Getting new workstation, DUAL XEON or DUAL G4?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by ctaborda, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2003
    #1
    Hi everyone this is really URGENT, please,
    listen I need a new machine for MAYA work and for all my work, like after effects, bryce, photoshop, illustrator and like alot of video editing too..

    (please note " its "NOT" for gaming, no games at all.)

    Well I can get a macintosh
    A DUAL 1.42ghz (2 meg of Kcache) and 2gb of RAM.
    (its got a dvd burner, a 128 meg video card (ati 9700), a 120 gigabyte hard drive)
    OR
    a

    DUAL XEON 2.66ghz (1meg of cache (both together)), and 1 gb of ram (regular 48x cdrom, 64meg video card)

    WHAT WOULD YOU GET AND WHY?

    Why MAC? Why Not PC?

    Why PC? WHY NOT MAC?!

    PLEASE!
    Thanks!
    Carlos.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    ibookin'

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #2
    For a workstation, you'll probably want a higher-end graphics card like an ATI Fire or similar, especially for 3D work.

    The PC will probably give you more bang for your buck, but the Mac you've spec'd has more RAM and more cache, so you may get better preformance from that. I'd suggest running your applications on both machines or comparing benchmarks to make your final decision.

    EDIT: Remembering video editing, keep in mind that the Mac will run Final Cut Pro or an Avid app (or Premiere, etc.), whereas the PC cannot run Final Cut Pro.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    3rd star to the right
    #3
    hate to say it, but go dual Xeon

    I just put together my own dual Xeon box for about $3000. 2x 2.6ghz, a killer $600 mobo with up to 12GB ddr/ram (I have 2gb installed, with a max of 4gb under XP), 2x 36gb 10k scsi drives, a 120gb ata drive, combo dvd-cdrw, 1394, and a (sweet) Quadro4 for $350. The mobo has 5.1 sound, gigabit ethernet, etc....

    It **completely dominates** the dual 1.2ghz PowerMac at work in AfterEffects, Maya, Combustion, etc... Get a the best video card you can afford if you are going to do any kind of 3d animation -- you will want the fluid freedom of motion -- 4x, 8x agp, 128mb. No pro 3d cards avail for the mac just yet, more aimed at 2d & gaming. Rendering times are at least 2wice as fast on the dual Xeon.

    I still love OSX and my (newly bastard step) mac-children (dual 500 G4, etc), and will add to the fam when dual 970's come out (in a laptop!?). I live my mac life on an iBook now.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    hugemullens

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    If you need it right away and can't wait for a 970, dual xeon all the way. I love my mac....but when time is money, a high end intel workstation wins.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    benixau

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #5
    :( :( :( :(
    get ................. the xeon and make sure you add a quadro or something in there - you'll need it.
    :( :( :( :(
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Freg3000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    Get the Xeon just because you wrote "MAC."

    I don't understand it, what ever gave people the idea that you wrote Mac all in caps?

    Besides that little point, get the Intel machine because, as others have already said, right now it beats the G4.
     
  7. macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #7
    im gonna say pc. with all the stuff you are doing the pc will beat the mac in probably every field, sad but true.

    iJon
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    FelixDerKater

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2002
    #8
    The dual Xeon system will leave the dual G4 in the dust.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2003
    #9
    but, even though if the G4 has 2meg of cache per processor?, while the XEON has 512k cache per processor?

    The cache is very important for speed and well everything..

    or not?

    Thanks!
     
  10. macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #10
    Go Mac

    Which platform are you on at the moment?

    That's some expensive software - and it would cost to swap over. If you're PC, then it might be most sensible to stay there for the time being.

    If you're Mac - then get the Mac, and sell/upgrade to the 970 when that comes out (could be a little as 3 months away). The Mac may be a little slower compared to the PC in the meantime, but you will regret leaving the platform later in the year when Apple becomes speed competitive (and a Dual 1.42G 'aint that slow!)

    Some of the tasks you're running are quite disk intensive. Throw a SCSI controller onto the Mac, and stripe onto a couple of 10000rpm SCSI disks, and you'll have pretty sweet performance - especially for the Photoshop/Video stuff.
     
