Macbook M1 vs Intel Desktop

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
KVRAF
2750 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 4:02 pm

BONES wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 2:23 pm
If you are only doing audio, you don't need all that performance. Just look at what these guys are using now. But if you want a well-balanced system you can use for a variety of tasks, an Intel or AMD system is going to be a better option at this point.
I don't, you are right, actually I can't hit the limit on current i7 3770 rig, also don't really want to spend money on another machine soon, but whatever I get next will be more than enough for my humble audio needs, leaning heavily to AMD Ryzen 5 5600X, that thing will get me another 10 years of happy camping.

KVRAF
2275 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 5:10 pm

Passing Bye wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 3:40 pm
Scotty wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 2:17 pm
Not sure where you are seeing m1 beating the 5950x in single core.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/AM ... 3862vs4104

Do you know anything about whole 5600X vs 5900x vs 5950X deal, can one expect same low latency performance? There was some low latency bottleneck on Zen 2, is this solved for all Zen 3's, seems like people that report things all got 5950X, it's bloody overkill for me, 5600X is actually amazing if it shares same low latency performance.
Yes I can put you in touch with a friend and we did our builds at the same time. He went with the 5800x and I went with the 5950x. He is using Presonus thunderbolt interface. I'll send you a pm with his email and let him know you have questions. We are using identical ram with the same tunings and we are allowing them to float and not locking all of the cores. We aren't using the same interfaces but the low latency performance we are both getting is extremely impressive. He is tuning his for noise considerations and setting fan curves now as his computer is in the studio with him. Noise isn't an issue for me as my computer lives in another room. Any differences in low latency performance would just come down to silicon lottery and there is enough power for days for both of us. He didn't have the budget I had and he does some gaming so he put more money into a graphics card. Otherwise we talked damned near every other day as we were both looking at the 3900x series when covid hit so we delayed and then both went to the 5000 series for a nice 15 to 20% IPC gain. We both scoured the forums for anything we could learn regarding memory performance sweet spots, motherboards that would work with Universal Audio PCIe cards as I have a few, PCI lanes etc etc. We kept coming back to posts from Pictus who so generously shared his expertise across a variety of forums but we watched a ton of videos. His name is Michael and he is from the Netherlands. A very nice guy. I'll connect with him first then send you a pm with his email address. I leaned into his knowledge base and we compared notes. He would be an excellent resource for you. The very best we could determine was the architecture was improved to the point that the latency issues that some people were experiencing with the earlier Ryzens was a non issue across the 5000 series and low latency performance was on par with the best of intel and then got more efficient at higher latencies. Memory selection is important. This is typically how I work. I record at low latency and then increase my audio buffers as my mix gets deeper and more complex and then bounce to audio when my CPU resources are spent. ( I was coming from an Intel 3930k Intel which is still an impressive performer) I will be doing a lot less of that now. These things are beasts. He is similarly impressed with his rig.
Last edited by Scotty on Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:58 am, edited 6 times in total.

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GRRRRRRR!
12339 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 5:15 pm

4damind wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 3:01 pm
Yes, that is certainly true. Dell's G7 laptops could not do that much worse in terms of overall performance. The price is similar to a Macbook Pro, but with more memory and a larger screen...
The listed price might be similar but if you can't get it at least 20% cheaper than list, you're not trying. I have a G7 - it's list price was Au$2799 and I got it for Au$1690 when Dell was having a sale. And with a Dell gaming laptop, you can upgrade it yourself without voiding the warranty. I got mine with the minimum spec and upgraded both the RAM and storage for a lot less than Dell would have charged me.

I always look for a deal and pounce when I see what I want for a good price. That's why I bought a Zenbook Duo last week, even though I wasn't actually in the market for a new laptop. I got one that is less than a year old for 40% of the price they are in the shops - Au$1040 v Au$2499. If you just go out and buy what you want when you decide you want it, you'll always end up paying more than you need to. When I bought the G7, I had actually been looking at an Asus ROG Strix II but the Dell offered a newer processor for the same money so I grabbed that instead. It's all about the deal for me.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10, UR44C | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

KVRAF
2750 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 7:54 pm

Scotty wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 5:10 pm
The very best we could determine was the architecture was improved to the point that the latency issues that some people were experiencing with the earlier Ryzens was a non issue across the 5000 series and low latency performance was on par with the best of intel and then got more efficient at higher latencies.
Awesome, that's all I wanted to hear! :hug:

Also thanks from bottom of my heart for all the assistance and help you want to provide and provided, but you gave me enough info and really don't want to take any of your time further, your friends either, at least at this point, maybe down the line when actual purchase approaches, until than... :hug:

KVRAF
4161 posts since 8 Mar, 2005

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:13 pm

BONES wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 2:01 pm
keyman_sam wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 7:58 am
The value proposition for PCs dropped when M1 got released. You'll now be overpaying for a PC than if you went with the cheapest Mac mini.
No way. I just did a price comparison and for the price of a Mac Mini with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, I can get an HP desktop with Core i9, which will easily outperform an M1. Walk into a big box store and you'll likely get it 20% cheaper than HP's own price. Build your own, or get a local computer vendor to do it for you, and you'll get the same for half the price.
Like I said, it's the overall value proposition. At that price the M1 is still an incredible well valued machine. The HP is probably gonna be loud and warm up your room while it's at it.
YMMV.

KVRAF
2275 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:02 pm

Passing Bye wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 7:54 pm
Scotty wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 5:10 pm
The very best we could determine was the architecture was improved to the point that the latency issues that some people were experiencing with the earlier Ryzens was a non issue across the 5000 series and low latency performance was on par with the best of intel and then got more efficient at higher latencies.
Awesome, that's all I wanted to hear! :hug:

Also thanks from bottom of my heart for all the assistance and help you want to provide and provided, but you gave me enough info and really don't want to take any of your time further, your friends either, at least at this point, maybe down the line when actual purchase approaches, until than... :hug:
Please hit me up any time. I have a google sheet with details from both of our builds I'd be happy to share it with you. Both were informed by Pictus. He responded directly to us on separate occasions. The knowledge we obtained was free but it was scattered across several forums and numerous youtuber videos. I'd be happy to share it and then ask Pictus to see if he has more current advice or even better part picks in mind. He is active on KVR and very generous of spirit. Our builds are about 5 weeks old.

KVRAF
2750 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:09 pm

Yeah, Pictus is a legend! 8)

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GRRRRRRR!
12339 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:24 pm

keyman_sam wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:13 pm
Like I said, it's the overall value proposition. At that price the M1 is still an incredible well valued machine.
For a Mac.
The HP is probably gonna be loud and warm up your room while it's at it. YMMV.
So what? Those things are irrelevant. No computer is "loud". It's absurd and a little bit desperate to suggest otherwise. The hiss I get from my monitors, just by having hardware synths plugged in, easily drowns out the fans on my laptop and I rarely hear either over the TV anyway.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10, UR44C | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Thorn, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

KVRAF
2275 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Post Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:52 am

BONES wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:24 pm
keyman_sam wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:13 pm
Like I said, it's the overall value proposition. At that price the M1 is still an incredible well valued machine.
For a Mac.
The HP is probably gonna be loud and warm up your room while it's at it. YMMV.
So what? Those things are irrelevant. No computer is "loud". It's absurd and a little bit desperate to suggest otherwise. The hiss I get from my monitors, just by having hardware synths plugged in, easily drowns out the fans on my laptop and I rarely hear either over the TV anyway.
If you have a small room and the computer has to live in that space with your condenser mics for vocals and guitars and other acoustic instruments that fan whine can ruin recordings. You can purchase solutions suchs as very quiet cases with rubber gaskets on the seals and on any part that vibrates, use low RPM high volume quiet fans or upgrade to Noctua fans to get the noise level down to below ambient noise levels in your studio. A quiet PC is a the goal of many studio owners. I gave up on it and built a room next to my studio to hold my PC. Others don't have the choice. It is a very common problem. I recently tracked delicate finger picked acoustic guitar here with 4 mic sources. Fan noise even from my Fractal 7 case with low noise fans would have most definitely caused issues in my smallish main room if it lived in the space with my preamps and mics. I could solve those issues to an acceptable degree with Izotope RX tools but I'd prefer not to have to deal with it in post. People are tweaking fan response curves to get the noise levels down on their Ryzen builds for this very reason. CPU noise from the cooler, fans, and power supply is a real issue if you track quiet sources with multiple mics in a small space. Heat is also a factor. If you don't have an air conditioned room these things are like little space heaters. There are real advantages to the m1 from both a noise and heat perspective. I wouldn't dismiss it unless for your specific use case scenario but you are a mature adult and you know that the world doesn't always conform to your way of working.

