Better CPU or better GPU?

For a dedicated Vuo computer, I have the choice between this Mac mini or this MacBook Pro: which one is the better choice? Four cores on the Mac mini with a Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU or two cores on the MacBook Pro with a Intel Iris Graphics 5100 GPU. Both computers have 16 GB of RAM.

When I say “dedicated Vuo computer”, I mean that, for my project, the audio is generated on one computer and then sent to the dedicated Vuo computer, that will only run Vuo.

To answer my own question: better CPU (more cores) is better. I ran the same composition on both computer. In the Activity Monitor, the Vuo Composition Loader averaged 21 % on the Mac mini and 29 % on the MacBook Pro. So, there you go…  

My first test was done by passing the audio from one computer to the next using an ADAT connection (RME Fireface UCminiDSP USBStreamer B).

I did a 2nd test, this time using Apple AUNetSend and AUNetReceive AU plug-ins. The audio computer is running a Plogue Bidule patch with the AUNetSend inserted just before the audio output. On the Vuo computer, a simple Bidule patch is receiving the networked audio through the AUNetReceive and connecting it to Rogue Amoeba’s Loopback virtual sound card. The Vuo composition is using the Loopback virtual sound card for audio input.

With this setup, the CPU is averaging 37 % for the Vuo Composition Loader on the Mac mini, but only 24 % on the MacBook Pro. So there are other variables at play here besides CPU and GPU. Go figure…

By the way, I’m not using the Soundflower virtual sound card simply because I need a multichannel connection, but not a 64-channel one.

Also as a dedicated Vuo computer a MacMini is probably a better form factor. In a perfect world however any i7 with a dedicated GPU (Nvidia/ATI) is great.