Which MacBook should I buy?


hi all,

id recommend the mid-2012 MBP—afaik its the last laptop apple made that is upgradeable.

got one myself recently, threw in 16GB ram and a 1 tb ssd—all in all it was like $700 and it runs like butter. also has the added advantage of also having all the ports, headphone jack, etc. :slight_smile:

just my 2 cents!


I’m going to do the same. The thing that feels like it matters most is that this bug has made my gaming pc a more reliable audio workstation.


stupid to care about an enormous evil corporation slowly becoming worse, but this thread still bums me out. i’m in the bubble where none of the poor choices of the past couple years have really hit me at all. i got my first macbook for college in 2008 (jumped ship from a dell with windows xp that didn’t have built in wifi), replaced it with a macbook pro for video editing when the retinas came out in 2012. over its life, that computer got 2 screen replacements, free, a battery replacement, a third third party out of warranty screen replacement after an unfortunate latte incident, and was still going strong until 2ish years ago when i took it in for another battery replacement and they were out of batteries and gave me a maxed out 2015 model that was nicer than anything i’d have ever purchased for myself for the price of a battery. something like 4 grand worth of laptop. it was faster than the video editing desktops at my then job! at that time it was like the equivalent of apple giving me a 10% raise.

i am probably out of the market for a laptop until the next big video quality jump hits the industry. even though my story is like the definition of what can’t occur at the invisible hands of the free market, i really hope they can turn it around by then


That sounds like most of my experience. This usb audio bug is the first thing that’s ever hit me in a “now I can’t actually use this” kind of way.

That thunderbolt hub just arrived on my desk at work. Have to say it’s a very nice piece of kit, if it works well I’m pretty happy with this setup. Would only prefer to have power through it too so it would be a true one-cable solution.


Many many years ago I had some really bad problems with my 17" Powerbook (I think that’s what they were called). Bad audio crackling that would happen periodically, across all audio drivers, including built-in. Eventually it was fixed, but it was a rough period.

Also had a real bad time with a MOTU soundcard and my last laptop (2013 15" MBP), which led to me getting the RME, but in reading the problems that people are having now, it sounds like exactly what I was getting with the MOTU interface.

With all the issues I’ve had with my 2017 machine, and seeing how generally shit other stuff has gotten (lots and lots of bugs, everywhere, that seem to never get fixed), I swore that it would be my last Mac laptop. Turns out that’s not strictly the case as it’s just getting turned into a 2018 machine, but this USB audio thing sounds like a massive deal breaker.

I’ll test things thoroughly when I get it, and thankfully I checked that the hub I bought when I first bought it is actually Thunderbolt, so hopefully that helps.

If I do have the audio problems, which I suspect I will from what I’ve read. I’m going to give them some serious shit, as they’d essentially be replacing my fucked machine, with a fucked-to-the-point-of-being-unfit-for-purpose machine. At least with my busted keyboard I can run an audio interface on this machine…


I have a 2018 MBP and a UCX. I run the UCX in Class Compliant mode and works fine for me, all the Inputs and Ouputs are available, just check in Audio Midi Setup. I’m using Ableton and mixing through it so all wasn’t using Totalmix. I agree RME feedback is a little cold and unhelpful.


I’ve posted on the forum to see if there’s some clearer or more “official” answer than ‘read the hundreds of posts across various threads on the forum’. Seems like really shit customer service, particularly since this applies to someone buying a brand new interface today only to get home and realize it doesn’t work at all with their new computer.

So a UCX is exactly what I have. So @rmro, all you did is not install the drivers and it worked fine? Or do you have to set something on the interface itself first?

A smaller side question, when working in class compliant mode, do the audio inputs go directly to the audio outputs for the latency-free monitoring? (I normally mute this using the rme mixer interface part of the driver as I would get feedback with my setup otherwise).


You can keep the drivers installed, just look in the manual how to boot into Class Compliant mode, from memory:
• Using the encoder on the front scroll till you see ‘SU’ and press
• Scroll to ‘CC’ and press and hold for a few seconds
It will reboot by itself.

