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Editors' Blogs

How Old Is Too Old?

March 28, 2013

Just a quick thought: how old is too old when you're talking about a computer for doing music?

I recently got a fact check back from a manufacturer whose plug-in I'd just reviewed. It was a favorable review overall, but I noted that this particular plug-in ate a fair amount of CPU load on my laptop test machine, a Core 2 Duo Macbook. The manufacturer wondered how realistic that was, as "most people nowadays" surely had quad core i5 or i7 computers, right?

Well, do they? I'm not so sure. Musicians generally can't afford to constantly be upgrading to the latest and greatest; yeah, I'm looking at putting a quad i7 in my test studio sometime this year, but I don't think my Core 2 Duo is that outrageously old, even now.

What do you think?

7 Responses to How Old Is Too Old?

Greg says

April 18, 2013 at 6:26 am

My 7yo Mac Pro tower is still serving up PT10, Live 8, etc. I am just now starting to see some CPU limitations that I have moved to Protools 10. I am delighted that I got 7 years out of a machine!

Mike says

April 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I think when your machine loses its place at the center of your studio, it can always be used for other functions. Scheduling, internet machine, billing etc... Greg - 7 years is amazing!

Rich says

April 20, 2013 at 7:45 am

My 6-yr old MacBook Pro (also Core 2 Duo) still handles things pretty well, although it is now starting to show some wear and tear - but that's mainly down to a knackered battery, and the fans aren't behaving too well either. I think to get 6-7 years out of your main studio machine though is good going these days.

Mike Metlay says

May 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Thanks for the feedback -- I think it's great that people are getting so much good life out of these systems, and it gives me some backup when I have to confront manufacturers who want to know where I get off doing tests on anything but the latest and greatest. Sometimes it's justified, for example, the newest version of SONAR which benefits from Touch in Windows 8... but when I get a complaint from Apple that I'm not using a very new Mac for my tests, my response is generally, "Well, okay, guys, give me a new one!" And they reply, "Will a one-week loan be enough?" Heh.

Mat Kubix says

June 3, 2014 at 4:11 am

I think that with Mac computers it depends, recently Ive installed 16GB RAM in my Mac (early 2008) and frustration disappeared :)

RonniePistons says

September 27, 2014 at 6:46 pm

It depends. As long as the computer as enough RAM and you are still satisfied with the DAW, then a long time!

Pamela says

July 3, 2015 at 10:25 pm

Thanks a lot for it.

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Kef America

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