  11. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #11
    Yeah, or just get the Xeon because the Mac is outclassed. ;)
     
  12. macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #12
    Definately get the mac

    I'm not too familiar with Maya - but I just checked out their web page.

    It seems that the new version can offload the rendering work on to your video card hardware for much quicker results - as long as you have a compatible video card. Of course the compute intensive work would then not be dependant on your platform choice.

    On the Mac, the only compatible video card for this is the GeForce 4 Ti

    "The new Maya hardware renderer enables you to generate images ... for broadcast quality final output... hardware rendering up to 20 times faster than software... full support for off-screen, background, batch rendering"

    http://www.aliaswavefront.com/en/products/maya/whatsnew/v5.0/pdf/newinmaya5.pdf

    So if this works for you, forget about the Intel and stay with Apple.
     
  13. Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #13
    most of us know the capabilities of the g4s, and they have a proven track record

    i am a pc tech and know the pc setups at the various colleges and many businesses

    i still have not seen a xeon machine so i have no reference point of comparison

    the jc here uses g4s, the 4 year college has g3s and p-IIIs, the 3 grad schools use p-III dells, and one school uses some sun machines with some very old chips in them...and the only local graphics house in town uses g3s and some 604e machines which are enough for the local ad accounts they get

    the only xeon machines i have seen are in catalogs targeted to k-12 (future graphics people) and some of the chips come with a lot a cache, dual or single chip format, and several gigs of ram but those machines cost in the 10s of thousands sometimes...but still greatly discounted for the k-12 market

    they better be good at that price and able to surpass the g4
     
  14. macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #14
    As one of the previous posters asked, what platform are you on right now? is all your software for the Mac? or Windows?
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    3rd star to the right
    #15
    Re: Definately get the mac

    I am familair with Maya. Go with the Xeons. You can get a faster system for the same money. I built a better system for $800 less than apple store's "Ultimate" config -- same ram, same ata hd, add 2x 10krpm scsi drives, better video card (dual head), only fw400 (gee). I could have added a superdrive and still come in under budget.

    Don't mean to start any fires... but,
    Did I mention twice the clock rate?
    And fairly rock-solid.

    The only thing that would hold me back on this decision would beif I already made a heavy investment in mac software.

    I love my macs, but anything but the simplest of tasks in Maya sucks on a mac.

    I think you can see the consensus on this, a mac, forum.
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #16
    -ctaborda

    About the video aspect:
    I'm a member of Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group, and we just had our meeting last night. Where we saw the upcoming FCP4 and DVD Studio Pro 2.

    It comes down to this: If you want to do video, real, broadcast quality stuff, do the Mac with FCP4 and DVDSP2. Avid can't touch them now.

    Absolutely stunning stuff, unreal.

    Another angle: if you want to match the performance and quality of FCP4 and DVDSP2 in the realm of WinTel, you'd be talking $15,000 for the edit suite plus $14,000 for the DVD suite.

    Not to mention the Text capabilties of FCP4. Used to be India Text, a $700 text suite all by itself.

    Then there's the incorporation of Logic audio controls for multitrack input.

    My advice on the original question: Get a couple of wintel nodes for rendering Maya and create a mini render farm.

    You don't need the full dual 1.4 G4 for the Video, but it helps.

    Mix them up, set up renders from the Mac and use it as the head of your studio, send them to your render farm, and edit with the Mac.

    They can share the RAID (Level 3 if you can)
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2003
    #17
    I would get the DUAL XEON if time is money for you.

    Don not get me wrong I love Mac. But when it comes to a DUAL XEON The G4 is just not as fast.

    Please when will we get new hardware from Apple.
    :confused:
     
  18. Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #18
    just out of curiosity, how many of you have used a dual xeon system?

    or

    how about a silicon graphics workstation, lower end one, like the 02?

    like i mentioned the most powerful computers in my area in schools or businesses are g4s or pentium 4s for single users doing graphics or business

    as for gaming, i have heard of some crazy-a$$ systems some gamers, with unlimited money, have built...even some gamers without unlimited money will forgoe food, hygiene, and dating life (if any) to scrape up at least five grand (many times much more) and build some crazy gaming machine

    i have a gaming friend who has a ten thousand dollar screen alone and one can literally get motion sickness using that system...it cost another few thousand to find the right brackets and wall to install the darn thing (there are also other extras since he has his cs degree and worked in the flat lcd screen and plasma screen industry in silicon valley)...his double inheritance also helped:p
     
