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Going back to the 'Dark Side'...?


Aidan

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For years, I used Windows PCs defragged them, optimised them, tinkered with .dll files and Lord knows what else.

 

Then, when I launched my career as a freelance journalist in 2005, I finally bought a Mac, largely because the platform was so utterly dominant in the creative industries. And the one big take-away, which I would use to defend my choice to anyone who asked, was that instead of spending large periods of time fiddling with the operating system, I now found myself simply doing real work. Everything worked, period.

 

What I've found myself less enamoured with, as time went by, is the hardware. I've had several Apple products fail dramatically and expensively, just outside of the warranty period the last was my current iMac, which suddenly and unexpectedly started closing down on me without warning, That was 400UKP for a new logic board. My iPad one just went blank without warning and never woke again. My Macbook Pro suddenly started failing to charge the battery. My wife's Mac Mini suddenly would endlessly restart during the boot process.

 

Yes, I'm aware that stuff fails, and maybe I've just been unlucky, but apart from an ancient hard drive going west on me, I never had such problems with any of the machines I had running Windows.

 

Now, for the first time, my main machine (early 2009 iMac) is no longer capable (apparently, anyway) of running the latest version of Mac OS. Despite a totally new OS install and with memory maxed out, my iMac is beginning to really show its age when I run the programs my business relies on (principally Adobe Creative Cloud stuff). So next year, at some point I will probably need to think about a new computer.

 

So here's the thing...I'm thinking of going back to the 'Dark Side'. I'm really fed up with buying expensive hardware that I can't upgrade, and which costs an arm and a leg to get repaired instead of a few bucks for a new HD, more memory etc. Having done a little research, I believe I could put together a high performance PC for around a grand. I'm looking at probably twice that just to get a mid-range spec iMac.

 

There would be a bit of extra, one-off expense for a Sibelius cross-grade and the odd, smaller program I've missed. And I would have to buy and choose a new DAW, as I'm on Logic at the moment, so I guess Cubase, ProTools or Studio One.

 

So I am tempted. But there are potential downsides....

 

Firstly, I am pretty well embedded in the whole Apple infrastructure I now have a newish Macbook Pro, newish iPad, iPhone6. I run my calendar/contacts/email etc across these devices. So it could get messy.

 

Secondly, I remember those days of defragging, constant clean installs, virus threats, firewalls etc. All the things I largely don't have to worry about on a Mac. I'm not really sure how much Windows has moved on in its transparency of use, security etc.

 

So basically, I'm interested in hearing from anyone who's facing or been faced with a similar dilemma, and getting your thoughts.

 

And...I know this is the most difficult ask in such circumstances, but please try and keep comments constructive. If you're just in it to slag off either OS, please don't bother commenting. Thanks.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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So I am tempted. But there are potential downsides....

 

Firstly, I am pretty well embedded in the whole Apple infrastructure I now have a newish Macbook Pro, newish iPad, iPhone6. I run my calendar/contacts/email etc across these devices. So it could get messy.

 

Secondly, I remember those days of defragging, constant clean installs, virus threats, firewalls etc. All the things I largely don't have to worry about on a Mac. I'm not really sure how much Windows has moved on in its transparency of use, security etc.

I have very little Mac experience - 7 weeks of internship work - and I've found that modern macOS is indeed a very comfortable, smooth environment to get things done.

 

On the other hand I've been using Windows since I've learnt to read basically, and I can tell you that Microsoft is constantly working on making things better and smoother.

 

Defragmenting happens in an automatic background process now. You don't have to worry about it. Windows 10 comes with a full featured antivirus and firewall, you can forget about those too, though they are pretty basic. Regular malware scans also automatically happen while the computer is idle. Windows and all Windows Store applications are kept updated.

 

There is also a mail client, contacts and calendar application built directly into Windows. Google Calendar, Contacts, Gmail sync is supported. If you want social, or have to monitor band social pages, there are Facebook, Messenger, Twitter apps in the Windows Store. These can all be configured to send you notifications right in the OS. There is also a global 'Quiet hours' button to mute them all.

 

The overall experience is very user friendly in my opinion. It only gets nasty when you start to install third party crap software, badly written for some old Windows version.

