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pc vs mac

Maybe this has been answered many times before, but I don't understand why a mac is better for recording. I know they are well built, easy to use, and much more stable. But if you know how to maintain your computer does that really matter? You also get a lot more bang for your buck with a pc or windows based laptop. I'm asking this because i'm looking into getting a new comp, preferably a laptop. Everyone raves about macs for recording but when i look at the specs on a windows based comp and a mac you get a hell of a lot less on the mac for the same dollar. Will a mac still outperform anything else regardless of lower processing speeds and lower ram?


Member Sun, 02/18/2007 - 22:59
...yes, I did read the "other 4 pages", thank you. I just put in my 2 cents - I thought that was legal in this country...

...Anyway, there seems to be a lot of talk about "I can build..." for PCs. It just makes me think of an interview I read with one of the big motion picture scoring guys. He was lamenting how few good composers there are nowadays, and he pointed out that many composers spent most of the 90's trying to keep their MIDI rigs from crashing, when they should have been learning their art better.
Personally, I don't want to hassle with the research and frustration of building a machine - I'm not a computer tech. Just give me something that works right out of the box so I can work on music. In my experience Mac fits the bill.

Scoobie Thu, 12/28/2006 - 09:30
I thought this was a discussion on a Recording Forum, so Viruses and Windows update's should be the last thing you should worry about. The price of building a DAW is not really that much. So IMO, PC or Mac your are crazy to have them hooked up to the internet.

Every Daw that I have put together, I spend hours truning all that crap off, Firewalls, Virus prtection, ect. ect.............Stuff that a DAW don't need!
I even have alot of XP stuff turned off, Like windows restore. Maybe I have been lucky but I just don't have all the problem's I here people talk about.

Hell, I still have a Old (RYO, Iwill- AMD Daw using 98se) PC in my living room that gets used all the time. The only thing that has ever died was the hard drives and power supply.

One day I would like to have a Mac, But only when my wife buys me a ProTools HDD system. LOL....


Music_Junky Thu, 12/28/2006 - 09:53
Scoobie wrote: I thought this was a discussion on a Recording Forum, so Viruses and Windows update's should be the last thing you should worry about. The price of building a DAW is not really that much. So IMO, PC or Mac your are crazy to have them hooked up to the internet.

I agree with you! My DAW does not even know what Network adapter is :)

VonRocK Thu, 12/28/2006 - 10:21
Music_Junky wrote: Well yes windows has lots of viruses, is it because of poor programing or because it's the os with the most users?

Ya see, here's a guy piping in on a discussion without ANY thing other than his old laptop kicks his buddy's old mac laptops ass. Did you do a benchmark? Anything other that a subjective opinion?

Allright. Lets look at your quote. Lets also clear this misconception up. Windows is poorly programed compared to OS X. That's why it has viruses. By your reasoning, because Windows has more users, then OS X should have at least ONE virus. Apple has anywhere from 5 to 15 percent of the market. You would think that they would have 5 to 15 percent of the viruses out there. So, at least ONE virus must have been writen for OS X? Just ONE? If you really think that OS X doesnt have any viruses because Windows owns most of the market, then you are a victim of the lies that spread around about macs. You didnt come up with that one all on your own either. You read it on the internet, so it must be true. Open your eyes.

Scoobie, for a guy who "usally stay away from a discussion like this" you've responded three times now. This is a discussion about tools used to RECORD, and viruses and security updates are a reality. You obviously want a mac, yet you resist. Why spend "hours turning all that crap off" ? when you can just buy a mac. Perhaps one day your luck on windows will wear off.

But I know frist hand that some have problems all the time with there Mac's.

I am curious as to what problems "they" are having? First hand knowledge should at least be aware of what the specific problems were. Or is that really second or third, maybe fourth hand knowledge? What year was this? How many big studios in Nashville were having mac problems?

VonRocK Thu, 12/28/2006 - 10:43
Music_Junky wrote:

I agree with you! My DAW does not even know what Network adapter is :)

Wow. You guys have been so brainwashed into thinking that a DAW should not be on a network. Why?

Because if your DAW even comes close to the internet, you are at serious risk of your DAW becoming unusable. So you don't connect it to the internet. If it was connected to the internet, you would not be able to afford the system resources that your bloated, poorly conceived OS needs to keep itself safe. You need all the processing power going to the task at hand, not running firewalls and antivirus software and pop up windows telling you that you are at risk. That's the way it is in your world.

