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Author Topic: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?  (Read 5809 times)

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Offline newscane

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TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« on: December 03, 2009, 02:04:57 AM »
My main PC right now is a 1.8 Ghz P4, 512MB RAM, WinXP, about 7 years old.  I have a 40 + 80 internal, a 160 external, and a 1TB external.  I have a Linux box that was my "big" file server until I got the 1 TB drive... it's a P3 450 w/ a 500 GB SATA.  I recently got a netbook... that's provided a "faster" way to be on the web... and I've been using it for processing recordings.  I'm thinking it's time to replace my desktop.  I've thought about building one w/ parts from Newegg (and maybe Best Buy, etc) ... the latest "cart" had a AMD X3 & 2 GB of RAM at the center of it.  I've also thought about buying a computer off the shelf... or possibly switching over to the Mac side of things w/ a Mini.  I'm a little hesitant to go to the Mini because of a lack of expandability... but there is always USB.  My budget is in the $500-700 range, I'd say.  Any thoughts? 

ETA: To bring this back into the taping-related fold: I'd say my audio processing/filesharing is about the heaviest load I put on my computer.  Right now my workflow is JB3 > Audacity > CD Wave Editor > Foobar.  I know Audacity has a Mac version... the only thing I think I'd really need to find a replacement for is CD Wave Editor.  What say you, Mac users?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 02:06:55 AM by newscane »
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Offline dgodwin

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2009, 10:08:31 AM »
At the beginning of the summer, I picked up a macbook.  I still haven't attempted to use it to do any audio processing, as I'm extremely happy and efficient at using Audition and CDwav.  I keep my desktop running for audio processing and sharing. 

If you don't go mac, would you want to continue to run xp, or go to 7?  If you need to buy a full version of 7, you'll likely find some good deals on pre-built computers over the holiday season...  If you can use the XP license you all ready own, then building from parts would likely be a good way to go. 

Offline Sebastian

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2009, 10:48:59 AM »
I know Audacity has a Mac version... the only thing I think I'd really need to find a replacement for is CD Wave Editor.  What say you, Mac users?

I'm running CD Wave Editor on my Mac in a virtual Windows installation (and actually that's the only reason I still have a Windows installation around). There's a Mac program called Fission that supposedly does the same thing as CD Wave Editor, but IMHO it's not as easy to use.
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Offline greenone

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2009, 11:16:06 AM »
You have two options with Audacity. You can either export directly to FLAC and then use xACT to fix the SBE's, or you can export to WAV and then use xACT to encode to FLAC AND fix the SBE's at the same time. That's the beauty of the "fix SBE" tab. This of course would involve tracking in Audacity (cmd-B to drop a marker > export multiple) but the end result is the same.

As for the mini, what kind of expansion are you thinking of? You can replace the hard drive and even replace the optical drive with another hard drive if you want, RAM is upgradable to 4GB...

http://www.macworld.com/article/140575/2009/05/macmini2009upgrade.html for the hd/ram upgrade, http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Mac-mini-A1283-Terabyte-Drive/660/1 for the second hd upgrade.
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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2009, 12:57:30 PM »
Why not just make the netbook your new desktop?

I run my Acer netbook on a ASUS 24 inch monitor. Add a wireless mouse and keyboard...and some RAM (i think the netbooks can take 2GB)

netbook battery acts like a UPS...

The only thing I miss is that big clunky thing on my desk and the noise it made- (well and a CD burner...but, I dont use CD much)

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2009, 01:00:17 PM »
You have two options with Audacity. You can either export directly to FLAC and then use xACT to fix the SBE's, or you can export to WAV and then use xACT to encode to FLAC AND fix the SBE's at the same time. That's the beauty of the "fix SBE" tab. This of course would involve tracking in Audacity (cmd-B to drop a marker > export multiple) but the end result is the same.

