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#454257 - 01/28/18 02:53 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17214
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
I'm considering getting a Mac Mini to learn more about Macs. I'm a former comp. sci. prof but I haven't used an Apple computer heavily since 1996. I don't need anything with any speed or power because I have my other Windows computers for that.

1. Can BIAB run successfully on the lowest-spec Mac Mini?

The specs are:
1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
4GB memory
500GB hard drive1
Intel HD Graphics 5000


2. On a PC, we can run the free utility, Geekbench, to see the single-core score and compare to a recommendation from PG Music. Is there a comparable utility and recommended score for a Mac?

Thanks.


_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac Pro]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#454310 - 01/28/18 07:17 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
JayO Offline
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Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 694
Hey Matt,
I'm not sure what kind of performance to expect from that particular model, but luckily Geekbench is cross platform and there is a Mac version so you could actually compare "Apples to ...well... non-Apples, I guess" smile

There is also an app called MacTracker that runs on Mac and ios (http://mactracker.ca) that lists Geekbench scores for most Mac models.

I looked up the 1.4 i5 Mac Mini specs in Mactracker and it gives Geekbench 4 scores of 2966 for single core, and 5223 for multi-core.

Hopefully this helps.

- Jay
_________________________
MacPro 2,1/8 core@2.66GHz/OS X 10.11.6/ATI 5770HD/10 Gig RAM/Crucial SSD/BIAB 2017/Logic Pro X/ Cubase Elements 9.5

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#454320 - 01/28/18 10:10 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Mike Halloran Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/24/17
Posts: 76
Loc: Sillie Con Valley, California
You didn’t Say what year yours is but any i5 Mini can run the latest OS. It’s not as fast as an i7 for many tasks but it’s more powerful than the bottom of the line Core Duo versions that are past end of life for many apps—but not BIAB.

As BIAB is still 32 bit only, the system and OS requirements shouldn’t be much of an issue. As it turns out, they’re not:

BIAB Mac System Requirements

System Requirements

Mac OS X 10.5 and higher.

Intel Processor.

Minimum 512 MB RAM

Screen Resolution: 1024x768 or higher

At least 2 GB recommended for the main Band-in-a-Box® program. More space is required for RealTracks, depending on which package you buy...

RealTracks & RealDrums: ~100-400 MB per set

Pro RealCombos: ~10 GB

MegaPAK RealCombos: ~20 GB

Full UltraPlusPAK/EverythingPAK when installed to internal hard drive: ~100 GB
(another ~90GB is required for the installation files when downloading the UltraPlusPAK or EverythingPAK)

Hard Drive versions of the EverythingPAK or UltraPlusPAK do not require any hard disk space when run directly from the external hard drive they are shipped on.
Optical drive for shipped versions of the Pro or MegaPAK version.
_________________________
BIAB Audiophile on 2010 iMac i7, 32G RAM, 2T SSD, OS 10.13.3
Overture 5, DP 9.51, LogicProX, Finale 25, Encore 5.0.7 SmartScoreX2-P Notion 6
Old G4-1K DP OS 10.4.11 / OS 9.2, Legacy Apps

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#454407 - 01/29/18 09:15 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17214
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Thank you both; great info. I’m all set.

I would be buying a new Mac Mini. It does look like it’s well beyond minimum specs for BIAB. That 2966 Geekbench score is higher than I would have thought. On a PC, the only folks who report problems seem to be below 1700 or so.

About the Core 2 Duo, yes, I still have one of those and it does run BIAB fine. I just use the slow PC options in Preference, RealTracks.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac Pro]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#454467 - 01/29/18 01:46 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
JayO Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 694
No problem Matt, I was a bit surprised by those numbers too.

Although It's kind of depressing to think that the entry level Mini has slightly better single core performance than my top of the line 8 core Xeon from just a few years earlier.

Ah well, I reckon that's what's called progress.
I see no performance problems with running BIAB on that setup, as long as like Mike said you have enough disk space and RAM.

4 Gigs of RAM should be sufficient, although I would think that 8 would be better.
I upgraded my 2011 Mini to 8 Gigs a while back and it did make a noticeable difference.
Hopefully it is upgradeable and not soldered to the motherboard like the laptops are.
Much cheaper to do it after the fact, IMHO, than to pay Apple's outrageous prices for RAM upgrades.


- Jay
_________________________
MacPro 2,1/8 core@2.66GHz/OS X 10.11.6/ATI 5770HD/10 Gig RAM/Crucial SSD/BIAB 2017/Logic Pro X/ Cubase Elements 9.5

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#454475 - 01/29/18 02:41 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17214
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
The RAM above 4GB would help me only if I used a software synth, and I have a spare Roland Fantom XR. I assume in the Mac world a 32-bit program can’t address more than 4GB unless JBridge or some equivalent works.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac Pro]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#454490 - 01/29/18 03:46 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
JayO Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 694
You are exactly right Matt, as long as you are just running BIAB you shouldn't have an issue.
I was forced to use my Mini exclusively for a couple of weeks about a year ago, while my main machine was broken and waiting for parts.