Life is subtractive.
Genres: Jazz, funk, pop, Christian worship, BebHop
Wishlist: 80s-ish (synth)pop, symph pop, prog rock, fusion, musical theatre
Gear: NS2 + JUNO-G. KingKORG. SP6 at church.

 

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On the other hand, out of all the Macs I've owned from 1996 to today. The only one I've ever needed to bring to the shop was the iMac G5 - the design ran too hot for the compact form factor. And Apple replaced the mother board twice when I dropped it off at the genius bar - was not billed for it. All others were on duty with no down time, about 5 years apiece. And some I sold for a decent price to start fund the next one.

 

If you pick the model you need - and get it with the storage and memory you need (preferably from a place like macsales.com rather than from Apple - due to pricing), it will serve you for the typical 3-5 years, depending on how hot you are to install OS upgrades or upgrade your DAW or MainStage etc. Otherwise, if you don't upgrade OS and DAW/Host, it will be just fine till you're ready for a new one.

 

I have also built PC's, toyed with hackintosh, and used top of the line Lenovo Thinkpads for audio/video work. They are ok, but always require some tweaking and problem solving. Although I have no experience with Windows 10. Core Audio+MIDI on OSX is just very good.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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I'm facing a similar decision, and was considering replacing my ageing 2011-model MacBook Air with a PC...

 

However, circumstances have intervened, and it's just died tonight (damage to screen being the final straw), so I'm off to buy a new Mac in the morning. I don't have time to handle the Mac to PC transition before Xmas, so my hand is forced.

 

Otherwise, I think Windows has come on a long way... depending on what you need your computer to do, of course.

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Aidan,

I made my living for decades with Windows, added Mac a couple of years ago in order to get a wider market in my small town. Only business in the area that specializes in making Apple and Microsoft play well together.

 

Hardware: Older Mac Pros, Minis, and MBPs through 2012 are user upgradable for some parts. The used prices on these are up more than one thinks, because serious users don't get rid of them.

I have a 2011 Mini and late 2011 MBP - both quad i7, 16 GB RAM, I have installed SSDs in them. They work very well. The MBP is my "carry to clients" machine, because I use Parallels to also run Windows 10 and Ubuntu on the same machine as VMs.

 

Software: I got very frustrated with Windows as a DAW, because I'd add one new piece of software, and a bunch of stuff would quit working. By that time, I'd forgotten exactly what I did the previous time to get it working again and spend a lot of time fixing it. If I were to go to Windows for a DAW, I'd install everything I wanted, get it working, disconnect from the Internet, and leave it alone. I very much like how audio things just work on the Mac.

I must add that Windows 10 has made some significant changes internally in how MIDI information is processed. However, I do not know whether the hardware/software companies have optimized their drivers to work better with 10. Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 are more solid day to day than earlier versions, exception being that 10 does its updates when it jolly well pleases, and the user can not turn them off. My primary machine is Win 7 upgraded to 10 with a quad Xeon processor and 32GB of RAM, plus SSD. It runs 24x7 with my shop camera feeding alarm software.

 

Last piece of musical gear was a new USB audio/MIDI adapter. I bought Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 - which works with either Mac or Windows. I do still have two Windows DAW machines, one on XP, the other on 7. I use them specifically for what is already working on them.

 

Audio wise, I also use several apps, principally Korg Module on IOS devices.

 

PC wise - I quit building them, got to the point that I could buy as cheap as I could build, and have a warranty - but I buy NOTHING but Business class computers, especially workstations. Quality of components is better (my XP machine I've had since 2001, though it doesn't get used all that often now).

 

Don't know how helpful this is to you. My opinion of Apple quality is that they use good quality mainline parts, and their hardware is of a similar level of reliability to HP's business upper lines. Stuff still can and does fail (especially since lead-free solder) on both. My 2 year old iPhone 6 started battery swelling - they replaced the phone under their quality assurance program although I did not have AppleCare.

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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I think I might be living the life you're contemplating to a small degree, Aidan.

 

I use a PC laptop, PC desktop, PC tablet but also own two iPhones (6 and 7) and an ancient iPad2. All in all pretty much all my PC and Apple gear has been reliable enough, by the admittedly low standards of computer equipment.

