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  #1  
Old January 11th, 2008, 03:18 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default Start Your Engines: All 8 of them! The New Mac

Apple has today introduced it's latest and most powerful beast sporting 8 processors: 4 dual cores Specs here.




Inside the new Mac Pro is the latest technology from Intel: Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Harpertown” processors. These processors run at blazingly fast speeds up to 3.2GHz. Based on the new 45-nm Intel Core microarchitecture, they deliver amazing performance but still maintain outstanding energy efficiency.

With 4GB Ram, (this can take 32 GB RAM) it goes 1.9 x as fast as the previous flagship in Apple's Photoshop CS3 tests. A speed bump of x1.9 does not seem all that much but, if it applies to 8 hours of PS work, I'd imagine it might save 10% of actual time. So that would be 1 hr and 20 minutes! Your guess? At what increment is it worthwhile upgrading? I guess that if a faster machine will save one from hiring an extra person or allow one to not pay overtime, meet a deadline or just say hello to your loved ones, it might just be worth it!




One can really spend one's inheritance if one adds 300GB Serial Attached SCSI 3Gb/s, 15,000 rpm, 16MB cache4 or even 4 of them! So probably with optimization of image access, one could run CS3 even faster. For Aperture, which is Graphics card dependent, one might benefit from the faster Graphics cards.

  1. ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT (Standard)
    For excellent all-around performance in creative and productivity applications, choose one or more ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT cards. This card features a 256MB GDDR3 frame buffer, PCI Express 2.0 interface, and two dual-link DVI ports. With up to four ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics cards installed, a Mac Pro can support up to 8 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Displays. We'd need to have someone actually test this! Just because they can do 3D graphics and run 4 monitors doesn't mean they will process 1000 images faster.

  2. NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT ($200 Option)
    For even greater graphics performance, choose the latest-generation NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT with 512MB of GDDR3 video memory. With a unified shader core and massive memory bandwidth, the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT brings advanced performance to graphics-intensive applications like motion graphics, 3D modeling, rendering and animation. Featuring a PCI Express 2.0 interface for high bandwidth connection to the Mac Pro and two dual-link DVI ports for connecting up to two 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Displays.

  3. NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 (just another $2850)
    Featuring a massive 1.5GB frame buffer of GDDR3 memory, the NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 is the ultimate workstation-level graphics card. It’s ideal for industrial-strength 3D design work, modeling, animation, and stereo 3D visualization. One of the most advanced graphics cards available, it has an integrated stereo 3D port, so you can use stereo goggles for stereo-in-a-window visualization applications. With two dual-link DVI ports, you can connect two 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Displays.

Anyway, I love Macs, that is when I don't hate them, which is the current cycle I'm riding right now! That's a bad start for 2008. All resolutions of thrift may go out the window! You can buy one to your own customized to taste and your own line of credit here .

Who's going to be the first to get one up and running: give us a report!

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; January 11th, 2008 at 03:55 AM.
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  #2  
Old January 13th, 2008, 04:32 PM
leonardobarreto.com leonardobarreto.com is offline
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Asher, Is this the room to get group therapy for our Macadict use condition? I am window shopping for a new Mac Pro, I think that the speed gain in my case will be bigger than that 10% since I am working on a G4 Tower quick silver door 1.2Ghz dual processor PowerPC. As you know I maxed up my CC one year ago to get the Phase One digital back. In retrospective it was a good decision to do so because now my business is starting to get interesting and the clients love the unequivocal quality of the files, and with galleries the good thing is that they have work every month.

Anyway, now it is getting time to shop for a Mac. First of all, thanks Darwin that I did not buy until now since I would have lost the equivalent of $500, no?

The big question for me is the following: should I go 4 core of 8 core. I don't think I want to spend $3k on the tower because I need to buy the Adobe Creative Suite Web Premium that is $1,6k, and a new laptop, other $3k... that is ridiculously expensive.

My plan is to get the bare bones tower with "only" 2Gigas of RAM and 2.8GHz processor 4 cores at $2,300 !

I know, I know, 8 cores are better than 4 cores, but this sufficiently fast computer, so that is my plan, what do you think? should I dish out the extra $500 for one with the same 2.8GHz 8-core?

I do a lot of my work on the portable (also a PowerPC computer that I got the same day they announced the Intel deal) so I can't spend all my money on the desk computer, but it is rather urgent the way things are with this old one.

