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Author Topic: New Nehalem Mac Pro  (Read 21213 times)
Dustbak
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« Reply #80 on: March 29, 2009, 02:59:20 AM »
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Performance with PSCS4 is disappointing IMO. PS cannot keep up with me when I am manually cloning details or retouching (yes, I work fast). When badge processing 40MP files with large nested actions you can see that some tools & filters do use multiprocessors but in most  cases PS cannot use more than 1 processor! As soon as there is a tool/filter that can use more than 1 core you see the usage spike to 1200% and PS really speeds up.

Safe to say PS is a horribly slow program to use on this hardware. Maybe (read hopefully) there will be improvement with CS5 (or OSX10.6)
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budjames
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« Reply #81 on: March 29, 2009, 04:08:34 AM »
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From the web research that I've done, it seems that PS benefits more from really fast drives and a separate raid scratch disk than from pure processor horsepower. Check out Macgurus.com and Macperformanceguide.com for relevant tests.

When PSCS4 (I guess CS5) becomes true 64-bit capable, I think that you will see a performance increase in the PS tools. For now, I'm sticking with my 2007 original version MP 8core 3ghz w/12GB RAM. I have my OS and programs on a Raptor 10k 300GB drive, working data on 2x1TB Seagate drives in RAID 0, and the 4th internal drive is a 1TB Seagate partitions for alternative PS scratch disk and clones of my boot drive and user folder. I have an external eSata tower with a RAID 0 configuration in a pair of the drives for PS primary scratch. For the hobbyist like me, my set up is more than adequate.

Cheers.
Bud
« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 04:17:03 AM by budjames » Logged

Bud James
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« Reply #82 on: March 29, 2009, 06:39:13 AM »
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I have a Mac-Pro 2009 8-Core with the ATI HD Radeon 4870 Display Card
I wanted to do a clean install - but I cannot boot from the "Mac OS X Install DVD" disc it came with
Have others here tried this?
My disk is identified on the lower left with:
Mac OS version 10.5.6
Disc Version 1.0
2Z691-6284-A

I spoke with Apple support - they had me try the same things I already did reset PRAM and reset SMC with no success.
They suggested I take it into a Apple Service Provider - but that could be slow.
It runs off the OS that came installed on the HD.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #83 on: March 29, 2009, 11:12:48 AM »
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Quote from: budjames
From the web research that I've done, it seems that PS benefits more from really fast drives and a separate raid scratch disk than from pure processor horsepower. Check out Macgurus.com and Macperformanceguide.com for relevant tests.

When PSCS4 (I guess CS5) becomes true 64-bit capable, I think that you will see a performance increase in the PS tools. For now, I'm sticking with my 2007 original version MP 8core 3ghz w/12GB RAM. I have my OS and programs on a Raptor 10k 300GB drive, working data on 2x1TB Seagate drives in RAID 0, and the 4th internal drive is a 1TB Seagate partitions for alternative PS scratch disk and clones of my boot drive and user folder. I have an external eSata tower with a RAID 0 configuration in a pair of the drives for PS primary scratch. For the hobbyist like me, my set up is more than adequate.

Cheers.
Bud

Bud,

Indeed, a really fast scratch disk is the best performance upgrade for CS4, makes a significant difference -- and why I did the 4-drive RAID-0 partition shown above.  In my basic benchmark action that forces scratch, I went from a 1 drive dedicated scratch time of 1:04 to a 4-drive RAID-0 dedicated scratch time of 29 seconds...

Cheers,
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Dustbak
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« Reply #84 on: March 29, 2009, 01:59:39 PM »
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Jack,

Are you using a Ramdisk to get PS to use more than 3Gb of Ram? Or is that not necessary anymore with the later versions of OSX?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 02:00:39 PM by Dustbak » Logged
budjames
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« Reply #85 on: March 29, 2009, 04:09:15 PM »
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Next step this year will be SSD RAID arrays when the prices come down a bit. Digillyods did a review recently.

For me, I'm okay with my set up for now.

