How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
sach160
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:26 pm

How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by sach160 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:24 am

Hey guys,

I have a Windows PC on Vista 64, Sandy Bridge i7 2700k, overclocked to around 4.7Ghz, 16GB RAM at 1866Mhz, SSD drives for OS and samples.

It's been ok to me, plenty of the classic audio problems (clicking, crashing, Ableton issues etc) since I got it in March 2011 but I expect that from a PC and the performance has been pretty decent. However I find myself having to freeze tracks a lot more than I'd like these days - Ableton is constantly over 100% CPU and crackling if I don't, so I'm thinking about an upgrade. Plus I have annoying issues like I can't put my PC to sleep without it crashing, which for this beast, means a lot of wasted power.

So I was thinking of an upgrade to the new 6 core Mac Pro when it's released. I think I'm done with Windows - probably because I've been on Vista since it was released. But I'd rather spend my time making music than solving hardware conflicts etc.

My question is how much more powerful will the new Mac Pros be than my PC for music production? I thought Ghz was the important thing when it came to CPU power. My Sandy Bridge is at 4.7Ghz and the new Mac Pro is listed at 3.5Ghz. But obviously I'm missing something here - maybe Ghz isn't a good measure of performance. I've searched the net and can't find any clear info on this. Can anyone enlighten me? What is the best way to measure performance for computers for Ableton?

If I can bring myself to stick with PCs, will I be able to get a more powerful system for music production for the same kind of money?

Thanks for the help.

timday
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 1:02 pm

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by timday » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:26 pm

If you have a PC with those specs, and you have clicking and crashing etc than I don't think your PC spec is the problem. I run a much older and less powerful machine(quad core, about 2.5 GHz, no SSDs etc) and I don't get any of that. Admittedly I'm not running any huge sampler instruments but with 16GB RAM that shouldn't be an issue for you either.

Maybe it's a different issue like what type of interface are you using? Do you have it on ASIO drivers (MME/directX/WaveRT/WASAPI drivers are glitchy as hell in my experience)? Are you free of malware? Also, upgrade to Win7 if you can find a copy. It runs so much better than Vista it's ridiculous.

Just as an example - one of the glitches I had turned out to be AVG antivirus installed a tool bar text file on my C drive that kept growing and slowed down my machine - it was 20GB by the time I caught it and getting rid of it and uninstalling AVG instantly sorted what I had thought were a bunch of Live 9 glitch and crash issues.

Apologies if you've done all this, I'm just a bit mystified at why such a high spec PC is giving basic audio glitches

pencilrocket
Posts: 1718
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:46 am

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by pencilrocket » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:13 pm

6 core Xeon for Ableton Live? Are you trying to troll?....
Image

Sional
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:36 pm

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by Sional » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:46 pm

I agree with timday, your problems are not due to being on a PC or having a low spec machine. Also, although I currently run Windows 7, I doubt you problem is with Vista as I have previously used Vista(latest version and service packs) with Live with no problems. You could try resetting your CPU and RAM to normal clock speeds.

login
Posts: 1816
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:41 am

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by login » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:01 pm

The pc you have vs Mac pro base model?

I would say maybe 20% more performance if any.


But as other have pointed out is pretty sure you have many more problems:

- What interface are you using? If you have the money do yourself a favour and get an RME audio interface.
- How clean is your system? How many programs at start up? anti virus? make a clean install and just use windows security essentials.
- What are you audio settings? a 512 samples buffer, at 48,000hz and 24 bit would be more than enough, maybe even 96khz. Orchange it depending on what you do.


To keep away viruses is easy: just dont installl anything unknown and dont visit shady sites.

cotdagoo
Posts: 1029
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: canuhduh

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by cotdagoo » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:48 pm

Vista? really?

störgeräusche
Posts: 325
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 9:04 pm
Contact:

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by störgeräusche » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:18 pm

your only problem is vista, forget it
buy win7 and you're set.
soundcloud
website
______________________________________________________
Win7 Pro 64 - i7 870 @ 2.93 GHz - 16 GB RAM - RME Multiface II

Live Suite 9 - Komplete 9 - Waldorf Largo & Edition - Elektron Analog Rytm - Push 1&2- Launch Control & XL -
Adam P33A

H20nly
Posts: 15836
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:15 pm
Location: The Wild West

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by H20nly » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:26 pm

^ agreed.

do a clean install though.

with the money you save... buy an RME 8)

yur2die4
Posts: 6403
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:02 am
Location: Menasha, Wisconsin
Contact:

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by yur2die4 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:33 pm

If your Vista is up to date, it shouldn't pose any Major issues. But if you're going to upgrade, don't dick around and just go straight to 8.1.

