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Project Studio | Mac vs. Pc
Old 6th May 2012
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Project Studio | Mac vs. Pc

Hi,

Hope this thread turns not into a Mac- vs. PC-Lovers debate. I simply try to figure out what gets me the most reliable power for the bucks.

I'm running my own project studio and need to replace the DAW. Which is a dual core PC. Somehow, I contemplate going Mac because I really dig Logic for writing jobs.

Beforehand, I mainly produce large Pop projects so track count is pretty heavy and everything is pretty ressource hungry. When writing with VSTis and guitar. I want to have absolute freedom and don't want to bounce some tracks from MIDI to Audio because of too less ressources.


Sequencer:
- Cubase 6.5 (Main Sequencer)
- ProTools Native


If I would go Mac I'd benefit from Logic which I personally find great to write music. However, If the Mac way is much more expensive and gives me less power for my dough, I would resign Logic.


What I need the machine to do:

Recording
- mainly recording one instrument such as guitar and piano at once
- tracking vocals

Composing/Writing
- heavy use of large VSTi/RTAS and plugins use
- around 50 tracks


Mixing
- run up to 100 tracks w/ plugins
- mixing with stems is cool, but I simply like to have creative freedom


Extras
The Machine needs to be as quiet as possible or even better completely noiseless.


What kind of PC or Mac is powerful as hell and can complete the jobs above with ease. I'm not going to pay $10'000 on a DAW (:-P configuration at apple store) but I'm sure there are some nice suggestions.
Old 6th May 2012
  #2
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The dman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssl_ambition View Post
Hi,

Hope this thread turns not into a Mac- vs. PC-Lovers debate. I simply try to figure out what gets me the most reliable power for the bucks.

I'm running my own project studio and need to replace the DAW. Which is a dual core PC. Somehow, I contemplate going Mac for, because I really dig Logic for writing jobs.

Beforehand, I mainly produce large Pop projects so track count is pretty heavy and everything is pretty ressource hungry. When writing with VSTis and guitar. I want to have absolute freedom and don't want to bounce some tracks from MIDI to Audio because of too less ressources.


Sequencer:
- Cubase 6.5 (Main Sequencer)
- ProTools Native


If I would go Mac I'd benefit from Logic which I personally find great to write music. However, If the Mac way is much more expensive and gives me less power for my dough, I would resign Logic.


What I need the machine to do:

Recording
- mainly recording one instrument such as guitar and piano at once
- tracking vocals

Composing/Writing
- heavy use of large VSTi/RTAS and plugins use
- around 50 tracks
- consider


Mixing
- run up to 100 tracks w/ plugins
- mixing with stems is cool, but I simply like to have creative freedom


Extras
The Machine needs to be as quiet as possible or even better completely noiseless.


What kind of PC or Mac is powerful as hell and can complete the jobs above with ease. I'm not going to pay $10'000 on a DAW (:-P configuration at apple store) but I'm sure there are some nice suggestions.
Protools will run better on a mac I believe, Cubase from what they say will run better on a PC. Bang for the buck you can build a powerhouse quiet PC for around $1400 or less depending on what you buy. The good news is these new machines are very powerful. I just built a new intel 2600k machine with 16 gb of ram and I'm still pinching myself as to how quick it is.

And good luck on not starting a Mac/pc debate
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #3
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The dman View Post
Protools will run better on a mac I believe, Cubase from what they say will run better on a PC. Bang for the buck you can build a powerhouse quiet PC for around $1400 or less depending on what you buy. The good news is these new machines are very powerful. I just built a new intel 2600k machine with 16 gb of ram and I'm still pinching myself as to how quick it is.

And good luck on not starting a Mac/pc debate
Thanks for your answer. Are you sure that for about $1400 I can get a machine which runs all that process hungry plugin instruments on 50 tracks? Let's say you would have 50 tracks, 15 Audio with some VSTs applied and 35 MIDI with for example EWQL or Native Instruments or Slate Drums on them, does your machine handle that?