Bud
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Bud James
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« Reply #86 on: March 30, 2009, 01:15:01 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)

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.  It is also a bad assumption to lump CS4 into this same class of software --- CS4 does NOT manage processor throughput or RAM nearly as well as Aperture.  Frankly, I suspect that CS4 will run faster on the old machine due to the faster processors -- and probably proportional to processor speed faster -- at least until the time Adobe writes some modern code for CS4 that will utilize all the processing power and RAM available to it. To wit, a friend with a first generation Mac Pro with a single dual-core 2.66 processor and 8 G RAM can run most CS4 benchmarks about 20% slower than my 8-core 3.2 machine with 16G. (See note #4.)

3) DDR3 RAM, an interesting note...  DDR3 is THREE channel RAM.  The *new* 8-core machines still only have 8 RAM slots configured in a new but still 2 banks x 4 slots configuration. Can somebody explain to me how 2 sets of 4-bank memory slots efficiently use 3 channel RAM?  Clearly they do, but it has a few of us surmising they are really only utilizing the full DDR3 in the first three slots of each bank, then let the last pair of slots fall to DDR2 speed or even let them act as DDR1 overflow memory.  Again, most programs simply cannot utilize RAM well yet.  

4) IMO disk I/O is still the significant limiting factor for most of what we as photographers do.  It remains the major bottleneck in our machines.  Here is where having a striped array (RAID-0) works wonders for boosting performance.  I have 6 drives in my Mac Pro (see http://www.maxupgrades.com/istore/index.cf...Product_ID=158). I use WD 640's, but the newest high-density 1TB and 1.5TB drives are also screamers.    

*** Of course RAID 0 is for speed and is *LESS* reliability than single drives, so redundant back-up is mandatory; one of the drives in either of my arrays WILL GO DOWN and when it does, I will be DOA on that array.  But I can rebuild it in a matter of a few hours when that happens and the performance gained in the meantime is well worth the rebuild hassle.

Cheers,
Hi Jack
I am thinking of getting the 2.66 Quad machine with 8 GB of ram. My reason is that PS works mostly with a single CPU. I am also thinking of the 2.26 8 core but there is extra money. We are currently on a Power Mac 2.3 dual 8GB ram ( April 2005 ). We have to go to a Intel machine. what are your thoughts.
Denis
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Denis Montalbetti
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« Reply #87 on: March 30, 2009, 05:33:21 AM »
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Quote from: mcfoto
Hi Jack
I am thinking of getting the 2.66 Quad machine with 8 GB of ram. My reason is that PS works mostly with a single CPU. I am also thinking of the 2.26 8 core but there is extra money. We are currently on a Power Mac 2.3 dual 8GB ram ( April 2005 ). We have to go to a Intel machine. what are your thoughts.
Denis

If I can put in my 0.05c...

I suspect that that configuration will limit you RAM/$ wise. I had been using a 2.8GHz MacPro with 8GB of RAM for 12 months before upping that to 16GB recently. The increase in speed of Photoshop (plus general machine speed) was very noticeable! This is with mainly 1Ds MkIII files. You will have to spend serious $ on 4GB modules to go above the 8GB level with the 4 slot only 2.66GHz model. The 2.26 model will be cheaper (and hopefully offer increased performance under OS 10.6 and very hopefully CS5) in the long run I think.

Snap up any bargains in at Sun on Saturday?
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #88 on: March 30, 2009, 10:33:04 AM »
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Quote from: Dustbak
Jack,

Are you using a Ramdisk to get PS to use more than 3Gb of Ram? Or is that not necessary anymore with the later versions of OSX?

Nope.  I tested them back when I only had a 2-drive RAID-0 scratch partition and at the end of the day they simply didn't add any appreciable benefit, especially considering the added hassle of maintaining them.  Note you can only set them up via terminal in 2G sizes, so you need to create 3 or 4 of them and have them mounted and at the ready for CS.  And of course while mounted, they pull that RAM offline and it is no longer available to other applications...

Cheers,
« Last Edit: March 30, 2009, 10:37:02 AM by Jack Flesher » Logged

Jack Flesher
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« Reply #89 on: March 30, 2009, 10:39:51 AM »
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Quote from: budjames
Next step this year will be SSD RAID arrays when the prices come down a bit. Digillyods did a review recently.

For me, I'm okay with my set up for now.

Bud

Make sure you get ones that have really fast writes, like the Intel X25E. Any of the regular ones, even the Intel X25M's actually run slower in 2-drive RAID-0 than a newer single 7200 spinner with scratch dedicated to the fast outer rim...