On the other side, I made the cost of that cuadcore in two days work... the P25 is a money making machine !
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Old January 13th, 2008, 04:51 PM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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From a G4 the increase in speed to the latest Mac Tower pro will be huge, regardless of which model you choose, 4 or 8 core.

Regarding Ram I estimate that 4GB is a minimum these days, and more is better. The Mac OS takes more and more Ram, and CS3 is now able to use a lot more of it. I wouldn't run less than 5GB personally and would feel more at ease with 8.

I also recommend splurging on the Hard Disc capacity. Prices are low for HDs and data storage needs are growing exponentially. I'd get the 1GB internal drive.

My recommendation, if you are on a budget, is to get the 4 core with lots of Ram and lots of Hard Disc space! Save money on the processing speed and spend it on Ram and HD space. That's where you'll get the best use of your money. As I mentioned, the speed increase from your G4 will be very significant regardless of the exact model. Plus, Ram is a significant factor in overall computing speed.

And yes, the group therapy sessions for Mac addicts meets here ;-)

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Old January 13th, 2008, 05:05 PM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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Yes indeed... I sprung for the 8-core 3.2, with stock 2G RAM and the Apple upgrade to a 500G drive, BUT then added 8G OWC Apple-Qualified RAM (a lot less expensive than Apple OEM) for a total of 10G RAM. Then I ordered two superfast 500G Seagate 7200.11 drives (I am pretty sure this is what the Apple OEM 500 is), one partitioned 150/350 for scratch/critical OS and file back-up, the second for Time Machine, then two of the new quiet WD 1TB "Green" drives, one inside the main box and the other mirrored via an eSATA external box for fully redundant (RAID1) image storage. With a little luck, it will arrive Monday or Tuesday. Oh, wanted the NVIDIA 8800 video card, but it was a 4-5 WEEK delay, so went with the ATI 2300 so I could get it now --- and heck, it still will run 2 30" displays .

Anyway, this new addict is looking forward to getting it all set up

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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:38 PM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Leonardo
you' ll see a big difference to the G-4, I bet!

In the past, the announced speedbumps - 1.9 - to the latest models were, more generic values, when using radial blur, etc; but you will probably soon see some real world test, closer to the photographer's daily work.

I agree favouring lots of RAM over CPU-speed.

Having a Quad 4 x 2.5, still PPC, there's 8.5 GB of RAM inside, beside the scrach drive, it's running pretty good for the RAWs of 1 Ds-2, and different imaging apps are working at the same time.
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  #6  
Old January 13th, 2008, 07:07 PM
John Sheehy John Sheehy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
With 4GB Ram, (this can take 32 GB RAM) it goes 1.9 x as fast as the previous flagship in Apple's Photoshop CS3 tests.
Does the Mac version of CS3 multithread at all, other than the functions with built-in multiprocessing? As of CS2, the Windows version doesn't even use separate threads for browsing in Bridge and keeping up with the mouse pointer in Photoshop!
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Old January 13th, 2008, 08:20 PM
leonardobarreto.com leonardobarreto.com is offline
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Thanks for the advice, I can see that I was not so hard core Macaddict after all, --- I dont eve know what this means:"Does the Mac version of CS3 multithread at all, other than the functions with built-in multiprocessing? As of CS2, the Windows version doesn't even use separate threads for browsing in Bridge and keeping up with the mouse pointer in Photoshop!"---, but at least I got my question answered: get as much ram as possible... I got the other day a very good $200 500Giga eSATA external HD, it is the first device I ever have with FireWire 800! so that will be part of the inheritance of the new machine.

The good thing about this is that HD and RAM can be purchased latter on, but for the moment the only extra will probably be the $100 to go 500Gigas of hard drive space ... and the Adobe Creative Suite Web Premium since my PS is as old as my Mac. Has anyone experimented with the 3D part of the extended version? I will also get DreamWeaver which is the program I know and use to keep my web site, the Adobe Illustrator that I used to know how to use before getting good with Freehand that is now dead ...

