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Ask Max: Digital Audio Recording on an iMac

Asked on 05/26/2006:

I record a lot of music on my computer before going into the studio. I love the old sunflower iMacs and find the articulating neck really useful. My old 700 MHz iMac is too sluggish to use effectively with a processor hog like GarageBand, so I'm going to have to buy a new computer. Since I'm so fond of the old iMac design, I really want to stay with it. Will the 1.25 be enough? I'm thinking about getting the pre-owned 20 inch available at Powermax while I can still get one. Will I be able to tell a big difference — going from a 700 to a 1.25. I'm so tired of seeing that "part of the song was not played..." message pop on when I'm in the middle of putting down tracks. Thanks for your help.


Having the 1.25 GHz G4 processor will make those "part of the song was not played..." messages go away and you will feel the increase in speed other places as well. Because you like this computer style and are going to want it to last as long as possible, you should fill it with RAM. It can take up to 2 GB of RAM but one stick has to be installed by technicians due to its location in the upper housing. If the iMac is opened improperly the heat pipes will not connect back to the housing and the processor could overheat. Let someone at PowerMax do this for you. I think this would be a wonderful computer for what you do, but remember that you will not have much room to grow. One of the nice things about the new iMacs is that they will have much more power then you need right now. This should be a consideration because the future GarageBand will need more than a 1.25 GHz G4 processor to run.

However, as I try to tell my wife, you can always have more than one Mac in the house. If you like the G4 iMac, snatch it up and worry about the future when it happens.

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