Avid Pro Audio Community

Avid Pro Audio Community

How to Join & Post  •  Community Terms of Use  •  Help Us Help You

Knowledge Base Search  •  Community Search  •  Learn & Support

Avid Home Page

Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Legacy Products > 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Mac)

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-24-2000, 02:37 PM
pcvsmac pcvsmac is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 52
Default PC - vs - Mac -- A Breakdown For Everyone

I'm researching as much as I can before deciding which system to buy, PC or Mac. Here's what I've gathered so far from reading these boards, and perusing Pricewatch. Please feel free to add any experience or details I have not found. I'm going to cross post this to the Digi001 for Windows 98 board, as well, so everyone from both sides can share their knowledge.

The BX133-RAID appears to be the best choice among motherboards, as it has the Intel 440BX chipset, supports up to 1GIG of PC133 RAM, and has the ability to hook up two or more ATA/DMA-100 hard drives to its RAID controller, virtually eliminating the need for SCSI and the high price tag associated with it (wow, what a sentence). It is currently $112 on Pricewatch.

How much performance is really gained by having 200 more MHz? The price difference between the 1GHz and the 800Mhz is currently $270. Is it worth the extra cost?
Pentium III 1GHz - $449
Pentium III 933MHz - $320
Pentium III 866MHz - $227
Pentium III 800MHz - $179

This is a somewhat tricky area, in that the quality of the RAM can make a real difference in system stability. The BX133-RAID supports up to 256MB PC133 RAM in each slot. Here are the lowest prices for good quality PC133 RAM that I could find.
128MB - $97
256MB - $198

Hard Drives
ATA/DMA-100 7200RPM Hard Drive costs.
-Western Digital
WD200BB 20GB - $114
WD400BB 40GB - $158
52049H3 20GB - $110
54098H6 40GB - $179

Dual Monitor Video Card
The Matrox Millenium Dual Head Cards
G400 ... 16MB - $74 ... 32MB - $102
G450 ... 16MB - $83 ... 32MB - $146
The G450 has faster DDR RAM, but I doubt it is necessary.

Other Stuff
Decent case prices vary from $35-$75
CD-RW drives 8W/4RW/32R around $111
Floppy $8

-Total System Costs-
BX133-RAID ........ $112
PIII 800MHz ....... $179
256MB PC133 RAM ... $198
WD200BB-Win98SE ... $114
2x WD200BB-Audio .. $228
G400 32MB Card .... $102
CD-RW ............. $111
Case & Floppy ..... $80
Total Cost ........ $1124
Upgrade to 1GHz ... $ 270
to 512MB RAM ..... $ 198
to 2x40GB Audio .. $ 88
to G450 32MB ..... $ 34
Upgraded Cost ..... $1714

So, for a good PC system, you're looking at
anywhere from $1100-$1700. Add your keyboard and mouse for around $15-$50.

Your base stripped down G4 system from Apple is configured as follows for $1549:
400 MHz G4 Processor
20 GB ATA 5400 RPM
RAGE 128 PRO 16MB Video Card
Keyboard and mouse

Dual 450MHz - $600
Dual 500MHz - $900

RAM prices from Apple are expensive, for a 256MB base, instead of 64MB, it's $450 more.
From Pricewatch I got these much lower prices:
128MB - $99
256MB - $199
512MB - $599

SCSI Controller
Looking at the Digi001 compatability pages, I see that the Apple bought SCSI controller isn't supported. There are two supported controllers, one by Atto, one by Adaptec.
ATTO Express PCI Dual Ultra Wide - $309
Adaptec HBA 2906 - $40
Something seems strange about the large difference in the prices, so if anyone knows why, please post why.

Hard Drives
For the OS, you can upgrade to the ATA 30GB 7400 drive from Apple for $150.
For the audio drives, the cheapest prices I could find on Pricewatch are as follows (all drives are 10000 RPM U160).
WD 18GB - $270
Seagate 18GB - $308
Seagate 36GB - $599

Dual Monitor Video Cards
Reading on the Digi001 compatability pages again, I see that the only dual monitor card supported is the Appian Jeronimo 2000 Macintosh, which costs a whopping $715.

Other Stuff
Imation SuperDisk - $98
Regular Floppy - $8

-Total System Costs-
Base 400 G4 system ....... $1549
Add 128MB RAM for 196MB .. $ 99
SCSI Controller .......... $ 40
18GB 10000RPM U160 SCSI .. $ 270
Total Cost ............... $1958
Upgrade to Dual 450MHz ... $ 600
to 30GB ATA 7400RPM ..... $ 150
to 320MB RAM ............ $ 100
Level 1 Upgrade Cost ..... $2808
Upgrade to Dual 500MHz ... $ 300
to 576MB RAM ............ $ 400
to 36GB U160 SCSI ....... $ 329
to Dual Monitor Card .... $ 715
Level 2 Upgrade Cost ..... $4552

Upgraded PC Cost ...... $1714
Comparable Mac* Cost .. $3732
Difference in price ... $2018

*Comparable Mac is Dual 500MHz with 320MB RAM, 36GB SCSI, Dual Monitor, and keeps the 20GB ATA 5400RPM drive.

Zoinks! Note these costs do not include monitors, nor the Digi001 package.

So, it's obvious that the PC wins the price game by over $2000. That's quite a bit.

