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Archive 2013 · Help with post-processing Mac decision
  
 
Bifurcator
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Help with post-processing Mac decision


I agree with aubsxc 100%. The thing is that we're talking about Apple. Apple has always been behind in tech and over in price. At this time and really for the past ten years, Apple has a very limited selection of desktops. If a person wants a desktop or all-in-one computer which is sanctioned to run OS X they're pretty much stuck with old tech at very high prices. The choices are just very limited.

aubsxc is right though, If one wants the newest high-spec tech Apple is not where to be looking - at all! Even the new Mac Pro is releasing with old tech. No, in this case one is really forced to build their own machine - and yes, they can do it for about the same money as a used MacPro costs - or there a bouts. This is very well known to tech nerds and one reason why so many people laugh at Apple and Apple users.

There is a piece of good news in all this though. Most people already know this but you can totally build a screamer like we're talking about here and install Hackintosh on it with pretty much 100% compatibility. Typically the worst of it is that the user has to wait a month or two before installing the latest updates. It's kind of an advantage actually - ya get to read about any troubles and how to work around them before DL and installing.




Nov 12, 2013 at 05:24 PM
aubsxc
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Help with post-processing Mac decision


OntheRez wrote:
aubsxc,

I really have to disagree with you on this one. If it is in fact a dual quad 2.4 GHz 5.1 equipped as described, $750 is a nice price. You are completely correct that the Nehalem has been superseded by later Intel chip versions but very little of this has made it into the Mac Pro line up. Apple has put newer chips in the iMac line but not in the MP. Basically Apple has done nothing for pro users since about 2010. I'm running this machine with max RAM and now a PCI-e SSD boot drive and it is
...Show more


Robert,

For someone looking to get into a full blown MacPro with all the advantages of a desktop/workstation type system, the $750 price of entry may not seem too high, given how much these boxes sell for new. But 8 Nehalem cores running at 2.4 GHz will be no match for 4 Haswell or Ivy Bridge cores running at 4.0 GHz or higher. While some functions in PS CS6 can use higher core counts, the software as a whole does not implement multi-core functionality all that well, and the newer tech silicon wins out every time. The Haswell quads are actually even faster than the just released 6-core Ivy Bridge E six-core desktop processors at most tasks (they only fall behind in heavily multithreaded benchmarks like CineBench). The Haswells are MUCH faster than the ancient Nehalem/Westmere 6-core beast, the 965x (3.2GHz stock) in multithreaded tasks as you can see here:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7003/the-haswell-review-intel-core-i74770k-i54560k-tested/6

I won't even go into things like memory and PCIe bandwidth here.

All in all, a 2010/2009 MacPro at $750 would be destroyed by a $750 Hackintosh built using more recent tech, and thus, to me, represents poor value for the money.



Nov 12, 2013 at 09:42 PM
OntheRez
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Help with post-processing Mac decision


Aubsxc (and Bif),
I'm certainly not going to defend Apple's record for powerful desktop workstations because basically it sux. Somewhere probably about 3 years ago, Apple decided it was a consumer goods company (remember they dropped the Computer from their name) focused on iPod, iPhone, iPad, iWatch, iShoe, iAnything they can think of. The market has certainly rewarded them. They still make excellent laptops (I'd argue the best) and the iMac is all the machine that most people - including a lot of creative people - will ever need. I recently set up a top of the line i7 27" iMac for my significant other and was impressed that in most ways it out performs my 3-year old Mac Pro. Like many others I was underwhelmed when the specs for the nMP were released.

I was offering and discussing used machines in response to the OP's original question of how to set up for PP. We wandered off into a critique of Apple's high-end (snicker) hardware. As I see it the OP and really all of us are balancing three things: price, performance, and assured reliability. (One could also label this as a measure of how risk adverse one is.) As any student of statistics will tell you, "You can't optimize all the variables in any multivariable equation."

I've certainly built my share of FrankenBoxes including a couple of Hacintoshs back in the day when one had to "find" a boot ROM thru what might be termed dubious means. I haven't paid attention to that whole world in some time, but I suspect since the move to Intel chips a Hackintosh has gotten a lot easier to build.

As I see it if the OP wants maximum reliability buy new from Apple get AppleCare and if he/she is in the USA they have about as reliable computer as is currently available on the market. This is of course the most expensive route. If one is willing to take greater risk, then used machines become a choice and again one can get a better price off of eBay than from a competent used dealer which - despite Bif's screed on the subject - do exist. Finally there is the roll your own option. It's commonly said you can get better performance than Apple's offerings at half the price. This is true if one only counts component costs and doesn't value one's labor. At this end of the spectrum you have the best performance, good value, but the highest risk. Anything that goes wrong and you are working without a net.

