Has SL Really Made a Difference?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dazloe, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. dazloe macrumors member

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    Sep 22, 2008
    #1
    Hey there friendly forum members, been glued to this forum to nearly a year (owned a Mac Pro myself, but sold to buy a laptop for portability reasons :)

    My question is: For ages and ages there was lots of hype about Snow Leopard and that it will dramatically increase the speed of the Nahalem Mac Pro's. Has this come to fruition? All the hype seemed to die down as soon as SL was released?

    I guess I'm asking this question because I'm in the market for a new pro and there's nothing better than to get other peoples opinions ;)

    Thanks, Daz.
     
  2. seisend macrumors 6502a

    seisend

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    #2
    Snow Leopard it self won't make any Mac much much faster. It's the new availabilty of technologys like GCD and OpenCL that allows developers developing better multicore based programms.

    http://www.apple.com/chde/macosx/technology/
     
  3. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #3
    Only that the apps aren't there and will not be there for some time.

    It is much like having XP Professional 64 and finding that you had no drivers for 90% of your gear. Its like sitting in a time machine going back 5 years to 2004. :D

    However you introduce Kernel64 it will allways bite you somehow. Apple is no exception to the hen and egg problem inherent in 64bit technology.

    The most annoying aspect of the hype is the lack of apps that use the existing H.264 capability of the modern graphics cards.
     
  4. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    #4
    +1, not yet with out any apps to take advantage of the "new" software...
     
  5. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #5
    Only for people not looking for them.
     
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #6
    I usually run VMware Fusion with my Bootcamp partition. I then connect to the drive again via SMB. Under OS X 10.5.x, trying to play videos on OS X from that drive would consistently stutter. Under Snow Leopard, it has been smooth.

    Also, Finder generally feels snappier with far fewer beachballs.
     
  7. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #7
    I like SL better. Speed-wise it very noticeably faster. Quick Look, Coverflow, and Icon view are all faster! Especially CoverFlow. There's lots of nice little surprises like Preview with image sequences, new behaviors in the Dock, right clicking seems to have changed for the better under many circumstances, and etc..

    There's some downsides. Like the version of Safari and QT that come with the default install are totally lame. About 5 or 6 of my 3rd party OS customization utilities don't work or had to be upgraded. There's a few other plusses and minuses but overall just a month or so after the version-oh release, it's very good and has indeed made a difference.




    .
     
  8. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68000

    AZREOSpecialist

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    #8
    I notice icon previews are faster, but other than that I haven't noticed any real performance increase over Leopard. I also wasn't expecting a big improvement either.
     
  9. -js- macrumors regular

    -js-

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    #9
    As mentioned, the beauty of SL is that it makes it a LOT easier for developers to take advantage of multiple cores and even the GPU(s). Check out the Ars Technica review of SL, especially the page where he talks about Queues and how with only two extra lines of code, programmers can split a query off from the main user-interactive thread, like they always SHOULD be doing when there is a chance that it might take any significant time, but which they generally do NOT DO if the chance that it will take any significant time is small (i.e. rare).

    It will take a year or two for this potential to start to turn into actual software, but once it does, you will see a HUGE difference between OS X software and Windows 7 software. SL has set the stage for Apple to really start kicking a**. Microsoft just doesn't know it yet.

    And, even now, I prefer SL to Leopard. It's not a huge difference, but it's faster in several key areas, in my experience. Mostly though, at this point, it's more potential waiting to be exploited, than actual. Just wait, though. Just wait. This was a very smart move on Apple's part. Very very smart. What they have accomplished is amazing--and people will realize it in a couple years.
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #10
    Hopefully :), but it assumes the software developers will/can make the necessary changes. I can't help but think in terms of single threaded software not being able to benefit much, if at all, and more importantly, if they have the resources to tackle it (especially the financial ones). :eek: :p
     
  11. Topper macrumors 65816

    Topper

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    #11
  12. -js- macrumors regular

    -js-

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    #12
    That's the point. SL and its implementation of queues make it very very easy to start down the proper path, with minimal resources needed. And, as the benefits become apparent (see the MacRumors news thread on this), more and more companies will see the financial benefit to rewriting their code base. It WILL take a while--no question--but it also WILL happen over time. There's no other way to keep things improving because the processing hardware gains are via multiple cores, not improvements on single core performance. It must happen, it will happen--the market will make it happen--it just won't happen overnight.
     
  13. -js- macrumors regular

    -js-

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    #13
    I read that same thing, and I didn't find it "depressing" at all. It's a change in progress, just as the change-over from OS 9 to OS X was. Just as there were "carbon" apps, same goes for QT. That's how Apple is handling the transition. Not depressing. Just annoying--part of how change happens.
     
  14. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #14
    Agreed - take it as a good thing that  is bothering with transitions such as these.

    I know a lot of people love backward compatibility and old hardware/software, but the PowerPC personal computer platform is dead (of the three companies working on it, only  still cared).

    Quicktime 7 and likewise all the other carbon code needs to be brought up to date with current tech and while it's a bit of a wait and a hassle in the meantime, in the end you will be glad you went through the transition. Same for 64-bit.

    The potential Snow Leopard exposes with its technologies has the possibility to make a lot of demanding software (Video editing, etc.) as much as 2-6 times faster when GCD, OpenCL, and 64-bit code are properly exploited.

    As someone who's spent his fair share of time waiting for renders, compression, transcoding and various other things, that time can't come soon enough. But even if Snow Leopard offered few tangible benefits now, the possibilities alone are worth it. The fact that it does offer some nice goodies now make this possibly the most value-laden OS upgrade we've ever gotten.
     
