Upgrading: Another PC or Move to Mac?

So I’m about to upgrade from my under powered PC laptop, and was looking at much higher powered Windows notebooks. Then I thought I ought to at least give some consideration to a macbook of some sort… I have to admit being confused by the various options on Amazon for macbooks.I don’t understand the M1 versus M2 versus Intel versus all the ones that are labeled “Mid”? There is a huge variation in price, and I would like to understand better. Now some specific questions on PC vs Mac.

  1. From some things I read, it seems like the Mac can do better on memory management and therefore you get away with less ram on a Mac? For example where I might need 32 gig on a PC, maybe 16 on a Mac would be fine?

  2. Will my gig file and overall gig performer set up transfer easily from my current pc to a Mac? I know I would have to reinstall all my plug ins, but after doing that, would it just work, or am I going to have to remap stuff?

  3. I would like to keep my current laptop for a backup unit. Is it reasonable to keep it and a mac in sync and be able to move the gig files back-and-forth between them if I’m using all the same plugins?

  4. Seems like. I read about Macs having more difficulty with OS upgrades and keeping working with the various plugins and perhaps gig performer? Is that accurate?

I greatly appreciate any help and advice!

KenM

Nothing from anyone? Did I perhaps post to the wrong category?

This topic has been well researched and discussed in multiple other long running threads on this forum. I think it’s old hat for many of the forum regulars and the information is easy to find on this topic with some light searching and an hour of reading or so. Plus it’s a holiday weekend so that would all point to light and slow response on this topic.

Both will work. YMMV and you will need to do some extra research to make sure you have the right versions of your specific Mac or PC plugins and know what runs under Rosetta if you choose Mac, etc.

Specificlaly on the PC side you need to make sure that the base latency of the laptop and the processor type are best for your use case and I’d choose one where you can boot into BIOS. Lots of info on both topics on this forum.

Specifcally on the Mac side… you could try an older Mac but the safe bet would be their latest hardware.

Ultimately you’re going to need to do some leg work.

That’s by no means an exhaustive answer to your questions nor really any opinions on the old mac vs. pc topic, which is what that topic so often devolves into. Both platforms are very well supported by GP.

Here’s a couple intially search queries on the topic:

Useful threads:

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Ken, I’d love to help, but don’t know enough to help more than reading past threads on the topic. (And I may well end up passing on bad info.).

But I will add this:

You seem to have a fair amount of knowledge and experience with Windows machines (compared to Apple).

So, based on this personal reservoir of knowledge, I would tend to think you are better of staying with a Windows-based system and use the money saved (compared to getting a comparable Apple system) to get more ram and a more powerful CPU.

Jeff

it seems like the Mac can do better on memory management and therefore you get away with less ram on a Mac? For example where I might need 32 gig on a PC, maybe 16 on a Mac would be fine?

This can’t be true.

Will my gig file and overall gig performer set up transfer easily from my current pc to a Mac?
If you used VSTs, then your gig files are cross-platform. It should work on both platforms.

Useful blog article: Gig Performer | Cross-platform usage and moving from one platform to another

I read about Macs having more difficulty with OS upgrades and keeping working with the various plugins and perhaps gig performer? Is that accurate?

I’d say → not accurate. Windows upgrades can break stuff.

If you don’t like messing around with computers and will need different and easy audio/MIDI routing options (which comes with a higher price tag), then macOS is a way to go.

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Historically, memory management on macOS is much better due to its Unix heritage. While it’s a moot point these days with SSDs, hard drive memory management was also much better and there was never any need to defragment the drives.

For example where I might need 32 gig on a PC, maybe 16 on a Mac would be fine?

“This can’t be true” was in relation to this remark.

I agree that BSD, Linux, and Unix based machines managed HDDs better. I was using Linux defragmentation utilities myself to check this.

Yes, I know :grinning:

I can’t speak for Mac, but I have had a great run from a number of Microsoft Surface Pros over the years. Starting with a SP2, then moving to a SP4, on to a SP 6 and finally my present machine, a SP 8. I have currently two Surface Pro 8s with one as a back up. If you check out Molten Music (Robin Vincent), he has done extensive testing with the Surface line and has found them more than capable of producing music. My current machines are i7 and have 16gig ram.
You might question whether 16gig of ram is enough? In my case, it is fine. With predictive set to 3, I can load a 450 song gig file in about 2 minutes. After that, individual rackspaces will load ready to play in 6 or 7 seconds. I rarely go over 70% of ram at any stage.

Why do I like the Surface Pro line?

  1. They have a very small footprint.
  2. They are very portable
  3. Because they are made by MS, the software and careful component matching make them as
    reliable as a Mac due to the similar design philosophy - (I’m dodging any bullets here from
    Mac users)!
  4. Windows 11 is super efficient on the Surface running GP.

Even my grandson (mid 20’s) who works online for one of our major banks, says that Windows is now extremely reliable and (nearly) bullet proof. He should know because he has a heap of gear and is heavily into home recording and live playing using Win 11 for live mixing.

I moved to Mac some years ago when M1 came out. I am extremely happy.
I think that the real issue is that you cannot be sure of audio performance of a windows notebook until you test it. And problems can be huge.
If you buy a new fancy ultrabook, you have many chances to find a bios that gives no access to parameters essential to stop energy and improve performance management.
I see many users here feeling well with Lenovo devices and Microsoft.
Try to select carefully.
With Mac choice is easier. Buy what you can with your budget. Any refurbished M1 or M2 is good

I’ve only ever used Windows in all areas, at work, for games, for the children. At some point, I bought a MacBook just for music and have never regretted it. One of the best purchase decisions of my life. But I still use Windows for everything else.