A G4 laptop or a Centrino Laptop???

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live

Post by yesno » Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:17 pm

I had the same decision to make about 6 months ago and opted for a mac. I know that they are slightly behind pc's on the speed front, but consider this; they are still fantasticly powerful (and there's always something faster out there), and they have a much much nice OS which is a lot easier to keep on top of, they look better (yes, that's important to me), they are more stable and in my oppinion there is a brighter future for mac users than pc users. The only real downside is that there is less software you can use, but there is still a lot of stuff out there.

I'd still pay the extra for a mac - I can really say that I'm happier with my music since I've switched to mac, and that's the most important thing isn't it?

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Post by didg19 » Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:58 pm

Both have advantages/disadvantages...

good overall design
looks nice on stage
Logic and Digital Performer (and a few nice graphics programs as well)

more for the $

A lot also depends on where you live. I think if I lived in San Francisco or certain places in Europe where EVERYBODY seems to have a Mac, I'd probably go that route. If I lived in Latin America where NOBODY has a Mac, I'd go that direction.
WinXP - P4 2.2Ghz - 1GB RAM
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Audio Interface: Motu 828

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Post by detroitechno » Wed Jul 07, 2004 6:58 am

buying a computer based on geographical location is a horrible idea.

buy what you feel comfortable with. the mac will hit a limitation wall extremely fast compared to a pc. the pc will run circles around the mac in processing power. but osx is the best os I've ever used.

for playing around, doing email, surfing the net, working minimally in live, a mac will do you wonders! but if you plan on reaping the benefits of live 4, a pc might be your only option now that vsti's and such are included. I feel live 4 will almost 'need' the cpu power of a pc. it WILL run fine on a mac, but you will hit your cpu limitation extremely soon compared to the pc. I have both, don't get me wrong. I love the mac, it's just WAY too slow...
A bunch of gear, cords, and a computer...

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Post by AdamJay » Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:29 am

i was going to pick up a cheap P4 3ghz for audio apps, and have decided not to, and to wait and save money for a G5. of course this is a desktop and not a laptop decision, but the reason had nothing to do with form-factor...

i am simply prefer OSX, 10 to 1 over Windows (XP or 2000). and that to me, is worth the extra $$.
people will tell you that mac's have low market share and blah blah blah. well when you consider they use XP for cash registers now, that is understandable. apple markets to the creative professional, simply because that is where their products beat the competition. apple's market share in the professional creative markets is the majority!

you are paying for proprietary compatibility (which is why AppleCare is one of the more affordable warranty plans on the market.. its easy to fix things when you write software for particular hardware and not a crap-shoot), the most stable and secure OS on the planet, a pretty good consumer suite in the iApps, and the most durable laptops with the best battery life on the market.

you can't just look at Megahertz... what good is 3ghz if the OS can't take advantage of larger amounts of ram? what good is 3ghz when you are running an OS that is the target of every worm/virus/spyware?

so i gotta bounce a couple VSTi's down... at least i am doing it on a carefree machine.

as with all things in life, you get what you pay for.

you also have to look at the future... the Wintel world has been slowing to a near hault over the last year. Intel is consumerizing Server CPU's just to offer something new (ahem, P4 "Extreme Addition") Intel's performance has increased 12.5% in the last year, where as the G5 has jumped 25%. sure you can say that you won't have a G5 in a laptop any time soon, but neither will you see Intel's 3.6ghz. Apple is making alot of progress, and that has to be a consideration. G5 iMacs will most likely be out in September, and OSX 10.4 will come one year before Longhorn... thats going to be huge! G5 Powerbooks will come shipped with a 64-bit OS!

getting a PC now would be like catching the dying tail of an era, before they start the 64-bit era.

just my opinion, and why i decided to stick with mac.


Post by TheUnregisteredGuy » Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:43 am

vdrum wrote:I can state with out hesitation that LIVE preformed MUCH,MUCH better on my PC.
Live 3 or Live 4? I never upgraded to 3 on my Mac because Ableton said they did not fully optimize Live 3 on the Mac. It would be normal and expected for Live 3 to be slower on the Mac.

Ableton have said that the Mac optimizations did make it into Live 4.

So definitely do what the others here recommend, and take the Live 4 beta on a Mac and PC to see if they've made up enough ground.


