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maclamb
12-14-2003, 08:39 PM
I will shortly have enough $ to afford a Dual G5 2.0 machine (or better, if I wait till after MWSF). I currently have a PB/867 that works great for work tasks - email, web, etc - the Main Machine is for 3d Rendeirng and modeling.
I plan on purchasing Lightwave and it supports distributed rendering. I had intended to get a dual G5 as my main modeling / rendering machine and then supplement that with cheap PCs -
but a PC builder locally suggest s that the following configuration will outperform the G5 - and maybe be cheaper:

"My suggestion is a Pentium 4, 2.4GHZ @800MHz system bus with Hyper-threading
technology, 40GB hard drive, at least 512MB DDR400 in dual channel, dynamic
mode (1GB will significantly increase performance) in an Intel thermally
advantaged micro-case with the included Intel listed power supply. The
choice of video is up to you. If you think you have a fast machine
with your G5, wait until you experience this one!"

So, anyone know for a fact what the best configuration will be? If the P4 is the better Animiation workstation I would lean towards that.

Beamtracer
12-14-2003, 10:01 PM
Lightwave version 7.5 still runs faster on dual 3GHz Xeons than the G5.

This is because Lightwave 7.5 is highly optimized for the Pentium. LW7.5 has had no optimization for the G5, because the G5 is so new.

Adobe applications (like Photoshop, After Effects) are running faster on the G5 than the dual Xeons. Maybe Adobe has put more work into optimization.

As far as speed goes, it may be worth waiting for Lightwave 8 to make a judgement. Mac users are hoping that Newtek has put some effort into optimizing for the G5.

There are other factors apart from speed.

The G5 is the RAM king. It can be loaded with 8 gigs of RAM, which dwarfs any Windows system. This is because the G5 is 64-bit hardware.

Lightwave 7.5 is still a 32-bit app, so as it stands now it can't access 8 gigs worth. However you can load many 32-bit apps at once, each taking their 2gig or 4gig sector of RAM, up to a total of 8gigs.

The G5 still allows you to use much more RAM than any Windows system, even when running 32-bit apps. This is important when using large image maps, like a NASA satellite image I recently worked with. Hopefully Newtek will one day create a pure 64-bit version of Lightwave for the Mac.

I've got Lightwave running flawlessly on the G5 with OS X 10.2.7. It doesn't crash. Apple has just released OS X 10.3, which will require Lightwave 8 to be compliant. I've also got an ATI 9800 pro graphics card which I can recommend.

Mac OS X is UNIX based. Very stable. Virus free.

Mac OS X is also great for 16-bit-per-channel images (which have greater dynamic range and are standard for film & TV work). It can read 16bpc Photoshop images at the OS level, so you can see them as you search through folders. It can handle 16bpc Quicktimes at an OS level. This makes the workflow much easier.

hrgiger
12-14-2003, 10:03 PM
I didn't think that the 2.4 Pentium 4 had hyper-threading. I thought only the 3's and beyond did. I could be wrong though.
I think the only significant difference between the newer pentiums and the G5 is that the G5 can support more RAM. However, as far as speed goes, I've seen mixed results and since Lightwave isn't a 64 bit application, the speed differences would be comparable.
Personally, I like using Intel because it seems like everytime a new plug-in is developed, a mac version is usually nowhere to be found.
Make sure if you do get a G5, you make sure and order a real mouse with it and not that one button crap that apparently someone at apple still thinks is worth shipping with a computer in 2003.

Beamtracer
12-14-2003, 10:12 PM
By the way, the sales person who says the Pentium 4 2.4GHz is faster than the G5 is wrong.

OK, as I said, the dual 3GHz Xeon running LW7.5 is a bit faster than the G5, but not the P4 2.4GHz. The Apple G5 will beat this machine.

I've got all the major plug-ins running on Mac OS X. This issue is over rated.

maclamb
12-14-2003, 10:21 PM
thank you for your time and opinions,

I think I will go with the Dual G5 after MWSF and get P4s for slave renderers

Beamtracer
12-14-2003, 10:36 PM
The most famous Lightwaver of all is Aristomenis Tsirbas, more commonly known as MeniThings. He's just been contracted to make a major feature film, and made the following comment this week:


Quote by MeniThings
"We run LightWave on both PC and Mac platforms. What's actually pretty funny is that I started using LightWave on Amiga but slowly moved over to PC and now slowly I’m moving over to Mac."
http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/profiles/Meni-002/index.html

Maybe you should ask Aristomenis why after many years using Windows he is now switching to 64-bit Mac G5 hardware.

hrgiger
12-15-2003, 05:54 AM
Originally posted by Beamtracer


I've got all the major plug-ins running on Mac OS X. This issue is over rated.

I'm talking about a lot of the free plug-ins. And I don't think it's overrated at all.