So a pc is better than a mac because you need to spend hours shutting off OS stuff and you keep it at least ten feet from any network connection before you can even consider using it for a DAW? Did i get that right?

Oh, and macs MAY have bugs!

Kev Thu, 12/28/2006 - 12:48
the DAW could be on the network because the media drives are shared with the other DAW and FCP suites

network doesn't have to mean internet

it's just a computer and there is no single answer
OS... Application ... Hardware
the conbination is what matters and from time to time , through upgrades any combination can have bugs and incompatabilities

get over it

dementedchord Thu, 12/28/2006 - 15:56
dont know what you really hope to accomplish with this crap but never the less 2 points...
first as to earlier comments about risc... i took your comments out of context and thought you were saying at the core cpu level thet were using risc... my bad... but depending on how loosely you define risc it's not a new idea... every time you off load a process it makes it easier for the cpu... and that includes drive controllers onboard sounds anything... and even encludes things like asic's like what you find in your keyboards and effects units... so it's not exactlly unique to apple...

second... as to viruses etc... a programmer friend explained it to me this way... from conception it was decided (with encouragement from IBM) that MS would try to keep windows as open an archetecture as possible so as to encourage other developement.... apple under no such pressure closed it off... remember when you couldn't buy a good acct package or whatever for a mac ??? so that decision along with the ubiquity of pc's made it an easy target for hackers...

VonRocK Thu, 12/28/2006 - 16:00
Kev wrote: get over it

I know, I know. I have a hard time getting over the knee jerk reactions of windows users whenever this topic comes up. I just hate reading the same misinformed blanket statements made by people who for the most part have no direct experience with what they are talking about. Add to that the implied expertise that the context of such information is made, and I'm over the top!

I'll try to get over it.

Kev Thu, 01/04/2007 - 12:41
yes I know the what is said

but this was more a philosophical debate about things like patents and trademarks etc
... it would be interesting to test in a court
I don't see how Apple can go one the attack if you buy an OS and install it on a SINGLE computer of your making
install it on a mainframe inside a shell of your making/writing

there were non Apple machines other than Power PC (PPC)

in the USA anything is possible
Trademarks on words that have been in common use for years
Patents on combinations of components that any first year electronics student or enthusiast would do naturally
or even a procedure that is just so obvious

Member Fri, 12/01/2006 - 15:35
>>I don't understand why a mac is better for recording
They are not. The Mac myth is only are result of marketing. In fact, the Mac of today IS a pc!

I use both Mac and PCs and have been using computers with music since BEFORE the days of the ATARI 1040 ST and the old Mac 512/Mac Plus.

I don't have to time to go into the history and technical details of all platforms now but, I will offer this:

Today, the ONLY major difference between a Mac and any other PC is the operating system. Since Macs now use Intel chips, the point is moot.

Unless you have a music application (like I do) which ONLY works on a Mac (Logic PRO) there is NO technical reason whatsoever that a Mac is "better for music".

There are Grammy Winning Film Composers, Engineers and Producer who do NOT use Macs.

Ultimately, it depends on the software you want to use. If you are looking at Cubase/Nuendo/WaveLab and others, a Windows PC will be just excellent. Especially, if it's Athlon dual-core based.

If you want to use Logic PRO you have NO choice but, to buy an OS-X Intel machine (formerly known as a Mac).

hueseph Thu, 12/28/2006 - 21:24
I'm sorry. I just can't let this one go. OSX is a "closed ended" OS? Oh. Right. Like you don't even have access to command line like X11. Because Unix is so closed ended. There's no way to even deal with core functions.

Even with the older OSes there was command line but now there's even more ways to access command line in OS X. Because of the Unix based kernel, there's people developing all sorts of unsupported apps. You can fidget away to the point of rendering your Mac useless if you like, the only thing is, you have to do it as an administrator.

Member Sun, 01/14/2007 - 21:33
I think it all comes down to experience. Are you going to believe a list of numbers and specifications, or somebody who has been operating the particular machine in a practical manner. I tend to take a lot more from obviously experienced users than from biased purists.

