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jrapczak
Sep 20, 2003, 06:47 AM
Just got a new 1.8 ghz single proc G5 to test out at work... I work in Visual FX and have been on Linux and Winnt up until now. Currently I'm doing some wire and rig removal in Combustion on the PC and I've been eager to test everything out on the Mac before we buy a license. To my dismay the performance is HORRIBLE!! It can't even play 2K 10-bit Cineon files at 24 fps, something that my cheap 2.0 Ghz Athlon can do with ease. The best I can get it to go is 16 fps.

I really don't understand this... Combustion writes frames to RAM and then plays them back, why can't the G5 play them back in real time?? Can someone who knows or uses discreet Combustion on both a Mac and a PC enlighten me to the performance of this program?? I really hope this isn't representative of the overall performance of the G5. I mean, I realize that Combustion probably isn't optimized for the 64-bit processer... but right now the 2 Ghz Athlon is slamming this thing. I shudder to think how Maya is going to perform, but unfortunately Alias took down the PLE download from their website until they release version 5 of PLE...

... any thoughts?

mac15
Sep 20, 2003, 06:51 AM
I certainly don't hope you think on app running slow would turn you off looking into one. Where did you run it? Some people at apple stores install crap thats slow down the computer. Like Seti and so forth. Try it on another G5

jrapczak
Sep 20, 2003, 07:20 AM
Let me clarify "test" as meaning we bought one, and I installed Combustion right out of the box... so it is brand new.

The reason I am concerned is because Combustion is an application I use almost daily. If it is slow on the G5... well...

This thing is great for other stuff I know (DVD Studio Pro, FCP, and I'm sure Apple will have Shake running blazingly fast on it pretty soon), but if Maya is slow on this thing as well it means Macs are still no good for us!

I'm sure this has plenty to do with the software vendors, and that until software is optimized for the 64-bit processor a final judgement can't be passed. I just had hoped the new G5's would have held up to similarly-clocked Intel machines when running the software I use most.

P.S. I still want a PB for personal use, regardless. :)

synthetickittie
Sep 20, 2003, 08:06 AM
I have maya and Im on a 1.42 dual g4.. tell me exactly what to do for any test you want done and I'll gladly do it for you to see if somethings just wrong with the g5 you have or the mac is really as slow as you say.

Falleron
Sep 20, 2003, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by jrapczak
Just got a new 1.8 ghz single proc G5 to test out at work... I work in Visual FX and have been on Linux and Winnt up until now. Currently I'm doing some wire and rig removal in Combustion on the PC and I've been eager to test everything out on the Mac before we buy a license. To my dismay the performance is HORRIBLE!! It can't even play 2K 10-bit Cineon files at 24 fps, something that my cheap 2.0 Ghz Athlon can do with ease. The best I can get it to go is 16 fps.

I really don't understand this... Combustion writes frames to RAM and then plays them back, why can't the G5 play them back in real time?? Can someone who knows or uses discreet Combustion on both a Mac and a PC enlighten me to the performance of this program?? I really hope this isn't representative of the overall performance of the G5. I mean, I realize that Combustion probably isn't optimized for the 64-bit processer... but right now the 2 Ghz Athlon is slamming this thing. I shudder to think how Maya is going to perform, but unfortunately Alias took down the PLE download from their website until they release version 5 of PLE...

... any thoughts?
Must be something to do with the setup / installation. There may be a small compatibility issue with the G5. I think that we have seen enough independant benchmarks now showing that the G5 is very quick. Try looking for a software update. Or sending an email to the software developers to see what the score is.

jelloshotsrule
Sep 20, 2003, 09:38 AM
from what i've heard, even the early tests of maya (by alias) on the dual g5s were quite impressive....

as for combustion, not sure what to say.

jrapczak
Sep 20, 2003, 02:05 PM
I'd be interested in comparing benchmarks. I wish I could download Maya PLE for the Mac but I don't know when Alias is going to put the link back up on the site. It says "fall 2003", so whatever that means...

daijones
Sep 20, 2003, 02:22 PM
Apparently there's a system preference pane that moderates the machine's performance (energy saver I think). The machine comes a standard with processor slewing set to "Automatic" (proc slows down under light loads to save power/heat), some have reported useful speed improvements by changing it to "Highest" (max proc speed at all times). Could try that.

