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Author Topic: New Nehalem Mac Pro  (Read 21194 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2009, 05:23:40 AM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
Bernard et al,

With all due respect...

1) Hitting the swap is NOT a reliable indication that RAM usage is maxed -- instead it almost always means the programs you are running cannot efficiently utilize it.  Most machines cannot efficiently use more than 8G or so of RAM.  My machine has 16 and if I run C1 in batch (very effectively uses all 8 cores), Helicon Focus (also efficiently uses all 8 cores), CS4 (very definitely does *NOT* efficiently utilize all 8-cores) and AutoPano Pro (does not use multi-core well)  ALL AT ONCE I tag maybe 12 Gig total of my ram.  Yes, CS4 tags the scratch disk as does APP. (See note #4)

What I can propose is to run a real world test on 16GB with all the things mentioned above, and another one with 32GB?

- process 200 images from C1,
- at the same time open a 3GB file from Bridge in PS CS4
- launch a first pano with PTgui on say the 40 first images,
- launch a parallel HDR pano in Autopano pro at the same time

And time the end time of the slowest of all the processes?

Cheers,
Bernard

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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2009, 10:32:16 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
- process 200 images from C1,
- at the same time open a 3GB file from Bridge in PS CS4
- launch a first pano with PTgui on say the 40 first images,
- launch a parallel HDR pano in Autopano pro at the same time
Cheers,
Bernard

Bernard,

*IF* you regularly perform ALL of that type of tasking AT THE SAME TIME, then yes, yo can probably utilize all the RAM you can stuff into your machine.  However, if like most folks, the heaviest load most of the time is processing 200 raws in the background while you're working up some files in CS4, then most likely 16G is going to be adequate.  If you regularly add say having APP generating a pano in the background while C1 and CS4 are being utilized per above, then yes, 32G is advised for you...

I think our point is the jump from 16G to 32G in any system is a quantum jump in cost -- 16G of 3rd party RAM in either the new or old system is only around $300, yet 32G of 3rd party is $1000 in the old system and $5000 in the new system! -- and rarely is the need for that second 16G really there, at least until OS's and software get to the point they can better utilize that second 16G...

Cheers,
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2009, 02:48:41 PM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
Bernard,

*IF* you regularly perform ALL of that type of tasking AT THE SAME TIME, then yes, yo can probably utilize all the RAM you can stuff into your machine.  However, if like most folks, the heaviest load most of the time is processing 200 raws in the background while you're working up some files in CS4, then most likely 16G is going to be adequate.  If you regularly add say having APP generating a pano in the background while C1 and CS4 are being utilized per above, then yes, 32G is advised for you...

Jack,

Yes, this is exactly the kind of operation I do every time I come back from a shoot (on top of that I do typically add 5 or 6 panos to the queue of PTgui and use the highest quality settings in APP). I also typically stream music and surf the web at the same time too.

Quote from: Jack Flesher
I think our point is the jump from 16G to 32G in any system is a quantum jump in cost -- 16G of 3rd party RAM in either the new or old system is only around $300, yet 32G of 3rd party is $1000 in the old system and $5000 in the new system! -- and rarely is the need for that second 16G really there, at least until OS's and software get to the point they can better utilize that second 16G...

That was my very point really. I have decided to upgrade to 32GB because I believe that I will get much better value per $ with the older Mac compared to an upgrade to the new line considering that a new line machine would cost me a total of 6000+ US$ compared to 970 US$ shipping included for my 32GB upgrade (not taking into account the possible resell of the 16GB modules).

But the proof is in the pudding, I'll try out the test I propose and will report the results.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2009, 06:30:25 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Jack,

Yes, this is exactly the kind of operation I do every time I come back from a shoot (on top of that I do typically add 5 or 6 panos to the queue of PTgui and use the highest quality settings in APP). I also typically stream music and surf the web at the same time too.

That was my very point really. I have decided to upgrade to 32GB because I believe that I will get much better value per $ with the older Mac compared to an upgrade to the new line considering that a new line machine would cost me a total of 6000+ US$ compared to 970 US$ shipping included for my 32GB upgrade (not taking into account the possible resell of the 16GB modules).

But the proof is in the pudding, I'll try out the test I propose and will report the results.

Cheers,
Bernard

I hear you -- and in that circumstance it certainly makes sense. In fact, I may do the same thing eventually.   But I'm going to wait a bit as a friend has graciously agreed to be a guinea-pig and has ordered a new 8-core 2.93.  Should be here next week and he will absolutely put it through its paces, albeit with only 16G ram since the entry fee for 32 is ridiculous.  Once that report is in, I may just decide to pop for the added RAM too  

Cheers,
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 06:31:41 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

laughingbear
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« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2009, 06:51:01 PM »
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Well, the 64 Gig thingy would have been nice from a musicians point of view, my Sampler will get an update this spring and could use that, then again, it is a pretty special application and I would also think for most photographers 16 Gig are plenty.

The  performance advantage of the new line up, I look forward to your friends impressions Jack, I would guestimate a region of 20%, if at all, and yeah, given the prices for the new RAM, well... LOL screw that!

