The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Going from MAC to PC DAW Software
Old 22nd March 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Going from MAC to PC

hey guys, so im doing what many consider to be the unthinkable. NOT buying a new mac and buying a new Desktop for dedicated audio work. Im doing this for a few reasons,
1. price, i can afford a PC soon, a Mac not so soon.
2. Im a dedicated mac user, making me windows illiterate. not so good seeing as my job requires troubleshooting DAWs, across any platform. so this would be a good time to learn
3. im pretty sure (and someone debunk this if its wrong) that pcs are more upgradeable then macs are?

so that being all stated, what are some key brands/things i should stay away from? what are some basic things i SHOULD be looking for?
I was in walmart today and they had a few PCs in the 3 to 600 range i can do soon. the one that really caught my eye was a 500 HP w/a quad core, TB HD and 8Gh RAM. good buy? help! the PC world is so much more broad and confusing then Macs =[
Old 22nd March 2012
  #2
Gear nut
 
urfavorite's Avatar
 

I'm a pc guy myself,I prefer HP over the other brands,A quad core and about 8gb of memory should do just fine

Sent from my Desire HD using Gearslutz App
Old 22nd March 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
RonGherkins's Avatar
I'm a pc guy(well both, but pc first and foremost for the beaststation) and if you're not getting a custom built pc, AND you don't know windows. I'd save your money and get a mac.

They use incredibly cheap parts in some commercial grade workstations/all in ones.

It's a lot easier than you think to choose parts (or have someone else choose parts and build it) for you, though I'm sure some people would prefer you go with the pro audio companies or *shudder* a big box company.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
Uninstall all the bloatware that comes with branded PC's. Seriously.
1
Share
Old 22nd March 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
RonGherkins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alndln View Post
Uninstall all the bloatware that comes with branded PC's. Seriously.
Hard to uninstall the cheap ram and ungrounded motherboards without just buying a real computer though.

The bloatware is just icing on the cake.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Just about any PC you get these day's will work just fine but there are some pitfalls you should know about.

If you'll be using audio interfaces with fire-wire, its important to get a PC with a Texas Instruments chip... for the most part a PC at the price point you're looking at won't even come with a card which is good so you can buy an add-in card with the right chipset.

Try to stay with an Intel CPU, any of the newer core series CPU's should be more than enough power. AMD is OK but just about everything is based off of the Intel spec. Weird things might happen on an AMD system (though less likely but better safe than sorry).

If you're planning on running a Pro-Tools HD rig, you'll need to custom build the PC but it doesn't sound like you're doing that. The right motherboard is essential for the HD cards to run without a problem.

Some solid brands to look for (HP (business line), Acer (all intel ), Dell (business line only) ... if you can, buy a desktop or workstation from the business sections of these sites (Less bloatware and they tend to leave the thrills off which always cause problems in the future).

Its also important to get a PC with a dedicated graphics card as DAW's tend to use extra CPU cycles and on board memory with integrated graphics when drawing their graphics. Most PC's can be upgraded with a discrete graphics card, I suggest an NVidia chipset and good manufacturers are PNY and EVGA... anything in the 70-100 range should suffice.

When it comes to PC's its less and less about the brand because they are all essentially using the same parts. But as stated before when you buy the business lines you'll be better off because the essentials like power supplies and disk drives tend to be better quality than the consumer desktops you'll find at Best Buy or Costco. Which means buy on-line don't get your gear at a store!


Oh and also, PC's are just fine for audio work, however where people get in trouble is when they start installing every little app and gadget they find off the net. For a good PC experience with audio production follow these tips.

Use Google's Chrome web browser when browsing the web
Use a good anti-virus like Viper, Esets NOD32, (stay away from Symantec, Trend Micro)
Don't use your rig to browse the web for fun, try to only use the web when getting drivers or visiting legit sites. (Sounds restrictive but if you have a mac do your browsing on that, nothing sucks more than dealing with a virus on your PC)
Only install the programs you need to use. Just because you can install any app in the world doesn't mean you should.
Try not to install java if you can avoid it.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #7
Avoid cheap off-the-shelf pc's. You might find a decent one, but chances are high that it will have trouble handling low-latency operation.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
ksandvik's Avatar
 