Yes, a G5 is definately faster then a P4. Is it worth the difference in price? Nope. Especially when you consider you can buy a brand new Pentium 4 2.53GHZ from Dell right now for around $500. You could make a renderfarm that would outdo a G5 system about 3 times over for the same price, at least speedwise.

mattclary
12-15-2003, 06:08 AM
Actually, a dual G5 renders the "radiosity reflective things" in 29 seconds (source www.blanos.com ), a single Pentium 4 2.4mhz does it in 60 seconds, so Apples to apples (pardon the pun), the G5 is pretty well matched to a P4. If you start looking at the P4 3.0ghz chips, they take less than twice the time of a dual G5 (i.e. chip for chip, the 3ghz chips beat the G5, but I think the G5 has a lower clock speed). This seemed to hold true for all benchmark scenes, but I didn't do a statistical analysis.

A dual Xeon only does the scene in 25 seconds, which to me is not a lot of bang for buck either. I'd rather have two P4 machines than one Xeon.

Yes, there is a 2.4ghz P4 that runs a 400mhz bus (all P4s with Hyperthreading and 400mz bus have a "C" suffix)

I have a P4 3ghz machine I built last June. Currently it is ranked number 7 for "Radiosity Reflective Things" (at 46 seconds) at www.blanos.com

I recommend going with Intel if you want faster renders. OOOOOORRRR, you might consider one of the new 64bit AMD chips, as they now support SSE2, which is what makes Intel faster than the 32bit AMD chips. If I didn't use LightWave, I would have an AMD chip in my machine.

And one last word of advice: That computer salesman sounds like a used car salesman. "Thermally advanced micro-case"? What the f*ck is that? Don't let him sell you a system in a dinky little case, you're not taking the thing to a freaking LAN party! Get a Antec midtower (or full) case with an Antec power supply (minimum 350watts). And don't spend a bundle on your video card, just get a Geforce 5600 Ultra or 5700 Ultra.

pixym
12-15-2003, 06:11 AM
Dear Maclamb

If you want to make big images for print market, please choose a mac with a big amount of ram (about 2 gigabytes). For this kind of image the P4 is not good and whatever I do, I obtain a "Not enought memory for frame buffer" message when I try to render a 4096 pixels image.

Best

Eddy Marillat aka Pixym

Ade
12-15-2003, 06:42 AM
If u also plan on using photoshop and editting, you should get the G5.
After macworld the g5 will be as fast as xeons or faster.

2.4ghz, 2.6gh, 2.8 ghz.

maclamb
12-15-2003, 07:47 AM
Thank yo all for your replies.
To summarize:
I initially planned ot wait till after MWSF and gert a new G5 DP. and the PC would be part of a renderfarm - hence I was going to choose a small case, min. HD, etc.
BUT, now I am rethinking the Mac at all. If a DP Intel P4 3.0G will VASTLY (by at least 30%) outperform the G5 - even new ones, then that is a serious consideration. If the AMD 64 bit opteron (is that correct?) will aslo outperform the Mac then that is a possibility.
Basically , rather than jump to a solution, I will state my requruments:
The fastest, most stable machine under $3000 (incl at least 1 G of ram, Large HD + Video card) for Lightwave. I don;t do much photoshop - it will be a modeling and rendeirng machine. Support and stability of OS are a consideration -
I would generally prefer the mac platform, IF the diffs in speed are less than 20% - but is AMD or P4 3.0 are more than 30% faster, then this is an issue.
Would a DP P4 3.0 or DP AMD 64 Bit CPU price out similiarly to Mac? or is that way out of my price range?

CaptainKirk
12-15-2003, 07:50 AM
Don't be crazy.

You really weant to buy a system from a company which released an OS which renders Lightwave unuseable on their G5s?

You can't even use Lightwave until v.8 comes out if you buy G5 now, because it is loaded with the latest OS which breaks Lightwave.
What if they do the same thing in 4-5 months again ( they seem to be releasing new kitty versions every few months trying to get something right )?

P4 is Faster ( even 2.4 one ).

Don't believe anythinhg Beamtracer says, trust me from experience. with his posts. ( He is already lying to you about no viruses on Macs and G5 being faster in Photoshop when all tests showed that Athlon 64 was the fastest, then P4 then G5 in last place, )

And consider that IN A TEST DONE BY MAC WORLD MAGAZINE AMD 64 SINGLE chip trashed a dual G5 in almost every test they threw at it. It was more than twice as fast AT MP3 encoding and Adobe premiere for example.

mattclary
12-15-2003, 08:36 AM
maclamb, there is no such thing as a dual Pentium 4.

mrunion
12-15-2003, 08:38 AM
P4 would be my choice. Mac gives you some things that are better, but for all-around, doing everything with your machine, and for vast amounts of software, stay on the Intel side.

BTW -- there's NOTHING wrong with the Macs, but when you're in my situation (shootstring budget, hobby-type trying to go pro), you can't afford a Mac no matter what it gives. I have an entire studio set up, but I couldn't afford it if I bought a Mac.

The TV studio guy we send tapes to said I need to buy a Mac because it's "standard". I asked him if he no longer wanted DV or DVC tape format, and he said that DV and DVC was the standard. I told him that my Intel-based machine created those just fine, so I wouldn't have a need for switching. He agreed.

