Getting Ready For a Big Purchase...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by iGary, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #1
    I wanted to get some advice from the fine folks here at this here forum.

    For the next 18 months (hopefully) I'm going to be in charge of a large scale photography project for a client that will be sending me hundreds of 8- to 10-megapixel images a day for post processing, cataloging, organizing and filing.

    This is the config I plan on ordering, but adding another 250GB drive and 4GB of RAM:

    • Dual 2.3GHz PowerPC G5
    • 512MB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200) - 2x256
    • 250GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
    • ATI Radeon 9650 w/256MB DDR SDRAM
    • Apple Cinema Display (20" flat panel)
    • Apple Cinema Display (20" flat panel)
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • 16x SuperDrive double-layer (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    • Bluetooth Module + Apple Wireless Keyboard & Mouse - U.S. English
    • Mac OS X - U.S. English
    • AppleCare Protection Plan for Power Mac (w/ or w/o Display)

    Here's what is important to me:

    I want to be able to open 30-40 images at a time very quickly in PhotoShop.

    I plan on putting 4 GB of Crucial Ram into this machine, so I assume that RAM is more a function of opening these images quickly than processor speed, correct? Or should I pay the extra 500.00 for the 2.7 (i.e. will that processor speed make that much of a difference in opening large lots of images).

    I want to run batch actions (filters, Fred Miranda actions, unsharp mask) with good speed. This, I know, is a processor function. My question is for the amount of images I will deal with on a daily basis, is 2.3 enough, or should I, again, look toward the 2.7?

    I'll be running Extensis Portfolio to a 1 terabyte Lacie external, I would assume that the 2.3 would run Portfolio fine.

    Last question - two 20" ACD's or one 23"? I need to have several images open and moving around - I assume I get more bang for my buck with the 20" ACD's.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #2
    Anything for iGary!

    I just wanted to point out that you had Bluetooth twice and your keyboard was Western Spanish

    I just wanted to point that out, as I can't really help any of your other questions.
     
  3. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #3
    I suspect that 2.3 is "enough", but as (I think) Scott Kelby once said, no one has ever sat in front of their computer a year down the road and thought to themselves, "Man, I sure wish I had bought that slower machine."

    If you have the financial flexibility to get the 2.7, I'd have to recommend that.

    My guess is that you might be disappointed with 2x20" not only because the 20" is lower resolution (not HD), but also because a greater portion of your screen real estate will be what I call "edge space" -- square inches that are so close to the screen edge that working there isn't visually comfortable. The 23" is rather spacious and I think has about the same amount of space that I would consider "usable, mid-screen" space.

    On this one, I'd recommend seeing it in person. (Just stay away from the 30" while you're shopping -- the siren song of that canvas has drawn many a credit card to its death!)

    Good luck!
     
  4. Hattig macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    I imagine your bottleneck will be the hard drive.

    a 10MP image is around 40MB of data (32-bit, or 80MB if Photoshop works with 64-bit image data internally - never mind things like Undo!). Even with a fast drive it would take 1s per image to load, never mind any other processing that Photoshop would do before presenting it to you to work with. Dual 2.3GHz will be enough I'm sure, lots of memory is a good thing to have - 20 images in memory is 1.6GB! 20 images with 2 levels of undo .... you get the idea.

    I can't help thinking that over time you'd want to move to an Automator + CoreImage (when Photoshop supports it) filter-based system. Then simply get the latest images, select them all and run them through the script.
     
  5. shadowmoses macrumors 68000

    shadowmoses

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #5
    Get some raptor Hard drive's for maximum performance...

    ShadOW
     
  6. weg macrumors 6502a

    weg

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    nj
    #6
    I did. I do. Each time the fan of my 1.5Ghz 12" Powerbook starts roaring, I yearn for my 12" 1.33Ghz PB which was stolen :(
     
  7. osiris315 macrumors member

    osiris315

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Valencia, Spain
    #7
    I agree with idea_hamster that on the speed issue. With that amount of money being spent, the 2.7 may be a better option.

    WRT AppleCare, i read on another thread that you can purchase it up until the last day of the 1st year of purchase. At least that will save some costs up front. (I plan to buy AppleCare for my new D2.3 in 11 months time.)

    That way you can go for that 30" ACD!!!! Go on! You KNOW you want to! :p
     
  8. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #8
    Actually, I think you wish you had bought a cooler machine -- not a slower one!

    If noise is a big consideration, then iGary should certainly keep that in mind. I did a big video project on a friend's 2x2.5 and the noise didn't particularly bother me. What did get to me was the actual heat -- his computer alcove got insufferably hot and there was nothing to be done except stop for the day.