ProTools will only be added to round up the studio and for mixing purposes. What do you think about going Mac to use Logic as main sequencer over Cubase.

Does it make sense to use SSD drives and install all the soft synths on them to get a better performance?

Somehow, I'm a bit 'impaired' of the ressource limitations. I always start to think, that the machine is not going to handle that super large pop productions Maybe that's because I got accustomed to the need of bouncing Midi to Audio to save ressources.
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #4
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The dman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssl_ambition View Post
Thanks for your answer. Are you sure that for about $1400 I can get a machine which runs all that process hungry plugin instruments on 50 tracks? Let's say you would have 50 tracks, 15 Audio with some VSTs applied and 35 MIDI with for example EWQL or Native Instruments or Slate Drums on them, does your machine handle that?

ProTools will only be added to round up the studio and for mixing purposes. What do you think about going Mac to use Logic as main sequencer over Cubase.

Does it make sense to use SSD drives and install all the soft synths on them to get a better performance?

Somehow, I'm a bit 'impaired' of the ressource limitations. I always start to think, that the machine is not going to handle that super large pop productions Maybe that's because I got accustomed to the need of bouncing Midi to Audio to save ressources.
$1400 would be building your own. You can give or take a few hundred depending on the components you you pick Ssd drive, good case etc. but if your patient you can catch some good sales on parts.

I can't give you an exact number but I can run projects with 50+ plugins, audio tracks, sample hungry Vsti's running at 30% in windows task manager and still go down to very low latency when needed without pops or clicks. This will also be dependent on how good your soundcard drivers are.
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The dman View Post
$1400 would be building your own. You can give or take a few hundred depending on the components you you pick Ssd drive, good case etc. but if your patient you can catch some good sales on parts.

I can't give you an exact number but I can run projects with 50+ plugins, audio tracks, sample hungry Vsti's running at 30% in windows task manager and still go down to very low latency when needed without pops or clicks. This will also be dependent on how good your soundcard drivers are.
Are you only talking about audio tracks or MIDI as well? Stuff like the Play Engines are eating lots of ressources.
Currently there's the RME Fireface 800. But if needed I would switch.

Client-wise a mac would probably be better too. I'm not up to date but I guess, there are tons of Logic users bringing in their Logic sessions. And if there is Cubase installed on a mac, I've got everything. However, I can't install Logic on a PC. But I guess $1400 wouldn't get me a really powerful Mac.

Using a PC on the other hand is tempting. So, I can invest the saved bucks into updates etc.
Old 6th May 2012
  #6
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VastArray's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quad core Sandy Bridge i5 here. 60gb SSD for Windows 7 and Native Instruments/apps, Western Digital 7200 harddrive for sample libraries and project files. 8gb of cheap RAM.

Do you have all 50 tracks playing at one time? For me, with 20+ midi tracks/VSTi & 30+ plugins all active at the same time I use like 30% of my CPU and 6gb of RAM max. (I use Reaper primarily)

AVA Direct built this machine for me for $1300... 14 months ago. Drop the graphics card down a notch, consider falling SSD prices, and it probably would cost $1000 now. Couldn't be happier myself. But that's just my experience with what fits my needs. If you need a quiet machine with a good audio I/O, you might want to look at a boutique vender that specializes in that.
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by VastArray View Post
Quad core Sandy Bridge i5 here. 60gb SSD for Windows 7 and Native Instruments/apps, Western Digital 7200 harddrive for sample libraries and project files. 8gb of cheap RAM.

Do you have all 50 tracks playing at one time? For me, with 20+ midi tracks/VSTi & 30+ plugins all active at the same time I use like 30% of my CPU and 6gb of RAM max. (I use Reaper primarily)

AVA Direct built this machine for me for $1300... 14 months ago. Drop the graphics card down a notch, consider falling SSD prices, and it probably would cost $1000 now. Couldn't be happier myself. But that's just my experience with what fits my needs. If you need a quiet machine with a good audio I/O, you might want to look at a boutique vender that specializes in that.
Wow! Is it acutally that cheap? Yes, everything plays at the same time. I want to have the freedom to tweak anything as long as possible. So therefore play back the MIDI stuff. My goal is to have an absolutely rock solid machine.

