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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's an article out talking about Mac and PC performance when it comes to doing tasks common in digital photo editing. Apparently it's been causing a bit of a ruckus in the Mac community, and I thought I'd see what others here thought of it.

What's also interesting is that I've read two different responses to it, both pro-PC and pro-Mac, and they both seem to agree that the G4 is nearing the end of its useful life.
 

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I bet the g4 is in it's final year as the top end cpu, it will likely be used in consumer products for a couple of years
The G4 came out around the time of the pentium 3, now intel has moved on.
I am sure Apple is doing all it can to get the best power in their machines, but there is a benefit to the stalling speeds.
The fact that they cant put in newer cpus meaans they have to inovate in other ways, firewire 2, snazzy cases, airport extreme, osx, idvd, etc.
Apple has more in-house applications than ever and they are pretty nice.
I am more excited about the future of Apple than a 4ghz intel windows xyz blah blah...
Still I wonder when Apple will roll out a 2ghz cpu?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
minnes wrote:
I am sure Apple is doing all it can to get the best power in their machines, but there is a benefit to the stalling speeds. The fact that they cant put in newer cpus meaans they have to inovate in other ways, firewire 2, snazzy cases, airport extreme, osx, idvd, etc.

"Hey, I lost both of my arms in a horrible automobile accident, but the benefit was that I've learned to type with my toes!"

:D
 

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I think personally it all depends on what you want and need. As the size for digital media continually bloats into bigger and bigger sizes, Apple is still the number one contender for all things digital.

Macs (everyone except for the iMac and the iBook) come with a built in 10/100/1000 Base-T network connection. Every PC in the world is still shipping with 10/100. The nice thing about the Macs NIC port is that it's autosensing. No more cross over cables when connecting direct to another machine. Windows manufactureres, I can't think of one with this feature

This being said no matter the case (digital media studios) if they are getting truncated to 100 base-T tops, no matter if they are running a 4GHz Pentium their network will bring them to a crawl and dump it down to 100 base T. The mac (if the switching gear is in place) has the ability to trump the PC on networkable digital editing at 10 times the speed. No processor can make up for RAW data across a LAN. This I might add comes built in and not as an optional expense to the customer.

I am sick of people talking about this that and the other things about speed. You have a car, it goes 100KM/hour on the highway. Any faster and you are breaking the law. There is no reason to go faster. You get from A to B the same way and the same speed as you did 40 years ago. The bulk of people who buy computers use them to surf the web and write some email and type up word documents.

A bloody 486DX2 can pull this type of crap off with no problems. People who get a 4GHz Pentium might be able to rejoice in the fact that their computer boots up quicker than my Mac and that they can load up Word quicker than I can but by the time it's all done and said with, their nice new shiny PC can only display text on screen at the speed that their "human" hands can get the information there.

I would like to see some companies that do this testing start to implement real world testing such as running these tests on gig based backbones (with no upgraded hardware from any manufacturer) on different rack mount servers and RAIDs and see who comes out the winner. That is after all where the world is going to: centralized servers in the telco room.

Apples XServer - 1 Built in 1GHz NIC (1 optional)
Dell Blades - 1 Built in 10/100 (1GHz optional)
Maxtor Nas - 2 "teamed" 10/100 NIC's

and so on and so forth....

At the end of the day, I think Apples systems will still triumph over any PC in these fields and if they don't at least I get to enoy a nice cup of coffee while you are watching word load up in .2 second and start copying and pasting from word to quark. woo hoo, lets all celebrate that a 4GHz P4 can run a guassian blur in .3 seconds as opposed to .4 on a G4. I think we should all go and buy new PC's becuase of it.

Any high end PC will utilize SCSI drives...Wait a second thats an APPLE technology. When is the last time these companies have innovated over stolen/licensed? It makes me sick. They are the first to say that Apples suck but first to steal their technology. FireWire2? Do you really think USB2 will over take Apples newest IO technology as it is twice as fast? I dont think so.

At the end of the day, if you can't get that data from your Digital DV Cam, your digital still camera or your scanner to start the job of creating your ad/campaign what the hell does it matter then? By the time the PC users get all their data finally loaded onto their hard drive, the Mac user has already been working with the files for 20 minutes.

these companies should do realistic tests. Take cameras and have them take the data from a DV camera to the Hard Drive. Wait, Most PC's don't have firewire so while the 2GB's of video is moving off the camera onto the Mac with built in firewire, the PC users are off to the shop to get a firewire card.

These tests are biased and stupid. The G4 is a superpowerful chip. Try to find the speed on a 150,000 U.S. Sun solaris chip. People know the name Spark (that's there processor) and they don't question it's power.

