PC vs Mac

Lets open this can of worms. I’ve seen on a post, that when a user running PC/Windows gets an error, some comments is simply Buy a Mac to fix. Honestly - I’ve been running PC for most of my production life, and also ran a Mac for about 3 years. I’ve studied computer systems engineering so I might have an valid opinion - Use it don’t use it.

For years Apple had the marketing strategy that only Apple Mac can do graphic design and video production and PC is bad. There was one small reason for this (in the beginning) and that was that Apple had the ability to Calibrate the monitors, and PC did not - I’m talking years ago. So this stigma ran rampant. Obviously PC caught up quickly but could never convert the Apple fanboys.

Apple is basically running a Unix OS, with OSX GUI on top. One thing the do very well is, to match hardware - Foxconn is the company building the Mac (Don’t know if it changed) but last I remembered. In the PC world, Foxconn will never be me first choice motherboard. It is just not good enough, but Apple, because of their testing etc, they matched all the hardware perfectly. And that is why it works so good. They took the guess work out for the consumer - Which can be a good thing for a lot of consumers. Get on with the work, and stop worrying about the “mechanics” .

PC world this is definitely different - You need to know what is going on underneath - Because I decide how you expand, what hardware you add, what features you need.

Simply put - If you use the dedication to build a PC, with decent hardware and compatibility, you will most definitely have a stable computer, stronger and cheaper than a Apple Mac. No doubt.

You thing that does bother me - Is it feels the same strategy apple used regarding the graphic design, is no creeping in, in the Audio Production World. That only apple can do “music”… One place where is see this is at Universal Audio. For a long time their Apollo interfaces was only available for Thunderbolt. I do understand the reason behind this - Bandwidth. But USB3 changed all that and Apollo was made available for windows. One thing to not is, Thunderbolt is not Apple technology. It is Intel Technology that is available on every modern Windows PC. The PC world just never cared to implement it, simply because of the USB. USB is backwards compatible. A usb 1 device will work on any USB 3 port. It will always work. And that was the reason for not going to Thunderbolt. PC decide to wait for the bandwidth of USB to catch up to that of Thunderbolt. No that the technology is on-par, the PC world is still kept behind. No Luma (Universal Audio) for windows? Why? I promise you in the world of Music Production there are a lot more Windows pc than Apple Mac, but marketing drives consumers to believe their Investment in Apple is worth it and protected.

If you use PC or Apple it doesn’t matter. We will never bash a user for using a SM58 to track vocals instead of a U87 since we understand the art. But to just say apple is better and you have no idea what is inside is just naïve. Upgrade your PC CPU to the same spec - Upgrade the drive to the same NVME drive. Same Ram . Same bus speeds etc. etc. Quality components. And your PC experience might just be mind blowing…

You don’t have to build a PC. You can buy a pre-build and then just upgrade anything later. Even laptops allow you to upgrade your RAM and Drives.

I did get an M1 MBP when they came out, but ended up returning it for a PC laptop because it didn’t offer any tangible benefits. I had serious buyer’s remorse, because I had to pay such huge charges to upgrade RAM and Storage at point of sale. It drove the price up to almost $2,100.

All of my external SSDs run at reduced speed on M1-series SoCs, as well.

I returned it and bought a G14 and, saving about $800. Well, $700 after the RAM upgrade I put in it.

The newer MacBooks are better with port selection, but they retain the issue with USB Storage speeds. They are great machines, I just don’t feel any difference between Windows and macOS, personally. I am too computer literate/adept with technology to care. I use them both equally proficiently and don’t really feel any disparities. They are interchangeable to me.

The only actual preference I have is window management on Windows. It’s simply next-level compared to macOS.

They were involved both in the development… at least for version 1 and 2

The technology is not on par… the advantage of Thunderbolt is not bandwith only, you are able to access the PCIe bus directly from the device driver software to lower latency for audio and video as well

I stand corrected. Technically no - But practically pretty close. USB3 is still more than good enough for any audio application… Latency is not a problem. Even with multiple channels and DSP. USB4 also runs 40 Gbps

Thunderbolt devices can lower the latency a bit more… the limit for USB seems to be around 4ms roundtrip with significant high system load, TB can reach 3ms with much lower system load… so if you need low latency audio transfer it would be better to use Thunderbolt or TCP/IP
I’m working as a live sound engineer and we need low latency… the future will be TSN

Apple supports TSN directly in its systems.

I read up on TSN. If the PC world decided not to adapt any other format than USB, I doubt they will adopt TSN even. Just keep on waiting for USB to improve as needed. I seems rather if apple is slowing embracing USB.

I see this is based on Ethernet Technology? If im looking at the correct stuff. Is it just software(Network Card Driver sort of thing), or do you need special hardware to run?

Yes, it’s Ethernet technology.

They (PC vendors) have to adopt TSN… it is needed for other use cases as well, automation and controller applications will rely on it in the future.
Actually, it is available in standard Unix systems based on PC hardware or ARM based systems.

There are some functions required that have to be implemented in hardware
Intel has some NICs already available and there exist implementations for other network controller or different FPGA environments from assorted vendors.
The biggest problem is that switches need to support it as well.

Old wives tales. Mac> PC for audio. Its a pile of dung . Im on my 4th Mac here BTW.

Equally as many issues as a PC. Only diff is on PC I can buy a part and FIX it

IF you need latency free monitoring you simply use the software mixer that comes with your interface, this is NOT a hard thing to do. Guys piss and moan about 3 secs this 4 secs that in round trip. It does not matter if you are using the tools properly.

If you are doing LIVE sound then get Sound Grid or something that is designed for that use.

Thanks for the obvious advice…
but SoundGrid has the same problems, minimal possible latency is around 5ms and the technology is expensive.
AVB, Dante and Ravenna work as well.
And there are proprietary protocols available that provide round trip latency times around 0.7ms and Dante can reach 1ms within the Yamaha environment… the bottleneck is the interface to the computer in these cases, this adds too much unwanted latency.

But our main concern in live sound is that it is not possible to compensate the latency automatically.

You can work on either. It doesn’t actually matter although Macs are kind of ubiquitious in many visible creative enviroments. Macs and Apple products also hold resale value pretty well. Choose what your prefer. For the record I love the Mac ecosystem for my regular day-to-day driver stuff like browsing the web, listening to music and watching YouTube vids but I do all my office and audio work on PC devices (mainly HP) – however I could work on anything without issue.