I more thought of 20GB RAM and something like a 12core with SSD. The whole EWQL and NI stuff is pretty large and I can not afford it that the machine can't handle a mix with 100 tracks.
Old 6th May 2012
  #8
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssl_ambition View Post
Hi,

.... I really dig Logic for writing jobs.

- heavy use of large VSTi/RTAS and plugins use
- around 50 tracks
- run up to 100 tracks w/ plugins
Okay, maybe it is because I grew up with tape and there are only so many tracks on tape, so I look at things differently than a lot of you guys, but here is my take on it:

Any machine can do what you want to do, if I was doing the work. Why? Because I would render the MIDI tracks to audio tracks. You say that you need to keep your options open (which I call being afraid to make a decision) but nothing prevents that. You mute but you do not delete the MIDI tracks. You don't like something and need to change it? Fine, delete the rendered track and make the change on the MIDI track, then render the result. Not a big deal. Any computer can handle that load.

To get what you want, there are advantages to huge gobs of CPU power, memory and maybe even SSDs for the samples. But that ups the cost significantly no matter what platform you use.

If you want Logic, buy a Mac and be happy. Prepare to pay big money to get the power you say is a requirement.

I recently bought an HP workstation, the Z-210. It comes configurable, or in several stock configurations. My choice was about $1700, with a SSD for the OS, Xenon processor and 8 gigs of ECC memory. It would be less with an i7, more with more ram, and more RAM buys more samples sitting in memory. HP also offers the Z400, 600 and 800, and multiple processor support for some models. (The workstations are significantly different than the consumer models. Like, any problems? There's a repair guy at your door next day.) Likewise, Dell has a workstation line. It took a couple of hours of work to install my software and audio cards, and I was back at work. Much faster than building my own (which is what I usually do).
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
You say that you need to keep your options open (which I call being afraid to make a decision) but nothing prevents that. You mute but you do not delete the MIDI tracks. You don't like something and need to change it? Fine, delete the rendered track and make the change on the MIDI track, then render the result. Not a big deal. Any computer can handle that load.
In todays pop music productions you often change complete parts to find the most catchy thing and then you need to change drums, bass accordingly etc. which can interupt the creative flow. If you want to change things you already bounced you need to either still have the VSTi implemented somewhere (=uses ressources) or open it for each part again, record and bounce. As said before, maybe it's just because I'm not up to date what todays machines can do, and I'm a bit constrained with ressources, so I have to bounce everything all the time. But in the end it's not so much about the bouncing process but more the possibility to also score large orchestral projects where you don't really bounce too early. Btw my computer is two years old.


Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
If you want Logic, buy a Mac and be happy. Prepare to pay big money to get the power you say is a requirement.
True. I simply wonder if a 8 or 12core mac would do the job and I would have my freedom



Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I recently bought an HP workstation, the Z-210. It comes configurable, or in several stock configurations. My choice was about $1700, with a SSD for the OS, Xenon processor and 8 gigs of ECC memory. It would be less with an i7, more with more ram, and more RAM buys more samples sitting in memory. HP also offers the Z400, 600 and 800, and multiple processor support for some models.
Looks like somewhere around 2k is the spot for a fast machine with enough power.
Old 6th May 2012
  #10
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Another reason I'm looking for a very powerful machine, is because I'm not planning to add additional DSP power and plugins so the machine needs to handle it native and all itself.
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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VastArray's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssl_ambition View Post

True. I simply wonder if a 8 or 12core mac would do the job and I would have my freedom
I just looked at the Apple store... the $5000 12 core w/6gb RAM is using 3-4 year old Westmere processors... I wouldn't be declaring liberation under those conditions.

