Mac vs PC

Hi

I currently use Ableton on a PC, but its getting rather tired and old looking (the PC not the user) so I'm planning to get a new one. My question is, should I get a PC or a MAC. I've never used a Mac before so don't have anything to compare my PC to, but seem to notice that most serious music producers (and not so serious) use a Mac.

What are the benefits of using a Mac over a PC, as the difference in price is noticeable?

Thanks

14 followers

mollyfatha 2 years ago | 0 comments

14 answers

  • Warrior Bob
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    60 answers
    106 votes received
    9 votes

    Mac fans will tell you to get a Mac. PC fans will tell you to get a PC. I'll tell you that so long as your hardware is good it doesn't much matter, as Live works pretty well on both of them. 

    Apple builds high-end computers out of quality components and charges a fortune for them. There also exist PC manufacturers who do this as well, but on the PC side there are also midrange and introductory range options, since there are a many manufacturers.

    Many Mac users like that there is a comparatively small spectrum of hardware, so it's fairly rare to find a program that runs on "only some Macs." On the PC/Windows side, there's a huge variety of hardware so it's quite mroe likely to get spotty equipment if you're buying blindly, which (especially in the case of audio with its low-latency buffers and dependence on good drivers) can result in crashes and audible glitches. For many users part of the price of the Mac is for peace of mind more than anything else.

    There was recently a thread on this on the Ableton UHE forum, which I thought brought up a few good points relevant to your question: http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=170796

    In the end, it's basically "get whichever platform you prefer and trust more." By all means, do try out using Live (maybe the demo?) on a Mac at a friends' house or in a computer store. See if you like it. See if there are things about it that drive you nuts.

    In the end you want a machine that works for you and that you trust to get the job done, whatever that happens to be. If you're playing live, the tolerance for errors is much lower, but you can get away with a lot more of them if you're just producing at home, where there's no client or audence to annoy.

    Best of luck :)

    2 years ago | 1 comment
  • idrob2001
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    2 votes

    I've never had any problems running Ableton on a pc.  I'm planning to upgrade to a new notebook within a month and thought about getting a Macbook.  After comparing features and prices I decided to get a Pc.  It comes with similar features and with the saved money I'll use for another software or hardware. 

    1 year ago | 0 comments
  • rue71
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    2 answers
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    2 votes

    I have both. I have a PC and a Macbook. And I notice no difference. Ableton is running good on both.

    My advice is: Buy a PC. My decision is to change back to a Lenovo Notebook, when the Macbook is outdated or broken. "It just works" is simply a lie, and yes a Mac can hang, too. I found no reason which justifies the price.

    Some other reasons are: You already have a PC, so you are used to it. It takes time until you get used to a mac. Your peripherie won't work with the Mac, when you are lucky you can make it running fumbling around with linux-drivers. And the question is: What kind of computer do you use at work, at school or most of your friends have?

    And don't forget: Apple-products are not made for working with it. They are lifestyle-products. Apple pays more attention on a neat design as on function.

    1 year ago | 2 comments
  • mr_melvis
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    2 votes

    I build my own DAWs - and have done so back to the DOS days (sequencing on a 286 with 1MB RAM).  If you want to have a killer machine - build your own.  I currently run an Antec silent case and power supply, 2 128GB SSDs and 1 10K RPM  320 GB drive (apps and samples go on the SSDs, storage on the regluar drive) - i7 950 OC'ed to 4gHz (water cooled), 12 GB RAM, and Echo Audio Layla audio card (M-Audio 4x4 Midi interface) - all done for under $1500.00.  I can meet or beat any Mac for price or quality when I build my own.  There is also a LOT more software available for the PC in the music realm than there is for Macs...  Just my 2 cents

    1 year ago | 0 comments
  • The JackProject
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    2 votes

    I think core-audio on mac is what makes the difference. It works much better than asio. This is why osx can handle realtime audiotasks much better. 

    1 year ago | 1 comment
  • jasperhb
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    1 vote

    I can't help you on the Mac side, only say that I am very happy about running Ableton on the PC running 64 bit Windows 7 (I'm looking forward to
    Ableton going 64 bit as well, but that is another topic).

    I also like the many options I have on a PC to stay fresh with hardware upgrades once in a while. Of course if you choose a notebook then your options here will be more limited.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • shaneblyth
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    1 vote

    ive used both for years. I only switched for musical use because there where no drivers to worry about or conflicts of hardware. Seemed alot more stable and was good quality. Macs dont take alot to learn and are solid and retain their value better than PC's. Buying a pc requires alot more research and you need to "up with things" I want to make music so got sick of the hassles and worrying about such stuff. Thats was 5 years ago mind you and I'm much less stressed and things work great never had a issue since.  If you like PC's and dont mind the extra work and research and just use the pc for music and nothing else youll be fine. I find one of the biggest problems with PC's is using it with other programs and using it for other purposes. My mates that seriously use a PC for music keep the thing of the web and dont install anything but their music apps and are happy. Others that are just as serious and use a Mac dont seem to have these restrictions and can put lots of things on their system, access the web , no antivirus to slow things down or driver conflicts or even driver installs and have a rock solid system My macbook air does live gigs, all my day to day web stuff, My other job of designing websites and everything else I can throw at it and it's never missed a beat or crashed in 2 years and is very quick (12 second boot)  Only you can choose your system based on your needs. I'm not too sure about windows 8, I have it in a virtual machine along with windows 7 and ubuntu linux on the same machine so i can try and keep up with windows as I also fix PC's as part of my job

    1 year ago | 0 comments
  • Funk N. Furter
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    1 vote

    One good reason to get mac is that you can automate live using iKey. You can automate routine tasks and assign them to custom shortcuts. This will save you time, stop you getting RSI, and let you concentrate on the music and not the wrist ache.

