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Buy a Macbook?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by jenderfazz, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Looking for an upgrade to my current setup, a ~5 year old all purpose home PC:

    3300+ mhz Athlon 64
    160 gb HD
    1 gb ram (can't add any more)

    I'm thinking a brand new Macbook:

    2.4 ghz Intel core 2 duo
    250 gb HD
    2 gb ram (upgradeable to 4 gb)

    Basically it has to run Cubase SX 3, Reason, FL Studio (not necessarily all at once, but I do use Rewire at times). I don't multitrack record often (if at all) but I'm constantly writing and recording synth and bass tracks.

    This setup pushes my PC to the limit, I'm wondering if the Macbook is at least equal or better? It's also gonna hold songs and minimal programs (possibly used for school). It's nice to have the portability of the Macbook for recording in different places, so I'm not really looking to buy a new desktop (or buy a PC laptop... I'm ready to get a Mac in that regard)

    What do you think?
  2. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    You're going to have a lot of mixed feelings about Macs just about anywhere that you go. They are much more expensive than a comparable PC laptop, and since the latest upgrade to Intel based systems, there isn't a whole lot of difference between Mac and PC. If you're still comfortable with Windows and don't want to re-learn a new OS, I'd rethink getting a Mac. However, they can run Windows and OSX via Bootcamp (simultaneously if you run Parallels or VM Ware Fusion). I haven't had a chance to do a lot of recording on mine yet, but I do quite a bit of video and audio editing and encoding for my church. Spec out two comparable laptops, and compare the features and prices. Don't just buy into something because of the name brand. All of this being said, I really like my Macbook. I was looking for something different than all of the PC's that I have had, and this fit the bill nicely. :)

    Now let the Mac-bashing commence! :spit:
  3. toddnaud


    Mar 15, 2008
    McKinney, TX
    yes, buy a mac. i have yet to meet someone (myself included) who made the switch and wish they hadn't.
  4. Matt R.

    Matt R. Supporting Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL

    Ditto. PCs suck. Mac OS is more user friendly and so far... no viruses really. Do it. It's worth the cash:bassist:
  5. taphappy

    taphappy doot de doo

    Sep 28, 2007
    Tempe, Arizona
    A 2.4Ghz core2 duo would run Cubase SX3, Reason, and FL seamlessly at the same time, and probably run a virus scan while you were at it, without you knowing.

    An E6700 (2.66Ghz duo - NON centrino, but comparable) will Divx encode in 1m49s what your Athlon would do in 4m59s.

    So, yeah. It'll do ya :)

    You and I are both using computers that got very little gas. I got a 2600+ :p The core2 and quad CPUs are dreamy. Our computers are very very out of date. Nice to keep around to surf with, but for anything serious, gotta go duo/quad.

    What Mutt said is dead on. My singer switched from PC to Mac this year. He had a month of learning curve ultimate frustrations since he was used to PC, but bore with, and now is in absolute freakish mad love with the thing and is trying to convince me to get one. Me, can't stand the GUI, or the speed of navigating around the OS. The CLI, I totally love. Heh.

    At the same time, cost is high on 'em. Make sure you can afford one with a screen size you can stand, and go for it. Or, you can get a sick widescreen PC, a license for XP Pro, and a digi002 off eBay for less.

    Play with one, see what you think. It'll be a lot of checks and balances, write down a list of pros and cons, and see if it's worth the extra cash.

  6. ive got both a pc and a mac. both are newer and i dont even touch the pc i like the mac so much!!!
  7. Emmaemme


    May 20, 2008
    Go with the mac - for recording or not !
  8. Kraken


    Jun 19, 2001
    Aylesbury, England
    As someone else said, it is a complete opinion thing, I just don't 'get' the mac operating system and find PC's much more user friendly. but, there are people who prefer macs.

    like there are people who prefer a MM stingray over a Fender Jazz bass and vice versa.

    your best bet is spend some serious time trying both in a shop somewhere.
  9. For your question about performance, you will be really happy with the MacBook for what you are describing. I run Live, softsynths, effects, and track audio and MIDI and the thing never hiccups. You don't mention track count, but you should be fine unless your projects are real monsters. This isn't mac-specific, but the real killers to track count are effects in real time, like running multiple convolution reverbs. Use common sense and you will probably never hit the wall with it. A fast FW drive will keep your data from fighting your OS/apps.

    I've been using apple exclusively for about 5 or 6 years now. Once OS X got settled down I was sold. I'm happy with the choice, love the apps, and love the OS. The way the OS the apps and the hardware integrate is worth the price of admission for me. I've used nothing but Apple notebooks. First an iBook G4/800, replaced under logic board recall with a G4/1.2, then my current MBP 2.16. They have been very solid in performance and reliability, and with the first ibook, Apple stood behind it and made it more than right. My old iBook is still knocking it out as a daily surfing/utility machine.

    This is generic switcher rambling, feel free to disregard:

    If you want to decide on $$, then the Mac might not be in your future. Same goes for software you might already own (though you should check for OS X versions that you can use your existing registrations on), or a specific app that is PC only. I was a Sonic Foundry Acid/Vegas devotee before I made the switch and it was a tearful goodbye, lightened by the sale to Sony.

    Get a MacBook because you want that kind of system. Apple has done a good job, IMO, the best yet, in walking the tightrope between a closed system and a complete free for all. I go wayyy back with companies like HP and DEC who kept a very tight grip on their platform and kept third party developers at arm's length. Apple has been great at documenting the hardware, drivers, APIs... and their developer support has proven to be excellent, and the resulting apps are often industry standard.
  10. Yvon


    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I made the swith last january.
    You will have to learn a OS but, once you do you will never go back to windows.
    If you read a little on the net, you should be as good with the mac OS in less then a month.
    One thing you should consider if you want to do audio on any laptop (mac or PC) is an external screen.
    I also own a macbook and edit audio without a mouse and on a 13" screen is not really easy.
  11. fish slapper

    fish slapper

    Nov 17, 2005
    Newberg, OR
    I have a PC laptop for work that I'm allowed to take home for my personal use. This is being typed on a MacBook pro. The Dell is still on my desk at work. This should tell you something.:smug:
  12. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I would say go Mac especially for recording. I have lived in PC and Mac worlds for years both at work and home. I few years ago I went Mac only at home and glad I did. Mac aren't that much more expensive than PC when you consider all the ports and other features they come with standard. Then Mac's and audio is a breeze, things just seem to work so your spending more time making music than tweaking your system. There's a reason most studios are running Mac's.
  13. crazyguy832


    Dec 17, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Unless you're a hardcore gamer (doesn't sound like it), go for the Mac.


    Honestly... PCs are really only better for gaming.
  14. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    Not true anymore. You can load Windows on your Mac and play games. It's what I do. :D
  15. jayarroz


    Jul 10, 2007
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    macbook pro. I can run pro-tool, reason, garageband listen to itunes. Have 5 pages open on the internet, and burn a cd. All at one time.
  16. Brent Nussey

    Brent Nussey

    Jun 27, 2001
    Tokyo, Japan
  17. Great article, thanks for that.

    Honestly, FL is fun to use because it's easy to make beats on it, and my buddy sends me FL files every so often. But I'd just as quickly use Reason for electronic drums.