Cubase on Mac

Ive been a cubase user for a long time, years… Always on PC. But due to work commitments im turning over to mac… Its about time anyways… Some people are telling me that cubase doesn’t perform half as well on MAC? is this true? I would of thought the opposite. I use Pro Tools also and this runs way better on mac. But im primarily a cubase user so the thought kind of scares me.

Am i hearing from the wrong people?


If you spend just a lkittle of your own time on using the search function, you might find plenty of Mac vs. PC threads where users post their experiences…,

I use it on a Mac. I had more problems on my old PC.
Right now everything works very stable and fine.
But that was a machine with XP running on it. So I don’t
really know how it works with 7. But one thing I love
about Cubase on Macs is that the window management is WAY

Apparently, Cubase does perform a bit better on Windows. I dont think you will have a problem though. I sure as hell dont! (and my machines are OLD). It seems to be ONLY benchmarking where its actually noticeable. Ive yet to hear a real world complaint. Rest assure, your experience will be as soothing as you imagine it being. People always want to stir up shit, for whatever reason. :wink:

A question is asked and then answered. Cubase on PC performs considerably better than on Mac, see the multiple topics about it. And yes, this is measured by benchmarking, otherwise the discussion would never end - it’s hard enough as it is. Face it; Apple is more concerned with portable gadgets these days, with the latest MacPro released years ago.

Aloha r,

Keep in mind that these day a Mac can run the Windows OS just fine.

I have a buddy that does this and IMHO Cubase is ‘zippier’ in that environment.
Especially graphics.

But due to work commitments im turning over to mac.

In all my years I have never heard this.
It is normally the other way around.

Guess times are still a changin.


Thats pretty much what I just said. :neutral_face: Should I have PRAISED Windows…? I dont like Windows. My transition to OS X was GRAVY. I also NEVER heard a real world complaint. But yeah, Windows “kills” OS X in benchmarking. Happy now? :laughing:

Is the “considerable” performance loss worth the switch? Absolutely!…imo. No more headaches. More focusing on stuff that matters…to me.

Oh, I agree 100%. Which is why 10.6 will be with me for the rest of my apple days, untill they prove otherwise. I am so disappointed, surprised and shocked at their actions :open_mouth: . They were already bringing in consumers when they introduced BootCamp (Windows installer). Why they went the dummy route is mind boggling. I guess all good things must end, at some point. :cry:

Well, English not being my mother tongue, I do believe “apparently performs a bit better” is far from the most accurate way to describe it.

That’s great for you, but the question was about performance differences between Mac and PC, and they do exist.

Yeah… 10.7 & 8 suck! Such a step back!
Such a step in direction “don’t show our new stupid users
files that they could corrupt by their stupid ‘I did not create
this file so I have to delete it’-behavior.”

Problem is that 10.6 doesn’t run on the new generations
anymore. So if my actual computer is done some day I’ll have
a huge problem.

I hope it’s not a curse about the six! Right now I’m very satisfied
with Cubase. :wink:

I believe we all know the reason:

Mo $$$$$$$. Over 100 billion in cash right now.

Guess there is not nearly as much $$ to be made
from aspiring (young and old) musicians.


Fair enough, Arjan P. :slight_smile:

Depending on the machine, you can install 10.6 on newer/new ones. You just need a second Mac, to boot it into “target mode”, so you can install the correct drivers for the install. Something to look into… :smiley:

Yeah, unfortunately, money rules. H3ll is becoming reality.

You can’t. Have a look at mactracker. The newest MacBook Pro 13"
only boots with 10.7.2 or higher. There are some still some Macs
that work with at least 10.6.7. But they’re diminishing with every day
that passes by.

the performance issues will only rear their head when you have the machine on the bleeding edge of it’s performance .i’ve never had my macs on os x 10.6.7 or running win 7 to a point where latency, disk performance, cpu performance whatever else might cripple my machines . 9 times out of 10 you wont notice a difference. you’ll just get much better screen management which is truly horrible on win 7

For what is concerning OS X 10.6 vs. newer versions of OS X I have to say that in my experience OS X 10.8 runs at least equally well if not slightly better than 10.6, at least for audio work. The only thing that can be more demanding are the graphical effects in the operating system’s user interface - if you have an older graphics card you might see some stutter, for example in Exposé. And there is that stupid pop-up effect of new windows that is really annoying, but you can turn it off. But the actual system performance on my Mac Pro (see below) under 10.8 is slightly better than under 10.6.
So I would say there’s no need to worry about OS X at the moment.

Of course, Windows still performs considerably better, especially at low latencies. But that will probably not change anytime soon as apparently OS X’s relative inefficiency as compared to Windows is due to its Mach Kernel and other low level components that can’t be changed that easily. But I still prefer OS X over Windows :slight_smile:

The analogy I use is cars.

Window can go 0—>60 in 3 seconds while
Macs can go 0—>60 in 5 seconds;
however both can get you to work
and back home safely in time for dinner.


haha and all this time i though going mac in the studio was an upgrade… :laughing:

All this talk is about one specific benchmark, the DAWbench. The numbers there are pretty unequivocal, but the differences are most pronounced at 64 sample buffers or lower. That’s where ASIO on Windows really takes off and CoreAudio stumbles.

I’m not all that technical and don’t know about mach kernels, but to me there appears to be a difference in design philosophy: ASIO is a single-client straightshooter, whereas CoreAudio offers system-wide multi-client versatility.

As an analogy, I’d like to think that CoreAudio sacrifices some straightline speed for better cornering.

For me the trade-off is worth it, I like to listen to something on YouTube while playing along on a VI in Cubase. I can have twenty different applications open, all playing back and/or recording audio/video simultaneously, all running at a safe but fast 128 sample buffer. Not being able to do this on Windows to me is like having to repatch cables everytime you want to use a different application.

But If you need to run more than 100 voices at 64 sample buffer, ASIO on Windows is the way to go.

Another difference in design approach is that Apple’s Logic has an internal fixed higher buffer, independent of the interface’s buffer setting, which works really well at ultra-low latencies in CoreAudio. The one time someone did the DAWbench on Logic it performed better than Cubase on Windows, even at 32 samples, while simultaneously screen-capturing the whole thing in Quicktime.

Cubase works fine on OSX, and I rarely run out of room with an Mbox3Pro at 128 samples, roundtrip latency about 9 ms.

Nonetheless, if you use Cubase and need ultimate performance, I think it’s safe to say that Windows is the better choice. If you want ultimate performance on Mac, use Logic.


I wonder what kind of job would require the OP to switch to Mac, other than being a OSX/iOS developer…

Wait, wait wait… All this is about 64 sample buffer size? Who the hell needs to be at 64.? even 512, is more or less inaudible, at 256 your fine cant feel or hear any latency… ok now thats out of the way… Haha thanks for pointing that out…

I work in the recording industry every studio has a mac, i work full time in one of the busiest studios in hollywood. Im currently building my own mix suite and production room. My job brings me around many of the top studios in los angeles, i have yet to find a pc in one of them… Even in the office.