Old 09-03-2010, 11:15 PM   #1
LFO
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Default Reaper on Mac Vs Reaper on PC

Greetings,
I have zero intention of starting a Mac vs PC flame war. I love my Mac and and I love my PC. Kind of like I like brunettes and blondes.

I've just moved to a new place and part of the move was to completely tear down my DAW. I need to put everything back together, but now that everything is apart I am seriously considering migrating back to PC. Reason being, I need more horsepower. I've built my own boxes since 1984 and I use a PC as a VEPro slave to my iMac. I love the iMac, but it has become too limited, mainly in expansion capabilities. If I were to upgrade the iMac I would have to go with a Mac Pro. Problem is, the damn things are sooooooo expensive! Now before Mac people jump in and say a PC would cost just as much I will preemptively say that I know for a fact I can build the equivalent for 1/3 the price of a Mac Pro. Let's skip that argument, it just doesn't hold water. So the Mac Pro is much more expensive. But it does have OSX and that is the ultimate Siren's song. Hence, I am not sure what to do. A few conclusions I've made:

1) I can live without Logic and (especially) Digital Performer
2) Cubase, that I use a great deal, runs well on both PC and Mac
3) I've been careful with hardware component choices to avoid compatibility issues if I build a PC.

There are more considerations, but those are the big three. The only unanswered question I have is about Reaper. I've only used Reaper on Mac and it has been fine. However, Reaper on Intel/Windows may be better for some reason or another than it is on Mac. For instance, do all add-ons work on both PC and Mac? Is Reaper more efficient on PC than Mac? Or vice versa? Can anyone give me tangible reasons why I might migrate from OSX to Windows 7? Although opinions are always interesting, I'm really looking for facts. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:00 AM   #2
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Default Windows 7

Not sure how reaper works on OS-X as opposed to Windows 7 but for what it's worth - I support both platforms and find that on the whole Windows 7 easier to deal with.

The Achilles Heal of Windows OS's is their file system NTFS. Look after is with something like Auslogics Defrag and you'll have a good system.

I've been running 7 x64 since the public beta releases and upgraded to Windows 7 x64 release from them. 2 main systems were also upgrades originally from Vista x64 and I have not had major issues. Audio is well supported and Reaper x64 runs very well for me with a mix of x64 and x86 VSTi's.

Problem with OS-X is it can be a difficult thing to work with in a mixed environment and the hardware costs to run it. As you pointed out, one can build a Windows PC at a cheaper rate than the same configured Power Mac.

Horses for Courses as they say.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:26 AM   #3
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I think you've hit on one of the important points yourself : upgrading. Next time you want to upgrade (and you will!), if you had moved to PC, it would be reasonable to expect that you'll have an easier and cheaper time of it. I'd also suggest you remember that a Mac is a premium computer, but many (most?) PCs and PC bits are really rather cheap'n'nasty. If you look around and source top notch bits, get a nice case, nice quiet fans, quality peripherals and a tasty screen, the straight up price difference is a lot less ...though still less.. and you'll have a much more comparable (and, IMO, YMMV, etc etc better) user experience.
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Old 09-04-2010, 02:35 AM   #4
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If it matters to you, there are a TON more free VST's, VSTi's and such for Windoze over Mac OS X.
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Old 09-04-2010, 04:54 AM   #5
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build a hackintosh - that way you get the best of both worlds in terms of osx and upgradeability.
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Tie View Post
If you look around and source top notch bits, get a nice case, nice quiet fans, quality peripherals and a tasty screen, the straight up price difference is a lot less ...though still less.. and you'll have a much more comparable (and, IMO, YMMV, etc etc better) user experience.
Absolutely...
If you make the right choices, you can assemble a custom PC that's better than a Mac.

Macs are nice computers...
But I prefer to choose the components used in my DAW... rather than letting the board at Apple (or any other company) decide.

All this said, if you really want to run OSX or a Mac application, IMO that's the reason to use a Mac.