These companies shoud start doing realistic tests and quite frankly I am sick of constantly being forced to upgrade my computer because the programmers are creating bloatware apps that have not been refined to run streamlined on the system (no matter PC or Mac)

Case in point: anyone remember Aldus Pagemaker. A super powerful app that ran solidly on any Mac it was installed on. Then Adobe bought them, and now it's bloatware. Runs sluggish and crappy. Actually that seems to be a lot of what is happening these days.

Apple Computer, they could make OSX run on the original G3 Powerbooks but choose not to becuase they would have to rework some code maybe? I wish I could strip away alot of the crap in Mac OS X's finder and make it less pretty and more of a workhorse, but I cannot. But I will take my beloved Mac OS X Client of Windows XP anyday...Now that's bloatware at it's worst!

Someone should take Microsoft to court for being guilty of desiging truly craptacular software. I don't think any judge would deny that fact.....

okay done ranting now...feel free to flame me if I got a little off topic here...
 

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i still think it is a matter of the right tool for the right job

e.g. - u could use a porche to deliver pizzas but you would need to charge $100 per pizza

u could use a pizza wagon on the race track but then u would not win any races..

i love car analogies when it comes to computers

i integrate mac and pc's and they both have strong points and weaknesses, but i would comment that i do choose apple and 'white boxes' for my work rather than the big pc boys...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
minnes wrote:
i beleive the Sun Sparc 3 cpu is about 600mhz, and I have mentioned it to people who seemed shocked that such a low number could be such a powerhouse

You can get UltraSparc 3 CPUs at 1GHz these days. They're pretty snappy chips, with SPECint2000 scores around 500 (compared to 1000 for the Pentium 4 and 1400 for the Itanium 2). (source)

Sun servers are speedy because of the number of CPUs they have (you can get Sun machines with over a hundred UltraSparc CPUs), and due to the machine architecture.

I dont understand why any productivity app doesnt absolutely scream on newer machines. If a app was functional on mac 2ci at 33mhz, why doesnt it just fly at 800.

The application that ran on your Mac IIci will scream on an 800MHz machine (provided, of course, you can get it to run), but won't have anywhere near the same number of features that the latest and greatest version has.

Part of the problem is fewer programs are being written in assembler and I was in the last year it was being taught at our local college.

The problem is that it's hard to write good assembly code these days (especially for x86 machines, but that's another story), since chip architectures have gotten wonky. I've seen anecdotal evidence that a C compiler can beat all but the most proficient assembly programmers out there. Plus programmer productivity is roughly constant; an average programmer can crank out about 300 lines of source code a day, regardless of the language used. Thus, the only way to make programmers more productive is to use a language that does more per line of source code (i.e., provides a higher level of abstraction). There is a trade-off, of course, in speed, but if you've got 18-24 months to ship a product, then you're faced with the choice between writing a small, fast application written in assembly that does nothing useful or a larger, slower application that actually does something useful.

As for "bloatware" in general, Joel Spolsky wrote an interesting essay on bloatware and the 80/20 myth. Go take a look.
 

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Well, we have been waiting for the G5 for what, 2 years, three years now?

We have known for a while that Intel was taking off, and at some point, after Apple threw all their eggs in Motorollas basket there was a collective "oh sh*t" from the people in the mac cmmunity thare were paying attention.

At one point, we were dominating (with the PowerPC 604, oh baby yeah!) and they we were keeping up (with the G3/G4 up to around 500 MHz, comparing them to the P3s running up to around 900 Mhz), and then for some reason processor production out of Motorolla became something of a second priority, or a side project, and we have been lagging ever since.

The truth is, Apple Needs a product like the Power PC 970 from IBM, one that hold it's own with the new Hyperthreaded 3.06 Ghz P4s, and the coming 4, 5 and 6 Ghz processors.

I read once about a year ago now that IBm had 110 GHz PowerPC based processors functioning in their test labs. Whatever happened to those? And why cant we have them?

--PB
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
PosterBoy wrote:
At one point, we were dominating (with the PowerPC 604, oh baby yeah!) and they we were keeping up (with the G3/G4 up to around 500 MHz, comparing them to the P3s running up to around 900 Mhz), and then for some reason processor production out of Motorolla became something of a second priority, or a side project, and we have been lagging ever since.

I recall reading that the semiconductor division of Motorola (i.e., the division that designs and builds Motorola's PPC chips) has been losing money like there's no tomorrow. That's probably got something to do with the lack of a G5 chip (or faster G4 chips).

The truth is, Apple Needs a product like the Power PC 970 from IBM, one that hold it's own with the new Hyperthreaded 3.06 Ghz P4s, and the coming 4, 5 and 6 Ghz processors.

Apple is also going to have to deal with the Itanium chips. While the Itanium was a bit of a stinker (as are most first-generation chips from Intel), the Itanium 2 is *insanely* fast. We've got a few Itanium 2 development machines at work, and I can't say I've worked on a faster machine before. They're clocked at 800MHz, too.