 

- Desktop is used for general admin work and video editing

- Laptop is another admin tool

- PC tablet comes on stage with me and runs charts, set lists

- iPad does sampling and occasionally is a live soft synth

 

I've always subscribed to the theory of being able to upgrade my desktop when I want to, I've had my current one for about 8 years now and it's still going strong, now on Windows 10, although not without its share of the usual PC dramas along the journey.

 

However there are challenges with calendaring etc as you've mentioned. I try to resolve this by doing a lot of stuff via the Outlook app on the iPhone, which works OK I guess.

 

So it's doable for sure, but just a case of whether or not you want to be bothered with the hassle of running across the two systems. I regularly see inefficiencies in the way I work but inertia stops me from changing. I have a good friend who is constantly telling me to get over my PC addiction and change to Mac. He could be right...

 

By way of disclaimer, I should add the following:

 

- I don't use any of the PC's for music. I'm not a home recording or VST type of guy.

- I do use the iPad2 live on stage, it's never let me down yet, not that I ask it to do much.

- I'd be too scared to rely on a PC in a live performance environment, but maybe that's an unfair bias?

- You will definitely need to have robust third party Virus protection if you go with a PC.

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+1 to Jim comments. I use Win 10 Desktop, Tablet and Phone for everything other than music.

 

Where I am equivalent spec hardware for Windows when compared to Apple devices starts from being 70% cheaper. So for me Apple only makes sense when there is a compelling advantage, for me MainStage is that compelling advantage.

 

Otherwise Win 10 has narrowed the gap in ease of use compared to OSX. You might like to consider getting the better of your Apple devices repaired and using Windows for everything else other than the apps that you prefer on OSX.

A misguided plumber attempting to entertain | MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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On the other hand, I'm using Apple hardware for personal/small business - I'm in the ecosystem. So, I'm on iCloud for contacts, calendar/gigs/lessons, logging my miles, expenses, that's where my sheet music is residing at the moment. I use Logic, MainStage, Sibelius and ProTools (Sibelius and ProTools bring the cross platform apps there obviously). My account for music and movies, books, digital consumer stuff is with Apple. I have an Apple TV, etc.

 

My teaching position has a lot happening on Windows and Google/GoogleDocs/Etc. I'm very familiar with that combination. A lot of presentation/creative work there is done on Adobe Premiere, ProTools, Sibelius. If Apple were to say one day they were out of pro/creative computing - I know exactly where I'd go. But I don't see that for the foreseeable future. We only keep these machines for 5 years max. If things are different 5 years from now, reassess again. It's just tech - there's always something new to learn.

 

There is a gap in Apple's offerings - if you really want a tower where you can pull hard drives, switch graphics cards, max out ram, swap CPUs etc. old school. Well, they don't do that. Everything is over thunderbolt now external. If you're not down with that, then that's a good reason to switch. But I wouldn't switch just because I wanted to see what MS has been up to with Windows OS or because I saw the Surface Pro 4 or Studio at the mall - at least not for cost savings! ;) Although they do look like nice machines.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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I use PC and Mac systems a lot for my side-jobs, where I develop apps for iOS and software for PC's. I hear you saying you're basing your choice on unreliable/difficult-to-expand Mac hardware on side, and fear of time spent tinkering with virus/defrag/etc. utilities on Windows. My 2c: I don't think either concern is warranted. I don't see Macs in general as being less reliable than PC's, and you'll find most 2009-era PC builds struggle with Windows 10. On the other hand, any Windows 10 PC will come with anti-virus/anti-malware/defragging built into the OS; no need to tinker with Norton.

 

If you want to have just one system for music and your job, then I'd suggest you base your choice to limit problems with data interchange with your job. For example, many applications will release updates for the two platforms on different schedules, and even on the same release, there can be subtle differences between the same application on the two platforms. Many Word documents with advanced inking will not open the same, for instance.

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Having suffered Windows since WFW311, I made the jump to Mac instead of going to Vista. Bought one of the last generation 12-core Mac Pro.

 

The transition was easier than I anticipated, and nearly all my Windows files (even Office files) migrated cleanly.

 

Long story short, OSX is far less hassle. Never regretted the move. Yes they are more expensive, they cost more for a REASON.