Cheers,
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #90 on: March 30, 2009, 11:04:12 AM »
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Quote from: mcfoto
Hi Jack
I am thinking of getting the 2.66 Quad machine with 8 GB of ram. My reason is that PS works mostly with a single CPU. I am also thinking of the 2.26 8 core but there is extra money. We are currently on a Power Mac 2.3 dual 8GB ram ( April 2005 ). We have to go to a Intel machine. what are your thoughts.
Denis

Tough call.  For me, the whole reason to invest in a Mac Pro is for performance with silent running.  Next is as long as I'm already spending, why not future-proof, and we can assume that going forward software is going to be utilizing more available cores more efficiently.  That said, the Quad 2.66 even with its memory limit (4 modules total) is going to outperform the next lower competitor in the Mac line significantly, so it definitely fills a niche.  However, if you are a heavy user -- meaning you spend over 50% of your working time at your computer -- I'd consider going with the fastest configuration you can comfortably afford.  In that and for me personally, I would spend for the 8 core 2.93 and eat beans for a month, though would not feel under-gunned at all with the 2.66.  If money were tighter, or I spent less total time at my machine, then I would probably opt for the 8-core 2.26 over the 4-core 2.66 machine simply for the ability to add more RAM at reasonable cost.  But I would certainly go for the quad 2.66 over an iMac for the added performance.

Cheers,
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Dustbak
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« Reply #91 on: March 31, 2009, 03:03:35 AM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
Nope.  I tested them back when I only had a 2-drive RAID-0 scratch partition and at the end of the day they simply didn't add any appreciable benefit, especially considering the added hassle of maintaining them.  Note you can only set them up via terminal in 2G sizes, so you need to create 3 or 4 of them and have them mounted and at the ready for CS.  And of course while mounted, they pull that RAM offline and it is no longer available to other applications...

Cheers,


Thx! That clarifies things.
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mcfoto
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« Reply #92 on: March 31, 2009, 06:51:34 AM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
Tough call.  For me, the whole reason to invest in a Mac Pro is for performance with silent running.  Next is as long as I'm already spending, why not future-proof, and we can assume that going forward software is going to be utilizing more available cores more efficiently.  That said, the Quad 2.66 even with its memory limit (4 modules total) is going to outperform the next lower competitor in the Mac line significantly, so it definitely fills a niche.  However, if you are a heavy user -- meaning you spend over 50% of your working time at your computer -- I'd consider going with the fastest configuration you can comfortably afford.  In that and for me personally, I would spend for the 8 core 2.93 and eat beans for a month, though would not feel under-gunned at all with the 2.66.  If money were tighter, or I spent less total time at my machine, then I would probably opt for the 8-core 2.26 over the 4-core 2.66 machine simply for the ability to add more RAM at reasonable cost.  But I would certainly go for the quad 2.66 over an iMac for the added performance.

Cheers,
Hi Jack
Now looking at the 2.26 Octa & I will get 16 GB of Ram in it. Mac sales.com has 4x2GB of ram for $146.00 or less than $300 for 16gb of ram.
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Denis Montalbetti
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Dustbak
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« Reply #93 on: March 31, 2009, 07:08:43 AM »
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I have just put 12Gb in my 2,26Octa. It does speed up the machine compared to the default 6Gb. I opted to use only 6 slots since the memory is triple channel. The jury is still out on whether you better put in 6 memory sticks or 8. The current consensus is that when you hit the scratch file/swap drive you are better off with 8 even if that makes your total memory slower compared to just using 6 slots.

I never had this amount of memory in any desktop machine so will have a look at whether 12Gb is faster than 16Gb.

My extra 3 drives will be in tomorrow to make a stripe set for added performance.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 07:28:18 AM by Dustbak » Logged
Jack Flesher
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« Reply #94 on: March 31, 2009, 09:06:04 AM »
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Quote from: mcfoto
Hi Jack
Now looking at the 2.26 Octa & I will get 16 GB of Ram in it. Mac sales.com has 4x2GB of ram for $146.00 or less than $300 for 16gb of ram.

I think you will be glad you made that decision over the coming months  
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