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Golden Spindle
05-04-2013, 12:33 PM
Hey everyone. I am on a tight budget and was wondering if there is an Apple laptop capable of faster renders and working in Adobe Suites. 17 inch is preferable. Is two cores not much difference then 4 cores in a laptop? What would be good enough?

gerry_g
05-04-2013, 02:09 PM
Having used a duo, quad and hyper-threaded quad I can only say you get what you pay for, the duo is sloooow and hype-threaded quad faster than say a similar spec old Mac Pro from a few years back which is no help at all as the hyper-threaded quad will cost you a premium, go look see if you can find a refurb Retinal MaxBook on the Mac store (which max out at 15" no 17") or try to find a previous gen hyper-threaded Quad 17'" on e-bay and make sure it has Nvidia graphics not ATI

Phil
05-04-2013, 03:46 PM
The question I've always had regarding Retina is whether the GPU has enough grunt to really support that display for intensive applications. I've not been able to get physical access to one to find out, but the initial Retina iPads were only just matching previous generation performance due to the enormous screen that had to be driven. I wouldn't be surprised to find that that's the case with the laptops as well. There's also still the ghosting issue with Retina MBPs that is well publicized and, depending on how much it bothers you, it could be a deal breaker.

None of the MBPs are probably a good prospect at this time. There's likely to be a refresh pretty soon and it might simply be worth waiting a while. If you're not tied to Apple, you'll probably find better value for money (if you need a machine right now) going for a regular Windows machine. Apple tend to be good value at the point where a machine is introduced, but since they don't bump specifications and they choose to keep prices static, the value is reduced the longer you wait.

I'd also be tempted to go with a classic MBP rather than Retina because you can easily add more drive capacity (rip out the optical drive and shove a second disk in there (you can also replace the spinning disk with a SSD without issue). You can also order those at the base specification for memory and then very cheaply upgrade them all the way to 16 GB. Buying with the full load of memory is overpriced, but for the Retina is mandatory - you can't upgrade memory after the fact.

Golden Spindle
05-05-2013, 06:56 PM
What do you think of this? http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_pro/17

gerry_g
05-06-2013, 04:29 AM
Looks good but not all i7's are hyper-threaded and Apple always makes a note in its sales tech spec when it is but says nothing when it's not (hyper-threading will halve your render times but do absolutely nothing for your software performance in general be it LightWave or Photoshop which are remorselessly single threaded, bottom line ring up or email and ask them, Nvidea would have been better than Radion (all real time renderers use Nvidea Cuda architecture and AE and Premier Pro can leverage Cuda too) but otherwise looks like a good machine

Phil
05-06-2013, 10:09 AM
Looks good but not all i7's are hyper-threaded and Apple always makes a note in its sales tech spec when it is but says nothing when it's not (hyper-threading will halve your render times but do absolutely nothing for your software performance in general be it LightWave or Photoshop which are remorselessly single threaded, bottom line ring up or email and ask them

Huh? LW's renderer is multi-threaded. Layout supports some aspect of multithreading for deformation evaluation. Hyperthreading gives you ~25% of the value of a real core, so it won't slow anything down. A 4 core HT CPU will give you ~5 cores of threaded performance. A single thread runs on a single core. Where that might hurt is if it's scheduled to run on a virtual core, but that's something that OS schedulers are tailored for (or should be). So I don't understand this at all.

Photoshop's had threading support for quite a while AFAIK. There used to be a plugin to enable it in older versions.


, Nvidea would have been better than Radion (all real time renderers use Nvidea Cuda architecture and AE and Premier Pro can leverage Cuda too) but otherwise looks like a good machine

Both nVidia and AMD make decent GPUs. There's more CUDA software than OpenCL, but that's not to say there's no OpenCL support out there - Indigo supports OpenCL and I think VRay does as well. Google turns up also support in Cycles and Luxrender. Adobe's posted more information about upcoming OpenCL support in a blog only 4 days ago. In a laptop, the limiting factor would be GPU memory. I'm still not at all convinced by GPU renderers. Sure, they're fast, but large scenes (where you might really want to have the performance boost) are unusable on them as far as I can tell.

Golden Spindle
05-06-2013, 12:08 PM
So do you think this machine will work well for me? Or should I go with the 15inch I5s with retina as for a newer machine with newer technology.

BeeVee
05-06-2013, 02:54 PM
I have to say that if you are on a tight budget you'll get a lot more bang for your buck if you go for a Windows-based laptop.

B

JonW
05-06-2013, 05:02 PM
At the end of the day do you really need a laptop?

As mentioned above, can you use both systems?

Tight budget, laptop, NonPC, reasonable performance (CPU & graphics) are not possible, if it was possible we would all be doing it. At least 2 things have to give, if not 3!

You also need screen real estate or working with these programs is painful.


If you really need the laptop then, look at the price from a longer term rather than the initial purchase price, amortise the price over 3 years & buy the best you can get so it's not a door stop within months. It is extremely frustrating not having enough CPU resources with 3d work, & in general once you have your CPU you are stuck with it. Most of us have more Bare Bones Boxes just for rendering.

sadkkf
05-06-2013, 06:14 PM
Better work into your budget higher costs for Adobe products now that they are cloud only. No more discs. Subscription only.

Golden Spindle
05-06-2013, 08:08 PM
No windows. All of my stuff is mac based. I'm in a position in which I need a laptop and can't use a big computer for right now. I'm only interested in a macbook pro for sure.

Phil
05-06-2013, 08:20 PM
Have you investigated the hackintosh route?