I think the idea of a Hackintosh would be fun... but I certainly wouldn't want that in any kind of professional environment.
What are you going to do if you ever need support... or when you go to report a bug/problem with the software? Mention that you're running a Hackintosh... and the conversation is over.

It's just like every other tool (software, instrument, etc).
You can make great music on either platform.
I just like the complete control/flexibility on the PC side.
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:59 AM   #7
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Absolutely...If you make the right choices, you can assemble a custom PC that's better than a Mac.

Hi Jim,

Just wanted to say I'm loveing the PC you put together for Sonny. I've got it in my studio right now putting tracks together for his gigs.

It's so fast and smooth and so far no hicups. Had some issues with Win7 but got them all pretty well resolved.

Speaking for both Sonny and myself, thanyou very much.

Tod
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:26 AM   #8
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Earlier this year I built and legitimately operated my first ever PC for audio. I had been using two Mac G5s that I now use only for graphics - meanwhile, Digital Performer 6.0 is long sitting idle.

Happily, the PC has become my new audio machine, thanks to Reaper. I also bought good components including a Gigabyte board that allowed me to hook up my trusty (old) RME PCI card and UAD-1. It was all custom fitted to my needs and what I preferred (silent PS/fans, etc.) All my Apples are noisy. My PC is way quieter than any of them. Apple's machines haven't allowed me to use my old PCI stuff since early this century. And they have always cost me a fortune to buy new - $5000, $3800, etc. In comparison, my newer, faster PC cost me under $1000 to build.

I would definitely go for a PC, if only for audio using Reaper.

Admittedly, I still prefer OSX - the GUI, the ease of usability. But when using Reaper I feel no difference in a PC, except that it's much faster now. For everything else...I still love Mac stuff.

As for the Hackintosh stuff, I REALLY looked into that and it looks TOTALLY unreliable unless you want to be tweaking constantly with each update, etc. I spend enough time not creating music. I don't need to waste any more on "kext" file issues.
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:32 AM   #9
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Reaper runs rock solid on my PCs, no need to worry, and it supports all my plugins and allows for large projects.
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kundalinguist View Post
Admittedly, I still prefer OSX - the GUI, the ease of usability.
But you are on Windows XP right? (according to your signature)

I find the GUI, usability and features are much better on Windows 7 (compared to XP). Not saying that you should upgrade or anything, only pointing out that the comparison (OSX-Windows XP) is slightly unfair for somebody building a new PC.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:49 AM   #11
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I'm glad to see this is remaining civil. I wasn't sure what I might come back to. Lol!

I agree with much has been said on both sides, hence my hesitation on quickly moving forward. I'll post some thoughts on what I've read so far...

1) Hackintosh is not going to work, even for a hobbyist like me. Administration is not quite a nightmare, but darn close and support for any apps running on it (let alone finicky *audio* apps and drivers) would be non-existent. A great place to play if that is what you want to do, but at this point not for much more. Sadly.

2) Pricing is always a topic of interest. I don't have time right now to do it, but I will post some of my pricing with comparisons to the best Mac deals (i.e. using OtherWorldComputing for upgrades to memory, disk, etc.) The numbers do a great deal of talking, but maybe not in the way you would think they would. They certainly didn't for me!

3) The idea of doing just audio on a PC and video/multimedia on an iMac is becoming more appealing. So is the idea of keeping the majority (perhaps everything but the OS) of storage outside the box attached to Firewire or USB3. There are some interesting ways I could get this done and have my own little cloud in my house. Lol!

4) I love OSX. I loved XP, but it lacked in many areas that finally drove me to Mac in the first place. Windows 7 has changed that game and I can see me liking Win 7 almost as much as I like OSX. Problem is, as much as I love OSX it isn't enough to justify the cost of the hardware. Again with the

5) I really hated losing some VIs when I moved to Mac. Tone2, some Voxengo, etc.