Bottom line -- do what makes YOU happy and gets YOUR work done. For every PC lover there is a Mac lover. For every PC hater there is a Mac hater. Build your dreams with the tool you choose. Definitely base your decision on FACTS and you can't go wrong.

Also, this message is 80% OPINION, so disregard it when making your decision.

mrunion
12-15-2003, 08:41 AM
There ARE dual P4's. They're expensive (the mobo is -- 860 chipset). Even the "Intel Expensive Mobo" is about $400-$500. So on a $3000 dollar budget you could probably get TWO machines like that if you know where to shop.

Limbus
12-15-2003, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by mrunion
There ARE dual P4's. They're expensive (the mobo is -- 860 chipset). Even the "Intel Expensive Mobo" is about $400-$500. So on a $3000 dollar budget you could probably get TWO machines like that if you know where to shop.

There are no Dual P4 computers. The only dual cpus from intel are the xeon.

Florian

Beamtracer
12-15-2003, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by CaptainKirk
Don't believe anythinhg Beamtracer says, trust me from experience. with his posts.
...He is already lying to you
CaptainKirk, your personal swipes should have got you banned from the forum again. It's really not necessary. Why can't you be civil like most other people around here? Moderators must be asleep.

I can see why most Mac Lightwavers don't come into the Community forum, as they get harassed by people like CaptainKirk. Most of the Mac people stay in the Mac Lightwave forum.


Originally posted by CaptainKirk
AMD 64 SINGLE chip [...] was more than twice as fast AT MP3 encoding and Adobe premiere Adobe Premiere left the Mac platform some time ago because it couldn't compete against Final Cut Pro. I hardly think a piece of software that was axed long before the G5 was developed is a fair test.

It's true there are no OS viruses on Mac OS X. None at all. Zilch. That's one worry the Mac users don't have to think about.

Lightwave 8 will be the real test. Due for imminent release. Optimized for the G5 and the Panther OS.

At the moment I've got LW7.5 on OS X 10.2.7. No crashes. More stable than alternate operating systems.

The extra RAM of the Mac 64-bit hardware is one reason for increased stability. Windows users who are generally limited to a maximum of 2 gigs of RAM complain that when they use oversized image maps the system just freezes.

On the Mac, Layout, Modeler, Hub, and OS X can all sit in separate sectors of RAM, each 2 gigs or above. No 32-bit system can match it.

If you're talking about the workstation you model on, this is a really important feature.

This is why people like MeniThings are making the switch from Windows to the Mac. It seems like it will be a long time before any Windows desktop machines will be 64-bit, due to OS delays.

JML
12-15-2003, 09:58 AM
did you fanatics saw the Macworld issue this week about the
race against the DUAL G5 2ghz and the SINGLE P4 3.2?
The P4 wins at 85% in all tests and is a cheaper!
(and it's a mac magazine!)

also you should choose a platform which works best with the software you use.
don't choose the fastest because if you can't any program
working on it, it's no good



I'm going to disable Email Notification, i'm sure this is going to be
a huge thread especially with beamtracer there

MiniFireDragon
12-15-2003, 10:09 AM
I may be mistaken, but I thought Adobe was dropping Mac support from all products?

robinson
12-15-2003, 10:09 AM
Geez, a mac against a pc thread again….

There is no real speed difference, everybody knows about that !!!

But think about these points.

1. bang for the buck, damn there is a price difference between the pc and a mac !!! (PC)
2. you can always get the newest hardware (cpu, ram…)for just a few bucks (PC)
3. Lightwave plugins (sorry PC again, hey you are on the save side with plugins on the PC)
4. viruses !!!
ok that’s a real windows problem, but hey we work with these machines every day ( I’m not a “stupid” housewife) we can protect us, I never run any antivirus software (I know sounds like a housewife) and never lost any stuff, no problems at all over here !!!
:)

I would go for a pc (intel ), best bang for a buck !!!

sorry, but it's all about the bang of a buck thing, everybody knows about that !!!

Nemoid
12-15-2003, 10:15 AM
I work with PC, but i observe Mac world with interest . really they seem to go towards 3D more and more, and more efficiently than before.
If i had the money I'd work both on Mac and PC. the mixed pipeline seems in fact be the best solution now.
Also because Mac is very good for 2D work, image processing editing of animations, wich is a good part of 3D work however.
It handles 2D images the best way.

CaptainKirk
12-15-2003, 10:25 AM
I'm sure I don't n4ed to remind you, Beamtracer, that it was you and other Mac users who attacked me first after I posted links to tests you guys didn't like ( which proved just how misleading Apple was ).

It was you who accused me of peddling warez on some other forum, which was another lie and personal attack. So if I call you a liar, I believe it's justifiable after all that. What do you think? I'm the only one out there who hates Apple and therefore you assume it's all me on all forums whenever somebody posts something against Apple.