Who do you order from? what about sales tax, can you order a Mac on the internet and not be required to pay sales tax? (I am in NY city)

By the way, I remember when we where looking forwards to 1GigaHz micro processor computers and wonder how they would be... now we are talking about 3GH times eight ! what have we achieved with this? just the cool special effects of the likes of Time Machine? How many TerraGigaHZ do we need to figure out how to stop the world from becoming like the pomme frites --or one big pome frit --?
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Old January 13th, 2008, 09:01 PM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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At present, CS3 can only access 4 cores --- Adobe needs to change some code to better utilize multi-processor systems and hopefully CS4 will rectify this. However, the good news is the Mac OS is smart enough to deploy other applications to open cores, so at least multi-tasking is spiffy and won't bog down the system.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 09:51 PM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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To not pay sales tax you have to order from a store other than the online Apple store. Apple has stores in every state so they charge tax for online purchases no matter where you live.

I order frequently from Amazon.com, even for Apple computers. They don't charge tax and they have free shipping most of the time. You can even get a % back if you use their credit card.

You'll be more limited in your custom build options ordering from Amazon, but it's worth taking a look at what they have. They usually offer the most commonly requested options. It all depends how precise you want your build. Ram is best purchased elsewhere since Apple charges a premium, and Hard Discs can be bought elsewhere as well. A great external HD is Maxtor 1.5 TB unit. Very quiet and very reliable in my experience. I have several of them.

Alain Briot
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Old January 14th, 2008, 05:14 AM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonardobarreto.com View Post

By the way, I remember when we where looking forwards to 1GigaHz micro processor computers and wonder how they would be... now we are talking about 3GH times eight ! what have we achieved with this? just the cool special effects of the likes of Time Machine? How many TerraGigaHZ do we need to figure out how to stop the world from becoming like the pomme frites --or one big pome frit --?
Compared to your G-4, you' ll be something like 5x faster, with the new flagship.
That's pretty stunning, you'll be amazed at the beginning, but as time goes by, you get used to the newer speed, it just becomes normal.

Today, the harddrives are the bottleneck, if you' ve enough RAM.

To reply the 2nd question: yes, the computing speed is becomimg faster and faster, but the files and editing tasks are eating more ressources as well. It' ll become a game called zero-summ.

The old Macplus - with 8 MHZ, 4 MB RAM - does boot faster than my actual big box ;-)


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Old January 14th, 2008, 08:48 AM
leonardobarreto.com leonardobarreto.com is offline
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It is interesting to know that even if I pay the extra $500 for the additional 4 cores PS3 will show no improvement. That helps my decision making process.

Also, the tip about Amazon.com and how to save on taxes, thanks..

What about the Adobe suit, how do you legally save money on that encyclopedia that retails for $1.5k? There is one on eBay for $949, sealed, any experience getting software like CS3 on eBay??
http://cgi.ebay.com/Adobe-Creative-S...QQcmdZViewItem

And finally thanks for posting the image of that MacPlus. My history began with a 6116 CD, 66MHz "PIZZA BOX" it was at the beginning of the PowerPC upgrade (with Apple there seams to always be a move to something new, PowerPC > MacOSX > Intel) anyway, this was a very small CPU that had a CD and came with some games and other programs included. I had so much fun with it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timelin...cintosh_models

It is hard to believe that the iBook white is now also part of history
It came out in 2001. They came out with something called "iTunes" and a large collection of very hip free songs !
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  #12  
Old January 14th, 2008, 09:15 AM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonardobarreto.com View Post
It is interesting to know that even if I pay the extra $500 for the additional 4 cores PS3 will show no improvement. That helps my decision making process.
Just keep in mind it is entirely possible CS4 WILL be able to utilize more than 4 cores. Historically, Adobe has updated Photoshop every 18 months, so CS3 should be due for an update late this year... Of course 4 cores will still be spiffy and may be more than adequate for your needs .

Offered FWIW,
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Old January 14th, 2008, 11:08 AM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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Speaking about old macs...

For those addicts out there who want a trip down memory lane, try this link:

http://myoldmac.net/webse-e.htm

It's an online Mac system 7 boot up. Not to be missed. You don't even have to fire up your old mac!

Alain Briot
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Old January 14th, 2008, 11:32 AM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alain Briot View Post
It's an online Mac system 7 boot up. Not to be missed. You don't even have to fire up your old mac!

