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How much Mac do i need?

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Im thinking i might get a mac for the better audio.I will be buying used and i need to know what are the minimum system requirments to run as a music source only.Processor,ram as i will be using an external hard drive.This will be used as a second system primary for my audio.Could i get away with 500mhz prosessor and 128ram?Thanks


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Hi Vinnie69 - Chances are good you could get away with the 500mhz processor and 128MB of ram you described. You'd run out of RAM upon booting and would be paging to/from the hard drive for everything. I wouldn't do it, but I would be interested to know if it works well. If you go down this path I recommend installing the OS without any extras and using it as a music server only.


One of my MacBook Pro laptops has a Core Duo processor at 2.16 gHz and 2 GB of RAM and it works very well.


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You will definitely need more RAM if running OS X. I have a G4 Powerbook running at 550MHz, yet to be used for audio but until recently a regular work machine for Photoshop. On 10.2.8 it runs fine with 500Mb ram but upgrading to 10.4.11 has caused it to slow somewhat and it's graphics performance is lagging.


If buying 2nd hand, check out the cost of ram for the models you are considering. www.crucial.com is a quick and easy way to do this. You may find it more economical to buy a more expensive, more recent machine which can use more modern, cheaper ram modules.


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I have a first generation iMac, 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo with 1 GB of RAM and it works perfectly for my needs. I would think you could pick one of these iMacs up for a fairly reasonable price nowadays. I believe the stock build came with an original 512 MB of RAM. I would definitely suggest you look for one with at least 1 GB however, or grab some extra memory from http://www.crucial.com as shenzi has already pointed out.


I'm not sure of your location Vinnie, but there are a couple of these Macs up for auction on eBay UK. Check them out here;




and here;







Intel iMac + Beresford TC-7510 + Little Dot MK III + beyerdynamics DT 231 = Computer audiophile quality on the cheap! --- Samsung Q1 + M-Audio Transit + Sennheiser PX 100 = Computer audiophile quality on the go!

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A related query - if considering an older Mac or PC, do external USB DACs run okay on the old USB 1.0 standard or should one look for USB 2.0? (I assume Firewire DACs are not too common outside the pro-audio field.)


A music server does seem a good use for a retired, faithful old Mac.


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