Hey, hey. First time poster here. I’ve been making music for years but recently discovered and purchased Renoise; it’s easily my favorite piece of software I’ve ever used. Massive thanks to anyone involved with the project that is reading this.
So - we’ve all read the tons of posts on various forums about switching from Windows to Mac. I am considering this switch (to a MacBook Pro), and have read up plenty on the fact that there are fewer VSTs available for Intel Macs than Windows, especially freeware. That’s not my question - I believe I’m willing to sacrifice quantity for quality. However, another question popped up: 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM hard drive?
Coming from a Windows machine, it’s obvious to me that “faster = better”, but I wanted to ask you Mac Renoise users specifically how much I’ll notice a difference (using mostly WAV samples but also a couple VSTi’s like AudioRealism Bassline and Magical 8-Bit). Basically, is it worth spending $100 more and getting 50 GB less capacity? I don’t do any video editing, which I generally see as a key reason to get a faster drive. But I also don’t want my computer to end up obsolete in a year.
5400 rpm drives also use much less power, so for a laptop you could argue they’re actually better. It may take you a tiny bit longer to get from turning on to Renoise up and running, but from then on it’s zero difference (as far as composing is concerned, live it might obviously be different).
go for the 5400rpm. with the extra hundred bucks you could almost afford another 7200rpm external hard drive and you would end up with twice the space. apple jacks up their prices incredibly, and you would be much better off spending 100 dollars on another hard drive than wasting it on the better stock internal drive.
but ya, ram is always more important, for that hundred bucks you could do an upgrade there instead.
i read a long time ago that the 7200s tend to run hotter than the 5400s. and some macs get pretty damn hot. the 7200 vs. 5400 thing will end up being a toughy for me, too. i’m waiting for the nehalem chips, though. no rush.
Thanks to these quick replies, I went to the Apple store last night and I’m now the owner of a 2.5GHz 250GB/5400 RPM MacBook Pro. I fired it up and OS X’s ease of use is ridiculous. I had Renoise, a gigabyte of my samples, Free Alpha and Chip32 on there in just a few minutes.
I see there’s a Song Forum so once I finish some tracks on the Mac I’ll share something.
Even better, I discovered that the 4GB of RAM I had bought for my dying Toshiba Satellite is compatible with the MacBook Pro. I popped it in and instantly saved over $100. Amazing!
Personally I can say that so far there is nothing I dislike about my new computer. (And this is definitely the first computer I’ve been able to say that about, so I am quite excited.) However, I’ve only messed around with it for a few days so perhaps I’ll find the audio to be sub-par. You’ll probably get some better answers from people here who’ve been with Mac for longer.
Either way, that problem could easily be solved by throwing on a Firewire audio interface.