Upgrade my Macbook Pro advice needed

A New M2 with 32gig of memory is much more than I can afford, so I’m hoping to go the way of a refurbished older model that will allow me to grow a little deeper with GP. My current music Macbook Pro is a 2.7 GHz dual-Core Intel Core i5 with 8g of RAM. I’d really appreciate any advice on what year Macbooks I should start to look into. It has to be at least 32gig of RAM as well.
My goal is to be able to use Kontakt or some other sample player along with Omnisphere 2, B-3X, Pianoteq and Analog Lab V, which I currently am using on my current Macbook Pro. I’m hoping to spend around $1500.00 or so on a refurbished model that will serve my needs now with a little bit of growing room for a year or so.

Isn’t it possible to get a M1 MacBook or Air for the 1500$?

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According to the Apple site, 16g memory is the max

I know. But with the M1 could it be enough?
With the Mx processor RAM is also a big point, but from my side: I think 16 GB is enough.

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I want at least 32gig ’ I

I´m with toeti in that regard, that i say, well, in fact “we” know,
that the M1 chips handle the data different vs. RAM.

Personally i would also strongly guess that 16GB will be enough for most or at least many usescases.
Yet, i “* completly”* understand if somebody WANTS to have 32GB !
totally understandable ! so, i won´t try to talk someboy out of it :wink:
But: apple makes you fork out for it :rofl:

totally agree: 32GB of Ram IS the comfort zone !
having less, means sacrificing that comfort feel :wink:

yet, i lived for two years with a M1mini with just 8GB of RAM.
i even would run wavelab (with many samples loaded) and sometimes Live11 ( very small projects) at the same time.
Sometimes even a second GB instance on top of that all.
my 8GB of Ram was handling all this on my M1 fine.
Just to give another perspective.

But true: all our gigs look different. My numbers are NOT apllyable to you :wink:

The other thing: a M1 can handle up to arround half the Ram size volume as a data swap.
should not create audio dropouts, keeping it slightly below that.
also to mention here: GP will only have one Rackspace active at a time.
juggle this vs. the previous point :wink:

btw. i had to swap my 8Gb Ram M1, cause my sDD was FULL ! (512GB)
not cause the RAM was creating any problems.

Nowadays, I´d be way more concerned about SDD size.
Right now i even think, that my 1TB SSD, is not thaaaat comfort-zone-ey at all.
it will do. But plugins have now often immens data amounts. its ridiculous.

I didn’t want to replace my PC limited to 16Gb, but I had too because I had too much memory issues. And I don’t think I do crazy things. :confused:

was that PC/laptop you´re refering to, a M1/apple silicon, or something Intel ?
would be interesting to know. And plays finally a role here vs. having arguments.

ofcourse do we all deal with different sorts of Gigs/Racks, and also different numbers of Racks within a gig.

My point was not to say, that nobody would need more than 16GB.
My whole point, doing posts in such threads as this one is:
Most of us have to juggle with funds !
If this was not the case, then there´s really not that much to debate:
Then ofcourse, take at least 32GB of RAM. Also on a M1/M2mac.
And take 64GB on something intel.

problem vs. the M1/M2 question is this: ( and thats also where i´m coming from)
many M1 models do NOT give you the option to have more than 16GB of RAM installed !
so, if it HAS to be more than 16GB, there is not so much left to chose from.
And costs will add up quickly. / thats here really the dilemma. :wink:

personally, i went again by purpose with only 16GB or RAM.
I could have afforded a 32GB RAM model. it would have hurt, but it would have been doable.

i just do NOT support these ridiculously high upmargins apple is apllying here !
so, personally, i´m quite confident in these “only” 16GB of RAM :wink:

Can you pls explain this statement? I’m not quite sure what you mean

A good friend of mine who is also a GP power user suggested I stay away from the M1 chip, as he claims it isn’t made for music. Apparently it caused him lots of grief…

This I do not understand.
When plugins natively support M1 this machine is perfect.
If not under Rosetta it is also perfect.

Gig Performer is running natively on M1.

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Is he active on the forum asking for help?

I can’t agree with your friend :slight_smile:

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Yeah, that is strange advice - every single article and comment I have seen about the Mx processors for audio production is that they are fantastic. Do you have any more details of what he was finding was the problem?

I took, would like to know more about this - planning to upgrade my 2015 MBP to an M2 MBA this summer and also deciding between 16 and 24Gb RAM similar to the OP.

It was an Intel NUC PC, and I wanted to keep it longer, but from 10 songs, I started to run out of memory :grimacing:

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No. He switched to the M2 Mac Mini

It’s Joel Brazy

I’m not sure what you mean by this statement. Can you pls elaborate?

As long as plugins are updated to run natively on Mac Silicon (M1/M2) there should be no problems.

I have been running GP natively on my Mac Mini M1 with 16GB just fine for the past year and over 100 live shows

Thanks for making this clear !
really, RAM handling is NOT the same on apple silicon macs.
Its two different worlds. There is plenty of info on this on YT. Also from Audio dudes.

Its a thing of the whole architecture of the SOIC and how the whole data is handled.
…its in plain site “perceivable” in real live.
As sayed, i was running my first M1 with just 8GB of RAM.

again: ofcourse do we all make different types of Gig files !
difrerent usages, different numbers of plugins and a different rack count, etc.
i´m well aware that nobody can apply “his” numbers to somebody else.

But the comparison, Ram usage, intel vs, apple silicon IS doable.
Thats not just my opinion.

Data swap means the following on a M1/M2 mac:
if your RAM is close to full, The system will begin to use your SSD as sort of a second memory unit. It will “swap” the data from the RAM to the SSD.
means: more “write to SSD” events will happen !

in the begin of the M1 macs, some folks were under the opinion that this could reduce the live cycle of your SSD significantly. Others begun to denie, and were under the opinion that the SSD technologie came a long way.

in use, vs. audio usage, are you as a user NOT seeing any differences, in case some memory data was swaped to the SSD.
For us, making music, is the memory swap to SSD just working as fine.
again: its been sayed that for audio uses, this swap should not exeed a size of 50% of the real RAM size. (beeing then on the secure side, vs. audio dropouts, etc. )
which would mean, a 16GB mac, should be good for close to 24GB of memory usage.

here is the next thing to notes:
on the new M2s, are the 256SSD sized models, way slower in speed vs. the SSD speed.
Its not clear yet -i think- if this “could” have an impact on the memory data swap scenario, or not.
so, as a rule of thumb, i´d say, just don´t go below 512GB of SSD size, in case of taking a M2 mac.

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