Bren

Mac vs PC for multimedia

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So, the other day I got into a rather...heated discussion with a friend of mine.  She claims that PCs aren't as good as Macs for music and video production, saying that the price is warranted because Macs put better components for such things in their machines. 

Now...I'm a diehard PC user;  I've always enjoyed the customization that you can have with PCs and how you can upgrade parts if needed...even build one custom which I have recently.  I just want to know if anyone has experience working with both, and if there is any merit to my friend's claim.  I didn't dismiss her claim entirely because she and her husband have worked in the recording business for ~20 years and they said that from experience, Macs are better for the job.  I'm of the opinion that a PC can do anything that a Mac can if the proper components are installed.

Any thoughts from the community?

Also, hi! Been a while since I dropped in here :)

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Hey there Bren! 

I agree that a PC could do anything a Mac could with proper components, but I still use a mac. Probably because I've never gone to the trouble of actually trying to build a good PC =P

I've also noticed iMovie acting up on me recently, although Logic is working good as ever =]

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4 hours ago, Bren said:

She claims that PCs aren't as good as Macs for music and video production, saying that the price is warranted because Macs put better components for such things in their machines. 

Patently untrue. Macs use the exact same kind of hardware as PCs these days. It's true that a MacBook Pro will usually trounce a laptop off the shelf at Costco or something, but that Costco laptop costs about half to a quarter of the price of the MacBook, and of course it uses inferior parts. Spend the same amount of money on a high-end PC as you do on an equivalent Mac and you'll get better bang for buck in terms of component quality and power--I've done this many times, and I'm sitting here on my super high end audio PC that cost at most half of what an equivalent Mac Pro would have cost. Now, Mac OS tends to handle audio drivers more nicely than Windows does, but not by enough to make a difference to most people.

 

Macs are great, but they are not in any way superior to PCs by any quantifiable metric...aside from maybe resale value. :P

 

Now, I also love my MacBook Pro, and the one thing that the Mac platform does have going for it that the PC platform doesn't is that there is a very small number of variations that can be made in Mac hardware as compared to PC, which means that most pro audio and video manufacturers only have to support a small number of combinations of hardware to go with their drivers or software. PCs don't have that luxury, and sometimes you have to get very finicky in order to build a rig that plays nice with all kinds of specialized hardware. I can see why someone would prefer to stay on the Mac side of things for that reason alone, but that does not make the Mac computers inherently any better. It just means that there's less room for error when other things are introduced to the equation. 

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Many people who work with music use Macs, because Logic. But unless you specifically need or want to use a Mac program, there's nothing a Mac can do that a PC can't.

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I know some folks will swear by Macs for video, graphical and audio work, but frankly, the days of Macs having a leg up in those areas are long gone in my opinion. There are many programs out there that will allow you to do the same work on a PC at the same speed. Sure, the Mac has a few Mac-only programs, but the PC has that aspect to it as well, along with many quality programs that work just fine on both (Sonar, Adobe products, etc.). Plus, you can usually get a powerful PC for less than a similar-specs Mac, so that could give you some cash to use toward other things (software, components, etc.).

So yeah, I'd say unless you've got a hard on for some Mac-only program, get a PC and put the money you'd save toward something more useful than an Apple logo.

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The main advantage I see for Macs is that level of consistency.  As Flex said, the limited number of options for what goes into a Mac (both hardware and software) means that it can be easier to develop a product that delivers a consistent experience on one.  Fewer compatibility issues, so fewer crashes and other wonkiness.  For that reason, a Mac can be a safer choice if you're not very tech-savvy; they're harder to screw up.

Otherwise, PC's have, in their favor, a much greater breadth of software options, and a much cheaper price for comparable power.

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Some very interesting and insightful responses.  Thanks everyone.  I hadn't thought about before the intricacies of hardware compatibilities for PCs and can see why taking a mac might be a simpler (albeit more expensive) way to go.  I think that the industry has Macs seeded deeply and it would be inconvenient for anyone to change due to complacency with the hardware and software.

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I think Macs are very similar to gaming consoles. You buy it as is and you won't upgrade or change any of it, but it will do everything it's supposed to do. For people who just want to get started without diving into the hardware stuff that's awesome. It's much easier than buying a PC. For everyone who doesn't mind that and for people who don't have that much money PCs are the way to go.

For music production specifically the main reason to use a Mac is Logic, as others have pointed out. I'd never switch just for one program, but I know some people who did and are now nagging me with their "Mac is better" talk. It's really annoying since I always see pros and cons in both systems. But it seems everyone I know who bought a Mac immediately became an "Apple" fanboy to justify their purchase.

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In most cases, MACs are for noobs and hipsters who don't know anything about computers and got sold a dream. More or less. There's nothing exclusive to Mac that's worth it. Logic and Final ? lmao like there's no better alternative... If you use it because you're used to a workflow, fine, but if you're just like "macs are better", well, you are free to hold on your convinctions. The "no virus, no bug, better hardware, better os" is pure bullshit. Note though, I'm not saying Macs are bad. This said, your friend is a noob. I bet she's vegan :P

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