There are many - I'd say most - users that just don't have the interest, time, confidence, experience, whatever to build their own box thus this isn't really an option for them. Me? I stopped hacking hardware a while back in favor of other things like more photography. I do admit that my old "I can roll one better than yours" has popped up, but I'm trying to ignore it for now.

I really don't disagree with any of the criticism leveled at Apple. You should see my list which I regularly send them and the regularly ignore. I did want the OP to understand that there are a number of levels from which to choose. If one has the money and doesn't need an open box to add functionality, the new high end iMacs are quite nice - but of course cost more that building one for yourself.

Robert



Nov 14, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Bifurcator
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Help with post-processing Mac decision


I have a couple of points to contend. I know what you mean and I think I get where you're coming from but since I see things so differently it might be fun to look at the differences for someone - it's fun for me anyway.

1) Apple doesn't even come close to making the best Laptop. The graphic chips are usually low end if I'm not mistaken, they're way to difficult (or impossible) to upgrade, does Apple even have a touch-screen yet? and the overall speed is typically very average. But that's the thing and that's what they do have: Averageness. When ya create something that is average and appealing to the average type of user then it get's popular. In that way it might be "the best" [for average people wanting an average machine]. Combine that with the one thing Apple does fairly well (building a dumbed down easy to use "it just works" OS) and this theme is consecrated all the more.

2) "…is all the machine that most people - including a lot of creative people - will ever need." Yeah, but I can say the same thing about my G4 mac, my 3.2GHz single core 7-year old Gateway laptop, and probably most ancient (6 to 12 year old high-medium to the low part of high-end) machines as well.

3) Reliability is subjective. If you get a good one it's reliable. If you get a bad one it's not reliable. Don't think Apple makes more reliable machines than anyone else because they don't. Just take a look at the Apple forums on Apple.com and you can easily assess the situation is the same as just about all other manufacturers. But when/if your system breaks then what? With apple you have to drive the thing in to the store or ship it at your own expense. Some WinTell manufacturers are the same. Most will pay for shipping it in. And some will drive out to your house and fix it on location for you. So Apple in this way is the worst. When you build your own the small step down (from the Apple way) is that you have to also figure out what's wrong with the system. But it's a small step up in that all you need to lug back to the store or ship, is the specific component that broke. Of course in 99% of the cases "breakage" is usually solved by just a software fix - and a quick search on-line gives those solution(s) - true for all systems.

4) The idea that vale is consumed by the time investment needed to build your own system is untrue. It takes about the same time to critique and compare prebuilt systems as it does to critique and compare components for a home build. Setup time is negligible. 20min. is all that's needed if you're ever done one before and if it's the very first time you might spend an hour or two at most. Paste the CPU, set the heatsink in place, snap in the memory and GPU, snap in the HDDs and SSDs, place the PSU and connect about 5 or 10 wires, and install the OS. Boom done. The OS usually takes about an hour or two to set up to your liking and OS X is really no different. So this whole assumption doesn't really wash.

5) You bring up the progression of the thread and why we're talking about this at all. There seems to be a logic-derailment of some sort here to me.
    aubsxc wrote:
    $750 seems like way too much to be paying for a Nehalem based system at this time. There have been major updates to Intel CPU technology since the time this MacPro was built…

    OntheRez wrote:
    I really have to disagree with you on this one. If it is in fact a dual quad 2.4 GHz 5.1 equipped as described, $750 is a nice price. You are completely correct that the Nehalem has been superseded by later Intel chip versions but very little of this has made it into the Mac Pro line up.


Right, if we only consider Mac then OnTheRez is right. If we entertain other systems however then Aubsxc is correct. Apple's Mac is in it's own little world in terms of price performance and shares the same world of reliability with all others. If we open the discussion to WinTel systems Apple loses at every turn. This is true for their phones and tablets as well - when comparing to Android systems. With Apple you get less and have to pay more - for all of their products. The OS and GUI is easier to use or as some would say is "dumbed down" but that's Apple's only advantage (or those who see it as an advantage that is) when we look at them comparatively without emotional bias. And recently even that advantage disappears if one is willing to install OS X on non-Apple hardware and consider compatibility when making the component selection for a home build.

