Would like to hear from those Cubase users who have switched from Mac to Windows.

The pricing of the new Mac Pros is utterly comical. So, I’m done with paying the embarrassing Mac tax and am looking into switching back to Windows after 6 years on Mac.

What I like about Mac is its stone-cold reliability for me – I’ve truly almost never had an issue with the computer freezing, “blue-screening”, etc., aside from plug-in related issues in Cubase. Stability has always been supreme, and I run extremely huge scoring and mix sessions (easily 350 tracks, fully loaded VE Pro, stacked to the limit with plugins and VSTi’s, etc.). I’m used to the ease of the Mac working great almost constantly. I’m not interested in a Hackintosh because my schedule is so stacked that I have little time or interest anymore to tinker about – I just need things to work (obviously there’s an initial setup and maintenance – I’m not talking about that). When I was on Windows before Mac I had great systems by ADK and ran into issues on a fairly regular basis at times – BIOS this, BIOS that, blue screens, etc. But that was over six years ago. I have very tight deadlines and can’t deal with frequent computer issues.

So this question is only for people who have used or currently use both Windows and Mac because I need the viewpoint only from people who have deep experience with both, ideally from people who run big-sized sessions like I do: What is your experience on Windows currently vs. Mac as far as reliability, stability, and ease of dealing with, all with Cubase? I would like answers that reflect your true reality – life is too short for any kind of fanboy-ism, and I couldn’t care less what company I use as long as its the best for me.

Take my advice with a grain of salt, since I am primarily a ProTools user and not a Cubase user. (I used to run big Nuendo sessions though until recently) You list all the things that make Mac the first choice and then ask if Windows would be an option. Quite honestly - I do not think so for your use case. The Mac is a platform for users who do not want or can’t afford to spend their time on computer trouble. It costs the well known Apple tax to join the club and I constantly get annoyed by Apple and their silly marketing blahdiblah.
BUT, just as you mentioned I have also never in my life had serious computer trouble with Macs, while the amount of grief Windows has given me (yes, on some VERY premium hardware) has been too much to bear for me personally. I spend a LOT of hours in front of the screens in mz studio, the worst thing I could encouonter would be a computer telling me to spend more time on maintenance, data loss or unstable systems. I’ve got a familiy life to take care of as well…
A year ago before the mini was released and the pro was announced the choices were a lot more limited and I started to worry if I had to go to the Windows side for my next computer, now there is a choice and I guess the mini will be enough for my needs.
To be more precise - I took a week off my vacations last year in the studio to test Windows 10. I can honestly say that it’s not for me. It annoys the living hell out of me in many, many different ways. Your post sounds as if you are the same kind of user, but by all means give it a shot and see if it works for you.

Thanks, Oliver. Sadly I think you may be right. I don’t know what to do because I need giant amounts of CPU power and the Mac Pro is frighteningly over-priced. I suppose I could get the base model and upgrade the CPU and memory myself instead of feeding the Apple trough (I did that with my current Mac Pro and saved some money). It’s appealing to get a mega-high powered PC custom-built to what I want exactly, but the tradeoff is, in both your and my experiences, not worth it.

I notice you don’t use Nuendo anymore. If you have a moment can you PM me and tell me the reasons you switch to Pro Tools? I’m curious about your reasons and how it’s worked out for you.

Hi there

My experiences with MAC are sort of Blah.

I realy tried to use it and I wasn’t impressed. The lack of possibility to optimize the OS was close to zero. Besides, MAC is in my point of a consumer product (read toy), that doesn’t belong i a proffesional environment.

A lot of the issues you see with windows platforms are often related to all the other “shit” that gets installed. Shit in this context is, antivirus software, office packages, video editing software etc. If you dedicate your DAW only to be a DAW, then I doubt you will encounter any problems. Keep the machine of the net, you don’t need it when you make music.

I’ve been running a cubase platform for quite a while now on Windows 7. Crahes so far? Not a single one. It’s a question of knowing what you are doing. I recently upgraded to a dual Xeon platform. The build was easy and I simply moved the harddrive from one computer to the other (I did a slight hack in i registry). No need for reinstallation or what so ever. And the platform … stable as a rock. I’ve realy tried to push it to the limit and it has been impossible to make it crash.

A well ballanced system with loads of headroom on CPU and RAM will do the job for you.

Good to know, thanks.

Swapped from Mac to Wn 10 for audio and it’s been brilliant so far, can’t fault it and was expecting the worse.

Once you’re using the application it’s no different In use, I love my macs but man they’ve screwed us over with pricing and locking us out of upgrades and being able to fix machines - it’s not an Apple model I want to support.

