Pc Mac newbie question

Hi. I saw you people talk computers and have a newbie question.

My computer skills is almost none so I’m sure I’m missing something here. I just made a Google on computer for music Intel i7 16 gb ram 256 gb storage. A million hits but here’s my question:
Two of the top hits were
Asus rog… about 1000$
Macbook… about 2300$

I’m sure there’s a lot I don’t understand here so if someone could explain to me like a child what the differences is it would be very enlightening.

I have absolutely no opinion myself which would be the better.

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As it is today there ain’t any big differences except that apple mac pro cost a lot of more money than a PC with similar performance.
But, with apples new architecture the cost will go down and you’ll have a lot of power for DAW use.
A short history. During 80-90’s almost everybody in the industry used Apple and it was better than windows when it came to media use.
Since win7 both systems became more even in power, reliability and so on.
The advantage of apple is that it is one manufacture developing everything (hardware and software).
On PC you put together components from a lot of different manufactures and that’s where the problem is as I see it.

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Ok very interesting. When my current computer gives in I suppose I have to study a little before buying.

@Fredrik Sadly with the Mac and Pc question it is never an easy answer.

Mac is almost always out performed by PC on paper. But that doesn’t mean that it actually gets out performed all of the time.

Usually the base rate of the Mac is slightly slower, but due to the optimisation of the software integration individual applications out performed PC.

Mac weight their business towards software and for a long time the hardware has been playing catch up, seemingly because the software out performs what has been in the market. At least that’s my optimism on the subject, more to the truth would be a marketing strategy has also been effectively utilised.

With Mac you also get a better user experience which is a amazing. You know the issues I have with my Mac, but this is because I was mis sold a Mac that was under powered by a very well known store, which had a no return policy.

It’s also creditable to say that you often have to over clock a PC to get it to do what you want effectively.

Guy Mickelmore talks about this. The integration of his PC at home is terrible, so even though his computers stack up to 256gb of ram with a whopping 30tb of external storage his DAW (cubase) crashes if he doesn’t play nice with it. This is a real shame as I bet that costs him a lot of time. Often my Mac won’t crash, but it will take an awful long time to buffer simply because it’s under powered.

On a personal note, I don’t think I’ll ever go away from using Mac, I’m hooked now. But generally I’d say that it’s all down to your preference. Both have their quirks, but a desktop is always going to be smoother than a laptop for editing… though a lot of people do wonderful things with laptops with minimal annoyances.

You know me. Not for or against. Just think it’s interesting to learn about pros and cons since it’s pretty big difference in cost. I have pc at work so I don’t have a choice.

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Definitely. I’m not for or against either. You’ll actually find that after you tally everything up, including screen thr pc would be around a similar price, minus the cost of software. But if you are used to pc and don’t want to have to re learn then stick with PC :slight_smile:

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can you compose and produce efficiently on the MacBook intel i7 13 inch 16 gb 1 TB storage? Or is it not enough! Thanks for the tips

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I have pc Intel i7 16gb ram and ssd disks. I can compose around 50 orchestral tracks without problems. I know that wasn’t your question but then I believe it should be fine on a Mac too.

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thanks Fredrik, do you store your tracks on your pc or or mostly on an external?

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its mostly cause of budget really :sweat_smile:

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Almost only external ssd 4x1tb

cool. what’s your storage on your pc thou?

1.5 tb on the pc but I try not having so much there

wow, that’s good storage though. I heard its better to run your plug ins on your pc if you can but probably not.

I don’t wanna fill it. Afraid it will interfere with the performance


Good idea Fred. Try not to fill it past half way. Computer will become sluggish if you do. :slight_smile:

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If you have an SSD, leaving at least 25% of the SSD empty will ensure you have excellent performance. On modern SSDs with overprovisioning, this is probably much too conservative, and even 10% could be an okay number. It really depends on the SSD.
From: https://www.howtogeek.com/324956/how-much-free-space-should-you-leave-on-your-windows-pc/

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I have a very strong opinion about PC vs. Mac.

Macs of course were more expensive, because of Apples politics. However, when you buy a Mac, no matter which one, you can be 100% sure that this machine will work, no matter what you want to do with it. Music, film, photoshop etc. depending on the performance of course.

