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Macbook or PC lappy?

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Pinny
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« on: July 21, 2009, 09:30:42 »

Woi oi, crack jackers

I'm starting to get quite a lot of freelance design work these days, my humble old PC is struggling under the weight of it all so I'm thinking of getting a new computer! Pimp

I want it to be portable so I can take my work with me- so a lappy is the only choice.

Here's the thing though. I've been using PCs for years. For design, for music, for porn, for everything. I know that Macs are industry standard for design and music, but I'm not really sure why- in my experience, a good PC is just as useful as a good Mac for these things. I'm also worried about compatibility issues and acquiring the software I need to do shit on a Mac.

I need to use the adobe creative suite and I currently use FL studio for music, but would be open to progressing to something more advanced.

So, with your infinite knowledge of all things geek-tastic, can any of you kind souls break it down for me?

Res-pek-tay! Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2009, 09:47:22 »

mac... unless u can find a cheaper pclaptop with 4 gig of ram( a freind bought an asus a few months back with 4 gig for 400)

edit : b prepared to loose vista if u gets a pc laptop , xp is the way forward  Two Thumbs

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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2009, 11:06:27 »

Personally I would look into getting a Mac just for Logic for music production. FL is good and can do everything you'd want but simple things like mixing or automation seem a little over complicated.

In terms of performance, I've used both and I've noticed no difference in performace whatsoever apart from increased compatibility in PC's. It basically comes down to what sequencers you want to use (from music production point of view) and although Logic is my favorite, the new Pro Tools is supposed to have greatly improved MIDI functionality and you can get it on PC.

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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2009, 11:19:03 »

I know that Macs are industry standard for design and music, but I'm not really sure why

Its mostly a historical thing.... In the past PCs were indeed not particularly stable enough to run music software. Aside from the IBM the options on the market were really limited to Atari, Acorn and Mac. Acorn's were pretty gash educational thingies, Atari's really dropped out of the race early on and that left Mac. For design it was good, as it was based on a native graphical OS in the days when DOS was the PC standard. And for music the stability was appealing. Thats more or less why they became industry standard. Then the lack of compatibility with PCs in terms of file exchange & networking made it increasingly difficult to change. These days Windows and OSX talk to each other freely, so the reasons for this legacy hanging around are, imo:

  • perceived increased stability of a Mac (NOT true at all, but some people won't be told)
  • fashion status of a Mac (music & design are very much dedicated followers of fashion, as industries go)
  • everyone's training is in Mac (yours isn't....)

If I was you I'd go PC. I'd also go PC if I was me, too. And I am.

After all, you already know how to use a PC. You've already got a load of software, hardware and skills that work on PC and might not work on Mac. And everything thats possible with a Mac is possible with a PC, whilst the opposite is not true.

As for the 4GB memory remark.... 32-bit Win XP will not address 4GB memory. It will address 2GB natively, and has a mode to address 3GB where 2GB is made available to programs and 1GB is used internally by the OS. afaik 32-bit Vista is the same. 64-bit Windows will address a hell of a lot more RAM (32GB I think), and do so properly, but I'm wary of 64-bit as a lot of old plugins will crash a 64-bit machine, or just refuse to run on it, and I wanna keep my old stuff.

Anyway without getting too nerdy, it really is a matter of personal preference. My preference is PC, many people's preference is Mac. But in this day and age there are no objective reasons for choosing either or the other, except maybe that "trial" software is easier to come by on PC. Plenty of subjective reasons though; what you're trained on, what you're comfortable with, what you trust etc etc etc. Try both, get the one you like. Make sure the spec (CPU speed, memory size, FSB speed) are all the highest numbers you can afford and you're onto a winner.

edit: Logic is an objective reason to go Mac, true say. But imo Cubase is better. I wouldn't spunk a grand more than I needed to just to get a sequencer that I've never used before, when FL does what you know how to do and Cubase is as good a step up as Logic, if not better. But again thats my opinionion.
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2009, 11:52:42 »

yeh i agree cubase FTW. however i run both a pc and mac and am desperately trying to save a grand and a half to replace my desktop pc with a mac pro (G5) Will be running cubase on mac from now on. once you go mac you never go back for a multitude of reasons.

The search engine is intuitive and greatly reduces the time to find anything. I have NEVER lost anything on my mac from crashes or generally fuckery, have lst a lot of PC. This is not to say the mac doesn't crash, it just saves stuff when it does. Mighty mouse makes life easier too once you get used to it. Plus you can always dual boot if you need windows anyway.
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2009, 12:03:37 »

Now I'm extra confused!

So a PC can't handle 4gb of ram? I think loads of ram is what I'm after really to make all this shit run smooth :-/

I'm fine on a PC or a Mac but more experienced with PC tho. I'm sure in a couple of weeks I'd be used to a mac too.
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2009, 13:05:21 »

A PC running in 64-bit mode can handle way more than 4GB of RAM, but most PCs and most PC software are still 32-bit. I run 2GB in my 32-bit XP install and I very rarely hit the wall. Big sample-based plugins like Native Instruments Electrik Piano will eat about 800MB in one chunk, so if you're planning on running a fuckload of Kontakt packs or other heavy instrument simulation sampling then RAM will be your problem, but when it comes to rendering non-sample-based softsynths on the fly, flinging MIDI data around, working with audio on hard disk and doing most anything except running big RAM-based sample libraries I reckon 3GB is enough for the foreseeable future.