Audacity can track SBE free as long as you have the right boxes ticked. (snap-to, I think)

Offline newscane

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2009, 09:01:03 PM »
Not gonna quote individually... gonna handle it all at once...

dgodwin: I may go to 7... it looks interesting.  I need to research compatability.  I do have a friend with a spare Win7 license.

Sebastian:  I like the idea of running CDWav in a windows window...

greenone: I can't see myself tracking in Audacity... I think it would drive me nuts...

runonce: That's an idea.. but it doesn't give me much of an advantage over my current situation.  It's a 1.6Ghz atom, with a gig of RAM.  It's also being a little flaky these days with the wireless (forcing reboots sometimes).  And, I really like having two computers to access the internet, so my girlfriend and I can both be online.
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Offline greenone

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2009, 09:06:45 PM »
Audacity is the only free program I'm aware of for the Mac that lets you track a show. You could get something like Sound Studio but that's $80; that's what VMWare Fusion is running these days.

What don't you like about Audacity tracking? Find the spot you like, hit Cmd-B, enter a track number, and move on. Admittedly I've never used CD Wave but it can't be much easier than that. Yes, I like Sound Studio better for tracking because it's auto-numbered, but I wouldn't drop $80 on it just for that (I bought it like 8 years ago for $35). If Audacity would auto-label their track markers rather than making you enter a label, that'd be pretty much all I'd need...I'll have to try to find the snap-to that runonce mentions...
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Offline newscane

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2009, 11:09:47 PM »
Audacity is the only free program I'm aware of for the Mac that lets you track a show. You could get something like Sound Studio but that's $80; that's what VMWare Fusion is running these days.

What don't you like about Audacity tracking? Find the spot you like, hit Cmd-B, enter a track number, and move on. Admittedly I've never used CD Wave but it can't be much easier than that. Yes, I like Sound Studio better for tracking because it's auto-numbered, but I wouldn't drop $80 on it just for that (I bought it like 8 years ago for $35). If Audacity would auto-label their track markers rather than making you enter a label, that'd be pretty much all I'd need...I'll have to try to find the snap-to that runonce mentions...
Audacity just seems slow and cumbersome.  I like CD Wave because I can click to a spot, fiddle a bit to get the right spot, and click once to split.  Saving the files also seems to go relatively quickly -- a lot faster than when Audacity is exporting wav files.
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Offline greenone

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2009, 12:07:23 AM »
Agreed, it is slow and cumbersome. I was wondering why you were using it in the first place and mistakenly assumed you were ok with it...and then if so, why you weren't ok with tracking with it. Only other free programs I can find are Audio Editor and Wavepad which I'd never even heard of until now.

Fission is $32, Wave Editor, Twisted Wave and Sound Studio are all $80, Wiretap Studio is $70. All from reputable vendors though I've never used them. Fission I think I tried for a little bit but don't remember my experiences.
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Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2009, 02:10:52 AM »
To respond to the original subject, I would suggest building your own box if you're technically curious and have a few days to get everything together and running as you want.  It's surprisingly easier than you would think and you can put components in it to make it exactly how you'd like.  I've built a handful of desktop computers and even the worst issues I've run into have been sussed out with a few Google searches; most of my builds have gone without a hitch.  There are plenty of building guides on the web but in terms of component suggestions, there's a site called Ars Technica that publishes a good updated article a few times a year on the subject > http://arstechnica.com/hardware/guides/2009/10/ars-system-guide-october-2009-edition.ars

As far as Windows vs. Mac, IMHO it comes down to personal preference and what you're comfortable with.  I use both but prefer Windows machines as there are a lot more free/cheap programs available for that OS and I feel they're more customizable.  The Apple people can say all they want about Macs being superior, more reliable, easier to use, etc... but with improvements in hardware and the Windows operating systems, there's virtually nothing you can do on a Mac that you can't do with Windows and vice versa.  Good luck.

Offline Todd R

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2009, 09:26:08 PM »
Audacity is the only free program I'm aware of for the Mac that lets you track a show. You could get something like Sound Studio but that's $80; that's what VMWare Fusion is running these days.