I read once about a year ago now that IBm had 110 GHz PowerPC based processors functioning in their test labs. Whatever happened to those? And why cant we have them?

110GHz? Ow. Still, it was in the lab, so who knows what funky tricks they were doing to get it clocked that high (liquid nitrogen, anyone). Plus, what works in the lab probably won't work (or be cost-effective) in production.
 

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It's interesting to hear from the PC Press about speed again; in my experience this only happens when the PC is faster for some moment in time (on a given task).

When it's all said and done, an investment in a computer for demanding tasks requires that you consider much more than hardware alone. Once you buy Avid or Final Cut and all the other software/hardware bits that go along with it, you have made a major choice in platform that is very difficult and expensive to change; your CPU will be (probably much) less than half of your investment.

Relatively minor speed advantages of one platform over another in my opinion are minor in the grand scheme of things; after all whatever you buy will be around for a long time and come upgrade time, your hardware choice is already made.

Considering all the factors, I would still recommend Macs for demanding A/V, even if Wintel computers have a pure processing power advantage. Application and hardware integration is still a problem with Windows, although there are steady improvements. As for software, we still spend most of our time manipulating menus and mouse clicks, and Mac SW in my experience has a distinct advantage.

Buying and configuring a Windows machine for demanding A/V is not a trivial matter. It is certainly beyond the typical PC user's ability, as machines of this calibre are definitely not generic.

To get a good out-of-the-box experience we're talking more AlienWare than Dell, although a PC builder with extensive experience with the tasks involved could certainly configure a suitable system from Dell or build his own. For ordinary folk, even amongst the more knowledgeable PC users, it's almost certainly going to give them headaches and a few suprises.

For someone who expects to have a single computer do his AV and also act as a day-to-day computer, the Mac is really the only workable solution. Any PC setup that I've seen that actually works reliably as an AV or Audio Workstation is dedicated and specifically configured to the task. If you can afford to do the same, a PC is an option.

AlienWare DV Workstations

Edit: I wrote the above before actually visiting the site. Although I am suspicous of most x-platform benchmarking reviews, the author gets points for knowing that a Wall-Mart PC probably won't satisfy anyone doing A/V. I should have known jf wouldn't be pointing us to a site with some kid and an axe to grind ;)
 

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Just like the biased digital video article, the Mac setup was run with unoptimized, slow software. Read the macintouch report on this. Someone reran the tests using GraphicConverter instead of the Canon software. GC is Altivec-optimized and MP aware while the Canon software isn't.

The Mac fared much much better using GC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
dthompson101 wrote:
Every PC in the world is still shipping with 10/100.

Dell Precision workstations (the equivalent of the Apple PowerMac) either have optional or standard GigE ports (depending on the model).

Considering that I have a hard time saturating a 100Mbit network, I'm not sure that not having GigE is such a big deal.

I am sick of people talking about this that and the other things about speed. You have a car, it goes 100KM/hour on the highway. Any faster and you are breaking the law. There is no reason to go faster. You get from A to B the same way and the same speed as you did 40 years ago. The bulk of people who buy computers use them to surf the web and write some email and type up word documents.

The problem with your analogy is that computers aren't limited by an arbitrary speed limit; they'll go as fast as they are able to, and Macs just can't keep up to Intel hardware any more.

As for "average users", the article wasn't targeted at average users, it was targeted at power users. The conclusion of the article was that, if you're in a job where every cycle counts, then Apple isn't really an option.

At the end of the day, if you can't get that data from your Digital DV Cam, your digital still camera or your scanner to start the job of creating your ad/campaign what the hell does it matter then? By the time the PC users get all their data finally loaded onto their hard drive, the Mac user has already been working with the files for 20 minutes.

One of the benchmarks was transferring photos from the card to the computer. The AlienWare laptop was the fastest of the four (followed by the Dell, then the two Apple machines).

So apparently the PC user will be working with the data before the Mac user is done transferring :D

Any high end PC will utilize SCSI drives...Wait a second thats an APPLE technology.

No, it's not. Besides, out of all the current Apple computers, not a single one uses SCSI. I mean, if GigE is important, shurely you'd want drives that can keep up with those transfer rates.
 