I don't even know what I'd do with a top of the line quad Ivy Bridge. (Search for extraterrestrials? Or maybe decode the meaning of life?)

But yeah, anyway, sounds to me like you're going to want a lot of RAM and maybe an SSD big enough for all those libraries, if you don't want to wait a couple minutes for a huge sample library filled project to load.
Old 6th May 2012
  #12
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gussyg2007's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Build yourself a Hackintosh !!! if it doesn't work out (which it will) you can always turn it into a windozy machine
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #13
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssl_ambition View Post
In todays pop music productions you often change complete parts to find the most catchy thing and then you need to change drums, bass accordingly etc.....
I understand this, but only from a 'well, er... okay...' standpoint. Because in my world, we decide these things in preproduction. There is a quantum shift in our society away from thinking ahead and planing, and towards 'let's figure it out while we're doing it'. Not only in recording, but in all aspects... how many people do you see int erh grocery store calling home to see what they needed to buy? How many times do you get in the car and -then- look for a map or GPS.... me, I make a list before I leave for the store, I map out my trips before I leave the house. (shrug...) different strokes for different folks. I just think that my way is more efficient, wastes less time, gets more done.
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #14
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Diogo C's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post

If you want Logic, buy a Mac and be happy. Prepare to pay big money to get the power you say is a requirement.
I'm reinforcing the BIG money part, and I mean BIG effing money!
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #15
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The dman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssl_ambition View Post
Another reason I'm looking for a very powerful machine, is because I'm not planning to add additional DSP power and plugins so the machine needs to handle it native and all itself.
I can't even imagine running out of power on my new machine. I'm sure I could if I tried but in the real world sense it's barley breaking a sweat.
Old 6th May 2012
  #16
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fastlanestoner's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The capabilities of a PC blow Mac away, and you'll be paying about 1/3 as much. If you want Logic youre kind of stuck, but my studio runs on PC and I've never had a single issue with any of my 4 machines recording for almost a decade.
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gussyg2007 View Post
Build yourself a Hackintosh !!! if it doesn't work out (which it will) you can always turn it into a windozy machine
This
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #18
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gussyg2007 View Post
Build yourself a Hackintosh !!! if it doesn't work out (which it will) you can always turn it into a windozy machine

I acutally thought of this. So if a client wants to open his Logic Session I'm still able to do so. As I don't know much about it, I always kind of think, it's not stable or not optimized/will use a lot of ressources... But as said, I don't know it at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The dman View Post
I can't even imagine running out of power on my new machine. I'm sure I could if I tried but in the real world sense it's barley breaking a sweat.
That's what I'm talking about. Are you sure you don't use any DSP cards ?
Did you order a custom machine or was it stock?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VastArray View Post
I don't even know what I'd do with a top of the line quad Ivy Bridge. (Search for extraterrestrials? Or maybe decode the meaning of life?)

But yeah, anyway, sounds to me like you're going to want a lot of RAM and maybe an SSD big enough for all those libraries, if you don't want to wait a couple minutes for a huge sample library filled project to load.
Most of all I want the project to load at all haha. But of course when buying a new machine huge projects have to load fast.


Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I understand this, but only from a 'well, er... okay...' standpoint. Because in my world, we decide these things in preproduction. There is a quantum shift in our society away from thinking ahead and planing, and towards 'let's figure it out while we're doing it'. Not only in recording, but in all aspects... how many people do you see int erh grocery store calling home to see what they needed to buy? How many times do you get in the car and -then- look for a map or GPS.... me, I make a list before I leave for the store, I map out my trips before I leave the house. (shrug...) different strokes for different folks. I just think that my way is more efficient, wastes less time, gets more done.
I understand you. However, calling home from the grocery store and getting in the car and then looking for a map or gps is not quite 'a' or the same creative process :-) well, it can be one.

As said, I just don't want to be limited in any way during the creative process. I more and more come to the point that the MAC is so much more expensive, that I can use the money to update the software and add an SSDrive.