Not free, but Amadeus Pro for the mac is something like $39 and it is a nice sound editing program.  It has a good range of editing features, allows you to add in VST and audio unit plugins, does tracking/markers along sector boundaries, allows you to save into wav, mp3, flac, AAC, ogg, etc.

A good option to consider if you go mac.
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Offline bhtoque

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2009, 10:38:42 PM »
A few basic points on build vs buy:

1. You can easily spend more building, but the end result is going to be more robust (take a look at a $50 Zalman cpu fan vs the tiny clanker in an off the shelf PC)

2. When it comes time to upgrade again a custom built system will be much easier to upgrade (many vendors use crazy case designs and non-standard hardware)

3. You have some valid hardware you can roll over (drives) and a pre-fab box might not have room for them

4. Very few PC makers pay enough attention to cooling, especially with multiple high rpm drives which you will want for audio work.

5. Most pc's you buy will come with a bunch of crap software pre-installed and often without original software cd's. Buying parts gets you all the discs you need and you will end up with a more stable OS install doing it from scratch and using a custom install (of course buying a full version of an OS is expensive)

6. You can not do too much research. Check ram compatibility for any mobo you like. mobo and graphic card conflicts are also common. Tom's hardware is a great site for product info.

7. If you build, don't skimp on a power supply

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Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2009, 03:44:26 PM »
Linux + virtualization for your winblows needs.

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Offline scb

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2009, 10:25:30 AM »
ETA: To bring this back into the taping-related fold: I'd say my audio processing/filesharing is about the heaviest load I put on my computer.  Right now my workflow is JB3 > Audacity > CD Wave Editor > Foobar.  I know Audacity has a Mac version... the only thing I think I'd really need to find a replacement for is CD Wave Editor.  What say you, Mac users?


If macs sucked at audio stuff, we wouldn't be using them :)

If you switch to a mac, you'll have plenty of audio options.  And for all the PC users who try to tell me "but you don't have CD Wave," I simply say: "So?"  I've never needed it

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2009, 10:41:57 AM »
Linux + virtualization for your winblows needs.

And check out the Linux + Enlightenment desktop...for a Mac-like setup. MoonOS is the best implementation of E17 that I've come across.

http://moonos.co.cc/ - (although - looks like the site currently down...)

Elive is another E17 setup - but they seem pushy about donations - so I havent tried that yet.

But honestly - to your original point - cant your current box take more/faster RAM?
You'll notice a huge difference if you can bump your existing box up to 2GB.

How do you Mac guys make a flac fingerprint? I cant figure it out on Linux either.

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2009, 12:10:02 PM »

How do you Mac guys make a flac fingerprint? I cant figure it out on Linux either.

Using xACT.

Offline crazifyngers

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2009, 12:19:46 PM »
heads up on the windows 7 if that is the way you decide to go, you will need to get windows 7 pro for jb3 to work.  drivers for jb3 stopped at xp and only win7 pro and ultimate come with xp mode that come with usb passthrough support.  although you will need cpu virtualization support for xp mode.  all X series athlons have this.  although if ;you don't want to go with pro then do virtualbox or some other VM but this will require an additional windows xp license... well to be completely legal.  also when using the jb3 in a VM you can only use the usb side.  This limits you to usb 1.1 which is painfully slow.  As far as macs go i do not think that the jb3 is supported in 10.6.   I think what i am getting at is it may be time to upgrade your recorder when you upgrade your computer for compatibility state.  :)
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Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2009, 02:39:56 PM »
heads up on the windows 7 if that is the way you decide to go, you will need to get windows 7 pro for jb3 to work.  drivers for jb3 stopped at xp and only win7 pro and ultimate come with xp mode that come with usb passthrough support.  although you will need cpu virtualization support for xp mode.  all X series athlons have this.  although if ;you don't want to go with pro then do virtualbox or some other VM but this will require an additional windows xp license... well to be completely legal.  also when using the jb3 in a VM you can only use the usb side.  This limits you to usb 1.1 which is painfully slow.  As far as macs go i do not think that the jb3 is supported in 10.6.   I think what i am getting at is it may be time to upgrade your recorder when you upgrade your computer for compatibility state.  :)

Oh please.  All that garbage just to run the bad jb3 software?   Just use one of the open source jb3 tools.  And the notion that microsoft's forced obsolescence via incompatibility should dictate your recorder choice is absurd.