6) I've been building Windows boxes since 1984. I had my own business and put myself through college selling 286, 386 and the the mighty 486 (!) to small to medium sized engineering firms, etc. I keep up fairly well with hardware (though my job now focuses on large RISK and CICS systems) and this world has really upped the ante in the past few years. DRM, cache, bus speed, proximity of memory to CPU, etc. have all gotten wacko cool. (That is a technical term. Look it up!) With Apple moving to Intel the hardware wars become pretty much moot, but the OS is still a significant differentiator. Love OSX or hate it, it is an efficient OS with a great UI. No registry, no need for chkdsk, USB updating automatically when you move USB based peripherals, etc. (The last might be fixed in Win7, not sure.)

So, I appreciate the feedback and it has led to me considering more what direction to take. Sorry, this post began to ramble. I'll post the pricing stuff later today or tomorrow and see what you all think of it.

-Kevin
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan View Post
But you are on Windows XP right? (according to your signature)

I find the GUI, usability and features are much better on Windows 7 (compared to XP). Not saying that you should upgrade or anything, only pointing out that the comparison (OSX-Windows XP) is slightly unfair for somebody building a new PC.
You're right. That's absolutely true. I never thought of that at the time and honestly, I don't know how much the GUI has changed from XP to W7, except that I keep wondering why some people's screenshots are prettier than mine.

But if I can tolerate another new OS install, I will be finding out soon.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:01 AM   #13
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I use Reaper on OSX, and also boot-camped on my MBP in Window 7.

It is much much faster in Win7. It loads up significantly faster, indexes all the plug-ins significantly faster, the GUI is loads more responsive and cpu use is much lower.

OSX performance has been improved dramatically over the last few releases, but it's still not up to speed with Windows in any way unfortunately.

It's still perfectly useable on OSX, but it doesn't quite compare in performance yet.

The only reason I use it on OSX, is because I feel pretty lost in Win7 I've always used mac, and while I really like Win7, I'm just a massive noob with it, and I can't get anything done as fast yet.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Hi Jim,

Just wanted to say I'm loveing the PC you put together for Sonny. I've got it in my studio right now putting tracks together for his gigs.

It's so fast and smooth and so far no hicups. Had some issues with Win7 but got them all pretty well resolved.

Speaking for both Sonny and myself, thanyou very much.

Tod
Hi Tod,

Glad the new DAW is working well for you and Sonny...

When you step back and look at how the technology has progressed the last 10+ years... it's amazing. We've now got the tools to run heavy projects at ultra low latency settings.
ie: I never move my audio interface off the 64-sample ASIO buffer size.

I remember back when it was exciting to be able to run 8 channels of 16Bit/44.1k audio! Had to have a SCSI A/V tuned HD to pull it off.
$600 for a 2GB HD that sustained 7.5MB/Sec... and that was blazing fast.
We live in crazy good times...
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:11 PM   #15
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Love OSX or hate it, it is an efficient OS with a great UI.


-Kevin
Kevin,

the UI might be nice but OSX is NOT an efficient OS, it doesn't scale as well as windows Xp even with multicore/thread apps.Have a read of this

http://www.dawbench.com/win7-v-osx-1.htm


Reaper along with Cubendo runs so much better on windows, from latency to GUI speed it's hands down a better platform not counting the maturity of x64 under windows either.

All cross platform apps seem to run better under windows, if you want to run logic or DP then I'd suggest a Mac of course but for any other DAW windows x64 is the best performing platform.I'm writing this on a Mac by the way


MC
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:28 PM   #16
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Kevin,

the UI might be nice but OSX is NOT an efficient OS, it doesn't scale as well as windows Xp even with multicore/thread apps.Have a read of this

http://www.dawbench.com/win7-v-osx-1.htm


Reaper along with Cubendo runs so much better on windows, from latency to GUI speed it's hands down a better platform not counting the maturity of x64 under windows either.