    Tutorial here

    http://www.macableton.com/features/mac-stuff/automate-live-9-with-ikey.html

    video

    1 year ago | 1 comment
  • JonCD
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    Well I have been a PC user all my life and for music I would advise a Mac if u need portability use a Mac Pro 15inch they r the best for live entertainment otherwise go for the tower product also don't forget u can still run windows on a Mac if u so choose. I am tired of MS Op issues and prefer the solidity of a Mac and Mac OS just bite the dust initially and you'll be happy you made the transition!

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • Funk N. Furter
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    129 answers
    137 votes received
    0 votes

    PCs are cheaper but you have to make sure you get a suitable one. Any new mac will run Live no bother. Sometimes you can get them cheaper than normal, or get a year old one. I have seen new imacs for £800

    By the way, I started a website for new to intermediate users of Live on macs. its http://www.macableton.com

    Lots of tips on there. PC users can use the site, it's just that I don't have one so I can't check stuff, and I only include stuff I'm sure of.

    1 year ago | 0 comments
  • Dillinger63
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    I was an avid PC user, but 6 or so years ago I went Mac.  Although this may change in the future my main reason for the switch was the virus issues on a PC.  Even though I had all the protection I could think of, I still had some viruses come through.  Since my PC was getting old anyway, and I was frustrated with viruses and trojans (which by the way Mac's now have trojans) I decided it was time to switch if I was going to do it.  Every computer in my house and where I work are now Mac's from MacBook Pro's iMacs to Mac Mini's.  I'd say go with the one YOU prefer.

    1 year ago | 0 comments
  • scottiedo
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    76 votes received
    -2 votes

    Mac. No driver or application install headaches.

    2 years ago | 1 comment
  • lsc9x
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    12 votes received
    -2 votes

    I agree with WarriorBob, Mac users will say Mac, and PC users with say PC, and I fall into the "mac" category.

    Having said that, there are some solid reasons that I personally go "Mac".

    1) Compatibility. You can run Windows on your Mac.  Need Windows?  Install it and use it!  End of story.  Windows 7 works great on both my Macs.

    2) Stability. Mac OS X is FAR more stable and secure than Windows.  If you are using your "home" computer as your "gigging" or "recording" computer, one wrong website click on your Windows-based PC and that can be the end of it! Your PC can be infected with a virus, and then your whole system can become "shot" putting all your hard work and personal files at risk.  If your Windows partition on your Mac becomes infected, no big.  You can still run OS X and fix the issue.

    NOTE: Macs are NOT bulletproof, and there are viruses and spyware for Macs, but I have never run into any and I have been running Macs since 2005.

    Additionally, Mac OS X just doesn't have the same issues as Windows.  You're not going to run into "missing dll" errors, software installation conflicts, registration conflicts, corrupted registries, etc.  These are all problems specific to Windows.

    3) Device compatibility.  Mac OS X handles almost every USB device without the need for additional drivers.  I have owned several macs, and most of the time you just plug something in and it works.  Done!  Yes, I have a TON of USB devices, and I have to actually unplug half of them to boot Windows 7, but I don't have to unplug any of them to boot OS X.

    4) Value. Macs DO hold their resale value better than Windows PCs.  I can sell a 2 year old Mac for 1/2 the new price (or more!). and this is how I usually end up upgrading:  I get half the money out of my old Mac.

    5) Quality. Mac usually uses high end components, especially in their displays.  If you need a gaming computer, many new Macs are more than capable of running even the most demanding PC game (with windows installed, of course).

    Having said that, you do NOT need a high-end Mac to run Ableton Live!  If the machine has a fast processor, more than one processor core, and a decent amount of RAM, that's all you need.  Just make sure you have a 7200rpm or higher hard drive.  Don't get a Mac with a 5400rpm drive.  Yes, a 5400 will work, but it will load a perform more slowly.

    6) Simplicity. I am not going say that Mac OS X is easier than Windows, you still need to know how to USE a computer, but it's certainly not HARDER than Windows.  If you know how to use a Windows computer, I could teach you how to use a Mac in 10 minutes.

    Finally, I am NOT going to go so far as to claim that Macs are more dependable.  Computers, in general, are delicate pieces of machinery and they break often.  But Apple is great about standing behind their products, and sometimes the fix makes the machine better and last longer.

    On one of my Macs, Apple determined that there was a manufacturing error with my main board so they replaced it, even after the protection plan had ended, FOR FREE.

    One VERY important suggestion if you decide to get a Mac: GET the 3 year protection plan!  I don't normally recommend, nor do I buy, protection plans because often they are a scam. However, if you do get the plan, you can sell your 2 year old Mac as one that still has a 1 year warranty, and get half your purchase money (or more) back from it.  Also, Mac components and repairs can get pricey, but with the plan, they are free.

    Finally, one word in favor of PCs:

    PCs are cheap.  If you are really pressed for money, and just can't get a Mac, get a PC you can afford.  Just be careful if it is your production or gigging computer, or if it has to double as your home computer, make sure you have a good anti-virus program AND a good anti-malware package.  I run Comodo AV and Malwarebytes anti-malware.

    Lastly, if I HAD to use a PC and just could not get a Mac, I'd build a LINUX based PC, and just dual boot it with Windows, but that's a whole other story...

    =)

    1 year ago | 0 comments
  • karlosm
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    1 answer
    -4 votes received
    -4 votes

    mac,pc sucks..

    1 year ago | 0 comments

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