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Of the 17 or so Macs I've owned since '95, 13 I own are still working, 1 I own & tried to repair myself (upgrade the optical drive) is dead - of the 3 I gave away, at least 1 I know for sure is still working, 1 fell off a car and was smashed, and the 3rd I lost track of.

 

So I guess my experience with Apple hardware is pretty good as far as reliability goes.

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I have never had Mac, but I do have Windows 10 (upgraded from 7 in July).

 

Problems I have noticed with running any kind of audio, music or video creation program are that they will become unresponsive at times. I keep hoping that one of these coming updates will fix that.

 

Also, for a while, I was having problems with Windows 10 replacing my drivers that came with my third party programs. Someone posted a *.pdf file called "Glitch Free" and that has solved all but one. It seems I cannot get RealTek drivers back, so I am stuck with not being able to simply plug my head-phones in to transfer sound to them from my speakers. I have to go to the task bar and go through the steps to set them as default as needed.

 

:(

 

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I use both systems.

iPad/iPhone for communicating, calendar, addresses, reading sheet music, changing sounds on my keyboard when performing, and all the fun stuff like KC :D FB etc. (...and - last but far from least - google maps to get me to my gigs...)

 

My Windows computer- which is also a tablet (surface pro) does the work. DAW: cubase. Works extremely well and is a pleasure to use - light years beyond the misery inflicted on me by my previous, much hated Windows computer. Writing music: staffpad. A real joy to use. And all other business things. (And photography). :)

 

The big deal to me with Windows is that my files are so easily accessible, whereas on an iPad they are SO hard, if not impossible to organise / extract etc.

 

I would say that modern Windows is very good and enjoyable to use, but switching systems - or even just upgrading - is a LOT of work.....and will lead to some "why on earth did I start down this road" moments & possibly some surprisingly colourful language, before you eventually .....(hopefully) arrive in computopia...

"Turn your fingers into a dust rag and keep them keys clean!" ;) Bluzeyone
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I use both also, although it's been a while since I did music on a pc (windows xp in fact). Drivers and such were a real hassle compared to macs, where you essentially just plugged stuff in and it worked. Judging by Windows 7, which is the highest I've used still, the OS has really improved when it comes to external stuff and drivers. The search actually mostly works! (the OSX search is amazing...)

 

My brief time with Windows 8 was enough to put me in kill mode. I spent 15 minutes looking for the equivalent of "Start" until I accidentally moved my mouse near the side of the screen and a panel rolled out into view. That OS felt like a young child's puzzle where you flip things over and tried to remember later where things were after they slid back away...

 

I completely understand the irritation over the high cost of Apple hardware. Yes, it's more expensive for a reason, but it seems a little too much "more" in my estimation considering some of the limitations. You can build or have built a windows laptop that is essentially the same hardware (I think it is Clevo, or was, that made the macs perhaps?) for a fair bit less and you'll be able to get more ram and have more control over the drives. I may be off on this, it's been a while since I shopped and I'm no expert on hardware to begin with!

 

Unless things have changed, you always have to check into the DPC latency of pcs. I'd expect that high-end parts similar to an Apple would yield little latency but it's worth checking. You can't do much about this latency if it is present iirc, it just gets "added on" to the normal latency that an interface and computer will have.

 

I'm also invested in Apple simply because of Logic, and if I moved to pc now I'd be missing a number of useful instruments that I'd need purchase, unless a DAW on the dark side also had them: organ, electric piano, Sculpture (cool plugin), Alchemy (likewise), Space Designer convolution verb etc etc.

 

I get the feeling viruses aren't as big a deal on windows these days. In fact I've read posts that suggest that the built-in virus protection is enough, or something to that effect. Not really sure, since my pc is a work machine and they do all that centrally.

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Hi Aidan!

 

Macbank looks great, we have many places like that here in US, all excellent with top to bottom sales and after sale support.

 

My overall thought is: if you can get a good machine from MacBank, do it!

 

for these reasons: From my experience and that of my colleagues here in the US, Macs are still easier to work with and maintain as DAWs..... most major houses here still use Macs.....plus most of the pro DIYs that I've worked with are still Mac/Protools/Logic......

also, if you have iphone and ipad and are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, it's a holy PITA to get out out or to use a non-Mac computer ..... I did it with an SP4 and it was irritating at best, but YMMV.....

