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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?

Comments

anonymous 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).

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.

Peace..............Scoobie

anonymous Mon, 12/04/2006 - 16:06
You may want to know that you can run Win Xp on a Mac. Mac's new OS comes with an application that allows you to dual-boot (i.e. choose whether you want to boot up in the MAC OS(Tiger) or windows xp. If you're looking at buying a new mac, you'll be able to run xp on it.

http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/
The link will show you everything you need to know on that front

There is a way however, that you can get the MAC OS to run on a pc. The nice people at these links will show you how.

http://www.xplodenet.com/newsite/
http://www.uneasysilence.com/os-x-proven-hacked-and-running-on-an-ordinary-pc/
http://www.osx86project.org/

I hope this helps with your decision, whichever way you go.

Mason

hueseph Mon, 12/04/2006 - 21:08
Randyman... wrote: Wow. OS-x on a PC. I might have to try that for kicks and grins :)

:cool:

Unfortunately a pc is hardly as capable of running OSX as a Mac is of running XP. That's just the way it is.

Regardless of the system you decide to get, maintenance is the key. Keep track of your files, do regular back ups and don't use crack.

The one thing Mac has over PC is the need, or lack thereof, for antivirus software. In fact most of the antivirus software out for Mac is in order to prevent your clients and friends from getting viruses which have absolutely no effect to your computer but may destroy a PC.

anonymous 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.
NOT ONLY THAT,
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.

-aclane
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.

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!

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?

8)

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?

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.

http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/coreaudio/

8)

RemyRAD Sat, 12/23/2006 - 09:44
Everybody is really talking about 2 entirely different operating systems.

The Bill Gates Windows, is Windows. The wonder of Windows! I.e., will it work the same way tomorrow as it did today? Maybe, if you're lucky. Most of the time I'm lucky.

OS X is UNIX and is based on a more stable scientific operating system developed by IBM many years ago. Think about that for a moment.

Apples now use Intel....

Isn't that sort of like the Jews joining the Nazis to defeat the French? Or is that too bullish?
Ms. Remy Ann David

Scoobie Sat, 12/23/2006 - 20:50
I never have understood what the big deal was about , MAC / PC. I have seen Mac DAW's that was bad ass, PC DAW's that was too. I use both all the time. The computer I'm useing right now is a Mac. They both can get the job done.

I guess it all depends on what software you want to use, Hell I don't know. Oh yea, Apple useing windows, what is that saying......Thats something to think about.

Peace.............Scoobie

VonRocK Sun, 12/24/2006 - 09:02
Scoobie wrote: Apple useing windows, what is that saying......Thats something to think about.


That's saying that if you absolutely must use a windows only program, you can. Apple isnt useing windows. It allows a user to run a windows operating system within the mac operating system, or you can run windows all by itself on your mac hardware.

It is a marketing strategy aimed at people who don't want to or can't let go of some peice of windows only software.

dementedchord Sun, 12/24/2006 - 14:22
VonRocK wrote: [quote=Scoobie] Apple useing windows, what is that saying......Thats something to think about.


That's saying that if you absolutely must use a windows only program, you can. Apple isnt useing windows. It allows a user to run a windows operating system within the mac operating system, or you can run windows all by itself on your mac hardware.

It is a marketing strategy aimed at people who don't want to or can't let go of some peice of windows only software.
no it's an admission that even they have had to move to intel chips and away from motorola... and as such there code is not all that different from micros softs.... hence the idea of the jews (poor little apple) joining the nazi's (big bad intel which really was the basis of the compatability wars) against the french (microsoft.. who really cares about the french it's just an os)

bowing east (from st louis) "we are unworthy...we are unworthy..."

hueseph Sun, 12/24/2006 - 17:37
dementedchord wrote: [quote=VonRocK][quote=Scoobie] Apple useing windows, what is that saying......Thats something to think about.


That's saying that if you absolutely must use a windows only program, you can. Apple isnt useing windows. It allows a user to run a windows operating system within the mac operating system, or you can run windows all by itself on your mac hardware.

It is a marketing strategy aimed at people who don't want to or can't let go of some peice of windows only software.
no it's an admission that even they have had to move to intel chips and away from motorola... and as such there code is not all that different from micros softs.... hence the idea of the jews (poor little apple) joining the nazi's (big bad intel which really was the basis of the compatability wars) against the french (microsoft.. who really cares about the french it's just an os)

bowing east (from st louis) "we are unworthy...we are unworthy..."