...oh my, how sad. But anyway, if you like tinkering with computers in your studio instead of doing music.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandvik View Post
...oh my, how sad. But anyway, if you like tinkering with computers in your studio instead of doing music.
Bollocks since Sandy Bridge............Old News,just like 2010 Mac Pro
Old 22nd March 2012
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Avoid cheap off-the-shelf pc's. You might find a decent one, but chances are high that it will have trouble handling low-latency operation.
Leon^,Scott-ADK,Vin C. AAVIMM Tech,knowledge like no others.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #11
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
how about windows 64 bit vs. 32 bit? will that give me any troubles?
Old 22nd March 2012
  #12
Gear Head
 
Les Page's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jburke13 View Post
1. price, i can afford a PC soon, a Mac not so soon.
I don't know whether this is an option, but building a hackintosh might solve this problem. You can get a "iMac" for the price of a "Mac Mini".
Old 22nd March 2012
  #13
Go with 64 bit. 32 bit is as good as obsolete for DAW's.

ksandvik has a point (even though it is untrue if you keep your head clear): if you randomly pick a system or components, you will probably be disappointed. If you go for a dedicated audio workstation, or follow clear instructions from audio people who have built their own system with success, you will be rollin' soon.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Synth Buddha's Avatar
Good choice. I went from PC to Mac and back to PC again. I can't see myself buying a Mac again, unless something changes radically down the road. With my current Windows 7 based system I have less hassles, more stability and more power for WAY less money than I paid for the Mac.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Synth Buddha's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandvik View Post
...oh my, how sad. But anyway, if you like tinkering with computers in your studio instead of doing music.
You guys are such a laugh. Keep it up!
Old 22nd March 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jburke13 View Post
1. price, i can afford a PC soon, a Mac not so soon.
2. Im a dedicated mac user, making me windows illiterate. not so good seeing as my job requires troubleshooting DAWs, across any platform. so this would be a good time to learn
3. im pretty sure (and someone debunk this if its wrong) that pcs are more upgradeable then macs are?
Okay..

1. Cost really a factor? Buy a used or refurbished mac. Save a bundle.

2. With a mac you can boot/run both platforms.

3. Upgradability depends on the mac model. (and the user's skills) But with most you can upgrade all the crucial items such as drive, memory, and optical drives. If you're skilled, you can upgrade the processors on the Mac Pros. But I don't think that logic board and processor upgrades are something most people care to fuss with (PC or Mac).
Old 22nd March 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 
fastlanestoner's Avatar
 

Your decision to leave Mac is well-founded. Their products are insanely overpriced, under-functioning, and just designed to fail. Unless you get that brand new shiny OS!...that isn't compatible with any of your software.

Welcome to the world of PC, the people who understand how a computer works. Many people choose Mac b/c they just want a computer that just turns on. They don't want to deal with how it works, or why, and b/c of this they sacrifice expandability and many other features of a machine.

As for brands, this is where PC shines. So many reputable companies! If you're looking for a straight up consumer desktop model, HP-Lenovo will do fine. If you need the TI fw chipset then you might be better off building.

And if you need mobile...look no further than the HP Elitebook series. The smoke any Macbook in functionality and compatibility. I've had nothing but flawless sessions with my 8560p.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Jeezo's Avatar
Options that is 100 % certified for audio prod :

Home - :: PURRRFECT AUDIO - BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN EXPERT TECHNICIAN AND ACCOMPLISHED MUSICIAN! ::

ADK Pro Audio| Digital Audio workstations, Pro Audio Laptops, Pro audio interfaces, Pro audio software, DAW.

some to consider ...

Introducing the HP Z1 Workstation - YouTube

you have Dell precisions and HP Z workstation

also alienware ... (but noisy) ne sure to isolate the dekstop or use a passif heat dissipation GPU isntead of a fan one ....

You can also go for a lappy with a docking solution ...extremly usefull and as powerfull as desktops ...nowadays

this is the one i have :

HP Elitebook Laptop review 8560w - YouTube

(stress test i made showing 500 tracks running ..)

Stress test HP 8560 W.mp4 - YouTube

EDIT : just for the input i tested this lappy (HP8560W) versus the last MBP 17 and kept the HP for severall reason (you can check other threads i'm in about it)
the MBP is an excellent lappy , but i just kept the best ...
Old 22nd March 2012
  #19
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastlanestoner View Post
Welcome to the world of PC, the people who understand how a computer works. Many people choose Mac b/c they just want a computer that just turns on. They don't want to deal with how it works, or why, and b/c of this they sacrifice expandability and many other features of a machine.


I know of plenty of people who use PCs who have no idea how a computer works. I happen to know plenty about computers (I used to be a Windows guy). I bought a Mac because I like to get stuff done without having to mess around with it too much. And both Logic and Final Cut aren't available for Windows.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #20
Gear maniac
 
broadscotch's Avatar
I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, and then you said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastlanestoner View Post
Your decision to leave Mac is well-founded. Their products are insanely overpriced, under-functioning, and just designed to fail.
Right. Scoring stages choose macs because they fail. Right.