I have been running Pro Tools on a PC with an AMD Athlon 2100+ processor for 3 years now, and it has been rock solid. My roomate has a 17" Imac Duo Core, and it is extremely quiet and reliable. My PC is louder indeed, but I isolate it and it's not an issue for me. I am building a new PC because I have had positive experiences with a PC. A new PC is cheaper to build, and is totally expandable and upgradable by ME - if you open your Imac, I believe your warranty is void.

MadMax Fri, 12/29/2006 - 01:58
OK kids... let's get all the facts straight...

The fact that an OS is written poorly, due to the instruction set used by the CPU, is the reason that viruses and malicious codes even work. It's that fact ALONG with Microsloth wanting to keep the OS an open "architecture" form that makes it such an easy target for malware. When you throw in Microsloth's arrogance... you get a natural target... an industry even! (Hmmm, makes you wonder... at least you SHOULD wonder...)

Since the "customer is always right", and I'm the customer... I should be able to create a network and tie that network to the internet and with reasonable security measures, do such things as ftp, internet radio, etc.

With my operation, I will be doing such. I cannot in ANY way be assured of even moderate securty with the Windows OS. I can with Linux, UNIX and Mac OS... odd that they're all UNIX core OS's isn't it? (Even though the two OS's can run in the 8088 instruction set world.)

And yes BTW, there is "officially" only one virus for the OS-X operating system, yet there are about a dozen security patches - of which there is still only one that remains open. I'm sure that there will soon be many more, but compared to countless throusands of security holes in the native Win OS... I like my odds better with something other than Windows.

Member Wed, 12/13/2006 - 20:56
PC is superior

I have used both Macs and PC's for recording and I firmly believe that one is not necessarily better than the other (unless you factor in cost). You can get a far superior PC for the money than you can a MAC.
Every program, every plug-in, every upgrade you ever buy on a MAC will cost you 30% more.
When I started out I thought it was a close call. Spend a little more, get a Mac. no big deal. But add up 2-3 years of upgrading and adding on programs and you get a huge difference in cost.

Dont fall for the MAC myth.

They crash, stall, and goof up just like PC's.
(I think those problems are mostly in the software)
The only thing i can really say is better is that I havent had to worry about viruses. But maybe I will soon find out that is also a myth?

One more thing,
maybe not so much in the audio world, but in regular life Macs dont have near as many programs to choose from as PC's. And forget about ever getting programs for free.
If it didnt come pre installed on your mac, your gonna have to pay top dollar for it. No cracks, no sharing, nothing.

And plus, life really isnt worth living without a right mouse button.

Austin, Tx

Kev Wed, 12/13/2006 - 22:46
do we have to do this again ?

I use both and always have done and always will
I have free programs for both
I will never use all the programs available for both
some programs are only one or the other
I've had a right mouse button on all my Macs for a very very long time

my longest serving machine is my 386 running DOS6.22 with LEAP and LMS
and Protel

my longest serving audio computers are my 9600 and 7300 ... both with digidesign hardware (Mixplus, SampleCell, AM3 and 001)
and have had processor upgrades (G3)

but the 001s and AM3 will probably end on XP machines

I tried to use a PC for my HD system but it all failed and I have a Dual2.3 on the way
that beast (3G 2G 1+terabyte) has been recycled to a DVB and media server

and to cap things off
I can't use a Mac to log on to my ISP ... so I have to use an old 98 machine

there never has been a single correct answer here
and there never will be

hueseph Wed, 12/13/2006 - 22:58
Re: PC is superior

aclane wrote: No cracks, no sharing, nothing.
I thought that this was more of a plus.

Regarding free software for mac's it's out there there are even many plugins which are free exclusively for mac.

By the way, Macs have had a right mouse button for a while now. Personally I think it's best to have both Mac and PC. But that's just me.

gdoubleyou Wed, 12/20/2006 - 19:04
"Every program, every plug-in, every upgrade you ever buy on a MAC will cost you 30% more."

That's not accurate, if you take a look at the cross platform apps and plugins they cost the same and most of the time come in the same box, on the same disk.

I own both platforms, it take more time and effort to research hardware on the PC side.

My business plan for next year is to ditch my PCs, because it is now possible to Run XP/Vista inside of an OSX window using virtulization software, ie: I could run Logic and have wavelab open at the same time sharing audio files.

