Best machine for X?


I'm going to jump to Logic X. Need a new/newer Mac to run Mountain Lion.

The best choice is a Mac mini now? Maybe but I like to use 3 displays and I like to keep samples, project files and system files all on separate drives.

Thinking about a Nehalem machine. But when they came out there were problems with them running very hot while playing audio. Google hasn't helped me find out if that has been resolved. So there are plenty of used Harpertown machines available?

What's your recommendation?



Orren Merton

Logic Samurai / Administrator
Staff member
FWIW I'm running LPX on a 2011 iMac 3.4GHz i7 and it's a beast. You could run a 2011+ iMac with two additional displays, BTW.

And I believe sometime 2014, the new Mac Pros are going to be released, and holy moly those things look the business...



I didn't know that about the imacs and displays. Cool.

Do you store samples, project files and system files on the same drive? Or did you install another? Or store externally?

Orren Merton

Logic Samurai / Administrator
Staff member
My iMac has two drives internally: a 256GB SSD system drive, and a 1TB 7200RPM project drive. Logic Pro X and all its factory content sits on the system SSD. My projects and user installed audio samples live on the 7200RPM internal drive.



New Member
Though I'd jump in here rather than start a new 'what shall I buy' thread.
Essentially, my MacbookPro is probably going to complain if I update to X and I've had it for a while so am investigating a new computer. I've come to the conclusion that I don't need portability so am looking at the four iMacs on the Apple site. I'm assuming that any of these would run LPX comfortably? (I'm hoping to buy one of the 27" inch ones but I need to give this some thought i.e. about moving speakers to actually fit the thing in my room without interfering with audio.)

Context is rarely more than 24 tracks (44.1/24 at present though it would be nice to know that more would be OK),very few software instruments, though I do want to start using more plug ins for EQ etc to mic more in the box.

1. Apart from the minor speed differences, the difference between each iMac seems to be in the graphics. Is this an issue for LP or is it something that is more crucial fro video etc?

2. My hardware is RME-UFX, Glyph GT050Q and Unitor 8 MkII. Theoretically, these should all be OK via the USB ports. Are they separate busses on the iMacs though or am I going to run into bandwidth problems here? (I'll need to connect a DVD writer too I guess.)

3. And this is probably paranoia! I note that the kbd/mouse are wireless rather than wired which is great for keeping the place tidy but are there any issues with the potential audio being interfered with. Actually, the iMac would be close to my desk too but my present MacbookPro& second monitor are in the same place without problems.

Apologies for lengthy questions!

Pete Thomas

Staff member
I'm also using a 2011 iMac. I bought it when my old macpro died and thought it would be a good stopgap while waiting for the new macpros. However I decided that it's not worth bothering with a macro now, I just don't need it.

Like Orren I use the internal SSD for running applications and their content and have partitioned the other internal 2TB drive into two though that was for easier organisation of Final Cut Pro projects and not really necessary.

All Logic projects and 3rd party samples are on one of those partitions, then I have two external USB drives for backups - one is time machine the other for schedules super duper backups.

I use one additional monitor, an old PC monitor which works fine. All my USB stuff is either on the USB ports or a hub - all working fine.

I use a wired keyboard and wireless Logitech mouse. No problems at all - Logic X is working beautifully and for me a big improvement over 9 in most respects.

The only issues I do get seem to be Mavericks related, e.g can't shut down without in mounting the USB drives, mail app doing stupid things. Nothing major but if I could go back in time I would have ML until they get Mavericks a bit less buggy.

Edit: it's very hard to get the word "macpro" in my ipad, it keeps ending up macaroni or macro.


Staff member
I'm in the process of setting up a new Mac Book Pro, here are the specs:

late 2013 model 2.6 quad core i7
1 TB Flash

As the number of connection slots offered by this model leave a little to be desired (putting it mildly) I also picked up this Belkin Thunderbolt interface, which so far has worked fine with FW, USB and Ethernet:

I have as yet to attempt to run my 30" ACD off the notebook, and may also add a PCIe expander.

Tests I have run show it to be quite a bit faster running Logic than my "ancient" 2007 8 core Mac Pro.

kind regards



New Member
Thanks for the posts. Very helpful.
I finally settled on a Mac Mini and have just switched on. Fingers crossed etc...


If I were buying a new Mac today, I think I would probably go th Mac Mini route. That might change tomorrow though, once the new Mac pros are out :D

PS: I don't literally mean tomorrow.


I also recently went through a similar decision, as my 8 core 2008 Mac Pro was no longer able to handle the demands of the power-hungry stuff I use.

After reading the comments here and elsewhere, and thinking about my own recent experience, it became clear that the iMac was a viable candidate, as it offers a nice balance between the processor speed that helps the soft synths, and sufficient throughput for sample libraries, interfaces, etc.

I also think that it will be necessary to migrate to new computers more often than I have in the past, and that makes a $5000 rig that becomes obsolete quickly a less attractive investment.

So I picked up a 27" i7, with the 3TB fusion drive, and indeed it is a very fast and capable machine, clearly up to the task of running Logic with my soft synths, samplers and effects.

There is a bug with the current Mavericks 10.9.1 with the fusion drive that made the computer incompatible with both of my audio interfaces; I wound up joining the developer program so that I could download the 10.9.2 beta 2 that fixes this problem.

On balance I'm really glad I "downgraded" from the Mac Pro to the iMac. I was wary of moving to a "prosumer" machine, but actually it's quite good.

Incidentally, compared to my Mac Pro, this thing is wonderfully quiet! What a pleasure not to have to hear all that noise when tracking and mixing!