Need encoding Powerhouse - Mac Pro or Hackintosh?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by EHUnlucky7x9@ao, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. EHUnlucky7x9@ao macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Ok... I need advice from the MR community today. I need a machine that can convert video files to h.264 as quick as possible. I have limited myself to these two:

    A mac pro (a quad 2.66 or quad 2.93)
    OR
    A Hackintosh (Core i7)


    I'm looking to mainly use the machine for encoding. I hate having my iMac here and when I try to use FFMPEGx + Handbrake + Toast running at the same time... my computer is like a SLUG!

    My concern is being able to save money the best I can.

    I want to know if a Core i7 hackintosh gets the job done quick and with minimal hassles.

    Anyone with suggestions?
     
  2. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #2
    Minimal hassles all depends on the hardware you choose. I'd go hackintosh, but be sure beyond the shadow of a doubt that your parts will work.
     
  3. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

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    #3
    Normally i'd say get the Mac Pro but looking at the prices and the Core i7 benchmarks i honestly have to say hackintosh this time. Apple fails again. If i were you i would wait 2 or 3 months before purchasing and building your hackintosh, Dual i7 socket motherboards for home desktops are on the horizon. (2 x i7's on one motherboard). That would be the ultimate encoding rig, oh yeah with water cooling obviously.
     
  4. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

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    #4
    Well a The Mac Pro would obviously be faster. So it really comes down to how much you are wanting to spend.
     
  5. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #5
    ???

    Most Mac Pros would not be faster than a well-built i7 rig.

    Overclocking, too, is good.
     
  6. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

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    #6
    Even though the Mac Pro has 8 cores?
     
  7. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #7
    Oh, are they all 8 cores now? Sorry, I'm an idiot.

    Although, an i7 Extreme OC'ed to past 4GHz would still beat an octo MP, probably.
     
  8. EHUnlucky7x9@ao thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I've seen comparisons of hackintoshes vs octocore MP's here on MR.

    Encoding of video files vary though. I just definitely want something faster than this iMac SR @ 2.4ghz... will it cut down the time significantly?

    I'm not sure if an i7 920 is going to have quick encodes though...I read something about OSX reading only 1 core on Hacks running with i7's. Is this true? Or does 10.5.6 see all available 4 cores on the i7's?

    I will definitely buy parts that are compatible. I'm looking at getting the 8800GT card from apple for the video stuff... i think encoding with handbrake is strictly processing power...

    and I double checked my finances.... looks like I can only afford the quad 2.93 Mac Pro...so i'll fix the first post...
     
  9. HyperSnake macrumors member

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    #9
    The new Mac Pros run two xeon i7s. To get that in a Hackintosh you'll have to wait a couple of months(Apple got the chips and mobo before everybody else).
     
  10. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

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    #10
    You dont always have to worry about getting hardware thats OS X compatible, theres easy ways around that, especially with graphics cards. Since you seem to know how to build your own rig, im fairly sure you'd be able to work out how to use any hardware you desire. As long as its Unix compatible its going to work with a hackintosh. You should search for Kalyway in Google :)
     
  11. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

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    #11
    As the above poster has said, the new Mac Pro already uses the Nehalem architecture, hence is a Core i7 rig. It is the first desktop to use Nehalem Xeon which are server class processors.

    It will obviously encode video very very quickly and will be fully compatible with Snow Leopard which will boost video encoding speed again I would postulate, who knows where you will be with Snow Leopard with a hackintosh, Im guessing its would be fine but its a risk I wouldn't take. The choice seems pretty obvious really.
     
  12. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Remember, nobody says you have to upgrade. So I guess if you want to look into the future, ask yourself which you feel would be faster: MacPro on snow leopard, or i7 hackintosh on 10.5.x?
     
  13. EHUnlucky7x9@ao thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Yeah... if i make a hackintosh... I'll just keep it the same all throughout its usage... once everything is fully functional... that's all I need.

    The only thing that concerns me is the price of these darn MP's.... I was hoping to pick up the 1999 base but they start at 2499 which is more than I expected.... and i'm not sure if the quad-core MP's have an empty second socket to add another xeon in the future...
     
  14. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #14
    Well, one thing about a custom Hac is that you can more or less choose EXACTLY what you want.
     
  15. EHUnlucky7x9@ao thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Yeah, but i don't understand what others mean when they say that the i7 shows as 1 core in OS X.... that doesn't sound like it would be faster than a C2D cpu.


    I want to buy one of the two tonight... either on Newegg or my local apple store
     
  16. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #16
    OS X x86 doesn't supposrt the Core i7 yet but obviously, since the MP's now have basically the same thing, 10.5.7 will support them and you'll be golden!
     
  17. EHUnlucky7x9@ao thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I'll have to wait for the X86 community to get a 10.5.7 distro out right? So using Leo4All or even XxX 10.5.6 Final won't guarantee faster encoding right?
     
  18. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

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    #18
    I have a distro installed on my i7 so it depends which distro and kext you choose to install.
     
  19. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    #19
    On The Mark: The Infamous Apple Gaping Lineup Hole

    Wow, too many good posts to quote!

    You all are talking about the sweet spot that Apple has totally been ignoring, the infamous APPLE GAPING LINEUP HOLE.

    I can't believe what a huge gap there is between the iMac and the MacPro. Although I love the Mini form factor the thought of buying an iMac or Mini repulses me. I would have buyer's remorse for sure. I'm not sure what chips they use for the iMac and Mini but I think the Mini's is a mobile chip; not even a full fledged desktop chip. Don't know about the iMac's chip but it's only a dual core so the point is useless anyway.

    A Hackintosh i7 would would shred the fastest iMac. Even a OC'ed core2quad can hold its own; 3.5 to 4 GHz on air.

    Has anyone heard anything lately about EFI-X? From what I heard they worked great and has had only some minor driver issues. The EFI-X U.S. site seems to have bailed but I think there are a couple other sites in the U.S. to buy from. The price is much higher now. It's good to see the demand so high; competition for Apple is a good thing.

    This crap about Apple sitting sitting on their arse and getting waaay behind in hardware tech so they can save a buck is supposed to be a thing of the past. Thought His Steveness would have learned his lesson on that. I love Apple but sometimes they really take advantage of their faithful user base.
     
  20. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #20
    Which one?
     
  21. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

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    #21
    The latest Kalyway release, which includes the 10.5.7 beta drivers.

    :) Works great.
     
  22. trip1ex macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Maybe you should try the H.264 Turbo?

    I haven't personally used it, but reports say it either makes the encode go faster (slower cpus) or at least unburdens the cpu from doing most of the processing. That way your iMac could encode and not turn into a slug. For $100ish it might be worth trying first.
     
  23. iMpathetic macrumors 68030

    iMpathetic

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    #23
    Sweet.

    D'you think it'd solve the problem of needing an IDE hard drive to boot on my Gigabyte X48T-DQ6?
     
  24. trule macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Your problem is that your iMac is slow, so do you really need a mac pro or similar for offloading encoding to solve that problem?

    A mini would do the job just as well, all you have to do is queue the work up for it and leave it running 24/7. Would save quite some money, you could even get a few and have a real dandy little encoding farm.
     
  25. trip1ex macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Hey that's a great idea too.
     

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