Okay guys. Let's fish or cut bait. Who bought a machine recently and can make a suggestion for PC parts?
- i7 processors, i guess
- 8-12 core
- ivy bridge?
- what kind of ram? ddr?

Thanks so much.
Old 6th May 2012
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
A good question to ask yourself is if you enjoy building things with your hands. I have built the last 5 PCs that I've owned and seeing them come together from start to finish gives me a sort of fatherly connection to them...
Alright all nerdiness aside, what are you most comfortable using? I have stuck with PC because I've been messing with Windows computers since I was 8 years old, I know where to find anything and how to fix anything that goes wrong with them. For that reason I always stick with them. It's true Macs are very good for certain things, and if there is certain software you MUST have that's only available on Mac, it's never too late to learn something new. It is true you can make a killer PC for nearly half the cost of a comparable Mac, and that can provide more money for the toys we audio engineers love.
I haven't switched from PC because I use Sonar, PC only so I've had no reason to switch. The biggest thing, is using what you are comfortable with. I firmly believe that you should never swear by a certain computer brand unless you know the working of the machine from power button to registry. So what are you most confident using?
Also, I would highly recommend an SSD for the operating system, DAW, and plugins/softsynths. The speed is ridiculous.
Old 6th May 2012
  #20
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theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssl_ambition View Post
Hi,

Hope this thread turns not into a Mac- vs. PC-Lovers debate. [...]
That's a little like dumping a tanker truck load of chocolate syrup onto the freeway and saying, hope this doesn't get sticky. heh


Bottom line, my standard advice is to use what you like, what you're most comfortable on.

I'll leave money aside, because I don't keep up with pricing, but several other important concerns often raised in these discussions are security and efficiency, as well as availability of chosen DAW or other software on a given platform.

Of course, MS Windows has had much to make up for in terms of not taking security seriously for far too long. But with Vista, and continuing in Win 7, they instituted a number of architectural improvements that greatly improved Window security, to the point where MacWorld's security expert, Rich Mogull flat out said that "Windows 7 is actually more secure than OS X" but added that changes slated for OS X will institute Windows-like security improvements that will make it harder for the bad guys to pull off things like Mac Defender and MacGuard and Flashback.

Still, it's worth noting that the recent Flashback Mac malware attack resulted in the highest percentage platform penetration -- forming a botnet of over 600,000 Macs -- in computer history. (Some Windows botnets of the past were larger in sheer numbers, of course, because there are approximately 20 PCs for every Mac, worldwide.) And it's further worth noting that, though fixes for Linux and Windows for the Java security hole were in place in January, Apple took an extra two months to get their fix out -- which led to the growth of that huge botnet.


The second operational, efficiency, is something that's a little harder to weight. From testing like DAWbench, we can see that most cross-platform DAWs do from a little to a lot better under Windows. But is that enough to make one use an OS and UI that he feels less comfortable with? I think that's up to the individual and the depth of his preferences.


And, finally, of course, if you want to use some softwares, which are single-platform, like Logic or Sonar, you have to go where they live. That's not a trivial consideration. Most folks spend their time with the application -- not the OS.
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
That's a little like dumping a tanker truck load of chocolate syrup onto the freeway and saying, hope this doesn't get sticky. heh


Bottom line, my standard advice is to use what you like, what you're most comfortable on.

I'll leave money aside, because I don't keep up with pricing, but several other important concerns often raised in these discussions are security and efficiency, as well as availability of chosen DAW or other software on a given platform.

Of course, MS Windows has had much to make up for in terms of not taking security seriously for far too long. But with Vista, and continuing in Win 7, they instituted a number of architectural improvements that greatly improved Window security, to the point where MacWorld's security expert, Rich Mogull flat out said that "Windows 7 is actually more secure than OS X" but added that changes slated for OS X will institute Windows-like security improvements that will make it harder for the bad guys to pull off things like Mac Defender and MacGuard and Flashback.