LimeLite
Sep 20, 2003, 02:32 PM
How much RAM do you have installed?

iJon
Sep 20, 2003, 02:43 PM
that energy saver stuff doesnt do anything, it has already been discussed here. combustion may not be optimized for the g5, go read there site and see if they have any comments.

iJon

jrapczak
Sep 20, 2003, 03:50 PM
You're probably right about the Combustion thing. I don't think it's optimized for macs very well at all. Maybe it will change with v3... but the thing that gets me is that it's having trouble playing frames loaded into RAM. There should be little-if-anything between the frames and displaying them to the screen.

twinturbo
Sep 21, 2003, 12:25 AM
download a verison of After Effects 6.0 (30-day tryout version), and see if that'll play back the files. I've used both on the Mac, and frankly, Combustion 2.x is a dog on the Mac. That's all suppose to change though with version 3.0, which will be released in early 2004. The discreet product manager himself said that the delayed release is due to discreet trying to milk every ounce of performance they can get from the G5. So I'm sorry it's not working to well right now, but there should be some nice new things in store for the future.

Also what type of video card are you using? There might be some conflicts between the video card and the software, since it's through the video card that the display is actually being refreshed.

jrapczak
Sep 21, 2003, 03:13 AM
It's got the GeForceFX 5200 or something. That's good to hear about Combustion 3. We bought this thing with a Pro card, so we'll probably take it back and get a Dual G4 for much cheaper and hold off on the G5 until Q1 2004 when there's more stuff out there that takes advantage of it.

neut
Sep 21, 2003, 11:46 AM
combustion 3 (http://maccentral.macworld.com/news/2003/09/09/combustion/index.php?redirect=1064137473000)

Schiffi
Sep 21, 2003, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by LimeLite
How much RAM do you have installed?

jrapczak
Sep 21, 2003, 04:54 PM
I have 512 RAM, which is not very much. But I still should be able to cache a short sequence of images and play them at real time. Combustion has a meter telling you how much ram you are using and how much is available, so I don't think this would have that much of an effect on the playback speed of a sequence that fits into ram.

BillClinton
Sep 21, 2003, 05:26 PM
How much ram do you have in the machine? I've got the 1.8 G5 aswell, and as soon as I put 2 Gigs of ram in it, the thing began to scream, hope this helps. One more thing, has anyone here ever had a kernal panic? I got my first one today when i woke the G5 up. Must have been angry. lol

MacRAND
Sep 21, 2003, 08:22 PM
jrapczak

Selection of a 1.8 GHz G5 with 512 RAM to run COMBUSTION 2.1 indicates several bottlenecks, and one big potential for future speed (64-bit):

$2,399.00
1.8GHz PowerPC G5
900MHz frontside bus
512MB DDR400 128-bit SDRAM 3200
Expandable to 8GB SDRAM
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra 64MB DDR video memory

Ignore the clock speed of your G5 for right now, whether 1.8 or 2.0. That's not your primary problem.

Combustion - ( ver. 2.1 )
• Superior performance with optimized rendering, multiprocessor support, extensive caching, and multiple viewports -- all with real time looped playback
• Support for Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop plug-ins
* Resolution-independent with 8-, 10-, 12-, 16- bit and float-bit/component image processing
System Requirements:
PowerPC G3 or G4 CPU, 266MHz or higher; Mac OS 9.x, Mac OS X 10.1 or
Mac OS X v10.2; QuickTime 4.0, 5.0 or 6.0;
2GB main hard drive with 120MB free space (70MB for the software, 45 MB for help);
256MB of RAM;
Video display card with 4MB of VRAM (1024 x 768 display with 24-bit color minimum required)

DUAL Processor: Combustion is designed for a multiprocessor.:) This points to maximization of the software on a Dual 2.0 G5, not a 1.8 or 1.6 single :(

