Are my MacBook specs good enough to run Logic Pro?
January 12, 2020 10:12 AM   Subscribe

Will my MacBook Air work decently enough with Logic Pro? Should I pick another DAW entirely? Or wait until I can upgrade my laptop or replace it?

Specs are as follows:
MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2019)
1.6 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory: 8 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3
121 GB of memory on an SSD

I'm definitely a hobbyist, so mostly looking for the ability to tool around. I have an MPK mini that I've gotten to work with Garage Band.
posted by miltthetank to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
 
With DAWs it really matters quite a lot what you're doing. If you're working with mostly audio files, it's pretty easy on the CPU. If you're doing a lot of synthesis + effects, it will require lots more horsepower.
posted by so fucking future at 10:28 AM on January 12


Depending on how many tracks you intend to work with simultaneously and how many effects plugins you'll use, you could be OK. I run Logic or Mainstage in a professional capacity on a 2013 Macbook Pro with a faster and newer processor (dual-core 2.8 GHz i7), but I have 8 GB of RAM that's slower than yours. Your available space is fine. That won't affect performance as much as the processor speed and RAM will. The Macbook Pro has more ports to plug things into, so you might need a hub of some kind to give yourself some more options.
posted by emelenjr at 10:29 AM on January 12


Reaper has a free trial you could mess around with to get a feel for how burdened your system may be under the tasks you want to do.
posted by SaltySalticid at 10:44 AM on January 12


Garageband is basically just a stripped-down version of logic, so you could easily set up a test in Garageband using however many tracks you think you might typically use in Logic and then throwing a bunch of effects on them to see what kind of CPU hit there is.

You'll definitely want to get an external hard drive, because whatever is currently left from your 128gb SSD is going to be used up quickly from installing Logic and all its instruments and loops, plus whatever you record.
posted by jonathanhughes at 11:08 AM on January 12


A MBA is a fine place to start with Logic. Since you have a keyboard already, you are going to want to run softsynths and FX. You will eventually reach a limit on your MBA, and then can explore whether to upgrade or change your workflow. You can always run a single track at a time, then bounce it down to audio, and add it to the rest of your static audio tracks if you want more mileage out of the MBA.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:15 PM on January 12


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