The Dual 2 GHZ looks great but what about the 1.6

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by codycartoon, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    #1
    The dual is always getting amazing reviews... but i really can't afford the extra $1000...

    How much slower is the 1.6?

    Will it be ok for a very ambitious filmmaker?

    I recently edited a five minute short(20 minutes logged footage) on my powermac g4 867... It was ok, but i know if i start to do longer(witch i will) then i will need quite a bit more power.

    thanks a bunch

    -cody
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    #2
    Re: The Dual 2 GHZ looks great but what about the 1.6

    According to the barefeats benchmarks, you're probably better off getting a dual G4 1.2 than the single G5 1.6.
    http://www.barefeats.com/g5.html
    Like with all benches, bring some salt along.

    The dual 1.2 G4 w/Superdrive, 160GB HDD, and 1GB ram is gonna run you $2300 at the apple store. The only drawback to the duallie is the ol' video card (Radeon 9000) is great, but not as great as the 9800.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2001
    #3
    your far better off finding a reasonably priced 2nd hand dualie at 1 ghz or above, then taking the money you have saved and investing it in camera equipment like a 3 chip camera, a light kit, lenses, filters, etc. As a hobby, a dual 2.0 just doesn't make fiscal sense, as the speed of a computer has no impact at all upon the quality of the shots made for your videos. I mean really, how important is it that you can render really fast when the footage doesn't even look that good to begin with?
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    Madrid (Spain)
    #4
    I think the g5 will get better benchmarks when the system and apps are better optimiced. If you don't want to find your self with an obsolete system in one or two years, then get a g5. Even if the 1.6 is now close to a dual 1.25 g4 in speed, the g5 will get faster soon.

    I wasn't sure if I should get the dual g5, but I decided to go for it. When Apple releases a 3ghz dual g5 and all of the pwermac line (except maybe for an entry level one) are on duals, a dual 2ghz will still be a hell of a machine. And besides, it can use twice the number of plugins in Logic Audio compared to the 1.8 :).
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    mymemory

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Location:
    Miami
    #5
    If I do not have the money to get a dual G5 I would get a dual G4 with the entire ram.

    I was reading an article that said that unless the software doesn't containg 64 bit words the 64 bit processor are useless.

    About doing video, I have a Powerbook G3 500 w/ 256MB ram. I was doing a clip in after effects fully loaded. The render for the 30 sec clip took me 1 hour and 20 minutes. I then took the same render and process it in a 12" Powerbook with 620Ram, it took 9 minutes!!!

    I think the speeds are ok, teh problem are not the render time that much any more, the problems are your way to work. Render will always take time, in a production render time sometimes take just 10% of uor time. Usually when you do rendering you go to eat something or start working in another computer, that is why I have 3 powerbooks.

    Your best bet is to have 2 computers later one, that is better than having just one with everything. Once you are rendering you can not work any more.
     
  6. macrumors regular

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    Madrid (Spain)
    #6
    But it's not just the 64 bit that matter. The g5 is a new processor that's very different to the g4. The system has not been fully optimiced, nor the applications. It's value will grow in a few months while the value of a g4 will go down...
     
  7. macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #7
    Actually when Panther comes out all modern systems will perform better. Even the G4s are showing a 25% or better overall system performance gain.

    The simple fact is a Dual processor system of reasonable speed will always beat a single processor machine when used in the real world not in benchmarks. In the real world most people especially artists are using more than one app at a time.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    Madrid (Spain)
    #8
    I guess you're right about the duals, but I still think the potential growth of a g5 machine is always going to be bigger than that of a g4, afterall it just came out and the g4 has been around for so long that I wonder how much more can you optimice for it.

    I guess time will tell...
     
  9. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
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    #9
    the quicksilver is a solid design i dont see why you dont just upgrade your cpu and anything else you need. i went from a 800 to a 1.4 and is very nice now.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Western Hemisphere
    #10
    TWO things here...

    1. Why do people say that the G5 "will get faster" if s/he buys it now? A 1.6 Ghz G5 will always be a 1.6 G5. MAYBE the apps he uses will be significantly optimized for the G5 in the coming years, but then again - maybe not. These are not things that you can safely assume.

    2. Why do you expect that Apple will go Dual across the line anytime soon? Based on what information? In recent history that has not been the case. They've had one top-end dual machine and singles all the way down.

    Furthermore, what does this have to do with his / her current problem?