 

Windows and Windows machines are ok if that's what youre're used to, but, even with everything thats transpired with Apple in the post-Steve Jobs era, I, as a working pro, would still go with Macs for serious music creation.

 

hope this helps you!

 

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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I have 3 Windows 10 machines and 2 iMacs in my house. Both have been reliable but my Macs are so much better to use for just about everything. I absolutely hated my pc virus experiences. I think you may have just had some bad luck with your Macs. If I had to replace any of our computers, it would be with a Mac.

Yamaha Montage M6, Nord Stage 4 - 88, Hammond SK-Pro 73, Yamaha YC-73, Mainstage, Yamaha U1 Upright

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One thing that sold me on Macs was when you buy a new computer.

At the time I worked for a very small company and didn't have a systems admin. Since we only had forty desktops my 'extra duty' was to support them. Every time I replaced a machine I had to find which software belonged to the machine and re-install all the software. I began a few at a time replacing everyone's desktop tower with a macbook pro and an apple monitor and keyboard. My 'extra duty' became a whole lot easier. Less issues, easy upgrades via firewire connection later time machine backups. Everything just became so much easier.

 

I also replaced their mail, web and file servers with Linux. Same thing, my 'extra duty' became much much easier. I was hired to develop software for space based atmospheric remote sensing systems. I then had time to do the actual job they hired me for.

Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12

Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell

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This may not be helpful (but that never stopped me before).

 

I have always used Windows machines and Apple phones. I cannot comment about Apple computers.

 

But in the past year or so, I've become increasingly frustrated with itunes (for reasons I will not divert your thread with) and my kids tell me that music management is at least as good with other systems.

 

I guess my only point is that if iphones/itunes no longer has an edge in music management, maybe Apple has also lost an edge when it comes to computers and operating systems generally.

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"Music management" by apple has always been something I hated, ironically :) I love their computers but all...I...want from their phone-to-computer communication is for me to be able to see the phone like a hard drive--just like I always did with my mp3 players. I don't want to "sync". I find working with itunes when it comes to phones confusing, and what if you want to connect to multiple computers...

 

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...I do have Windows 10 (upgraded from 7 in July).

 

Problems I have noticed with running any kind of audio, music or video creation program are that they will become unresponsive at times. I keep hoping that one of these coming updates will fix that.

 

Also, for a while, I was having problems with Windows 10 replacing my drivers that came with my third party programs. Someone posted a *.pdf file called "Glitch Free" and that has solved all but one. It seems I cannot get RealTek drivers back, so I am stuck with not being able to simply plug my head-phones in to transfer sound to them from my speakers. I have to go to the task bar and go through the steps to set them as default as needed.:(

 

Beside from your driver issues which are (your !) system specific ...

 

Windows 10 is well known for ASIO issues ! That´s the OS side.

 

The best for audio/MIDI is you use Win7 SP1 !!!

 

Now the PC hardware side:

 

Intel Z- (and whatever letter)-170 chipsets also don´t like ASIO !

That´s hardware stuff and not related to Windows at all.

 

Best chipset for audio/MIDI is still Z-97 and probably on socket 1150 motherboards.

You can go back to p.ex. Z-87 chipset,- but Z-97 is the one introducing mSATA and M.2 SSD support.

 

That rules for the Intel i5/ i7 processors being prefered on consumer motherboards using 2-channel RAM architecture, but there´s the disadvantage you cannot use the latest/greatest Intel i7 generation processors.

 

That said,- an Intel Core i7 4790K LGA1150 processor w/ 8MB cache is still great for DAW use.

 

When you want MORE speed, lots of cache for polyphony and quad channel RAM for much faster data thruput,- you have to go the server route.

That´s socket 2011 motherboards while it´s unsure if socket 2011-3 mobos and chipsets might introduce ASIO issues too.

Not many users buy these more expensive server boards and $600- $x.xxx,- processors (2x 6 cores p.ex.),- so not many tests and experience.

 

The advantage of the server boards in general is not only the quad channel RAM architecture, it´s about using the XEON processors as well.