In the end it's about software, choose the software you prefer and get the hardware run it on.

Besides can you HEAR what computer a song was made on?


Scoobie Sat, 12/02/2006 - 08:32
There is not a , this is the best model of computer there is for recording. The best thing to do , Is stay away from a name brand computer company.
Built one for yourself or have it built by a person that dose audio computers.

And one other thing, Do your homework before you buy anything. Pick your software and your interface frist. Then find out what other people are useing, motherboard (chipset), Get what is known to work and work well. You will be glad you did.

Alot of interface's will not perfrom right with the wrong motherboard (chipset). That is why you hear stuff like , That sound card sucks, then someone eles saying. It works great for me.

What ever you end up useing, Do your homework frist.


Scoobie Fri, 12/29/2006 - 15:06

I usally don't get into discussion like this, becaue somepeople just get their panties in-a-wade real quick. I just though everbody was acting rather civilized. So I just thought I would give my 2cents.
It's just a person's opinon. Mine, I use a PC because I use Samp and Sonar. Both run on windows. Thats the main reason I use the platform of my choice.

Far as tuneing my OS, not a hassle for me. I have to tune my Gibson J45 before I play it, but my Daw only gets tuned once.

And other Studio's, it was frist hand knowledge. I had 2hours of session work , vanished I was told. But, I'm not going to mention any studio 's name. But I will say it was more of operator error. That's the point I was tring to get across. What works for you(me) might not(want) work for another.


cfaalm Thu, 02/15/2007 - 15:03
Viruses? Trojans? Please, a PC for music production should not be connected to the internet.

Make a dual boot, simply twice the same XP/Vista. MS will let you do that. One for music, one for connecting to the internet. Tune them accordingly and discipline yourself to not surf with your music boot. It's that simple. If you really feel you need to connect to the internet with your music boot, only visit trusted sites, like MS, your soundcard manufacturer etc.

Bill Gates is telling the world people hack into a Mac everyday. In theory a Mac is not safer than a Windows PC. It's just that hardly anyone makes the effort to exploit a Mac, but it can be done.

On the other hand, I feel Bill and Steve could do a few more things to make XP or Vista more DAW friendly, like full FW800 support and easier tuning. That would help a lot. I don't know about Vista, but it looks like rain.

I'd say a Mac is probably more DAW-friendly from the get go and a PC takes some extra tuning and thought to get there.

Music_Junky Fri, 12/29/2006 - 16:34
VonRocK wrote: [quote=Kev]get over it

I know, I know. I have a hard time getting over the knee jerk reactions of windows users whenever this topic comes up. I just hate reading the same misinformed blanket statements made by people who for the most part have no direct experience with what they are talking about. Add to that the implied expertise that the context of such information is made, and I'm over the top!

I'll try to get over it.
Well sorry i bother you i was just saying my toughts.
I'm not a pure windows user i use mac, pc and linux. I am not speaking for windows i think mac's are great! My next computer will be from apple.
I dont want to sound like the know it all guy so i am just going to stop arguing about this matter :)

I have a Bachelor's degree in computer science and I know very well not to get in the mac vs pc discussion.

Im sorry if i pissed you off ;)

one question what kind of mac should i get? I mean the mac pro even if it's a tower would i ever upgrade it? imac?

p.s. sorry about my english i hope i dont sound like a 10 year old :D

hxckid88 Thu, 02/15/2007 - 16:38
Very interesting subject. Heres my 2 cents.

I hated macs, even when I took a photoshop/digital art class in high school. I hated it and it was annoying, then I got used to it...

Then I got more BS on my PC, then my PC started crashing and doing weird stuff. Then I started to hate my PC. It got SO slow and it requires SOOOO MUCH FREAKIN MAINTENANCE!!!!! THEN I started using my friend macbook pro, and started to realize how smooth they run and how little work they record and how smoothly they flow with easy with lovely new dual cores....

In other words....

PC is for stolen software you cannot afford but will buy eventually (and you undertake the risk of crappy cracked software and viruses and non working software and other BS) and PCs are for GAMES and DOWNLOADING things. I think macs are better for being productive *AHEM*AUDIO ENGINEERING*AHEM*.

That is an opinion. My opinion.