SDRAM - OS X uses at least 128 MB of RAM
Combustion specifies 256MB of RAM. That leaves only 128MB left.
Suggest you accept advice of BillClinton and add at least 2 GB more RAM. Use 1 GB chips (512 minimum) two at a time and matching.
DDR RAM chip prices have come down dramatically in the last several months.
Word is that the G5 advertised limit of "Expandable to 8GB SDRAM" means "using 8 x 1GB Chips that are currently available". When 2GB Chips (not sets) become available, those who are hardware savy say the current G5 offering will max out at 16GB, and there are high-end users who will pull out their half and 1GB chips with glee while replacing them with new 2GB DDR400 3200, when economically feasible. :)
There is a theory that you can never have enough RAM. For high-end uses (and users like you) like yours, it may not be just a theory.

AltiVec Architecture - Combustion2 may or may not take advantage of AltiVec design, but there is hope that version 3 will.

64-Bit aware: probably the biggest speed enhancer would be if Combustion3 is designed for both 32 and 64-bit.

:)
For $600, you can significantly upgrade your G5 by returning the 1.8 single processor and getting the DUAL 2.0 G5
(BONUS: 10% faster clock speed and frontside bus);
uses same SDRAM chips,
but has a better (FASTER) video board.

Then upgrade SDRAM with Apple at:
(may NOT be add on - Apple may replace RAM already installed at this price)
2 x .512 GB for $250 (only $195 to $179 online )
2 x 1.000 GB for $1,050

$2,999.00
Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5
1GHz frontside bus
512MB DDR400 128-bit SDRAM 3200
Expandable to 8GB SDRAM
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 64MB DDR video memory

And YES, all of us will have to wait a little while for optimized software to catchup with this giant leap in hardware technology.:rolleyes:

MacRAND
Sep 21, 2003, 09:23 PM
Combustion 2.1 • Mac OSX

Video: 256 MB free RAM (min),
512 MB (recommended)

Film: 512 MB free RAM (min),
1 GB (recommended)

Not enough RAM in your G5 is most likely the biggest problem next to not having a dual chip G5.

Combustion 3 may well be a HUGE part of your ultimate work solution
http://www.discreet.com/products/combustion3/
:cool:

According to Discreet "combustion 3 offers the creative tools, speed and interactivity that professionals need and artists crave."

"The best part is the HUGE increase in SPEED. I'm a great fan of COMBUSTION 3" MARC M.

All this HOOPLA for a product that is not yet available to the public, nor are the specs. Another wait and see.

jrapczak, please let all of us know how you eventually solve your problem.
Hey, if you don't like your G5, anyone of us would love a GIFT...and be happy to pay the shipping.
Want my dual 1GHz in exchange? It's RAM is maxed out at 1.5GB

I'll trade a Dodge Neon for a Dodge Viper anyday!

MacRAND
Sep 21, 2003, 10:09 PM
BillClinton

Kernal Panics are scarry.

What did you do to solve it?

Everytime I load new software , and at least once a month, I use Disk Utility (Applications:Utilities) to run a Repair Disk Permissions under the First Aid tab (don't waste time on a "Verify Disk Permissions", just Repair it).

BTW Kudos to you, Schiffi and LimeLite on your more RAM recommendation, you were all right on target.

jrapczak, please don't think about going backwards to a G4, if you need a new Mac the real choice (as long as you have the coins) is G5 dual 2.0 GHz with lots of RAM... until they come out with something faster.

