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Author Topic: Stupid Computers  (Read 10641 times)
CBarrett
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« on: December 16, 2009, 07:52:53 PM »
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So.... I'm pretty anxious to get a new tower.  My MBP is so much faster than my Dual G5 that I use the laptop for everything nowadays.  I've been holding off on a new Mac Pro as the line is nearly 300 days old.  We're supposed to get 6 core towers in March.  However, I'm fairly annoyed that PS is still running in 32 bit on Mac whereas PC users have been running a 64 bit version for a while now (if they've installed the 64 bit OS).

I've actually been thinking about moving to PC for the tower, so that I can upgrade sooner and have the most flexibility in builds.  Not being exposed to Windows at all nowadays, would I be totally frustrated with a PC box?  Should I just wait for the new Mac's?

Pros and cons to each side?

I know a few of you have got to have a lot of opinions on the subject, lemme hear 'em.

Gracias,

CB
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ddk
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 08:06:29 PM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
So.... I'm pretty anxious to get a new tower.  My MBP is so much faster than my Dual G5 that I use the laptop for everything nowadays.  I've been holding off on a new Mac Pro as the line is nearly 300 days old.  We're supposed to get 6 core towers in March.  However, I'm fairly annoyed that PS is still running in 32 bit on Mac whereas PC users have been running a 64 bit version for a while now (if they've installed the 64 bit OS).

I've actually been thinking about moving to PC for the tower, so that I can upgrade sooner and have the most flexibility in builds.  Not being exposed to Windows at all nowadays, would I be totally frustrated with a PC box?  Should I just wait for the new Mac's?

Pros and cons to each side?

I know a few of you have got to have a lot of opinions on the subject, lemme hear 'em.

Gracias,

CB

I highly recommend you trying windows on your mac for a few weeks before changing, then you'll know for yourself if you can live with windows or not. I'm in an environment with both platforms for several years and I still don't get windows!
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 08:13:35 PM »
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Chris, Thanks for the offer with the class BTW. I'll be in touch closer to class time.

As per your question. For years now I have run Mac laptops and PC towers, currently a 64 bit system with Vista-I'm waiting for all the software to catch up with W7 before I upgrade so I can't comment on that. So i have a 2 year old MBP and a brand new PC. To make a long story short (I want to go to bed soon-a long days shooting), I wish I had the resources to buy Mac towers and upgrade them regularly. I still think there is a stability and performance advantage to Macs. Maybe W7 will change my mind........my 2cs.
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2009, 08:17:19 PM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
So.... I'm pretty anxious to get a new tower.  My MBP is so much faster than my Dual G5 that I use the laptop for everything nowadays.

Man, you are describing my life right now. I'm holding off on the MacPro because I'm waiting for budget approval. (Working as a staffer has its downsides.) That might not come for a while. In the meantime, I use my G-5 Dual and watch the little spinning pizza every time I move a slider in ACR.
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2009, 08:20:19 PM »
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I'm not trying to start a flame war anything, but I'd really rather not have a computer than have to work on a windows machine. The OS layout makes little sense to me, growing up my family always had windows machines, in highschool I got my first Macintosh and I've never looked back. Chris im in the same position as you I have beefed up MBP and my dual g5 has been sold for a while now, Im just waiting for the early March update to get a Mac Pro.
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2009, 08:53:57 PM »
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I have always been using PC machines and not going to switch to mac. The performance is equal or better if you select good high-end components. For me there are much more pros for PC than for mac and I prefer to select part that I want to go inside my machine myself. Windows 7 x64 is very stable and the performance is better than with any other previous OS.
IMO trying windows on a mac is not going to tell you much but the interface.

Best,
Alex
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Christopher
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2009, 09:12:09 PM »
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Well, I think there is a lot of talk about mac vs windows and in the end, BOTH systems work quite well and have there benefits. I for one really prefer windows to mac OS, but I have always worked more with windows. (However I worked with macs 90% of the time for two full years, I never really liked it and would NEVER say it is better)

In the end a PC is my choice not because of the OS. As long as the OS is similar I would ALWAYS choose a PC over a mac. It's just easier to upgrade, to change stuff, cheaper to built more flexible. I can built it myself and choose exactly which part from whatever company I want to have.

