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Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

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Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby OneWorld » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:30 pm

I really don't want to have this post seen as a PC vs Mac rant, but given my experiences with WIn10 over the past few months and more specifically over the past few weeks, I am getting fed up to the back teeth with it.

It updates and dumps a barrel of krap on my computer, which I don't want, don't need and don't even contemplate using, it changes my carefully set up desktop, it says it needs to install an app when it's already there, I have over the past week been tussling with the Black Screen of Death - all as a result of the latest upgrade. I don't have loads of krud on my screen, I am not visiting dodgy websites, I am not downloading every free VST known to mankind, I keep a mean and clean machine but increasingly Microsoft's offerings are becoming more and more exasperating. I logged on yesterday and all the browser screen screen fonts have changed!!!!!!!!!!!

I am seriously considering kissing Microsoft goodbye and going over to the other side, and I will avoid like the plague buying a Microsoft product again.

If I go with Apple, will it dump all sorts of bilge from the 'store' on my machine (which is almost exclusively used for music) all I want to do on the machine is turn it on, start Cubase, Halion 5, Kontakt 5, Grooveagent 4 and I have a few other VSTs - none of the aforementioned have ever given any trouble.

I am seriously thinking of going back to Win7 but I see the latency figures for my RME Fireface800 and they are half of what I get on the PC, though I can happily run at 128 samples, or even down to 56 if I don't have too many CPU hungry VSTs

I do have a UAD PCIe card and a top quality Firewire card and two 4K monitors. Would I need to start buying new hardware (apart form the computer itself of course)
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby johnny h » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:02 pm

PCs are cheaper for their absolute CPU performance to price ratio. Macs are much easier to set up and have much lower maintenance headaches in my experience. I wouldn't go back to a PC, I just don't have time to fiddle around with nonsense.

You will need to trade your PCIe UAD card for a thunderbolt one unless you want to get involved in the hideously expensive PCIe thunderbolt enclosures (you don't!). Most firewire devices work fine with the thunderbolt to firewire cable, but you need to go to the manufacturer's website to make sure the drivers are compatible with the latest OS.
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby Dave B » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:16 pm

As with all things, there are swings and roundabouts. You pay through the nose for Apple hardware and they randomly change it at a whim. The OS will nag rather than automatically install updates, but I suspect that a win10 whizz will tell you how to stop that happening without your consent. PCs are cheaper and offer more bang per buck. Apple seem to be raising prices if anything. You have access to a wealth of options for components (again at better prices) on a PC. But that does come at the price of stability as drivers tend to be variable quality.

I have vague memories of being able to roll Windows 10 back to a saved checkpoint - this is a sensible thing to do. Or do regular clones of your system drive and archive them, then restore when it goes into a tailspin due to an update.

TBH, the biggest issue that I have is that SOS no longer has Martin 'The Man, The Myth' Walker's PC notes to guide us through these trials and tribulations. We should start a campaign!!

:)

I've been so used to working with Macs that it seems painful to go back, but I do know people who swear by Windows 10. I'm guessing that it just requires a little fettling.

As for low latency? bah ... all just silly numbers. I don't know what the value for my interface is - I just tweak it now and then but mainly remember to press the 'low latency' button in Logic when overdubbing.

It is annoying when things don't just quietly work as usual. You have my sympathy. Rant away - you'll feel better
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby Guest » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:49 pm

Still on Win 7 and Cubase 5, runs as smooth as clockwork and without a hitch, not web connected though.

Image

T'other web connected comp's Win 10, if some of Win 10's annoying, inconsiderate, untimely often pointless antics could interfere wiv my work I'd sue 'em, wot ever 'appened to freedom of choice, BIG BRUV'S not just WATCHING, 'e's tinkering wiv your privates...

Image
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby twotoedsloth » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:57 pm

Re PC Notes:

YES!!! Please bring it back.
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby Ariosto » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:51 pm

I've been on a mini mac for over 5 years and would not go back to a PC. (Even though I have small issues occasionally with Apple). i find Apple do send updates to the download folder, but you have to install them, or more often you are offered any updates when you visit the Apple Store, and can obviously refuse them.

