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Thread: Which is better: Windows or MacOS?

  1. #1
    Deez Beats! KLH's Avatar
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    Which is better: Windows or MacOS?

    It's another Windows or MacOS thread! Let's get the popcorn ready...



    There's at least 3-4 people a week asking which is better - Windows or MacOS. I'm going to give my opinion and open it up for discussion...

    THE OFFICIAL KLH OPINION ON WINDOWS VERSUS MACOS!
    Use what you can maintain. ALL computers fail if not properly maintained. Equally, if you know how to optimize them, both Windows and MacOS can really be great. Said differently, buy what you like and maintain it.

    Of course, there are differences in philosophy between the two and DJs can get caught in the middle. It's best to understand the differences between the platforms and make up your own damn mind.

    MacOS
    The MacOS platform is closed as Apple rules it with an iron fist. Hardware is only upgraded yearly and (AFAIK) no applications are released on it without testing and approval from Apple. As such, MacOS software tends to be well made and very well tested. Of course, the downside is that there is less software available for it... and what is available tends to be expensive.

    Still, the platform itself does not change often (beyond the yearly refreshes) and that has led to the perception of stability. Encouraging that perception, Apple itself optimizes the hardware and OS for real-time audio as Apple makes software (GarageBand, Logic) that uses that capability.

    The end result is that MacOS products work well out-of-the-box for DJing. Of course, there is a premium for this... and Apple prices their products accordingly.

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    Windows
    The Windows platform is open as Microsoft wants everyone to make software for it and hardware to run it. Hardware is continually brought out for it and there are many, many combinations of motherboards, chipsets, network interfaces, and video interfaces. In fact, there are so many combinations that testing the combinations is a futile effort - as new hardware is frequently introduced.

    On the software side, it takes time to optimize drivers and it takes about 6-8 months after new product launch for new optimized drivers to be released. Adding to the mix (pun intended), Microsoft updates Windows itself continually.

    As you can imagine, the performance of a Windows system is usually limited by the quality of the drivers available for the discreet hardware components. If the drivers aren't optimized, then digital audio won't flow through the system uninterrupted and glitches, drop-outs, and freezes occur.

    The most frustrating thing is that Windows buyers won't know if laptops have optimized drivers until they try it out with their audio interfaces. If it works well out-of-the-box, you're lucky. If it doesn't work at all, it most likely won't work. If it doesn't work well, there's usually tweaking that will make it work better. It's this crap-shoot that drives most to give up and buy MacOS.

    The upside with the Windows platform is that the extreme competition keeps pricing low. It is possible to spend a third of what Apple charges and achieve the same results... or not work at all.


    Bottom Line
    Now that you know the differences, I say choose wisely. They can both be nightmares or the best investments that you've ever made. Regardless, remember to back up religiously and learn how to maintain the OS. You'll be glad you did.

    -KLH
    Last edited by KLH; 02-27-2012 at 04:00 PM. Reason: VIP ad

  2. #2
    Member fueledbymusic's Avatar
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    I remember someone (I think it was you LOL) that posted a Mac vs PC thread that used an old fixed up muscle car that represented the PC and a Lambo for the mac. Where PC is like an nice old muscle car that requires more attention to keep it up. Then a picture of a spark plug that represents the cost to repair a PC, and a picture of another Lamborghini that represents the cost of repairing a mac... hahaha that was a good one

  3. #3
    Member Schreiber's Avatar
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    The answer to the question is Mac is best for DJ software, not much room for debate there. The only actual question is whether or not it's worth the price difference.

  4. #4
    Deez Beats! KLH's Avatar
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    ^ That is pure BS.

    -KLH

  5. #5
    Member Schreiber's Avatar
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    Care to explain your post? Because I can more than easily back mine up.

    Quote Originally Posted by KLH View Post
    ^ That is pure BS.

    -KLH

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    Member FireyFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schreiber View Post
    Care to explain your post? Because I can more than easily back mine up.
    You didn't explain your original claim, so lets hear it.

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    serato, traktor, live, vdj, all run on W7 as well as OSX... sooooo care to prove otherwise? because they DO run as stable on both platforms.

    if you are a designer, using a mac these days is about as logical as using an atari, CS runs like SHIT on osx these days, i run it side by side with a w7 machine and the w7 machine is significantly faster, by a huge margin.

    video work though its a pretty level playing field. personal pref for that and music.
    Last edited by Marc S; 02-27-2012 at 04:53 PM.

  8. #8
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    KLH, your opinion is very misguided and based on a combination of marketing and bad publicity. I'm not sure where it comes from, so I'm going to respond to a few specific points you made and go from there.

    First thing's first.
    Quote Originally Posted by KLH View Post
    Use what you can maintain. ALL computers fail if not properly maintained. Equally, if you know how to optimize them, both Windows and MacOS can really be great. Said differently, buy what you like and maintain it.
    This advice is sound. That's what it comes down to.

    Quote Originally Posted by KLH View Post
    The MacOS platform is closed as Apple rules it with an iron fist. Hardware is only upgraded yearly and (AFAIK) no applications are released on it without testing and approval from Apple. As such, MacOS software tends to be well made and very well tested. Of course, the downside is that there is less software available for it... and what is available tends to be expensive.
    Completely wrong. OS X ships with a Developer Tools installation that includes an IDE and compilers/interpreters for every major programming langauge. In addition, it can run the largest bulk of open source software designed for Linux or Unix, usually with very few changes. There are a lot of third-party packages for OS X that will never show up in the App Store. Not only can you get software from anywhere you like, you can write your own in a more simple and straightforward way than on Windows. And Apple's GUI APIs are more straightforward than the Windows versions. OS X ships with good toolkits that very much simplify the process.

