MAC vs Windows for production

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
KVRist
39 posts since 19 Jun, 2019

Post Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:32 pm

Bulbizarre wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:01 am
All in the title ! Anyone using MAC here ? How do you feel about a switch from Windows to MAC ? I heard it's more practical to manage projects and tidy things up on MAC.
Also I find it interesting to have a computer dedicated to production in order to avoid distraction (which I'm terrible at), for some random reason it looks like so many people use a MAC for this. I'm a Live user.
Objectively, out of the box MacOS is better for music production. To get approximately the same experience on Windows you need to buy a dedicated sound card and install third party ASIO drivers and third party MIDI drivers. And even then, it's still not as good in every aspect, but it can be as good, or even better, for your use case.
But Windows has its own objective advantages too. Better backwards compatibility, a ton of software of all kinds, lots of hardware choices...

So it's not easy to say which is better overall, they each have strengths and weaknesses.
For someone who's not computer savvy and just wants to make music and not deal with any technical stuff, I'll recommend Mac any day.
If OTOH you don't mind learning to tinker with your computer a little bit, if you like the extra flexibility and more hardware and software choices, use Windows.

FapFilter wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:53 pm
How forced are these?
Not forced at all, if you turn them off. The only difference is that in Windows 10 the switch to disable them is more hidden than it was in previous versions.
There are many things to complain about with Windows 10 (ads, UI...), but forced updates is not one of them. But again, it requires the user to know how to change a setting or two and to check for updates manually when needed... which goes back to my previous point about having to be a bit more tech savvy to manage Windows.

KVRAF
3938 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:53 am

Windows 10 is garbage for audio in my experience, but Win7 is very good.
Macs are fine until they break, then they're horrible to repair.

KVRian
889 posts since 29 Oct, 2015 from Jupiter 8

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:27 am

There are many things to complain about with Windows 10 (ads, UI...),
ads? At work, where we use Win 10 i don't get any?

But it's good to know that you could also disable the automatic updates if you wanted to

Of course i can not speak about anything else than GUI between Win 7 and 10, but with 10 i “only“ dislike the absence of the start button with all of it's functionality.
The tiles instead are not too horrible, but not a great replacement
There's no Logic to Windows

KVRian
889 posts since 29 Oct, 2015 from Jupiter 8

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 2:35 am

200MB is like one minute on 4G. Tether your computer to your phone, set off the updates, go and make coffee and when you come back, it will be done.
I actually tether my computer (and my tablet) to my phone, but my flat rate is gone super fast, so i'm stuck with ISDN speed thingy for like 29.5 days a month (sorry, always forget how these nets are called).
I think it's about theoretically 56kB/s download speed under the best conditions.

It's not too bad though, because if i wanted to, i could use open hot spots in my area, or visit friends, which i do when i want updates, or download new stuff.
Or i could make a new contract for home use, but i actually don't mind this situation too much. For text stuff like forums, news and texting with friends, this speed is ok (as long as they don't send me any videos, but they know my situation)
The rest is not too essential for me anyway
There's no Logic to Windows

User avatar
KVRAF
5489 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:07 am

I have crashes from time to time with Windows 10. I don't even use an external GPU or other special expansion cards. Yes, these are certainly driver problems, but a "blue screen" is always a problem. That's why I don't think Windows and Mac are so different in terms of stability (maybe the Mac is a bit more stable?).
In terms of hardware, it will certainly be more interesting, especially with Apple's new CPUs. I think that in terms of price/performance, a Mac Mini M1, for example, can hardly be beaten. The computers are pretty fast, even for video editing, to keep up with a Windows PC you need pretty up-to-date hardware, including the currently quite expensive graphics cards.

I've been using Windows PCs for 30 years, since Windows 3.11. But I'm no longer sure whether a Mac is the better system for music (and video).

User avatar
KVRAF
9184 posts since 3 Feb, 2003 from Finland, Espoo

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:43 am

FapFilter wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:53 pm
Not forced at all, if you turn them off. The only difference is that in Windows 10 the switch to disable them is more hidden than it was in previous versions.
There are many things to complain about with Windows 10 (ads, UI...), but forced updates is not one of them. But again, it requires the user to know how to change a setting or two and to check for updates manually when needed... which goes back to my previous point about having to be a bit more tech savvy to manage Windows.
Is this truly true now? Have Microsoft changed the policy?

