It’s the moment of truth: we finally get to see how Intel Macs compare to G5 and G4 Macs when running serious audio software.
I got my first opportunity to work with James Galbraith and Macworld Labs to put Apple’s Intel-based Macs through their paces running the new Intel-native Logic Pro 7.2. The results were impressive: a dual-2.0GHz MacBook Pro holds its own when compared to a Power Mac G5 desktop. You may recall that the early reception for the Intel Macs was somewhat lukewarm, when testing the new Intel iMac, MacBook Pro, and mini on consumer-level software like iLife. Serious computer audio lovers, though, must have immediately imagined throwing a bunch of Logic’s Sculpture instruments or Space Designer reverbs at the new machines, and that’s exactly what we got to do.
I also got a chance to look briefly at the benefits of Logic Pro 7.2 for PowerPC users. I do think it’s an essential upgrade, even if you don’t have an Intel Mac. (The Macs I own are still G4/G5, and for me, the fixes to ReWire alone are worth the upgrade.)
Anecdotally, I can say this: the moment I can pick up a MacBook Pro of my own, I will. While we didn’t get a case labeled “PowerBook G5,” as many of us prior to the Intel announcement last June, we got effectively that. The MacBook will be a dream for laptop musicians — it’s not quite on par with desktop machines, but for live performance, it requires few compromises. (The ATI video card inside also looks great for running live visuals.) And of course, for you Windows lovers out there, this is also very good news for the PC platform and its audio and visual software.
There’s already a lively discussion over on Macworld of the story, but I’m happy to hear questions or comments here.