Switch To Mac?

So the enivetable hass hapened , my trusty 4 year vaio laptop is broke …so I am considering switching to mac …just some questions

  1. The mac mini is the cheapest of the bunch ( already have a monitor etc …)and seems like it has enough processing power , on the graphical side …the gfx card seems powerfull enough too, so any renoisers here using aa macmini …?
    2.secondly …I will have some money to spend on vst’s …or should I rather spend them on au’s …in case of a future purchase of logic ( which only supports au’s )…So do the au’s behave just like the vst’s in renoise ?
    …or maybe I should just buy me an off the shelf pc laptop and spare some money f or 'the spectral audio neptune 2 ’ :)
  1. Today’s Mac Mini is definitely powerful enough. Mine is a couple of years old and I’ve never experienced any problems with Renoise. One month after I bought mine they switched to a better gfx-card. UGH! Just my luck.


I use both platforms regularly. In the current state of things with hardware and software I’d say go PC. Cheaper for the same level of quality and a larger range of plugins to choose from.

As a computer-retailer once told me: don’t go mac, don’t be a fag

… unless you believe everything the Apple marketingdepartment shovels at you ;)

On the other hand, my 6 year old 1.67 Ghz G4 Powerbook is still running like a dream and I haven’t had a days hassle with it. Which is more than can be said for my fucking bugged-out Windows XP desktop, which has a 3.6 Ghz processor and in theory should leave my powerbook in the dust specs-wise…

Your operating system depends on what you want.

  • If you want a free Open Source system (but is a pain to set up (or so I’m told)): Linux
  • If you want a wide variety of programs (at the expense of a rock-solid stable environment): Windows
  • If you want a rock-solid stable environment (but a variety of programs more limited then Windows):Mac

Don’t expect to like any of them, they all make people go crazy with anger, but for you, two choices: one is better than the others, or COMBINED POWER!

Oh, and another thing, don’t listen to me.

mac rocks just expensive but good in the long run

On linux, it’s a given that if you don’t know what you are doing, you are screwed.

With Mac, beginners understand it, and experts who like Unix and programming understand it.

Windows offers an intermediate level, the power user level, with a lot of room to shoot yourself in the foot and fuck up your system.

I’m a mac user, it’s a compelling platform for me because I don’t like wasting time tinkering, but I do like Unix. The compromise is price, with the bonus that it’s an “all-in-one” solution.

Simple things like like putting my workplace Lenevo to sleep is painful, there’s a 50/50 chance that when I pack the laptop the fan is still running. For some reason, it’s my fault and I have to update drivers and wrestle between Lenevo IBM and Microsoft implementations, and maybe some video driver in there, maybe learn to to click “sleep” before sleeping…

On my mac I close the lid. If that doesn’t work it’s broken. Someone will repair it. No bullshit.

Oddly, I’ve had the exact opposite experience.

First, I have to say: I adore Apples hardware aesthetic. Not only very clever, but a stunning attention to detail. That said, the only Mac I’ve had that was rock solid was my SE/30. I’ve talked to, and am friends with, many Apple “fanboys” (having been one at one point) but the best they can do is tell me I’m an isolated case. Cognitive Dissonance maybe? :ph34r:

I’ve had a lot of troubles getting hardware & software to work with the Mac. DV cameras, Audio stuff, or like today - trying to mount an ntfs drive under 10.3.9 (w/o paragon). I know some of the issues are related to running an “old” OS (edit: I downgraded from 10.4.6 because of an issue with freezing/crashing & a disappearing mouse cursor!). Economically, I can’t keep up with the upgrades. So my experience suffers, and I lose functionality (and can’t run 10.6 anyways, as I have a PowerPC).

My biggest beef with Macs is the cost. I’ve been shouted at about ROI and TCO (by fanboys) but like Connor pointed out:

If it’s broken, you have to bring it somewhere to someone (around here its generally 20+$ an hr + parts). That’s one of benefits of having a booring x86 system & Windows: it’s all off-the shelf and chances are someone has had your exact issue in the past. Between Google & Newegg you can generally fix it for a fraction of ‘taking it in’. That’s something I’m comfortable with. I know quite a few people who are not - and use Macs - and that’s OK. Unlike myself, they can afford to take it in to be repaired or (like a girl I know) just buy a new one when the old one has trouble.

I’m just sore because of all the time & $ I sunk into the platform - only to switch to Windows (and to a lesser extant Slackware/Debian) and find a level of productivity I could have never got had I stuck with Apple. YMMV!


tl dr; Keep the long-term in mind, try them all, and use whatever works best for you. It’s about you finding the least resistive way to be creative!