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Offline admkrk

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2009, 12:08:57 AM »
heads up on the windows 7 if that is the way you decide to go, you will need to get windows 7 pro for jb3 to work.  drivers for jb3 stopped at xp and only win7 pro and ultimate come with xp mode that come with usb passthrough support.  although you will need cpu virtualization support for xp mode.  all X series athlons have this.  although if ;you don't want to go with pro then do virtualbox or some other VM but this will require an additional windows xp license... well to be completely legal.  also when using the jb3 in a VM you can only use the usb side.  This limits you to usb 1.1 which is painfully slow.  As far as macs go i do not think that the jb3 is supported in 10.6.   I think what i am getting at is it may be time to upgrade your recorder when you upgrade your computer for compatibility state.  :)

Oh please.  All that garbage just to run the bad jb3 software?   Just use one of the open source jb3 tools.  And the notion that microsoft's forced obsolescence via incompatibility should dictate your recorder choice is absurd.

agreed, make ms obsolete.  >:D
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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2009, 01:27:05 AM »
heads up on the windows 7 if that is the way you decide to go, you will need to get windows 7 pro for jb3 to work.  drivers for jb3 stopped at xp and only win7 pro and ultimate come with xp mode that come with usb passthrough support.  although you will need cpu virtualization support for xp mode.  all X series athlons have this.  although if ;you don't want to go with pro then do virtualbox or some other VM but this will require an additional windows xp license... well to be completely legal.  also when using the jb3 in a VM you can only use the usb side.  This limits you to usb 1.1 which is painfully slow.  As far as macs go i do not think that the jb3 is supported in 10.6.   I think what i am getting at is it may be time to upgrade your recorder when you upgrade your computer for compatibility state.  :)

Oh please.  All that garbage just to run the bad jb3 software?   Just use one of the open source jb3 tools.  And the notion that microsoft's forced obsolescence via incompatibility should dictate your recorder choice is absurd.

agreed, make ms obsolete.  >:D

With HDs so big - no reason to have just ONE OS on your computer! Dual booting is easy enough.

Just have a Linux partition...and connect your JB3 with GNOMAD2. Transfer. And boot back to Windows (or whatever) if you must. Only downside is Gnomad2 only supports USB speeds.

VM ware is an option too - but I've not run a box like that so I'll leave to others to define that option.

Offline crazifyngers

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2009, 01:33:19 PM »
heads up on the windows 7 if that is the way you decide to go, you will need to get windows 7 pro for jb3 to work.  drivers for jb3 stopped at xp and only win7 pro and ultimate come with xp mode that come with usb passthrough support.  although you will need cpu virtualization support for xp mode.  all X series athlons have this.  although if ;you don't want to go with pro then do virtualbox or some other VM but this will require an additional windows xp license... well to be completely legal.  also when using the jb3 in a VM you can only use the usb side.  This limits you to usb 1.1 which is painfully slow.  As far as macs go i do not think that the jb3 is supported in 10.6.   I think what i am getting at is it may be time to upgrade your recorder when you upgrade your computer for compatibility state.  :)

Oh please.  All that garbage just to run the bad jb3 software?   Just use one of the open source jb3 tools.  And the notion that microsoft's forced obsolescence via incompatibility should dictate your recorder choice is absurd.

