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Topic: Does it really make any difference

  1. #1

    Does it really make any difference

    I am a bit hesitant to start this because I don't want to get into a war over Mac or PC. I really need some help in trying to figure this out.

    I have been a long time music PC user, my son is going to college in the fall to major in music. Some music schools seem to be all about MAC's, but I really don't know why. Is it because of exclusive software or is the MAc just easier, better or more creative. In reading posts on Mac sites it seems we are all plaged with our share of problems. My music college just purchaed a Mac pro and is now contemplating adding XP to it to get some of the software he needs. He made the statement, if I do this, why did I drop $4000 on a Mac?

    The reason I ask this is because my son will need a laptop. I am wondering if it will be "really" benificial to pay the extra money for a Mac.

    Is there really a bottom line to this?

    Don't shoot me!


    P4, 3.4 ghz, XP Pro SP2, 2 gig ram

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nigel W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Cologne, Germany

    Re: Does it really make any difference

    The Mac is a whole lot more comfortable to set up, for music work in particular. In terms of price/performance ratio the gap between Mac & PC has narrowed a lot.

    Traditionally the Mac has been the "media" computer of choice- partly for software reasons, partly 'cos it's hip, and if your son's college recommends it, I'd go with that. Even the starter models have great performance & facilities. The PC has a lot of free & low-cost software available, but prices for most semi-pro Mac software are fairly affordable, and there are often student discounts to be had.

    Computing is not a stress- or worry-free activity if you depend on the machine to get your work done. On Mac or PC, you can remain blissfully ignorant and trust your luck, or spend a little time getting informed about setting up for your purposes, updating, backing up, etc.

    The advice of an experienced person, whether dealer or friend, can help a lot and save you a great deal of time.

    Good luck!


    PS if you edit your Post Title to make it clear "Mac/PC" that might help get responses ;-)

  3. #3

    Re: Does it really make any difference

    Carefully trying also not to step into a Mac vs PC discussion:

    I have always been a PC builder (also because of my software design/development work for this platform). I think it can be a real advantage to be able to configure and alter your hardware setup. It's very easy to build a PC from scratch with carefully selected components (I just built a new Quadcore DAW).

    Macs always used to be more expensive (and certainly more stylish!) than PCs. I have no idea what the current ratio is.

    If I were a fulltime pro, I would certainly check out the differences (pros and cons) between Cubase 4/PC and Logic 8/Mac and consider going multi-platform. For now, I just like to be able to select and manage my hardware the "PC-way".

    Also, building/upgrading PCs can be interesting if you can deduct what you buy. A complete system cannot be deducted in one year. Separate components can... ;-)



    PS: I always have to smile at signatures with hard and software listings... A good sign of pride, but once you get more and more hardware you can't showcase it anymore in a sig
    Last edited by PeterRoos; 01-04-2008 at 12:15 PM.

  4. #4

    Re: Does it really make any difference

    If you decide to go with mac, be careful. Macs manufactured after oct 2007 (exept macpro and macmini) are sometimes NOT compatible with external firewire audio interfaces due to a new firewire-circuit (Ageres). Try before you buy, if you plan to use firewire that is.

  5. #5

    Re: Does it really make any difference

    Probably the biggest advantage the Mac has currently is that it can run both OSX Leopard AND Windows XP/Vista with music apps/plug-ins.

    Since there are some fantastic Mac-only music apps (like Logic Pro), that would objectively put the Mac as an advantage in having access to the most options available from one computer...since all the PC-only music software is also then available to use on the same machine. Also, the value for money ratio with Logic Pro is hard to beat on the Mac or PC.

    So the price is slightly more than PCs and they aren't as "built your own", but the hardware is excellent and you can use just about anything in the music software world from a current Mac.

  6. #6

    Re: Does it really make any difference

    Though a Mac CAN double as PC, I want to point out that not all of the kinks have yet been worked out.

    I bought a Mac Pro in June '07 thinking I'd be able to use it on both sides. It turned out that because of a glitch in Boot Camp, my "PC" can only see 2 GB of my RAM, when Native Windows XP should be able to run 4 GB. Big Bummer, and it STILL hasn't been resolved, despite my weekly inquiries. Apple hasn't even acknowledged that this is an issue!

    Also, my firewire interface does not function in Boot Camp (XP on my Mac Pro), and I could never figure out why. Had to buy a USB 2.0 Interface to replace it.

    As you can see, I'm not too happy with Apple right now. I've even been having issues with OS 10.5 that have Apple engineers scratching their heads.

    Point is, if you want a PC, buy a PC.


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    between this place and that place

    Re: Does it really make any difference

    Mac is more user friendly then a PC. Windows will just add and add and add crap to your well windows.
    Updates more updates and some more updates. Though you can run everything very successful after a while you will start to run into problems, blue screen of death, windows error screen, register errors, hey just to name a few^_-

    But remember both work for music and both have huge selection of samplers, sequencers, synths, and notation programs to use.

    I use a PC myself.

    oh and right now a mac is the fastest computer at the moment.
    All I can Say is...HA!...HA!...HAAAAAAA!!!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Does it really make any difference


    I'm not sure what you mean by just add and add crap to Windows. I have a pretty stable Windows environment which I only patched occasionally. I don't get crashes or BSOD's on my systems and I have quite a few in my house. Also, I support over 800 Windows XP systems in training rooms spread around the world. We rarely experience BSOD's mainly because we don't install unnecessary software. We actually have quite a few well tested apps in these builds. 99% of the crashes we do experience are from hardware going bad. We've had issues with DELL machines having bulging capacitors issues in a few of our rooms. So I see Windows XP as a very stable environment. We haven't had any virus outbreaks in the past couple years either.

    Mac's also have security vulnurabilities. See below in an article posted in Mac News.

    Apple released patches for 45 vulnerabilities Tuesday, its first large-scale security update since August 2006. The update was issued on the day Microsoft opted to sit out on what would normally be its regular "Patch Tuesday." Apple has received credit for fixing known flaws, but it may have to get more serious about security if it wants to take on Vista.

    The article continues to talk about how Apple needs to get serious about security as they are dragging behind Microsoft.

    All operating systems have security vulnerabilities. You just don't read about them as much as you do for Microsoft. The more popular an OS is, the more attacks it will recieve.

    BTW, Mac's are using the same Intel CPU's as PC's these days. So speeds are about the same.


  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    between this place and that place

    Re: Does it really make any difference

    man I hate being sick, when your sick you can't do anything even your brain finds composing a chore and won't function.

    yes add ons as in updates for windows. Most errors will come from IE. and yes Windows is constanty being updated. XP that is.

    Ah Hayden you said you don't install software a lot there is why your Windows machines are so stable.
    I would think that you must have certain software on each for composing, sequencing and select few of other tasks. Your not adding anything new to windows right?

    No you are incorrect at the time Macs have the fastest computer there was even a right up on Virtual Instrument Magazine (or was that Sound on Sound)about it once but there is even a faster computer now My cousin who works at Paramount just got the fastest Mac a couple months ago.

    I am not saying macs or Pc's are better I was just saying that Macs are more comfortable for the user.
    Music? both can get the job done^_-
    All I can Say is...HA!...HA!...HAAAAAAA!!!!!

  10. #10

    Wink Re: Does it really make any difference

    With the Mac platform you also get a religion with which to conform.

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