I started on an i7 machine with spinning HDD to test the water, and even mirroring over to a new SSD drive was painless (decided to invest more into windows machine).

Some weeks ago i did the swap. And I haven’t regret yet. From my point of view it is a full recommendation to change from Mac to Windows.
I was working with macs since the 90s, until May this year i used 2 Mac Pro 3,1 with SSD only. Mac 1 for Nuendo 8.5, Mac 2 for Vienna Ensemble.

My system now is one Windows 10 machine, intel i9900k, z390 Aorus Master, 32GB memory, 2x M.2 storage . I ordered and assembling by myself.
On top of this i changed from Nuendo 8.5 to Cubase 10. Great choice!
All installations went so smoothly, the system, the drivers, all the plugins. SNAPPY, FAST.
adjustments in the bios, so easy.
As i am not using live recording, I keep the buffer size fairly high at 1024, like i did on my Macs. The CPU likes this.

FWIW OP, my input. I am speaking more as a professional technician and less as a music pro. I used OS X, Windows and Linux variants for worlk. Whatever system you invest in, it should give you about 5 to 7 years of usage before becoming obsolete or failing on you. It doesn’t matter whether its apple of a windows variant. Both will become old junk in about 7 years.

As far as operating system software product, I think the argument that OS X is rock solid and the Windows is unstable is weak. The stability depends on how you use the system, what you install on it, and how you treat it. If you get your system and use it as a tool and treat it like a tool, meaning, no installing non essential software required to get the work done, no weird torrent junk or games, it will stay stable. There is also a good case to be made to stay conservative on patching and only patch if absolutely essential. Some patches add bloat to the system. The argument that Windows is more hand holding and OS X is not is also weak. I actually find them both have become very bloated OS products with too many services running useless things that you don’t actually need or use or are ever aware is even running. But I still find Linux to be more of a techy tinkerers tool and lots more hand holding and troubleshooting than the other two when using it as a work desktop.

Apples pricing strategy I am finding is getting a little greedy and out of control. It used to be the apple option would cost twice as much as a comparable Windows option. It seems these days, its trice as much. I can’t see a justification for 3 x what competition charges to pay for Apple engineering innovation.

I totally agree.

Almost all issues I’ve had on both platforms have been due to incompatible software (user error) or failing hardware.

I will say this however, and I know I’ll maybe get some critics objecting to this: I have found that particular combinations on OSX and Macs are far more sensitive to upgrades than something “equal” on Windows. Upgrading OSX seems to me to have bigger effects on Pro Tools installations for example, and Mac computers are more frequently losing support for those OS upgrades.

So from what I’ve seen it’s been far more costly upgrading OSX because with it comes possible computer upgrades and thus Pro Tools upgrades (if you’re running TDM / HDX etc). And I’ve also seen people struggle with simple OSX updates that made Quicktime playback not work in Logic etc, which was a problem for some in music for post.

I’ve seen less of that on Cubase/Nuendo + Windows 7/8/10.

But yeah, generally a nicely thoughtfully set up clean machine does the job equally well on both and problems are typically user or hardware errors.

In my view Apple stands for less true innovation and more “forced” evolution of standards. Thunderbolt is a good example. Apple ditched SCSI, it ditched IDE, ditched USB1, FW400, FW800, PCIe, USB2 etc… Adding Thunderbolt “forced” the consumer’s hand, but it was developed by Intel and licensed by Apple. And users paid a premium for this “forced obsolescence”.

To me Apple products have always been priced higher than they “should” have been if we exclude the experience of the OS/GUI, Apple-specific services, and the visual design of the devices. Sounds like a lot to exclude perhaps, but if you’re a professional most of the time is spent in the DAW which looks pretty much the same on either OS, you won’t use many of those services probably, and we frequently shove that pretty computer under a desk or in a machine room. So what’s left is just a bunch of components we paid extra for…

… in my “humble” opinion…

I’ve managed to re-incorporate two pieces of hardware that would no longer run on MacOS when i got my Win 10 machine, things just seem to be less deliberately out-dated/made extinct on windows at the OS level. But of course Windows goal is to support as many devices as it can, MacOS is the opposite of that.

I switched full time about 6 years ago. My current windows 10 machine is rock solid, it’s been through win 7/8/8.1 and now 10 :smiley: Stability and reliability are paramount for me as I have high profile clients sat in the studio with me from time to time. I’ve scored two films, recorded chart albums. mixed high track count 96k projects from British grove studios here all with no issues on windows 10 DAW that’s now quite old looking at my sig.

If you’re a Cubase user I see no downsides except for your attachment to OSX generally as an OS.