Apple Macbook Pro Retina 15" Running Pro Tools On Internal Soundcard - Power Test

11-13-2014 10:32 PM

We’ve got the lastest Macbook Pro Retina 15” at Pro Tools Expert HQ so we thought we’d take it for a spin to see how it handles Pro Tools 11. This is the ‘stuck on a plane or in a hotel room’ test, just the Macbook Pro, internal soundcard and internal drive, it’s just you, your Mac, an iLok, headphones and a USB micro keyboard.
Is it just fit for a few demo tracks or can you get some real work done… find out below.
Test Machine Specification

  • MacBook Pro
  • Intel Core i7
  • Processor Speed: 2.5 GHz
  • Number of Processors: 1
  • Total Number of Cores: 4
  • L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
  • L3 Cache: 6 MB
  • Memory: 16 GB

Pro Tools Session Specification

  • Internal Mac soundcard used
  • Pro Tools 11.2.1
  • 96Khz - maximum with internal sound card
  • 24 bit
  • 5 minutes of mono audio, with edits at every 1 second
  • Volume automation recorded on every track
  • Disk cache disabled to emulate native versions of Pro Tools
  • All audio tracks had an instance of Avid Channel Strip and Dverb inserted

Results Of Test

  • 128 Audio tracks reached, but then Pro Tools ran out of voices
  • A mono audio track would record without issue along with 127 audio tracks in playback
  • Instrument tracks were then added
  • 64 MIDI tracks with an instance of AIR Boom running with MIDI data
  • The session would not play at H/W buffer sizes of under 1024, once settled it seemed to run at 1024 without any further issues. The session could be set to 2048 samples if this was required and at this setting the session ran without issue.


Watch the video of the session in action… warts and all. There is no audio on this video
It’s highly unlikely one would use a Macbook with the internal sound card, but should the need arise this test shows that it should offer you enough juice to work anywhere with a pretty demanding session.