Where I really noticed the big slowdowns, (with 4GB) was when I was running both BIAB and Garageband, to drag and drop tracks from BIAB to GB (something I do a lot).
I'm thinking a SSD would have helped a lot too, since IMHO that little laptop 5400 RPM drive is definitely the weak link in the Mac Mini.
Switching from one app to another with 4GB was painfully slow, you could hear that little drive working like crazy to page all that VM to and from the disk.

Since I was only using the Mini temporarily, I didn't transfer all my plugins over, but I imagine using a lot of plugins could affect performance as well (especially "jbridging" 64-bit plugins as you said).

For just messing around with BIAB itself you should be fine, but for serious work I would consider upgrading the RAM.

Just my $.02 though, YMMV, I'm not trying to talk you out of it (really I'm not). smile
Hopefully it should be enough RAM for what you want to do then.

- Jay


Edited by JayO (01/29/18 03:50 PM)
_________________________
MacPro 2,1/8 core@2.66GHz/OS X 10.11.6/ATI 5770HD/10 Gig RAM/Crucial SSD/BIAB 2017/Logic Pro X/ Cubase Elements 9.5

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#454507 - 01/29/18 05:00 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17214
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Thanks Jay. The primary reason is to reacquaint myself with Mac OS so I can assist my wife who uses her Mac for everything. I just thought, why not put something I really like on mine? Otherwise playing with it would be boring.

I was fully checked out on Apple computers from 1977 to 1996. I used an Apple in the early 90s to do music notation, but then the program was released for the PC.

I figure one or two things may have changed since 1996.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac Pro]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#454552 - 01/29/18 07:49 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Mike Halloran Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/24/17
Posts: 76
Loc: Sillie Con Valley, California
Going forward, the Mini is dead but the late 2012 i7 Quad is a kickass little machine. All 4 models can be upgraded to 16G RAM and a 2T SSD—you can drop two 2T SSDs into the Server versions without adapters. FireWire, USB 3, Thunderbolt and HDMI ports.

Minis on EveryMac

Unfortunately, Apple toned it down for late 2014 with dual processors instead of quad and non-upgradable, soldered RAM. It’s not a bad machine but pales in comparison to the 2012.
_________________________
BIAB Audiophile on 2010 iMac i7, 32G RAM, 2T SSD, OS 10.13.3
Overture 5, DP 9.51, LogicProX, Finale 25, Encore 5.0.7 SmartScoreX2-P Notion 6
Old G4-1K DP OS 10.4.11 / OS 9.2, Legacy Apps

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#454715 - 01/30/18 12:42 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17214
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Thanks. I know it’s a dead model. It will do for my purposes.

The original Mac Mini was quite a surprise, though.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac Pro]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#454970 - 01/31/18 03:00 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17214
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Just a followup.

I bought a very nice old iMac for $400. It has a 2.5 Ghz i5, 4 GB RAM (room for 4 more), 21.5" screen (lovely!!), 2 TB drive, and even a CD player. I'm writing this on it. High Sierra 10.13.2.

I connected my Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 (1st gen) and all is good.

BIAB runs fine.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac Pro]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#455617 - 02/04/18 11:59 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Mike Halloran Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/24/17
Posts: 76
Loc: Sillie Con Valley, California
$400 is a great price. The 21.5” iMac will last through the next OS at least—after that, I don’t know but I expect quite awhile.

Because it has to be dissembled, it is difficult to upgrade these to an SSD and install more RAM but any Mac tech can do it. The speed increase is more than worth it when the time comes—which it will as the heat cooks hard drives.
_________________________
BIAB Audiophile on 2010 iMac i7, 32G RAM, 2T SSD, OS 10.13.3
Overture 5, DP 9.51, LogicProX, Finale 25, Encore 5.0.7 SmartScoreX2-P Notion 6
Old G4-1K DP OS 10.4.11 / OS 9.2, Legacy Apps

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#455660 - 02/04/18 03:35 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17214
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Thanks Mike. I already upgraded to 8GB RAM.

Yes, an SSD would be great, and I have put one in every PC. Apparently to do it on this iMac, I would have to take the monitor apart. Luckily, the Apple dealer is nearby.

Boy, it does spend a lot of time with a beachball doing updates. I just connected it to the Internet and I've read High Sierra takes hours for some people to finish these actions. I disabled the iCloud and things are better.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac Pro]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#455902 - 02/05/18 09:25 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Mike Halloran Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/24/17
Posts: 76
Loc: Sillie Con Valley, California
High Sierra is faster and smoother. Apple’s desire to have you store all documents and data on the cloud is just nuts for most of us. I disabled that pronto.

This is not to be confused with using iCloud to share Contacts, Notes and Photos among your various devices—that works quite well. The other requires fast, reliable internet at all times—no thanks especially when storage is so cheap.

You don’t say what year your iMac is. All are fairly easy to get into if you’re ok with tools and have a little patience. I do this job one-handed (no joke—I lost the use of my left arm in 2009) but, if not comfortable with the idea, have it done.

Late 2009–2011 use magnets and screws while 2012-on use pre-cut double-stick foam tape. In both cases, tools and the kits are readily available as well as the adapter bracket and special heat sensor from OWC.