    That probably doesn't matter if you're not a ridiculous geek, but it's good to have the truth out there.

    There's more FOSS available for OS X than Windows as a result.

    Quote Originally Posted by KLH View Post
    Still, the platform itself does not change often (beyond the yearly refreshes) and that has led to the perception of stability. Encouraging that perception, Apple itself optimizes the hardware and OS for real-time audio as Apple makes software (GarageBand, Logic) that uses that capability.
    Also wrong. OS X runs Audio software better out of the box because of really technical differences between the Windows and OS X kernels (a part of the OS). There's no such thing as DPC latency on OS X not because Apple has already optimized the system but because Windows is the only OS in the world that uses Deffered Procedure Calls. It's a horrible abominaton of scheduling that allows 3rd party software (or more commonly drivers) to delay processing of other system insructions until they're done…with basically no safeguards for sanity.

    I have no idea why they decided to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by KLH View Post
    The end result is that MacOS products work well out-of-the-box for DJing. Of course, there is a premium for this... and Apple prices their products accordingly.
    There are laptops available for less money than Apple, and depending on the benchmarks you use, they can give better performance. But considering ridiculously specific things, it's about as expensive to get a similar-quality laptop made with the same components (beyond just processor, ram, and HDD specs). But I'll give you that one.

    Full copies of new versions of OS X also cost $35, and I never had a Windows laptop last as long as my Apples have.


    Quote Originally Posted by KLH View Post
    The Windows platform is open as Microsoft wants everyone to make software for it and hardware to run it. Hardware is continually brought out for it and there are many, many combinations of motherboards, chipsets, network interfaces, and video interfaces. In fact, there are so many combinations that testing the combinations is a futile effort - as new hardware is frequently introduced.
    Except for the insinuation that Windows is more open, that's true. That's also another reason why Apples are better for Audio professionals. Apple has enough pro audio consumers that bringing out a computer with failings as bad as some PC motherboards have done in the past would put a significant dent in their revenue.

    Quote Originally Posted by KLH View Post
    On the software side, it takes time to optimize drivers and it takes about 6-8 months after new product launch for new optimized drivers to be released. Adding to the mix (pun intended), Microsoft updates Windows itself continually.
    Product vendors make drivers for their stuff, not Microsoft. If you're right, and it takes 6-8 months for a hardware vendor to make a Windows driver that's stable…that's staggering. I haven't bought a single piece of hardware boasting OS X compatibility and had it not work.

    Okay…some printers are screwy. But I still can't figure out why printers ever got more complicated than copying a file to a buffer and letting the printer's firmware handle everything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by KLH View Post
    Now that you know the differences, I say choose wisely. They can both be nightmares or the best investments that you've ever made. Regardless, remember to back up religiously and learn how to maintain the OS. You'll be glad you did.
    Except for the fact that you don't actually understand the differences, I agree with this advice.

    It's hard to cut through all the bullshit and figure out how the platforms are actually different…I used to parrot the same crap you just did, though I was on Linux at the time and didn't use computers for music (apart from downloading off beatport and burning CDs).

    To some extent, the line "Macs just work, but you pay for it" is valid. But the cost differences are not nearly as stark as you claim. The difference between an Apple and a PC that might perform as well winds up about 50-cents (USD) per day over the life of the computer, assuming you buy a new one every time the warranty runs out.

    For less than the cost of a cup of coffee at Waffle House, you get better built hardware, an OS that was actually designed well, more access to free software, and a more customizable environment. Or you can buy that cup of coffee, come out spending more money, and have to know a lot about hardware to make sure your new computer works.

    Apples are–in most ways–more open than PCs. Most software for Linux will work on OS X. They're solid in terms of both stability and physical build quailty. They have an amazing warranty with 1-to-1 human support available for free even if the computer is out of warranty (though repairs out of warranty do cost money if it's not a simple fix). And once you get by Apple's marketing BS and turn off some of the stupid "features" that are supposed to integrate OS X with iOS devices, you wind up being more free to work the way you want than I ever could do with Windows. Just about the only thing you can't change is the Window Manager, but if you've ever re-written xorg.conf at 3am, you understand just how small of a sacrifice that is. And you still can run other Window Managers on top of OS X's default…they're just always on top of the default. If you're on Windows, you have no idea what I'm talking about.

    So, I think it's obvious where my preference lies, but let me say it again.

    I'd quit using computers for music, go back to CDJs + Vinyl for Djing, and buy an ADAT recorder and all hardware synths, mixers, and drum machines long before I'd install Windows again.
    Last edited by mostapha; 02-27-2012 at 04:39 PM.

  9. #9
    Love my macs, although it would be nicer to get the same power as a pc without paying twice as much, but alas...

    Also, I'm growing concerned I'm going to be abducted by the growing cult that is the apple fan base... when I walk into the apple store everyone is so friendly and smiley, and 'down on my level' that I think I'm in some kind of weird trap where they are going to lock me in and force me to drink poisoned kool-aid with everyone else

    Must keep super-vigilant whilst buying my accessories

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    Peter Hooook!!! Damon_Chambers's Avatar
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