I've read similar topics on this issue, but none since the release of the new versions of the Macbook. I am interested in purchasing a 2.16gHz Macbook and updating the RAM to full capacity (2GB). While I understand that the more RAM the better, the price of upgrading to the Macbook Pro which has the ability to reach 4GB comes at about an $800 price difference. So, my question is this. With that processing speed and the 2GB, if I play with the latency of VDL 2.5, will I be able to run a pit with the sounds of the horns coming from the Kontakt Player Gold Bank? The problem with buying the Macbook is that if I find that it can not handle my demands, I cannot upgrade the RAM any more since it will already be maxed out. Let me know your thoughts on this. Saying ";buy the Macbook Pro"; is easy, but I only want to do it if I am absolutely certain that it is the only answer. Thanks guys!
I think the MacBook could be a good option, but it largely depends on what you plan on doing with it. You say pit and horns, but depending on how many voices you expect to run, and how dense your scores will get, that will determine how much headroom you'll have with a lower spec computer. If you plan on running a full 16 (or so) staves of winds and another 8-10 pit staves, with all voices playing simultaneously, you may start to max yourself out. Much of how well a certain configuration will work depends on how much you demand from it (how many instruments, how thick your polyphony, etc).
2GB RAM isn't bad, but also keep in mind the demands that the CPU must handle (CPU speed is very important), as well as the hard disk for streaming all these voices. Ideally, you should go for the fastest CPU you can afford, beef up the RAM as much as you can afford, and if possible, use a 7200 RPM hard drive. Most laptops ship with slower hard drives, so this aspect is also worth investigating.
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about 15 years ago
[quote author=Jim Casella link=topic=1817.msg8907#msg8907 date=1182370223] I think the MacBook could be a good option, but it largely depends on what you plan on doing with it. [/quote]
I think that's the key point, and possibly for a different reason.
Writing on your laptop is very convenient. When I first got VDL1 and later VDL2 I was writing on my old powerbook G4 and even at 2 gigs of ram it still ran into some playback problems with dense scores. That was okay though, because the advantage of that product on that machine was the convenience. I could make edits on-site and I could get stuff written on the road if I worked in smaller batches of instruments.
Because I started using VDL2 very heavily in my writing and it wasn't uncommon to be working with 15-20 stave scores I moved my entire workflow over to a desktop computer. I have an Intel MacPro and with the faster processors, ram, and harddrive it can handle pretty much about any scenario I throw at it. This makes for a lot more enjoyable writing, and I'm definitely more productive on a desktop compared to a cramped laptop.
The point I'm making here is that no matter how beefy the laptop is, it will have an upper-bound of performance and in most cases it's going to be below what you would expect on a comparable desktop machine--you should understand that upfront as you look at your options. Look at your budget and buy the laptop for the right reasons (cost-effectiveness, convenience, etc) instead of justifying spending 1.5x as much on a machine that might only marginally bump up your performance upper-bound.
In short, if optimal performance is the reason for buying this machine you should probably be considering desktops, and if a compromise of portability and performance is the reason then you probably won't get a lot of performance-for-dollar increase going w/ the MBP.