I’m unsure about inputs going to the outputs. I don’t use a mixer so everything routes through Ableton, external instruments etc, I found it actually simplifies things for me as any latency is dealt with through the plugins. I just monitor realtime and hit record when I need to and keep going.


That’s exactly what I’ve done recently.



I’ve a 2018 macbook pro & RME babyface. I don’t think I’m experiencing the issues reported on the RME page. I can certainly play audio from iTunes or Live through the babyface ok. I’m just using the normal USB-C -> USB2 dongle.


Maybe you won’t notice at first but the dropouts occurred every 20 or 30 minutes.

When recording with Ableton Live, I didn’t noticed any issue. Only when I played back the track I noticed some glitches.

With Logic Pro X, the soft will simply stop recording.


First woth the caldigit hub and its brilliant, solved all the issues AND increased performance in some areas AND emits way less heat. Good times. Can’t wait to get back into the box this weekend.


I have a mid-2012 13-inch MBP. I also threw in 16GB of RAM, but only a 500GB SSD. I’m considering removing the optical drive and installing a second drive.
This almost 7 year old computer is still performing quite well.
The anecdotes in this thread are making me think I should keep this computer running as long as I possibly can…


google ‘dell xps sound crackling’ before making any promises :wink:
no offence to anybody but modern laptops are over-designed and under-engineered crap IMO


Everybody is making a really big deal about a thing that, yes, shouldn’t have happened and shouldn’t be being ignored, but is in the end easily fixable albeit with some petty annoyance (an extra dongle). However, this is par for the course with most high tech, especially Apple.

A very long explanation for why this is actually normal and not a terrible evil thing

They discard old connectors and protocols as fast as they change marketing campaigns. If you haven’t noticed that they were the first major company to get rid of floppy drives in all machines, get rid of CD-ROM/DVD drives, eliminate the VGA port, eliminate the DVI port, eliminate any vestige of a standard serial port, eliminate the printer ports, embrace USB before most everybody else, embrace Thunderbolt, switch the main connection on their smartphones from one proprietary standard to another, etc. etc. etc. then you haven’t been paying attention.

The point isn’t whether or not Apple should be doing these things, or whether it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’. The point is that it’s in their nature to always and only be best supporting the latest interconnection technology and nothing else.

Fortunately the latest interconnection tech is effectively as good and versatile as giving us a PCI backplane, so we can easily use very high quality adapters as @dansimco has found out, without compromise, allowing us to remain in whatever decade we wish when it comes to our outboard gear. And RME (among many other vendors) continue to fight the good fight to keep their equipment interoperable with both the major changes in Mac hardware/software and of course the absolute zoo that is Windows driver development as well. It’s turtles all the way down on both sides, don’t forget.

So, instead of complaining bitterly that change happens in high tech, do what anyone who uses high tech as a profession does, and keep using the gear you know and trust for as long as you can, and when it comes time to upgrade look at what other pros are using and make your choices from the most robust options that fit your budget, then stop upgrading until you have to. Pros don’t upgrade on a whim, or buy budget interfaces that are likely to lose support quickly, and there’s a reason for it - they have to put the bread on the table every day for decades and the only way to do that and stay sane is realize that tech will always change and will always have these hiccups and isn’t always changing for the better, so they find a system that works for them and they ride it as long as possible, keeping the old system around even well after the new one has come online, just in case.

There are pro engineers and producers who are using decades-old software to make killer tracks today, because they know it and it just works for them. Sure that ancient hardware requires TLC and the occasional eBaying of parts to keep running, but that’s just the cost of doing business for them.

I say this because I think a lot of people here act like Apple “owes” it to them to be perfect and always compatible (and let me be clear, the situation can be and has in the past been just as frustrating on the Windows and Linux sides in their own seasons) with everything. But if you embrace the new with Apple hardware, you’re going to deal with these sorts of issues from time to time. Firewire audio did have this problem before too (Firewire as protocol had a lot of problems, but it was still the best in it’s time for video transfer), as did nearly every kind of audio interconnection before it, from time to time, on certain brands or others. This story is as old as computing is, in many senses.

And yes, Apple should fix what are obvious bugs in their products, but sadly, they’ve made a history of marking technology as effectively “end of life” as soon as they have anything to replace it with, and it gets no further support. I’m not denying that, but it’s the reality and complaining bitterly won’t change it.

