dellboy wrote: ↑
Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:50 am
That leaves us with the best operating system,OS X, but its just too expensive.
Ok, my usual disclaimer: I'm the very last person to defend Apple.
But then: As so often, IMO it's a good idea to put things into perspective.
Admittedly, Apples hardware pricing scheme went all the way through the roof during the last, say, decade. With the even of them switching from PPC to Intel, all of a sudden Macs became at least a sort of attractive choice, but not too long after that, they kinda quickly moved back to their elitary approach.
However, things such as the new Mac Mini (which this very thread is about) might change that a bit. Not too sure about the i3 models, but the i5 6-core ones should give you quite a decent performance. Still not exactly great bang for the buck (you should be able to get around 1.5 to 2 x the raw performance numbers from an equally priced Windows machine) but at least there's now things such as user upgradeable RAM and finally a decent amount of connection options.
Then, and for me that's the most important point, we should perhaps have a look at the "overall cost of a productive system". Which most defenitely isn't just the price you pay for a computer. There's also:
- Cost of software.
- Setup time.
- Maintainance time.
- Possible downtime as a result of the latter two.
All of these might be irrelevant if you have your software needs covered already and are experienced in setting up a reliably working OS including backup scenarios and what not. In addition, I think it's safe to assume that most of us have a fair amount of free time that we're not getting paid for - hence we can as well use it for any activity we like, which obviously might include configuring a computer. So, in the end the good old "time is money" thing might not be exactly applicable.
Still, if you're struggling with either of these points, OSX might become attractive. Admittedly, for me it's been my sequencer of choice not being developed for Windows anymore, but with some 10 years into OSX by now, still dealing with Windows here and there (wifes machine, bootcamp, parallels, other VMs and what not), the positive things really sum up to quite a noticeable amount.
Yes, I always managed to keep the various Windows machines I was dealing with more or less troublefree, but I had to take care of virii, malware, system related slowdowns and what not (of course most of these aren't an issue when running a dedicated boot for music, but I'm absolutely no fan of that). None of these have ever been an issue with OSX. I'm running Onyx (freeware cleaning tool for OSX, basically just removing some left-overs to keep your system size small) once half a year or so (sometimes I even just forget about it) and that was it.
As described before, things that would've caused major downtime under Windows (broken fan leading to some months wait time, switching computers, updating OS'es, etc.) never were an issue. Not even once. And well, even if I couldn't earn money during the times I am dealing with computer configuration and maintainance, I could as well do things being more fun in that time. And yes, that *does* sum up over the years. Of course, the net worth of all these possible savings is a very personal thing, so there's no "this is better" verdict.
Ok, then, in sequencing land there's Logic (or even just Garageband). For me, this is sealing the deal. Not necessarily just because I was already familiar with it before switching...
Let's assume you don't have a sequencer yet or could do with pretty much any decent sequencer anyway. Let's also assume you need a nice roundup of plugins (both instruments and FX) and aren't exactly sorted yet. In Apple land, you purchase Logic and are pretty damn well sorted on all fronts. Yes, there's several plugins that are outdated by now and you will possibly need some 3rd party stuff to be completely happy (in my case that's Battery and some guitar amp modeling plugins), but OTOH there's some really excellent, super high quality stuff coming with it - such as Alchemy, most of their other synth offerings, Drum Kit Designer, Space Designer, Phat/Step FX (again adaptions from Camel Audio), Chromaverb, the compressor, etc. Just to name a few. And each of those are packed with additional content (samples and presets), some of it being up to the highest standards. Then there's Drummer - which isn't a plugin but, well, a virtual drummer. If you are like me and got tired of programming drums (I still like it and get along fairly well, but it's always a time consuming thing that I often simply don't want to deal with), Drummer is absolutely worth the price of admission alone.
Now, while it's very unlikely that anyone needs all the content coming with Logic (you're probably not even being able to explore half of it), even if you're only making use of around 10-20% of it, the package has to be considered a steal. I mean, it's €229 - if you went to calculate the value of such a package on the "normal" market, you would end up with something like 2-3k (conservatively calculated).
I'm not sure whether it's the same in video land (FCP seems to be a similarily attractive package but I don't now anything about these things), but what I'm saying is: If you can use the software Apple delivers either for free (after all, Garageband is anything but a toy these days, too - should be pretty good enough for plenty of folks and their sequencing needs) or for cheap, it'll surely make the overall price for a "production computer" look a lot more attractive.
Sorry for this lenghthy post. And I'm still not defending Apple (in fact, IMO their tactics of throwing professional software at you for next to nothing just so they can sell more computers isn't a great thing for the market). But it's very well possible to put things into perspective.