It used to be literally forced. You could delay updates, how long is depending on what windows version you have paid for. With enterprise you can delay it up to a year I think.. but for basic home versions it's only temporary, like a few weeks or so.

Has this changed?

As for how "random" the updates are. My wife's work laptop is running Windows 10. Every once in a while it absolutely refuses to turn on before it has updated the computer.. and this is without her having consented to downloading any updates (I've turned off the automatic updating), but it still does it. Sometimes taking up to 10 minutes to install the update before she can use the computer. Naturally this can happen at a really bad time.

I even tried setting the timings so that IF this happens, it should only happen at night. Yeah.. that function ain't working correctly at all.

So yeah, Windows 10 in my experience is a complete PITA and I've been avoiding it like the plague. My early experiences with it may however have corrupted my perspective on the thing. Perhaps things have changed?
"Wisdom is wisdom, regardless of the idiot who said it." -an idiot

KVRian
889 posts since 29 Oct, 2015 from Jupiter 8

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:48 am

hey, i didn't write that!
(copyright infringements and all ;) )
There's no Logic to Windows

KVRAF
9024 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:51 am

In my experience, once you've got a stable Windows 10 install, you're absolutely fine just letting it do it's own thing with updates. It doesn't install updates in the middle of working (I never had this happen and was on 10 since day 1) and if you just "Update and Shut Down" when you see the update has been downloaded, you're fine. Then again, I'm not one of those monsters that tries to never shut their PC down. Maybe it gets more aggressive if you're leaving your PC on for weeks at a time.

In my experience, the more you try to bend software into doing something it doesn't want you to, you're just creating a headache for yourself somewhere else and increasing the likelihood of errors or issues. I'd advise anyone on Windows to just let it do it's thing regarding updates. It's not anywhere near as intrusive as people make it out be. YMMV.

User avatar
KVRAF
7262 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:08 am

BONES wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:32 pm
Anti-virus software is just shit. All of it.
Agreed!

User avatar
KVRian
921 posts since 6 Jun, 2016 from San Marcos, Texas

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:52 pm

what-if-viruses.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

KVRist
48 posts since 11 Feb, 2005

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 1:13 pm

I've used a Mac for music production since the 90's and I prefer it MAINLY because I was a Opcode Vision/Digital Performer user and switched to Logic around 2000.I also REALLY don't like the Windows file system. F*ck that nerd sh*t :lol: (When I want the nerd sh*t I turn it to eleven and f*ck around w/ linux on an old MacBook Pro.) If you have the opportunity to try your preferred software on both platforms it would be best to use the platform it is most efficient on. The only real difference these days is the new Apple M1 architecture. It's still pretty early and not every developer has gone silicon native but that thing is deceptively powerful. Like, ridiculously powerful for what it is. I assume Microsoft/intel/amd will have a competitor for Apple at some point but who knows. If you just muck around with music software but are a serious gamer, no question it's got to be Windows. If you want logic X you don't have a choice besides Apple.

User avatar
GRRRRRRR!
12577 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Thu Sep 16, 2021 5:54 pm

Logga wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:32 pm
Objectively, out of the box MacOS is better for music production. To get approximately the same experience on Windows you need to buy a dedicated sound card and install third party ASIO drivers and third party MIDI drivers.
Maybe 10 years ago but these days WASAPI works just as well as ASIO and MIDI has always just worked.
FapFilter wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:53 pm
How forced are these?
Not forced at all, if you turn them off. The only difference is that in Windows 10 the switch to disable them is more hidden than it was in previous versions.[/quote]
But why would you bother when updates just happen without causing any disruption whatsoever? Honestly, it makes about as much sense as complaining that your computer detects your MIDI controller when you turn it on or automatically connects to your wi-fi.
4damind wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:07 am
I have crashes from time to time with Windows 10. I don't even use an external GPU or other special expansion cards. Yes, these are certainly driver problems, but a "blue screen" is always a problem.
As I said yesterday, the last blue screen I had was in 2003. If you have a problem it is probably in your set-up/system, not in Windows.
I think that in terms of price/performance, a Mac Mini M1, for example, can hardly be beaten.
I reckon it can be easily beaten. I could buy a whole Core i7 laptop for similar money. If all I wanted was a desktop, I'd get something way better for the same money. In fact, it took me all of two minutes on line to find an HP 8 core Core i7 desktop machine with 512GB of SSD storage and 16Gb of RAM for Au$200 less than a Mac Mini with similar specs. An 8 core desktop Core i7 is going to run rings around an M1. All the benchmarks you see are comparing it to laptop processors.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10(64), Evo8 | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Iron 2 | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