You are aware that Virginia Tech U. just bought 1,100 of them to construct a SuperComputer Cluster (think CRAY)?

http://www.cray.com/
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?threadid=38908&highlight=virginia+tech

More Photos at:
http://www.unit69.com/terascale/


I paid $3000 for my G4 Dual 1.0 GHz and I love it, but it can't begin to compare with the next generation G5.

solvs
Sep 21, 2003, 11:37 PM
Get more RAM and update the video card to the Radeon 9800 (the AGP 8x one), if you can. And upgrade to the new Combustion, version 3 (I think). If you can afford it, yeah go for the Dual 2 GHz machine. The 1.8 with 512 MB and a GF MX will be slow for what you do. After Effects, too.

scem0
Sep 22, 2003, 12:22 AM
Originally posted by solvs
Get more RAM and update the video card to the Radeon 9800 (the AGP 8x one), if you can. And upgrade to the new Combustion, version 3 (I think). If you can afford it, yeah go for the Dual 2 GHz machine. The 1.8 with 512 MB and a GF MX will be slow for what you do. After Effects, too.

you speak as though all those things are free.

Yes, a dual 2 GHz with a Radeon 9800 AGP 8x, tons of ram, etc etc etc will get the job done. But a PC that would do just as well would cost tons less.

scem0

Rezet
Sep 22, 2003, 01:11 AM
I don't know man. I'm on 1.8 G5 with ATi 9600 and this computer is blazingly fast. I didn't do any real testing. One thing i can say is that on WC III i set resolution to 1400x1200x32 with all details on highest and never got single shake during the game. I cant do much more testing for now since i dont have photoshop or any testing programs at this point. If you have suggestions, i'll see what i can do.

solvs
Sep 22, 2003, 01:45 AM
Originally posted by scem0
you speak as though all those things are free.

Yes, a dual 2 GHz with a Radeon 9800 AGP 8x, tons of ram, etc etc etc will get the job done. But a PC that would do just as well would cost tons less.

scem0

That's why I said "if you can afford it". Some things are faster on a PC, yes. Whether it would get the job done (and whether it would be THAT much cheaper for similar specs), or not... that's debatable.

And yes, I've edited on a PC. Ugh.

MacRAND
Sep 22, 2003, 01:51 AM
you speak as though all those things are free.
Yes, a dual 2 GHz with a Radeon 9800 AGP 8x, tons of ram, etc etc etc will get the job done. But a PC that would do just as well would cost tons less.

Oh, scem0!
Oh, scem0!

RAM is important regardless of the platform or the computer, but the PC platform requires about 40% more RAM and storage than a Mac because the SAME files and applications are much larger on a PC.

DDRAM400 PC-3200 is the same price whether Mac or PC, but he'll need more RAM for a PC than a Mac.

For a mere $600 increase over his "single 1.8 chip" investment, he gets a DUAL 2.0 GHz 64-bit G5 with a 10%+ increase in chip clock and bus speed INCLUDING the
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 64MB DDR video memory for FREE.

Regardless of the platform, he will still have to pay for combustion3, maybe more if he CROSSES platforms and doesn't get the benefit of an upgrade discount from 2.1.

As a business expense, it's a TAX write-off either way.

Why go PC and settle for 2nd best?
Does that mythical PC have FireWire800, iApps (iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iSync, iCal, etc.), Cocoa, AirPort Extreme, a SuperDrive, Optical Audio connections, Gig Ethernet, Bluetooth plug&play connectivity to phones, mice, keyboards, and other peripherals without additional drivers on a CD, etc. etc. etc.?
Can it run Final Cut Pro with the greatest of ease?

Shall he turn in his super cool Cinema Display for an ACER CRT? (Cheap! right?)

If you were a real MacUser, you would no more think of living outside of Jaguar or Panther cyberspace, or working on anything other than an IBM PPC G4 or G5 chip than... cheat on your wife.

So. Now we know! You have FEELINGS for MS INTEL. Cheater!!!

Such alien thoughts are rotten to the core.

Marked with the Scarlet Letter "A" ...for Apple, are you.

Henceforth, you are hereby and forever banished (unless repentent) from Apple Land and the Infinite Loop, cast out onto the crooked path through the very Gates of Intel, the windows of no soul.

Yes, settle for less. Turn in your monochrome Apple.
Lastly, your soubriquet shall henceforth be: XPscem0

So sayeth MacRAND,
the salubrious and
über Mac loyalist 1984
quoth the Panther "Never More".
:D

jrapczak
Sep 22, 2003, 02:44 AM
I have to say that as a personal computer and for certain tasks such as creating DVDs and editing Video, I would only choose a Mac. I love Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro, and I simply love the OS X gui and everything that goes with it.