I would have thought they bring eSATA on board as well, strange thing. All in all, I guess we will be quite happy to use our current 8 core setups, the advantages of the new line up are obvious, but they do not outperform the current machines significantly I would think.

Greetings from Ireland
 



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digitaldog
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« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2009, 06:54:46 PM »
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Quote from: Dustbak
I just ordered one. I initially figured buying the previous 8-core model thinking it would be priced more favourably. I have been told by several Apple resellers Apple is not planning to drop the prices on that machine. I am not willing to pay the same amount of money as a year ago on hardware that is now more than 1 year old.

Some might want to look out for refurbs from the Apple store. Pretty good discounts and the quality is brand new (I bought my MacPro that way, saved enough to buy its extra ram). Not that I'd suggest you not get a new machine, I'd love one! But if money is a factor, the refurbs are a great deal. Check daily here:

http://dealmac.com/
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Andrew Rodney
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rainer_v
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« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2009, 02:02:39 AM »
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i still use my 3years old quad 2,5 with 16gb ram. its the best computer i ever had, never before i was able to use two or even three years a computer without that i felt it would be too slow, i feel still very good with the quad- its a very fast machine, although for sure the 8cores might be faster - sometimes.
hope digital photography at all reached a point now where the improvements have reached such level that you certainly can upgrade, but a real "need" is not existing for doing it. i dont have the wish to spend each year 15. - 30.000€ in gear so i welcome this slowdown of murphys law a lot.
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rainer viertlböck
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Dustbak
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« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2009, 02:42:37 AM »
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Euh.... Rainer. I think you mean Moore's Law? Or don't you?  In both cases I hope you are right actually...
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 02:43:07 AM by Dustbak » Logged
rainer_v
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« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2009, 03:18:35 AM »
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Quote from: Dustbak
Euh.... Rainer. I think you mean Moore's Law? Or don't you?  In both cases I hope you are right actually...
ups.
hihi.  
yes.
thanks.
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rainer viertlböck
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2009, 02:23:19 PM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
2) The new *BASE* machine is a 2.26 GHz processor, 8 of them yes, but they run at 2.26, or 30% SLOWER than the current 3.2...  The *FASTEST* new Mac Pro at 2.93 GHz ran programs like Aperture about 20% faster than the previous 8-core 3.2 machine; however, most of that gain is likely due to the added throughput of DDR3 RAM, and not anything else.
I was wondering about this and found this informative article. There's several significant hardware changes that are definitely forward looking, such as the this:
Quote
The radical change in Intel's system bandwidth situation that Intel's new QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) represents is perhaps the largest single factor that shaped Nehalem's design. Between QuickPath and Nehalem's integrated memory controller, a Nehalem processor will have access to an unprecedented amount of aggregate bandwidth, especially in two- and four-socket implementations.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2009, 02:04:10 AM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
I hear you -- and in that circumstance it certainly makes sense. In fact, I may do the same thing eventually.   But I'm going to wait a bit as a friend has graciously agreed to be a guinea-pig and has ordered a new 8-core 2.93.  Should be here next week and he will absolutely put it through its paces, albeit with only 16G ram since the entry fee for 32 is ridiculous.  Once that report is in, I may just decide to pop for the added RAM too

Jack,

I  posted at the following a quick report on my tests:

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=32712

Cheers,
Bernard
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RoyS
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« Reply #31 on: March 07, 2009, 02:26:13 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Jack,

I  posted at the following a quick report on my tests:

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=32712

Cheers,
Bernard

Thanks for that report Bernard - it helps my dilemma. I'm upgrading from an old G4 tower and need help deciding between the Single Quad Core 2.93 GHz and the Dual Quad (8 Core) 2.26 Gz - both with 8 GB RAM.  The price is almost the same for these two configurations. I'm wondering which setup will run PS CS4 faster ?

An advantage of the 8 Core is that later on I could upgrade the RAM to 16 GB, whereas the Quad Core is limited by a 8 GB maximum.

Ciao,
Roy
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #32 on: March 07, 2009, 04:59:08 PM »
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Quote from: RoyS
Thanks for that report Bernard - it helps my dilemma. I'm upgrading from an old G4 tower and need help deciding between the Single Quad Core 2.93 GHz and the Dual Quad (8 Core) 2.26 Gz - both with 8 GB RAM.  The price is almost the same for these two configurations. I'm wondering which setup will run PS CS4 faster ?

An advantage of the 8 Core is that later on I could upgrade the RAM to 16 GB, whereas the Quad Core is limited by a 8 GB maximum.

Roy,

It might be best to wait for actual rest reports.

My guess would be that a 4 core with a higher clock speed would run CS4 faster since CS4 is currently poor at using multiple CPUs. I would hope that Snow Leopard and CS5 would help in the future with this though.

On the other hand, the limitation to 8GB might indeed be an issue if you intend to use large files with many layers.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 05:00:50 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2009, 12:32:13 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Jack,

I  posted at the following a quick report on my tests:

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=32712

Cheers,
Bernard

Thanks,  saw it and commented




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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2009, 12:40:05 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Roy,

It might be best to wait for actual rest reports.

