Refurbished Mac Buyers Guide for Musicians

  •  Posted on 15 Jun 2016


Musicians Save on Refurbished Macs at GainSaver


The word you always hear with along with "musician" is the word "struggling". Musicians are always struggling, financially and otherwise. If you’re a struggling musician yourself who’s into recording, then here’s a great way to save money on your computer equipment – buy a refurbished Mac from GainSaver. We have a wide selection of refurbished Mac laptops and desktops that will fit your equipment budget and more than meet the system requirements of advanced recording software.


Music Recording Hardware


Of course, you want a Mac for recording. Many music creation software applications run on both Mac and PC systems, but some, like Pro Logic X and GarageBand are exclusively for the Mac.


Before looking at specific refurbished Mac options for musicians, let’s consider a few of the most critical system components. Whichever refurbished Mac laptop or desktop you’re considering, check the memory, hard drive and ports before buying.




You’ll need a lot RAM in your refurbished Mac to handle all the data. Recording software demands a lot RAM. The more tracks you are working with, the more RAM you need. For any serious recording, you should plan on 16GB of RAM as the minimum. When selecting a refurbished Mac, check the total RAM that the system supports. If the system you like doesn’t have adequate memory, GainSaver can custom configure your refurbished Mac with additional RAM when you check out.


Hard Drive


An SSD drive is much faster than a conventional hard drive. A slow hard drive will cancel out any gains you have from having adding a lot of memory. So go with the SSD drive. They are faster and more reliable. You don’t want to lose a recording session because the hard drive failed!


Large music libraries can take up a huge amount of hard drive space, so we recommend that you have your Mac custom configured with a 512GB SSD drive. With one of these installed, you can have your instrument libraries instantly accessible right there on your hard drive and reduce the need for an external drive.




Ports are important. Check your microphones, MIDI keyboards, and other equipment for the ports they use. If you have external drives that support Thunderbolt, make sure to get a Mac with a Thunderbolt port, you will really notice the difference in speed when transfer large amounts of data.


USB ports come in different speeds. USB, USB2 and USB3 are all fully compatible, so you can connect any USB device to any USB ports. USB3 ports are theoretically 10x faster than USB2. In practice, you’ll see an increase of about 5x with USB3. Even if your current peripherals don’t support USB3, you should still consider this when purchasing. Peripherals you buy in the future will definitely support USB3.




Screen size is something to factor into your decision. But keep in mind that a bigger screen doesn’t necessarily mean you can see more controls at one time. For this, you need higher resolution, which is measured in pixels. A refurbished 27-inch iMac from GainSaver can give you up to 2560x1440 pixels, while a refurbished 15-inch Macbook Pro with a retina display goes up to 2880x1800 pixels. The Macbook Pro 15-inch retina screen is smaller, but can display a bit more information.


Refurbished Mac Pro


A refurbished Mac Pro is the dream system for the core of your recording studio. The Mac Pros are not that expense when compared to Mac laptops, and they give you awesome performance. You will never be waiting for your Mac Pro to finish rendering your last session. If your only consideration is power, then get a Mac Pro.


With a Mac Pro you can also have GainSaver install additional hard drives when you purchase. Then you don’t need to connect external drives to access your libraries and archived recordings.


The down side to a refurbished Mac Pro is that it’s not exactly portable, and it doesn’t include a monitor. If you need to travel with your equipment, this is something to think about. But if you already have a good monitor, go with the Mac Pro.


Refurbished iMac


Like the Mac Pro, a refurbished iMac is not easy to lug around with you when you meet up with your fellow musicians. The iMac, especially the 27-inch iMac, should be left in your recording studio.


What the iMac lacks in portability, it makes up for with an incredible screen. You get your computer and monitor all in one package with an iMac. The 27-inch iMac gives you an unbelievable view of all your software tools at once.


Refurbished iMacs are also very powerful. GainSaver has a great selection to choose from, so you can pick the right combination of price and performance. You should go with at least a Dual Core i5 processor in your iMac. Most recording software can take advantage of all the cores in the processor, so a Quad Core i5 or Quad Core i7 will be faster than a Dual Core.


Refurbished Macbook Pro


The Macbook Pro is the best choice if you have to take your studio with you. It’s designed to be portable and stand up to the bumps, shaking and vibrations of life on the road.


Refurbished Macbook Pros come in three different screen sizes at GainSaver, with wide variations in processor type, hard drive and memory configurations. Make sure to check all the specs to get one that meets your requirements.


One drawback of the Macbook Pro is the screen size. Even with a retina display, you may find the physical size of the screen to be limiting. So if you’re not taking your studio on the road, you should think about an iMac for the bigger screen or a refurbished Mac Pro for the extra performance kick.


Refurbished Mac mini


The struggling musician should never overlook the refurbished Mac mini as a music creation tool. This little guy is a full-fledged Mac desktop computer. And they are really quiet, so they won’t interfere with the music.


When you purchase your refurbished Mac mini from GainSaver, we can upgrade the hard drive and memory for you, so it’s ready to go as soon as you get it. And if you already have a monitor, keyboard and mouse – designed for either Mac or PC – you can connect them to a refurbished Mac mini. This is a huge money saver all by itself.


Musicians Love GainSaver


The best reason to shop GainSaver for a refurbished Mac laptop or desktop for your music creation is that all our refurbished computers include a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee and a 180 Day Warranty. We guarantee you’ll be happy with your refurbished Mac, and if you’re not, you can return it for any reason. Your hard earned money is protected when you buy from GainSaver.