Best Mac for music production 2020 (with TOP 5)

Best Mac for music production 2020 (with TOP 5) play video
Written by: Dexxter Clark
If you do want to buy a Mac for music production in 2020, what is the best choice?
In this article I’m going to take a look at the available Apple computers on the market (desktops and laptops) looking through the glasses of a music producer.
At the end of the article I will give you a Top 5 of the best Macs for music production when I would buy a new Mac.

If you are not sure what you have to look out for when you want to buy a computer for music production: i5, i7 processor?? how much memory??
Check out my article: “best computer for music production


Expansion

When you want to buy an Apple computer you have to prepare yourself for the fact that you can’t expand down the line … ever!
So you need to spec your computer out to the max in order to be future proof, if you don’t, you’ll regret it later.
If you think that a 1 TB drive is enough, choose 2 TB, the same goes for memory.
There are exceptions, I will talk about later in this article.

Mac Mini

Not very popular amongst music producers is the Mac Mini, but to be honest one of the best choices for music production.

When it comes to expansion, you can expand the memory of the Mac mini later down the line, but that’s about it.

The Mac mini has no screen, so you need to buy a screen separately.

Choose the model with the fastest processor, at least 1 TB or storage and a minimum of 16 GB of memory (preferably more).
This will cost you a little less than 2000 dollars.

If you want a Mac, but don’t want to pay that much, the Mac mini is the best choice.




iMac

The desktop iMac is also a good choice for music production
The “classic” iMac is the machine where you pay the least Apple tax.
If you choose a PC with the same specs and a monitor, you will probably the same.

The iMac desktop has a screen included in contrast to the Mac Mini.
Choose the 27” screen because you will need the extra screen real estate for your music production.

Choose the model with the i9 processor, at least 1 TB of storage and at least 16 GB of RAM.
Depending on the drive you choose, this will cost you a little under or a little over 3000 dollars.

iMac Pro

The iMac Pro is the bigger brother of the iMac and has always a 27” screen.
The only reason why it is called “Pro” is because of the price and the “Pro”cessor (pun intended).
The iMac Pro has a Intel Xeon processor.

Since it the Xeon processor is the same processor as the i7, there is little to no speed difference between the two.
Xeon processors can have more cache memory which makes them a tiny amount quicker.
But since Apple is pretty secretive about the particular processor they use in it’s little brother the iMac, it’s hard to compare.
I suspect that the maxed-out iMac will perform the same as the base model iMac Pro (but for 2000,- Dollars more).

But the luxury you have with the iMac Pro is that you can choose Xeon processors with more CPU cores (than the iMac), which can make a significant performance difference.

There is a price point at which the performance increase will not outweigh the price.
The base model starts at 5000 dollars, and you can go completely crazy until you bank account is empty.




Macbook Air

The first laptop in this list is the Macbook Air.
I wouldn’t recommend it for multiple reasons, with the lack of performance
being the main one.

The other big reason the screen is too small.
You will run into trouble with some plugins that don’t anticipate the small screen.
If you absolutely want, you can produce music with it, but my advice: don’t bother.

Macbook pro

Skip the Macbook pro’s 2015-2019 models.
These were extremely bad computers for at least 20 reasons (hinge problems, keyboard problems, usb-c port wear, exploding batteries, etc, etc, etc).

If you choose the Macbook Pro, choose the 16” Macbook Pro late 2019 and later.
The 16” Macbook pro is the only “valid” choice if you want a Mac and be mobile.

Because 16” is a small screen for music production, I would recommend you hook it up to a big widescreen monitor when you produce.

The Macbook Pro starts at 3000 dollars with an i9 processor and 16 GB of memory.
Expand the memory.




Mac Pro

The only Apple machine that is properly expandable, except for the storage drive.
It needs to be a Apple approved drive.

You can spec this machine out to absolutely insane proportions.
You need a powerful computer for music production, but even the max specs of this computer is an overkill.

The Mac Pro has a Xeon processor which starts at 8 cores, but you can upgrade to processors with more cores (please do if you have the money).

Also with the Mac Pro, the price performance ratio is off.
The Mac Pro starts at 6000 Dollars and you can max it out all the way to 50,000 Dollars.
I would recommend upgrading at least the RAM memory, because it is dual channel memory.
The cheapest model has too little memory modules to take advantage of the extra speed of dual channel memory.




Top 5 best Macs for music production

If I would buy a new mac, what would I choose?
The price/performance ratio was my main motivator.
Here is my top 5:

5) iMac Pro
Because the price/performance increase is too little over it’s little brother the iMac.
4) Mac Pro
Again, price performance ratio is far off compared to the rest on this list.
3) MacBook Pro 16”
If you want to be mobile, this is your only choice.
2) Mac Mini
Because it’s “cheap”.
1) iMac
Because of the good price performance ratio

Check out my article: “best computer for music production”: https://www.learnhowtoproducemusic.com/blog-how-to-start-music-production/best-computer-for-music-production for advice on computer specifications information.

If you are serious about DJing and want to take it to the next level on the CDJ,
you should check out my CDJ 2000 video course.

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photo author dexxter clark
Dexxter Clark
Music Producer / YouTuber

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