Post by Guest » Wed Jul 07, 2004 9:42 am

i usually dont add my comments to these threads, but...
macs are just a bit too hyped up for my tastes. I have an HP pavillion with an AMD xp2200, 256mb ram that i bought last summer, for £750 NEW, and it is amazing. it's not flashy, but it is extremely stable and it runs every plugin and effect i throw at it [even that bloatd moog modular]. i tour, play decent sized shows and small sweaty clubs every week, and this machine hasnt let me down yet.

i find the mac camp to be a bit cult-like; they base their "love" of the platform on shooting stars and worship at the feet of steve jobs, and it's a bit scary. i could care less which platform. if linux starts to take off for music and its as stable, as inexpensive [or more], with as many [or more] options as i have now, i'll switch without a second thought. i just want to make music. no one gets ostracized for buying a kurzweil synth if they own yamahas!
heres a test to prove a point; get 2 shirts...one that says "macs suck" and one that says "PCs suck". "mac people" will damn near attack you in the street!!

dude, if your ego needs that little glowing apple logo onstage, for you to feel complete, i say go ahead and take out that loan and buy a mac. but if you want something that is gonna do the job WELL [ya gotta tweak a couple of things, but there are many websites that show you how.], go get a good PC laptop. the best ones are IBM thinkpads [almost as much as powerbooks, but worth it], HPs [they bought compaq last year, and are able to make the best CHEAP lappies on the market], sony [iffy, but i owned one and it was solid], and toshibas [a PC standard for laptops]. go with the centrino, but the P4s and athlon based machines are a better value and super cheap [dont really need wi-fi for music...yet]


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Post by FaX-01 » Wed Jul 07, 2004 10:56 am

Please these debates are so old hat people.
Use the platform your happy with.
I've said it before and I'll say it again if your DAW is PC based just don't get it anywhere near the internet.
Maybe I can't judge yet but.... 12 hours a day 7 days a week for the last fortnight no hangups.bugs ,crashes or system failures on my XP system.
Works smooth as butter.
I just won't be putting it anywhere near my ADSL connection anytime soon.
If I had a Mac for music I'd be fairly comfortable with net use and music use combined but on a PC it's pretty high risk behaviour if you ask me.
My aren't the wings of butterflies beautiful and do they not make wonderful perturbations.....


Post by Guest » Wed Jul 07, 2004 10:56 am

Bah - I can't believe I'm going to reply to one of these threads but here goes...

Just a preface on my experience so you know I'm not talking outta my ass: I own both a Mac and PC (and both getting kind of long in the tooth). My full-time employ for the past 10 years has been of computer/network guy and I've got a bunch of these stupid pieces of paper that say I can remember what I read (i.e. Certifications). I currently control a 1000 seat Windows 2000/XP network with Windows 2000 Server and UNIX backend. I've been a computer geek for the past 20 years.

It basically comes down to this:

I f'in hate them and I wish they were never created. Apple/Windows/Linux - the whole lot of them!

Now, that I got that out of my system. Of course, I'm a little jaded as the greatest source of my frustration in my life is my job and I am only employed because computers are not autonomous... :lol:

Even on a network as large as the one I'm on, we've still gotten hit by viruses. There's almost always a lapse from when the virus is released and Symantec gets a virus update for it. The workstations have to be continually patched with Microsoft Security Updates which have to be tested before they are applied which also leaves a window of opportunity for exploits to hit the machines. I've seen Security Updates blow up Windows, I've seen Service Packs blow up Windows. But, I've also seen iTunes updates blow away music catalogs and a Apple Panther upgrade wipe out an external Firewire drive.

It's taken too much of my typing to get around to the point of this all:
Computer suck. No matter what platform. I see the following as my concise guide to deciding on a platform:

What viruses?
Status symbol
Stable (but slow!)
Get to join the "club" of select elite (that's not a good thing)
Good god shoehorn a G5 into a Powerbook for crikes sake!

Patch the bloody hell out of it continually
Ugly as sin
Bill Gates gave the toothless masses too much power which they have no idea how to use
No matter how you slice it, MS is evil incarnate! Minus karma points for you PC user!
Putting it on the internet is just asking for trouble!

Wow. I should really cut back on the morning coffee. Does any of that make sense? 8O

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Post by milka » Wed Jul 07, 2004 12:58 pm

AdamJay wrote:also, 5400 vs 7200 is minimal, but 4200 vs 5400 is a definite must. at least in powerbooks.

see benchmarks here: http://www.barefeats.com/pb12.html scroll to the middle of the page

only when writing to the Disk do you see the benefit of a 7200rpm drive over a 5400 (in a powerbook). and Live is more for reading from the disk.

so i wouldn't let the 7200rpm drive sway your decision.. if one were 4200 and the other 5400, then you could consider it as a big difference.
Quite wierd to see that 7200rpm external HD reeds slower then a 4200rpm........i am socked...could it be true ?
any ideas?

PowerBook G3-500Mhz "Pismo"
OSX 10.3.4/ External 80GB FireWire HD
Live 3.0.4/Beta 4


Mac or PC?

