Hardware choices for dedicated Forte box

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Spherical
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:22 am

Hardware choices for dedicated Forte box

Postby Spherical » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:58 am

Does anybody here have any experience running Forte on a Mac Mini (or other Mac hardware) with Bootcamp? I'm planning to set myself up with a pair of Mac Minis for use on stage as dedicated Forte boxes, and I'm wondering if there could be any hardware issues, gotchas, performance/stability issues etc?

Also planning to use either an Echo Audiofire 12 or MOTU Ultralite Mk3 for audio I/O, and a MOTU Micro Lite 5x5 MIDI interface - again, potential problems?

Finally, which version of Windows is likely to be the best option? Any problems with Windows 8 ?

As far as I can see from some online research, drivers exist for this kind of setup, but sometimes you never really know how stable and performant it is until you actually set it up...

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated!

Spherical

speedinator
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:21 am
Location: Hannover, Germany

Re: Hardware choices for dedicated Forte box

Postby speedinator » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:05 am

hi Spherical,

are you planing to use the mac minis for any other purpose than windows + forte? In this case i don't see the reason to spend a lot of money just for mac-brand. Compared to other mini-pcs the hardware is identical (Intel-mobile-processor, intel chipset...). So what about an Intel NUC (http://www.anandtech.com/show/7566/inte ... -pc-review)? It would also not be necessary to deal with Apple Boot Camp, altough it should not be a big problem setting up a dual boot machine on a mac mini.

Spherical
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:22 am

Re: Hardware choices for dedicated Forte box

Postby Spherical » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:06 pm

Hi Speedinator,

Thanks for your response - I hadn't seen those Intel NUC machines before, and you're right, they do look fairly comparable spec-wise. I had no real intention of using the Mac side of a Mac Mini, I was going to use it as a Forte "appliance" really. What drew me to the Mac Mini though was real solid build quality - do you have any experience of those Intel NUC machines undergoing the rigours of touring in a rack that'll get loaded on and off vans and bumped around etc? I guess once I've added an OS, hard drive and RAM, the price difference might not be that huge, for comparable spec Mac Minis, but on the other hand the choice of alternative hardware options etc. is quite compelling.

Thanks for the head-up, I shall do some more investigation!

Burtan
Posts: 463
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 1:16 pm

Re: Hardware choices for dedicated Forte box

Postby Burtan » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:05 am

When build-quality is important, why not taking a standard server rack, which fits into flight cases? Some years ago I built one myself, the only problem for me was that most racks were quite deep.

Spherical
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:22 am

Re: Hardware choices for dedicated Forte box

Postby Spherical » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:04 am

Hi Burtan....that would be excellent for most of the time, but my band periodically travels to gigs further than a truck can practically go (i.e. to other continents), and we generally try and hire gear locally rather than fill the aircraft hold with heavy rack gear etc., at great expense. So I was hoping to have something of the size of a Mac Mini or other mini PC that I could safely carry in hand luggage on flights. On the other hand, maybe I should go for the rack server, and then just get a cheap mini PC for those long haul gigs. Thanks for the idea, I shall give it some thought!

Spherical

speedinator
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:21 am
Location: Hannover, Germany

Re: Hardware choices for dedicated Forte box

Postby speedinator » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:07 pm

i can remember an old thread, with a similar discussion. ah, there it is:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4618

personally i would leave all ideas concerning a rackmount pc behind and take a good ultrabook/tablet instead. A surface pro 2 for example is fast enough (on par with current generation mini macs), solid quality and has built in display and battery. I would never ever go back to my rackmount pc...

RackedBrain
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:41 pm

Re: Hardware choices for dedicated Forte box

Postby RackedBrain » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:09 pm

I just completed building an AMD/ASUS 1u custom job. The goal was to replace my aging Receptor 2, use any keyboard, and be transportable. I didn't have an airplane/TSA requirement.

I have it in a 5u SKB rack case with a 1u Focusrite Saphire Pro. It could have easily fit into something smaller, but I wanted to have my Korg Trinity, power, etc. all in one place. The custom-built Win7 PC uses ...

this case:
http://www.servercase.com/Merchant2/mer ... y_Code=1UE

This MoBo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131988

This CPU
http://www.amazon.com/AMD-A6-5400K-3-6G ... b_title_ce (I think)

2 Samsung SSDs and a couple of other things. No DVD (plug in USB).

I've recently added a USB monitor that I now carry with me. Works great.

There was some inspiration from Tom Schuman of Spyra Gyra. He used to carry a small rack with him when traveling; he'd even stuff clothes in it for the flight. All of the keys were rented. My goal was to be able to use any keyboard and have the rack/Forte do all the work. That's pretty much where I am with this.

I can get together all of the build details (there were many trial and error) if anyone is really interested.


RB
------------------------------------
Several Kurzweils, Korgs, Komputers.


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