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Old 06-04-2021, 11:06 AM   #1
DrMetal
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Default Best iMAC specs (RAM, processor etc) to run Reaper and Line 6 products

Hello,

I'm buying an iMAC (desktop) for the first time (I've been a Windows guy my whole life), solely for the purpose of music/recording (running my Line 6 Helix LT, and recording in Reaper).

What would you regard as the best specs for this? Obviously good RAM (can I do 8GB, or do I absolutely need 16GB). Any particular minimum processor thresholds? Anything else? (I've very new to the iMac world, so please feel free to divulge any helpful information). I'm ok with buying something used as well, my budget would be $500 t0 $1500.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-05-2021, 02:20 AM   #2
serstickman
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I would get the new 24" M1 iMac with 16 GB ram & 2TB storage!

I have a M1 Mac mini with same specs & can tell you its amazingly fast. I record, write & mix in Logic but master in Reaper. Even using 3rd party plugins running Logic in native mode, running multiple VI's on 70+ track projects I haven't come close to pushing the CPU past 30%.

Once the 3rd party developers make it so their plugins work natively on the M1 platform I expect Reaper will be similarly CPU efficient.
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Old 06-05-2021, 10:21 AM   #3
DrMetal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serstickman View Post
I would get the new 24" M1 iMac with 16 GB ram & 2TB storage!

I have a M1 Mac mini with same specs & can tell you its amazingly fast. I record, write & mix in Logic but master in Reaper. Even using 3rd party plugins running Logic in native mode, running multiple VI's on 70+ track projects I haven't come close to pushing the CPU past 30%.

Once the 3rd party developers make it so their plugins work natively on the M1 platform I expect Reaper will be similarly CPU efficient.
Thanks for the reply, that's very helpful. I'll check it out.
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Old 06-09-2021, 02:38 PM   #4
SteveK_Germany
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on my MacBook reaper typically takes around 16 GB RAM. So I would recommend to get more. Otherwise you will always be on the limit and OS will swap RAM to HDD

But maybe others can share their experiences
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Old 06-09-2021, 02:46 PM   #5
DrMetal
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Originally Posted by SteveK_Germany View Post
on my MacBook reaper typically takes around 16 GB RAM. So I would recommend to get more. Otherwise you will always be on the limit and OS will swap RAM to HDD

But maybe others can share their experiences
Thanks for the reply. You really don't think 16 GB is enough? Problem is if you go for much higher, now you're talking >$2K, That's a little out of my price range.

What kind of processors are you guys running?
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Old 06-11-2021, 12:55 PM   #6
SteveK_Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMetal View Post
Thanks for the reply. You really don't think 16 GB is enough? Problem is if you go for much higher, now you're talking >$2K, That's a little out of my price range.

What kind of processors are you guys running?
I said it wrong I guess. Reaper alone is not the problem but when I look at my RAM usage when Reaper is open I have 19.5 GB in use right now (nothing special open besides Reaper). So with 16 GB RAM some part would be written to the SSD (which is not a very big problem anymore since SSD is much quicker than conventional HDDs).

Maybe software uses less RAM in general when less RAM is available but not sure (other users with 16 GB RAM should tell us about their experiences)

regarding CPU I have the 8 core i9

-> but this is the biggest fail ever made by Apple imo!
-> I cannot recommend it, not sure if I can recommend a MacBook at all

For regular office use like mail, browsing, MS office, etc. the CPU usage is typically less than 5% - there is no problem with the machine at 5%. Ok, I found some bib bugs at Big Sur which even the guy from the Apple store was not aware of, but this will hopefully gone with the next releases (maybe they can learn from Microsoft - they managed to deliver very stable releases during the past years ;-).

When I have tons of VSTs open in Reaper (several reverbs, delays, synths) the usage of reaper is around 10 - 15% for a complex track with 50+ tracks. Overall usage of full system is less than 20% then. But this seems to overheat the CPUs completely so the fans start blowing like a hair dryer! I checked with the Apple support and they stated that this works as designed. So the design of a 5K$ power machine obviously is intended to NOT USE THE POWER of it :-)

Further when using Reaper without power supply on even 10% CPU the battery gets exhausted after 2h (while apple has big mouth on their website that battery lasts up to 11h for a long working day haha). I fully understand that with Reaper and using "heavy" load of 10% the battery does not last 11h. I would not even expect 8h. - But 2h at 10% CPU? We are not talking about China toys here right?

With just using Mail and Word I could manage to use it 8h+ completely impossible to get it to 11h. This imo is a more theoretical number when doing nothing with the machine in complete darkness switching the display to minimum brightness and turning anything off that consumes power...

This probably was my last Mac. It is unbelievable how customers are fooled by Apple...
i am really willing to pay a good price - but then you need to get PRO gear and no toys.

Sorry for the long story, I was getting a little emotional when writing ;-)
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