My guess would be that a 4 core with a higher clock speed would run CS4 faster since CS4 is currently poor at using multiple CPUs. I would hope that Snow Leopard and CS5 would help in the future with this though.

On the other hand, the limitation to 8GB might indeed be an issue if you intend to use large files with many layers.

Cheers,
Bernard

Pretty much agree.  The problem is what do you do with the 4-core and 8G limitations when CS5 and Snow Leopard come out and can finally utilize lots of cores and more of the 32G RAM efficiently?  I suspect when that happens you'll wish you had both more and faster cores as well as more memory capacity...

One other note: DDR3 1600MHz RAM is already out, and I suspect next year's Mac Pro will utilize that.  Also, we are on the brink of SATA 3 drive speeds (6Gb/s) coupled with cheaper and faster SSD's that can actually achieve those SATA3 speeds, probably by the end of this year -- not sure firmware can address that on current mother-boards.  Whole lot of opportunity on the horizon that will likely be here sooner rather than later.  

Cheers,
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RoyS
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« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2009, 01:22:04 PM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
Pretty much agree.  The problem is what do you do with the 4-core and 8G limitations when CS5 and Snow Leopard come out and can finally utilize lots of cores and more of the 32G RAM efficiently?  I suspect when that happens you'll wish you had both more and faster cores as well as more memory capacity...

One other note: DDR3 1600MHz RAM is already out, and I suspect next year's Mac Pro will utilize that.  Also, we are on the brink of SATA 3 drive speeds (6Gb/s) coupled with cheaper and faster SSD's that can actually achieve those SATA3 speeds, probably by the end of this year -- not sure firmware can address that on current mother-boards.  Whole lot of opportunity on the horizon that will likely be here sooner rather than later.  

Cheers,

I found some web sites which go into this question in some detail:
www.MacPeformanceGuide.com
www.BareFeats.com

After reading this it appears that memory and scratch disk access speeds are more important than processor speed when using Photoshop (PS).
The exception is when opening and closing files as PS uses only 1 Core at these times, so processor speed will speed these functions up.
The author of the Mac Performance Guide has some negative comments about the new Quad Core Mac Pro see - What is Apple Smoking?

The Mac Performance Guide has alot of detail about optimal setup (disks, RAIDs, RAM) and use of PS to optimize speed.

It would be nice to wait for something faster, but I already waited 3 months for this new Mac Pro.

I'll likely wait for some benchmarks but will probably order the 8-Core 2.26 GHz with 8 GB RAM and then upgrade the RAM with another 8 GB of 3rd party RAM, and 3 more 1 TB drives in a striped RAID. It is interesting how Lloyd talks about partitioning HDs and using the partition on the fastest part of the disk in a striped RAID for the scratch disk.  

Ciao,
Roy
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #36 on: March 08, 2009, 02:52:22 PM »
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Quote from: RoyS
I found some web sites which go into this question in some detail:
www.MacPeformanceGuide.com
www.BareFeats.com

After reading this it appears that memory and scratch disk access speeds are more important than processor speed when using Photoshop (PS).
The exception is when opening and closing files as PS uses only 1 Core at these times, so processor speed will speed these functions up.
The author of the Mac Performance Guide has some negative comments about the new Quad Core Mac Pro see - What is Apple Smoking?

The Mac Performance Guide has alot of detail about optimal setup (disks, RAIDs, RAM) and use of PS to optimize speed.

It would be nice to wait for something faster, but I already waited 3 months for this new Mac Pro.

I'll likely wait for some benchmarks but will probably order the 8-Core 2.26 GHz with 8 GB RAM and then upgrade the RAM with another 8 GB of 3rd party RAM, and 3 more 1 TB drives in a striped RAID. It is interesting how Lloyd talks about partitioning HDs and using the partition on the fastest part of the disk in a striped RAID for the scratch disk.  

Ciao,
Roy

FWIW, the "What is Apple smoking" author should have an 8-core 2.93 w/16G RAM in place by the end of the week to test against his exissting 8-core 2.8 with 32G RAM.  That is if you can wait

Cheers,
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« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2009, 05:20:11 PM »
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input is cleared by the author
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 05:27:05 PM by kers » Logged

Pieter Kers
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ziocan
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« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2009, 01:56:56 AM »
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A question for those who use an 8 cores (even the previous one).
Do photoshop use all the 8 cores while performing filters as "surface blur"? And does C1 when zoomed to 100%, get the previews sharp much quicker than with the older quad cores? ex the 2.66 mac pro quad, (which is the one I have).

if someone can share his experience, I would be grateful.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2009, 08:33:48 AM »
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Quote from: ziocan
A question for those who use an 8 cores (even the previous one).
Do photoshop use all the 8 cores while performing filters as "surface blur"? And does C1 when zoomed to 100%, get the previews sharp much quicker than with the older quad cores? ex the 2.66 mac pro quad, (which is the one I have).

if someone can share his experience, I would be grateful.


Yes and yes.  But it is not an earth-shattering difference in either software IMO.
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