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David Thompson
hanks for the legthy rant
i beleive the Sun Sparc 3 cpu is about 600mhz, and I have mentioned it to people who seemed shocked that such a low number could be such a powerhouse
Most busines, productivity and 2 dimensional graphic apps are low in their needs for cpu power or at least they should be, i have no idea why word is a 100mb install for a freakin word processor that was about 5 mb in 1994.
I dont understand why any productivity app doesnt absolutely scream on newer machines.
If a app was functional on mac 2ci at 33mhz, why doesnt it just fly at 800,
Remember the flight simulator easter eg in Microsoft excel 97?
that was so silly.
Part of the problem is fewer programs are being written in assembler and I was in the last year it was being taught at our local college.
Efficient coding is a key factor in file size and application speed, and people just dont care much anymore figuring brute force and high speed cpu will handle it.
If a killer app is what drives the hunger for faster cpus then I would like to know what the current killer app is?
I cant think of anything except Doom 3 that wont run on my current mac?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hayesk wrote:
Someone reran the tests using GraphicConverter instead of the Canon software. GC is Altivec-optimized and MP aware while the Canon software isn't.

Right, and if you read Rob Galbraith's response to the benchmark, you'll note that GraphicConverter's RAW conversion is not the same as the conversion done by the Canon tools (i.e., Canon does a lot of image processing on the image that GC does not).

(For those interested, the thread at Macintouch is here).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
gordguide wrote:
It's interesting to hear from the PC Press about speed again; in my experience this only happens when the PC is faster for some moment in time (on a given task).

Apple's been pretty silent lately about how fast their machines are lately. Although if Apple does manage to get faster machines out the door, I'm really not looking forward to the accompanying marketing campaign (especially since Apple benchmarks seem to be comprised of much voodoo).

Edit: I wrote the above before actually visiting the site.

That's considered bad form, you know!

Although I am suspicous of most x-platform benchmarking reviews, the author gets points for knowing that a Wall-Mart PC probably won't satisfy anyone doing A/V. I should have known jf wouldn't be pointing us to a site with some kid and an axe to grind ;)

Thanks, I think. The thing that caught my eye about this benchmark was the fact that it was someone who'd really rather use a Mac, but the performance qualities of PC have become so appealing that they're hard to ignore.

I know I enjoy using my PowerBook, but when compared to speed demons like the Alienware laptop I'm left giving my PowerBook funny looks (because, more speed is more better, of course).
 

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Pro digital photography on a PC. Now that will get you some funny looks.


I'd love more speed on my Mac and I hope Apple can implement something faster. (If not, just to shut people up complaining about speed on the Mac) :D ;)

You got to believe Apple is hearing the "noise" and working on something.
 

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I think it comes down to this, most Mac users are generally satisfied but would always appreciate more speed, and I would assume Apple is trying to snap it up as soon as possible.
Speed alone is not going to make a regular Mac user switch.
I just dont think it is meaning ful to compare speed of a suped up wintel rig versus the latest Apple machine.
people like macs and they like the fact that they get a system that functions perfectly well with an OS made for that machine.
My friend keeps telling me I can get a cheaper wintel that will be a little faster. But I dont care because it's not a Mac and if a Mac is what you want , you have to get it from Apple. Im not giving Bill Gates any more of my cash.
Mhz is important to a point, then it is just marketing.
I have not heard one story of how someone switched to Windows boxes and was much happier and substantially more productive.
Tests are just numbers, show me a practical work situation with both a mac and a pc and you might have something to argue
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
minnes wrote:
I have not heard one story of how someone switched to Windows boxes and was much happier and substantially more productive.

What about people that have "switched" from Windows to Mac OS that aren't as productive on Mac OS as they are on Windows?

:D
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jfpoole:
minnes wrote:
I have not heard one story of how someone switched to Windows boxes and was much happier and substantially more productive.

What about people that have "switched" from Windows to Mac OS that aren't as productive on Mac OS as they are on Windows?

:D
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


I have heard stories both ways, and in almost all cases it was because the user who had switched was not willing to learn the different OS, they were more content to bitch about how crappy their new machine was and how much better the other platform is. meanwhile, productiviy goes down the toilet.

I have one client who bought a powerbook. He is a pro photographer. This was when the 667 MHz model was still the top end model. I asked him to give it a shot, and he did, for 7 days. 7 days is not "a shot" by any stretch if you ask me.

One other fact to consider though, is that the people Apple needs to convince to switch right now aren't the pros, they are the average joe users. Mhz may matter in digital photography, but it really doesnt in email checking, web surfing or letter typing.

Personally i wish that we'd all leave the Mhz thing behind, kind of like AMD has with their numbering system. That way it would take less convincing for someone to believe that email wont be recieved or sent or typed faster if you have a P4 that costs 1000 more than a celeron, or an eMac that costs the same as an equivelant PC setup but runs at a lower clock rate.

--PB
 

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Posterboy
What is the speed of the processor in your digital watch, microwave oven, cel phone, mp3 player, play station etc... no one cares.
I agree lets get over it and get something done with our toys
and yes, 10 minutes or 1 day isnt really long enough to tell how you can live with a machine on daily basis, it takes weeks to get the feel of how a new system is going to handle all the tasks for you.
 
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