    Budget is clearly an issue here and based on the best information available - a Dual G4 would both save money and provide better performance for the desired use.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    Madrid (Spain)
    #11
    I think it's safe to assume that the apps and most important, the system will be better optimiced for the g5 making the system "faster" in apperance. It's a new design, it seems logical, and it's too soon to judge it's full potential yet.

    The g5 is designed with a dual setup in mind. I guess eventually only the entry level will be single. This wouldn't be the first time all the Towers are duals except for the entry level one...

    That's three :)

    If he has to choose between a maxed g4 and a entry level g5, then it does have to do with it. My opinion is that a g5 is better in the long run.
    (even the 1.6)
     
  12. macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #12
    It appears there is always room for optimization. For example look at the new compiler that IBM just came out with for the PPC architecture. It was specifically for the G5 but it improves G4 performance as well.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    Madrid (Spain)
    #13
    I see... well, maybe i'm a bit too excited with the g5 :)
     
  14. macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #14
    I don't think it's possible to be too excited over the G5. Well maybe you could. In any case if the 970s development cycle goes smoothly it will be Apples savior. All in all it has created not only a light at the end of the tunnel but I think I hear the rumble of a freight train.

    For now though with this generation the Dual/G4s are still quite competitive. It's only certain tasks that the G5s excel greatly in and tasks that flood the FSB on the G4s. Also the MHz increase is the biggest difference. It's the MHz increase that is going to save Apple. That's what people are still comparing. Apple finally reached the 2GHz realm and if they can reach 3GHz before the Intel/AMD crowd hit 4GHz then we'll be very well off.
     
  15. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    Dec 21, 2002
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    #15
    unless you buy the top g5 you really should be thinking of making your machine a dual g4 or 1.4 single. then in a year or two get a polished g5 and panther to go with it. anyone who is going from a quicksilver or better to a single g5 is crazy because the performance you get with the high end g4 vs cost and you have to start over with memory /video card.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    #16
    Wow thanks everyone!

    After much pondering... i have decided to get the dual 2ghz G5.

    I can get that for under $2550(with out the super drive) with an educational discount.

    Although the G4 looks nice now... I am really looking for a system that will still be speedy for another 2-3 years (I will get a G5 powerbook when it comes time for college) and there is really no point in spending a $1000 less this year only to upgrade again next year. Not to mention if I decide to edit a feature, the G4 just won't cut it.

    I agree with that on some levels, but I already can borrow an XL-1 from my high school and the footage looks fine, if anything i will need money for basic production costs such as food for the actors, props, and sets.

    A $1000 is a lot more, but i think it is worth it. And not just for the short term, but long term.

    thanks so much everyone!

    -cody

    any recommend for a nice CRT or LCD monitor under $500?
     
  17. macrumors regular

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    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    Madrid (Spain)
    #17
    good choice :)
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    Location:
    Zurich, Switzerland
    #18
    I can't give any advice but I happened to play a bit with G5 1.6 running Panther pre-release in shop a yesterday for the first time.

    It was..so...well....fast, responsive, amazing! iMovie worked like a charme. I must say that I have a PM G4 400 and haven't worked on any other Mac whatsoever, so I can't compare with the dualies mentioned above. What I take from this is that I'll be happy with any of those machines.

    Next thing I got to find out is whether the new Powerbooks are fast and responsive enough for me and how much Panther contributes to the performance. In a few weeks I will know.
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    #19
    I agree, the OS still uses only 64 bit libraries and is not completely designed for the 64 bit architecture. Basically it's the same OS (what is the G5 os called anyway? just 10.2.7???) we run with a G4 but has a few internal optimizations to take advantage of the new architechture (such as the ability to address double the amount of ram). As Apple continues to develop the code and optimize it, there will still be increases in G4 and possibly G3 (at least the 750xx's) performance, but the increase in the G5's performance will be significantly improved over time whereas previous generations will only see minor changes....unless you count Apple giving us 10.2.8 as a downgrade...I never thought a 733 could outpace a 933, but what do I know..

    the G5 makes me horny.
    so does my bong :eek:
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, unfortunately.
    #20
    Make your decision for the right reasons.