    You're right that heat and noise have become siginifcant issues for consumer computers as processors have advanced. People who are sensitive to these factors must keep them in mind.
     
  9. mmoin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    #9
    I urge you to consider the Dell 2005FPW. The current discount has it only about $436. I just got mine yesterday- it's a fantastic monitor and is quite comparable to the Apple 20".
     
  10. mcpix macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    #10
    Being a photolab guy myself, I'm curious what type of project this is?
     
  11. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #11
  12. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #12
    I'm kind of under a Non Disclosure Agreement, but I can say it is a worldwide aerial photography project.
     
  13. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #13
    Yeah, I'll have to look at the 23" at the store.

    I actually plan on buying the display(s) at the store so I can have them plug them in at the Genius bar and I can check for dead pixels.

    Thanks for the Barefeats info - it looks like the 2.3 will be speedy enough, 5 seconds here and there does add up, though, expeciall when youre talking hundreds of images... :eek:
     
  14. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #14
    I always goof that up when I do the configuration. I'll be careful when I order!

    I'm going to order the unit from Apple and get the display(s) at the Clarendon Apple Store.

    Just waiting on a contract and retainer. *fingers crossed* :eek:
     
  15. realityisterror macrumors 65816

    realityisterror

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    Snellville, GA
    #15
    I think you should be fairly happy with 2x20" and in reality that'll give you more screen real estate than a single 23" (which I'm sure you know)... But with images that big, perhaps you want to take some images of that size into an Apple Store and see if you're comfortable with the amount of resizing that has to take place for you to see the images...

    Any way, you should be happy with the G5 :D

    reality
     
  16. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #16
    As others have mentioned, hard disk performance is an issue. Since you seem to have money to burn ( ;) ), you might consider getting two fast external Firewire drives, and setting up a striped RAID. That should make a significant difference in load times.
     
  17. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #17
    Yeah, I have a learning curve as far as RAIDS go..I planned on researching that tonight.

    I don't have money to burn, really, but this is going to be the last machine I buy for a good 4 years. I don't want to get a year down the line and be bitching about speed. It's also a matter of efficiency for my client. I need to have a fast and efficient workflow so I can deliver things quickly.

    Believe me, I'm going to need a Xanax when I hit the order button. This is a lot of money to me, and I'm not overly wealthy. ;)
     
  18. realityisterror macrumors 65816

    realityisterror

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Location:
    Snellville, GA
    #18
    If only there were such a thing
    :p ;)

    reality
     
  19. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #19
    LOL

    I'd like to know what it's like, though. :D
     
  20. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
  21. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    #21
    I think this Barefeats article says a lot about the hard drive issue. Check out the Quickbench scores for FW800.

    You mentioned using a LaCie 1TB external which I will assume will be running through FW800. I would recommend for you to check out one of those Western Digital 10,000 rpm drives because I have seen amazing results from them. I am no expert on the exact setup and configuration of them, however (as in which to make boot and which to be storage), but from watching Macs equipped with 10,000 rpm hard drives I notice a big difference in loading times.

    I've seen DP G5s cruise through the actions you are speaking of, particularly when they have gobs of memory at hand. So the rendering and filtering results should be pleasant. But, the whole hard drive speed issue will be a primary concern. My personal experience with DP G5s has been limited to HD video editing, but watching the dual processors churn through actions is always a few seconds of bliss.
     
  22. bodeh6 macrumors 6502a

    bodeh6

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    #22
    Why don't you opt for the ATI Radeon X850 XT?
     
  23. iGary thread starter Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #23
    No use for a $400.00 vid card...

    I'll have a look at the Raptor drives. Maybe put one of those on the bottom to work off of when doing work, and use the FW800 on the 1TB Lacie for the majority of storage.

    Is it just me, or are the Raptor drives maxed out at 75GB?
     
  24. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #24
    I'm not too much of an expert myself.

    If you have two identical drives (I think they have to be identical for striping), you can use Disk Utility to set up a striped RAID across them. Basically the OS will use two hard drives to store your data, with half of each file being stored on each disk. It appears on your desktop as one volume; but will be twice as fast since it's reading/writing from/to two drives thus twice the read/write speed.

    Of course, if either of the drives fails, you lose everything, so you'll still need a good backup scheme. I presume it's possible to use more than two drives as well, but I've only ever used a two-drive RAID. I'm not certain if you can boot off a striped volume, if not, you'd need to keep your internal drive for that purpose.
     
  25. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #25
    Another thing that you might want to consider is that the Dual 2.3 is air cooled. If noise is an issue, you might want to bump up to the liquid cooled 2.5 GHz version.
     

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