Do you recommend Apple or PC?

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What computer do you recommend for music-production?

There is a lot of misinformation created by 'experts' available on the web. We got over 20 years of experience in native development of VST2, VST3  and AU plugins on PC and Mac. We're an independent company that doesn't get paid by Apple, Microsoft, Intel, AMD or anyone else to promote stuff. We're not biased and we're not fanboys or haters - we're just professionals giving a recommendation. All our licenses are cross-platform - so we simply don't care if you buy a Mac or a PC. It's completely your own decision.

Q: What's the advantage of a PC compared to a Mac?
A: It's modular, it's cheaper and it's faster. There is a lot more software available than on the Mac. When a new Windows-version is released you can expect that your expensive hard- and software will continue to work.  

Q: Do you recommend buying a laptop or a desktop-PC?
A: If you're working in a professional environment we recommend using a desktop-PC, since is modular. You can easily extend it with the hardware  you like. There is a huge variety of fantastic soundcards, SSDs and  graphic-cards available. Apart from this you can also use it for office-work and computer-games. When you buy/build a new desktop-PC you can re-use many components of your previous PC and save money.

Q: What's the disadvantage of a PC compared to a Mac?
A:The Mac is more beginner-friendly and more secure (because it has more restrictions).

Q: What CPUs do you recommend for music-production?
A: We recommend AMD Ryzen or Intel CPUs. They offer the best floating-point performance which is essential for audio-production.

Q: Should I migrate from Mac to PC?
A: If you're working in a professional environment we recommend that you consider to migrate from Mac to PC. Our experience has shown that Apple's MacOS updates frequently break the compatibility with hard- and software. As a result your expensive gear might not longer work after the next MacOS update.
Apart from this Apple does not fix critical problems like the AudioUnit validation (AUVal for is broken since 2018 - that's why you need to reboot the Mac occasionally to make Logic detect recently installed plugins).
If you don't use Logic the migration to PC is very easy, since all DAWs are also available on PC and your workflow will remain the same.
Please keep in mind: All our licenses are cross-platform, so we don't care at if you buy a Mac or a PC. Please don't take our words personal as we're not 'Apple-haters' - this is just our recommendation as professional developers.

Q: Should I migrate from PC to Mac?
A: No, we do not recommend this. Windows 10 and 11 are secure, fast and very reliable operating systems. Apart from this PC hardware is a lot cheaper than MACs - which are fundamentally the same hardware just sold for a much higher price. If you don't want to risk that your expensive gear stops working with the upcoming MacOS update you should stick with the PC. Microsoft does make a lot more effort on keeping everything compatible.

Building your own desktop PC for music-production:

What's the advantage of building your own PC for music-production?
  • You can build a computer that is perfectly suitable for your special demands as a professional producer.
  • You can use a soundcard that has much better sound-quality and lower latency than those from converntional computers.
  • You can buy the components that you like or reuse components that you already own.
  • You can build a computer that is silent.
  • You can replace or repair single components.
  • You can extend the PC easily.
  • You can save money.

Is it difficult to build an own PC?
No. It's not too difficult if you got some basic technical knowledge.

What components do I need?
Computer case, Mainboard, CPU, RAM, power supply, harddisc, graphics card, soundcard.

What soundcard do you recommend?
We recommend using an PCIe soundcard. Avoid soundcards for USB, since USB is slower and less relieable.
We made good experiences with RME (Hammerfall) and Creative Labs (SoundBlaster AE series; you should pick this one if you're also into gaming) .

What CPU do you recommend?
The CPU should have at least 8 cores. We recommend AMD Ryzen or the Intel Core series.

What mainboard do you recommend?
Stay away from cheap mainboards. Pick a medium-priced one with a passive chipset cooling. Make sure that it has at least one NVMe m.2 slot. We can recommend ASUS.

What harddisc do you recommend?
A SSD is a must-have. You should prefer a NVMe m.2 device. This interface is faster than SATA. Samsung devices are affordable and fast.

How much RAM do I need?
At least 8 GB.

What graphics-card should I buy?
We recommend a graphics-card with a passive cooling from Nvidia or ATI. You can stick with a cheaper one.

What computer case do you recommend?
Thermaltake. Pick a bigger casing with large fans. Large fans are more silent.

What power-supply do you recommend?
Enermax or Thermaltake. Warning! Stay away from cheap power-supplys! It has impact on the stability of the system and the soundcard.

Apple specific questions:

Q: Should I buy an Intel or a M1 Mac?
A: If you're working in an professional environment we currently recommend buying an Intel Mac or migrating to PC.

Q: Is Apple's M1 chipset faster than an Intel Mac or a PC?
A: No. It's just more energy-efficient, but not faster than current AMD /  Intel CPUs. The M1 is a low-cost chipset mainly designed for laptops. When you should read Apple's marketing texts please keep in mind that Apple has a bigger profit margin by selling computers with M1 chipsets.

Q: Does a native plugin version for Apple's M1 give a performance boost compared to a version that runs under Rosetta2?
A: Apple did a very good job with Rosetta2. Our measurements showed only a performance drop of only around 10% compared to native M1 versions. In practise this does mean that you do not have to care about it from the customer's perspective.

Q: Will you provide native M1 version of your plugins?
A: A part of our plugins is already available as a native version for M1. We plan to provide further native M1 versions when it is really necessary and if it really makes sense from the technical side.

Q: Does Apple's Rosetta2 work properly?
A: We were surprised how well Rosetta2 works. There were no issues at all with our plugins.

Q: Will Rosetta2 be abandoned by Apple?
A: Unlike with Rosetta1 Apple does not have to pay licensing fees to another company. Apple owns the technology and is still selling Intel Macs. It is possible that Rosetta2 will not be dropped at all. And if it should happen it will definitely not  be dropped as quickly as Rosetta1. You can expect that all your software that currently works will continue to do this for a very long time.
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