Apple M Series is the new DAW performance minimum!
I’ve been using Intel based PCs for decades, but it no longer makes any sense whatsoever. Apple innovation has flown above and beyond Intel.
I would suggest at the barest minimum, an entry level Apple M1 (Air, Pro, Mini, iMac) if you are serious about your music. A brand new M2 Mac mini can be had from Apple starting at $599.00. Used M1 Mac minis must be dirt cheap. MacBooks and iMacs can be had for reasonable costs too. Choose what you’re comfortable with, but do it.
Maybe a less than 10 year old Intel-based system with enough RAM and SSD might be able to run Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Reason, Cubase, or the DAW of your choice. But will the older Intel-based systems run your software great or without issues? Probably not, though a lot of people are going to rationalize going with less even if it isn’t the right choice.
Apple silicon is the DAW standard. The developers of your DAW and plugins are going to use the power available to them. If your Intel-based hardware isn’t dogging now, it will be soon.
Video is another area that Apple silicon excels at and will be of increasing importance for creators.
Most musicians, obsessed as we can be, have thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars of gear. A sufficient DAW should be a prioritized part of whatever you have, and if your DAW is your gear, it’s even more critical. Your DAW should not be the choke point. System performance frustration or software limitations should never be part of the creative process. Think about it. Do some research. Watch some videos. You’ll be amazed at how even the entry level Apple silicon leaps ahead of Intel without a hiccup.
If your budget allows better than M1, be sure to read these reviews and resources: Mac mini M2 & M2 Pro, MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max, MacBook Pro M2 Pro & M2 Max, Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra.
Apple related pages
Updated periodically – Apple Silicon is the DAW standard
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M1 Max & M1 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Studio M2 Max & M2 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro & M1 Max
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Pro M2 Pro & M2 Max
Updated periodically – Apple Mac Pro M2 Ultra
Updated periodically – Apple Mac mini M1
Updated periodically – Apple Mac mini M2 & M2 Pro
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M1
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M2
Updated periodically – Apple MacBook Air M3
Updated periodically – Apple 24″ iMac M1
Updated periodically – Apple 24″ iMac M3
Updated periodically – Apple Studio Display
Updated periodically – Apple M1 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple M2 Processor Series
Updated periodically – Apple M3 Processor Series
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