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Author Topic: New Mac Pro workstations  (Read 14179 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: August 10, 2006, 08:10:23 AM »
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Hi team,

Am I the only one to be very tempted to break the pink little pig where I have been storing my Yens for years... and to invest into a quad 3Ghz 16GB RAM (non Apple RAM of course) Mac Pro?

I am sure that this would make my pictures better!

If only the pig where a little fatter...

Cheers,
Bernard
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2006, 09:30:26 AM »
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Hi team,

Am I the only one to be very tempted to break the pink little pig where I have been storing my Yens for years... and to invest into a quad 3Ghz 16GB RAM (non Apple RAM of course) Mac Pro?

I am sure that this would make my pictures better!

If only the pig where a little fatter...

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72953\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I'm also tempted! However I'll wait that my customers order a few ones. I'll be "testing" them very very thoroughly before giving them back.  
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Francois
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2006, 12:49:47 PM »
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Right there with you Bernard. My 3-1/2-year-old PowerMac G4 (maxed out with 2GB RAM) is just killing me it's so slow. But the Finance Minister (aka spouse) has not allocated capital for an upgrade in the current fiscal year.

Guess this'll give time to let others work out the bugs and when the next gen of processors comes out at year's end I'll be ready to make a move in '07 (I beg of you, dear--are you reading this, my wife?)

I went to Apple's online store and did a fantasy configuration, pretty tricked out. My impression is that these computers are not as expensive as the last generation of G5 PowerMacs. I thought about a refurb dual or quad G5 but figure an IntelMac will have better longevity.
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2006, 02:31:55 PM »
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Hi team,

Am I the only one to be very tempted to break the pink little pig where I have been storing my Yens for years... and to invest into a quad 3Ghz 16GB RAM (non Apple RAM of course) Mac Pro?

I am sure that this would make my pictures better!

If only the pig where a little fatter...

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72953\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There's hardly anything not to love about the Tower Intel Mac :-)  The software is the only thing that may be bothersone.
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Alain Briot
Author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Composition, Creativity and Personal Style., Marketing Fine Art Photography and How Photographs are Sold.
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ddolde
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2006, 09:24:16 PM »
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Gonna be my next computer for sure.  I think waiting for Lepoard and the UB version of Photoshop might be a good idea.  Likely they will have even faster CPU's by then as well.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2006, 12:39:39 AM »
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Gonna be my next computer for sure.  I think waiting for Lepoard and the UB version of Photoshop might be a good idea.  Likely they will have even faster CPU's by then as well.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73024\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yep, the 2 * 4 core machines will be even more tempting, but there comes a point where the OS can't do much if the applications aren't programmed with the right multi-threading approach in mind. Besides, the more CPUs you have, the more RAM you need in the end and 64 bits OS do typically use more RAM for a given task in the first place... a 8 core 64 bits machine would probably make little sense without 16 GB or RAM. TBC admitedely.

If I look at where I waste time currently, it is mostly (in order of decreasing importance):

- In I/O between my XP station and the NAS.
- In swapping for large 4*5 scans with multiple layers. The 2GB don't do it,
- In stitching very large images,
- In DxOing RAW files.

Only the last 2 are CPU limited.

I feel that a 4 cores 8GB machine should be able to cope with my needs for the foreseable future. 2.66 Ghz Xeon CPUs are probably enough at this stage. Anyway, I'll probably spend a bit less on the workstation itself, and more on a real fast SCSI 320 external storage unit.

What is unclear at this stage is the cost of software migration from PC to Mac. If the virtualization solution are real good:

- can work with sharable Mac/PC partitions,
- can control the amount of resouces allocated to them,
- do an efficient usage of CPUs/RAM,
- don't have any problem controlling all the USB, IEEE1384, SCSI periphals...

then working with a virtual PC inside OS X could be a workable solution, and the need for software migration would be limited to the core applications likes PS CS, Capture NX, DxO, my  next DAM,...

MS Office, all the special image softwares,... ect would stay on Win XP no questions asked.

