Help with deciding next computer for production/mixing? Mac or PC?
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Help with deciding next computer for production/mixing? Mac or PC?

    Hi guys, I have a small budget that I'm using to build/buy my next system for production and mixing. When I say small, I mean small. I can either go for a Windows PC with a core2quad CPU and around 6GB of RAM, or a Mac G5 with a Dual core CPU and 4GB of RAM.

    The IT Technician in me sees the processing power difference and immediately tells me to build the PC, but I'v heard that MACs are generally a lot more stable for all things music (plus I'v never owned a mac and the thought excites me.) Il be upgrading the RAM on whichever machine I buy to 8GB.

    In your opinion, would I be better off with the more powerful PC, or the Mac? I know that neither of these configurations are particularly powerful, but I'm currently using a Windows Laptop with a dual core Celeron CPU and 3GB of RAM...

    I use an Axiom 25, A Korg PadKontrol and a (don't hate me) Numark Mixtrack Pro 2, all of which need to be compatible with the mac should I go down that route. I need to be able to run Ableton live, FL Studio and Traktor Scratch Pro 2 Well.

    What are your thoughts DJ's?
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    the mac
    13" Macbook Air i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD | Traktor 2.7.1 | Ableton Live 9 | DJM-900 Nexus | NI Audio 10 | A&H Xone:K2 | Oyaide USB & RCA | HDJ-2000 | Odyssey BRLDIGITAL Bag

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniboy View Post
    the mac
    Thanks for the reply. May I ask why? Is it the operating system, the build quality, something else?

    Cheers

  4. #4
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    Default Budget Production Computer. PC/Mac?

    I have already asked this in the general discussion, didn't realize there was a dedicated production thread, sorry.

    Hi guys, I have a small budget that I'm using to build/buy my next system for production and mixing. When I say small, I mean small. I can either go for a Windows PC with a core2quad CPU and around 6GB of RAM, or a Mac G5 with a Dual core CPU and 4GB of RAM.

    The IT Technician in me sees the processing power difference and immediately tells me to build the PC, but I'v heard that MACs are generally a lot more stable for all things music (plus I'v never owned a mac and the thought excites me.) Il be upgrading the RAM on whichever machine I buy to 8GB. (What are my upgrade options for mac in terms of HDD and RAM? Can I just buy standard PC2-6400 RAM? Can I install a secondary Harddrive?)

    In your opinion, would I be better off with the more powerful PC, or the Mac and why? I know that neither of these configurations are particularly powerful, but I'm currently using a Windows Laptop with a dual core Celeron CPU and 3GB of RAM...

    I currently use an Axiom 25, A Korg PadKontrol and a Numark Mixtrack Pro 2, all of which need to be compatible with the mac should I go down that route. I need to be able to run Ableton Live, FL Studio and Traktor Scratch Pro 2 Well.

    What are your thoughts?
    Thanks in advance!

  5. #5
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Passenger View Post
    Thanks for the reply. May I ask why? Is it the operating system, the build quality, something else?

    Cheers
    CoreAudio, Build Quality, Efficiency, Integration between applications & close to almost zero maintenance thoughout the lifetime of the machine (except for OS updates which take 30 minutes or so).

    And no, you will NOT be buying a Mac G5 (Power PC) , they are unsupported for any new software or OS updates - you will need at least an "i" series intel mac 2010 or up.

    By efficiency, I mean the OS is efficient when it comes to CPU utilization, even on a 6 year old 2009 Core2Duo Macbook , I can run 4 client Windows XP machines AND Windows Server simultaneously via Parallels while still running background applications on the mac.

    IMHO itunes integration with Logic / Traktor / Serato is priceless.

    On a budget, look for:

    2010-2012 Imac's (easy to upgrade processors, ram and hard disks, the 2013 models have soldered processors)
    2012-2013 Mac Mini's (easy to upgrade processors, ram and hard disks)

    I'm currently running a 21' 2010 Imac i3, 8gb ram, SSD - which can potentially be upgraded to a quad xeon or dual i5, while 27' models can be upgraded to quad i7's (bigger PSU). I picked it up for $320 and spent $120 on the SSD and 4gb extra ram.

    Personally I like the imac as a production desktop. The screen is gorgeous and no need for additional cables everywhere - despite them being a little more difficult to perform upgrades (which are limited anyhow).

