Well, we’ve had some time to digest the Tootsie-Roll computer now known as the Mac Pro. I personally like Tootsie-Rolls better than grated cheese, so we’re off to a good start.
But let’s talk about some of the options you have when it comes to a studio computer. You may be looking to upgrade or purchase your first machine. Don’t be fooled by the word “pro,” however, because in terms of project studio computers, this may not be your best option.
Let’s look at what the disadvantages actually are for purchasing this computer as your studio computer:
1. You have to buy/use an external monitor. Add an extra $1,000 to your cost if you’re going Apple.
2. Get ready to spend the big bucks – the entry level machine is still $2,999.
3. Besides cost, the only internal storage is going to be flash – and therefore rather small. (Up to a TB, but I assume that will come with a very hefty upcharge.)
4. So, get ready to buy some external drives. USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt 2.0 will do the trick!
5. You’ll have to remove trash from clients, as it may be confused for a small garbage can.
Ok, so those are the disadvantages. The advantages? Blazing fast CPU speed (not really a necessity for audio applications today) and the ability to power a 4K display (if you’ve got the extra $5,000 to pick one up, why not?)
The Mac Pro doesn’t seem so bad, other than cost and having to run a few external drives (which you should do for audio anyways). But isn’t there a better option? The answer is yes – the iMac.
Don’t confuse the iMac for a consumer machine. I always saw it as a less powerful version of the Mac Pro (which it is, in some respects), but for project studio use, I find that it is not only more affordable, it has the tools you’ll actually want.
The advantages of an iMac are:
1. By the time all is said and done, you can get an iMac for about half of the price as a Mac Pro. No buying a monitor (it’s built in!)
2. The storage options are much more flexible – I’ve found that Fusion Drives really are the best of both worlds! 3TB and pretty fast!
3. RAM and Processing Speed are still going to be plenty fast for any audio application you decide to run.
So overall, I find that the iMac is simply a more affordable yet almost as powerful option if you’re looking for a desktop studio computer. What do you think – one of these two, a windows machine, hackintosh?