KVRist
163 posts since 24 Oct, 2006

Post Sun Sep 19, 2021 11:53 am

I prefer Macs for reasons that aren't specifically related to production. They are just much higher quality machines.

PC vendors churn out tonnes of different models and spend barely any time designing them well. In comparison, Apple only have a handful of different products and they put a lot more effort into how they are made. For example, temperature management is one thing that PC vendors consistently screw up. They often use the absolute cheapest and worst cooling system possible, which causes the CPU to get excessively hot and reduces its performance. I've seen many YouTube videos where prebuilt PCs are only getting 50-75% of the performance that they are supposed to.

PC vendors also do not stand by their products. As soon as they stop selling a product, they stop providing firmware updates. In comparison, Apple continue to provide firmware updates many years after a product is no longer sold. Hardware vulnerabilities are more common than ever and Intel release microcode updates all the time, but very few PCs ever get any of those updates. If you build a PC yourself, it is usually even worse. Motherboard companies do not give a shit about any of this, even while their products are still on the market. That is something I will never accept, so PCs just aren't an option for me.

One particularly prominent issue for music production is that many PC laptops use complete dog shit power supplies that cause ground noise problems. Apple computers never have that issue.
Last edited by echosystm on Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

KVRAF
29978 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sun Sep 19, 2021 11:59 am

lunardigs wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 5:58 pm
comuter-updates_meme.png
Hehe, very good. :)
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

KVRAF
29978 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Sun Sep 19, 2021 12:02 pm

4damind wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 3:07 am
I have crashes from time to time with Windows 10. I don't even use an external GPU or other special expansion cards. Yes, these are certainly driver problems, but a "blue screen" is always a problem. That's why I don't think Windows and Mac are so different in terms of stability (maybe the Mac is a bit more stable?).
In terms of hardware, it will certainly be more interesting, especially with Apple's new CPUs. I think that in terms of price/performance, a Mac Mini M1, for example, can hardly be beaten. The computers are pretty fast, even for video editing, to keep up with a Windows PC you need pretty up-to-date hardware, including the currently quite expensive graphics cards.

I've been using Windows PCs for 30 years, since Windows 3.11. But I'm no longer sure whether a Mac is the better system for music (and video).
TBH, after informing myself a bit about the performance of the M1 (was totally wrong about it... that's why you shouldn't just read stuff in one place, but take a look elsewhere as well), I must say that I'm also quite impressed by what Apple engineered there. Especially considering that you get the smallest Mac Mini with M1 for about 680 € already on Amazon...

Not that they still don't totally rip you off for additional 256 GB SSD space though. Apple stays Apple.

ATM, Microsoft is creating a bit of a mess with the system requirements, and the setup of standard programs for file types in Windows 11, that's why I expect at least 10% of the market share going to Apple when they established Windows 11, and they don't change anything about the system requirements and some other things in Windows 11 (the start menu seems to be very primitive as well...). (Wouldn't have thought I ever say that, BTW, but, Microsoft's CEO seem to be really smoking some weird stuff as of late.) They still have the bonus, for me, though, about the backwards compatibility, and wide availability of apps and games though. If you don't care about that, and you're an audio guy, I don't see any issues in switching to Mac. Actually, if Microsoft piss me off too much with Windows 11, I have a lot of time of consideration until 2025 as well... the synthetic and needless system requirements, the default application setup, and the start menu surely piss me off quite a bit.
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

Return to “Computer Setup and System Configuration”