Hey man i'm just letting him know that there are not drivers compatible with windows 7 or the new version of OS X.  i know you may think that is absurd.  I also find it absurd but i didn't make the decision to stop making drivers for jb3 and for that matter neither did M$, that was Creative's decision to stop making drivers for it.  I really wasn't trying to start an OS war.  I use windows, linux and OS X daily.  I was just letting him know potential problems before he had to deal with them.

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Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2009, 03:20:16 PM »
I also find it absurd but i didn't make the decision to stop making drivers for jb3 and for that matter neither did M$, that was Creative's decision to stop making drivers for it.

It was msft's decision to obsolete old drivers (and not just for the jb3).  They could have maintained compatibility.

The same is true for old webcams and other hardware - msft and the hardware vendors *want* to force you to buy new hardware.  They feel no guilt about filling landfills with still useful hardware.  Fortunately, most of that hardware works just fine with Linux, and keeps working release after release....

Though I will say Creative set the jb3 up for this by not making it a generic USB mass storage device.  But somewhat in their defense, it was a very early USB device and a lot of those standards were still forming.

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Offline crazifyngers

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2009, 07:27:14 PM »
again i am not defending MS decision just letting him know.  also I love linux i have 4 linux 1 bsd and one windows computer... and i have the windows computer for work applications and that is dual boot.
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Offline newscane

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2009, 10:35:58 AM »
Linux + virtualization for your winblows needs.

And check out the Linux + Enlightenment desktop...for a Mac-like setup. MoonOS is the best implementation of E17 that I've come across.

http://moonos.co.cc/ - (although - looks like the site currently down...)

Elive is another E17 setup - but they seem pushy about donations - so I havent tried that yet.

But honestly - to your original point - cant your current box take more/faster RAM?
You'll notice a huge difference if you can bump your existing box up to 2GB.

How do you Mac guys make a flac fingerprint? I cant figure it out on Linux either.
Current box is running RDRAM... pretty much impossible to upgrade the RAM at all.  Looks like 512 MB would cost me as much as 4 GB of DDR3 RAM in a new box... not practical to upgrade RAM...
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Offline rastasean

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2010, 06:27:10 PM »
What did the OP decide to do? Its been a month after last post.

I think I'm going to build a PC but I don't know what OS to use yet because I don't have one. I want linux on it because its free but the Vista / 7 issue is still undecided.

I was looking the Dell Zino and its nice but at the end of the day, it would be more expensive than building my own and the processor would be as fast plus a lot less room for expandability.

My current computer is fine for audio provided I'm not doing much else on it but terrible for HD video and that's what I'm interested in upgrading for.

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2010, 08:41:58 PM »
Check out the HP z800 workstation.

Quad Core, Dual Procecessor and two network cards each 1 gig make this a super fast box.  Add up to 5 internal HDs RAIDable and this is a monster box. 
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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2010, 09:26:32 PM »
Check out the HP z800 workstation.

Quad Core, Dual Procecessor and two network cards each 1 gig make this a super fast box.  Add up to 5 internal HDs RAIDable and this is a monster box.

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2010, 12:55:39 AM »
For HD video I would either do Windows 7 (64 bit) or OS X.

It will be cheaper to build a Windows box (that has the equivalent power to a Apple product)...but I'd much prefer to use Final Cut (Apple) for HD video.

If it comes down to it, and cost is an option (which I'm assuming it is). I'd rather build a Windows box with Avid for HD video editting. Almost as good for less money.

As far as I know, linux is pretty limited in the HD video editting, but I don't know much about Linux for anything more than very basic computing.

What did the OP decide to do? Its been a month after last post.

I think I'm going to build a PC but I don't know what OS to use yet because I don't have one. I want linux on it because its free but the Vista / 7 issue is still undecided.

I was looking the Dell Zino and its nice but at the end of the day, it would be more expensive than building my own and the processor would be as fast plus a lot less room for expandability.

