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View Full Version : Running EWQLSO Platinum: Mac or PC?


noldar12
05-21-2008, 07:44 PM
Question: which would you recommend using for EWQLSO Platinum: a Mac or a PC?

Issues:

On the PC side: For better or worse, I cannot do a BYO on the PC side, and the fact that XP-64 is being phased out is also a concern. Paying a DAW maker for a 32 bit system, while very stable, seems counter-productive long term. Vista 64?

On the Mac side: saving for a Mac Pro (even refurbished) would take a lot longer. Also because of RL eyesight issues, Macs are very difficult for me to use - but both Play and K-3 would be at least possible. However, Mac overall seems to have better long-term flexibility (total maximum Ram, etc.).

Recommendations?

Thanks

Jim

johng
05-22-2008, 10:09 PM
I write very dense orchestral stuff for movies and (occasionally) TV. I don't bounce anything. I use six "farm" PCs to run EWQLSO platinum xp. They are all 32 bit. On top of that I have a Mac that is the main brain and another PC that runs Giga.

If I were starting now, I would get two 64 bit PCs, each with 2 sample drives plus a boot drive, each with 8 gigs of RAM, but I would still want a separate Mac to run everything (I use Digital Performer).

Instead of having multiple PCs, you could try to do it with one, but that sounds pretty tough to me. Using a single 64 bit computer would put a very heavy load on the processor, busses and drives. Maybe it would work fine -- check the threads out here. There is a long one from Vatroslav on 64 bit computing that is very informative.

If you are very patient, you could conceivably use a single PC or Mac to run the whole library plus your sequencing program, but you'd have to be willing to bounce some stuff, and even then you could run sluggish if you get too many audio tracks.

You just need a lot of power to really rock with all this stuff.

noldar12
05-22-2008, 11:58 PM
johng, thanks for your reply. I have my sequencer (Sonar) and Finale on one PC, which I can leave as is. The next machine can be dedicated strictly as a slave for Platinum. Even having to put things together slowly, choosing each component wisely will help build towards a longer term goal.

Again thanks.

Jim

johng
05-23-2008, 09:36 AM
In that case, I personally would go the 64 bit route and get a machine that can accommodate up to 16 gigs. Other opinions may differ, of course.

There are, unfortunately, many opinions on how to do this. I have seen many posts that argue against Vista 64 and in favor of XP 64, but just recently have seen an uptick in people using the Vista 64 OS, with the "Business" version.

One advantage of all that RAM is that you can load more of your samples into RAM, resulting in less strain on the disks for DFD and somewhat less strain on the CPU and internal buss. That said, other more knowledgeable folk have put immense effort into this forum elsewhere with detailed advice on components.

If this is too complex or daunting, you could contact VisionDAW or Sonica Labs, or one of the other "music PC" builders. If you don't want to become a computer expert this is probably the smart way to go, as you get tech support and a computer that works right away. They do, of course, make money, so you will pay more for a ready-built computer, but if you value the time you will spend to build it (plus the time you may save in having to re-build it or fix it down the road) you may find that the end result is more solid and cost-effective than anything you can build on your own as a "gifted amateur." I have had three mother-boards go out on computers that are rendered virtually worthless as a result, so my next purchase will likely be from a vendor, having done it many times (eight, actually) on my own.

But that's obviously a personal decision.

Good luck!

dexterwheeler
05-23-2008, 09:48 AM
Why does vision daw and Sonica labs use 667mhz for ram? and they charge a lot for it. I can pick up some Osz ram 4GB 800mhz for 84 bucks.

johng
05-23-2008, 12:18 PM
you can get all the components cheaper than they sell them, but then it's your problem if they don't work together. As I have found out. Several times...

but that is odd about the RAM speed!

cjed
05-29-2008, 03:01 AM
Hi, I wrote a short news some weeks ago about comparing Mac Pro and Rain Recording audio targeted PCs prices (about the same specs and design !) :
MacPro for audio : cheaper than Rain (http://jdenanot.free.fr/en/news/MacPro-for-audio---cheaper-than-Rain-2253.html)
So, not only the Mac Pro is (a bit) cheaper than this pro audio PC, but it can run both OSX and Windows, so all of best worlds. I admit there are far more cheaper built by hand PCs, but as johng said, the most important with audio software it the good integration with hardware and software, they have to fit very well (or you will probably encounter very hard to diagnoze problems).

That said, if you buy a Mac Pro, get the ram from a mac shop, not from Apple (sells it 4 times more expensive !). Probably the same for hard drives (for eSATA no problem with any model, but for internal SATA you have to check it will fit in the Mac Pro HD compartments, or add a second at the Apple store).

Globally there isn't so much difference between macs and PCs (all same components), and I even find VISTA and OSX very close in user experience and speed (even if the OSX foundations are fare more robust and elaborate - has been here from 8 years, and has evolved a lot since -, and started with all the NeXT past experience and even some cool ideas from Apple's Copland and Gershwin projects). On the other side, Microsoft has always done very fast OS (very responsive UI and apps thanks to strong optimzation/knowledge/experience from Windows developpers and video drivers companies, something rare on mac). On the audio side however mac audio drivers are generally not that bad (long experience from audio companies on mac market, see Digidesign for example).