Still, it's worth noting that the recent Flashback Mac malware attack resulted in the highest percentage platform penetration -- forming a botnet of over 600,000 Macs -- in computer history. (Some Windows botnets of the past were larger in sheer numbers, of course, because there are approximately 20 PCs for every Mac, worldwide.) And it's further worth noting that, though fixes for Linux and Windows for the Java security hole were in place in January, Apple took an extra two months to get their fix out -- which led to the growth of that huge botnet.


The second operational, efficiency, is something that's a little harder to weight. From testinging like DAWbench, we can see that most cross-platform DAWs do from a little to a lot better under Windows. But is that enough to make one use an OS and UI that he feels less comfortable with? I think that's up to the individual and the depth of his preferences.


And, finally, of course, if you want to use some softwares, which are single-platform, like Logic or Sonar, you have to go where they live. That's not a trivial consideration. Most folks spend their time with the application -- not the OS.
Yes, I would love to go MAC but I would have to pay 4000 bucks for a 8core and 5000 for a 12core with only 6GB RAM. Add an SSD and all the extra ram and you'll end up with 6-8k. If money would not count I would definitely go MAC. I like working with Macs and PCs but in my situation with a MAC I would have covered everything. From Logic, Cubase and Protools and sadly the BIG hole in my wallet.
Old 6th May 2012
  #22
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VastArray's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
AFAIK there are no 8 or 12 core Ivy Bridge boards. I think those macs with all those cores are for transcoding high def video, or to run a server on. There's a 6 core Sandy Bridge if you must...

I don't know these guys, but I've heard them mentioned on this forum a few times:

ADK Pro Audio PC offers Digital Audio Workstations for: Nuendo, Pro Tools, Sequoia, Samplitude, Cubase, Sonar, Pro Audio PC, Pro Audio software
Old 6th May 2012
  #23
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benherron.rrr's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Going apple could quite easily cost you twice as much as a PC. . . Not trying to start an argument but IMHO your paying a lot of money for a brushed aluminium case. I have a pretty standard first Gen i7 and 8g ram and my machine can handle some fairly intensive sessions. However I use VIs as cheap versions of instruments I can't afford/play and once the part has been played, it is printed and I inactivate and hide the MIDI in pro tools so I can go back to it if needs be without eating resources.

My advice: set out a solid budget, look at the best Mac/self build/ready built options and buy the best specs you can. with the rate this stuff changes what is good to get you by now may not suffice in a couple of years.



Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Gearslutz App
Old 6th May 2012
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Core i7 3770 - $320 - Intel Core i7-3770 BX80637i73770 Processor - Quad Core, 8MB L3 Cache, 3.40GHz (3.90GHz Max Turbo), Socket H2 (LGA1155), 77W, Fan, Retail at TigerDirect.com

Noctua CPU cooler - $60 - Newegg.com - Noctua NH-U9B SE2 92mm SSO CPU Cooler

DP67BGB3 Motherboard - $160 - Intel DP67BGB3 Desktop Extreme Board - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA1155), Intel P67 Express, DDR3 1600MHz, RAID, SATA 6.0 Gb/s, CrossFire/SLI Ready, 10-Channel HD Audio, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0 at TigerDirect.com

32GB Corsair XMS3 RAM - $240 - Newegg.com - CORSAIR XMS 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX32GX3M4A1600C11

120GB SSD - $145 - SanDisk SDSSDX-120G-G25 120GB Extreme Solid State Drive - 120GB, SATA 6 Gb/s, Noise Reduction, High Durability, 2.5 at TigerDirect.com

External Fantom 2TB HDD - $140 - Fantom GD2000EU GreenDrive External Hard Drive - eSATA, USB 2.0, 2TB, 32MB Cache at TigerDirect.com

Antec P183 case - $140 - Newegg.com - Antec Performance One Series P183 V3 Black Aluminum / Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

2 Noctua 120mm case fans - $47 - Newegg.com - Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm CPU Cooler and Case Fan