    Hey Cody,
    Now, while I agree with your decision as per avoiding obsolescence, I feel I must tell you that I feel your video editing reasons are a little inaccurate. Granted, I am basing my opinion on only your two posts, but I have some experience in the area and I don't want you to make a mistake.
    Let me begin by covering a little about what I do. I am a Visual Effects Artist, Compositor and Supervisor in Los Angeles. I have worked on a fair share of music videos you've seen, no doubt, on MTV, M2 and CMT, depending on what you watch, as well as various commercials, programs and independant films. I have worked entirely on G4s for these projects.
    You say that there's no way for a G4 to handle a feature? Well, if you are shooting on dv, and editing on any platform, i.e., FCP, Premier, what have you, you aren't going to be rendering very much. DV is real time on even a TiBook 667 or above. Even when you get into colour-correction and effects, these are things that you do either first or last. The edit itself, if rendering is going to be a problem, is done at a lower res, generally, as an offline. This saves disk space. Potentially, you could, if you were in a crunch, edit a feature off an iPod in a severely compressed RToffline codec in FCP v3 or v4.
    The only things that the Dual 2.0Ghz G5 is going to really shine in over any recent G4, as per professional film-editing, is the compositing, CG and/or FX.
    Don't get me wrong, the G5 Dual is my next machine, in fact, I'm going to buy a few for my post facility. What I would warn about is thinking it alone is more important than having secondary storage devices for actually onlining your movie at full res and a quality monitor, so you have enough screen space to make editing efficient and high enough contrast to make sure your video looks its best. I would never ignore your monitor. You are entering a visual venue; your computers head is of paramount importance.
    Regardless of your decision, goodluck and keep up the hard work. Be the next big name.
    Zack:)
     
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    #21
    Re: Make your decision for the right reasons.

    Thanks Zack,

    The problem I have been having with my G4 is that it has been dropping frames, taking a long time to render, and the more footage i add the more laggy it gets.

    But i really see what you are saying about a nice monitor and another HD. And this has made me rethink the 2ghz...

    I will have about $3000 to spend on a system... How should I spend it?

    Thanks you so much Zack, i really appreciate it. What independent films have you worked on?

    -cody
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #22
    If I were you, I'd whip out that single 867MHz processor card and swap in either a single 1.4GHz (overclockable to at least 1.5GHz) for under $600 or a dual 1.2GHz for under $800. That will leave you over two grand to get a good video card (a Radeon 9800 for about $380), a fast RAID setup (a pair of 180Gig drives for under $400), and a pair of 17" LCDs for about $1000. I don't know the value of an Aurora PCI card in what you'll be doing, but you could easily fiddle with my numbers to fit one in your budget. It seems to me that you can build on what you've already got to end up with a kick-ass system. I know which setup I'd prefer.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, unfortunately.
    #23
    Extra, Extra...

    Hey Cody,
    Jamall doesn't have a bad point. For one thing, once you go to two monitors, you'll never go back. I use two 19" ViewSonic VX900 LCDs on my main Dual 1.25GHz and two 19" Mitsubishi Diamond Plus 91 CRTs for my Dual 450MHz. The Viewsonics are phenomenal, as LCDs go.

    You want to go for something with as high a contrast ratio as you can. They are 600:1, versus most cheapies that only go 250:1 through 400:1. Also, you have to watch resolutions. I run my 19inchers at 1280 by 1024. Although I find it still a little cramped in Final Cut, it's a whole lot better than a single 800 by 600 or 1024 by 768.

    You might consider a single if it has a high enough res. I recommend the ViewSonic VX2000 and the Formac Gallery 2010. They use the exact same LCD panel. They have a res of 1600 by 1200, which is great for FCP. It allows two 100% views in standard layout and ample room for everything else, like timeline, bin, 'n' stuff. Something I don't even have with my dual monitors. My next machine with have two of the VX2000s. The drawback is that they cost around $1000 each or more plus tax and shipping, depending on how hard you search. Pricewatch is a good place for the Viewsonic. Although, a plus for the Formacs is a USB connection, just like the Apple brand displays, and I believe they offer calibration tools for the most accurate colour.

    Jamall's second suggestion is even better than the first. The sluggishness you're finding with the edit is not due, hardly, at all too the speed of your chip. When you have a large edit with many cuts the computer has to jump around the disk to immediately present the next clip. This is deathly difficult for a single hard drive, let alone one attached via IDE, serial, USB or Firewire.