There are serious security flaws in all Apple OS and viruses as well. You chances of getting infected are much smaller, since only 5% of people use Macs and virus writers concentrate on those other 95%. But to say threat is nonexistant is another lie.

To get back to this topic. Even if Apple were faster I'd stay away.
No reputable company would release a new version of OS without making sure it worked with a major app. like Lightwave.

There is nothing stoping them from doing the same thing again 5-6 months down the road. They are simply irresponsible and do not cooperate with developers. That is why even Adobe will abandon them completely, Newtek should abandon them as well.

As soon as prices come down a bit AMD is the only way to go. You can actually pick up AMD 64 bit chip running at 2ghz for less than $275 starting this week.

js33
12-15-2003, 10:38 AM
Here's my take.

As others have said it depends alot on what software you want to run. As far as OS go they (OSX and XP) are equally good and stable. Mac hardware is good but always behind the cutting edge of PC hardware. Macs have little choice in graphics cards and those that are available always have more problems than the ones on the PC. It's true you can put more Ram into a Mac but right now you can't use more RAM for a single app on the Mac than you can on a PC. The 64 bit version of Windows will be out in Q1 2004. You can only run one instance of a program at a time on a Mac where I could open up 10 instances of Lightwave at a time if I wanted to. Sometimes I run 2 at once.

I have a PC (2.53 Ghz P4) and a Mac (iMac G4 800 w/DVD burner).


I can use LW on both systems and I only use it on the PC because it works better. The Mac version of LW is just not the same as the PC version even though in theory it's supposed to be. The network rendering you want to use (ScreamerNet) only really works well on the PC. It is easy to set up on the PC and it doesn't really even work on the Mac without 3rd party help.

Also if you want to use the free DFX+ you can get with LW it only runs on the PC.

OK now one in the Macs favor. If you want to do DVD authoring DVDSP2 is the best DVD authoring program for either platform in it's price range.

So here's what I use.

PC - Lightwave 7.5 , Photoshop7, After effects 6, DFX+ 4.03b(Not available no Mac), Director 8.51 , Flash MX, Adobe GoLive, SoundForge 6, CuBase 5.1, Gigastudio (Not available on Mac).
These are just the major apps I use.

Mac - DVDSP2, FCExpress (May upgrade to FCP at some point).

Also here are some other 3D apps only available for the PC.

Softimage XSI - Highend 3D app
Maya Unlimited (Only Maya Complete on OSX) - Highend 3D app
3D studio Max - I never use it but have seen many very nice renderings done with it using Brazil and Vray.
Houdini - Very Highend 3D app

So my take is the Mac is good for Video Editing and DVD authoring but not as good for 3D production at this time.

Cheers,
JS

maclamb
12-15-2003, 10:55 AM
wow - thank you all for the information and help - It seems the PC is the way to go for price/prerformanc e- While I could get mac for the same price, the ram and video add a lot. and the issues w/ LW on the mac are interesting -

BTW: I did test a render of a Strata Studio 3.9 image on a Mac DP 1.25 and Dell P4 2.4 (same ram, but better video card in the mac -Nvido 4600ti) - the dell was slower by a factor of about 10% - thought you would be interested.

My next question is with regards to video card- what card to choose/ how important is the video card to the LW rendering? Do I need a high end like a 9800 or can some thing cheaper do - is LW mostly CPU intensive - how does the video card play a part - thank you
have you seen these numbers:
http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030422/opteron-23.html#3drendering

js33
12-15-2003, 11:10 AM
Maclamb,

The video card only creates and manipulates the display and OpenGL it has nothing to do with the rendering.

Also ATI cards have typically been poor choices for 3D apps due to less than optimal OpenGL. Ok for games.

For Lightwave I would go with a nVidia based card.
Since LW at this point doesn't really use advanced OpenGL routines you can get a GF4 Ti 4200 (dual head also for using 2 monitors) for about $100 and your good to go. You could go with a newer FX card but they are more expensive and you won't really notice the difference with LW but you will with games.

Cheers,
JS

mattclary
12-15-2003, 11:51 AM
As I stated in my earlier post, I would go with the nVidia 5600 Ultra or 5700 Ultra . They are both DirectX 9 compliant and Open GL 1.5, which will help when you need a break to play some games! ;)

Also, a friend just pointed out to me this morning that Newegg is selling a Geforce 5900 SE that seems to beat the 5600 and 5700 Ultras, but is selling for less right now.

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduct.asp?description=14-130-179

Beamtracer
12-15-2003, 11:52 AM
The ATI9800pro graphics card is working very well on my G5. No issues whatsoever. Drivers are fine.

Cheaper cards may also be OK for your needs.

I'd also recommend buying the plug-ins from Worley Labs. Well worthwhile.

Paul Lara
12-15-2003, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by CaptainKirk
Don't believe anythinhg Beamtracer says, trust me from experience...

Not only will I not trust you, but I will issue just this one warning against personal attacks.

Look, this is ridiculous. Some people prefer mac, some prefer PC. It's a tool. Use whichever you prefer, but don't come in here to turn this into a platform-wars flame-fest.