Alain Briot
Starting the old one is much fun; I had serious businessmen playing for a good while Tetris, Pacman, Cliffhänger, etc ;-))) with the mine....
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Old January 14th, 2008, 11:51 AM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Fontana View Post
Starting the old one is much fun; I had serious businessmen playing for a good while Tetris, Pacman, Cliffhänger, etc ;-))) with the mine....
I agree. I keep all my old macs. They're worth hardly anything if you try to reselll them anyway. Plus, they're history!

I also use some as print servers. I have a G4 dedicated for that purpose right now. You don't need the latest processing speed for that as the computer is limited by the printer. Just enough to run Image Print or Photoshop plus enough disk space to store all the print files. Also saves getting a headache looking for that latest printer driver for Leopard...!
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Old January 14th, 2008, 03:38 PM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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Here's some interesting info for anybody contemplating the base system --- pay special attention to the drive comment. FWIW mine should arrive tomorrow and I ordered the 500G upgrade. It appears the base 320 drive may be a Seagate 7200.10 with 16MB buffer (or possibly even an older .9 with an 8MB buffer). I'm hoping the 500 upgrade is the latest 7200.11 or .ES (32MB buffer) which would explain some of the rather expensive cost since the .11/ES is a lot faster than the .10. I'll be opening mine up and checking before I even fire it up, so stay tuned... If it's a .10, I'll be pissed.

Here's the link: http://www.macworld.com/article/1315...cprobench.html
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Old January 14th, 2008, 04:01 PM
John Sheehy John Sheehy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Flesher View Post
At present, CS3 can only access 4 cores --- Adobe needs to change some code to better utilize multi-processor systems and hopefully CS4 will rectify this. However, the good news is the Mac OS is smart enough to deploy other applications to open cores, so at least multi-tasking is spiffy and won't bog down the system.
I should hope so, but what happens in Windows and CS2 is that if you open Photoshop and another program at the same time, it will use both CPUs or cores at the same time, but if you run Photoshop and Bridge, it will only use one core/processor at a time for both, and Adobe's thread management is far worse than the OS would ever do. The info tool in photoshop only updates every couple of seconds while bridge is open in large folders. Meanwhile, even on a single-cpu/core system, any other program would be fully responsive with Photoshop and Bridge wrestling each other.

Photoshop (at least for windows) is without a doubt one of the most poorly written programs out there, as far as threading is concerned. It also doesn't play nice with memory management. Even if you close every image, it will still hold most of the RAM and keep it in an unswappable state with special memory allocation calls.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 04:24 PM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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Hmmmm... CS3 and Bridge ran all four cores on my last PC system.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 06:51 PM
John Sheehy John Sheehy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Flesher View Post
Hmmmm... CS3 and Bridge ran all four cores on my last PC system.
At the same time? Processes don't run in single cores necessarily; whatever is available, although you can tell Windows explicitly to always run a certain process in a certain core/processor.

From your response, I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing. The problem I am speaking of has nothing to do with the image processing engine, per se. It's about the Photoshop interface, and Bridge. When Bridge is open, in CS2, the Photoshop interface becomes very unresponsive with my dual-Athlon MP (menus, pointer changes, info tool, etc). Watching Task Monitor reveals a maximum of 50% CPU is being used. Is this different with CS3?
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Old January 14th, 2008, 08:59 PM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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I think there was a fix in bridge 2.1 for CS3 --- I do not notice any slowing of performance in CS3 with bridge open in the background.

Edit: Yep, found it: http://photoshopnews.com/2007/06/01/...sion-20-to-21/
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Old January 15th, 2008, 05:08 AM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonardobarreto.com View Post
It is interesting to know that even if I pay the extra $500 for the additional 4 cores PS3 will show no improvement. That helps my decision making process.
That's true if running one imaging app, only.
If you run several at the same time, like here, more cpu's will help:

Example: Running LR/C1, etc & PS at the same time.
But of course, there has to be enough RAM, for these multi-app-tasks.

If there is not enough RAM for it, more cpu's won't help, as the entire OS will - due to lack of RAM - slow down, and as a consequence - the imaging apps, on top of the OS, do so as well.

I noticed that when upgrading the same box from 4 G of RAM to 8.5:
multi-app-tasks are much faster, even PS doesn't sucks all the cpu-ressources completly, as not all PS-tasks are multi-cpu-aware.