    What professional editors use are large arrays of SCSI drives. You generally need a drive set, array or RAID (Redundant Array of Independent/Inexpensive Drives) that can sustain at least a data rate of approximately twice the rate of the footage you're using. For instance, uncompressed footage at nearly 30MB/sec needs a partition capable of running at least 60MB/sec. I recently finished a music video with lots of effects in a limited time, so we had to edit at full res without smaller proxy footage. The captured clips where running off a little four IDE drive, 160GB, Medea RT RAID, a $1300 little black box. The drive set runs at around 65MB/sec, supposedly, but it was having severe playback issues when running the edit. Next time I will make sure to have storage running closer to 100MB/sec or faster, possibly four to eight 10k or 15k SCSI disks. Access time can be crucial too, but most modern drives are fairly efficient in that area. The biggest hidden expense here is a proper SCSI card. The Adaptec or Atto UW160s are upward of $300.

    You may actually be able to get by, for now, with a dual IDE card (Sonnet makes a good one), and a pair of Western Digital 7200RPM IDE drives. Get the ones with an 8MB cash, it'll help with lots of media stuff and aren't much more expensive. This will be a much cheaper solution, but considering DV is 5:1 compression, or 25Mbits/sec (5MBs/sec), you should get by okay. Especially if your cuts aren't crazy short for the entire film.

    I'm not sure the Aurora or Radeon are really all that necessary since you're not pushing OpenGL graphics or onlining uncompressed video. A bigger advantage, for DV, would be a nice DV bridge and a good composite monitor. The Hollywood Dazzle works acceptably for, I think, between $150 and $250, not sure. In addition, in place of an expensive broadcast monitor, a little 13" Sony Wega flat CRT TV from Best Buy, maybe $150 or so, is plenty for checking you colour for real. LCD computer monitors are crisp, bright and flicker-free, but they can be fairly inaccurate as far as hue and saturation. Even CRT computer monitors can be misleading. I've used the above setup quite successfully for some of the lower budget DV stuff and even some things higher end. Just don't think it's perfect.

    Altogether, a Viewsonic VX2000 or Formac 2010, a dual IDE card and drives, and a DV bridge and TV monitor, might run you around $2000 or so. That's a guess, I didn't run the math or check all the prices, so you'll have to weight those things yourself.

    I would hazard to say that all these things are equally as important to real editing as your machines clock speed, minus the rendering. Every true, high-end, editing package with include lots of screen space on one or two monitors, plenty of fast, fast storage and a monitor of some kind to see what everything is really going to look like. Not every system will have the latest, greatest processor.

    Another wise fellow here said something very true, render at night or while you're eating. We will always want faster machines to see the final results, but the biggest time savers are those that deal with interface. If you can't see enough of the timeline, have to watch the clips at sub-100% resolutions and you're dropping frames, how can you accurately edit anything without going mad? These are not generally things that the processor can do anything about.

    On the other hand, don't let me discourage you from getting a machine that will, of course, curb obsolescence. You can add to an existing computer, thus prolonging it's life somewhat, but eventually the software will require you to upgrade the whole bundle. In this way, a G5 is a very smart way to go. The nice part of upgrading the monitors, hard drives and getting a DV bridge is that they can be transferred to a G5 at a later date. Just attach the new monitor to the G5 you buy next year, throw in those drives with the Sonnet, so long as the cable can reach, connect the bridge and you'll be in business on the new machine.

    You'll have to make your own decision, of course, and by that, you'll be weighing what YOU find important to the way you work, but at least, I hope I gave you something to think about. I hate working on a slow computer when a faster one is available, but I couldn't work effectively without the "extras". If you had $5000 it wouldn't be an issue, right? Of course, you could always get the G5 now, and a big screen, and when a feature is in the sights, then you can get everything else.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    748s

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2001
    Location:
    Tiger Bay
    #24
    what are you cutting with? fcp? a g5 will render any composites a lot faster than an 867 g4 but if you are cutting with fcp4 a g5 will not make the edit faster. for cutting, (using fcp4), an 867 with maxed ram and a 160gb raid works for me, no dropped frames or lag even when cutting a 150 minute documentary from 12 hours of footage (dvc project). i might get a g5 next year. it will speed up livetype renders, mpeg2 encoding etc. the real speed for cutting comes from inside your own head. get fcp4, max ram and fast hdd's.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, unfortunately.
    #25
    Yup yup...

    Here's a good man. Mr. 748 speaks the truth. Well put.
     

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