Antec Earthwatts power supply - $120 - Newegg.com - Antec EarthWatts Platinum Series EA-650 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Power Supply

ASUS GT440 passive cooled - $77 - Newegg.com - ASUS ENGT440 DC SL/DI/1GD3 GeForce GT 440 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card

Windows 7 professional - $140 - Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64BIT Operating System Software - OEM DVD at TigerDirect.com

Total - $1589 for a top notch PC with a MASSIVE amount of RAM. You could cut some cost by going with less ram, maybe ditching the SSD, but this is just to give you an idea of what you can get for your money. This setup would easily be in the upper $2000's if it was a Mac. Also one thing to note is the storage media for your projects is up to you. I'd recommend external and Fantom drives have great reviews, but if you want 100% reliability Glyph drives are $200 for a 1TB. If you have patience you can catch a lot of killer sales popping up with Tigerdirect and Newegg.
Old 6th May 2012
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Also the above setup would be quieter that your breathing. Noctua fans are almost completely silent, I swear by them.
Old 6th May 2012
  #26
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gussyg2007's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
As I don't know much about it, I always kind of think, it's not stable or not optimized/will use a lot of resources... But as said, I don't know it at all
Not about to try and spell it out or convert you to the dark side or anything
but....I have an 8core 16 gig ram running 10.6.8 solid as you like for the past 2 years.... very easy to dual boot as well !!
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #27
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Roger Starr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The PC route is clearly much cheaper to gain the same or superior performance. With Cubase the choice is clear. In case you want Logic, go Apple or Hack. The only advantage for me for Logic over Cubase is it's intstruments and content, the rest, that is midi and audio functionality, gui etc., go all the way Cubase.

RGH
Old 6th May 2012
  #28
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Bang for buck isn't just about spec power. Mac wins on reliability and cohesion between software/hardware. The quality isn't just good, it's universal.

If you want to run tons of plugins you need a STABLE system. Building your own is just too risky.

Yeah, you can spend less on an equivalent PC with 'faster' parts, but you'll likely spend your studio time tweaking all the peripherals and cards on your fix-it PC. If you want the best rig off the shelf, go Mac. Then you can spend your time on music.

If you have a thirst for Logic, you don't really have a choice, anyway.


Source: had PC proj studios for 12 years. Currently on a MBP. Not looking back.
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Roger Starr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rightclick View Post
Bang for buck isn't just about spec power. Mac wins on reliability and cohesion between software/hardware. The quality isn't just good, it's universal.

If you want to run tons of plugins you need a STABLE system. Building your own is just too risky.

Yeah, you can spend less on an equivalent PC with 'faster' parts, but you'll likely spend your studio time tweaking all the peripherals and cards on your fix-it PC. If you want the best rig off the shelf, go Mac. Then you can spend your time on music.

If you have a thirst for Logic, you don't really have a choice, anyway.


Source: had PC proj studios for 12 years. Currently on a MBP. Not looking back.
No doubt a MBP is a great looking and performing piece of thing. But, the stable argument is really not an argument at all (yes, years, years ago it was), if you buy the right PC for sure. I can assure you that for 30 to maybe even 45% cheaper you will get a PC that is equally performing, if not better, and for sure equal if not more stable, complete silent that the MAC route. But, you don't have Logic if you want to have that and, PC's just don't look that cool (although I personally like to rackmount custom PC's. Killer silent stable machines next to your RME, mic pre's or whatever you have). Also, Cubase on PC, or Windows actually, performs better.

RGH
Old 6th May 2012
  #30
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
With regard to 'looking cool' -- I have kept my case under or behind my desk since the 80s, for the most part. So the octopus of cabling connected to it is out of sight. On my desk, it's just my keyboard, my monitor, and my mouse. Minimal wires, muss, or fuss. The box is very quiet anyway and with it under the desk, the minimal fan and drive noise is even less (my everyday HDD's are all WDs and run very quietly but I did have to sideline a Seagate that came with the box because the head seeks were so annoying).
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