Scratch-disk and disk-speed are other factors to be finetuned, for getting best out of your possibilities: here, it's a 300 GB °dedicated° scratch disk, separated in 3 partitions, for PS and two other imaging apps. With it, yesterday, I worked - in PS - on 2.7 GB-files, pretty smoothly, even on a 2-year old Quad.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 09:44 AM
Colleen Vermillion Colleen Vermillion is offline
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Not that I disagree with anything specifically that y'all have said, but just because Photoshop isn't written in a way that will take advantage of that 8 way Mac doesn't meant there aren't any programs out there that will. We've got an 8 way Mac here at Bibble Labs and aside from making all the other developers on their meager 4 way boxes jealous of how fast it can compile the program, Bibble's performance very noticeably better on it. If you can afford the extra cores and you need the performance, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn't get them. The software support will only get better, especially when the programs that can make use of all of the processors you machine has start stealing customers away from the programs that don't

-Colleen
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Old January 15th, 2008, 09:55 AM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Colleen

what do you guess in speed improvement from 4 to 8 cpu's - with Bibble?
Off course it's app-dependent....
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Old January 15th, 2008, 10:36 AM
Colleen Vermillion Colleen Vermillion is offline
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Sorry, I re-read my hasty post and I don't think I said what I wanted to say too clearly. With the current version of Bibble, there's not much performance improvement because the old design can't fully saturate all 8 CPUs. We're working very hard at fixing that for Bibble 5 of course The point I wanted to make is that you should buy your hardware for the future, not for the present. If you're leasing it's a different story entirely... Now that the developers have their hands on 8 way boxes, the software that takes advantage of them will start to flow.

-Colleen
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Old January 16th, 2008, 09:30 AM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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Well the eagle has landed! Installing drives and configuring system today... So far, the machine is virtually silent...
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Old January 16th, 2008, 10:01 AM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Flesher View Post
Well the eagle has landed! Installing drives and configuring system today... So far, the machine is virtually silent...
Good fun, Jack!
Kinda irrational, but every time a new box arrives, I' m excited, too!
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Old January 17th, 2008, 03:04 AM
Georg R. Baumann Georg R. Baumann is offline
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Congrats Jack!

So what was the seagate about, did it have 32 Mb cache?

I just configure a Mac pro myself here, and hope to convince my bank in the next step. I also go for 8 cores but the 3.0 Ghz version and chose 16 GB which should do for the next 3 years!

What about the 23" HD cinema displays, are they sufficient for photographic work in terms of calibration?
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Old January 17th, 2008, 05:30 AM
Michael Fontana Michael Fontana is offline
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George

it's used for imaging?
- then have a look at the NEC LCD2690WUXi!

A pity and shame though, they don't sell it here in Europe with the same software as in the USA! That's at least what I understood from the internet researches.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 06:13 AM
Georg R. Baumann Georg R. Baumann is offline
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Gruezi and thanks Michael, I will look at that, I was thinking as well I might be better of having one 23" Mac and a specialized hardware calibrated monitor for example.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 09:29 AM
Jack_Flesher Jack_Flesher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg Baumann View Post
Congrats Jack!

So what was the seagate about, did it have 32 Mb cache?

I just configure a Mac pro myself here, and hope to convince my bank in the next step. I also go for 8 cores but the 3.0 Ghz version and chose 16 GB which should do for the next 3 years!

What about the 23" HD cinema displays, are they sufficient for photographic work in terms of calibration?
Hi George:

On the drives, yes and a little more. The one that came in the machine is a 7200.10, which has a 16MB buffer and first generation parallel recording technology. The latest 7200.11 drive has 32MB cache and 2nd generation parallel recording technology. In sustained R/W, the .11 maintained 100MB/s while the .10 drive was down around 70, so a pretty significant performance boost for sustained R/W like reading or writing images from the disk.

On monitors, I am using an Apple 30". It may not have the specs of the newest Lacie's or Nec, but is a very sweet monitor in use --- profiles very well and seems to hold it longer than any other monitor I've used.

*What's really sick, is with the standard video card I can run TWO 30" displays at full resolution --- talk about display acreage for CS! Maybe in a year if the NEC have proven themselves to be notably better than the Apple, I'll add a second 30" --- I have the space for it

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Posting images or text grants license to OPF, yet © of such remain with its creator. Still, all assembled discussion © 2006-2017 Asher Kelman (all rights reserved) Posts with new theme or unusual image might be moved/copied to a new thread!