Whoa! Stop right there. Mac's have been able to run Windows on their machines for a long, long time now. Well before the advent of OS X and at least as far back as Mac OS 8. This isn't something new.

It has only been just recently that any Windows machine has been even remotely capable of running Mac OS and at that, very poorly.

The only reason that Mac has turned to Intel as a chip supplier is that IBM could not deliver the speed that Intel was offering. Was this some form of blasphemy? No. It was logical and economically sensible. Why leave your self in the lurch to just to maintain a "principle"? Of course a lot of people were sad to see Mac going from a RISC based processor to a "SISC" (This is not an actual term but implies a software based instruction).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RISC

RISC processors make more sense. They do. That's why Apple insisted that they were more efficient chips and thus technically could be as fast as higher rated Intel chips. This is true. Unfortunately with the speeds that Intel has been acheiving and with the inability of IBM/MOTOROLLA to deal with heat problems in creating a faster RISC chip, efficiency became less important. The choice was obvious. Sacrifice RISC for a faster processor but make up for it by using a smarter OS.

They bit the bullet. Admitted defeat in the procesor department and have grown in leaps and strides because of it.

When will you ever see Microslop admit to their mistakes? Never. Wouldn't it be great if MS just said "Hey! Our OS has too many damn holes in it for pirates and hackers. Lets start from the bottom and build up!" You'll never see it happen. Going to the NT kernel was a good move but not far enough.

As far as OSX being similar to Windows: That's just a rediculous statement. It's like saying that Linux is similar to Windows. OSX-Unix. Windows - DOS. Not the same in any way.

dementedchord Mon, 12/25/2006 - 15:49
nd why/when did apple decide to limit their os by using a RISC??? why would you??? it's been awhile since tech school but i was given the impression the diff was more at the machine language level not the os... and the primary reason to go to a reduced instruction set was for speciallized processes not generalized.... and who said osx was similar to windows??? although it is more now... since they are code compatable at the machine language level... have to be to use the same chips... and since ms gave up the whole dos shell shit long ago....

MadMax Mon, 12/25/2006 - 20:29
Let's get a few little items cleared up... or at least as I've known and experienced them since being in this whole Mac v PC BS - before either company existed...

Until the advent of the AGP card, the video traversed the entire databus along with all processor info. That gave the Motorola and IBM chips that Apple requested/spec's the speed and processing power advantage... like up to 3.5x the speed. That's because the video was pushed onto it's own bus before it hit the CPU... RISC processing.

IBM smoked the Intel chipset so bad that there was no way they could offer it to apple and be competitive. Why... because while Motorola was advancing the DSP/RISC technology, the Fishkill folks at IBM were perfecting it.

The along came AGP and actually resembled the Apple video bus close enough, that the core kernal could be run on the Intel chipset.... can you say RISC? (I knew you could...)

Rumor has it that IBM's R&D within the CPU group, just wasn't making anymore inroads in the speed department much beyond 6.0GHz. In the meantime, Intel had broken the 3 micron junction barrier and was able to lace two CPU's in the same substrate as a single chip... "Dual Core"...

With the combination of dual core technology and the AGP, it just made sense for apple to bloat the OS by 15% and transition to the Intel chipset... besides, Gates and Co had started sleeping with Intel enemy... AMD.

This evidently pissed off a few folks at Intel and that finalized their decision to produce chips to Apple's spec.

So which one is "better"? meh... I prefer Apple because of the stability of the UNIX kernal and the Windoze OS just won't get out of the way I prefer to work... which is usually with 5-9 apps running at the same time.

As far as a one trick pony box that's JUST going to run one application... meh... whichever one you get the best value on... otherwise for general and business computing, Apples are 20-27.5% cheaper in the long haul... I can show you numbers if you care...

ouzo77 Tue, 12/26/2006 - 02:37
nice discussion.
I work with windows/dos based pc's for 12 years now. I've also worked with macs. I never really liked them. the reason was that being used to windows I couldn't work as fast on mac os/osx because I didn't know it so well.
nevertheless, my next machine will be a mac, because I work with logic, which isn't continued for windows (damn you, emagic) and want to get the new one. after some researching I started liking the macs more. they're not that expensive as many think, they are silent, the hardware/case design is very convenient, it works with windows and it looks cool. and it runs logic, which really is the reason I will buy a mac.
I would continue working with pc's if it wasn't for logic, but only because I'm used to them. that would be the only reason for me to stick with a pc.

what i'm trying to say is, this whole pc vs. mac situation is a result of the averseness to the unknown and people talking half-truths. though I know windows by heart and know what i have to do when there's any problem i'm willing to learn osx because it runs the software i like. that should be the only, or at least the main criteria for choosing a system.

hope this makes some sense, it's quite early in the morning...