  15. -js- macrumors regular

    -js-

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    #15
    Couldn't agree more! Right on!
     
  16. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #16
    While I don't apply an emotional tag like "depressing" to it how is this not a bad thing? The old QT has complete editing functions. With the old QT I can clip, merge, change aspect ratios, color correct, add subtitles, alter playback speeds, convert compression formats, convert wrapper types, edit the sound track, replace the sound track, and apply a whole host of special effects to both sound and video. The new QT is pretty much playback only and NONE of the downfalls/bugs of the old QT have been addressed. Just like the 2009 hardware offerings the 2009 version of QT is a crippled and scaled down piece of crap.

    How is this "[just] part of how change happens" ?
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #17
    I understand what you're getting at, and agree with it for applications that will benefit from being multi-threaded.

    My point is that most software is single-threaded. Not because of lazyness, lack of bugets,..., but due to the fact there's no other way to write it. Data that results in sequential processes for example (output A needed for process B,.... until there's a final result). Anything that relies on human input is such a candidate as well (word processing for example). It waits on the user to feed data.
     
  18. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #18
    First of all, the basic Quicktime Player could only edit if you paid $30 to upgrade to "Pro" in the past or bought Final Cut, so it's not like this was the core of QT7 here.

    Second, you can install it (Pro version, no license needed!) when you install Snow Leopard, so you don't actually lose anything at all. I'm going to when I install SL.

    QTX is designed as a player app. What's more important here is that the core Quicktime framework is being redesigned, ground up, for OS X instead of continually having more crap tacked on, as the Ars article points out. Quicktime Player edits, but the editing is a bonus feature, not a part of its core functionality (media playback).

    The fact that you're bemoaning the "loss" of QT player's editing functions seems to point out that you don't understand what the point of QT player is. Editing is best left to editing apps, which  sells no less than three different levels of. And you can still edit in a limited fashion with QTX.

    But the QTX player is just the outward GUI manifestation of what's actually being done, the updating of the framework which has become old, bloated, and predicated upon assumptions made earlier in its development (Not unlike Mac OS 9 and Windows!).

    The new framework isn't anything special now, but it will enable Final Cut to become faster and more modern in time, as well as a new collection of plug-ins that enable more than the base player. Just as before. But it'll take time.

    That's how it's a transition.
     
  19. Topper macrumors 65816

    Topper

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    #19
    Therein lies the problem.

    From the Arstechnica article, "...by Mac OS X 10.8, QuickTime X will have complete video editing support."

    I expected OS X 10.6 to have QTX "complete video editing support."
    But I may have to wait until 10.8 to get what I already had with 10.5?
    I knew that most applications would not be ready to work optimally with SL, but I at least thought Apple would have their act together.
    For me QTX is a HUGE disappointment. Huge!
    .
     
  20. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #20
    Finder is MUCH faster for me.

    Also, even if it hasn't made a difference yet, it definitely will
     
  21. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #21
    Under the hood stuff that you won't notice.

    Besides the train wreck of problems I have with Snow Leopard, it just needs the hardware and software to back it up
     
  22. thermodynamic Suspended

    thermodynamic

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    #22
    Marginally, yes:

    1. Removing G5 code means fewer files. Fewer files means the OS has to cache less for its indexing services. This means RAM is freed up.
    2. They improved on the file system I/O drivers because load times for all my software skyrocketed. Adobe apps load 50% faster, easily. There's a HUGE difference.
    3. The enhancements to the UI save a couple of nanoseconds too... :)

    And that's on a 2.93GHz early-2009 iMac 24"...


    Like what was said, OpenCL and GCD are the key new features. OS X will run faster on multicore systems since it undoubtedly uses both APIs, but those APIs will REALLY speed things up as developers come to use them.
     
  23. thermodynamic Suspended

    thermodynamic

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    #23
    MS knows it. I went from Vista to Leopard (10.5.8) on hardware that is nowhere near as beefy (Vista = quad core Q9650 @3.6GHz (400MHz bus!), 8GB, velociraptor, GTX260 @GTX280 speed) and (Mac = 2.93GHz dual core E8xxx at 2.93GHz (266 bus), 4GB, a GTX120 (rebranded 9400) and the difference was instant and obvious.

    Especially when more companies really dig into OpenCL and GCD... MS is toast. Well, even toastier - their quality burnt up a loooooooooooooong time ago... like they really had any to begin with...
     
  24. -js- macrumors regular

    -js-

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    #24
    Yes, I know this, but that's not what a queue is about. Check out the Ars Technica review of 10.6. A queue is useful in cases where (among other things) you want to break something off from the main user interactive thread, but without creating a whole separate thread with all the problems that creates for the programmer. It's not the same thing as multi-threading, but it does allow for better utilization of CPU power. That's just one example. I can't explain it all that well, and I only know enough coding to get a feel for Apple's accomplishment here, but if you read the AT review, you can see how impressed he is with that accomplishment. And that's saying something.

    Use the old QT for now. It's a good thing because it WILL be a good thing. It's not depressing. It's part of how change happens because the new thing will not be up to speed in the beginning, will have bugs, will lack features, etc. This is EXACTLY how change happens. Most of the time anyway. But we suffer through this pain because of what it promises for the future.

    Just my take on things, T. No offense intended!
     
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #25
    I drew a line at the definititon of single/multi-threaded. I see queues differently, as they really are. That's priority scheduling to me, not creating a multi-threaded app from a single threaded app.
     

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