When I did use a PC for editing (I always record onto a solid state Tascam recorder) it was never connected to the internet. However, my Mac is connected to the net, and maybe that says something.
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby OneWorld » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:38 pm

Dave B wrote:As with all things, there are swings and roundabouts. You pay through the nose for Apple hardware and they randomly change it at a whim. The OS will nag rather than automatically install updates, but I suspect that a win10 whizz will tell you how to stop that happening without your consent. PCs are cheaper and offer more bang per buck. Apple seem to be raising prices if anything. You have access to a wealth of options for components (again at better prices) on a PC. But that does come at the price of stability as drivers tend to be variable quality.

I have vague memories of being able to roll Windows 10 back to a saved checkpoint - this is a sensible thing to do. Or do regular clones of your system drive and archive them, then restore when it goes into a tailspin due to an update.

TBH, the biggest issue that I have is that SOS no longer has Martin 'The Man, The Myth' Walker's PC notes to guide us through these trials and tribulations. We should start a campaign!!

:)

I've been so used to working with Macs that it seems painful to go back, but I do know people who swear by Windows 10. I'm guessing that it just requires a little fettling.

As for low latency? bah ... all just silly numbers. I don't know what the value for my interface is - I just tweak it now and then but mainly remember to press the 'low latency' button in Logic when overdubbing.

It is annoying when things don't just quietly work as usual. You have my sympathy. Rant away - you'll feel better

Yes I sort of get all that, and this is quite an objective reply. Thanks.

Yes I do realise that PCs are much cheaper, but I would rather pay the extra to get stability. And yes I know there are work-arounds, roll backs and whatever but when you get to the workarounds and downloaded patches, you never know if you're downloading a trojan/virus etc and so I don't take the chance.

And sometimes the workaround needs an in-ordinate amount of time to invoke and many times it either doesn't work or makes things worse!

I literally spent 3 whole days last week fixing the Black Screen of Death issue. And it was only about 6 months ago I was trying to encourage my friend to upgrade from Win7 to Win10 and still I have an unusual Cubase problem whereby after a few hours of use, the mouse freezes every second or so with the Cubase scroll line doing exactly the same.

Yes I make regular images but say I have Image01 a clean install WIn10.1.0, then I do an update on say Kontakt, I do Image02, then there's an Arturia update, so Image03, then Win10 goes to Win10 1.2.0 - IMage04 and it trashes everything, I need to go back to Image03 I am at the point where I am imagining every few days such that now I have a spare NAS drive with over half a terabyte of images (I have over 20 images saved) Ridiculous

I have 32gig of Ram, an i7, 2 SSDs, one for apps and one for samples, data, I always do maintenance/updates etc and since about 6 months ago it's all going wrong.

A friend of mine with a very busy pro studio and he has an oldish Mac Pro 5.1 which still chunters along and it hardly misses a beat. He turns it on and within a few minutes he's in business, each and every time
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby Kwackman » Wed Aug 08, 2018 5:53 pm

OneWorld wrote:A friend of mine with a very busy pro studio and he has an oldish Mac Pro 5.1

That might be an alternative for you to consider.
Companies like Macbank sell refurbed old Cheesegrater MacPros.
They will take PCI cards and have firewire.
I have one, and it still gives reliable service.

BUT it's been obsolete for quite a few years.
Currently it will take the latest Mac OS but that will stop eventually.
If it concerns you that you may not be able to upgrade the OS (& therefore eventually Cubase to future versions) then look elsewhere.

If Apple decide tomorrow to release an OS that my Mac-Pro can't handle, then the day after Steinberg release a version of Cubase that needs that latest OS- you can simply stay on your current set-up. That's what I'll be doing.
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby CS70 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:10 pm

OneWorld wrote:Yes I do realise that PCs are much cheaper, but I would rather pay the extra to get stability.

