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Michael Lizak
12-14-2010, 08:51 AM
Our company is going to purchase a New Mac Pro before the new year. Any suggestions or issues with the current line of Mac Pros. What's your setup? RAM? Was wondering...

1. How does Lightwave 9.6 & 10 work with ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5

2. In what ways does LW 6.9 & 10 take advantage of Quad-Core & 8-Core?

Thanks

rapscallion
12-14-2010, 11:37 AM
Just curious to know why you would consider a Mac Pro when you could buy more machine for much less money in a windows based set-up?

I was a hardcore Mac elitist for years, but on my current project I had to buy several machines and stocking up on Mac Pro systems was going to put us over budget, so I was forced to really do the research on windows based systems. What I learned very quickly is that you get MUCH MORE for MUCH LESS with a PC. Sure, the OS isn't quite as nifty, but the new W7 operating system from Windows comes close. And, of course, if you buy the correct configuration, you can install OSX onto the standard PC without needing to perform any additional steps.

So unless you own stock in APPLE or have some other critically important reason requiring you to own an APPLE, there is absolutely no reason to shortchange yourself. Buy a high-end PC and install OSX; you'll save ALOT of money and you'll never notice the difference.

just my two cents.

CG Addict
12-14-2010, 12:51 PM
Perhaps not having to deal with the massive headaches associated with windows products like viruses, etc. Please correct me if I'm wrong making that statement and I'll redact but every time I've been forced to work on Windows systems issues like technical support, keeping up with updates, viruses, etc. just drive and animator to go crazy. Macs might be a tad bit more upfront and there sure are some performance issues when compared to PC's but the user experience makes up for all of that as far as I'm concerned.

virtualcomposer
12-14-2010, 12:58 PM
Perhaps not having to deal with the massive headaches associated with windows products like viruses, etc. Please correct me if I'm wrong making that statement and I'll redact but every time I've been forced to work on Windows systems issues like technical support, keeping up with updates, viruses, etc. just drive and animator to go crazy. Macs might be a tad bit more upfront and there sure are some performance issues when compared to PC's but the user experience makes up for all of that as far as I'm concerned.

I agree. As a 2D & 3D designer, I've gained only major headaches when I'm contracted out to work in-house on a job using PCs. Consistent issues, crashes, or non compatible with a video card or the OS. I would rather buy 1 mac pro any-day before I bought 2 PCs. By the time you add in all of the issues, crashes and other things, you would have saved time rendering on one computer then 2 PCs.

rapscallion
12-14-2010, 12:59 PM
Perhaps not having to deal with the massive headaches associated with windows products like viruses, etc. Please correct me if I'm wrong making that statement and I'll redact but every time I've been forced to work on Windows systems issues like technical support, keeping up with updates, viruses, etc. just drive and animator to go crazy. Macs might be a tad bit more upfront and there sure are some performance issues when compared to PC's but the user experience makes up for all of that as far as I'm concerned.

The headaches and viruses are OS related, nothing to do with the hardware. If you install OSX onto a custom built PC, you'll be getting much more computing power at a much lower cost. Simple fact is that APPLE charges more for their products, because people view it as high-end and special when compared to 'normal' computers. The reality is that the processors running inside a Mac Pro are the same processors running in many PC machines that cost far less.

So it seems to me that buying a computer with the APPLE logo on it is a total waste. Sure, many years ago before you could install OSX on a custom PC, then maybe it would be worth holding out and spending far too much for far too little - but now that you can buy OSX and install it on very nearly all PC machines, there is just no justifiable reason for the price adjustment that comes with buying a 'Mac'.

Just for kicks, I went to the Apple site and configured an 8-core Mac Pro. I left it stock, with only two changes. I increased the RAM from 6GB to 12GB, then added a Raid Controller. Total price with tax and free shipping comes to $4,974. Custom PC with same processors, 12GB RAM, Raid Controller, several more expandability slots than offered with the MAC, and a much better graphics card comes out to just under $3,100 with no tax applicable and free shipping; add in $120 for a copy of OSX and you've got yourself a system that can do everything a Mac Pro can do and more for about $1,700 less.

monovich
12-14-2010, 01:13 PM
windows as a virus infested platform is old news. I'm a mac guy but I use PCs for LW. Forget the platform questions and think about 3rd party plugin support etc. It seems the mac side of LW always lags behind the PC side.

