P4 or G5 - what is best for rendering?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by maclamb, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. maclamb macrumors 6502

    maclamb

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    #1
    I willshortly have enough $ to afford a Dual G5 2.0 machine (or better, if I wait till after MWSF). I currentyl 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 rednering. 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 willoutperformt he 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.
     
  2. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #2
    a 2.4 GHz P4 outperforming a dual 2 GHz G5? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH!!! Oooh, he's a funny one :D! I mean really, the 2.4 GHz is slower than the 3.0 GHz P4 (duh :p). The single 3 GHz P4 is slower than a dual 3.06 GHz Xeon. The dual 2 GHz G5 is reported to be about on par with the dual 3 GHz Xeon. And that HD is tiny! No wonder it's so cheap :rolleyes:
     
  3. macrumors12345 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Re: P4 or G5 - what is best for rendering?

    That configuration will perform very poorly compared to a Dual G5. At the Lightwave Benchmarks site, the Dual G5/2.0 performs equivalent to a 2400 to 3000 Mhz Dual Xeon, so it would take at least two of those 2400 Mhz Pentium 4 machines to equal a single Dual G5/2.0. The only exception is the tracer radiosity scene (for some reason the P4 does very well on that scene compared to both the G5 and the Athlon MP...the Dual G5/2.0 is "only" equal to a 2200 Mhz Xeon). Of course, all of this is with a version of Lightwave that has not yet been recompiled for the G5, so you should take into account that the G5 would have more headroom for future performance boosts as compared to the P4s.

    Two of those P4 machines would probably be equivalent to a Dual G5/1.8, so basically the equivalent Mac would cost you about $2250 (after subtracting Superdrive and modem). The two bargain basement P4s probably cost under $2000 combined (less than $1000 each), so they might still have a minor cost advantage. OTOH, the Mac will be a much better machine for everyday use, so if you are planning to use the machine for anything *besides* just rendering, I'd definitely go with that. It's also going to be more reliable than your local PC chopshop's generic home grown machine, if you compare about your machine actually working correctly.

    More importantly, I'd wait for Macworld SF and see what comes out then. It seems quite possible that you will be able to buy a Dual 2.2-2.4 Ghz machine for the $2250 price at that point, and maybe you can even get a Dual 2.0 Ghz G5 for under $1800 (if the rumor about the low end model moving to dual processors turns out to be correct)! That would certainly offer the best price to performance ratio of any of your options.
     
  4. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #4
    Oh, right, so for rendering, you need: flops flops and more flops and lots of fast RAM. Which one has more? Let's see, G5: up to 8GB of PC3200 (DDR400, http://www.xlr8yourmac.com says that 2GB is that magic number for the G5), and lots of flops. P4: up to 4GB of PC3200, flops: not as many. Sorry I can't get you solid number on the flops, but that's not really a number that's tossed around much. Intel made it all about the Pentiu-- erm, Hz.



    I am NOT Weird Al! I am NOT Weird Al!
     
  5. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #5
    a 2.4 Ghz P4? that's a consumer machine these days. It's no where *near* a dual G5. Of course, the guy is trying to sell you a computer... so what do you expect him to say.

    Now, I (of course) would say go mac, but you *could* go PC. But if you do, I'd be looking at a dual processor AMD machine, not a relatively slow, single processor P4!!!!
     
  6. maclamb thread starter macrumors 6502

    maclamb

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    #6
    actually , this sales person steered me away from AMD - dual AMD was my first choice.
    From reading your posts and ones from the newtek site as well as looking at benchmarks - I think I will stick with the Mac - As a reply pointed out - I *will* be using it as my main machine in addtion to rendering - and I would prefer a mac to a pc.

    thank you
     
  7. noel4r macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    this is a mac site, which do you think people here prefer?
     
  8. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #8
    The issue here is not mac vs. PC in general, but is specifically about the advice this one PC builder gave him about this one machine. As I said in my first post, maclamb can certainly go PC if he wants to (though it seems he prefers macs anyway), but even if he does, the PC recommended to him is not what should get!

