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  #1  
Old 08-21-2009, 03:24 AM
in2house in2house is offline
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Mac or PC

I'm looking to get a laptop in the next couple of weeks and I've been thinking of getting a Mac. I orginally started looking at PCs and I was pretty impressed by what was available for under $1000. Even laptops at the $500-700 range are quite capable units.

I was looking for something I could use in my work as well as my own stuff at home. I've found that I've been doing some work with video on a friend's G4. Some of my job specific software is PC only but Intel based Macs can run Windows XP or Vista.

I also want to use it with a DVS system for home and the occassional gig. I'm currently playing with Virtual DJ (on an old PC) but I think I would eventually like to move to Traktor.

Ideally, I would like have a single laptop dedicated to audio use but there is no money for that.

Anyways should I continue looking into a Mac or should I stick to a PC? In terms of processing power, I can certainly get "more" with a PC but it there seems to be a concensus (with people I've asked) that the MAC makes better use of the processor and simply works better.

In terms of the specific Macbooks I was looking at, I had three options...
1) Older 2008 Macbook (2.4Ghz - Black/White Poly w/ Firewire) Approx $900-1000
2) Refurb 2009 Macbook (2.4Ghz - Alum LED screen w/o Firewire) Approx $1150
3) New 2009 Macbook Pro 13" (2.26Ghz - Alum LED w/ Firewire) Approx $1300

Thoughts?

Last edited by in2house : 08-21-2009 at 03:28 AM.
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2009, 06:29 AM
Tubbs Tubbs is offline
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Mac is the only way to go !!!
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2009, 06:45 AM
bbc bbc is offline
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Get a new Mac and be done with it! (Oh and don't forget to get the extended warranty )
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2009, 08:39 AM
jsd540 jsd540 is offline
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once you go mac baby... you never go back. It's a bit more expensive but you get a real stable OS and once you get used to the subtle differences you never want to use a windows machine again.
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2009, 11:22 AM
deep_bias deep_bias is offline
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+1 on the mac.. some people prefer windows or linux but for me it's the right choice. got a 2008 macbook and serato runs flawlessly, also use the ms pinky DVS and that runs as good as the current version of the software is lol (but sounds ILL through my motu 828.. until it drops a frame..). the midi and sound processing implementation within the OS is very powerful and stable in my experience.
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2009, 12:40 PM
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mynameismatt mynameismatt is offline
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I have PC now but even I say go Mac.
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2009, 01:03 PM
CJH CJH is offline
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Mac all the way. Want to run Windows apps, just use bootcamp.........
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2009, 10:41 PM
MainEssentials MainEssentials is offline
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Mac or Pc are you kidding me?

Man I've had Three so called "good PC" used and new condition operate terribly with Traktor and Wow it's been a nightmare it's the reason why I haven't been using much digital, I'm going straight Vinyl. Or Try a Mac.
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  #9  
Old 08-22-2009, 01:22 AM
acidburn acidburn is offline
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I use both

A couple of points:
1. Mac (intel-based) and PC's have the same guts. So expect the same failure rates, lifespan, etc for the underlying hardware.
2. PC's are almost always cheaper. You pay a hefty premium for the Mac OS.
3. The Mac is a closed OS. So for example, say you want to use FLAC file to rip your vinyl to. iTunes will not support it. iphone/ipod will not support it. And yes, I am aware of the conversion utils to allow me to go to AAC from FLAC. Bottom line is that there are some limitations in terms of codecs for the mac.
4. There is far more software available for the PC than there is for the Mac.
5. The Mac has a beautiful GUI. Well thought out, simple.
6. Windows 7 seems to be a wonderful OS as well.

I have both at home. I use the Mac as a general-purpose OS. Great for websurfing playing movies I download from the net. I use a PC w/Windows 7 for everything else.
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  #10  
Old 08-22-2009, 10:24 AM
thecitynever
 
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Get an IBM Thinkpad, the best hardware you can buy. Macs aren't build as good as they have been 10 years ago. If you want to use a DVS, create a separate hardware profile with every service disabled you don't need.

Last edited by thecitynever : 08-22-2009 at 10:28 AM.
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  #11  
Old 08-22-2009, 10:51 AM
root root is offline
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OS X

Harwarewise a Mac would be optimal.
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  #12  
Old 08-22-2009, 03:17 PM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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I don't like monopolies and I prefer to know what my computer is doing. I spent almost a decade tutoring mac OS related stuff and I still prefer PCs. More stuff available on them. Better customization. More bang for the buck. No mystery. But there's also the aspect of needing your hand held and buying fit-n-finish, which is what you're sort of paying extra for with Apple. If you have a specific app you'll be using the laptop dedicated on, then that's a whole different story. Furthermore, people who just use it for writing letters and surfing the net who don't know anything about computers...that's also a no brainer. Those types get a PC and they're afraid if they click on something it's going to explode. Just a general nervousness non-computer-savy people have around Windows that Apple's interface seems to not evoke. dangerous/geek/pro versus safe/cool/cartoony, perhaps?
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  #13  
Old 08-22-2009, 04:53 PM
vinyl_junkie vinyl_junkie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reticuli
I don't like monopolies and I prefer to know what my computer is doing. I spent almost a decade tutoring mac OS related stuff and I still prefer PCs. More stuff available on them. Better customization. More bang for the buck. No mystery. But there's also the aspect of needing your hand held and buying fit-n-finish, which is what you're sort of paying extra for with Apple. If you have a specific app you'll be using the laptop dedicated on, then that's a whole different story. Furthermore, people who just use it for writing letters and surfing the net who don't know anything about computers...that's also a no brainer. Those types get a PC and they're afraid if they click on something it's going to explode. Just a general nervousness non-computer-savy people have around Windows that Apple's interface seems to not evoke. dangerous/geek/pro versus safe/cool/cartoony, perhaps?

I couldn't agree more! My exact view on this, couldn't of said it better.
But I hate MAC for buying out Emagic just so they can sell more mac's...why not keep it dual platform liker errrm Cubase, Logic, Reason, Abelton, Pro-tools
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  #14  
Old 08-24-2009, 01:40 AM
in2house in2house is offline
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Thanks for the replies thus far...

For the longest time, I thought the same way that vj and reticuli have about Macs. However, I do feel that Windows was the PC's way of making their computers more like a Mac. I only really started to seriously look at a Mac when I was shown that I could run both platforms (Windows & Mac). I figured that I could get the best of both worlds but that does come at a price.

I find it strange that laptop that costs over $1000 is equipped with only 2 USB ports (Firewire was eliminated from the new Macbook lineup) and no SD card slot. If I wanted to run a DVS system, a controller and soundcard would take up the USB ports leaving me without one for an external HD. I could get a an additional USB hub to make it work but you know what I'm getting at. I guess I find it hard to cough up that kind of money for a computer that offers less in the way of features but when you talk to a Mac user (as some on the board have expressed) they love their Macs.

Anyone running PC software (DVS or other CPU intensive software) on their Mac? Does it perform the same as it would on a PC?
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  #15  
Old 08-24-2009, 05:53 AM
Tubbs Tubbs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reticuli
I don't like monopolies
Microsoft ??? surely not...
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  #16  
Old 08-24-2009, 09:21 AM
der geile ami der geile ami is offline
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I see people successfully using windows laptops to dj and play live all the time. My windows xp install is working for over 3 years, and its the original install!

I may want my next laptop to have tablet capability and am doubting i would splurge for a mac tablet
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  #17  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:32 AM
broad broad is offline
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the current generation white macbook does indeed have a fw 400 port, and all the macbook pro models have a firewire port as well, including the 2 13" models. all the 13" macbook pros and the 15" macbook pros also feature SD card slots. the only ones that dont are the white macbook and the 17" pro, which has an expresscard3/4 slot which can easily be configured with an SD card reader.

the only macbook model that didn't have FW of some sort was the very short lived 13" mid 2008 aluminum macbook, which was replaced with the 13" pro back in late may.

in regards to running windows software on a mac, it is as flawless as windows can be. you can either use bootcamp (more stable, less resource hungry but lss convenient) or parallels/vmware (much more convenient, somewhat less stable, much more resource hungry). personally i use parallels all the time, and the 4.0 version has been awesome. super stable and the coherence mode which puts your windows apps in the dock beside your mac ones is super slick.

my advice to everyone looking for a portable at the moment is to avoid the plastic macbook and head right for the 13" pro at minimum. nevermind the increased specs, the price difference is justified alone by the build quality. once you get past the fact that the pro is alu, is way tougher and stiffer, has a nicer feeling keyboard etc., the doubled battery life, faster clock speed, faster DDR3 RAM (1066Mhz as opposed to 800Mhz), more possible maximum RAM (8GB in the pro as opposed to 6GB in the macbook) much MUCH higher quality screen with more contrast, darker blacks, waaaaay better off-angle viewing, multi touch trackpad etc etc etc all add up to make the pro the sure way to go.
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  #18  
Old 08-28-2009, 08:10 AM
voltcontrol voltcontrol is offline
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I'd stick the (bulk of the) money in a nice external soundcard instead of an expensive laptop.

Why? Check out the system requirements for a DVS system and you'll have your answer.

I run Traktor Pro +/through Ableton 8 on a Core Duo 1.66 Ghz (4G RAM) without any problems. A lot of people I know run Traktor on P4 machines without any problems, even some netbooks (1.6 Ghz Atoms), though I wouldn't recommend that to anyone.

My recommendation:
-Duocore processor
-maximal RAM
-minimum 13" screen, 15" if you don't want to toggle between browsing /playback+fx screens in Traktor ..
Mac or Win is totally irrelevant for djing purposes. It's all a matter of taste, nothing else.
Macs have a little advantage: The OS doesn't need a lot of tweaks for a stable DVS performance (you DO want to turn of the possibility of using the apple remote when you play in front of an audience for instance), so it's more an "out of the box" option, but you need bootcamp (or better, VMware Fusion) to run Windows apps.

I personally prefer Thinkpads (X series) 13", solely because of hardware reliability and portability.
I don't need 15" because i like to browse in a seperate screen (+ you can map select song+switch to playback screen under one button anyway.. )
I really like the current macbook pro 13", but spec/performancewise my current Tpad X60 just doesn't justify the purchase...

(keep in mind: computed music production is a totally different story, horsepower and i/o requirements are very different.)

PS if you run multiple USB devices, use a powered USBhub.. Big chance you'll run into USB performance issues if you don't.

Last edited by voltcontrol : 08-28-2009 at 08:23 AM.
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  #19  
Old 08-28-2009, 06:13 PM
in2house in2house is offline
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Good point on the DVS requirements but that isn't the primary use of the laptop. The Thinkpad is one of the best built PCs out there. The only reason that you don't seem them as much as other brands is that they are expensive. I would be playing almost the same or more (depending on the T or X series) as a Mac.

I agree on that the soundcard is important... Currently I have an ESI U46, its a basic DVS oriented soundcard which works well and considering I got used for less than $100, I'm happy with it. If I go the Traktor route, then I'll spring for the Audio 8 which seems to be the one of the best DVS oriented cards out there.

I don't plan on doing any music production. The extent of my production work (if you can call it that) is limited to doing simple re-edits.
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