If you have doubt for windows, try windows 7 for a time. I think it really is a very nice OS and coupled with the greater flexibility of choosing all components I think PCs are the smarter choice if ones enjoys working on them. (I mean if you buy one from DELL or similar the price won't be much better than from Apple itself)

I also don't have a clue how much you want to spend. I mean numbers can start at 2000 and go up to 10.000 US. As nice as it sounds to have a 12 core computer which can handle 24 threads, well do we need it ? Will it be faster ? I don't think you will have more than 5-10% gain right now compared to a 6 core / 12 Thread computer, which certainly is a LOT cheaper.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 09:14:54 PM by Christopher » Logged

Misirlou
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2009, 09:36:02 PM »
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Hmm. I use both all day long, and I'm currently typing this from IE8 in W7, on a new MacBook Pro. Those of you Mac users who abandoned PCs "years ago" really have zero perspective on current Windows development. Vista had its faults, but worked very different from XP, and was organized very differently. W7 is different still, and in my opinion, addresses everything I didn't like about Vista. If you're still complaing about the look of XP, you're pretty much the same as a PC user moaning about Macs only having single button mice. I actually prefer bits and pieces from both the current Mac and PC sides, and I wouldn't say either is decisively "better" for my purposes.

For the same money, a W7 box will likely be more powerful. But as long as you stay within a limited box of things you'd like to do, a Mac will probably be substantially simpler to learn. In the Mac world, things are either simple or impossible. In the PC world many more things are possible, but you will have to work harder to do some of them.

I can count on one hand the applications I had working in Vista that don't work on W7, and none of them are particularly useful or important to me. All of the big titles work fine now, and have worked fine even on the free release candidate for months now. The things that I can't get to work natively in W7 are all running for me in the XP virtual machine that comes with Windows 7 Ultimate. Just for grins, I fired up an old driving game from 1999 on my W7 64 bit tower (all the latest spec h/w), and it works well, even without resorting to the XP VM. I find that quite amazing.

Mac hardware usually has a much better design sense. The machines look better, feel better, and are priced accordingly.
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2009, 09:36:36 PM »
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Quote from: Christopher
Well, I think there is a lot of talk about mac vs windows and in the end, BOTH systems work quite well and have there benefits. I for one really prefer windows to mac OS, but I have always worked more with windows. (However I worked with macs 90% of the time for two full years, I never really liked it and would NEVER say it is better)

In the end a PC is my choice not because of the OS. As long as the OS is similar I would ALWAYS choose a PC over a mac. It's just easier to upgrade, to change stuff, cheaper to built more flexible. I can built it myself and choose exactly which part from whatever company I want to have.

If you have doubt for windows, try windows 7 for a time. I think it really is a very nice OS and coupled with the greater flexibility of choosing all components I think PCs are the smarter choice if ones enjoys working on them. (I mean if you buy one from DELL or similar the price won't be much better than from Apple itself)

Win 7 is nice indeed, a very well designed OS IMHO.

Before switching to a Mac Pro 3 years ago I was on Win on a sort of DiY box, and already decided not to go that route again. Yes, you can cherry pick the components and assemble something that rocks on paper, but you can never be sure that it rocks for real also. Besides there will be no support, you are basically alone with your issues the day they occur and they will occur some day.

So since I see myself as a computer user and not as a hobbyst who likes to spend time building computers, it was clear to me that my next box would either be one from a mainstream manufacturer will proven support capability in my geo, or a Mac Pro.

All things considered, the Mac pro was cheaper than any of the equivalent configuration on the PC side so I went the Mac route.

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2009, 09:42:11 PM »
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Quote from: Misirlou
In the Mac world, things are either simple or impossible.

Aside from the Win vs Mac discussion, what you write is simply not factual. If you want to go that route on OSX, you can open a console window and start using a best in class UNIX command line shell than will enable you to do anything you can do using a UNIX workstation.