    Typically a new Mac might cost more, but even after 4-5 years of use you can still expect to get back 40% - 50% of your initial cost when you put it up for sale, something that can not be said for the majority of PC's on the market.

    Or Go PC
    Of course if you like tinkering and have the time to spend on optimization, upgrades etc, by all means build a PC - I just had enough of getting client machines working optimally, to want to get home and do it all over again.

    A PC will be cheaper in the short term and will do what you need it to - really depends what you value more.

  6. #6
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    hi, i ve a macbook core 2 duo late 2008 ,i buy it in 2010 (700€) ,i ve made 8Gb ram + a caddy case for a second DD ,i work with live +traktor +maschine + 6 midi controler on it , everything work well not like a PC .. hope that help
    A&H Xone2D & 1D+Djm800+BST PR 4,5 (x3)+ M-Jam + mac
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  7. #7
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    On a tight budget you should definitly not go for a mac. It's not that big of a difference anyways. Maybe let us know your budget so we get an idea of what you are looking at. Many unexperienced people put emphesis on things they don't need when building a PC.

  8. #8
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    Cheers for the reply. My budget is less than £150, I can get a mac G5 for that, a cheap monitor, and hopefully upgrade the RAM.

    The PC is going to be a lot cheaper simply because I'm just upgrading an old system I have in the studio. I just needs a CPU upgrade from the Celeron dual core it has, to a core 2 quad, and a ram upgrade from the 512mb (haha) it has, to 6GB or 8GB, and a couple of other marginal upgrades such as the power supply and network card. I'v cross checked the motherboard model and it will support these upgrades. It has an ATI graphics card already installed which will handle everything I intend to use it for. I'd much rather go the PC route because A.more power B.much cheaper and C. I know windows like the back of my hand, but if a mac was going to be much better at handling Ableton, FL Studio, Traktor etc I would go down that route.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by deevey View Post
    CoreAudio, Build Quality, Efficiency, Integration between applications & close to almost zero maintenance thoughout the lifetime of the machine (except for OS updates which take 30 minutes or so).

    And no, you will NOT be buying a Mac G5 (Power PC) , they are unsupported for any new software or OS updates - you will need at least an "i" series intel mac 2010 or up.

    By efficiency, I mean the OS is efficient when it comes to CPU utilization, even on a 6 year old 2009 Core2Duo Macbook , I can run 4 client Windows XP machines AND Windows Server simultaneously via Parallels while still running background applications on the mac.

    IMHO itunes integration with Logic / Traktor / Serato is priceless.

    On a budget, look for:

    2010-2012 Imac's (easy to upgrade processors, ram and hard disks, the 2013 models have soldered processors)
    2012-2013 Mac Mini's (easy to upgrade processors, ram and hard disks)

    I'm currently running a 21' 2010 Imac i3, 8gb ram, SSD - which can potentially be upgraded to a quad xeon or dual i5, while 27' models can be upgraded to quad i7's (bigger PSU). I picked it up for $320 and spent $120 on the SSD and 4gb extra ram.

    Personally I like the imac as a production desktop. The screen is gorgeous and no need for additional cables everywhere - despite them being a little more difficult to perform upgrades (which are limited anyhow).

    Typically a new Mac might cost more, but even after 4-5 years of use you can still expect to get back 40% - 50% of your initial cost when you put it up for sale, something that can not be said for the majority of PC's on the market.

    Or Go PC
    Of course if you like tinkering and have the time to spend on optimization, upgrades etc, by all means build a PC - I just had enough of getting client machines working optimally, to want to get home and do it all over again.

    A PC will be cheaper in the short term and will do what you need it to - really depends what you value more.
    Thanks for the reply, if I had the money I would take an i series mac anyday, but I don't currently have the money for an i series desktop let alone a mac
    I had no idea the G5 wouldn't support new software, deal breaker for me ofcourse.
    I'l build the PC, luckily enough I'm an IT technician and I can optimize the s**t out of it to no end

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj wo k View Post
    hi, i ve a macbook core 2 duo late 2008 ,i buy it in 2010 (700€) ,i ve made 8Gb ram + a caddy case for a second DD ,i work with live +traktor +maschine + 6 midi controler on it , everything work well not like a PC .. hope that help
    Mac is definitely a route I will go down when I can afford, but in the mean time it's PC for me due to a shoestring budget and rent to pay haha. Hopefully windows will handle 6 midi controllers with a little tweaking

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