OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
mrdelurk
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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by mrdelurk » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:05 pm

One unexpected hurdle you will face when you start configuring your HackMac: you will discover that the same hardware runs Ableton twice as fast with Windows 7 than with OSX 10.6. It will be a very strong disincentive to press on with the x86 installation.

In my own i7 920 HackMac tests, (published on page 21 of Live 8 Performance Tests thread) Ableton took only 8% of CPU capacity to play Tarekith's test sequence on Windows 7, while OSX took a whopping 17% to do the same after the x86 magic.

I went with OSX anyway because all the Mac plugins I amassed over time, but others may easily reach a different decision and just stay with Windows.

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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by Machinesworking » Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:25 pm

mrdelurk wrote:One unexpected hurdle you will face when you start configuring your HackMac: you will discover that the same hardware runs Ableton twice as fast with Windows 7 than with OSX 10.6. It will be a very strong disincentive to press on with the x86 installation.

In my own i7 920 HackMac tests, (published on page 21 of Live 8 Performance Tests thread) Ableton took only 8% of CPU capacity to play Tarekith's test sequence on Windows 7, while OSX took a whopping 17% to do the same after the x86 magic.

I went with OSX anyway because all the Mac plugins I amassed over time, but others may easily reach a different decision and just stay with Windows.
How does this compare to a macbook pro running boot camp? Older on Macs conclusions were in the meaningless 1-3% range of difference.

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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by casiblake » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:30 am

mrdelurk wrote: I went with OSX anyway because all the Mac plugins I amassed over time, but others may easily reach a different decision and just stay with Windows.
And, for the first time in decades, there's a version of Windows you could conceivably want to buy in the first place. Windows 7 has been tremendously stable for me, and will be my Ableton-hosting OS of choice probably until Live works without issues under Ubuntu (fat chance). OSX is certainly a nice OS but attempting a Hackintosh build for a workstation isn't recommended unless you must use Mac software/plugins. And you really would be safer just buying a Mac.
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mrdelurk
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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by mrdelurk » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:51 am

casiblake wrote: until Live works without issues under Ubuntu (fat chance)
I did the tour of all Linux music distros last year already. The best Linux music implementation? My Yamaha XS8. :-) Perhaps they get Ableton going on it one day.

One of the distros, Open Artist had a program vaguely reminiscient of the early Ableton Live concept; its name is Wired. It's by no means a direct copy, it just shares some of the design philosophy, but even this made it stand out.

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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by commuter » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:19 am

you will discover that the same hardware runs Ableton twice as fast with Windows 7 than with OSX 10.6.
Mine is running LIVE exactly the same on win XP and OSX 10.5.8
24/27% in live performance test on both (it's a Q6600 2,4 ghz)
maybe your I7 is not stepping his speed correctly on OSX ???
15" Macbook Pro 2,3 quadcore I7 2012/8gb ram/240gb SSD/ LIVE 9.06/OSX 10.8.5, NI Komplete audio 6
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mrdelurk
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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by mrdelurk » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:19 pm

commuter wrote:Mine is running LIVE exactly the same on win XP and OSX 10.5.8
24/27% in live performance test on both (it's a Q6600 2,4 ghz)
maybe your I7 is not stepping his speed correctly on OSX ???
The gentlemen who built mine overclocked the unit quite heavily. Maybe overclocking doesn't translate too well to the OSX side, I don't know.
Or it could be the SCSI card I have inside for LTO tape backup. Or the driver for the MIDI interface. Or... so many other things. This is why I'd personally never mess with building a HackMac myself. YMMV.

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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by Piplodocus » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:19 pm

Mine works ok. I bought the bits to be "mac-ish".

I've used it on stage in front of large crowds. However, it took ages to get going, probably isn't speed-stepping properly as my wife's MBP is technically noticably slower but seems to run a lot snappier, I can't update to snow leopard (or I'm not willing to spend DAYS when I could be making music buggering about with it), and won't go to sleep; so can't shut it down, then when I have an idea be back poking around exactly where I left it within seconds, and it generally sounds like a small vacuum cleaner while I'm trying to record.

Some people's will do what the real thing does just as fast. If you want it to work fully then you need to spend a LONG time messing with it, or buy exactly the same stuff as someone who has their REALLY running well and copy their method.

I'm buying a real mac as soon as I have the money (this is partly because I want a laptop too though), but I'm also fed up with a frankenstein PC. Sure, you can have problems with a real mac, but at least there's full customer support, I have a local apple store, and if it's recent should be an update to fix any other driver/firmware/os problems sooner or later, not just the possibility of days trawling through forums and spending hours rebooting/installing/not making music, or bricking it before a live show!

Go for it though if you have the time/inclination as it's possible to run it just as well.
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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by commuter » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:24 pm

Mine is in fact a DELL inspiron 530, Q6600 CPU and 4gb ram and it runs absolutely fine for more than 2 years.
I also own a macbook pro and and white macbook so i can easily compare the 3.

The macbook pro run the live performance test @51/52% and the Hackintosh @ 27%..(it's a quad vs a duo, so no surprises here)
i'm really satisfied with my setup.
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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by mrdelurk » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:02 pm

If anyone plans to build a HackMac to sync it to his old real Mac, here's my today's results: at this moment, in most cases, syncing the two won't work.