So, my recommendation is, everybody calm down the old computers still work great and the new ones still function perfectly well to make music, but the new systems and the old systems together need a little interoperability assistance in the form of a dongle. Big deal - it’s been this way for at least two decades across various connections and industries. Apple isn’t being ‘evil’ here, they’re being big, slow, and remaining on the same course they always have - dropping “old” tech like a rock and not even bothering to give it a backwards glance.


There are other reasons to steer clear of the 2018 MBP. There’s an acknowledged issue connected to the T2 chip and it’s BridgeOS causing random restarts. Im about to return my third 2018 -fortunately the issue each time has shown up within a day or two. It’s a shame given it’s the first MBP with more than 4 cures and good gpu options.
I’ve had so many MBP and based on experience I recommend always getting a refurbished if you can - I’ve had much better luck with them.
I was I could switch. Too invested in Mac only software that has no easily convertible windows or Linux equivalent.


We’ve got a stackload of these 2018s at my office, nobody here has had any issues with this.

I’m definitely sorry to hear you’re having issues with yours (all computers have some small chance of defects/problems), and I’m not saying it doesn’t exist for others, but again, there are significant numbers of people using them with zero problems, so let’s not blow the issues out of proportion (not saying you are, I’m cautioning others not to take a single data point as a rule, as humans are wont to do).


It’s not common and one theory involves a faulty batch of T2 chips - another that only the i9-plus-Vega units do it (kind of makes sense given sone iMac pros have the issue too). Just my bad luck to get multiple such machines in a row I guess. Apple admits the problem but it is - or was until a couple months ago - rare. There are a fair number of threads around about it.

Since my MBP is for performance work I need it to be absolutely solid so I gave up and went for a 2017 refurb which has been perfect so far (only a few days in). A big letdown (the 2018 plus egpu would have also replaced my Mac Pro for my film and video work - in fact I was going to fund it by selling the Mac Pro) but now even if I got a 2018 that’s seemed fine I’d be too nervous to perform with it. I’ve used macs live for decades with zero issues - this is the first time I’ve even considered the prospect of a mid-performance crash and it’s not worth the stress.

If I didn’t need it for live work I might have kept going until I got a non-afflicted 2018, but I do.


I avoid the use of all general-purpose computer systems for live performance having seen far too many of all brands (ranging from vintage Compaqs to recent Macs) work flawlessly up until showtime and then randomly conk out with some bizarre failure moments before or even during the actual performance, despite doing many run-throughs and resets flawlessly even the same day.

To say that I’m cynical about the state of GP computing is a massive understatement, and I’m with you - I wouldn’t trust any recently manufactured system for live duties until it had performed flawlessly for a while in a practice/studio setting and gotten into the reliable phase of the famous ‘bathtub’ curve as we engineers call it. But that goes for any definition of ‘recent’ across any year, I’m not singling out the 2018s or the upcoming 2019s or any brand… I just wouldn’t use a recently purchased system of any kind for live shows until I had gained confidence in it with my setup.

The proliferation of A/B instant-failover rigs (like the iConnectivity stuff and Radial’s A/B switcher) in today’s touring rigs should speak to this too… even proven touring workhorse systems fail spontaneously, almost always mid-show (and never in rehearsal, of course!). So if you’re looking for reliability in performance never look to any specific brand, but look to a redundant and time-proven rig, regardless of your system preferences and hardware choices.

Edit: and to stay on topic, I do say that if you’re going to get a Mac now, get a new 2018 system and don’t get a 2016/2017, because of the improved keyboards and there will be support and security updates for that much longer, and security updates are going to be an increasingly important concern in the upcoming years. Plus the new chips have some very nice improvements in audio/media processing that are nice to lock in versus the previous generation - there was a solid bump in capability the past year or so and I don’t expect 2019/2020 to offer significant performance increases, we’ve locked in the current round of ‘next gen’ for a little while, I think. But if your 2013-2015 system is working fine, I would also advise you not to feel a need to upgrade unless you have a very specific reason to do so and not simply “it would be nice”.



The lower price while maintaining extended AppleCare eligibility are great bonuses too.