VonRocK Tue, 12/26/2006 - 09:47
ouzo77 wrote: nice discussion.
after some researching I started liking the macs more. they're not that expensive as many think, they are silent, the hardware/case design is very convenient, it works with windows and it looks cool. and it runs logic, which really is the reason I will buy a mac.
I would continue working with pc's if it wasn't for logic, but only because I'm used to them. that would be the only reason for me to stick with a pc.


After you get your new mac and use it for a few months, come back to this thread and tell us all about how much you love it.

:D

Scoobie Tue, 12/26/2006 - 12:32
I usally stay away from a discussion like this, but. I disagree with alot that has been said in this discussion. I still think the only reason for going with a PC or a Mac , is software choice. I don't think one is better than the other one, Not anymore.

Ten years ago, I might have said Mac was better for audio work. I would have said they were better for video work, thats for sure. But that's just not true anymore.

Most, but not all the big studio's here in Nashville use Mac with ProTools, Let me say it again, Pro Tools not PTLE. There is a big difference. But I know frist hand that some have problems all the time with there Mac's. And have even switched over to PC and use something besides ProTools.
The major studio's have both, PC and Mac. Like I said ,Ten years ago it was a different story.

I'm still not saying one is better than the other. I use a PC with Samp and Sonar. But use another Studio all the time with ProTools. Love'em both, just my 2cents.


Peace...........Scoobie

ouzo77 Wed, 12/27/2006 - 01:30
Cresta wrote: you may switch to Cubase, and use the presets for Logic keyboard shortcuts :D

I've tried cubase and didn't like it. I had huge problems with latency (it wouldn't work under 512 samples, logic works with 128 without any glitches) and the whole structure and workflow isn't "logic"al to me. changing keyboard shortcuts wouldn't help at all.
but this isn't "cubase vs. logic" it's "pc vs. mac".

i totally agree with scoobie. maybe 5 or ten years ago mac's had been better for audio, video and graphics, but nowadays it's only about what you prefer.

VonRocK Wed, 12/27/2006 - 08:23
So the general feeling seems to be shifting towards "they are both good", however, one of them has over 114,000 known viruses and trojans, and the other one has ZERO viruses and trojans.

That alone makes one better than the other.

It's an absurd argument to state that a PC should not be hooked up to the internet if it's a DAW. How do you do windows updates? Or keep your virus software up to date, let alone your audio software? You can catch viruses from removable media, such as a CD as well. You obviously can also get your updates on CD also. That's not too much of a pain in the ass if you have two computers. Make sure you have two computers. One for your DAW, and one to go on the internet and get updates for your DAW. Yikes.

Granted, a large proffesional studio is not going to use their DAWs for anything else but recording, but most people coming here are amateur and semi proffesionals. By recommending a windows based PC to them, you should be obliged to mention the annual fees involved with good antivirus software. Don't forget about the cost in time of learning and implementing the proper use of this software and safe internet practices, and the cost in time of applying these principles on a DAILY basis.

Saying that Windows based PC's and Apple Macs are the pretty much the same is another one of those lies.

Obviously, both are more than capable of getting the job done. Just one of them is going to make life a lot easier for you.

Music_Junky Thu, 12/28/2006 - 05:49
Well yes windows has lots of viruses, is it because of poor programing or because it's the os with the most users?
When apple gets more popular and it will, then people who write viruses will become more intrested in writing viruses for apple thats just how it goes.

I am a pc user and always have been but my next cpu will be a mac. I like the idea to be able to run both osx and windows on the same machine with out some virtual machine crap.

Now i've got dell latitude laptop with 1.7 ghz cpu solocore and it is kicking my friends powerbook G4's ass in running pro tools LE.

mac vs pc it just depents on what you want to do. there are good pc's out there and there are poor the same goes for the mac i think, but what do i know? :)
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