You've been warned, captain.

Paul Lara
12-15-2003, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by CaptainKirk
Don't believe anythinhg Beamtracer says, trust me from experience...

Not only will I not trust you, but I will issue just this one warning against personal attacks.

Look, this is ridiculous. Some people prefer mac, some prefer PC. It's a tool. Use whichever you prefer, but don't come in here to turn this into a platform-wars flame-fest.

You've been warned, captain.

archiea
12-15-2003, 02:21 PM
Also remember that a 64 bit version of the mac OS and of LW are yet to be realized before you settle on the current benchmarks for LW. When I got my DP800 mac two years agot, it was cheaper than a singe 1 ghz mac because OS-X wasn't mainstream, and the argument was that the 1 ghz was faster than the Dp800 because mult-proc wasn't supported by the OS and software. Within four months , OS-X was more mainstream, and combustion and FCP was supporting MP. So suddenly, my DP800 was faster than a single ghz....

Limbus
12-15-2003, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by Beamtracer

The extra RAM of the Mac 64-bit hardware is one reason for increased stability. Windows users who are generally limited to a maximum of 2 gigs of RAM complain that when they use oversized image maps the system just freezes.

On the DF mailinglist are a bunch of people with 3gig machines running windows. And I also wonder how more ram does increase the stability?

Florian

maclamb
12-15-2003, 02:54 PM
whew-
well I am certainly doing my homework.
short of having a dp xeon or opteron side by side w/ the DP mac g5 this is hard.
Short of working with the program on both platfroms - this is real hard.
so, here is what I have determined:
Mac vs Xeon vs Opteron At My Price Level are about equal - the PCs may have a slight speed difference - but nothing huge - and the new G5s may close that gap w/ HW and SW (new compilers). The new LW for 8 may also help close this gap.
Looking a tthe Lightwave Benchmarks I don't see a large enough difference to justify the PC -

I will look at the Mac in Janaury and what I can afford - probably a 2.2 or 2.4 and be happy with that- I will get LW when 8 is released.
Being a newbie in learning mode, and having a Dell 2.4G P4 at home to play with in addition to the Mac I can do my own speed/usability tests. If I find the PC is significantly (relatively) better I'm sure I can sell the mac on ebay and buy a PC -

thank you for all your help.

js33
12-15-2003, 04:22 PM
Have you tried the discovery edition? Or all you already using it?
I'm not sure why you are asking the Mac vs. PC question if you already have a Dell 2.4G PC? You already know the PC side. Are you just curious how it compares to the Mac?

If you just want more speed you can get a 2.5G P4 or better now for about $500 to add more render nodes.


Cheers,
JS

maclamb
12-15-2003, 04:47 PM
no _ i haven't tried the discovery edition - but will look for it.
I asked the question becuase I will have $ for a new machine - I have a G4 DP 1.25 and was going to upgrade to a G5 DP - but wondered what my $ could buy on the PC side (DP 2x Xeon or Opterons on ebay for about $1300! I just discovered).
Thought I would reserve the other pc for rendering support

js33
12-15-2003, 06:10 PM
Yes the PC side will always be cheaper and more bang for the buck. I would wait until the AMD 64 FXs come down in price and that would probably be the fastest. Also if you want to use your other PC as a render node you would be better off getting another PC. Use the Mac for FCP and DVDSP.

Cheers,
JS

Beamtracer
12-15-2003, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by Limbus
I also wonder how more ram does increase the stability?
The extra RAM of 64-bit systems increases stability when using enormous image maps.

On some low RAM systems, when you load a massive image map, Lightwave just freezes up. Basically crashes.

In theory, a 32-bit computer can address a maximum of 4 gigs of RAM, to be used for the OS and any apps that are running. In practice, many 32-bit apps are actually limited to 2 gigs of RAM.

Lightwave Layout, at least at the current version 7.5, is still a 32-bit app, and limited to 2 gigs of RAM on both Mac and Windows.

But don't forget Layout, Modeler and Hub are each separate applications, so the G5 still has more usable RAM than other systems, even when running old 32-bit apps.


Originally posted by js33
the PC side will always be cheaper and more bang for the buck.
Windows based systems are cheaper to purchase when using no-name generic components or build-your-own boxes.

When you compare big name brands to big name brands, they are very similar. The G5's competitor is the Xeon, and it compares very well in price with Xeon systems from major known brands.

js33
12-15-2003, 08:15 PM
Beam there's no sense in trying to sell him a Mac as he already owns one. :p

Cheers,
JS

maclamb
12-15-2003, 08:26 PM
true - I am sold on Mac - and prefer Mac to PC hands down (working at Apple and NeXT helps - I was "mac'ed" years ago).
And I do use a PB 867 for daily duties.
But, If I can get a DP Xeon or Opteron that is as fast as a Mac for less than half a new G5 - I have to consider it.
One person said that Xeon and Opteron were for today - Macs are for tomorrow. - nicely put, I thought.