HOWEVER

I have yet to find a Mac that runs the highend DCC apps I use on a daily basis as quickly as a PC. This includes Maya, After Effects (and now Combustion), and Shake (2.5 is still faster on Windows and Linux). And typically a high-end Mac costs much more than a high-end PC!

At the last studio I worked at we had several 1 ghz dual G4's. In most cases they weren't as fast as a single Athlon 2 ghz and were decidedly slower with all tasks next to the comparitavely-priced dual 3.06 ghz Xeons.

I really hope this will change with the G5, because I really am looking at this from the objective position that I want as much speed as possible. Working on 10- and 16-bit 2K images all day long is not fun when you're always sitting around waiting on things to update for those many tasks where you can't get by using lower resolution proxy images.

On the other hand, Combustion 3 is slated to come out many months after the PC version. The Mac doesn't have the workstation-class video cards (ATI FireGL, Nvidia Quadro) to compete with the PC when running Maya. So for now, we're going to go with Linux workstations for the real high-end stuff and for rendering, as we've observed many memory issues with Windows.

Thanks for the help, guys! We may upgrade to the dual 2 ghz G5 in a few weeks because we're confident that the Apple applications (DVDSP, FCP, Shake) will no-doubt run much faster on the G5 over the G4. Besides, this thing is just so darn cool and is so quiet!

jrapczak
Sep 22, 2003, 03:33 AM
I just tested Afer Effects 6 and it will play the frames at full-speed after it renders them to RAM. Weird. I guess Combustion is really just not made to run well on the Mac at this point.

MacRAND
Sep 22, 2003, 06:20 AM
jrapczak

Options for video cards at the Apple Store for a dual 2GHz G5 go beyond the Standard configuration of 64MB of DDR SDRAM in an ATI Radeon 9600 Pro.
$300 gets you an Advanced ATI Radeon 9800 Pro with a 128 MB DDR SDRAM frame buffer featuring both ADC and DVI ports.

In the software area, did you notice how quickly Adobe came out with a simple plug-in for Photoshop optimization on the new G5, and without having to wait for a whole new version? Some software upgrades may follow Adobe's path, while others will stutter step the update into their next version already scheduled for release - like combustion3.

The hardware pros tell me that there is plenty of un-tapped speed and capability already designed deep within the G5 chip - well beyond clock speed, 64-bit, AltiVec technology currently utilized by Apple engineers. It has to do with the way IBM designed the chip for mass broadband throughput for its servers.

Think of it this way - instead of 2 inch copper tubes these pathways are the size of vehicular tunnels with two lanes of traffic going in and out of the main chip simultaneously without ever having to resort to L1, L2 or L3 cache. Nothing slows these babies down.

Two things have to happen to tap this asset,
(1) redesign of the OS beyond Panther (word is - Apple is already working on it with IBM) and
(2) more complete implementation within each application designed for OS X running on a G5.

With the dramatic boost in G5 architectural design of bus speed, SDRAM DDR400 speed memory chips, fast PCI-X slots (old PCI boards won't work, so we have to wait until our favorite PCI board is "X" rated), and much faster ATI drives, fiber optic PCI board for RAID server connectivity, optical digital audio ports, and FireWire800 (USB 2.0, finally) Apple has removed a large number of self-limiting and previously self-defeating bottlenecks.

Never since the mid-1980's have I been so excited about an Apple platform technological evolution, except for the jump from Motorola 68040 chips into the PPC 601, then the shift from OS 9.2.2 into OS X. But Apple's combination of G5 with Panther OS X are really HUGE compared to any of these other changes.