I know all the pros /cons of using windows …been using it since sonic foundry acid came out ( 1998 anyone ?)…ahhh the days …
Reason Why I might flip over to the apple side …;is that I wanna use it purely for music ( could do the same on a win machine …but I know myself and the win machine will be bloated in no time with other non music related programs …so that’s something I want to avoid ) …indeed there are a lot less freeware programs on the mac but those that are freeware are pretty good …;alphakanal/zoyd and some togu stuff etc …also a future a purchase of reaktor 5.5 will get me covered as far as synthesis goes ( still have a nord modular ) .
Still a bit unsure whether that mac mini will get me ccovered for the years to come …not sure if my current soundcard ( an edirol ua 25 ) will run on the latest mac os …

I don’t recommend getting a Mac Mini. It’s just a laptop put in a small box (that’s why its so small). It uses slow Mobile Core 2 Duo, it uses slow 2,5inch laptop hard drive, only 2gb laptop RAM (which is more expensive to upgrade than desktop ram) and motherboard chipset. Mac Mini is already outdated. For 700bucks you can get a really decent desktop pc with some fast 4 core or even 6 core cpu ant plenty of ram. And all that talk about macosx being more realiable is bullshit imo. Macs crash too. I havent had a windows virus for at least 3 years and I am using outdated Win XP SP2 machine. And I didnt have windows crash for like 2 years, since I updated my soundcard drivers, which were crashing the system. Windows dont crash if you use good hardware with good drivers and dont install crapware.

btw desktop pc with some fast 4 cores would consume much more electricity and wouldnt be as silent as mac mini. Thats the only downside I see. But you can build it very silent, just use lower TDP CPU and no XXL sized graphics cards :)

Hmmm I don’t really get this …;you say that the macmini is just a laptop in a different casing …so it should use the same cpu as in the macbooks right ?Or am I missing something …are the cpu’s in the mac/mini of a lesser quality …I am not following all of the latest achievements in cpu land …

well, according to wikipedia both use the same 2.4 GHz (P8600) Intel Core 2 Duo.

and they also do very similar in benchmarks.

The latest achievements in cpu land are Intel’s Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs and AMD’s Phenom 2. Core 2 Duo is considered to be the old generation CPUs. Barely anyone uses them in new computers anymore. Anyway, it may not be a bad choice to have a mobile cpu in a desktop computer but I wouldnt recommend when performance and future proof is the goal.

but that counts only for renoise.
the general difference may be the lack of Midi-out with AUs (also no midi fx, so to speak).

for the whole topic on mac vs. pc, there was a post sometime somewhere, which has overall
a reasonable point of view that comes very close to mine.

For the record, I’ve been using computers since 1980. (Commodore PET)

My first “PC” cost near $5000 and it was 33MHZ, less than 200 MB HD, probably 2 megs of ram (386). Compared to the Amigas of the time, it sucked and was more expensive… But it had King’s Quest and times were changing, floppy disks too.

I once upgraded to 8 megs of ram, it cost me near $1000.

I spent the 90s (10 years) until 2004 building my own machines, sometimes with elaborate video cards for film editing, these cost an assload.

I’ve installed and used Redhat, Corel, Caldera, Coyote, Slackware, Knoppix, Centos, and Ubuntu linuxes over the years. FreeBSD in there, for good measure. I’ve run OS/2, Windows 3.11, Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP…

It’s not like I don’t know computers… I’m just sick of them. I know I’m not getting “maximum power” with my Mac laptop, but over the years I’ve learned that this is bullshit. Upgrades are painful on any platform.

Here’s a list of peripherals that I paid for, that became obsolete: 386/486 motherboards, pentium motherboards, pentium II motherboards, ZIP drives, tape backup system, PS/2 mouse, PS/2 joystick, a variety of modems, ISA cards, PCI cards, SCSI… The list goes on.

When you buy a car that goes 300 MPH but costs a ton in gas and you drive it at 80 over 65% of the time…

Apple rips you off. No doubt. But if you value the included software and OS and the “all-in-one” solution, it’s still an educated decision. You can upgrade the most common parts (HD, Ram, external peripherals) easy and cheaper if you don’t buy direct.

PC’s are cheap, 30 years later…


I hear you… I also have contributed my share of money to new technology… I still remember for how much I bought some stuff… roughly translated from old finnish currency to euros

  • used 21mb harddrive for Amiga500 (150 eur) (price as new was 670 eur I believe)
  • Yamaha dvd-player (when there wasn’t even dvd-movies available in Finland)(840 eur)
  • Lousy Concierto-soundcard for Amiga (170 eur)
  • WLAN-equipment (670 eur)
  • A graphicscard for Amiga (400 eur)
  • 28mhz turbocard for Amiga (130 eur)

also I remember paying hefty prices on 2x dvd-burner… can’t remember prices now. Boy… I would be a rich man if I was a bit wiser ;)

Haha, same here!

I buy Apple Care. Overpriced insurance offered by Apple, but hassle free maintenance for 3 years… Then I use the computer until it breaks, and it’s time to buy a new one anyway.

On that note, I have an iBook G4 800MHZ I bought in 2003 (my first OSX machine) and it still runs fine, but I don’t use it daily.