New2Lw
12-15-2003, 08:37 PM
http://www.blanos.com/benchmark/index.html

As of now, I have the fastest single processor machine in the tracer radiosity section. I had gotten a faster render than that at a later time but I posted what I got a few min before. I had a 366 second render, Also, but I don't want to just keep posting.

I didn't see an G5's in that section but I did a render for textures (4.3 sec) and just a second ago one for Dof (8.8 seconds). The Dof field one I'm not going to post...Although, I bet I could get it faster if I had just did a reboot. Heh, I paused to do the Dof again and got 8.5 second render.

All I see are dual processor G5's and no singles. Is there such a thing as a single processor G5?

I'm not sure if I beat any G5's in the texture section but I do see I beat some in the Dof section. I'd like to see a couple single processor G5's in there to compare my machine to, then I'll know for sure.

Later,
Eric

[edit] looks as though there is no such thing as a G5 single processor machine.

[edit 2] I'll be damned in the tracer radiosity there is a G5 right under me, 10 seconds slower ;) And one way down the list too. But the profile says that was done at a store with lightwave set up...so considering the customers couldv'e done anything to that machine to make it "act up"...it may not be as reliable.

hrgiger
12-15-2003, 09:24 PM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
Windows based systems are cheaper to purchase when using no-name generic components or build-your-own boxes.

When you compare big name brands to big name brands, they are very similar. The G5's competitor is the Xeon, and it compares very well in price with Xeon systems from major known brands.

You mean a no-name generic name like a new Dell Pentium 4 2.53GHZ for $500?

js33
12-15-2003, 10:09 PM
Hehehehe. The Mac people are so used to always paying high prices that they don't realize how much the PC prices have come down.

Yep you could get 6 of those Dells for the price of 1 G5.

So your choice is a dual g5 for $3000 or 6 Dell P4 2.53 Ghz.

So you can get 4 Ghz on the Mac side and 15 Ghz on the PC side for the same price.

Cheers,
JS

maclamb
12-15-2003, 10:15 PM
you can say the same for dual Xeon or Opteron systems, no? Are 5 dell 2.46 systems better or 1 dP xeon/opteron for LW?

what about power, heat, maintenance, OS costs...Kbs, mice, (where to put them...)

js33
12-15-2003, 10:22 PM
Well I would probably opt for 2 dual Xeon machines and 1 single to get the same 5 processor config. But the Xeons aren't any faster than the same speed P4. It's just that the P4's are single processor only machines. You could get 2 dual machines and use the 2.4 Ghz machine you already have to make a nice render farm. You can also make models and scenes on your Mac and render them on the PC farm. If you had 3 PC's (2 dual and 1 single) you can get a KVM (Keyboard, video, mouse) switch to change between them and run them all from one monitor. If the PC's are just a render farm they won't need a dedicated monitor, keyboard or mouse.

Cheers,
JS

stib
12-15-2003, 11:25 PM
Useability is something to consider.

At my 9-5 work we use Mac & PC (dual 800ishMhz G4 with Aurora Igniter card & no-name 2.?Ghz P4, built by the boss who likes tinkering with PCs) for LW & After Effects etc, and just the Mac for editing. They both do the job pretty well. But I know which machine I'd rather be sitting in front of all day (hint: it's not the machine I use when I need the renders done faster).

Also, Final Cut Pro beats anything in its price range hands down. If you're planning on using your machine for editing, then that might tip the scales. It did for me for my home / freelance setup, but then I'm an editor who is in the process of becoming an animator: I still make most of my money cutting, and the thought of having to use premiere was just too grim.

At home if it weren't for FCP, I would have gone with a PC, just for price. Windoze annoys the crap out of me, but the cost of the hardware is low enough that I can grin and bear the flaky OS.

Now when will NT bring out a Linux version of modeler & layout, that's what I want to know..

Ade
12-16-2003, 01:27 AM
Xeon systems arent that cheap.
A G5 is very affordable.
Macs hold heir value by heaps and in 2-3 years u will get alot back.
PPC risc technology doesnt get as old as quick as cisc does, so it balances out, ask yourself how mantimes do u update your pc, its usually better to do it ever 3 years with a whole motherbboard and ram replacment.

DO NOT LISTEN to CaptainJERK he was banned twice for using a pirated version of Lightwave and constantly starting flame wars, we really dont even think he does any work, hes what u call a lurker.

Lightwolf
12-16-2003, 03:33 AM
...jumping in... ;)

Originally posted by Ade
PPC risc technology doesnt get as old as quick as cisc does, so it balances out, ask yourself how mantimes do u update your pc, its usually better to do it ever 3 years with a whole motherbboard and ram replacment.
I'll update my PC shortly, after 4 years of use (phew... can't wait :) ).
At least on the PC front you have more of an option to selectively upgrade.
As for PPC not getting old... what's the oldest machine the current OSX runs on?