I used to write pretty complex scripts on AIX a few years ago (think thousands of lines) and you can do anything possible in terms of file manipulations and workflow definition, I have always found that superior to DOS shells personnally.

If you don't want to go that deep you can also use the Automator that is a great way to automate simple tasks.

So really, what you write above is simply not true.

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2009, 09:47:15 PM »
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Quote from: Oleksiy
IMO trying windows on a mac is not going to tell you much but the interface.

Basically, that's really what its mostly about, otherwise, great hardware is available to both platforms and today, unless you're using software that's specific to only one OS.
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2009, 10:15:18 PM »
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Quote from: Christopher
[...]As nice as it sounds to have a 12 core computer which can handle 24 threads, well do we need it ? Will it be faster ? I don't think you will have more than 5-10% gain right now compared to a 6 core / 12 Thread computer, which certainly is a LOT cheaper.

Capture One, as an example, has, so far, scaled near linearly to additional threads in regard to processing and batch applying adjustments. That is when they went from 8 cores / 8 threads to 8 cores / 16 threads the performance throughput of processing large phase one files roughly doubled. I would very much expect the same thing when we get to 12 threads.

Whether increased processing speed and batch applying adjustments are relevant to you is of course dependent on your requirements and worfkflow.


Doug Peterson
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2009, 10:17:08 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Aside from the Win vs Mac discussion, what you write is simply not factual. If you want to go that route on OSX, you can open a console window and start using a best in class UNIX command line shell than will enable you to do anything you can do using a UNIX workstation.

I used to write pretty complex scripts on AIX a few years ago (think thousands of lines) and you can do anything possible in terms of file manipulations and workflow definition, I have always found that superior to DOS shells personnally.

If you don't want to go that deep you can also use the Automator that is a great way to automate simple tasks.

So really, what you write above is simply not true.

Cheers,
Bernard

I'm not arguing that one can't do some powerful command line work on a Mac, and in fact my first serious home computer was built on a UNIX-like framework, so I do so fairly frequently. But I maintain that OSX is simpler at the GUI level than Windows. Someone who shys away from getting very involved with the tehnical aspects of their computer seems to me like an unlikley candidate to go writing custom scripts, or digging deeply into the world of UNIX file permissions or something, but you never know I guess.
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Christopher
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2009, 10:33:39 PM »
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Quote from: dougpetersonci
Capture One, as an example, has, so far, scaled near linearly to additional threads in regard to processing and batch applying adjustments. That is when they went from 8 cores / 8 threads to 8 cores / 16 threads the performance throughput of processing large phase one files roughly doubled. I would very much expect the same thing when we get to 12 threads.

Whether increased processing speed and batch applying adjustments are relevant to you is of course dependent on your requirements and worfkflow.


Doug Peterson
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Well, it scales, however how good ? Is a 6 core 12 thread system which runs easily 500 Mhz faster, much slower than a 12 core 24 thread system ? I haven't seen any reviews but I very much doubt it. (It certainly is different in professional 3D rendering) In addition C1, is normally just a small part of the whole workflow, we all know that PS, doesn't scale at all, or well let's say it scales terrible.
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2009, 10:37:15 PM »
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Quote from: Misirlou
I'm not arguing that one can't do some powerful command line work on a Mac, and in fact my first serious home computer was built on a UNIX-like framework, so I do so fairly frequently. But I maintain that OSX is simpler at the GUI level than Windows. Someone who shys away from getting very involved with the tehnical aspects of their computer seems to me like an unlikley candidate to go writing custom scripts, or digging deeply into the world of UNIX file permissions or something, but you never know I guess.

Agreed.

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2009, 10:39:09 PM »
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Quote from: Christopher
Well, it scales, however how good ? Is a 6 core 12 thread system which runs easily 500 Mhz faster, much slower than a 12 core 24 thread system ? I haven't seen any reviews but I very much doubt it. (It certainly is different in professional 3D rendering) In addition C1, is normally just a small part of the whole workflow, we all know that PS, doesn't scale at all, or well let's say it scales terrible.