It's tough to help with these things - they are almost invariably easy to solve, but only if one has the hands on the machine. The OS comes with the tools to find out what's wrong and fix it, but it does require that you know about them and enough understanding to capture what they tell you.

There's little that's "unstable" in Windows vs. Mac per se, but as Windows needs to adapt to gazillion different hardware configurations, some people will experience problems at some point on their specific hardware. I've run Windows 10 for over a year now on two completely different music-making machines (the laptop is circa 2010, I believe) without any glitch (one glitch actually, permission-related.. it was not critical but annoying as it was slowing down a few components - so I took the 20 minutes to fix 'em systematically to get the system back to its fastest).

But if you have the money and want to spend it, going Apple can certainly be a solution. I simply would be way more annoyed by the unreasonable layout of money than by the occasional few minutes per year I may spend re-optimizing my system. With a Mac, I suspect you'll still encounter some issues, but then you'll fix it by buying a newer Mac every four of five years. :-)
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby Dave Rowles » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:49 pm

The last 2 MacBook Pros I've had have lasted 5-6 years before being replaced. My first was bought back in 2007, and got the next one in 2011. Just got a new one this year, and 2017 model. Yes, the are more expensive, but I haven't had to do any maintenance at all on mine in the time I've had them. The only problem was my 2011 one had a know problem with the logic board, and so had to have that replaced a couple of times. But they did it for free, so no problem there!

My MBPs travel around the world, and usually get dropped on stage a good few times, and they've never missed a beat.

Conversely, my wife hates MacOS and uses windows 10. Nothing but problems, and we're currently battling a weird disk usage issue that is beyond my ability to fix, so going to have to get someone to do it for us. Admittedly hers is an office laptop, and not high end by any stretch, but still I spend more time sorting problems each year than I do on my mac.

Go for a refurb, and you can save quite a bit of money.

I couldn't stand to work on a windows 10 machine. I just find the OS hard to use, though I expect if I was forced to I would learn it pretty quickly.
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby OneWorld » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:50 pm

johnny h wrote:PCs are cheaper for their absolute CPU performance to price ratio. Macs are much easier to set up and have much lower maintenance headaches in my experience. I wouldn't go back to a PC, I just don't have time to fiddle around with nonsense.

You will need to trade your PCIe UAD card for a thunderbolt one unless you want to get involved in the hideously expensive PCIe thunderbolt enclosures (you don't!). Most firewire devices work fine with the thunderbolt to firewire cable, but you need to go to the manufacturer's website to make sure the drivers are compatible with the latest OS.

Thanks, I might be back to ask you more :-)
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:03 pm

Man, I have gone back and forth between Mac and PC over the decades for doing music.

I use Windows 10 machines and have them stable. Yes it takes some determination, but as a result you end up really knowing what your PC is doing and that is what makes it stable. But if you don't want to deal with such things, then a Mac is good - but you will be its slave and must bow to its awfulness.

Try to think of the time you recently spent stabilizing your PC to be an investment and now you know stuff that will keep your system stable. For all you know your system will now be stable for the next 10 years. Why get locked in to the Mac and all its proprietary interfaces? Keep it open and invest a bit of time to understand how Windows 10 works, It will be worth it.

Or just get a Mac.

Sorry can't really help I guess.
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby Agharta » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:34 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:Try to think of the time you recently spent stabilizing your PC to be an investment and now you know stuff that will keep your system stable. For all you know your system will now be stable for the next 10 years.
Except that unless you keep your system offline you will be forced to upgrade it every 6 to 12/15 months depending on if you are running Home or Pro.
THIS is the issue that most people seemingly have with W10 in terms of stability.
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:58 pm

Agharta wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:Try to think of the time you recently spent stabilizing your PC to be an investment and now you know stuff that will keep your system stable. For all you know your system will now be stable for the next 10 years.
Except that unless you keep your system offline you will be forced to upgrade it every 6 to 12/15 months depending on if you are running Home or Pro.
THIS is the issue that most people seemingly have with W10 in terms of stability.