If LW is just a small piece of your overall workload then macs are great, but if its a significant part then do yourself a favor, drop the religious dedication, and give a PC a test drive. You'll save yourself thousands of dollars.

rapscallion
12-14-2010, 01:24 PM
windows as a virus infested platform is old news. I'm a mac guy but I use PCs for LW. Forget the platform questions and think about 3rd party plugin support etc. It seems the mac side of LW always lags behind the PC side.

If LW is just a small piece of your overall workload then macs are great, but if its a significant part then do yourself a favor, drop the religious dedication, and give a PC a test drive. You'll save yourself thousands of dollars.


Yep.

Besides, there is only one way to get a virus on your machine, so if you are smart about how you use your workstation, it shouldn't be a problem.

And as mentioned above, you can easily install OSX to a separate boot drive on your PC - so if you really need OSX for something, owning a PC isn't really a problem.

bassmanjam
12-14-2010, 02:46 PM
Why not have the best of both worlds? Build yourself a hacintosh for 1/3 the cost of a Mac Pro.

However, keep in mind 3rd party tools. You will be more limited on the Mac side.

Michael Lizak
12-14-2010, 03:45 PM
Hi,

I posted this thread. Thanks for all the input. I was planning to boot into Windows 7 on the Mac when using LW. We have alot of Mac apps we purchased and upgraded over the years. It would be costly to move to PC versions.

It was mentioned running Mac OS on a PC. What hoops do you have to jump through to do this? Anyone actually doing this? Does it work well?

rapscallion
12-14-2010, 04:00 PM
Hi,

I posted this thread. Thanks for all the input. I was planning to boot into Windows 7 on the Mac when using LW. We have alot of Mac apps we purchased and upgraded over the years. It would be costly to move to PC versions.

It was mentioned running Mac OS on a PC. What hoops do you have to jump through to do this? Anyone actually doing this? Does it work well?


There is no need to switch to PC versions of apps. Just boot to OSX on the PC machine when you need Mac Apps, or boot to W7 when you want to use PC apps.

There are literally ZERO hoops to jump through. You pop in the OSX installer disc and install the OS just like you do on a 'Mac' machine. The best way to go is to have a separate hard drive for the OSX install, then at startup time you can choose to boot into OSX or W7. Best of both worlds for much less money.

I ran OSX and Final Cut on a $300 Pentium 4 machine for 5 years. Members of our team are currently running OSX on i7 machines.

It used to be very difficult with lots of potential issues, but not anymore. Do a little research on Google or youtube and you'll see for yourself.

dwburman
12-14-2010, 04:03 PM
Apple does a pretty good job of removing some of the headaches that have plagued PC users in the past, but they aren't flawless by any means.

The 2006 MacPro on my desk here has the ATI x1900 XT graphics card that has proven problematic. After a while the 1st card started overheating to the point where the system was nearly unusable. We had a spare laying around so I put that in the machine only to discover that the second card doesn't show up unless the first card is plugged in with it. After a while that card started overheating so I had to crank up the fans and point an air conditioner at the machine. Something in the Snow Leopard seems to have fixed some of the stability issues so things are working good again, but I was looking at getting a replacement card and guess what? There are only a few graphics cards that work with this machine and they cost a lot more than PC graphics cards that use the exact same GPUs.

I've only purchase one Mac, a G4 ibook. I've used Macs for years, but they've always been purchased by someone else for me to use. :)

At the very least, see if you can find reviews of the graphics cards that are available for your machine.

bassmanjam
12-14-2010, 04:25 PM
It was mentioned running Mac OS on a PC. What hoops do you have to jump through to do this? Anyone actually doing this? Does it work well?

You do need to do a little homework to make sure you get the correct hardware, but you can find step by step guides to follow. It's not too tough and worth the effort. Upgrading the OS also takes a few extra steps, but it's not too bad. Check out the Insanely Mac forums (http://www.insanelymac.com/).

I've been using a variety of hacintoshes for a couple of years now. They have their quirks, but so do Mac Pros. Stability wise, I'd say they are pretty much equal.

I second having a 2nd hard drive for Windows. You never know when you need to boot into Windows for some utility and using VMware Fusion is kind of slow.