What about features and performance? I've read here that the Macintosh has more plug-ins and supports more effects at once, and also that it is more stable than PC (though many PC users say their systems are stable). Also, with the upcoming OS X dual processor support, the Macintosh performance could go up quite a bit.

But are the extra plug-ins and possibly more stable performance worth $2000?

I'm interested in all comments regarding this subject.


Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2000, 03:14 PM
AEW AEW is offline
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 879
Default Re: PC - vs - Mac -- A Breakdown For Everyone


I have a fully upgraded PC and Mac similar to what you have illustrated and the MAC cleans it up. Why?......... STABILITY for most parts and graphics are far better.

I know someone is going to say the PC is better and Mac is better, you read it all the time here on the DUC. But I tell you in my case the MAC is better, I know because it sits next to the turbo PC. I too use to justify the greatness of the PC over the Mac and pour a bundle$$$$$ into it, but in the end the Mac won. Maybe PC with an NT system will do it, but Win 98, Win 2000, Win Me..... well I have my doubts.

Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2000, 05:33 PM
bassmac bassmac is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,754
Default Re: PC - vs - Mac -- A Breakdown For Everyone

You left one item out - Mac’s look cooler than PC’s - this is an important feature. Now stop twisting your brain and go get a Mac - you'll be happy you did.


[This message has been edited by bassmac (edited November 24, 2000).]
Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2000, 06:16 PM
tomhartman tomhartman is offline
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: boca raton, FL USA
Posts: 1,749
Default Re: PC - vs - Mac -- A Breakdown For Everyone

The Mac's interface has so much more class than the PC that is isn't funny. Only folks that have grown up on the PC prefer it, in my experience. Everything looks like a bad Mac imitation on the PC..with ugly fonts and stupid lines under menu items, really cheesy. No offense to PC lovers, meant. Gotta call it like I see it.

You'll spend the 2000 anyway on gear....this never stops....preamps, speakers, mikes, sound modules, software. Say goodbye to your money once you are into all this.
iMac 27
Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2000, 06:25 PM
toecat toecat is offline
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: LI NY
Posts: 488
Default Re: PC - vs - Mac -- A Breakdown For Everyone

Nice prices, but you have made a few mistakes when it comes to the Mac. First you don't need to have a scsi drive. You can use a stantard Western Digital ATA 7200. Second a G4 Mac is still faster than most PC. So if you bought a G4 400 for 1595, added 128mg of memory for $99, and a 20gig hard drive $120
minus the cost of the key board.
It really is not that much more. Also Digi 001 does not support dual monitors. There is money saved right there.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2000, 08:27 PM
Jeff D. Jeff D. is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 805
Default Re: PC - vs - Mac -- A Breakdown For Everyone

Some Mac additions/corrections for you:

Although two monitor cards are not "officially" supported, there are lots of us using them. The problems seem to arise on TDM systems or when using fast SCSI cards. Ditch the SCSI, and add a second ATI or 3dfx PCI video card for about $100.

I've been recording 2 hour live concerts using just a Maxtor 40G 7200 RPM drive hooked up to my older G4's ATA33 interface with NO problems. I record using all 18 inputs simultaneously. You definitely do not need SCSI. I have SCSI also, but I don't use it!

Also, ther is a $500 rebate on the dual processor 500 Mhz mac right now. Updating your prices with the new info:

Mac DP 500 = $2449
less $500 rebate = $1949

Add 40G Maxtor = $179
Add 128MB RAM = $99
Add PCI video card = $100

New Mac total = $2327

Difference between PC and Mac = $627
A small price to pay for elegance!

Good luck,

Jeff D,
Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2000, 09:43 PM
E. D. Cooper E. D. Cooper is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 287
Default Re: PC - vs - Mac -- A Breakdown For Everyone

The old adage applies here in spades:

Buy cheap; buy again, and again, and again.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2000, 04:41 PM
jeanluc jeanluc is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 1
Default Re: PC - vs - Mac -- A Breakdown For Everyone

Yet, nobody really answered the real question, which is, how does the system run on PC vs. Mac. Yes, Macs are cuter. How does the software run on PC?
Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2000, 06:13 PM
rdpete rdpete is offline
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: grasston,mn,usa
Posts: 343
Default Re: PC - vs - Mac -- A Breakdown For Everyone

New, stock G4's are only $1299

subtract $250 on the Mac side

...as for for RAM, In my G4, I am currently running extra PC-100 RAM from a PC. Works just fine.

If you want more RAM in a Mac, buy it seperately and put it in yourself.....it ain't
'that' hard. Subtract some dollars there too...

also too, G4 hard drives are stock at 7200rpm as of last March, not 5400rpm.

If you want a 'real' Mac deal, look for a G3 B&W Server with 2 9gig SCSI drives and card already in it. Seen a few at www.smalldog.com for about $1700......

I'm not a Mac pundit, just keeping it real....


Use the platform 'you' feel comfortable with, and just make some music.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
BLA 's breakdown of the 003! Yodah 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Win) 0 03-25-2007 07:44 PM
Communication Breakdown xianny 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Mac) 2 07-21-2006 04:50 PM
Track Breakdown for Docs anders Post - Surround - Video 11 02-23-2005 11:12 PM
Digi-001 for Dialog Breakdown? Rumpled Man 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Win) 3 01-18-2003 04:12 PM
PC - vs - Mac -- A Breakdown For Everyone pcvsmac 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Win) 48 01-10-2001 11:28 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:16 AM.

Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited. Forum Hosted By: URLJet.com