My current computer is fine for audio provided I'm not doing much else on it but terrible for HD video and that's what I'm interested in upgrading for.
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Offline AHappyHourHero

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2010, 06:39:46 AM »
my non music job at the current moment has me in the IT field.  Let me lend my 2 cents here, if I may.  All of the feedback that you have received has been dead-on-balls-accurate, and some excellent food for thought.  Let me add in some desert.
In the 500-700 dollar range, you are going to find a lot of very capable Windows 7 based PC's in any big box store.  Warranty is nice to have because the computer companies have been known to build a lemon or two.  Standard MFW is 12 months.  DIY is fun (and sometimes not), and you have something you accomplished to be proud of, but the hours and hours of researching parts, compatibility, etc is consuming.  Look at your personal time as you would if you were getting paid for it.  How much is this machine worth to build, in personal time?

MAC vs. PC.  If I could justify the money, I would abandon the PC world altogether, and go Mac.  Better QA in build, simpler O/S, and tough as nails.  The flip side to that is software compatibility, in any area.  You are extremely limited in this area, but it is getting slowly more hopeful, as more people make the leap to Mac.  Software for what we do is WIDELY available for PC, shareware, freeware, and copywritten for sale.

You are very right about USB.  Almost infinite possibility for expansion with USB compatible devices.  I have done many many hours of editting and matrix mixing on my laptop, tethered to all of my external drives, and equipment.  Mac still likes to use firewire, but they do have USB on all machines (the MacBook Air does not have FW, just USB), and all you need is one to hook up a USB expansion bus.  the speed difference between USB 2.0 and firewire is negligable, IMHO.  USB information transfer across a bus between devices is going to slow you down a tad, anyway.

It sounds as if you have enough reliable back-up as far as other computers available, so the choice is not limited by this.  I can tell you that almost anyhting in Best Buys add in that price range, other than the eMachine and Compaq DT's are going to be infinately fater than what you currently have now.  I would not settle for anything less than dual core processors.  Quad core if it fits the budget, but not necessary just for music editting.  As for Windows 7:
Microsoft made a mistake with Vista.  They acknowledge that to some degree, for various reasons that I will not go into now.  I liked Vista.  The only compatibility issue that I ever had (and eventually corrected) was with WinTaper, of all things.  With that said, it took me a 7 beat intro to BIODTL to switch over once I used Win7 a bit.  Less resource dependent (hmm, like Leopard/Snow Leopard), more visually appealing (again, like Mac), XP compatibility mode in professional and ultimate packages (see Bootcamp / Parallels) and the very important compatibility with your older peripherals. 

Newegg carried Win XP for developers for sale at a cheap price.  Microsoft does not sell it anymore, and does not support it.  It was around almost 10 years.  Vista is even difficult to find in Best Buy, as well, because the Microsoft empire is really pushing the herd towards 7.  Now that I said that, a little more opinion:  Mac allows independence and individuality.  Windows really is big brother corralling the herd together.  Microsoft has more customers then the Catholic church has Christians.  think about it :)

I hope in some small way, I didn't rant, and actually provided you with at least one line of useful info



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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2010, 10:32:53 AM »

The flip side to that is software compatibility, in any area.  You are extremely limited in this area

no, you're not

Offline AHappyHourHero

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2010, 03:21:16 PM »
the only way in which you are not limited to certain mac compatible third party applications, is by running a Windows O/S.  Without doing this, you are limited to hundreds of Mac compatible software titles, versus thousands of Windows compatible applications.  I am relatively sure that you can find a Mac compatible software to work just as well, but I am simply saying that without the inclusion of a Windows O/S on your Mac, you are limited in the choices.
And if your choice is to run a Windows O/S on your Mac, don't forget the anti-virus software :)

I hope this clarifies what was intended in my post.
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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2010, 03:38:57 PM »
the only way in which you are not limited to certain mac compatible third party applications, is by running a Windows O/S.  Without doing this, you are limited to hundreds of Mac compatible software titles, versus thousands of Windows compatible applications.