But with other manufacturers it feels like it’s always kind of a “lotto” game whether your programs will work or not, as that’s the infrastructure of all other companies that use Windows systems. If one single components is not “compatible” with your software, you have trouble. I have a friend who uses Windows comps for like 15 years and so many times he was complaining about when he changed something inside his computer. It can really become a mess, and it often took him days and sometimes weeks to fix that, and I consider him an expert in Windows. He recently said, that Windows 10 is the worst system he have over worked with. And what was the slogan with Windows 10? “We fix it all!”. Haha.

I don’t love Apple. I actually don’t care about the companies I use. I just want to have a machine where I am sure that when I buy it, it just works. A couple of years ago, if I would have need just a computer for doing super basic stuff, there was NO need to buy a Mac, as it was over-priced. Today, it’s a whole different story. After Mac release it’s M1 Chip, even Mac “haters” online where “wowed”, so it tells how much advantage Mac computer already have today.

I suggest to you that if you are NOT an expert in technology, main-boards, graphics, RAM, etc. don’t waste your time with Windows PCs and invest in a Mac with at least 512GB. It will do the job for a while. Later, when you have some extra cash, buy a docking station, where you can have multiple drives inside, so you have more storage.

The only issues I see why people hate “Macs” is the money question. But if we compare MacBooks with all other similar products with Windows systems, you’ll quickly see that it’s almost the same price (when Apple used Intel). With their own chip now, they are unbeatable when we compare price-value.

Another important point is the infrastructure Apple systems have. When something doesn’t work after an Update, you can be pretty sure that Apple will fix it immediately, as so many pros are using their stuff. When you have a Windows issue, you again waste time trying to find the solution, to later understand that you suddenly need a new graphics are whatever.

Macs are safer too, compared to Windows systems with viruses. My friend I was talking about before, updates his system. Suddenly his computer started to do weird stuff. He lost 2 full days fixing it, because he found a small trojan on his drive after that update. I don’t know anyone who had similar stories with Macs.

In the long-run, you will just have more fun and far more relaxed times when using a Mac. It will work for ages. All Macs I know where 10+ years old. I don’t remember any Windows computer which survived until it’s 5 year, to either because extremely slow, too hot where components died off, etc.

Personally, if I would be nerd in computer technology, I would love to build my own computer, so of course it could be a Windows, or a HackingTosh, whatever they call it. It’s pure fun, finding out what works and what doesn’t. But I am not, so I just want to have a machine that I can switch on and start to work immediately without having stupid update issues, where my audio-interface doesn’t work, or, or, or,…

The ONLY downside to have a Mac is to find someone who can fix a machine if something happens, because Apple gives a shit about it. They either say it will costs you 1200$ or it’s better to buy a new one. But in every country there are those experts who can fix Macs or are specialised in. The costs are higher, but if they can fix it, you will have a brand new Mac for the next 5 years to come. One of my colleagues fix his 8 year old Mac for 250€. He said, that it felt like the machine was like a new one he has bought 8 years ago.

I couldn’t find the original video, but the point of all is that Mac software (app) is more optimized compared to a PC that is twice as powerful. So it’s not about how much you can put inside, but how the software is using the best possible way to run itself. And Macs because of their infrastructure are definitely better.

I hope that helps.

PS: Of course, you can buy a Windows for less money and still doing music or whatever, but I then suggest that you really make sure that all the software WILL work fine when you consider going that way. Audio-Interface, DAWs, etc. and most importantly. If you see that everything works fine, DON’T update EVER until you can. I did 2 major updates in 8 years with Mac because I had to (Native Instruments). There is a good quote: “Don’t change a running system.” :wink:


Thank you @jlx_music I love your always long and thorough answers. These opinions, feelings and facts are always interesting to get from many sources. As I said I don’t favor any of them yet. I’ve been very lucky so far with my pc no crashes or problems but years pass and one day I know I’ll be forced to move to the next computer.

I have not had a single problem with my PC tower over the last 6 years. Three times cheaper than the mac pro I was thinking of buying then.
My Asus g74s gaming laptop is still going strong. It must be around 10 years old. I had to change the hard drive once and then I switched to ssd and built out the memory to 16gb.

I guess you’re right about optimized performance but is that like to say that then we’re bound to use Logic and Final Cut etc?
The most bugs/problems etc I’ve read about on different forums over the years regarding Cubase seems to be on Mac systems but Cubase has also of course had a lot of problems on the PC side too.