Which computer is more likely to run Cubase more smoothly, pc or mac?

which computer would do a better job at handling big heavy Cubase projects with a lot of vsts and stuff?
a pc with a intel I9 processor and 32 Gb of ram, or a 2021 Imac m1, with 16 Gb of unified memory?
which is better for music production, for Cubase?
which one will be the first to get stuck under “pressure”?
which one is more powerful, and better overall?
and a faster running computer?

I’m thinking also about video editing for the future, so which one would do a better job at that?

I’m sick of all the computers I’ve used till this day! they were all so slow, I wanna take matters into my own hands and finally buy myself a killer computer.
a fast one for a change, that does not give me a nightmare of an experience.
one that whenever I save a Cubase project, will not get stuck and make me Ctrl-Alt-Del it and lose all the work I did for half of an hour.

I just wanna know which one of the options I mentioned could be the ideal choise for the purposes of music and video editing.

thank you!

If you like gambling… go for the M1 iMac and hope the 16GB will be enough for your current and future needs (it cannot be upgraded later!). It’s great technology, but be prepared also for some “growing pains” of this new bleading-edge tech.

Don’t get me wrong, the M1 is a giant leap for mankind, but expect to spend more time fiddling with drivers and miscellaneous bugs than doing music for a while, until ALL your software/hardware vendors have figured it out.

Otherwise, go for an i9 (or even i7).
If you can wait a bit for Intel’s 12th generation, it’s worth the wait.
Many people on this forum advocate for the latest AMD chips, I’m just not one of them for many reasons I don’t feel like debating.

Don’t over spend on the GPU (any basic recent card will do).

Keep your money for fast and large SSD’s (don’t use HDDs) and for 32GB DRAM.

Install only the SW you need, and remove the bloatware that may have shipped with your chosen machine. Disable or remove every “goodies” that will eat your CPU cycles in the back, especially if it uses the infamous cloud… :upside_down_face:

Icing on the cake: Add a large (32in) 4k screen…
A large screen won’t make your PC faster, but it sure is confortable…

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It’s possibly going to depend on several factors that you’ll have to consider and figure out…;

  • Which NLE are you going to use?
  • Are you going to edit proxies or “full res”?
  • What resolution are you going to use?
  • Are you doing pure editing or also doing FX/restoration work or grading?

Because if you for example answer that you need to cut multicam 4k footage with no proxies and also run denoise and grade it then that’s a possibly different set of requirements from just editing transcoded proxies at 720p, no FX etc and then you send out an EDL for someone else to do onlining.

Or to put it differently: You may need a great graphics card which in turn means you need to hook that up somehow, and you might also need much larger drives than when you do audio work.

If you just want to play around or edit the occasional GoPro vid for fun then I’m sure either will be fine.

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hello. thanks for your answer.
let me clarify that besides taking videos in smartphones and using a really old lousy digital Camera, I don’t have real experience with the world of cameras and also video editing yet.
but as I’ve said, it’s something I inspire to do in the future.
so I was not familiar with many of the terms you used. had to google them. still don’t know what some of them mean.

I just want to buy an all round computer that won’t give me trouble when I edit audio, and would be strong enough to allow me the possibility to edit videos in a good enough level.
one that will also allow me to do graphic design, which I forgot to mention. I have no experience in graphic design too, but I want to learn that in the future.

“Because if you for example answer that you need to cut multicam 4k footage with no proxies and also run denoise and grade it”
I’m not sure about the 4k, I think 1080p would be enough… I guess converting the files to proxies(which mean smaller files of the same videos, right?) would be an option. but let’s say I want to edit 4k with no proxies as you’ve said, what then would you recommend? Mac Pro? amd? a computer with more ram than 32? or just one of the options I was trying to decide between them?

I’ve laid my eyes on two computers offered in a website of a computer retailer in my country.
one had this graphic card :
PNY Nvidia QUADRO P2200 5GB
and the other had this:
Palit GeForce RTX 3070 GamingPro 8GB GDDR6X
(I know it says Gaming, I don’t have an interest in gaming but maybe it’s better for what I need?) which one is the better option for video edit and graphic design?

thank you, this was very helpful.
I don’t think I could wait, it depends, how long must I wait for the 12th generation and what could be better there? I think it would take a long time for this to arrive at stores in my countries even after it’s released anywhere else.

I heard the I9’s tend to heat up too much, is it that bad?
how much of an upgrade is I7 from I5? I am now with a I5 computer and I’m afraid I7 won’t be that much of a level jump from what I use right now. I am using Hdd right now though.)

Well, I don’t do visual work for a living so I can’t recommend setups for you. You should look into what apps you want to use and search for what people use for them. What I think I remember is that for 4k and up you probably want at least 8GB video memory on the card. Fortunately you can upgrade your card later if you get a decent computer. I’d get absolutely no less than 16GB RAM, and you should definitely check again what video and design people need on their software’s respective forums. I’m betting it’s going to be at least double, and maybe 64GB and up recommended.

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Getting fast SSDs will have a much bigger impact than maxing out on DRAM.
8GB of RAM on your GPU card is plenty for 99% of applications now and tomorrow.

16GB on the main/system/CPU however is a good idea if you expect loading large sample libraries. But again… a fast SSD with “only” 8GB DRAM will provide more performance (overall) than a SATA HDD with 16GB DRAM.

About CPU:
You said earlier

So, an i5 CPU will NOT deliver a “killer” machine, even though it’s a decent choice (in the top end).
The i9 will not heat up more, it’s a good pick.
In order of preference:
Often the “KF” versions (overclock-able) are more available than the “F”, but take the “F” if available.

But again if you can wait for the 12th generation, it’s worth it (more performance for less $ and less watts). A bigger step than previous generation steps.
You should be able to order in November for delivery before Christmas.

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Hi Bon,

I’m not a Mac fan! IMO they are too expensive and do not deliver enough power for what you pay for.

I know… the whole market will tell you to buy Mac. because that is what ‘all musician use’? Just as all sound engineers will tell you to use Pro Tools.

The above is true because the majority of studios are using Mac and Pro Tools. It’s the market standard because the cattle is just following the herd. So f***k that!

Nowadays we know you can make and produce music on a simple laptop. You really don’t need an expensive Mac and an expensive Pro Tools account!

Also…Windows has a wealth of choices of applications that Mac does not.

If you want to also have the opportunity to produce and edit video, there’s lots of options on Windows machines regarding applications. You can start with 16GB of memory and expand to 64GB or even 128GB or 256GB if you want.

I personally would always go for Windows. Much more flexible than IOS!

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Have both setups. For cubase 10, & 11. My 10th gen i9 with cubase runs 30-35% more tracks & plugins. M1 beats it’s in video rendering unless I use my 3090 card in PC. I also have 9th gen i9 and loading all 3 computers with the same projects. In order 10th gen Average (80tracks), 9th gen (67tracks), m1 (49tracks) Lots of plugs & vsts on 48khz, & a working buffer to track without latency.
Based on system 1tb setup, 2tb 2nd drive. 12gen would be another roughly 13-20% faster depending on setup. If you wanted to go Mac I would wait for next gen coming. That would be more closer to an 10th, 11th, 12th gen Intel, or New Amd setup.