  19. macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #19
    i think the extra 1ghz on each processor will gladly make up for the 2mb cache. oh yeah, did mention system bus.

    iJon
     
  20. Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #20
    where does it say the xeons have only 512k level 2 cache?
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    hugemullens

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #21
    I've used a xeon system for I-DEAS modeling at school. Amazing what it can do. Most of the computers are Suns, and they can't compare to what a dual xeon can do. I belive it was a dual 2 ghz, i honestly don't know though.
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    Bridgewater NJ
    #22
    If you can't wait for a PPC970 system, I'd recommend the dual xeon system, basicly, it leaves any Powermac in the dusts. This really isn't as bad as it seems, a dual 2.4 ghz Xeon system trounces fully equipped 3.06 ghz P4 desktops, in most of the programs aforementioned, we're talking a speed increase between 33% to 50%. A dual 2.66 ghz Xeon, with it's faster bus and clock, will be significantly faster.

    A dual 1.25 ghz powermac running Final Cut Pro is about even with a single 3.06 ghz P4 running AfterEffects and is easily outperformed by a single 3.06 ghz P4 system running Combustion. A dual 2.66 ghz Xeon running either AfterEffects or Combustion will leave both systems in the dust. Results of a dual 1.42 ghz powermac will be similar-there will be a significant performance gap between it and the Xeon system.

    Another problem is the video card. The GF4 or Radeon 9700 video card are already a full generation behind the ones found PC desktops, they just aren't going to match up very well with the professional video cards such as the Nvidia's Quadro 2000FX or the ATI's FireGl X1 used by PC workstations. The Quadro FX is based off the GeforceFX, already a generation ahead of the GF4, similarly, the FireGL X1 is based off the Radeon 9800. Beyond being already outclassed by professional video cards, the video cards being used by powermacs are also obsolete.

    I don't really think the current Powermacs are meant to be compared against full-fledged workstations, maybe when the PPC970 comes out but not now.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    #23
    hell...

    hell... I would go with a 2 x 2.8ghz xeon that came out... at ~450 a CPU you could build a sweeeeeet system for no more then 2600...
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #24
    -Cubeboy

    Interesting points, and I'm rarely one to argue, but you can quote all the specs you wish, it still dosent change the facts that a dual 1.4 is the best at professional postproduction price/performance wise.

    Caveat: "outperform" is a bit of a misnomer and I'm trying to understand how it applies to this. All but 12 effects in FCP4 render in real-time. (on a dual 1.4) How can you outperform real-time? Does a dual Xeon render before you even apply the effect? Are tachyons involved? :D (making jokes here, not a smack)

    Don't kill the messenger here, I've seen it myself, and am trying to understand your post.
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    Bridgewater NJ
    #25
    You see, that's the problem Patrick, I'm not so sure that a dual 1.4 offers the best price/performance. A dual 1.42 powermac costs anywhere between 2700 and 3800 dollars, FCP4 adds another $1000 or so to that so we're talking 3700 to 4800 dollars for the complete package. For around 2400 dollars, I can get a dual Xeon 2.4 ghz system with 512 mb Dual Channel PC266 DDR (532 mhz), ATI FireGL graphics card, and 36 GB Ultra320 SCSI hd. Combustion would cost an extra 1000 dollars so the total price we're paying is 3400 dollars. For 400 dollars more, you can get a dual 2.66 Xeon workstation. For 1400 dollars less (or 1000 dollars less for the dual 2.66 Xeon), I can buy a solid Xeon workstation that will leave the Powermac in the dusts in nearly every program.

    Also, 'outperform' applies to to wide variety of effects and source material, such as video files, Illustrator files and bitmap graphics used by testers to measure system performance in digital video. These things do take time to get done and some of them take alot of time. These files are also similar to those are commonly used by video editors so increased performance is clearly visible.

    Personally, I still prefer powermacs, Jaguar is unmatched and a powermac is more than fast enough for my needs. However, if your livelihood depends on your computer and workflow, and you can't wait for the PPC970, than I suggest you take a look at all your courses of action before you make your move.
     

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