Anyway, I'll probably wait until year end until they release the 8 core machines, and will then buy a cheaper 4 core one. That is if I can wait that long... :-)

Cheers,
Bernard
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ddolde
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2006, 01:38:50 AM »
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I hate Windows !  I will NOT run Windows on a Mac whether it's possible or not !

I can keep my PC to run my Pro/Engineer software.
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dlashier
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2006, 02:33:39 AM »
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What is unclear at this stage is the cost of software migration from PC to Mac. If the virtualization solution are real good:
We all need to shame Adobe into stopping the Mac vs Windows license nonsense.
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MS Office, all the special image softwares,... ect would stay on Win XP no questions asked.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73034\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
My last version of Office was 97. Openoffice is much better, free, and runs on Mac, Linux, or Windows.

I've been waiting for years to dump windows and I think now is the time. My next machine will also likely be a Mac.

- DL
« Last Edit: August 11, 2006, 02:34:30 AM by dlashier » Logged

BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2006, 04:08:46 AM »
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We all need to shame Adobe into stopping the Mac vs Windows license nonsense.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73043\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Don,

What is the exact status here? I heard people claim that Adobe was proposing a very cheap migration path from PC to Mac for PS etc...

You comment makes me think that it might not be the case.

Where does the true truth lie?

cheers,
Bernard
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dlashier
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2006, 04:09:43 PM »
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Don,

What is the exact status here? I heard people claim that Adobe was proposing a very cheap migration path from PC to Mac for PS etc...

You comment makes me think that it might not be the case.

Where does the true truth lie?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73048\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Bernard,

I'm not savvy to any recent policy, but when I researched this recently all I turned up was someone saying Adobe's response was that they had to purchase a new full license in order to switch. But apparantly if you call and jump through all sorts of hoops they'll let you switch, at least if you're purchasing an upgrade.

But this is a bunch of hooey - most other apps ship cross-platform. Even Coldfusion which once used to be platform specific license is now cross platform since Adobe took over.

- DL
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2006, 06:04:18 PM »
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Thanks for the update Don.

That is indeed unacceptable! Lightroom doesn't seem very appealing to me, and if PS CS has to cost me another 900 US$ again just because I switch to Mac... well I'll seriously reconsider giving my hard earned Yens to those guys...

Cheers,
Bernard
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Ray
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2006, 07:58:49 PM »
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Are you guys anticipating that Lightroom or the next upgrade to Photoshop will be able to use up to 16GB of RAM? Photoshop on my 64 bit Windows system can use up to 3GB for image data. Apparently memory in excess of 3GB can be used directly by Photoshop plug-ins and by the Operating System as a cache for the PS scratch disk, but up to a limit of 6GB for Windows 64bit and 8GB for the Mac.

The Mac has a slight advantage here, but as far as I can tell, any memory above 8GB will not serve any Photoshop purpose. Isn't that correct?

By the way, when I tested how quickly PS could open a really large file on my 64 bit system, like a 1GB image, it was rather slow the first time, but thereafter, even after rebooting the system, very fast, like 5 or 6 seconds. What's going on here? Where's the cache stored?
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Rokcet Scientist
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2006, 07:17:28 AM »
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I hate Windows ! I will NOT run Windows on a Mac whether it's possible or not !

I can keep my PC to run my Pro/Engineer software.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73038\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
An intelMac will probably run Windoze much faster and smoother than your old PC, ddolde.
Besides, if your Windoze-on-a-Mac gets infected with virii, Trojans, or worms, you simply restart it and you'll be starting a brandnew, clean machine!
Try that on your old PC . . .
« Last Edit: August 12, 2006, 07:18:19 AM by Rokcet Scientist » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2006, 08:20:24 PM »
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Adobe allows you to switch Photoshop from PC to Mac or vice versa. On request they de-activate your old activation key and give you an operable one for the new platform - free of charge.

You may wish to check this site:

http://www.driverheavendownloads.net/photoshop/results.php

As you flip through the pages you will see that the fastest machines using their Photoshop Bench Test are all PC Intel Core Duo (either E6600/6700 or X6800). Mac Quad G5 runs about half the speed. They don't have any posters yet for the brand new Intel Mac Pro. from reading the specs I suspect these machines would be competing with the PC Core Duo models.