I believe from what I've already seen and heard that an underlying burst of performance from the G5's existing chip design will be significantly greater than any 50% incremental clock speed increase to 2.8 or 3.0 GHz by the end of 2004. If so, there will be a relation back speedwise to all G5 chips simply through optimization of the G5 chips hardware design in updates and upgrades of the OS. Part of this comes from IBM assuring Apple several years ago that utilization of AltiVec technology in the future PPC chip we now know as the G5 was not really necessary because of the wealth of capability already designed into the chip. IBM reluctantly agreed to re-design their chip to include AltiVec for Apple even though they felt it was unncessary if Apple would only exploit existing capabilities. Apple's point was that AltiVec was already optimized in extant versions of software.

I predict that Apple engineers (soft & hard) will begin to pay increasingly greater attention to IBM over the next 14 months as the next PPC chip is developed. Has anyone ever wondered why IBM has been so seemingly unconcerned about clock speed while focusing more on throughput for their own servers?

Maybe success of the Virginia Tech NODE of 1,100 dual G5 PPC chips forming a cohesive supercomputer cluster will wake Apple up. They are NOT using OS X.

What does their new director, who used to run the U. of San Diego's supercomputer department, know about these IBM server chips - housed within a super quiet and super efficient cooling box - that Apple apparently does not understand? Are they listening to IBM better than Apple has while running their cluster using their own UNIX program?

My bet is that the cat will be out of the bag about the time Apple starts releasing Xserv units with dual G5 chips that are housed in much smaller size boxes than the current towers. Bet they sell like firecrackers just before the 4th of July.

But the real question is - how long will IBM sit on their hands watching the academic and business world put Apple G5 clusters together to make a single supercomputer at a very competitive market price without jumping into the very lucrative server market using their own PPC server chip coming out of their new 3-billion dollar state-of-the-art plant?

I'd give almost anything to be able to read Apple's 3, 5 and 10 year plan, and the same for IBM's.

Planning. Don't forget, IBM dumped their hard drive division because this current technology has nearly peaked out. Fast, large capacity CompactFlash type chips are the memory modules of the future. Fast and cheap is the key. They can already make large, but until 7,200 rpm Hard Drive 100 MBps fast, what's the point?

Keep watching Lexar Media, Inc.
http://www.lexarmedia.com/
4GB 40x Pro USB aware CompactFlash chip (40X=6.0MB/sec.)
cost $1,308 at
http://shop.macconnection.com/web/Shopping/SearchNav.htm?Platform=M

In about 1978, a 10" Winchester hard drive cost $15,000 for 15MB of memory; it was oh so slow, but super fast compared to the then state of the art 8" floppies.

That's $1,000 per 1-MB!

Today, we pay $1.00 per 1,000 MB for an 80GB 7,200 rpm 8.9ms Ultra ATA-100 with 8MB buffer. After mfg. rebate, 80 GB = $80 at Fry's Electronics come holiday sales.

25 years ago, I laughed at an IBM (3-piece) suit who tried to sell me one of their venerable punch card machines. Instead, I bought a SAVIN Wordmaster 900 memory typewriter using computer quality audio style (like music) cassettes and a tethered IBM Selectric for input (typing) and output (printing). One cassette = 20 typewritten (double spaced) pages - $10. You could have as many Memory Cassettes as you needed, or could afford.
It stopped for me to insert variables. I was in "computer" heaven.

Anyone want to guess how long before we can buy a
100GB CompactFlash card rated at 100 MBps transfer 10ns instant access for $100 from MacConnection?

JVC and Panasonic already have plans to put them in their HiDef video cameras instead of DV tape as soon as they are economically feasible. They patiently wait for memory chip techology to catch up.
That's going to be far better random access memory than a DVD-R type disc.
Transfer time - how long does it take you to remove a chip (or group of them) from a video camera and plug them into a Lexar Pro CompactFlash reader? No linear tape download time.
The camera already loaded the video onto memory using MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DV, or QuickTime 6, depending on the button the cameraman selected before "filming". No rendering or conversion necessary. Ready to edit.

Bet on Lexar and IBM already having a pretty good idea. If someone knows, please tell us. :p

neut
Sep 22, 2003, 10:21 AM
Originally posted by MacRAND
jrapczak
...blah, blah, blah... :p

wholly crap! lay off the speed, eh? ;)