Yawn.  Stop being controlled by microsoft - Run Linux as your base OS, and run anything else in a virtual machine.

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2010, 09:25:58 PM »
the only way in which you are not limited to certain mac compatible third party applications, is by running a Windows O/S.  Without doing this, you are limited to hundreds of Mac compatible software titles, versus thousands of Windows compatible applications.  I am relatively sure that you can find a Mac compatible software to work just as well, but I am simply saying that without the inclusion of a Windows O/S on your Mac, you are limited in the choices.
And if your choice is to run a Windows O/S on your Mac, don't forget the anti-virus software :)

I hope this clarifies what was intended in my post.
So you're saying that since you cannot run OSX on your Windows machine you are limited whereas on the Mac you are not.
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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2010, 07:30:28 AM »
the only way in which you are not limited to certain mac compatible third party applications, is by running a Windows O/S.  Without doing this, you are limited to hundreds of Mac compatible software titles, versus thousands of Windows compatible applications.  I am relatively sure that you can find a Mac compatible software to work just as well, but I am simply saying that without the inclusion of a Windows O/S on your Mac, you are limited in the choices.
And if your choice is to run a Windows O/S on your Mac, don't forget the anti-virus software :)

I hope this clarifies what was intended in my post.

it isn't the 90s anymore.  There are thousands of Mac applications now, too.  It's not nearly as "limited" as you think.  Many Mac-only applications have no Windows equivalent, either

Offline AHappyHourHero

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2010, 11:47:36 AM »
thank you for the feedback.  i hope this has not distracted the subject too much for what the original post was about
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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2010, 12:52:41 PM »
In the 500-700 dollar range, you are going to find a lot of very capable Windows 7 based PC's in any big box store.  Warranty is nice to have because the computer companies have been known to build a lemon or two.  Standard MFW is 12 months.  DIY is fun (and sometimes not), and you have something you accomplished to be proud of, but the hours and hours of researching parts, compatibility, etc is consuming.  Look at your personal time as you would if you were getting paid for it.  How much is this machine worth to build, in personal time?

tigerdirect.com has bare bones systems way under $500-700 with a warranty. you may not get a DVD burner but that is $~30. oh and an oS, that can either be bought or obtained.

while it may take a few hours to put everything in the case, once its all together, everything will be fine and work without any issues.

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Re: TSKB: New computer: build, buy, or go Mac?
« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2010, 05:33:55 PM »
What did the OP decide to do? Its been a month after last post.

I think I'm going to build a PC but I don't know what OS to use yet because I don't have one. I want linux on it because its free but the Vista / 7 issue is still undecided.

I was looking the Dell Zino and its nice but at the end of the day, it would be more expensive than building my own and the processor would be as fast plus a lot less room for expandability.

My current computer is fine for audio provided I'm not doing much else on it but terrible for HD video and that's what I'm interested in upgrading for.
Sorry about that.  About a week after the last post, I ordered all my components to build.  Around the time everything arrived, I went out of town for a week, and since I got back, I've been busy with building it, getting it situated, and with life :)

These are the most relevant specs:
AMD Phenom II X2 550 processor: Dual-core chip that really has 2 other disabled cores.  Runs at 3.1 Ghz.
ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO motherboard: onboard AMD graphics, has optical out and HDMI out
4 GB RAM
640 GB WD Caviar Black HD
Sony Optiarc DVD burner w/ Lightscribe

I'm running Win7 and Ubuntu Studio dual-boot.  This Ubuntu flavor includes various multimedia creation SW right out of the box, incl. Audacity.

All in all, it cost me around $600.  I did wind up going with the Altec Lansing VS-4121 speakers from (ugh) Walmart.  They're okay -- the sub is rather large, and kind of gets in the way compared to what I was used to.  I think I still have about a week to return them if I wanted to go in a different direction -- but I still haven't found any other speakers I like in my price range (under $100).
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