Clockspeed vs cores for beginners recording

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by RiksRiks, Nov 10, 2018 at 10:47 AM.

  1. RiksRiks

    RiksRiks ERG Player Wannabe

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    I'm buying a new laptop next month, I'm already dead set on a MacBook Pro, so that's out of discussion, it's going to be my first recording experience ever so I read a couple of threads here to pick the most suitable for me.

    I'm torn between a 13" MBP with i7 quad core 2.7 gHz and a 15" MBP with i7 6 core and 2.2 gHz.

    Is there any real difference for a beginner with these clock speeds? I'm guessing the number of cores has a bigger impact on running amp simulators and plug ins but I'm not entirely sure. I read the articles on multi threading but it still isn't very clear to me.

    Thank you for your answers!
     
  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    more cores/threads>faster clock speed (generally speaking).
    The thing you really want to look at is # of cores and overall cache size/instructions per clock.
    also if you're choosing, get whichever mac has more ram. between a decent cpu and a good amount of ram you should have no issues with amp sims/plug ins.

    Laptops are one of those things where you can upgrade very few components on your own, so it's worth it to pay for the upgrades up front ime. Apple takes that to the extreme and makes it near impossible to change components.
     
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  3. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    It really depends on which DAW and what plugins you use TBH. They are not made equal and some virtual instruments will only use a single core, others might use multi-cores. Some might use multi-cores but favour the main thread. etc.
    I would probably go for the 2.7ghz quad-core because running lower buffers for low latency is more clock dependent than core dependent.
     
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  4. RiksRiks

    RiksRiks ERG Player Wannabe

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    I was thinking on 16 gb for any of those two options! I read about that "get as much as you can pay for since the start" but paying for the 32 gb makes it like 400 more expensive and I was thinking 16 was enough (since I'm a beginner), do you think 16 could potentially be undermining its performance in the future?

    I was planing to start with GarageBand just to test the waters and eventually move to logic Pro, but u haven't decided on the plug ins yet! I was actually pretty focused on getting low latency so your comment is very helpful!
     
  5. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire despair ahead

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    16 gb ram should be fine, at a certain point you get diminishing returns with computer parts
     
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  6. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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    Why pay more for less power? The days of Mac being the superior recording platform are long gone. Plus Macs are impossible to upgrade by design.
     
  7. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    some people feel a lot more comfortable using the mac os which I understand. No point in making this a mac vs windows post unless he's debating either platform.
     
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  8. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    I'd probably go for the 13" unless you actually want the larger screen. Neither is a terrible jumping off point, but for recording, people are likely not writing good enough code to take advantage of the additional cores, while the clock speed will always be appreciated (if in this comparison you are looking at chips with similar instruction sets).
     
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  9. mpexus

    mpexus SS.org Regular

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    Core Speed is always better for realtime use. More Cores will help with Rendering the tracks since it will distribute the work load to several Cores.

    Not all Operations can be done by splitting them to several Cores, especially when you need to run them in realtime its just impossible. Its like trying to write a sentence, you cant write it by starting at the middle. You need to start from begining and go from there.

    Im pretty sure that even on a very good Multi Core optimized Program if you are recording with 8-10 Vsts at same time all the major work is being done by a Single Core. I Imagine one Core is calculating all those Processes and then the others are getting that info and doing what they have to do and managing the OS etc. You can check the workload on the cores by using a Temperature Measure Program like RealTemp, and notice that the fist Core is the one always going for the hottest temps since its working more.

    If you can try two systems, One with 4 cores and higher speed and the new ones with 6 cores and lower speeds. Notice that you probably have much less Lag/Latency on the fastest Cores but when rendering the Track to Wave or MP3 etc the 6 Cores will be faster.
     
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  10. RiksRiks

    RiksRiks ERG Player Wannabe

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    Because I like mac and have the money to buy it? I swear I don't even know why people post these replies
    Thanks, this insight is really really helpful! I really appreciate it, as I also want to use it in realm time with sims, the less latency the better. I think longer rendering times is something I can deal with until I see if I want to pursuit recording more seriously.
     
  11. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Does it HAVE to be a laptop?

    You can spec out the brand new 2018 Mac mini into an absolute beast.

    https://marco.org/2018/11/06/mac-mini-2018-review

    The 6 core i7 processor is faster (3.2Ghz) than the one in the MacBook Pro. And you'll have less issues with it running slower to keep cool (thermal throttling)

    It has 4 thunderbolt ports, 2 USB ports, HDMI. Depending on your interface, thunderbolt could even give you less latency.

    The RAM is user upgradable, and there are already aftermarket kits available. You can go to 32GB or even 64GB for a reasonable price.

    The inbuilt SSD is hilariously fast. Like 3-4GB per second read/write speeds. Load times and opening apps is pretty much instant. I'd get the baseline one, and then plug in a huge thunderbolt external hard drive. Use the inbuilt SSD for your current work, then archive stuff to the big drive.

    And best of all, it's going to end up significantly cheaper than the MacBook Pro, even once you buy a monitor. You could buy a nice large monitor for using Logic, which is much more pleasant than looking at a 13 inch display.

    For what it's worth, I strongly agree with getting a Mac for audio work. Logic is amazing, very easy to use, powerful, and extremely well optimised. Garageband works perfectly for starting. You can record your guitar DIs or signal from amp/kemper/whatever, do drum tracks, virtual instruments etc no problem. And it's totally free.
     
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  12. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    If you're not planning to take the rig anywhere or have it pull double duty as a work/school laptop, I would second @Flappydoodle 's suggestion.

    *But thermal throttling on a macbook pro shouldn't be an issue in recording.
     
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  13. RiksRiks

    RiksRiks ERG Player Wannabe

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    Actually a Mac mini was my immediate second option, but right now I'm moving a lot so I guess a laptop would be a bad idea (not only for recording, since my last laptop just died)

    I was considering buying a Mac mini next year, once that I'm in a less transitory condition.

    I will totally consider it as a mid or long term option, thank you
     
  14. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    I've never tested myself whether throttling kicks in or not.

    My own experience is that my MBP gets crazy hot, and the fan kicks in and it gets pretty loud when it's running a session with lots of plugins, or when I'm bouncing tracks etc. I think the mini would be a lot cooler and quieter overall, which is alway nice.

    No problem. I'm going the other way - I've been using a laptop for years, for work and for home. I'm going to buy the Mac mini for home use, attach some huge external storage for archiving photos/music etc, and keep my laptop for work.
     
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  15. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    Yeah that's just how apple designs their products. They want them to remain quiet during regular operation so they don't have the fans kick in until the chips gets REALLY hot. Then the laptop has to go into overdrive with the fans to actually cool the thing down. Heat issues are probably one of the most common ways older Apple laptops crap out. Older MBPs would also crap out if you got a bit of water on the keys since the power module was built right into keyboard and if you fried it that way bye bye all info on the machine. LOL! Gotta love Apple's designs :)
     
  16. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I get the feeling that we're at a point with processors right now where the "specs" on the box don't matter a whole lot, and rather it comes down to design and how it fits into the whole package of the computer. I'd be more concerned with looking for benchmarks of comparable workloads, if I was concerned with that kind of performance. It's more stuff like throttling, etc. that are going to slow you down rather than the stated speed on the box. Maybe it's worth getting whichever one is of the newest generation, rather than comparing specs? I admittedly find it really hard to follow computer hardware at this point though, so I could be way off.
     

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