Other apps that scale well include PTgui, Helicon Focus and autopano Pro.

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2009, 10:39:19 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Win 7 is nice indeed, a very well designed OS IMHO.

Before switching to a Mac Pro 3 years ago I was on Win on a sort of DiY box, and already decided not to go that route again. Yes, you can cherry pick the components and assemble something that rocks on paper, but you can never be sure that it rocks for real also. Besides there will be no support, you are basically alone with your issues the day they occur and they will occur some day.

So since I see myself as a computer user and not as a hobbyst who likes to spend time building computers, it was clear to me that my next box would either be one from a mainstream manufacturer will proven support capability in my geo, or a Mac Pro.

All things considered, the Mac pro was cheaper than any of the equivalent configuration on the PC side so I went the Mac route.

Cheers,
Bernard

Well it certainly is more effort to do it yourself, no question about that, however I never ran into any problems which I could not fix in 24 hours. Most of the stuff is quite small and one benefit of building it yourself is certainly that you can get a lot better $/performance rate.

The last part is partly true. Yes Macs are cheaper when they come out with a new model. However the Mac price changes slowly and so there are periods where you pay 40-80% bonus compared to actual hardware cost.
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2009, 10:41:36 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Other apps that scale well include PTgui, Helicon Focus and autopano Pro.

Cheers,
Bernard


Well I would be interested in how often PTGUI actually uses all of your cores to 100%. I sometimes have the feeling that often other factors are much more limiting when creating panoramics. Can't comment on AutoPro, stopped using it, just find it way to slow when in editing mode.

The point I am trying to make is not, that it isn't faster, but how much really. People buy expensive SSDs Raid 0 systems and have a 10% speed gain in the beginning and after a few months the great RAID 0 system out of 4 SSDs is slower than a single SSD. The same doesn't hold true for CPUs, but to get the same clock speed in a 12 core machine compared to a 6 core system one has to buy quite a premium. Nearly enough to built a new computer a year later.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 10:44:24 PM by Christopher » Logged

CBarrett
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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2009, 11:00:33 PM »
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Quote from: Christopher
The same doesn't hold true for CPUs, but to get the same clock speed in a 12 core machine compared to a 6 core system one has to buy quite a premium. Nearly enough to built a new computer a year later.


Yeah, I kind of wonder about getting a used machine with fewer cores but greater clock speed.  If Photoshop isn't using all the cores, couldn't an older machine with more Mhz be faster?

-CB
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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2009, 11:19:57 PM »
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Quote from: CBarrett
Yeah, I kind of wonder about getting a used machine with fewer cores but greater clock speed.  If Photoshop isn't using all the cores, couldn't an older machine with more Mhz be faster?

-CB


Well it depends. The cheapest way to get great performance is OCing, however I can understand that most people don't want to do it. I wouldn't really want to buy a computer used. You never know how it was treated and such, however I want to give you some numbers as examples:

- i7 930 which runs at around 2.7Ghz costs 220EUR

- Xeon for a dual CPU system around the same speed costs:

for 2.7Ghz - 700EUR ( You need two of them = 1400EUR)
for 2.2Ghz - 400EUR ( Two = 800EUR )

Now I don't know any pricing of the new six core CPUS, but if one takes the current price system it would look like that:

- i7 6-core  running at 3.3Ghz CPU 800-1000EUR

Xeon for dual CPU system:

for 3.3Ghz - 1300-1600EUR (for two 2600-3200EUR)
for 2.8Ghz - 800-900EUR (for two 1600-1800EUR)

Now I am not against a dual CPU system, as I am still considering it myself, one just has to know that it is certainly more expensive, especially if one goes with the "cheaper" desktop system like i930.

In the End the real question is how much one is able or wants to spend. I mean could I spend 8k on a fantastic computer ? Yes sure, but would I prefer to spend half of it for a great computer which is 10% slower but get another lens or so, well for me the latter is much mire attractive.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 11:23:07 PM by Christopher » Logged

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