So this is why I agreed with Aubsxc. He opened up the discussion to other systems. Apple loses on every count. Now if the OP is specifically interested in Apple brand goods then we can go back to page one and see my thoughts and the thoughts of others on that. But if the OP is willing to consider WinTel systems then ya, there's not too much a person can honestly and logically argue in favor of Apple. One has to step into the RDF to discuss Apple - it's really in it's own little world.



Nov 15, 2013 at 12:16 PM
Paul Mo
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Help with post-processing Mac decision


Personally, Apple play too many games for my liking. I am on a custom built PC, but before building it I considered a Mac Mini - unfortunately they are crippled so as to not step on the toes of the MBP's.

Apple are excellent at marketing, and they do a good job with OS X - but a sucky job with hardware and warranties.



Nov 15, 2013 at 12:33 PM
 

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aubsxc
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Help with post-processing Mac decision


Bifurcator wrote:
I have a couple of points to contend. I know what you mean and I think I get where you're coming from but since I see things so differently it might be fun to look at the differences for someone - it's fun for me anyway.

1) Apple doesn't even come close to making the best Laptop. The graphic chips are usually low end if I'm not mistaken, they're way to difficult (or impossible) to upgrade, does Apple even have a touch-screen yet? and the overall speed is typically very average. But that's the thing and that's what they
...Show more

All very good points. Getting back to the original post, I think the poster wanted to stick with Apple since he is obviously invested in Apple. My implicit recommendation was that he invest more and buy a more current Apple system (an iMac or MacBookPro), both of which provide significantly more value than a 2009/2010 MacPro using technology that is 5 or 6 generations old at this point. If he is handy and is willing to deal with potential headaches, he might also consider a custom PC built to run OSX (a hackintosh), but I did not make that recommendation in my first post. If price is not a consideration, he may be better served by waiting for the new MacPro, which uses much more current technology.



Nov 15, 2013 at 06:53 PM
OntheRez
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Help with post-processing Mac decision


Well, we seem to be drifting towards one of those Win vs Mac things which in my experience generate a lot of heat and noise but very little light

Question for Bif and aubsxc. Have either of you built a hacintosh recently? If so what resources did you use? I'm growing tired of Apple's refusal to support professional users and $3k for an entry level replacement doesn't excite me.

Thanks,

Robert



Nov 16, 2013 at 03:30 PM
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Help with post-processing Mac decision


Nah, Win vs. Mac threads usually don't contain logical points and the ones that do are opinion-logic almost exclusively. The fact of the matter is that three systems have emerged on top of the consumer/prosumer market (Mac/OS X, WinTel, and LinTel) so when the conversation opens up cross-platform those facts just come up.

Oh, and to answer your question, the best Hackintosh sites to search for good component info are:

http://lifehacker.com/the-always-up-to-date-guide-to-building-a-hackintosh-o-5841604
http://forum.netkas.org/index.php
http://www.tonymacx86.com/home.php
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/
And a few pretty good threads on: http://forums.macrumors.com

Careful tho… on the later two you WILL find a lot of "Mac vs. Windows" type threads there. Typically easy to detect but they clutter up searches a lot.





Nov 16, 2013 at 04:35 PM
aubsxc
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Help with post-processing Mac decision


OntheRez wrote:
Well, we seem to be drifting towards one of those Win vs Mac things which in my experience generate a lot of heat and noise but very little light

Question for Bif and aubsxc. Have either of you built a hacintosh recently? If so what resources did you use? I'm growing tired of Apple's refusal to support professional users and $3k for an entry level replacement doesn't excite me.

Thanks,

Robert


Never built a Hackintosh because the OSX EULA prohibits installation on non-Apple hardware. If Apple sold standalone licenses for OSX I would probably build one for myself, simply because it runs on a Unix core. I build a lot of computers and I have been very impressed with Win 7; it is fast, completely stable, secure, and runs well on every single machine I have used it on, including some pretty old hardware. Win 7 and Linux meets most of my day to day needs, and I also have a dedicated Unix box running Solaris for some engineering software I use.

If you want to do some research I would suggest looking through the TonyMacx86 website here:

http://www.tonymacx86.com/home.php

You can find guides as well as threads with builds using specific hardware. It seems that going with a Gigabyte Z77 board with a 3770K would likely be the easiest option for a Hackintosh, as these boards work pretty much out of the box with OSX. I have used several Z77 Gigabyte boards (UP4TH, UD5H, UD4H) and in my opinion they make the best Z77 boards. You can also overclock the CPU with a Hackintosh which will give you a huge advantage over buying OEM with a locked processor.



Nov 17, 2013 at 01:59 AM
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