Rain Element or iMac 27? need help!

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by Dudeinthemoon, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Dudeinthemoon

    Dudeinthemoon Active Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    Home Page:
    Hey, my computer is kinda f****d, and I've decided it's time to upgrade to something roughly in the 'latest & greatest' category. I use a lot of CPU heavy stuff like kontakt so I need something with plenty of processor and ram under the hood. I've been a PC user for all of my musical life, but I have plenty of experience with macs, and to be honest I like both pretty much equally. My setup will eventually include a main computer and a laptop for location recording, but for now I'm looking to sort out the main one. I have narrowed my choices down to two competitors that fit my budget and suit my needs:

    Rain Element Core i7, a desktop with a helluva lot of power


    iMac 27 i5, an all in 1 with an epic screen and still plenty of performance


    If it helps, I'm interested in using Logic and Digital Performer if I get the mac, vs Cubase and FL Studio (both of which I'm very experienced with) on the PC.

    I keep hearing stories of how a mac will be more reliable over time, and that they will last for several years more than a PC. Can anybody give me real accounts of this being true or untrue? Also, I often hear complaints that keeping a mac up to date is both expensive and difficult compared to a PC. What do you think? Bear in mind I'm comparing a mac to a custom DAW builder, not a dell refurb lol.

    Any help you can give me would be really truly appreciated, I am pretty darn unsure right now!
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    Either package will do well. Anyone that tells you a Mac doesn't break is not being completely honest. You are correct that upgrading hardware is not always a cheap thing when you're limited by Apple. That said, that's what helps make it a reliable platform that many enjoy. I prefer pc but am not rabid about it either.

    In the end, your choice of Mac vs Windows has more to do with what work flow you prefer. When one makes that sort of investment you want to make sure it has that new car smell when you drive it. Leave the spinning hubcaps for the wankers.

    I will say, that a DAW computer built by a professional company with experience and good support is very very hard to beat. I have heard very good things about the Rain systems in the last year so you chose a quality player in the game. Maybe there is a DAW builder that uses Mac out there. I don't know of one but I'm not all knowing either.

    Not much help probably but with the two options you listed, it's going to be difficult to objectively give you a definitive answer.
  3. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    Oct 31, 2007
    Central Indiana, USA
    To be fair to Apple, you should look at a Mac Pro desktop system for the most horsepower. It's not cheap, but it falls into the 'latest & greatest' category. I agree with Jack -- either OS will work great, it up to you about the workflow.

    I'm an Apple guy. I'm one of those people who never had a problem with my Apple hardware. I know people who had a drive go bad, used cheap RAM and had problems, or had a USB card go bad -- but not the issues of my PC friends.

    For some perspective: I use an Apple Mac G4 desktop system that is 8 years old, a 5 year old iMac G5, and a new MacBook Pro. I retired the desktop system from recording 2 years ago, but it still runs the most recent OS (however, not Snow Leopard). The iMac and MacBook Pro handle the recording now.
  4. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Jan 4, 2007
    I'm a PC guy most definitely. When I built my current one, to get the equivalent hardware in a mac was roughly TWICE the amount of money.

    To be honest though that imac 27i5 DOES look amazing. For $2500 USD it doesn't seem like a bad deal. I have a 22 inch screen and I thought that was big, can't imagine a 27.

    my verdict - PC, upgradeable
    Mac, retire

    I hate the Mac OS though, drives me nuts after being on a PC forever. A PC case will take up considerably more room than that mac all in one thing.

    But if something breaks on the mac, you pretty much have to bring it in. If something breaks on a PC, you can rip it out and replace it yourself for not very much money.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Exactly as TheJackAttack said.

    To add a bit on top....

    I've been on both formats ( mac and PC) and I don't believe the mac high raves anymore. If you are going with logic, go with mac. If you are on a PC based DAW software ( Sonar, Samplitude), PC is your choice.
    I have an Element and an ION. RAIN is really nice.

    I also have an i7 365 PCAudioLabs and it is really nice.

    Pro built DAW computers are the way to go if you have the cash. When you open them up, you go, ooh... nice work! They are quite and smooth running. Both companies have incredible support, however I'm putting PCAudioLabs on my top list because their support wins hands down from my personal experience.

    The aluminum casing Rain talks about is something to consider if you are really using power and need better heat distribution. However, with the upcoming SSD, it may not matter anymore.

    Hope that helps.
  6. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    Choose your app, then the computer to run it on.

    The software I prefer for Audio and video is Mac only.

  7. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    chose the application
    chose the operating system ( the application may do that for you )
    then chose the hardware

    " The software I prefer for Audio and video is Mac only. "
    which audio software
    and I guess you mean FCP
  8. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    Kev is right, deciding comes first. Go with your gut and your experiences. Don't let someone tell you otherwise.

    I did, I'm happy for it.
  9. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Macs don't cost more necessarily. They are stable. Are they infallible? Definitely not. What they do have as an advantage is that they don't have options upon options of hardware that may or may not be compatible. Either your hardware is designed to work with Mac or it isn't.

    I love OSX. It's a great OS. Mind you I also love Windows 7. As much as Win7 is trying to be OSX for PC, it's a great operating system and long needed.

    The thing that would be the deciding factor for me is upgradablity. You can't do much to add to an iMac. You have PCIe slots wth the Rain. The Mac equivalent (Mac Pro Dual Quad) although extremely powerful would be about $1000 more. So, with that in consideration, the Rain is a better buy imho. It's always nice too to have as much of your add ons internal(hard drives, dsp cards). You can't do that with an iMac.

    If I had a choice, I would use both.
  10. TheBeaver

    TheBeaver Guest

    Because macs are now intel based -- The amount of compatible hardware is increasing dramatically. A tip I'd give for anyone getting a mac tower is getting their basic model, then buying your own 'goodies' on top of that. It takes the same hard drives (mostly, to the point that you aren't limited), memory, and now video cards... This can save a ton of money, as you don't need to buy everything from them at the time of purchase, you can save a ton of money by supplementing the base system with aftermarket "pc" parts.

    This is something many people don't realize. Of course an iMac isn't eligible for this, as it's basically a laptop built into a nice ldc screen.

    I think you might be happier with pc though, since you're more familiar with it, and the software inside of it. That's just my opinion though. I might be the only mac guy to make that suggestion.. lol
  11. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Sure, but only if you are buying a Mac Pro. There is only so much you can add to an iMac/Mac Mini. Hard Drive, RAM and that's it. You can't add a video card or any pci cards. Unfortunately the cpu speed also goes up with the hardware so if you want the extra cpu power you have to get the one with a larger hard drive and RAM on the "base" model. And, if you do get a Mac Pro, the "base" model is upwards of $3000. I'm not slaggin' Mac. That's just the way it is with them.

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