Mac -> PC Advice?

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
Yonatan
Posts: 1251
Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 10 Jan 2021

I have got a Macbook laptop 15” from early 2013.
In near future I have plans on switching from Mac to PC. But the jungle out there of computers makes me need some guidelines from PC users.

A laptop would be nice, but a desktop PC might have some advantages?
Are there any nearby shifts of tech that makes it worth waiting a bit longer before buying a PC for music and other ordinary media production?

Pls share your outlook, experience, setups and what works.
If Mac is the superior choice in some aspects, pls share that too. But I am getting tired of the constant change of OSx and am curious of going Windows.

I do use Logic now and then but dont consider it a major importance to stay on Mac just for its sake.

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zoidkirb
Posts: 454
Joined: 18 Nov 2018
Location: Brisbane Australia

Post 10 Jan 2021

Yonatan wrote:
10 Jan 2021

A laptop would be nice, but a desktop PC might have some advantages?
Well a few advantages.....better value to performance for starters. Plus lots of usb ports, monitor ports, ethernet. You can load your desktop with lots of storage and simple upgrades like extra ram are easy.
AMD just bought out their new line of CPU's and Intel's new ones are on the horizon so you might want to wait til one of those are in stock. No point waiting too long generally, as there's always something new about.

Perhaps though you could look into sticking with Mac? Those M1's are looking very nice....

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EdwardKiy
Posts: 431
Joined: 02 Oct 2019

Post 10 Jan 2021

There are various deals and discounts of course, but the general rule of thumb is that a desktop beats laptop in price and power by a factor of two. You can have the exact same specs in a $1k desktop and a $2k laptop. (Unless it's a MacBook, which will have the exact same power even at a $7k price point) - so that's an obvious desktop advantage. Laptop power is practically capped at the $2k price point, so if you need more, you can build a desktop super-computer to any price-point with thread-ripper CPUs and such. An average Joe won't get any benefit from a desktop that is more expensive than ~$1.2k however. For collaborating I use an old laptop, because you don't need much power to start a new project.

Any hardware plays well with a windows pc, but the AMD chips are currently and still the best bang for the buck.

The advantages of a mac system include quality of life features, like forced full screen and assigning in-app key bindings through the OS interface. The disadvantages you must be familiar with.

What you need to look for in a desktop is more cores with higher individual clock speeds and a bunch of RAM for sample-intensive VSTs and projects. RAM has a working frequency too - aim for 2400-2800 - that's a cost/efficiency sweet spot.

If you're set on Apple, perhaps waiting for a next-gen MacMini might be a good idea as they are rolling out the new arm chips. The first ones are not particularly powerful but they will get a lot better quick. Currently they raise problems with software compatibility, so best to wait and see a little more. This way you'd get something between a laptop and a desktop power-wise (which is plenty for most music production needs) but with a Mac OS and at ~$1.5k (+display +keyboard/mouse +dongles)

With Windows the updates will not force compatibility issues, there's no 'Apple tax' on the hardware, no constant leeching of your money through the apple store and, in general, you'll be further away from Apple's marketing machine. Also, Apple OS security is a thing of the past.
Reason initiate

Yonatan
Posts: 1251
Joined: 18 Jan 2015

Post 10 Jan 2021

Thanks a lot for the generous input! It gives many good clues. Will wait a bit and see what Mac Mini may be.
As I will keep the macbook, I can use that if need to record away from home or smaller projects.
A desktop solution seems better, with a standalone display etc. Will look into both MacMini w. M1 and desktop PC’s with AMD, and do some search on what Intel is up to.

One reason to start preparing a change is also the RS work on better graphic optimation/resolution.

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antic604
Posts: 527
Joined: 02 Apr 2020

Post 10 Jan 2021

Yonatan wrote:
10 Jan 2021
A laptop would be nice, but a desktop PC might have some advantages?
The question is would you take advantage of laptop's portability? If not, then desktop would be the way to go.



Otherwise, Legion 5 (with Ryzen 4800h CPU) for EUR 1k would be a good pick:



Music tech enthusiast. DAW, VST & hardware hoarder :D
My "music" - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

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