I have windows XP and I run both my personal stuff and recording stuff on one computer. BAD BAD BAD IDEA!!!! It's just annoying. Don't do it. If you want a DAW, like others said, dont connect it to the internet.

UNFORTUNATELY, SOME OF US GO TO SCHOOL AND CANT AFFORD 2 OR MORE COMPUTERS!!! IM SORRY I DONT HAVE ANOTHER $1000 FOR A DAW!!! So shuuut the hell up and don't tell me my computer can't be a DAW and a personal gaming machine.

If I could have my pick. I want to upgrade my current computer to a PCIe mobo so I can run more games and just do multimedia and personal stuff on this. I was thinking about getting Macbook Pro for recording just because my school uses software that runs on OSX. Either that or just get an iMAC. But I've used Cubase and I think I want to stick with Cubase. But we'll just have to see because my school uses Pro Tools. Shit. I know....

Oh and vista just sounds like a candy coated XP. Whatev.

Kev Sat, 12/30/2006 - 12:30
Music_Junky wrote: Im sorry if i pissed you off ;)
didn't piss me off

it is just the best advice I can give
to let you guys get back to what you really want to do

make and record your music

the computer is just a tool
a compressor or plug is just a tool

your instrument is far more important
and that also includes your voice

Application, OS and Hardware is a combination
a working combination is what you want
upgrades have always had issues and will continue to do so
this hasn't changed ... since the early 70s or 80s when a computer at home became a possibility

the application is your tool and the OS and Harware is only there to allow the application to serve you

find a working application you like ... check the OS and Hardware and then simply ask
" I want one of those "

VonRocK Thu, 02/15/2007 - 21:46
cfaalm wrote: . In theory a Mac is not safer than a Windows PC. It's just that hardly anyone makes the effort to exploit a Mac, but it can be done..

Back up your words. I call BS.

Who, What, When, Where, How?

Do you have ANY evidence to back up your words? Oh? You heard Bill Gates tell you that Macs are getting hacked everyday so it must be true.

You are spreading lies. That makes you a liar.

And I'm calling you on it.

guitarjazzman Fri, 12/15/2006 - 02:14
I am relatively new to the whole recording thing but thought I would share my thoughts.

I am a jazz guitarist and recently revamped my teaching studio to record in (acoustic foam, bass traps, recording gear, etc.) this forum has been amazing in helping me along the way - thanks guys!

I have always used PCs and as I would be using mics for recording was looking for a quiet PC. A friend recommended Carillon PCs and their site had loads of info on how their PCs were custom built to be quiet for recording and the rep assured me I would be able to record in the same room with mics. I then had about a 6 month nightmare of waiting for the PC to be built and various machines being sent back. To cut a long story short, the first one was whisper quiet although kept turning itself off (I was later told that if it was that quiet - the fans probably weren't working properly and that is why it kept cutting out). The second was the noisiest PC I have ever heard! Carillon then agreed to build me a high spec machine for the same price as the more basic machine I had ordered. The rep again assured me that using mics in the same room would be no problem. It was a monster machine although was also extremely noisy. when I set up mics at the far end of the room, the recording meters on Sonar were about a 5th of the way up the scale just with fan and hard drive noise. Also, only half of the inputs worked on the Firepod I had bought.

I sent this 3rd machine back and decided to get a mac. I ordered a 20" screen Imac with Logic 7 and am so glad that I did. The machine is whisper quiet so I can easily use mics in the same room. I didn't even need to install any drivers for the Firepod - just plugged it in and it works perfectly.

I know macs are relatively expensive compared to the same spec PC but surely if noise is a problem, the current macs are far superior. I know you can build a PC with quiet cases, liquid cooling, etc. but for ease - I am so glad I ended up with my Imac.

A bit of a long reply but when I was initially searching for people's views on how quiet macs were, I couldn't find much info. From experience if you use mics in the same room - an Imac is the way to go!

VonRocK Thu, 02/15/2007 - 23:14
Ballz wrote: . A new PC is cheaper to build,

I swear, I turn my head for a second and the same erroneous arguments get made over and over. Did you read the other five pages?

Back up your claim that a PC is cheaper to build. I think what you mean to say is "I can build a CHEAP pc" where cheap is the key word, as opposed to meaning "I can build a computer of the same spec for less money." (Which is technically impossible because you can't buy a copy of OS X and put it on that computer, even if you did find all the hardware significantly cheaper). Don't forget to include your build time, expertise, and the time to shop around for all the bargains in your calculations. Time spent updating drivers, money for antivirus software, down time. You know, Total Cost of Ownership.

