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Exception
05-20-2005, 04:34 AM
Hello friends,

I do not want to start a war here, so I'll mind my words : )

Ive got several systems for arch. vis. for which i mostly use Lightwave, autocad and some other programs. I am truly getting sick of windows XP and anjoy working with Mac OSX a lot. I would very much like to have an apple to work on. I am moving to the US soon and can only take one notebook. It will either be a G4 1.63GHz or a P4 660. I am aware the P4 will probably render a bit faster due to floating point performance, but I am mostly curious about how Lightwave performs in general on a mac. Several years ago the mac version of LW was highly unstable and lots of postings proved that it was not at all production stable. I hope that's changed now. Also, how about plugins? Will all pc-based plugins work or should there be a special mac-version for each?

Some general information would be appreciated.

gjjackson
05-20-2005, 06:25 AM
Plugins for PC's are not the same as for Mac's. There are some developers unable to compile for Mac's. But it seems there are still many out there for Mac.

kiwi dave
05-20-2005, 06:38 AM
I have not worked on a pc, but the mac platform is very stable.

A lot of plugins for pc are also available for mac, but they usually tend to be released quite a while after the pc version is out, if ever.

But despite that, I do love the mac - let the war begin ;)

Exception
05-20-2005, 06:51 AM
The plugins I am considdering buying for the mac would be:

Fprime
HD Instance
Sasquatch
Archvision RPC

Furthermore I cannot live without MergeTrigons X and Vertibevel.

BeeVee
05-20-2005, 07:01 AM
I can tell you immediately Tom that Worley plug-ins exist for both platforms but HDInstance doesn't...

B

Captain Obvious
05-20-2005, 07:04 AM
Get the Mac. Any laptop will be slow when it comes to rendering, and if you really are sick of Windows, Mac OS X is a nice alternative. Sure, it is sometimes annoying to learn that almost all the cool plugins are Windows-only (Lscripts are cross-platform), but quite frankly, most plugins aren't all that useful anyway, especially not if you plan on using Fprime a lot. Oh, and most plugins that are available for the Mac, you don't need to buy a second time, I think. If you own Fprime, for example, you own it for both Windows and Mac. Plus, the PowerBook is bound to a) be a lot lighter than the P4 laptop, b) have a lot better battery time, and c) be a lot more quiet.

If you decide that plugins and render time is more important, get the Windows laptop. If not, get the Mac.

Exception
05-20-2005, 07:15 AM
Thanks Ben, thats good and nasty to know.

Captain: the machine itself is another issue. I am not interested in portability or batter time. It just has to be moveable. The pc laptop I have in mind blows any mac laptop away in performance, and most desktops anyway. it has the following specs:

1920x 1280 WUXGA screen
P4 660 3.6 Ghz
2GB DDR3 memory
PCI-Express Nvidia Go 6600 Ultra 256 MB
RAID SATA, 2x 80 GB Harddisks in stripe 0

I don't have any desktops even that can compete with that! No G4 can beat those specs, but hey, why would it try? The machine is large bulky and ugly and runs pretty hot.
But, frankly, working on Windows computers is making me tired.

Perhaps I'll take one of both, but then I'll need two licences of everything, and i'm not that rich right now.

Psycho Zo
05-20-2005, 07:19 AM
I use both a mac and a PC and I gotta say Lightwave's performance on both are pretty much the same. I just swap randomly between the two without preferance. As for plug-ins, I think the most important ones are available on both, it depends what you want though, I don't tend to use an abundance of plug-ins.

Lightwolf
05-20-2005, 07:22 AM
Another choice might be a P-M laptop of course. It gives you the performance of a P4, but the light weight and battery time of a powerbook.
...and it ain't that much slower than a P4, at the same clockspeed it even beats it (a 2 GHz P-M is roughly as fast as a 2.8 GHz P4 which in turn is roughly a 2GHz G5).
Cheers,
Mike

BeeVee
05-20-2005, 07:29 AM
And you shouldn't need two licences of everything. NewTek gives you a licence for each platform with a purchase as do Worley...

B

Captain Obvious
05-20-2005, 07:53 AM
Perhaps I'll take one of both, but then I'll need two licences of everything, and i'm not that rich right now.

And you shouldn't need two licences of everything. NewTek gives you a licence for each platform with a purchase as do Worley...
Exactly. You'll just have one dongle, and will only be able to use it one computer at a time, but you certainly do not need two licences. Most plugins (like Worley's) are tied to a specific Lightwave licence, and will also work with several computers.

Exception
05-20-2005, 09:53 AM
Another choice might be a P-M laptop of course. It gives you the performance of a P4, but the light weight and battery time of a powerbook.
...and it ain't that much slower than a P4, at the same clockspeed it even beats it (a 2 GHz P-M is roughly as fast as a 2.8 GHz P4 which in turn is roughly a 2GHz G5).
Cheers,
Mike

I investigated it pretty well. I had bought a 2.13 Ghz Dell XPS Gen 2. Turns out what you are saying is only true of integers, not floating point. floating point wise a Pentium-M is miserable. Therefore the Dell was sent back.
the dell is also horribly ugly. : )

Exception
05-20-2005, 09:54 AM
Exactly. You'll just have one dongle, and will only be able to use it one computer at a time, but you certainly do not need two licences. Most plugins (like Worley's) are tied to a specific Lightwave licence, and will also work with several computers.


Hmm, something to think about...
I'd severely miss hd instance though, but version 2.0 is underway as I understood so maybe he'll considder making it for the apple too.