All cross platform apps seem to run better under windows, if you want to run logic or DP then I'd suggest a Mac of course but for any other DAW windows x64 is the best performing platform.I'm writing this on a Mac by the way


MC
Has anyone here got any benchmark comparisons between reaper on osx and win7 on the same machine?
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
I remember back when it was exciting to be able to run 8 channels of 16Bit/44.1k audio! Had to have a SCSI A/V tuned HD to pull it off.
$600 for a 2GB HD that sustained 7.5MB/Sec... and that was blazing fast.
We live in crazy good times...
I think I had a 1-gig SCSi for my first HD system. I don't remember what it cost but I think it was more than $600. All the backups were to 8mm tape cassettes and the two interface moduals (8-tracks)cost $3,000 apeice. Thought I was king on the block back in those days.
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:17 PM   #18
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Has anyone here got any benchmark comparisons between reaper on osx and win7 on the same machine?
I could try and do this when I've got a bit of spare time over the next few days. It won't be as detailed as the dawbench test, but it should demonstrate well enough.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:29 PM   #19
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Kevin,

the UI might be nice but OSX is NOT an efficient OS, it doesn't scale as well as windows Xp even with multicore/thread apps.Have a read of this

http://www.dawbench.com/win7-v-osx-1.htm


Reaper along with Cubendo runs so much better on windows, from latency to GUI speed it's hands down a better platform not counting the maturity of x64 under windows either.

All cross platform apps seem to run better under windows, if you want to run logic or DP then I'd suggest a Mac of course but for any other DAW windows x64 is the best performing platform.I'm writing this on a Mac by the way


MC
Hello MC,
Actually, OSX is an efficient operating system. Very much so. I am familiar with the benchmark you pointed me to. (Most techy oriented DAW enthusiasts both read and in most cases took a swipe at it.) Lets just say that the tests are flawed to a degree that the published results were, in my mind, of no value. Like zero. None. I applaud the effort and if a valid test were performed the data would be of huge interest, but sadly that is not what we got. Keep in mind that I do not think there is a `winner' or `loser' in testing such as this. I've been in the industry since 1983 and still today run comparative cross-platform load testing, platform sizings, and capacity analysis to determine what platform is the best to run applications. (True, I deal with RISC and CICS architectures primarily, but Intel gets in the mix about 30% of the time.) I'm not saying I'm all knowing, I'm just saying the test was deeply flawed.

Anyways, I appreciate you sending the URL, it was a well intentioned pointer. The one thing I did garner from the test when it was released months ago was that OSX may be overly complex to code for efficiently. That in and of itself is a flaw and if true needs to be corrected.

Now that I've got my Windows and Mac boxes up and running, maybe I'll run some tests and see if I can come up with a valid comparison.

Wait...who am I kidding? I don't have time for that.

-Kevin
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:28 PM   #20
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So I just installed Windows 7 via Boot Camp for fun and WOW... Reaper runs infinitely better on Windows than it does on OSX. I am so used to the way it operates on a Mac that I forgot how beastly and efficient it is on Windows. Custom macros that crash Reaper on OSX relentlessly if you try and do them too fast blaze by on Windows! I have a custom split macro that will crash Reaper guaranteed on OSX if I hit undo 3 or 4 times rapidly after running the macro a handful of times, whereas on Windows I can literally hold down the key command for the macro and make 1000 splits, then hold down the undo key and watch it undo everything with absolutely zero hiccups...

This has sealed the deal for me regarding buying/building a PC as my permanent non-mobile studio rig... OSX is still the king for me for general computing but man Reaper is so so so so so so much better on Windows...
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:25 AM   #21
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:24 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Hello MC,
Actually, OSX is an efficient operating system. Very much so. I am familiar with the benchmark you pointed me to. (Most techy oriented DAW enthusiasts both read and in most cases took a swipe at it.) Lets just say that the tests are flawed to a degree that the published results were, in my mind, of no value. Like zero. None. I applaud the effort and if a valid test were performed the data would be of huge interest, but sadly that is not what we got. Keep in mind that I do not think there is a `winner' or `loser' in testing such as this. I've been in the industry since 1983 and still today run comparative cross-platform load testing, platform sizings, and capacity analysis to determine what platform is the best to run applications. (True, I deal with RISC and CICS architectures primarily, but Intel gets in the mix about 30% of the time.) I'm not saying I'm all knowing, I'm just saying the test was deeply flawed.

Anyways, I appreciate you sending the URL, it was a well intentioned pointer. The one thing I did garner from the test when it was released months ago was that OSX may be overly complex to code for efficiently. That in and of itself is a flaw and if true needs to be corrected.

Now that I've got my Windows and Mac boxes up and running, maybe I'll run some tests and see if I can come up with a valid comparison.

Wait...who am I kidding? I don't have time for that.

-Kevin
Kevin,

Well from my personal experience using both over the last 15 years those benchmarks quantify my real world experience using both platforms.

I've been running Cubase and Nuendo since version 1 and have tried on both platforms over the years.The Windows version always won on:

1; Latency
2; the Gui, it's like glue on OSX
3;ASIO direct monitoring


I use OSX as my 'office' machine and it's fine for that


MC
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:00 AM   #23
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Kevin,

Well from my personal experience using both over the last 15 years those benchmarks quantify my real world experience using both platforms.

I've been running Cubase and Nuendo since version 1 and have tried on both platforms over the years.The Windows version always won on:

1; Latency
2; the Gui, it's like glue on OSX
3;ASIO direct monitoring


I use OSX as my 'office' machine and it's fine for that


MC
I found this thread quite amusing because i've ended up with the mac as my music machine and Linux as my office machine.

Granted this was because I wanted it on a laptop and the only way I could get it to work at all was to run a macbook pro (I tried a few windows laptops and ended up sending them back, huge DPC problems) but I completely understand the comments about OSX being slow and sluggish. I HATE osx with a passion for normal day to day use (click and holding the mouse over a file name to change it,- no drag- Cut instead of Copy when moving from media to media, a filesystem which seems to relish corrupting my Sdcards.... I could go on),- Linux is far better all round and I've no reason to doubt windows wouldn't be too.

But.... there are moments in osx when I really appreciate it, like hot plugging displays, soundcards, etc - it just all seems to figure itself out and work - and I do like being able to use my usb headset as a low-latency soundcard in reaper - that's just fun!

Kind regards

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Old 09-09-2010, 12:44 PM   #24
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The MBPs are the best off-the-shelf laptops you can currently buy.
My MBP runs Windows far more than OSX.

Clevo D900 is the mother of all things laptop... but it's $3k well spec'd.

High DPC latency, crap Firewire controllers, limited BIOS parameters, and over zealous power-management have really bogged down most laptops (for use as a DAW).
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:30 PM   #25
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I've used Reaper with both a Macbook Pro and a Win7 PC.

OSX pros: OSX uses ASIO or something similar by default, so no need to monkey about with sound drivers

OSX cons: the plugin selection is inferior - there are plenty of plugins that work with OSX, but it's unavoidable that you'll find some which you really want to use but can't because they are Windows only. I also had a lot of trouble with plugin GUI not drawing correctly in Reaper.

Win7 pros: tons of awesome free plugins to perform almost any function

Win7 cons: adding the additional layer of complexity by requiring non-default audio drivers opens up the potential for setup errors that can cause sound quality issues like distortion, cracking and popping sound output. Although I prefer Win7 overall, I am struggling with this issue which was never a consideration while I was using OSX.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:17 PM   #26
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I've used Reaper with both a Macbook Pro and a Win7 PC.

OSX pros: OSX uses ASIO or something similar by default, so no need to monkey about with sound drivers

OSX cons: the plugin selection is inferior - there are plenty of plugins that work with OSX, but it's unavoidable that you'll find some which you really want to use but can't because they are Windows only. I also had a lot of trouble with plugin GUI not drawing correctly in Reaper.

Win7 pros: tons of awesome free plugins to perform almost any function

Win7 cons: adding the additional layer of complexity by requiring non-default audio drivers opens up the potential for setup errors that can cause sound quality issues like distortion, cracking and popping sound output. Although I prefer Win7 overall, I am struggling with this issue which was never a consideration while I was using OSX.

Asio4all

I'm running a large test project on an HP envy with on board sound at 64 samples clean as a whistle

MC
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:20 PM   #27
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I am using Asio4all. Perhaps I'll make another thread about my specific issues, but the switch has not been smooth for me, and the multiple layers of audio settings (asio4all settings + reaper audio settings + interface settings) makes it incredibly frustrating to debug. I never had this problem with OSX and I don't get the crackling issues with Windows native drivers (just120ms latency).
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:17 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by norbury brook View Post
Kevin,

Well from my personal experience using both over the last 15 years those benchmarks quantify my real world experience using both platforms.

I've been running Cubase and Nuendo since version 1 and have tried on both platforms over the years.The Windows version always won on:

1; Latency
2; the Gui, it's like glue on OSX
3;ASIO direct monitoring


I use OSX as my 'office' machine and it's fine for that


MC
Hey MC, I agree with you 100% as that has been my experience with Cubase. I was just saying that a Cubase benchmark does not reflect all aspects of an operating system. So, we are on the same page 100%. Another reason that my Windows box will continue to be streamlined tonight is because of Cubase performance on Windows vs OSX.

Its a shame really, because there are so many things that I really enjoy with OSX (Linux for that matter too) that just aren't there with Windows. I'm still trying to figure out if I want to run a `hybrid' environment as I love apps like Final Cut, but my thinking at this point is that is too much administration and cost.

I'm also looking forward to seeing Reaper on Windows 7, I've never had Reaper on a Windows OS. From the great posts about it, I might just not look back at OSX. It would be nice to bring back my Tone2 VSTs and some Voxengo plugs that aren't supported on OSX.

-Kevin
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:49 AM   #29
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Default Tools for helping streamline Windows, and maintain

For all of you who are choosing Windows 7 for your DAW's I just thought I'd give a heads up on Auslogics BoostSpeed app for cleaning and tuning Windows 7.

I've been using their Defragmentation tool for a few years now and I decided to have a look at BoostSpeed as I wanted something a bit more thorough than CCleaner.

Can't recommend it highly enough. My Laptop which I'm traveling with is like a new machine due to the cleaning and optimisations done to it. Just something to consider for looking after your Windows environment. As we all know all OS's need some tuning/cleaning at some stage be it Windows, Linux or OS-X.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:17 AM   #30
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Kev,

I agree with you too about OSX, there's a lot about it I love too I'm not a big fan of the whole 'Apple' scheme of things though. I hate the Steve Jobs way or no way approach and the whole fanboy uneducated thinking of a lot of the Apple users.They do make beautifully designed hardware though if that's important to you, just hate being told what i can and can't do with my computer.Their Business/advertising practices seem to operate under their own rules, Microsoft gets hauled through the courts regularly for things Apple seem to do as a matter of course.Why can Apple force users into using Safari but microsoft nearly had to introduce windows 7 in the EU with NO browser at all so it didn't seem like it was biased towards internet explorer!!

anyway rant over

I'm about to try using Ubuntu on my laptop to replace OSX and see how I get on, I've been a big open source fan for many years but never used it as my main OS, I've just got to see if File maker Pro runs under wine as that's been my invoicing system now for 10 years for my business.


I think you'll find running Reaper under windows 7 x64 on a current i7 quad with 6-12 gigs of ram an absolute joy, it really flies and is as stable as anything I've ever used, I've just completed my 3 rd project since going back to Reaper and have had NO issues at all, not one crash in 3 projects

Enjoy

MC
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Last edited by norbury brook; 09-10-2010 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:24 AM   #31
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I've ran into lots of problems with core audio in the past (not that asio is perfect either) and never been able to get as low latency (versus CPU efficiency) as I have with asio. Maybe things will change at somepoint though.
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:28 AM   #32
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not sure about performance but my i5 hackintosh has been running crash-free for months. it takes a while to close when i have a lot of nebulas running (these weird icons pop up in the dock each time i open one - anyone know what that is all about?) but is wonderfully solid. i might try a win7 install just to compare - but osx perfect for me.
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:41 PM   #33
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PC + Win 7 + Reaper --> FTW
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