I can see several tempting reasons to convert from PC to Mac, but also grave apprehensions about the sheer amount of incompatibility (hardware drivers, software etc.) that is likely to turn-up - for advantages that may not be that operationally compelling after all.

Then the 64-bit issue: how backward compatible are such systems with the 32-bit everything we are now using? Perhaps another source of apprehension.

The problem is getting reliable information about what to expect for own's own computing environment.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Ray
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2006, 09:02:12 PM »
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Then the 64-bit issue: how backward compatible are such systems with the 32-bit everything we are now using? Perhaps another source of apprehension.
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Mark,
I think the major obstacle to using PC 64 bit systems was calibration. That's now been solved. There are 64 bit drivers for Epson printers. All the software that I use, such as Neat Image, Focus Magic, Panavue image Assembler etc etc, all work on my 64 bit system.

However, I don't believe there's a 64 bit driver for the KM Elite 5400 scanner. Is that right?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2006, 09:17:51 PM »
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Ray, as KM has withdrawn from this market and discontinued product development I doubt very much a 64 bit driver exits or ever will, unless someone else writes one.

When you mention "calibration" do you mean monitor calibration? What hardware and software do you have in mind that has solved the problem?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Ray
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2006, 08:27:58 PM »
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When you mention "calibration" do you mean monitor calibration? What hardware and software do you have in mind that has solved the problem?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73192\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes. Monitor calibration. Gretag-Macbeth is the only 'official' solution I'm aware of. Their Eye One Display 2 and latest i1match software are designed to calibrate Wondows 64 bit systems and work perfectly on mine. I believe there are other options such as using the cheaper Lacie Blue Eye colorimeter, which is a rebadged GM Display 2. X-Rite also have an 'unofficial' 64 bit driver for the DTP-94 which might work successfully, although I couldn't get it to work with ColorEyes.
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llama
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« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2006, 02:26:19 PM »
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Anandtech has a great write-up on the new towers: http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2816

While very technical, this discussion of the system's spec, prior to the review above, is also interesting for memory/processor upgrade considerations:
http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2811

I can tell you that this is the first time that I've thought about ditching my do-it-yourself Windows Box.
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jgille
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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2006, 02:56:31 AM »
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Am I the only one to be very tempted to break the pink little pig where I have been storing my Yens for years... and to invest into a quad 3Ghz 16GB RAM (non Apple RAM of course) Mac Pro?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You are not alone.
I wrote something about that: [a href=\"http://www.gille.ws/archives/21]http://www.gille.ws/archives/21[/url]

My conclusion is... to wait to have an Universal Binary version of Photoshop and keeping a PC meanwhile
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2006, 08:22:45 AM »
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I'm also in the market for a new computer and I'm interested in whatever platform will give me easy transition from my current Windows XP PC and optimal performance on Photoshop CS2. None of the referenced material really addresses this angle properly based on use of Photoshop, so I have been doing more research. So far I have been finding out that price has become a more complex issue than it used to be. It is no longer the case that Macs are necessarily costlier than PCs. It all depends on the configuration of both types of machines. Indeed, there are PC configurations that claim or indicate (emphasize claim or indicate - not factual) similar performance, but are costlier.

The new MacPro is a 64-bit computer. Anyone switching from Windows XP 32 bit PC therefore has 2 overlays of conversion: the O/S and the 32 to 64 bit compatibility issues for drivers and programs. So far, no one, including the staff at the Apple Store in downtown Toronto and a custom PC maker that I contacted, has been able to provide conclusive answers about such questions, because that requires detailed knowledge and experience. One needs to assess it program by program and driver by driver. Clearly moving from one PC to another in 32 bit is the path of least resistance and may also be entirely satisfactory, based on Photoshop test results I'm seeing for the PSCS2 benchmark test on systems using the Intel Core Duo Extreme X6800 at www.driverheaven.net.

This whole business truly is a "buyer beware" situation, and I look forward to further insights from readers of this Forum that could be helpful to me and others about how we go about making such decisions.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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