Post by Guestest » Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:10 pm

PowerBook G4 1.25ghz, works great with Live 3. PowerMac Dual 800ghz G4, works great with Live 3. Dell 2.8ghz Inspiron laptop, works great with Live 3.

I haven't noticed that much of a performance difference between either platform, but then I tend to focus more on the music than on the tools. :oops:

A PC is like a Toyota. Good value and performance. Nothing wrong with that. But some people buy the Lexus instead of the Toyota. Or a Mac instead of a PC. Because they can. :twisted:

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Post by AdamJay » Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:34 pm

milka wrote:
Quite wierd to see that 7200rpm external HD reeds slower then a 4200rpm........i am socked...could it be true ?
any ideas?
different drives have different characteristics... i'm sure you could find a 7200rpm drive that read marginally faster than the 4200, or a 4200rpm that wrote faster than a 7200rpm, or any other combination. the point i am trying to make is just because it says 7200rpm doesn't mean its going to be any faster or slower... do your research, look at benchmarks, solicit end-user reviews. its your money, spend it wisely

generally speaking though, the jump in speeds from 4200 to 5400 is vast, while 5400 to 7200 is marginal (not to mention 7200 only goes up to 60GB, or you could get an 80GB 5400 for the same price)


Post by onyxashanti » Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:51 pm

one thing i do with my PC lappie is instead of external hard drives and backing up, i just install a new hard drive. they are super cheap, and on the hp pavillion, super easy to get out of the machine. now i have the equivalent of three computers [although i can only use one at a time, albeit with one or more of th others attached thru USB2 interfaces]; one for music stuff [which, as was mentioned above, never goes near the internet and has only what is crucial for musi stuff, installed], one for business [this one has the virus scanning installed, that i use to scan all my drives, and is how i get on the internet], and one for graphics. nice and neat, and it helps me keep my system organized. when one of those drives fills up, i copy my most important/used files over to the new drive and put the old one in a safe place. laptop drives are starting to cost around £30 for 30GB capacities, so they are starting to become more cost efficient than CD and DVD backups. this is prudent especially since they've "discovered" that CDs rot. my 2c


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Post by head » Wed Jul 07, 2004 8:53 pm

I've got both...And you've got to make your own mind up.

The PC people swear by the PCs and the Mac owners by the Mac... And then, you've got some who's setting up was a little shaky, and they think it''s the computer...and then they tell you to choose based on their badly set up machine..(Like this guy who suggested that there was an issue with Live 2+ on his Mac PB....whateverMhz)


On the whole (and before anyone posts some dumb remark about them being for "rich kids", I'm not saying that PCs are not a perfectly good way to go...) Macs are quite clearly more reliable - even in the opinion of most of my knowledgeable PC user friends - and the amount of software available is getting less of an issue as many users are starting to mature into an app they like and feel productive with... For instance, I'm one of many professional musicians throwing away a bunch of plugs both on Mac and PC, because i'm starting to know what's really useful and what isn't really up to scratch or somewhat redundant with another plug...etc.

If reliability isn't everything to you, then until G5-laptops come out, you probably have a fairly even choice to make.

1_Mac Pro Quad
2_Macbook pro 13'
Apogee / Motu /etc

the oscillator

Post by the oscillator » Wed Jul 07, 2004 9:46 pm

it cracks me up that this same debate is going on on every forum for every app that has Windows and Mac support....but I'll chime in anyway.

PC's and Mac's both have their advantages and disadvantages., use whichever OS you're more comfortable with. Processor speed is not everything. How your OS makes use of the processor is just as important as well as bus speed and cache levels , etc.

I have a 1 ghz Powerbook and my only complaints are the price and battery life. Whoever posted that Powerbooks have great battery life must be crazy cause mine lasts about 2 hrs while a Centrino will last at least twice as long. With that said I've run the same apps on my laptop against a dell with a 2.6 P4 and my friend's 3.0 P4 desktop and I'm not losing any sleep over the differneces.....the dual G5's and dual Xeon's that I have at work are another story though.

Basically, by the computer based on the OS you prefer. You can find a comperable Mac to any Pentium or AMD computer out there and vice versa


Post by Guest » Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:10 pm

I switched from Mac to a Toshiba Centrino with XP and have been very, very happy. But I am able to keep my laptop off the internet and use it only for music. My wife's desktop is the internet computer (also XP) and there's always a lot of activity with McAffe installing updates and blocking "syn port attacks" and trojans etc.

It might be that if you plan to use your music laptop on the internet, mac would be a better choice, but if you plan to dedicate your new machine to music, the advantages of a centrino machine would tip the scales in favor of XP.

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