Mac or PC? What is the best computer for music production in 2020?
Written by: Dexxter ClarkWhat is better for music production MacOS or Windows in 2020?
If the PC is so great, why are a lot of people using iMacs for their music? And vice versa?
In this blog will dig into the pros and cons of both operating systems from the perspective of a music producer, so you can make an educated decision on whats best for you!
The ancient question of Mac vs PC.
Before we dive into the matter at hand for the current day, It is worth mentioning that in the early days Apple was more suited to edit video and produce music.
The tools where just so much better. Interfacing better, the computer faster, software.
Apple had a much more simplified approach that it made easier to stay in the creative flow.
But over the course of the last 10 years, a lot has changed, the PC caught up BIG TIME.
Apple switched to Intel processors which microsoft used for decades, so the performance is the same.
The big DAWS have windows and Mac versions (except logic) and everything you can do on a mac, you can do on a pc too.
So the main reason to choose for a mac is gone.
But before we can call out a winner Mac Or PC, it is important to notice that some DAWs only work on Mac or Windows.
If you are using or choosing a DAW that runs only on a specific operating system.
For example: Logic works only on Mac.
And Cakewalk Sonar only on Windows.
So base your first decision on the DAW.
There are music producers that are claiming that certain genres of music are better produced on a Mac.
Personally don’t see why, especially when DAWs nowadays are cross platform.
And even than, all DAWs can basically do the same thing.
Regretfully, choosing a mac or pc for music production it isn’t as black and white as it used to be.
So, I laid out a couple of categories in which there is a (clear) winner.
If you determine which categories are the most important to you, you can make a more educated decision on which one is the best for you.
price - pcYou have to bare in mind that for 1500,- you can buy a fully specced out pc, as where you pay 3000,- to 5000,- for that same computer on the Apple side.
expansion flexibility - pcThis goes a little bit hand in hand with the previous point.
you can buy components and add or change components later when you have more money.
If you struggle to pay for a proper size SSD, you can temporarly buy a small one and replace it later with a proper one.
What you can invest heavily in a powerful CPU and motherboard, and leave the memory, ssd and monitor for later (or use your old ones) till you have saved up for the next update round.
And you can build one exactly to the specifications you want, in stead of a manufacturer deciding for you which components are in your computer.
If you don’t know how to build one yourself, go to a specialised computer store with knowledge to do so.
connections - pcIt’s really easy to add extra usb connections on a pc for example. This saves you also a suitcase of dongles and usb hubs
power - pcApple focusses more on thinness in stead of power which we desperately need when it comes to computers.
The expandability makes it infinitly more powerful.
esthetics - macmost of the time they look nicer. Not only the operating system itself, but also the outer shell.
space - macMost of the time the Mac, there are some alternatives on the other side.
Their all in one desktop solutions are prone to be more compact.
os - macThat is of course a personal preference.
For me anyway it is a mac. I like how things are solved in MacOS. Like backups. Also printing works better.
We don’t have to fight with the windows register and DLL hell.
usability (drivers) - macThere are more drivers for pc sure, but plug in a device and it probably works on a mac.
The standard drivers in windows for audio are pretty bad.
You have to use some extra drivers with less latency: the ASIO drivers.
compatibily/reliability - macYou have a bigger chance of success that the components are properly supported with your computer with a mac.
Apple tests there components if they work really well together, but with a pc it has yet to be seen.
Although there are plenty of examples where that was not the case.
A well built pc can be as reliable as a mac, but also worse.
When you buy a pc for music production, don’t buy the cheapest components.
Build one with good quality components, that are probably more expensive.
A pc will only be as strong as its weakest links
noob - macWhen you have no clue what you are doing and don`t know what all that technical mumble jumble means, Go for a mac.
The pc has an infinite amount of possibilities, as with a mac you have only a few options to choose from.
Not only when it comes to the number of available models, but also the options in the operating system itself.
fixability - pcWhen a mac breaks, it breaks big time and there is probably not much you can do about it.
And probably not much Apple will or can do about it.
There are many horror stories out there in which Apple just flat out refused to fix computers.
With a PC you can swap a component (if it’s not one of the holy pair motherboard or CPU).
security - macSecurity by obscurity.
There are much more Windows computers out there than Macs.
So, when a attacker wants to target as much computers as possible, they choose for Windows.
That doesn`t mean that there aren`t any virusses or malware out there for the mac.
Want to know more?If you subscribe to our mailinglist, you`ll receive a free e-book.
In that e-book is a chapter about computers for music production.
If you are serious about DJing and want to take it to the next level on the CDJ,
you should check out my CDJ 2000 video course.
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Music Producer / YouTuber
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Music Producer / YouTuber
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apple vs microsoft
mac vs pc