    There are macs that are faster than a 2.4 Ghz P4, and there are PCs that are faster. Regardless of whether he goes PC or mac, that particular computer is just underpowered for his purposes.
     
  9. macrumors12345 macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Good choice, but I'd still wait until after MWSF to see if the G5 hardware gets an update. ;-)
     
  10. topicolo macrumors 68000

    topicolo

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    #10
    Well, if you can afford it, dual opterons or athlon 64 fx51s would be on par with the g5 if everything else is equal (ram, etc). Still, m$'s 64bit version of winXP really sucks right now.
     
  11. maclamb thread starter macrumors 6502

    maclamb

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    #11
    topicolo

    Yo hit it on the head.
    My goal is ot get the fastest, "best" 3d animation workstatiojn I can get - given I have the budget of around $2500 US.

    Given the budget - would a Opteron or High end(?) Pentium outperform the G5? Or is it a matter of degree? If we're talking difference of 5 - 15% then I would definately stay with Macs - I love the Mac platform.
    BUT, if some DP AMD or P4/Xeon at that prce point is going to kick the G5s butt, then I would choose the PC.
    HOWEVER, speed is not the only factor - stability plays a part too. I don't like XP and other posts here warn of its instability.
     
  12. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #12
    The Athlon 64 FX is on Par and faster than the G5, Dual Opterons would easily beat the G5 at any task (someone try and prove me wrong, Bahahaha,)

    If you can afford a Dual G5 2.0GHz, look into a Twin Optern 246/248 (2.0/2.2GHz,) with a Tyan Thunder K8W (S2885) motherboard, and a Radeon 9800XT/FireGL X2 graphic card. That will pump out more fames per second than anything else, also render like a demon.

    P4 2.4GHz, can be overclocked to ~3.3GHz:D :eek:
     
  13. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    #13
  14. agreenster macrumors 68000

    agreenster

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    #14
    Of course the guy steered you away from AMD. Many local computer stores have contracts and agreements to promote certain hardware, and I'm sure Intel is top o the list.

    At this point in the game, wait until MWSF before you make your decision, and I'm sure you'll be happy if you choose a G5.
     
  15. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #15
    he's got you there, manitoubalck. The dual opteron does do better at 3D, so that's something to consider for the buyer in this case. But the opteron certainly does not "easily beat the G5 at any task."

    If you can, wait for MWSF. It's really not much longer now. And then, if the new G5s are not going to be available for a long time, you'll at least know what your options are, and can at that point decide between waiting, getting an opteron, or getting a nicely discounted dual 2.0 Ghz G5.
     
  16. niter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Since you have the money to by an excellent system, whether it is Mac or PC, I would go with whichever software you will be using. Personally, I would go with the G5, but that is just the giddy side of me that covets one and loves Apple.

    I will suggest, if you do choose the PC route, that you get an Athlon. Several years ago when FH and I started building our own PC--before I switched to Apple--we switched over to Athlon and never looked back. I do not care what anybody says (and the Pentium vs. Athlon debate can get just as heated as having a PC vs. Apple if you get the right people), but Athlon puts out a far superior product at a cheaper price that Intel. My Athlon way out performed a P4 with a faster speed. Another point, which has nothing to do with performance but is a nice thought, is that AMD is nicer to their R&D teams than Intel is. When I was working for IBM I spoke to former AMD and Intel empolyees. The Intel ones had been miserable due to stress from pitting seperate groups against each other by assigning them the same project and having them compete against each other. Good concept for fast development, but bad for people working with their fellow employees (as everybody was the "competition").
     
  17. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #17
    The dual Opteron machine was better at 3D games and the Cinebench OpenGL Hardware test (that one by quite a bit). However, the G5 beat the Opteron by a fair margin in the After Effects 6 and Bryce render tests, and squeaked by on the Cinebench CPU render tests. I think those are much more important concerning rendering 3D scenes than the 3D games tests, which are almost biased, no matter how even the tester tries to make it, simply because the software was usually written for Windows first, then ported to the Mac.
     