Here are the instructional videos. Find the correct year for yours.
OWC iMac Install Videos

There are 2 heat sensors: 2009–2010 and 2011-on. They are not interchangeable nor are the optional (the software solutions cause the Mac to roar during startup and you have to control internal temperatures manually—not a solution in my book). OWC sells them with and without toolkits.
iMac Drive Heat sensors

Besides the SSD, this is the bracket:
iMac HHD to SSD adapter

As much as I like the Samsung 850 EVO, the new Crucial MX500 is nearly as good and quite a bit less. The 2T is $499 on Amazon and has a 5 year warranty. The MX300 is ok but is a little slower and has a 3 yr warr. — if the price is good, I wouldn’t hesitate.


Edited by Mike Halloran (02/05/18 09:29 PM)
_________________________
BIAB Audiophile on 2010 iMac i7, 32G RAM, 2T SSD, OS 10.13.3
Overture 5, DP 9.51, LogicProX, Finale 25, Encore 5.0.7 SmartScoreX2-P Notion 6
Old G4-1K DP OS 10.4.11 / OS 9.2, Legacy Apps

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#455989 - 02/06/18 08:45 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17214
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Again, thanks Mike. I should have posted that I added 4 GB and the beachballs went away. All is good now and plenty fine for my purposes of just learning MAC OS to help my wife on hers. BIAB 2017 works very well.

I've built all my own PCs - dozens - since 1983 so I could tackle such a project with ease if needed, but my local Apple dealer is a wiz and I'll probably just have him do it since this would be new to me. I won't pay more for the SSD than the whole iMac, though! By the way, you asked: it's a Mid-2011.

We can sign off this thread. I'm all set, thanks to some great help here. Appreciate it!
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac Pro]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#456002 - 02/06/18 10:15 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Guitartist Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 352
Loc: Maine
Matt, I know you wanted to sign off, but do I understand correctly that you have installed High Sierra on your iMac with a standard HD drive, not a SSD?

I thought that High Sierra, at least when it was first released, required a SSD, though I heard that a later update would work on HDDs. I just recently upgraded to Sierra on my iMac, but held off on installing High Sierra.

Incidentally, I DO have a bootable external drive that runs Sierra, but when I tried to install High Sierra on it, I was told that it could not install on that drive.

Ron
_________________________
EverythingPAK 2017, 27" late 2012 iMac, 16 GB RAM, OSX 10.12.6

https://soundcloud.com/ron-longtin/sets/originals

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#456160 - 02/07/18 04:57 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17214
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
My Mac expertise is all of one week old, but yes, I have High Sierra running successfully on a 1 TB standard hard drive. The dealer did the upgrade from Sierra so I don’t know what hitches, if any, were involved. He’s a wizard.

Since then I did quite a bit of reading, and Apple said the hardware requirements for High Sierra were the same as Sierra.

This iMac I have clearly did not have a 1 TB drive when it was built in 2011.

Does that help?
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac Pro]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#456213 - 02/07/18 08:54 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Mike Halloran Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/24/17
Posts: 76
Loc: Sillie Con Valley, California
1T was the largest drive available in the late 2011. These usually have a WD Black and those drives are past end of life. Not one of my clients still has one installed. These were great drives but generate a lot of heat and the iMac is an oven.

The late 2011 is my favorite. FW and Thunderbolt, USB 2, and was th first year of the SATA III 6G bus (for the drive only—the optical is on a 3G bus). The 27” has a spare SATA bus that yours doesn’t—not an issue now that 2T and 4T SSDs exist. My wife has one.

High Sierra installs fine but the HHD cannot be formatted APFS. It makes a difference on some drive intensive applications such as Digital Performer but not the huge difference that going to an SSD will. APFS was optionalonly during the beta period so I was abl to test it both ways.

It’s possible that if your drive was replaced, it already has the OWC heat sensor. In that case, you only need the SSD and bracket. If not, you need the 2011-on sensor.

Besides the huge speed and performance boost, an SSD reduces the internal heat.

A Micron 1100 is the same drive as the Crucial MX300. It is only sold to systems integrators and OEMs and has a 90 day warranty (their cost takes this into account). SIs sell these on eBay, sometimes at great prices.

TRIM is part of the Mac OS but disabled on 3rd party SSDs by default. After installing an SSD, run the following in Terminal: sudo trimforce enable. Click through the Apple CYA warnings.

Disable App Nap globally. Many apps do not play well with it. It’s sole purpose is to preserve battery life—not an issue with an iMac.

Disable App Nap
_________________________
BIAB Audiophile on 2010 iMac i7, 32G RAM, 2T SSD, OS 10.13.3
Overture 5, DP 9.51, LogicProX, Finale 25, Encore 5.0.7 SmartScoreX2-P Notion 6
Old G4-1K DP OS 10.4.11 / OS 9.2, Legacy Apps

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#456242 - 02/07/18 10:10 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Macintosh] Re: Minimum specs to run BIAB on a Mac [Re: Matt Finley]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17214
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Got it! Thanks for all these great tips.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac Pro]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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