The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Anyone here switched from macOS to Windows?
Old 5th October 2019
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Anyone here switched from macOS to Windows?

I'm considering building a Windows PC exclusively for using Live 10.

Has anyone switched from Mac to Windows?

Did Live perform better or worse than expected?

Did you encounter any surprises or issues?
Old 10th October 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
I use both with my user library and songs on a NAS box that each can access. No issues whatsoever. Not much different other than a couple of menu items in different places.
Old 10th October 2019
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Thanks Jon.

Is your windows machine very powerful?
Old 11th October 2019
  #4
Dor
Lives for gear
 
Dor's Avatar
 

I run Live on windows and mac and it's equally solid on both platforms. The only problem I have is most of my mac sessions were created using audio unit instruments that don't automap to VST equivalents under windows. This isn't a problem for one or two sessions but when you have hundreds it becomes labor-intensive to convert them all.

D
Old 11th October 2019
  #5
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by pier25 View Post
Thanks Jon.

Is your windows machine very powerful?
2015 iMac Core I7-6700, 2012 iMac Core I7-3770
Old 11th October 2019
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonljacobi View Post
2015 iMac Core I7-6700, 2012 iMac Core I7-3770
You are using an iMac to run Windows?
Old 12th October 2019
  #7
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by pier25 View Post
You are using an iMac to run Windows?
Absolutely. Boot camp. I find it more readable on non-Retina. The 2015 is macOS only.
Old 12th October 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Boot Camp lets you run Windows natively on a Mac, it's not emulation. At one point several of the Mac laptops were tested to be the fastest Windows machines commercially available, but I'm sure that's no longer true.

For cross-platform apps like Live, switching to Windows is no big deal (and you get the benefit of being able to upgrade RAM, change out your SSD or hard disk, etc., which you can't easily do or do at all on Mac anymore except for the soon-to-be-released Mac Pro). But if you use a Mac for all your computer tasks, switching to Windows can be a pain. I've done it several times over the years and always ended up going back to the Mac after a year or two. I like and use Windows extensively, but my main computer is still a Mac, especially for music and video work.
Old 12th October 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
 

I use both platforms with Ableton. As mentioned it’s better to use vst plugins on Mac instead of audio units, so you can load the projects on both systems.
There is not much difference. Some different keyboard shortcuts.
One thing I love about Mac is that you can rename midi ports with the audio midi setup tool. There is no way to do that with Windows.
Old 13th October 2019
  #10
Gear Addict
 

So I installed Live on a fresh Windows 10 installation on a gaming machine I built a couple of years ago and I haven't used in ages. High end motherboard (Asus Rog Maximus), PCIe SSD, 16GB of DDR4, i5 6500, GTX 1060, and silent components.

I'm comparing it to my 2017 5K iMac i5 7600K, SSD, 16GB of RAM, and RX580.

I'm using an Audient ID4 with both machines.

The audio performance is very similar on both machines even though the iMac has a better CPU. According to Passmark the i5 6500 has a score of about 7200 and the i5 7600K has about 9000.

Good:
- Complete control of cooling. Idle temps are about 30ºC. Even maxing the CPU for 1 hour my PC never goes beyond 50ºC and it stays almost silent. The iMacs have pretty terrible cooling and mine stays at 50ºC at idle! With just a bit of constant work load from Ableton it goes to 70ºC and then any spike turns the fans on which I find very annoying since I usually work at low volume.
- Overall Windows speed. Browsing, scrolling, opening new apps... Windows still beats macOS here. Firefox and Chrome feel a lot more snappy even than Safari on the iMac.
- Audient drivers have been great. I get crackles when pushing the CPU above 90% which is expected. I'm getting about 5ms of latency at 128 samples. Perfectly fine for my use case (no audio recording, only virtual instruments). The latency is very similar to my iMac on the same settings.

Bad:
- Windows in general is still a frankenstein UI wise.
- Many apps still don't work properly at 4K with scaling. Even the U-He installer has problems. Ableton Live works and looks great at hiDPI though.
- I'm missing a lot of apps from macOS (Alfred, iStatMenus, etc) but since this is a machine for gaming and making music it's not such a big deal.
- Ableton Live 10 seems to start and open new sessions faster on macOS. The PCIe SSD on the Windows machine is plenty fast so I'm not sure where the bottleneck is here.
- I miss the 5K monitor... so I've bought a bigger 27'' 4K monitor since the one I'm using is only 24'' and feels minuscule in comparison.
Old 14th October 2019
  #11
Gear Addict
 

So I did a little more tweakings and testing.

In Windows I checked the DPC latency which hovered around 200. Everything was green, but I was able to lower it to around 100 by disabling the motherboard soundcard and ethernet in the BIOS (I use a wifi USB adapter which doesn't seem to affect DPC at all). I also set the energy plan to performance (it was on balanced).

As for testing I added Hive 2 by Uhe on its default preset (which uses unison and lots of effects) and played a continuous note for 1 bar. Then I duplicated that track until I got crackles at 256 samples of buffer on both the iMac and Windows.

In Windows I got up to 35 tracks. On the iMac with High Sierra I got up to 40 tracks.

Considering the CPU in the iMac is about 30% more powerful I expected the difference to be a bit higher.

I've also noticed that plugins like Hive 2 open faster in the iMac than the Windows machine. Not sure if it's because of Live or the plugins themselves.
Old 20th October 2019
  #12
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by plastic_ View Post
One thing I love about Mac is that you can rename midi ports with the audio midi setup tool. There is no way to do that with Windows.
Not true, with my iconnectivity Mio10, I can rename midi ports and they are shown with that name in Live (renaming though needs a reboot)
Old 20th October 2019
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markusschloesser View Post
Not true, with my iconnectivity Mio10, I can rename midi ports and they are shown with that name in Live (renaming though needs a reboot)
Good to know, so iConnectivity has it‘s own config software to be able to do that?
Because with the driverless midi interfaces, M-Audio, Miditech, etc. you can‘t.
Old 21st October 2019
  #14
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by plastic_ View Post
Good to know, so iConnectivity has it‘s own config software to be able to do that?
Because with the driverless midi interfaces, M-Audio, Miditech, etc. you can‘t.
They in fact have two! ?
One old, not very nice but with **** loads of features and a new responsive one, doesn't have all the bells and whistles but is a lot easier to handle. Also you can run the interface class compliant or with a driver, which also gives you that "multiple programs can accessible the same interface" mode which name I currently cannot remember.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump