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  #1  
Old 11-30-2020, 10:10 PM
Drywsef Drywsef is offline
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Default Should we all just Hackintosh while we can?

Forgive the clickbait title.
Lately Iíve been wondering why we bother with PT on Windows in 2020.
A bit of context...
Since building my my i9 10900k machine, Iíve been suspicious that Pro Tools is not able to use my computer efficiently. I seem to run into as many overloads at low buffer sizes as I did on my old Sandy Bridge machine. Iíve tried Processor Affinity, Priority, and all the other optimizations - while there are some gains to be had... PT is just not performing that much better than on the old machine. To add to this, I canít program the macros I want, as Pro Tools will not accept the alt or win modifier keys from AutoHotKey. This seems to be a theme with PT on Windows: Melodyne doesnít operate with normal key commands on Windows as it does with OSX. Equilibrium Key commands donít behave correctly, etc. Iíve spoken with Celemony and DMG to learn that these are special issues that only affect windows pro tools systems. To add to these frustrations, a 32 buffer size has always been unsupported with an HD Native card at 44.1, while the latest PT for Mac just received low latency performance optimizations.
Is there a compelling reason NOT to just switch my machine over to OSX (I know I can with my hardware)? Other than the cost of a Mac, it seems that Windows might be a clearly inferior platform for PT. Please let me know if Iím missing something here. Iíd LOVE to stay on W10 and save myself some trouble.
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2020, 08:28 AM
ejinbc ejinbc is offline
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Default Re: Should we all just Hackintosh while we can?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drywsef View Post
Forgive the clickbait title.
Is there a compelling reason NOT to just switch my machine over to OSX (I know I can with my hardware)? Other than the cost of a Mac, it seems that Windows might be a clearly inferior platform for PT. Please let me know if Iím missing something here. Iíd LOVE to stay on W10 and save myself some trouble.
D

Here are a couple things...

> I have seen lots of comparisons over the years, the Win10 PC typically outperforms/is the same as the Mac because ASIO (is/was) a more efficient protocol - I don't think there are significant performance differences. The low latency performance is primarily due to the quality of the interface driver (I use a MOTU 1248, great drivers !);

> Hang around the Mac forum here for a while, every new version of the Mac OS creates new problems for Pro Tools - from my observation, it seems most new Pro Tools releases are primarily aimed at maintaining Mac OS compatibility with MINOR feature updates. I believe you could run almost any version of Pro Tools from 9 onwards on a new Win 10 machine;

> The Intel platform is a dead end on the Mac, which suggests to me that Hackintoshes will not be compatible for very long, so you will be stuck on older Pro Tools versions because Pro Tools won't be compatible with a Hackintosh;

> Did I mention the new M1 chip. Mac land is going to be a mess for the for the next year or so. But I am very glad Apple did M1 and AMD did Zen 3 because as you state "PT is just not performing that much better than on the old machine". I agree. The Intel lineup from the 2600K onward was pretty good and single core performance has improved very little all the way to today. Riddle me this, how did AMD improve single core performance so much in Zen 3, how did Apple decrease power consumption (critical for chip density) so much with M1. Answer, Intel had no competition;

> I believe the low latency performance improvements noted for the Mac in the last release (2020.11) just bring performance up to where we have been on the PC for a while;

> Have you overclocked your machine ? With a Noctua air cooler you should be able to do at least 4.8 GHz on all cores 24/7 with an AVX offset of -1. This is by far the easiest way to improve single core performance - it is not rocket science - increase the voltage a bit, up the multiplier, set AVX offset, get the memory timing optimized, turn off Turbo boost and C-states, turn off unused motherboard components (e.g. sound card) in the BIOS. Done.

> Very low latency performance can be a function of how you set up your session. When I am tracking at low latency (24/96 @ 64 buffer; 3.1 ms RTL) I avoid long serial processing chains of plugins and subgroups because this can overload one of the cores;

> Actually, I just did my renewal (even though we had minimal useful or new features this past year) to maybe get a M1 compatible (optimized) version of Pro Tools. The Air looks to be a really nice portable system eventually. BUT, I am very worried that ALL of Avids resources will be focused on getting a stable M1 version launched;

> ... and here is my click bait, the Win10 PC is simply better than the Intel Mac

YMMV

ejinbc
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2020, 10:42 AM
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JoelG JoelG is offline
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Default Re: Should we all just Hackintosh while we can?

Just opinion, but I agree with most of the above.

I'm running an old M-Audio 2626 that hasn't had driver updates since Windows 8 without issue. I can run any Pro Tools version that worked on Win7 + without issue. Both of which on the latest preview build of Win 10. None of those statements would be true if I where to be using whatever the latest Mac OS is these days.

Every time Apple releases an OS upgrade, it's a storm of posts here wondering when Pro Tools will be supported and folks who upgraded too early complaining that nothing works.

Windows has its isssues, to be sure. But I don't see paying extra for the above headache of running a Mac to be worth it.

Joel
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  #4  
Old 12-01-2020, 01:00 PM
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EGS EGS is offline
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Default Re: Should we all just Hackintosh while we can?

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Originally Posted by JoelG View Post
Just opinion, but I agree with most of the above.

I'm running an old M-Audio 2626 that hasn't had driver updates since Windows 8 without issue. I can run any Pro Tools version that worked on Win7 + without issue. Both of which on the latest preview build of Win 10. None of those statements would be true if I where to be using whatever the latest Mac OS these days.

Every time Apple releases an OS upgrade, it's a storm of posts here wondering when Pro Tools will be supported. Folks who upgraded too early complaining that nothing works.

Windows has its isssues, to be sure. But I don't see paying extra for the above headache of running a Mac to be worth it.

Joel
+1. The Mac OS versions are a moving target. Crazy...
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  #5  
Old 12-01-2020, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Should we all just Hackintosh while we can?

To each his own, but I used Pro Tools on Windows for years before switching to Mac and my experience is that it's much more solid on Mac - and my interfaces are old by tech standards. Something may eventually force me to switch back, but I hope not.
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2020, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Should we all just Hackintosh while we can?

Going the Hackintosh route can be rewarding when and if you get it working. The problem is that most of the hardware is supported, but the stuff that isn't relies on hacks that need to be installed on top of the base MacOS image. Then there is the cross your fingers and hope it works update process that comes with owning a Hackintosh whenever Apple releases a new version of the OS. Thunderbolt is tricky to get working and AVB is not available on a hack either.

If you have a spare drive and just want to play around to see how it is on the other side; then yes, a Hackintosh is a fun project and for the most part will work well enough to have fun with it. If you plan on using it as anything other than a hobby PC, then do yourself a favor and just buy a real Mac.
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Should we all just Hackintosh while we can?

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Originally Posted by junkgear View Post
Going the Hackintosh route can be rewarding when and if you get it working. The problem is that most of the hardware is supported, but the stuff that isn't relies on hacks that need to be installed on top of the base MacOS image. Then there is the cross your fingers and hope it works update process that comes with owning a Hackintosh whenever Apple releases a new version of the OS. Thunderbolt is tricky to get working and AVB is not available on a hack either.

If you have a spare drive and just want to play around to see how it is on the other side; then yes, a Hackintosh is a fun project and for the most part will work well enough to have fun with it. If you plan on using it as anything other than a hobby PC, then do yourself a favor and just buy a real Mac.
There was a huge learning curve when I first built mine, but installing Catalina was really smooth and I use it for most of my recording work. No complaints here. I'd love to own a real Mac (other than my MBP), but they're just too damn expensive.
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2020, 12:24 AM
Drywsef Drywsef is offline
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Default Re: Should we all just Hackintosh while we can?

Thanks for the replies. It seems to me that most objections is the OSX route can be addressed by simply not upgrading?
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2020, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Should we all just Hackintosh while we can?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drywsef View Post
Thanks for the replies. It seems to me that most objections is the OSX route can be addressed by simply not upgrading?
I agree with cwsand; the initial learning curve is the worst part. Once you are up and running, itís pretty smooth. Updates typically work and there may be small things that need to be fixed afterwards, depending on your hardware and what non standard drivers you may have.

The biggest pain for me was that video card support is very limited, Thunderbolt is tricky to get working and AVB is not available using most PC onboard NICs.

Give it a go. I had fun when I had mine and it was nice to compare it against Windows.
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2020, 08:36 AM
Old School Old School is offline
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Default Re: Should we all just Hackintosh while we can?

I recently built a brand new PC with an i7-8700K processor (supposedly the best for Pro Tools) and max memory because I was so fed up with the CPU error messages I was getting with its predecessor, which was no slouch. My CPU and memory usage are now negligible according to both Pro Tools and Windows Task Manager but I'm getting heavy power consumption warnings. I have already upgraded the PC's power supply, which had very little effect. I have done everything I can to track down the source of the error messages - plugins are the main suspect - but still the problems remain. Some of my sessions play back perfectly; some don't. I've also noticed that repeatedly replaying part of a song seems to make the figures increase. It's as if the memory doesn't clear down correctly after each iteration. Any thoughts?
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