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Mac Studio vs PC Build | Which one is better stability wise?

New Here ,
Feb 23, 2024 Feb 23, 2024

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This is something that I've tried to find an answer for a couple of days, it's something a bit specific and I didn't really find anything concludent yet, that's why I'm making this post.

The premise of my question, Mac Studio vs PC Build, is mainly targeting the issues that you encounter while editing: errors, bugs, crashes etc.
On short, overall stability while editing.

In 2023 I've been editing on a PC with the following specs:
CPU: 5600x
GPU: 3060ti
RAM: 48gb DDR4 (2 x 16 + 2 x 8) 
MOBO: Rog strix b450-f gaming ii

Things have been great up to the point where I've started editing more and more 4k footage, pretty heavy graphics work and effects all around. My main issue that I've had with this build is that whenever a timeline would get more "heavy" in terms of elements, there would be lots of crashes that would start appearing. From GPU Render errors that haunted my evenings to failure of reopening a project due to not having "enough ram" thus crashing and being unable to open the project without 1 hour of attempts and desperation. 
To summarise, I've encountered a lot of issues with this build that ended up making a 2-3 hour edit into a full day of trouble shooting. Now of course, this is not the best build out there, it's rather slightly outdated and too weak perhaps to keep up, but it's important to mention these issues for later on.

In novemeber last year, I've finally made an upgrade, I was looking for lots of mobility at first so I've went with Apple's M2 Max 16.2'' with the following specs:
- M2 Max 12 Core CPU
- M2 Max 38 Core GPU
- 32bg RAM
- 1TB SSD


Now of course, this build is stronger than the PC build I've previously had, however in the time up to when I'm making this post I've encountered 0 issues. There have been 0 crashes, 0 RAM related errors, no GPU Render issues, everything's been as smooth as someone could wish. It's worth to meantion that the projects that I'm working on have become even more heavy in terms of graphics, effects, sound design and so on.

Now that I've explained a bit my experience on both Mac and PC, I have to explain my situation once again.
Gladly things developed, more and more projects are coming which is amazing, but time becomes a key element more than ever before so of course, I am looking for another upgrade, one that can be a long term system which is reliable. 

I've initially been looking at a PC Build with the following specs:
- CPU: AMD 7950x
- GPU: RTX 4090 Suprim X
- RAM: 128gb DDR5 (4x 32) 
- MOBO: x670E Hero

This build is for sure something that would be very strong in terms of Power, that I'm pretty sure of. However, in the past weeks I've seen multiple editors having issues with one type of error, the one that rules them all and haunts them all, the GPU Render Error.
I've initially thought that this Error is one that I've encountered because of my too weak to keep up PC, but seems like I might have been wrong. People with similar builds of which I want to create are still having this error, in my eyes this means one thing only: lots of time and nerves consumed.

So I've been looking for an alternative, that being Apple's M2 Studio. The reason of why I entertain this idea is because, as per my experience, I have not encountered any of the issues and errors from above on the time while I've been working on the Macbook mentioned above, not once, and perhaps in the timespan from November until 23 February when I'm making this post, I've been editing more projects than I've done on the previous PC Build.

The specs for the desired Mac Studio would be:
- CPU: M2 Ultra 24 Core
- GPU: 76 Core, 32 Neutral Engine
- RAM: 128 GB
- Storage Space: 8TB

There is obviously a considerable price difference between the 2 desired build, PC and Mac, and even at the price difference, as far as I've learned from research, the PC would still outperform the M2 Studio in terms of Power. However at this point I'm willing to pay the cost if that means that I will have stability while editing. I think that there's nothing more brain numbing than working on a project for so many hours/days just to approach the end with lots of errors and issues which end up devouring your time and energy.

So my questions are:

- Has anyone encountered such issues on Mac?
- Is there someone that had the chance to edit on both builds similar to the ones presented?
- If yes, did you encounter the issues and errors I've mentioned?
- On which of the 2?
- Which one has presented itself as being more troublesome and which one was more stable?

This is a pretty long read and perhaps redundant at points, I apologize for that. I however wanted to try to make my points, questions and concern as clear as possible.

Thank you for your time and please let me know your experience and opinion with this matter!


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Community Expert ,
Feb 23, 2024 Feb 23, 2024

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Moved to hardware forum.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 01, 2024 Mar 01, 2024

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Both platforms can be moving targets when it comes to stability. With a PC you might see some of the random issues you have, but that is the other side of having the freedom to mix and match any components you like. The consequence is being responsible for tracking down the incompatibilities, figuring out which component is the problem, and also whether a replacement component is going to be better.

 

The Mac is not trouble-free, but I have experienced the same rock solid stability you have. (I just looked and it’s probably time for me to reboot my Mac, after 27 days of flawless uptime that included editing and rendering many videos). With Macs the problems tend to come from a new version of the OS where not all of the bugs have been worked out, which I seem to avoid by keeping my Mac about a year behind the current release. With some of the Adobe photo apps, some Mac users seem to be having GPU related problems having to do with compatibility with the graphics hardware in older Intel Macs. So it is not all smooth sailing.

 

Although the cost of the proposed Mac Studio build is very high, one question is: Is it necessary to have the 8TB of internal storage? Of course it is ideal partly because of the very fast speed of that storage for video editing, but the 8TB upgrade does add thousands of dollars to the cost of the Mac (and you cannot transfer that expensive storage to a later Mac); would it be workable to put less speed-intensive files on external USB or Thunderbolt storage?

 

One final note, the M3 processor has been out for a few months but the Mac Studio is still on M2. There is some chance (totally without confirmation, though) that some time this year an M3 version of the Studio might be announced or released.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 24, 2024 Mar 24, 2024

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Here's the golden rule for building a Windows machine:

 

Pick components that have been on the market for 6 - 12 months. Then everything will be compatible and wrinkles ironed out. 

 

Avoid the bleeding edge. Don't think performance, it will be good enough. Think reliability.

 

I've always followed this simple rule and I think I had a total of 2 crashes and 1 BSOD in my entire career with computers, and those were a long time ago.

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New Here ,
Mar 24, 2024 Mar 24, 2024

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I have been researching for quite a while and the statement "Think reliability" is the conclusion at which I've gotten as well.

I believe that, as much as I love Windows machine versatility, I might go for the mac studio.

I've been looking into countless reviews and people's experiences and not one has complained about a crash or instability with the Adobe suite and I believe that at this point in my business that's what is infinitely more valuable to have.

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