Running and maintaining 27 macs of various ages, and 14 PC's of various ages at the same studio - without any bias - I can tell you I spend more time working on the PCs than I do on the Macs. And there are fewer PCs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastlanestoner View Post
And if you need mobile...look no further than the HP Elitebook series. The smoke any Macbook in functionality and compatibility. I've had nothing but flawless sessions with my 8560p.
I know, having used both, that the quad MBP is not at all "smoked" by an Elitebook of similar specs. I've had nothing but flawless sessions with my quad i7 MBP. And I can run a LEGIT copy of Windows 7. Can you run a legit copy of OSX on your Elitebook?

Old 23rd March 2012
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth Buddha View Post
Good choice. I went from PC to Mac and back to PC again. I can't see myself buying a Mac again, unless something changes radically down the road. With my current Windows 7 based system I have less hassles, more stability and more power for WAY less money than I paid for the Mac.
This is the actual truth,Right NOW.
Old 23rd March 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Jeezo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by broadscotch View Post
I know, having used both, that the quad MBP is not at all "smoked" by an Elitebook of similar specs. I've had nothing but flawless sessions with my quad i7 MBP. And I can run a LEGIT copy of Windows 7. Can you run a legit copy of OSX on your Elitebook?

What for ? win 7 dpc latency is way better than osx ...unless you use logic ....pretyy all daws run even better in windows ...

second : on my real life test 50 of cpu on a project :

Hp 8560w : 67 degres !!
MBP : 91 degres !!

you gonna say no big deal for the heat : wrong ...it reach several time 95 degres even an 98 c ...and so what hapeened ? cpu clok goes down !!! to prevent issue ....so what ? you buy a ferrari that runs like a honda under heavy stress ....or simply heat ...



Video test : the ati scores better at 3Dmark 06 but on a lot of application and pretty all games i tried my "poor" quadro 1000M killed it (to my supsrise) .....this si called bad integartion / drivers support

Ports , Waranty , build quality , expandabilty , easy of self maintance , screen quality (view angles , antiglre treatment) , noise emission at full load .....and i can go on......in pretty all areas it got shot except : design , weight/power ratio and osx usage ability , battery life under osx ...under windows it was the same ...those are fact i bougth both and i so wanted to keep the mac .....but i listened to my pro/reason/educated part not my biased/designaddict/hype side


One of my student told (for real) "damn my mbp looks like a toy near that !!"

Oh one more thing for the mbp : the hp elitebook speaker is holy crap ...no even centered !! so don't count on it for serious monitoring , just to check overall mixes (to check how it sound on crap lappy speakers)
Old 23rd March 2012
  #23
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezo View Post
What for ? win 7 dpc latency is way better than osx ...unless you use logic ....pretyy all daws run even better in windows ...

second : on my real life test 50 of cpu on a project :

Hp 8560w : 67 degres !!
MBP : 91 degres !!

you gonna say no big deal for the heat : wrong ...it reach several time 95 degres even an 98 c ...and so what hapeened ? cpu clok goes down !!! to prevent issue ....so what ? you buy a ferrari that runs like a honda under heavy stress ....or simply heat ...



Video test : the ati scores better at 3Dmark 06 but on a lot of application and pretty all games i tried my "poor" quadro 1000M killed it (to my supsrise) .....this si called bad integartion / drivers support

Ports , Waranty , build quality , expandabilty , easy of self maintance , screen quality (view angles , antiglre treatment) , noise emission at full load .....and i can go on......in pretty all areas it got shot except : design , weight/power ratio and osx usage ability , battery life under osx ...under windows it was the same ...those are fact i bougth both and i so wanted to keep the mac .....but i listened to my pro/reason/educated part not my biased/designaddict/hype side


One of my student told (for real) "damn my mbp looks like a toy near that !!"

Oh one more thing for the mbp : the hp elitebook speaker is holy crap ...no even centered !! so don't count on it for serious monitoring , just to check overall mixes (to check how it sound on crap lappy speakers)
I just put a terrabytes hard drive in my imac,guess what the hard drive has a temperature sensor on it that I had to remove...

Still love my imac,but as you said when things start getting hot,even the internal drive,I'm sure the whole system slows down.though I never had a issues.

I also never seen a hard drive heat sensor on a Windows machine...

