Macbook Pro 2019 (maxed out ) vs cheap gamer pc 2022

Hi everybody.
I have been using Gig Performer for about a year now. It has had an tremendous effect on the joy I have for playing live because of the new sonic possibilities with VST and the ease of the platform.

I play Korg Kronos with UA VOLT using Keyscape, Ample sound, Native Instruments, Arturia and many more - rather heavy plugins that adds up. Often I need 15 ragspaces that’s available instantly in live settings where the songs are called out (eg. no predictive loading and set lists).

My setup is not 100 percent stable. I can have a few sound glitches (using 256 as buffer size) , and last week Gig Performer suddenly closed down in the middle of a big show.

I now consider stepping up and changing from PC to Mac and need some advice. I can get a used maxed out Macbook Pro 2019 for an extremely good price (1200 $ in Denmark), and I wonder if this is an improvement to my current setup. In case I switch to Mac it will be used more all round (studio, office, adobe etc) since it will also replace my old iMac 2013. My current PC is dedicated only to music.

A fairly cheap used MSI gamer computer (2021) that I dedicated and optimized for live playing.
i7-10750H / 2.6 Ghz / 16 GB ram / 1 tb SSD / Win 11 (low quality screen that’s difficult to see in sunlight, and overall plastic feel).

Macbook pro 2019 / 16" 2.3 Ghz-8 core / AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8 gb / 64 GB 2667 DDR 4 ram / 2 TB ssd. Great high end feel (costed 4.700 US $ in 2019 in Denmark)


  • can anyone give a hint, if I will most certainly have performance and stability improvements with this mac vs the PC gamer computer. Also if the mac is used more broadly for other tasks at home.

  • is it an advantage (for now) that the Mac runs on intel instead of M1 and M2 for those plugins that doesn’t support M1 and M2 chips natively

  • if anyone happens to run their setup on macbook pro 2019 I would like to hear if they feel like they are hitting the limit of the computers capabilities playing live with demanding plugins and eg. 10-15 rackspaces.

All the best and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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I don’t have a Mac so I can’t answer your question, but I bought a refurbished laptop (with less good specs than your laptop), and optimized it, still getting glitches.

Then I found out it was caused by my USB interface which I replaced for a decent one (FocusRite). So it might be worthwhile lending from someone another USB interface to see if it makes a difference. Of course if your CPU power is getting 80% or higher already currently, then this will not help.

Hej Michel,
Thanks for your reply.
I am pretty sure I am limited in terms of Cpu and/or ram. Even though my laptop cpu has fairly great specs (i7-10750H) I have read, that it is one of the cheaper cpu’s so it doesn’t really live up to its class.

Mine is less (6820HQ), however, I sometimes have to limit the kind of plugins I’m using, so I can understand even a 10750H will reach is limits.

It is like a Hard Disk, it is always too small :wink:

When you reach CPU limits with demanding plugins you should think about resampling.

I still haven’t found a solution for when I keep pressing a key, that the sound continues; Resampling seems to work well with shorter sounds.

Try BLISS Resampler or Sample Robot.
I am using BLISS and it is working very well.
And the developer reacts when you describe issues.

Or you sample as long as you need the sound.

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I know about them, but didn’t seriously check them (I will do when my template is finished upto some point it is useable for me).

The ‘issue’ is that I don’t like to be depending on the length of a sample, it may work in one song, but not in another. Or in some cases I don’t always play a song the same way.

I guess you’ve never had to play a mellotron!


My opinion.
I wouldn’t buy an Intel based Mac today. Advantages on Apple Silicon processors are huge.
Nearly every plugin now runs native on M1 and those who aren’t run perfectly well with Rosetta.
I switched to Apple one year ago and I am extremely happy.
Buy an M1 MacBookAir and you will forget any issues with glitches and drivers

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Thanks for your view. I didnt know that the difference was that big, and I thought that Rosetta could cause stability or latency trouble.
I might look into MacBook Air as well.

What is your current Mac specs with Gig Performer?

After 20 years of troubles with windows I bought in February 2021 a MacBookPro 13", 16 gigabytes RAM, 2 terabyte SSD.
I am extremely happy of this machine.
Playing live I never have any type of problem.
I open my Mac, launch GigPerformer and play.

Hi Furio,
Thats great to hear. I hoped that would be the case.

Is the computer dedicated for Music or do you use it for other tasks as well?

What are the cpu specs and how hard can run it in terms of amount of rackspaces (I know they kan vary a lot in terms of ram and cpu usage).

I use it only for music. Live with GigPerformer and some production with LogicPro. I use internet only to install plugins or to update. All generic tasks are managed on another old home pc tower.
I never go higher than 30% of CPU with complex layers and short buffers.
Also in Logic I can make huge projects without issues.
I don’t care about any number while I play. It always works because it is far away from any bottleneck. This is the huge added value. You stop being a system engineer and become a full time musician.

Thanks Furio. That sound great, its definitely a setup I would like to have. I am not sure I can afford an Macbook Pro 2021 13" right now (I want it with 1 tb / 16 gb) and then it ends up at more than double price compared to 2019 i9 16" (2tb / 64 gb).
But I can clearly see its a better computer for my purpose.

Maybe I will use the 2019 as a stepping stone for a 1,5 year and then take the step.

+1000. Totally !

makes no sense to me !
Intel macbooks have slowed down CPUs for cooling reasons.
While M1/M2 Macs eat them any day !
…if its not (way) below 400.-$, its just waisted money in my opinion.

Keep the following in mind:
GP as such runs on only one single core.
So what counts quasi solely is the single core CPU speed.
The M1/M2 units are very good on this !
(to notes: GP does not restrict single plugins to run on a multitherad basis.
But: all M1macs have at least 4 power cores, so there´s no restriction there, on any of the M1 models)

M1/M2s do NOT run hot, vs. such audio tasks.
this means the M1 airbook air should have to 100% the same performance as a higher spec´d M1. You will be fine with a M1 Airbook ( i have one myself. But not donne much vs. Audio)

also to notes: the M2/M2pro models are out now since very little time.
Just a few weeks.
This has caused a significant drop in prices on the second hand market !!

in my country, switzerland, from october to now, was it a ~25% price drop on 2nd hand M1minis. Its insane how prices have dropped.
Seems, airbooks have dropped as well. NOW, is a good time to buy a 2nd hand M1 :wink:
edit: people are flooding the market now, while offloading “their old crap” :joy:

I´d NOT take anything with just a 256GB SSD !
You´ve not much air for installations.

Your right.
What seemed like a good offer due to High 2019 prices and High specs (i9 / 2 tb ssd / 64 gb ram), is not really any valid here, If I dont get the important cpu improvement.

I better go for the right solution now and see if I can find a good cheap MacBook Air or pro with M processor.

Can I see within GP how much ram I use for my 10-15 rackspaces when they are Open all at once? Just want to make sure if 16 gb ram is enough for my setup.

I have 16 gigabytes and I never had an issue

Lucky man… I had 16Gb and had to change to more (64Gb) :nerd_face:

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I’m more in the David camp. The problem is, if you want to always have access to all you rackspaces in real time (so one gig file for everything and no predictive loading) ram use tends to continue to grow over time, at least if you use sample-based instruments.

I suppose if you mostly use virtual synths and modelled instruments ram use is less of an issue.