OK, I'll bite.

One of the things that you have to learn how to do with WIndows 10 is to tell it to not update any of your drivers that affect music production. This can all be controlled. Surprisingly, this includes the video drivers too. But it does take a bit of time to learn how to do that. Just a few minutes really. And you have to first established a stable environment that you wish to freeze. Windows will keep updating things automatically but you can take control and tell it not to with a few setting in the control panel.

With a Mac, no worries. Just hit go! Wheeeeeeee!
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby James Perrett » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:19 am

Agharta wrote:Except that unless you keep your system offline you will be forced to upgrade it every 6 to 12/15 months

There is something to be said for keeping vital production machines offline - two of mine are. The laptop that I'm writing this on is the only online machine I have that also does music production but it is never used where guaranteed real time performance is needed.
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby Agharta » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:48 am

DC-Choppah wrote:One of the things that you have to learn how to do with WIndows 10 is to tell it to not update any of your drivers that affect music production. This can all be controlled. Surprisingly, this includes the video drivers too. But it does take a bit of time to learn how to do that. Just a few minutes really.
Thanks and how exactly do you do this?

James Perrett wrote:There is something to be said for keeping vital production machines offline.
This is the case in other industries also but for music software that is not so easy with some software that needs to go online occasionally.
Also, it’s not that practical for the majority of DAW users who are not professional users so don't have the luxury of running two computers.
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:29 am

Drill down in control panel (type 'control panel' into the windows 10 search box to open the control panel):
Control Panel\System and Security\System\Advanced system settings\Hardware

Click on
Device Installation settings

There is a switch to not allow automatic download of device manufacturer applications, and icons.

Microsoft Help says by setting this, the device drivers will not be updated. But the rest of windows will get updated.
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby ef37a » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:57 am

Re "keeping offline"?

Whilst I of course, in this elite computing company, do not know much of the problems of keeping a music rig offline I would like to comment?

Been lurking in computer audio over 10 years and "in the beginning" everybody was told to stay of the internet. There were some uber experts like Mr Walker who ran PC music systems whilst checking his emails but for the most part we were told "Don't!"

Now it seems you HAVE TO? The obvious solution has been mooted, have a "clunker" just for internet and "office" work. "Peeps can't afford that" was a response. But they CAN afford a mac?? In any case, a few years ago I picked up an XP tower from a charity shop for a tenner! Yes, it was pretty low spec but I stuck W7 on it and it worked fine on the net and ran Word and such.
Most audio software that needs updates gives an option to download and save (to a stick say) then transfer the update that way. Samplitude certainly does.

Now, I know this is unpopular but I am also going to put in a plea for the return of "Notes" or something like it. Maybe mac and PC could be run together? Presently people's experience of W10 seems to range from "sliced bread" to "Destructive crap". We, the great unwashed in the middle are bemused by conflicting reports. Brexit for audio!

Dave.
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby OneWorld » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:08 pm

One thing I cannot fathom is......

I have my RME interface.........

But then like any other motherboard, there's a soundchip - SoundMAX Integrated Digital HD Audio.

And for some strange reason there's a sound driver installed with my graphics card and this shows as AMD High Definition Audio Device

All the above display in Device Manager/Sound Video and Game Controllers

Why would my graphics card install an audio driver?

And do I need all 3 or can I just get by on the RME, as I mentioned I don't use the PC for games or anything, just Cubase.

As for the mention of having a 2nd machine for internet etc, an old cluncker of a 4 core XEON machine, and it just keeps on going. The music machine has to be connected to the internet though because some software demands it.
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Re: Mac vs PC - sorry but I have to ask

Postby Agharta » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:13 pm

OneWorld wrote:And for some strange reason there's a sound driver installed with my graphics card and this shows as AMD High Definition Audio Device
All the above display in Device Manager/Sound Video and Game Controllers
Why would my graphics card install an audio driver?
I think it's required for HDCP content protection so that the audio path over HDMI is secured.
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