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KVRAF
8049 posts since 22 Sep, 2008 from Windsor. UK

Post Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:55 am

I've run both Mac and PC for years (work related needs) and there's no inherent benefit going one way or the other until you go mobile, in which case a Macbook is the only option unless you want to bring and audio interface with you too. By the time you've specced a laptop to perform well for audio, you're at Macbook money anyway.

I ran a previous gen 6-core i7 Mac Mini which was more than enough for my needs (100 channels, no problems) and it's safe to assume that the newer M1's will perform at least as well, if not better.

Having listened to your music over the years, I can't imagine you're a massive 'power user'? But it's always good to have performance in reserve, so perhaps wait for the next gen M2 Macs if you can? They're likely to still be on a par pricewise with a good quality PC build anyway.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

5447 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:38 am

tehlord wrote:
Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:55 am
I've run both Mac and PC for years (work related needs) and there's no inherent benefit going one way or the other until you go mobile, in which case a Macbook is the only option unless you want to bring and audio interface with you too. By the time you've specced a laptop to perform well for audio, you're at Macbook money anyway.

I ran a previous gen 6-core i7 Mac Mini which was more than enough for my needs (100 channels, no problems) and it's safe to assume that the newer M1's will perform at least as well, if not better.

Having listened to your music over the years, I can't imagine you're a massive 'power user'? But it's always good to have performance in reserve, so perhaps wait for the next gen M2 Macs if you can? They're likely to still be on a par pricewise with a good quality PC build anyway.
Yes, it's not very urgent with new hardware and actually I don't need a new system, but it's too old for Windows 11 and that's why I have to think about the direction it's going in.
Since I do video editing from time to time, a more performant system would be better. As far as I can see, even a Mac Mini M1 would be very good for this (or just the successor with the M2). A current AMD system would also be very good, but it's a bit more difficult to find the right CPU and all the necessary components.
A lot has happened recently: Windows 11 requires current hardware with TPM support. Apple has the very good ARM CPUs and AMD is back again ;) I think many will consider what they will do in the next 1-2 years in terms of hardware.
For me is new: I was never an Apple fan! For over 30 years I was always a PC user. Therefore I would be more interested in a PC with a current AMD CPU. But in the future I will also need to be mobile... so Apple seems to be the best solution for studio and mobile.

KVRAF
29275 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:46 am

Windows 10 is EOL in 2025, so, you have plenty time. ;)
Plugins and a DAW. On an operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

5447 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:49 am

If Microsoft doesn't come up with something different ;) Until then, it's time to think about a hardware update anyway. I'm surprised that the systems are now usable for so long. My i7 is from 2013 and if I'm honest I wouldn't need a newer CPU, at most a decent GPU :hihi:

KVRAF
6400 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Down the Withywindle

Post Mon Jul 26, 2021 5:00 am

My biased answer is an M1 Mini w/16gb RAM. I've bought 2 Minis since January, one for my wife (basic model) and one for me (16gb RAM/1tb ssd). The 8 gb model ran Logic better than my late 2015 i7 4ghz/32gb RAM iMac. I expect the 16gb model will do everything I need.
The basic storage, 16 gb RAM and a fast external ssd would do it, imo. IF you are using Logic, lol.
I only use PRO chords in my songs…

KVRAF
4161 posts since 8 Mar, 2005

Post Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:58 am

BONES wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:24 pm
keyman_sam wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:13 pm
Like I said, it's the overall value proposition. At that price the M1 is still an incredible well valued machine.
For a Mac.
The HP is probably gonna be loud and warm up your room while it's at it. YMMV.
So what? Those things are irrelevant. No computer is "loud". It's absurd and a little bit desperate to suggest otherwise. The hiss I get from my monitors, just by having hardware synths plugged in, easily drowns out the fans on my laptop and I rarely hear either over the TV anyway.
Absolutely disagree. Loud PC is the difference between needing a computer room separate from your vocal recording room (which I had when I had 2 PCs) vs. recording in the same room as the producer.

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