 

And now we´re talking because in Apple´s hi-end MacPro (multi-processor) towers there were Intel server mobos and Intel (XEON) server processors too.

 

My friends, being former Apple and Logic hardcore fans,- when they started to be pi##ed about Apples planned obsolescence strategies,- they build hi-end PCs and jumped on Presonus Studio One Pro 3.

You can still use Logic on the older Mac as long as it lives, so some smooth transition might be ensured.

 

Most, if not all driver problems being reported here for Windows seem to be user errors.

I recognize when reading the posts.

For Win Vista, Win7, Win8 and Win 10,- you only need the same ASIO drivers in most cases.

Since Win7, most drivers you had to install manually in WinXP are embedded.

Since Win7 you need to install much LESS drivers compared to former Windows systems.

 

MOst Windows´ "improvements" since Win7 are related to surface/UI and graphics.

Otherwise they are the SAME OS.

 

In fact the "driver" installation issues depend on security "features".

Driver authorisation became essential w/ Win7,- you have to disable driver authorisation in windows (if possible).

There are several methods doing this you´ll find in the web and depending on the/your Windows version.

Every driver installation, p.ex. ASIO, has to run "as administrator".

Every application using that driver has to run as administrator as well since Win7.

It´s all about the application´s rights writing to disk (HDD/SSD).

You can make "run as administrator" permanent for every application once installed.

At the end you disable all the energy saving features in BIOS as you can read in several "Optimize Windows for Audio" docs in the web, maybe from Cakewalk or other DAW manufacturers and you´re done.

 

When that´s all too much,- live w/ the Apple MACs and the fact you cannot upgrade RAM and need a new mobo for $1.200,- when a small component being soldered to the board fails,- and this can be a RAMstick too,- ouch !

 

Hi-end PCs are not "out of the box" machines like MACs are.

Only idots go into a shop and buy a pre-configurated PC for musicproduction, hi-end graphics design or other demanding tasks.

A stock PC is for consumer entertainment.

That´s why it´s cheap.

 

There are cheap "consumer" MACs as well as cheap stock PCs on the market.

Both are what you don´t want.

 

When you grab enough money and spend, both platforms work well for demanding tasks.

You have to grab more money for such MAC though.

 

A.C.

 

 

 

 

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I am relentlessly hanging on to Windows 7, so I can't comment about anything newer. It has proved to be trouble free for me, after I uninstalled all the unnecessary stuff and turned off automatic upgrades.

 

I still defrag periodically of course.

 

Yep, same here. My studio computer is an old laptop running XP with old software that I've kept offline for years and it never fails me. My main computer is from 2010, runs Windows 7 and the only thing I've had to do is just the other day replace the BIOS battery. Running scans AVG Free and MalwareBytes and CCleaner every week or two while I'm doing other stuff. Easy.

 

I find if you just shut off updates (and check to make sure that you're not missing any major security updates) on almost anything, it will run like a champ. There's an Android update sitting on my Galaxy S4 for 3 months that I refuse to load. IMO, it's all planned obsolescence.

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The dark side is about survival. It's about unleashing your inner power. It glorifies the strength of the individual. Equality is a lie. A myth to appease the masses. Simply look around and you will see the lie for what it is! There are those with power, those with the strength and will to lead. And there are those meant to follow those incapable of anything but servitude and a meager, worthless existence."

 

But the dark side will devour those who lack the power to control it. It's a fierce storm of emotion that annihilates anything in its path. It lays waste to the weak and unworthy. But those who are strong can ride the storm winds to unfathomable heights. They can unlock their true potential; they can sever the chains that bind them; they can dominate the world around them. Only those with the power to control the dark side can ever truly be free.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I am relentlessly hanging on to Windows 7, so I can't comment about anything newer. It has proved to be trouble free for me, after I uninstalled all the unnecessary stuff and turned off automatic upgrades.

 

I still defrag periodically of course.

 

Yep, same here. My studio computer is an old laptop running XP with old software that I've kept offline for years and it never fails me. My main computer is from 2010, runs Windows 7 and the only thing I've had to do is just the other day replace the BIOS battery. Running scans AVG Free and MalwareBytes and CCleaner every week or two while I'm doing other stuff. Easy.