Having said that I looked inside a Mac Pro for the first time today and it was like the inside of HAL. Very fucking sexy indeed. Very tidy, no cables trailing everywhere and everything you'd need access to presented all neat like. Still not sure its worth the extra grand tho.
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2009, 13:12:39 »

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking, it is a lot more for ostensibly very little benefit. Refurbed ones are going pretty cheap though...
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2009, 02:33:08 »

I run a Mac Mini, 2GB RAM 2GB processor, Logics lush, personally Cubase can go fuck itself. IMO.

its basically a macbook but without the keyboard and screen, all normal PC monitors/keyboards etc work but i went for a proper mac keyboard to get used to the right position of shortcuts etc.. EDIT: oh yeah you can shove any old usb two/three button mouse into any mac and you'll have the handy second button menus there, i personally can't stand the touchpad thing on laptops for production, plus having 2/3 buttons assigned to cut/velocity/etc is well handy.

They still crash, but yeah the shortcuts are great, time machine (which backs up your files for you) is very useful, but think it may still be a paid service. Softwares not to hard to come by and the smaller choice in a way is better for you because it'll stop you getting swamped in plug ins that you'll never have the time to learn properly meaning you can concentrate on learning what is available to a deeper level.

OS wise i personal find the whole thing a bit more fluid and accessible (but then i've never used XP or Vista on my own machines so can't really comment on that) and the fact that if you do manage to the stuff the internal drive you don't get a blue screen of death you just have a machine that'll refuse to do much apart from transfer files to an external.

Would advise you if you go for either get whatever insurance you can afford, seen to many people have dead laptops from water/beer damage and random problems and theft on PC and Mac.
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2009, 15:13:48 »

OS wise i personal find the whole thing a bit more fluid and accessible (but then i've never used XP or Vista on my own machines so can't really comment on that) and the fact that if you do manage to the stuff the internal drive you don't get a blue screen of death you just have a machine that'll refuse to do much apart from transfer files to an external.

So exactly the same as a windows hd, but without the useful information on what caused the crash?

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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2009, 15:22:43 »

OS wise i personal find the whole thing a bit more fluid and accessible (but then i've never used XP or Vista on my own machines so can't really comment on that) and the fact that if you do manage to the stuff the internal drive you don't get a blue screen of death you just have a machine that'll refuse to do much apart from transfer files to an external.

So exactly the same as a windows hd, but without the useful information on what caused the crash?

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no idea. i haven't used windows since 1998 NT.
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2009, 15:23:42 »

OS wise i personal find the whole thing a bit more fluid and accessible (but then i've never used XP or Vista on my own machines so can't really comment on that) and the fact that if you do manage to the stuff the internal drive you don't get a blue screen of death you just have a machine that'll refuse to do much apart from transfer files to an external.

So exactly the same as a windows hd, but without the useful information on what caused the crash?

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no idea. i haven't used windows since 1998 NT.

and it tells you anyhow. so pfft
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2009, 16:08:34 »

I'd say go PC, but then I've always used one.

Having a PC has taught me loads about computers that a Mac would otherwise help you try and avoid. I used to have a terrible time with them and it was only due to some major fails that I can now run a decent machine.

With either of them, if your harddrive crashes you'll loose all your work so it's generally good practise to make backups of things you really don't want to loose. I've known a lot of cases where owners of either machine have lost everything. The difference really is that Macs seem to be more disposible, if that's the right word. People tend to just chuck them out and start over where at least with PCs you can salvage stuff, if you know what you're doing. Although obviously laptops are a bit more self contained than a desktop. Cheesy

Operating system wise I've heard great thing about Windows 7. It's still in development but worth checking out.

If you can't be fucked learning about computers, have loads of cash and just want it to work, get a Mac.
If you have the time to research and learn get a PC as I reckon it'll be worth it in the long run.

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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2009, 09:53:32 »

Couldn't find the real Mac vs PC thread so this one will do:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/28/charlie-brooker-microsoft-mac-windows

So funny explains the PC users views perfectly Wink

I had the misfortune of using windows on Monday, that was practically one big cursing session.
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2009, 09:57:32 »

Couldn't find the real Mac vs PC thread so this one will do:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/28/charlie-brooker-microsoft-mac-windows

So funny explains the PC users views perfectly Wink

I had the misfortune of using windows on Monday, that was practically one big cursing session.

for laptop, id have to say go Mac.  
Im on a macbook pro recently and I love it to bits.  if you can afford it - do it.  The way i saw it was i can have my mac for twice as long as a PC laptop would last.

My desktop studio comp is a PC running XP which works well too - but still crashes more.

edit: that Brooker article is SPOT ON by the way...ive just been the very git hes talking about...
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