But yeah. I forgot, did you mention whether or not you were using an audio interface? Do you do on-the-spot audio recording? If not, you can probably change your buffer settings.

login
Posts: 1816
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:41 am

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by login » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:48 am

I wouldnt update to win 8.1 until Abes officially supports it.

yur2die4
Posts: 6403
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:02 am
Location: Menasha, Wisconsin
Contact:

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by yur2die4 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:19 am

They could do 8, and then wait on official 8.1 support, seeing how it'd be inevitable anyway?

There is very little benefit to choosing 7 over 8. Unless you get all giddy inside when you think about upgrading down the line. Plus of course there are those hardcore XP users out there :P

sach160
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:26 pm

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by sach160 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:54 am

Hey guys,

Sorry I wasn't clear - clicks etc were issues I had in the past, and are just a general comment on using a windows based system with conflicting hardware (I have a fireface 800 and it didn't play nice with some card or another). I solved it by messing around with IRQs. My crashing issues were related partly to poor ASUS bios - they always release stuff before it's ready. So by going Mac I'd be avoiding those headaches in the future. Nothing wrong with Vista and Live now, just hate Vista because of all the problems it's caused me in the past.

I am regularly running out of CPU power in Ableton - I have a lot of tracks and effects for sound design, lots of Soundtoys stuff which is pretty heavy, so my desire is to get a more powerful system. I thought it was all about GHz but then I see stuff about Xeons and more cores at lower clock maybe being better. Basically if I want more CPU power, what's the best system I can get for a few grand (Windows or Mac) and how much more power can I get?

cotdagoo
Posts: 1029
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:34 pm
Location: canuhduh

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by cotdagoo » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:23 pm

sach160 wrote:I am regularly running out of CPU power in Ableton - I have a lot of tracks and effects for sound design, lots of Soundtoys stuff which is pretty heavy, so my desire is to get a more powerful system. I thought it was all about GHz but then I see stuff about Xeons and more cores at lower clock maybe being better. Basically if I want more CPU power, what's the best system I can get for a few grand (Windows or Mac) and how much more power can I get?
what version of Live are you using?

Live 9.1 beta has some serious cpu/multi-core improvements - be worth a shot with your current system

edit: also don't know that vista supports trim (natively anyhow) - so your ssd may be less optimized unless you run special software that came with it.

H20nly
Posts: 15836
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:15 pm
Location: The Wild West

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by H20nly » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:58 am

sach160 wrote:Hey guys,

Sorry I wasn't clear - clicks etc were issues I had in the past, and are just a general comment on using a windows based system with conflicting hardware (I have a fireface 800 and it didn't play nice with some card or another). I solved it by messing around with IRQs. My crashing issues were related partly to poor ASUS bios - they always release stuff before it's ready. So by going Mac I'd be avoiding those headaches in the future. Nothing wrong with Vista and Live now, just hate Vista because of all the problems it's caused me in the past.

I am regularly running out of CPU power in Ableton - I have a lot of tracks and effects for sound design, lots of Soundtoys stuff which is pretty heavy, so my desire is to get a more powerful system. I thought it was all about GHz but then I see stuff about Xeons and more cores at lower clock maybe being better. Basically if I want more CPU power, what's the best system I can get for a few grand (Windows or Mac) and how much more power can I get?
I've built dozens of Windows PCs (maybe in the low 100s) for myself, friends, and as part of my job... I finally bought a 27" iMac (mid 2011 model due to options such as FireWire) last September. I added 16 gigs of RAM for a cool 20 with a quad core 3.1 Ghz i5. With the exception of a wifi issue and an iTunes problem it's been a no troubleshooting joy... both were solved. I went from power user to adept (at best) but fuck it. If I never have an IRQ conflict again it'll be too soon.

I won't knock Windows 7, but that ^

sach160
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:26 pm

Re: How much better is the new Mac Pro than my old PC?

Post by sach160 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:42 am

Exactly! IRQ conflicts are ridiculously annoying. I'm on live 9.06 so thanks for the tip - I'll wait for 9.1.

Still not sure how powerful my pc is compared to systems today - don't know much about xeons etc. eg how does a 6 or 12 core Xeon (like the new Mac Pro) compare to i7 2600k overclocked in CPU performance for ableton? I'd assume a system now would be much more powerful than one from 3 years ago but maybe things have slowed. I can't find any clear info on cores versus GHz either for a program like ableton. Hopefully someone here knows?

Post Reply