DO NOT LISTEN to CaptainJERK he was banned twice for using a pirated version of Lightwave and constantly starting flame wars, we really dont even think he does any work, hes what u call a lurker.
I wonder if that counts as a personal attack too :rolleyes:

Maclamb: Make up your own mind...

However, you stated that you want an animation workstation, which to me implies a priority on interactive work in Layout. In that case I would recommend the fastest single processor machine you can afford (which currently is the P4 3.2), and a decent openGL graphics board (nVidia, 5700 or 5950... a 5700 should actually be sufficient for W).

a) Layout doesn't multithread when you work interactively
b) openGL is faster on a PC.
a) implies that you get more bang out of a single P4 than you'd get out of two, slower, duals (in this case).

It might actually be possible that a fast Athlon is just as good a choice, unfortunately there are no benchmarks for the interactive performance of LW.

Cheers,
Mike

Ade
12-16-2003, 04:19 AM
Lightwolf it is a well known fact captainKirk does nothing but start trouble.


I think the oldest PPC machine that runs OSX would be the 604e range. aka g2.,

My purpose was to illustrate the even balance of the two systems, one is soo cheap u never get your money back, the other is more expensive but have a far better resale value. It kinda evens out.

Lightwolf
12-16-2003, 04:26 AM
Originally posted by Ade
My purpose was to illustrate the even balance of the two systems, one is soo cheap u never get your money back, the other is more expensive but have a far better resale value. It kinda evens out.
It probably does. In our office, old machines never die, they just fade away ;)
(workstation -> server -> renderfarm -> cd/dvd burn station -> home pc (6 years later).
The last machine we actually sold was an Apple 9600 (I think...), last year, and we got 150,- Eur for it on e-bay ;) (I wonder how much I'd get for my 060 Amiga 4000 :p).

Cheers,
Mike

hrgiger
12-16-2003, 05:54 AM
I would rather get the 6 regular Pentium 4's then one G5 or Xeon.

I could have a render farm going on 5 machines while I'm still modeling and texturing on a single unoccupied machine.

Or have one rendering machine and a copy of Maya.

Or two Pentium 4's and a good used car.

Or two Pentium 4's and a damn good trip to Vegas.

All for the same price as one G5 machine.

Waste of money if you ask me. But that's just IMHO.

Lightwolf
12-16-2003, 06:11 AM
hrgiger,
even that depends on what you need it for.
If I run fairly expensive software that makes good use of dual processors, it makes sense to buy a Xeon (Digital Fusion for example, or hefty video editing tools).
Lightwave is another matter though, I wouldn't buy a dual for it either (unless LW8 is more multi-processors optimized).
Cheers,
Mike

Thalaxis
12-16-2003, 09:19 AM
Originally posted by Beamtracer

This is why people like MeniThings are making the switch from Windows to the Mac. It seems like it will be a long time before any Windows desktop machines will be 64-bit, due to OS delays.

Actually, there already is one. Now let's see if NewTek plans to
support it, or wait until the more popular AMD 64-bit desktop
solution joins the club and ignore the pricier Intel version.

Thalaxis
12-16-2003, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by hrgiger
I would rather get the 6 regular Pentium 4's then one G5 or Xeon.


I could have a render farm going on 5 machines while I'm still modeling and texturing on a single unoccupied machine.

Or have one rendering machine and a copy of Maya.

Or two Pentium 4's and a good used car.

Or two Pentium 4's and a damn good trip to Vegas.

All for the same price as one G5 machine.

Waste of money if you ask me. But that's just IMHO.

The option I'd take is to get a smaller number of P4's for the
renderfarm, and get an Athlon64 as a workstation, since the
Athlon64's have excellent graphics performance, and now that
AMD just launched a lower priced version, they just became a lot
more affordable, matched with Intel's mid-range options.

ngrava
12-16-2003, 01:15 PM
I'm sorry but I just have to add a little bit of crap to the heap of smelly redundant Mac vs. PC arguments. I use PC's and enjoy them just fine. Here are some things I thought of while reading this thread:

1.) Steve Jobs, the CEO of both Apple and Pixar, decided to move Pixar to PC's running Linux instead of Mac's. Why is that? Well, I'm sure there are several angles to it but I'll bet that the two biggest issues where cost and porting of existing software tools software.

2.) I personally think you should Stick with what you know best. I have a friend who switched to PC recently and is having a really difficult time getting used to it. I'm guessing that the reason you picked Mac in the first place is that there was something esthetically pleasing about them. Maybe you like 'the way they work' or some other non tangible source. When you boil it all down, people who like Macs, like them for reasons that PC guys just don't think about. To a PC guy it's usually all about the money and the MHz. Some of them may even be able to see that there is something about the Mac that's visually pleasing or comfortable but that this doesn't warrant a higher price. For Mac guys, it's difficult to explain without sounding silly or trite. My personal advice is to get the G5 and then get a few Dirt cheep PC's to supplement your rendering. If there is any kind of speed difference with PC's, that's really the main place you'll see it anyway.