Ps. My Toshiba i7 laptop has Herman and kardon speakers,with enhanced audio processing.I have another reference system now!

It's the best sounding laptop ever!
Sent from my PC36100 using Gearslutz App
Old 23rd March 2012
  #24
restpause
Guest
If you buy a Gateway, be warned that Gateway typically does not support nor provide drivers or downloads for downgrading (example: Vista downgraded to XP SP3). This may not be an immediate concern for now, but if you want to downgrade or sidegrade in the future, Gateway is not much help, although they do document the hardware specifications rather well.

P.S.-Despite the lack of support, downgrading from Vista to XP turned out to be very easy and without any significant issues, even despite various BIOS compatibility warnings from various websites.
Old 23rd March 2012
  #25
Don't do this. You'll regret it. Get a used MAC.
Old 23rd March 2012
  #26
Gear Nut
 
jerrymorrison's Avatar
 

Ahhh, the ol' Mac vs. Windows pissing contest: Where opinions and personal tastes are thrown around as facts. Here is a tip, buy the best you can afford of whichever OS you like the most. You can get a good deal on a refurb Mac that carries the same warranty as a new one. You can build a custom Windows PC that absolutely smokes and Windows 7 is a pretty solid OS. Folks have also had some success using the TonyMac guides and building awesome Hackintoshes and running their DAW on those. Bottom line is that there are lots of good options on both sides of the fence. Pick the one you like and are comfortable with and go for it! Stop worrying and make some great tunes!
Old 23rd March 2012
  #27
Gear maniac
 
broadscotch's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezo View Post
What for ? win 7 dpc latency is way better than osx ...unless you use logic ....pretyy all daws run even better in windows ...

second : on my real life test 50 of cpu on a project :

Hp 8560w : 67 degres !!
MBP : 91 degres !!

you gonna say no big deal for the heat : wrong ...it reach several time 95 degres even an 98 c ...and so what hapeened ? cpu clok goes down !!! to prevent issue ....so what ? you buy a ferrari that runs like a honda under heavy stress ....or simply heat ...



Video test : the ati scores better at 3Dmark 06 but on a lot of application and pretty all games i tried my "poor" quadro 1000M killed it (to my supsrise) .....this si called bad integartion / drivers support

Ports , Waranty , build quality , expandabilty , easy of self maintance , screen quality (view angles , antiglre treatment) , noise emission at full load .....and i can go on......in pretty all areas it got shot except : design , weight/power ratio and osx usage ability , battery life under osx ...under windows it was the same ...those are fact i bougth both and i so wanted to keep the mac .....but i listened to my pro/reason/educated part not my biased/designaddict/hype side


One of my student told (for real) "damn my mbp looks like a toy near that !!"

Oh one more thing for the mbp : the hp elitebook speaker is holy crap ...no even centered !! so don't count on it for serious monitoring , just to check overall mixes (to check how it sound on crap lappy speakers)
I don't have similar experiences. Save the heat issue (which I don't find to be an issue because I don't have my MBP sitting on my lap) my experience is quite the opposite. While Windows 7 was a nice make over, I still prefer OSX all day every day. I just don't have to worry about the OS degrading over time like I do with Windows. I don't have to worry about letting it be on the internet.

I could care less about the video card.

I don't have problems with latency. Ever. Saying that all DAWs run better in Windows is an opinion, and not one I share. In "theory" and running head to head "shootouts", maybe. In practice and real world use, I never have a problem.

iFixit.com is your friend if you want to do Mac upgrades on your own. I do them a lot, and I don't find them to be any more of a burden than PC's. Take your time and follow the tear downs.

PCs make great Vienna Ensemble Pro slave computers.

But whatever floats your boat.
Old 23rd March 2012
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Igotsoul4u's Avatar
what is wrong with a mac mini. Those things are pretty inexpensive. Going cheap in the audio world never results in a better product. You get what you pay for.
Old 23rd March 2012
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksandvik View Post
...oh my, how sad. But anyway, if you like tinkering with computers in your studio instead of doing music.
myth.........

macs a have as many issues these days

anyway regardless all engineers should be capable of fixing computer problems
1
Share
Old 23rd March 2012
  #30
Eat
Lives for gear
 

me thinks that its nice that you actually have a limited number of mac machine options that'll you know will all work great for audio as opposed to an infinite number of pc options (a buyers researching nightmare) that's a crapshoot unless you just go straight to the ones custom built for audio use.
Closed Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+  Submit Thread to Reddit Reddit 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
amuro73 / Music Computers
9
Apex / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
4

Forum Jump
Forum Jump