JeffrySG
12-14-2010, 04:30 PM
Going back to your first questions;

I have a ATI 5770 HD in my 1st gen MacPro 1,1. LW 9.6 and 10.0 both run great on my old MP and I've been really happy with my 5770 lately especially from what I had before (an ATI X1900). I only have 4 cores in my machine but they are all used when rendering. I would imagine that LW would use all 8 if you've got them but maybe someone else could chime in on that who actually has an 8 or higher core machine.

Also, you can run bootcamp on the MP so if you really wanted to run LW in Windows you would be able to do that as well without any emulation.

4dartist
12-14-2010, 05:50 PM
1. How does Lightwave 9.6 & 10 work with ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5

I'm not sure about the 5770. But.. my MacPro 2,1 has a Radeon HD 4870. No real issues with 10, however 9.6 has some dual monitor issues with Snow Leopard (not dependent on video card). This may get fixed in the final 9.6.1. I'm sure the 5770 will work great, LW runs great on mine that is probably much slower.


2. In what ways does LW 6.9 & 10 take advantage of Quad-Core & 8-Core?

The only real benefits you'll get by more cores are faster renders. Honestly you won't see much different in normal lightwave use, only when you hit F9 or F10 to render. If you plan to render on your machine I would definitely get more cores because they make a huge difference. You'll notice an 8core machine will render almost exactly double the speed as a 4core. There isn't much loss in my opinion. We have 5 MacPro 8cores and I have them rendering via screamernet or just by manually opening scenes on them.

If you plan to run more than one copy of lightwave you'll need more RAM. Assuming your scenes aren't just flying logos. 4GB would be minium I'd say, 8GB is good for 2 lightwaves + other stuff. I have 16GB and render in 2 lightwaves, work in 1, have After Effects and PS open, plus screen sharing with our other Mac Pros, email, music, web, ichat, all running. :)

G-Man
12-14-2010, 09:41 PM
I have always been a Mac fan but I gave up on Mac Lightwave years ago. Just as Monovich stated, 3rd party support is just better for Lightwave on a PC period. I just got tired of waitng for "The Mac Version" to come out well after the PC version was released.

As someone stated it depends on your situation. If you're a hardcore Lightwave user I'd get a PC, if it's casual, stay with a Mac. And BTW, the Quad Core 27inch iMacs are incredible, that's what I use. I have it set up to boot into Windows 7 64bit if I want to run Lightwave.

JonW
12-14-2010, 10:24 PM
I use a Mac for everything other than LW, actually I use LW on my Mac sometimes.

You can get far more GHz per dollar with PCs. With LW you need to throw as many CPUs as you can afford at it to get the best out of it.

Even if you get a new Mac, just can an i7 930 PC. It’s going to cost about the same as a Mini Mac. Test it out, get familiar with it. & save a stack of money.

& while you are at it set up Screamernet.

CG Addict
12-14-2010, 11:28 PM
@ G-Man: not a bad idea going with the iMac 27" with Windows 64 bit. I could like that!

Michael Lizak
12-15-2010, 08:27 AM
[QUOTE=rapscallion;1089122]

And, of course, if you buy the correct configuration, you can install OSX onto the standard PC without needing to perform any additional steps.

Could you tell us what the "correct configuration" is? -Thanks

BigHache
12-15-2010, 09:06 AM
I would imagine that LW would use all 8 if you've got them but maybe someone else could chime in on that who actually has an 8 or higher core machine.

Yes, I've run LW on a dual Quad-core Mac and using MenuMeters I can see all eight cores pegged at 100% while rendering. It's a beautiful thing.

DrStrik9
12-18-2010, 02:19 PM
I've run LW on Mac, Alpha, PC, and now I'm back to Mac. LW10/Mac is "Snow Leopard" only (afaik), and runs in 64-bit. It is true that Mac LW plugin development tends to run behind Windows, and even NewTek might have a bit of a remaining platform bias regarding development and bug fixes, but for me at least, none of these things are a platform killer.

I stick with Mac because having to reboot just to do something in LW, or move to another system, is a hassle for me, and interrupts my workflow. But I'm not doing LW exclusively; I'm a generalist, with a rather large collection of other apps, fonts, projects, etc.