3.) look around you... Everyone is expressing there personal opinions here. It's important that you realize that all these opinions don't mean squat when it comes down to your personal needs. Take a long hard look at what you really, really need. Some one once told me upon getting his first PC after using Amigas for so long, "PC's suck because I don't ever get to take those long render breaks that I used to. There just to fast!" Scoff if you want, but if you bought a Mac there's usually a quality of life issue somewhere in your personal needs list.

-=GB=-

archiea
12-16-2003, 03:03 PM
get the LW discovery edition. get the MAYA PLE. Install them on what you have now.....


then decide which software you want and get that first.. Run it on what you have now using all of the tutorials on the web...

In two months time, you may have some extra mondey in the bank, and more clarity on whats a better system for the long term.... PC or Mac... or what combination works best...

I beleive network rendering on the PC is easier for now, you may want to check that out....

stib
12-16-2003, 05:03 PM
I beleive network rendering on the PC is easier for now, you may want to check that out....

Network rendering on the PCs here gives me nuttin but grief. Ok, Ok, we're using Windows 98 so that's prolly the main cause of my woes right there.. But the macs all just play nicely as far as networking goes, they allus have, even back in system <9, now in OSX they play nicely with the X86 boxen too.

BTW Ade, "Lurker" is not a term of abuse, on the contrary, lurking is good: it means you listen quietly to the traffic on a forum instead of wading in and shooting your mouth off. Most forums would be better off if people lurked a bit more. captainKirk wouldn't annoy you if he just lurked all the time, now would he?

cresshead
12-16-2003, 05:12 PM
a quick question..
if i have both mac and pc's can i network rendet to both with one seat of lw and one usb dongle?

can mac and pc see each other and be happy rendering scenes together and will the renders look the same from frame to frame coming from pc and mac?...do they get the same numbers and colours when rendering out?

steve g

Aegis
12-16-2003, 05:29 PM
Yes, yes, yes, maybe and yes :)

1. You can network render with near unlimited nodes from a single seat of LightWave.

2. Networking a Mac and a PC for ScreamerNet use is a little tricker than sticking with a single platform 'cause of differences in networking and the fact that PC nodes need access to PC plugins and Mac nodes need the Mac ones - you'll need separate configs set up for the nodes so they can find the plugins they need.

3. For the most part it should work fine however there are differences in the way that some Mac and PC plugins calculate their frames.

4. Colour matching and frame numbers should be fine.

stib
12-16-2003, 05:40 PM
if i have both mac and pc's can i network rendet to both with one seat of lw and one usb dongle?

can mac and pc see each other and be happy rendering scenes together and will the renders look the same from frame to frame coming from pc and mac?...do they get the same numbers and colours when rendering out?


You can't have a network render going across platforms with the standard lw network render controller. There are apps that do it though I believe. Check out Amelie for one. But you can run the LWSN (LW Screamer Net renderer) from LW in discovery mode - without a dongle.

However my prefered render controller is TextEdit and Notepad. You can just control your LWSN nodes by editing the job files.

So at the end of a day in front of the mac I set up the render to go from frame 0->X on the mac and from frame X->0 on the PC and hopefully sometime in the night they'll meet.. and keep on rendering oblivious to the fact that they're wasting their time.. Except the PCs always crash, and the Mac is slow.. sigh.

I heard somewhere that because of the differences in floating point calculations and the super heterodyne modulus of the fring frang when carrying the two, that there can be differences in procedural textures rendered on an X86 machine and a mac. I've never seen it myself, but maybe it's not something you notice at video resolution. I've even had scenes wher every odd frame was a mac frame and every even was PC but haven't seen any artefacts.

One more fly in the cross platform render ointment (and this would be sooooo easy for NT to fix) is that in the scene file the path to your output file looks like this for a file saved on a mac

SaveRGBImagesPrefix Shiva:Users:Shared:Content:Renders:UK Office Fire:Office fire-

and the path has to be changed to look like this:
SaveRGBImagesPrefix Z:\Users\Shared\Content\Renders\UK Office Fire\Office fire-
where I've mapped the drive "shiva" on the mac to a network drive Z: on the PC

..or you won't save anything. For all the objects and images and stuff it uses relative path with a cross platform compatible notation, or you'd never be a ble to do it. It's just like they forgot to do this to the save path. NT people - you listening?

It's a hair pulling nightmare setting it all up, but once it's going it works fine.

JML
12-16-2003, 07:34 PM
ade and the others,
you can NOT compare the price between a G5 and a dual xeon ?!,
because the new dual xeon (3Ghz+) is like 2 times faster than a G5

but you CAN compare a G5 to a P4 3.2 ghz Exterme Edition (single) which are roughly about the same speed but the P4 being cheaper and tiny beat faster.
(if you don't believe me because I myself prefer PC, just look at macworld magazine)
(also, you can get VERY cheap dual xeon 3Ghz as renderBOXX (rack))

anyway, like i said, it's not about speed but what works best with your programs and which OS you prefer to use.

instead of putting all those threads in those kind of dumb
fights, you should put them in Tips&tricks or other usefull forums.