Lightwolf
05-20-2005, 09:59 AM
I investigated it pretty well. I had bought a 2.13 Ghz Dell XPS Gen 2. Turns out what you are saying is only true of integers, not floating point. floating point wise a Pentium-M is miserable. Therefore the Dell was sent back.
the dell is also horribly ugly. : )
Probably, but compared to how long it runs... and compared to a G4 it shouldn't be too bad...
Another neat option might be a Turion64, but it might take yet another couple of weeks for them to be released...
Cheers,
Mike

mattclary
05-20-2005, 10:24 AM
...i mostly use Lightwave, autocad and some other programs.

If you still plan to run AutoCAD, you need to stick with a PC, don't you? Does Autodesk make a Mac version of AutoCAD?

toby
05-20-2005, 11:53 AM
They sure don't. Not for about ten years.

If it weren't for that, I'd say go ahead and switch. Lightwave is a little better on PC, but not better enough to use Windows if you prefer OSX. Workflow on PC is not as good and crashes are more common.

But on the other hand, it looks like 64 bit LW will be out for PC sooner than for the Mac, and if you're doing architecture it might be useful. But then you'd need a different machine...

JML
05-20-2005, 12:31 PM
If it weren't for that, I'd say go ahead and switch. Lightwave is a little better on PC, but not better enough to use Windows if you prefer OSX. Workflow on PC is not as good and crashes are more common.


once again toby, that's your personal taste , don't generalize.
you prefer mac workflow, I prefer pc workflow, both are just different taste.
crashes, if you use winXP, then you have a really crapy pc , and if your pc is crappy , it doesn't mean all PCs are as bad as yours.


I'm suprised nobody talked about openGL performace,
with big scene, openGL speed is crucial, and everybody know what are the performace are on pc or mac.
(and if you do architectural work, you probably will have big scenes)


Exception , HD instance is crucial, we use it daily here to clones hundreds of
trees, shrubs,buildings,etc.. could not do without it.
it's only for pc but hopefully it will be for osx soon,
we use both plateform here and we need to use this plugin on both platform.

we do 80% architectural work here, around 20 persons, osX and winXP workstations, renderboxxes on the renderfarm.

see what HD_instance can do in those stills, I don't remember how much polygons,
but each house and tree have a lot of polys, at the time, it could have only been rendered with a 64bit lightwave with lots of ram. which we didn't have , and still don't have.
(high polys house and tree were needed because we go close to them in some of the anims)
.

Exception
05-20-2005, 06:06 PM
Holy Lightwave cow!
That is one mother of a project!

Yes, im faced with something similar at the moment, but not so excessively much trees.

How did you deal with the rotation of the houses? I mean, you can't rotate points so how did you make sure each house faced the right direction in HD Instance?

JML
05-20-2005, 08:48 PM
we placed the houses with polygons, not points , and told hd_instance to 'follow' the direction of the polygon.
and also separated the polys and put them on 4 or 5 different layers with HDinstance to have more control on some of the houses...

the trees were very easy, just placing each dot in modeller with the site in foreground, somebody helped me placing all those points :)

toby
05-20-2005, 08:59 PM
once again toby, that's your personal taste , don't generalize.
you prefer mac workflow, I prefer pc workflow, both are just different taste.
crashes, if you use winXP, then you have a really crapy pc , and if your pc is crappy , it doesn't mean all PCs are as bad as yours.
.
I'm not really talking about my personnal taste, I've worked on a half-dozen PC's for the last 4 years solid, most of them professionally maintained, and I could never render in the background and keep working without aggravating system slowness, slower than my dual 450 G4, even the dual 3ghz with a Quadro. It may not aggravate you, but you still can't work as fast when rendering or doing two things at once.

Crashes are definitely more frequent on PCs in all of my experiences, they all had similar stability, and if you don't restart every day or two it gets worse and worse. How much experience do you have working on Macs?

Basically what I'm saying is that working in LW on PC is not much better or worse than working on a Mac such that you can decide based on your preference of operating systems.

Exception
05-20-2005, 09:16 PM
Ok, that is good to know.
HD Isntance is being ported to MAC. HD Pumpit is already ported and Graham is saying they've been working on a mac port for a while now.

Lightwolf
05-21-2005, 04:33 AM
... I've worked on a half-dozen PC's for the last 4 years solid, most of them professionally maintained, and I could never render in the background and keep working without aggravating system slowness, ...
Funny, I render in the background all the time (usually to work with DF interactively) and have never had that problem. And if it really gets on my nerves I can easily change the priority of the lightwave task in the task manager...

Cheers,
Mike - getting seriously OT now...

JML
05-21-2005, 05:03 AM
good to know Exception, some guys here will be happy to know that.




Crashes are definitely more frequent on PCs in all of my experiences, they all had similar stability, and if you don't restart every day or two it gets worse and worse. How much experience do you have working on Macs?.

I did not restart my winxp box at work for the last month, and when I did that, it was for the software update.

we actually have lots of macs here, lots of G4 and 3 G5, all linked to a xserve server. (don't get me started on our xserve server...sigh)
(pc workstation and renderboxxes with winserver too,etc..)
I would say working daily on os9 and osX for about 5 years now ,
of course, a lot more on pc.



Basically what I'm saying is that working in LW on PC is not much better or worse than working on a Mac such that you can decide based on your preference of operating systems.

lightwave run fine on both platform , the only big thing I would say was the openGL.
openGL is fine on both but like I said on big projects, you see a huge difference in display time.