If you're sticking with Mac because of these and other reasons, then I say have your employer buy the latest 8-core (12- if you can afford it) Mac Pro, and load it with RAM (10 Gb at least, the more the better, especially if you're doing print-sized renders). The other issue, of course, is the limited display cards available. I'm no expert here. What I have now works pretty well still. I also recommend the AppleCare Warranty, which over the years has saved me many thousands of $$$.

I have two terabyte drives (not available from Apple, thankfully), with the second one set up as a bootable backup using Synchronize Pro X. Then the only real file management issue is archival.

Buying it through a technical reseller who can configure it with sometimes better equipment than comes standard, can save some dough too. Good luck.

DrStrik9
12-18-2010, 02:24 PM
Youth is a disease that is cured by age

LOL. And the best contraceptive for old people is ... wait for it ... nudity. -- Phyllis Diller

3dworks
12-18-2010, 04:58 PM
lol another mac vs pc thread, omg...

seriously, buy them as fast as you can afford them, nearly all recent 3d engines (and with them lightwave) are rather well exploiting the multi core power of those xeons when rendering.

however, most 3d modeling routines are still very bad in using multiple cores - here the raw processor speed is more relevant. if you have to buy several machines, maybe a good tip is to get one 4 core model at top speed, which can be dedicated for modeling and non-multicore processes, as video conversion etc.

also be careful when buying RAM, as different models may have different optimum setups. most multi CPU macpro's run fastest with just 2 x 3 memory slots filled, not all 4. so 12 G of RAM are the sweet spot for most situations, 16 G would slow down a bit the memory speed.

for all details, the best guide for buying, tuning and using mac hardware in high performance situations is here:

http://macperformanceguide.com/index_topics.html

hope this helps

cheers

markus

JonW
12-18-2010, 07:18 PM
LOL. And the best contraceptive for old people is ... wait for it ... nudity. -- Phyllis Diller

I just leave my glasses off.



In Australia the basic Mac Pro
4-Core 2.8 GHz is $285 per GHz
8-Core 2.4 GHz is $234 per GHz
12-Core 2.66 GHz is $206 per GHz

12-Core 2.93 GHz is $235 per GHz

Itís nice to have top speed on a single core but 12 cores (24 Hyper threading) will be very useful for baking radiosity & rendering.

Dexter2999
12-19-2010, 09:59 AM
I started on PC's. Went to college and learned Mac's. Got out and got a job working in PC's.
Turned into a Mac "hater" when dealing with some Mac users who treated the computer like a TV. They didn't understand anything about how the computer works. "Just turn it on and it works." And if anything ever went wrong couldn't fix anything themselves. Had to take it in. Also when upgrading Apple had this nasty habit of leaving me with thousands of dollars of gear suddenly useless because they decide to abandon certain technology.

But eventually I overcame my irrational hatred...it was easy when Windows started turning into a Mac. Now I hate them equally and now I can see the advantages of a Mac over a PC.

If Final Cut is your editing app of choice then a PC does your zero good.

A Mac can run both OS's exceptionally from what I have heard from bootcamp users on this forum. PC can't say that. (The "exceptionally" part.)

Certain organizations with bureaucracy may make buying Mac's easier as some IT departments don't recognize Mac's as "real computers" so they don't meddle with your orders by insisting on being the middle men. (I had this experience a number of years ago when we purchased a PC based AVID system and they refused to let me get an NVidia based graphics card...we bought it later and added it in.)

So, to me, these are some pretty good reasons to get a Mac. Sure dollar for dollar PC's are a better bang for the buck. But overall it comes down to your needs and how to best meet those needs.

hdace
01-18-2011, 04:10 AM
Sorry for being late on this thread. I've built two Hackintoshes and they're the best computers I've ever used. They cost 1/3 of the price of a real Mac and they're twice as powerful.

I use the Mac only for Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, & After Effects. PC side for LightWave. I would never use the Mac side for LightWave, it's just not up to par.

MentalFish
01-18-2011, 04:22 AM
I have absolutely no interest in building a machine from scratch, if I do, I have to deal with any and all hardware issues that may arise such as hardware conflicts and other wonkyness. Boring stuff. So I am wondering, what PC manufacturer provide 8 and 12 core machines, comparable to the Apple ones?

In terms of upgrading RAM in a Mac, these guys have awesome prices: http://transintl.com/macupgrades/index.cfm