 

I find if you just shut off updates (and check to make sure that you're not missing any major security updates) on almost anything, it will run like a champ. There's an Android update sitting on my Galaxy S4 for 3 months that I refuse to load. IMO, it's all planned obsolescence.

 

About the updates: I recently had major issues with a Dell that I bought about 6 months ago. Problems arose when the computer was unable to complete a cumulative update to Windows 10 (which came pre-installed). During weeks of dealing with different tech support, a few people mentioned to me that it is a major hassle to get Windows 10 to stop updating automatically, much more so than with earlier versions of Windows.

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About the updates: I recently had major issues with a Dell that I bought about 6 months ago. Problems arose when the computer was unable to complete a cumulative update to Windows 10 (which came pre-installed). During weeks of dealing with different tech support, a few people mentioned to me that it is a major hassle to get Windows 10 to stop updating automatically, much more so than with earlier versions of Windows.

 

My PC DAWs are still WinXP too, but I´m about upgrading to Win7 w/ ONE machine just because I cannot use some installers anymore, NI p.ex..

 

AFAIK it´s impossible, at least for the average user, disabling "automatic updates" in Win10.

 

Disable automatic updates is one of the most essential tweaks for any audio machine,- so DON´T use Win10.

 

Win10 doesn´t bring any advantage for audio and MIDI anyway.

 

A.C.

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Aidan, I'm with you. My particulars are: I prefer laptop workflow. I like ability to upgrade a drive easily. ... I'm using a hand-me-down Win 7 machine for ancillary work. And I am reminded by both the pros and cons. ... I have nothing useful to provide other than I'm with you. I'll be following the thread.

 

In the end, my guesses are:

- both approaches work

- both have pros and cons

- unfamiliar approach will require start-up investment

-- start-up matters may be faster addressed today, with info & forum wealth

 

 

And I haven't informed you in the slightest.

 

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I used to be really happy with my XPC Shuttle. I loved it. It ran Windows 7 like a speed demon and I wrote a bunch of good music with it. But like every single windows computer I ever owned, it starting running super slow and then failed. Yes, it's probably due to the form factor - but I have had big towers that failed as well. I don't understand why they all slowed down and failed but they did.

 

Now for my Macintoshes, those ran until they were useless. But almost every one had a problem. For example:

 

Titanium powerbook - paint peeled off and hinges broke. Still runs today - but ????

White Macbook - display cable problem - fixed and still runs today but.... ???

13" Macbook 2010 - trackpad click switch - requires too much force - lame.

13" Macbook Air - display cable problem - dead but water was used hahahaha

15" Macbook Pro 2010 - external GPU failure - still runs

15" Macbook Retina 2012 - LCD mysteriously cracked despite no external marks.

Mac Pro Tower - failed power supply and DVD

 

iPads - NEVER FAILED, all run. Most reliable "computer" I have ever owned.

 

I think if I had spent all the money I do on Macbooks etc... but on Windows machines -I bet they would run great - I have never done so because I never knew what was an elite machine for music at the time.

 

I do feel my 2015 Macbook Pro Retina was way too overpriced but I am an iOS developer and there's no better machine for me.

 

So whatever you choose - don't skimp on price and get something with good quality components - especially the power supply for a Windows machine.

 

Again, I loved using Windows - but that was back when Logic was still running on Windows. No idea what I would use now if I had to run Windows 7.

 

Oh and one more thing - I think Apple's get thinner is not smart. Heat kills components so don't get the thinnest - get something that has adequate cooling.

Korg Kronos, Roland RD-88, Korg Kross, JP8000, MS2000, Sequential Pro One, Micromoog, Yamaha VL1, author of unrealBook for iPad.

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The more I read here, the more I'm inclined to go with the Macbank solution...I can get a really well specced machine for about 1500UKP.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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The pre-trash can Mac Pros are still pretty potent for audio work - video even too if you install a heavy duty graphics card. The 12-Cores are most expensive, but the 8, 6 and 4 core models are very affordable and can probably crunch an awful lot of audio tracks and plugins. Just lay off of too many of those instances of Space Designer. ;)

 

 

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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