only real issues I am having are with Logic X stopping and giving me a "disc to slow" message. That's why I was thinking of upgrading the drive. I'm just not sure if the message is regarding my system drive or my data drive.

    If I can't resolve the issue with a new drive then a new computer/processor is definitely the way I will go.

    Thanks again.
  5. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Senior member

    what speed is the firewire drive?

    OWC has kits available for drive upgrades that include a portable enclosure for the drive you remove.

  6. guitarmann13

    guitarmann13 Member

    Not sure it's a firewire 800 connection and the only speed reference I can find for it is the following from PCMag.

    "It copied a 1.2GB file in 16 seconds in the Mac OS"

    I could replace the optical drive with an SSD if the external is the real issue.
  7. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Senior member

    You can find the speed with the System Profiler.

    Apple Menu/ About This Mac/ More Info/ System Report/ Firewire

  8. guitarmann13

    guitarmann13 Member

    Thanks, that seems to just give me the speed of the firewire.

    Maximum Speed: Up to 800 Mb/sec
    Connection Speed: Up to 800 Mb/sec

    I was thinking that the drive is faster than the connection so that the speed is limited to 800 Mb/sec even if the drive is faster than that.

    Another question would be if my existing 5400 RPM system drive would be faster in the internal optical port than anything I could connect to the firewire port. My understanding is that connection is 3G.
  9. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Senior member

    I would put the 5400rpm drive in the external enclosure, and the faster drive/ drives in the laptop.

    My MBP has a 750 GB Momentus hybrid drive for my system drive, and a 7200 rpm drive where the optical was.

    You may have to go to the company site to find the exact specs of your external drive.

  10. guitarmann13

    guitarmann13 Member

    Thanks for the idea.
  11. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    System requirements for audio recording apps usually call for a 7200 rpm drive. Also, note that an external FW 800 connection has a practical upper end of about 55 Mbytes per second. That might seem low, but you can do a lot with it. I have a FW 800 connection from the Mac to a FW 800 drive which then connects to a FW 400 audio interface. Running 24 tracks from the disk to computer and then back out to the converter has never been a problem.
  12. guitarmann13

    guitarmann13 Member

    Thanks for the information. Looks like if I continue to use my current system I may have to upgrade my internal drive.

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