  18. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #18
    What can I say, I'm a gamer. and FPS's are the only thing that matters.

    "The hard drives were different. The G5/2.0MP booted from a Hitachi 7K250 (8MB buffer) Serial ATA drive. The Opteron booted from a WD2000JB (8MB buffer) Parallel ATA-100 drive."

    While he then comments that that doesn't matter I'm still a sceptic. Since in many other benchmarks the Athlon 64 FX runs on par with the Dual 2.0GHz G5. Also I'm pretty sure no Dual Channel Memory MoBo's are offered at this time for the 2-way Opterons. This wasn't clarified so potentially the Opteron's were infomation starved buy half the memory bandwidth.

    I just want a conclucive benchmark. something as indepth as the P4EE vs Athlon 64 FX on www.tomshardware.com

    What was this thread on anyway:rolleyes:

    Anyway remember that both computers are not running at WOT (wide open Throttle) since both are only in 32-bit mode. Just this test seems fishy.
     
  19. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #19
    The funny thing is that the 2.4 GHz P4 that reseller was trying to sell you is even more underpowered than the Dell that my grandfather got to run AOL so he could send and receive email.

    If I had to go for a PC, I would only deal with AMD. In my experience, AMD machines are much better as far as price/performance. I'd look at either the new Athlon 64 or the G5, but I'd personally wait until next month and get the most Mactastic G5 you can by then for your price range. If you aren't into gaming and don't have any reason that you need to use Windows or a PC, then I don't see much reason to switch over to a PC for serious rendering when the G5 systems have proven to be serious beasts in that field.
     
  20. riwanami macrumors member

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    Tokyo, Japan
    #20
    About a year ago, I had a Pentium 4 2.0 Ghz Sony Vaio with 64MB VRAM, two 80GB 7200rpm hard drives with 1GB of RAM. I used mostly Adobe Premiere and Flash for video rendering. Then earlier this year, I got a Dual 1Ghz G4 with 64MB VRAM, 2GB RAM, and three 120GB 7200rpm hard disks, using Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro 3.

    I know this is video rendering and it's a little different from 3d rendering for CAD and 3d games, but rendering a video on the G4 was almost 10 times as fast as rendering the same video on the Pentium 4. It's possible that the amount of RAM had something to do with it, but regardless, I was amazed by the G4's performance.

    But I think the biggest selling point is stability. I've done a lot of video work on the G4, and the thing never crashed during rendering or any part of the video editing process. The Vaio just kept crashing and crashing, that I never really knew if my project would get completed... I've reinstalled XP on it so many times, that I've decided to use it as a backup machine in case the G4 ever failed.
     
  21. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #21
    Laptops are gennerally slower than tower machines. RAM is a big factor, Priemer is crap. use After Effects. I use that an Vegas 4.0.
     
  22. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #22
    Sony also makes VAIO desktops, too. I was under the impression that this was what he was referring to.
     
  23. riwanami macrumors member

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  24. Mav451 macrumors 68000

    Mav451

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    #24
    yep don't listen to that reseller...he's just a salesman doing his "job" =(

    The 2.4Ghz P4 is pretty old nowadays, being released over a year and a half ago. If you are even considering purchasing a p4 system, then the 3.0ghz 800fsb model is your choice--its price dropped considerably in attempt to steer sales from athlon64--it's only 268bucks!

    That reseller should be getting you to buy the 3.0ghz if he's evena decent salesman: "Higher numbers, higher performance" (lol)...

    anyway, you could either go single cpu, or even go xeon then, as the old xeons are under 200 bucks now. I would, however, consider the 2.6ghz xeon as that is around 244 bucks (2 cpus); that's gonna render a heck of a lot better than a single cpu setup (MP has its advantages) :)
     
  25. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #25
    Yeah, the point being, even going for a PC, you could do a lot better than that system he was trying to sell you. Not to mention, if you are going to do a lot of rendering, that HD is a joke.
     

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