I know that most PC users feel that I may be a little over the top with my posts about this topic. I am just doing my part to make sure that wrong information is not spread as truths. Please don't take it personally. People, like me, come here for information and advice. We all hope that the what we get is somewhat true. Not just bunk being passed around as such.

Ballz wrote: . A new PC ... and is totally expandable and upgradable by ME

My good friend and neighbor is using a seven year old G4 that has undergone numerous upgrades and expansions over the years. As much as he wants to buy a Mac Pro, he can't justify the plunge just now, as his machine does everything he needs his DAW to do.

Perhaps you are trying to compare a destop PC to a tablet like computer such as the iMac. Desktops are usually a lot more accomodating for upgrades than laptops or tablets are, regardless of platform. If we are comparing Cheap noisy, bulky frankenPCs to silent, semi portable sexy iMacs, then we should be talking about other factors like noise and size, and not just price.

Ballz wrote: I believe your warranty is void.

I can appreciate your value in a warranty, and your desire to be able to open it up and poke around.

I imagine that if I had just bought a fancy new car and took it back to the dealer with the engine half apart and said the defugkulater was broken, they might be a little reluctant to fix it for free.

Throughout a number of computer builds, I've always taken a value based approach balanced with proven quality hardware and fortunately never needed warranty work (knock on wood). In fact, it's that exact same concept that made me buy a mac instead of building another PC.

But that's not what this is about. It's about making sure that non factual information does not get spread as truth.


VonRocK Fri, 12/22/2006 - 11:28
I hate reading about all the lies that windows users spread about macs.

OSX has a thing called Core Audio. Go research it. That's a BIG difference between the two.

Macs are NOT more expensive than their Windows based counterparts. Do some freaking research and quit listening to liars.

Stealing software is something that THEIVES do. If you want to be a THIEF, then go right ahead and buy a Windows based machine, and STEAL all the software you can. Freaking thieves. Might as well leave your front door open all the time too and invite anyone to come in and take all your shit, seeing as you morally support STEALING.

You CANNOT run OS X on a windows based machine without breaking the law.

This debate about which is better is absurd. It always comes down to a whole bunch of misinformation and some sort of computer pissing contest instead of an intellegent converstation based on FACT about the pros and cons of each operating system.

Good luck with your choice.

when i look at the specs on a windows based comp and a mac you get a hell of a lot less on the mac for the same dollar

Where did you look, and what are you looking at?

Member Tue, 01/30/2007 - 11:40
I have read through this whole forum and have never posted here before but I thought I would bring some insight to some recording things I have learned in regards to PC vs. MAC

I have a PC that I run nuendo 3 on with a firepod. Upon doing soming test recordings to see what the pc could handle, I will let you know that I had 26 tracks running while recording 8 more on my PC simultaneous.....all while being connected to the internet. I built it as a gaming pc and have turned it into an all in one Video editing, DAW, Gamer and 3D rendering hoss... Now this isn't to say a MAC can't do that, but I have never seen any mac system be a gaming, video, DAW, graphic design system. I have recently started trying out the mac osx on a seperate pc, and while I love the way it's set up, I just have a hard time switching when windows is so easy to configure and make run well if you just know what you are doing. I have 0 antivirus software, 0 firewall software or spyware software or any of that nonsense. Use firefox, don't download really small software off of P2P sites and services, and use your brain a little.

Windows can work, and I am sure OSX can work well at the same time, I am just stuck on the versitility of having everything you can think of for the pc available, and not to mention the PC IS less expensive if you build it yourself. I am doing all of that work on a pc that cost me $1300

gdoubleyou Sat, 12/23/2006 - 09:02
Cresta wrote: [quote=VonRocK]OSX has a thing called Core Audio. Go research it. That's a BIG difference between the two.
please would you like to be so gentle to explain me what can be done with Core Audio that cannot be done in a Windows/Direct Audio/ASIO environment?
It more about Midi/ audio being addressed at system level without the need for extra 3rd party software.

Devices that are Firewire/USB complient don't require drivers. I own both platforms, it's just a different solution to the same problem.