There are valiant attempts to get the wobbly MIDI sync timing resolved by using Ethernet instead of MIDI to send the signals, but with multiple-row multi-song Live Sets, the slave Mac doesn't start at the same numbered row in Session view as the master, it just plays the row whatever was last selected. So the two computers do play in okay sync, and in the same tempo, but if you start the master at the chorus, the slave might still start at the intro.

A gentleman in Australia created a different alternative, a system called Sync-Lock. It requires one of the synced computers to have an audio card with multiple outputs. Unfortunately, most HackMacs are built with OSX 10.6 these days. If you look at the compatibility page for OSX 10.6 with audio cards, it's basically "we found a handful of cards for video chat and surround sound, anything else people have to try yet." So you can gamble $$$ on an untested multiple-output audio card as I did (with an ESI WaMi Rack 192x), plug it into the HackMac, discover the card's OSX driver does zilch on Snow Leopard, and be out of the money with no result to show. (If it's any consolation, M-Audio lists drivers only up to OSX 10.5.6 for its units, too.)

This is the step when one says; forcing sync with a OSX 10.6 Mac of *any kind* (hack or real) is like going up a creek without a paddle, I'll just take the box back to Windows. Then most any multi-output card will work and thus I can sync the CPU to my old Mac. And all the plugs ported to Universal Binary are ported to Windows too, where they will work with no OSX 10.6-style plug and pray limbo; no matter what I try, everything points to a Windows future. And then you'll realize the main advantage of a HackMac. Unlike a real Mac, you can turn it back into a Windows box rather easily.

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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by x0b » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:10 pm

my hackintosh runs flawlessly, sleep, speed stepping and all other features all work perfectly.

there is a lot of reading to do if you want to get it working completely, but not that much, and the scene is very helpful. you can get the majority of the hardware working now using dsdt editing.

just a shame snow leopard is so buggy!

SWAN808
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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by SWAN808 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:04 pm


Machinesworking
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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by Machinesworking » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:01 pm

x0b wrote:my hackintosh runs flawlessly, sleep, speed stepping and all other features all work perfectly.

there is a lot of reading to do if you want to get it working completely, but not that much, and the scene is very helpful. you can get the majority of the hardware working now using dsdt editing.

just a shame snow leopard is so buggy!
There you go. People who run Snow Leopard on Apple computers almost unanimously say it's less buggy than Leopard etc.

In fact, (not to single you out, this is a common thing), this is exactly the kind of post that makes Apple even more convinced that letting OSX loose would be a bad idea.
You're running Snow Leopard illegally with a hack, yet you're convinced that your hacked computers performance with Snow Leopard is a valid enough standard to say that it's the OS and not your hackintosh. (at least that's how I'm reading your post) I don't agree with Apple on this, but it's painfully clear why they stick to their guns on this issue, when people running hacks feel justified in trashing their OS online, think about what it would be like if they let OSX loose and people tried using inferior equipment?

Microsoft have had a dominant position in the industry for so long that people forgive or deal with the issues of hardware, and they spend millions on Quality Assurance. Apple would be destroyed by it though.

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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by JEpic » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:21 pm

Machinesworking wrote:
x0b wrote:my hackintosh runs flawlessly, sleep, speed stepping and all other features all work perfectly.

there is a lot of reading to do if you want to get it working completely, but not that much, and the scene is very helpful. you can get the majority of the hardware working now using dsdt editing.

just a shame snow leopard is so buggy!
There you go. People who run Snow Leopard on Apple computers almost unanimously say it's less buggy than Leopard etc.

I get your point, except that I've heard the exact opposite. Don't use either myself so can't really say from personal experience.

Machinesworking
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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by Machinesworking » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:49 pm

JEpic wrote: I get your point, except that I've heard the exact opposite. Don't use either myself so can't really say from personal experience.
That is the point though, people not running Snow Leopard on Apple hardware are talking about the quality of the software from the distinct perspective of hearsay.
Open up more avenues for people to have issues with open hardware, and people will get even more ridiculous. Fact is most issues can be traced to incompatibility with third party software or hardware, OS level bugs are usually pretty small by the time Windows or OSX are released, but every possible combination of soft and hardware cannot possibly be tested. Hence the famous forum quote, "It's working on my system flawlessly".

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Re: OSX + Live 8 on Homemade PC?

Post by mrdelurk » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:59 am

mrdelurk wrote:
commuter wrote:Mine is running LIVE exactly the same on win XP and OSX 10.5.8
24/27% in live performance test on both (it's a Q6600 2,4 ghz)
maybe your I7 is not stepping his speed correctly on OSX ???
The gentlemen who built mine overclocked the unit quite heavily. Maybe overclocking doesn't translate too well to the OSX side, I don't know.
Today, exploring my Windows 7 options, I removed the OSX HD from the HackMac, stored it away safely, I put a fresh borrowed empty HD and a Windows 7 in the unit and ran the test again to see what I get. Guess what, when this i7 920 critter is not overclocked and expertly tweaked by an übergeek, the test sequence gets a meager 22% CPU with Windows 7.

In other words, the fact whether the computer (HackMac or not) is built / optimized by a seasoned pro or just a plain user like me makes a bigger difference in performance then the difference between the $500 and $1500 Intel chip. Whoa.

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