A rather technical question but I was wondering if someone has an answer to this:

I'm using a Mid 2010 Mac Mini (2,66Ghz Core 2 Duo, extended 8BG of RAM) running the latest Logic Pro X on OSX 10.11 for recording which usually is working very nicely, meaning
16-track simultaneuous audio recording or up to 10 tracks of software instruments usually works pretty smoothly.

But I have recently started using more tools using NI's Kontakt and Reaktor Plugins which seem to be a little heavy on the system.
As soon as I hit 3 or 4 tracks with the mentioned plugins it will not play back even a second of the mix before overloading and telling me it could not calculate everything in time.

I have even tried out setting the I/O Buffer from 128 up to a staggering 1024 but it had no effect on the result.

Now my question is: Does someone know what the bottleneck is here? CPU or RAM?
If it's RAM I could bump it up to 16GB if the system supports it, if it's the processor I'll have to think about upgrading.

  • 2
    You have a pretty old processor so that's a likely issue, but it could even be the hard disk where the samples are stored or your interface. What interface are you using? Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 16:32
  • You seem to be correct :-( Recently this function must have been added : Open the dropdown on the Time/Sample Status and choose "Custom" and there is now a CPU / Disk status bar. The CPU seems to be the problem here. Too bad, that machine was top shelf, too.
    – Halest
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 23:35
  • But I have been wondering about the disk-thing. It's a 500GB HDD RAID 1 which I would assume relatively fast. @ToddWilcox I was under the impression that the whole VST would be loaded into RAM, would put zero load on the disk on playback. So are the samples loaded from disk each and every time?
    – Halest
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 23:40
  • 2
    As an IT professional, I'm often talking to people about computer performance. I've started talking about the age of a computer in a similar way to the age of a dog, in the sense of "dog years" (I.e., one year of life for a dog is about equivalent to seven years of life for a human). But computer years are more like one year for a computer is as aging as twenty years would be for a human. At three years (like a sixty year old human) a computer is nearing retirement age. At four years (like 80), it's showing its age but not dead yet. At five (100) it's positively venerable. Seven is extreme. Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 23:41
  • 3
    I'm with @ToddWilcox on this, but with one additional caveat. The Mac Mini was quite a low end machine even when new. A fully loaded Mac Pro from the same year wouldn't yet be feeling quite so arthritic, assuming it had been taking its meds [new SSD, GPU, big RAM, dual 6-core etc]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 6:23

1 Answer 1


Open the dropdown on the Time/Sample Status and choose "Custom" and there is now a CPU / Disk status bar.

It seems to be a mix between Disk and CPU.

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