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Author Topic: Power Users: MAC or PC?  (Read 2081 times)

Joe Towner

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2018, 06:24:23 PM »

One thing we may be overlooking is if you need to use this Mac as your daily computer in addition to your photography workflow.  Would disconnecting the network cable from your Mac Pro and adding a Mac Mini or laptop as your day to day technology device cover your needs?

Audio folks use to do it a lot, basically get their machine to a point and then disconnect it.  One upside is you can't hack what you can't access.  Given the OS, I take it you're not using anything Creative Cloud or otherwise needs to call home for a license?  You can also do a NAS with 2 ports, connecting one to your LAN, one directly to the Mac.  Anything you want to export you can connect from new Mac to NAS and post.  Old Mac still has access to all files needed via NAS only link.

-Joe
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Brad Paulson

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2018, 01:27:46 PM »

Thanks, I appreciate all the thoughts everyone has shared.  I spend a lot of time on my computer and am old enough now to restrain my lust for a new machine in order to save time long run. 

Summarizing some thoughts in the interim for a ďbudgetĒ photography Power PC. 

1. It looks like PS can be maxed out by focusing on an 8 core single processor and maxing out GHz by liquid cooling. 

2. SSD with PCIe interface will be best bang for buck hard disk.

3. Itís looking to me like the GeForce GTX 1070 ti is a good high end choice for graphic cards.  Not the very latest tech, but not the very latest price either.  It has a dual DVI-d slot and 10 bit color, so good for my NEC monitor with the same specs.   

4. 64, maybe 128 GB Ram.  At least make sure I have room for 128 with the motherboard and processor.  Woo hoo!

5.  Iím still drilling down on Zerene Stacker, but so far it looks like what maxes out PS will also max it out. 

6. Iím almost certainly going with a Windows machine.  Getting a trash can limits upgrades and in my view will likely be obsolete in 4 years.  There is some developers conference on Monday at which time there could be more info on the next gen Power Mac for those interested.  But Iím likely not going there because of the time and likely price.

7. I priced out similar machines on Puget Sound and on eCollegePC, and eCollegePC appears less expensive.  Iím also going to price out a home build too.  Itís a bit intimidating, but Iíve just enough experience tearing things apart in my machines that I might go that route if it can save a grand or thereabouts. 
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mcbroomf

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2018, 07:10:15 AM »

.......
1. It looks like PS can be maxed out by focusing on an 8 core single processor and maxing out GHz by liquid cooling. 
......

No ... this is what you need  ;D

https://www.engadget.com/2018/06/05/intel-28-core-cpu/
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smahn

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2018, 11:53:57 AM »

Thanks, I appreciate all the thoughts everyone has shared.  I spend a lot of time on my computer and am old enough now to restrain my lust for a new machine in order to save time long run. 

Summarizing some thoughts in the interim for a ďbudgetĒ photography Power PC. 

1. It looks like PS can be maxed out by focusing on an 8 core single processor and maxing out GHz by liquid cooling. 

2. SSD with PCIe interface will be best bang for buck hard disk.

3. Itís looking to me like the GeForce GTX 1070 ti is a good high end choice for graphic cards.  Not the very latest tech, but not the very latest price either.  It has a dual DVI-d slot and 10 bit color, so good for my NEC monitor with the same specs.   

4. 64, maybe 128 GB Ram.  At least make sure I have room for 128 with the motherboard and processor.  Woo hoo!

5.  Iím still drilling down on Zerene Stacker, but so far it looks like what maxes out PS will also max it out. 

6. Iím almost certainly going with a Windows machine.  Getting a trash can limits upgrades and in my view will likely be obsolete in 4 years.  There is some developers conference on Monday at which time there could be more info on the next gen Power Mac for those interested.  But Iím likely not going there because of the time and likely price.

7. I priced out similar machines on Puget Sound and on eCollegePC, and eCollegePC appears less expensive.  Iím also going to price out a home build too.  Itís a bit intimidating, but Iíve just enough experience tearing things apart in my machines that I might go that route if it can save a grand or thereabouts.

Please keep sharing as you go. My Alienware should come tomorrow or Thurs, but it's mostly a tester kit to see if I like Windows. May not be the machine I end up with.

Interested to hear what chip you're leaning towards.

Also, I don't think the 1070 ti will give you the 10bit data path you're looking for. My not great understanding is that you need a Quadro or FirePro for that. Might want to investigate.
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Brad Paulson

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2018, 04:06:38 PM »

Hereís the current build Iím working on at PCPartPicker.com, so Iím going to build it myself.  A couple comments.

* Please comment!  Iíve messed around a lot successfully inside PCs, but never built one.  Any comments welcome, particularly those that reduce costs, increase performance, reliability and future proofing.  Iíve researched this pretty well now and made some cost benefit decisions, but I am not a computer guru. 

* Correct, I do need a quadro card to display 10 bit color in PS on my NEC monitor. 

* The motherboard is wired for LAN, and the case includes cooling fans, so I donít think I need anything more there. 

* Zerene Stacker currently doesnít use GPU, but does use GHz, multiple cores and processors (but multithreading doesnít help much), and fast SSD 

* No news yesterday on a new Power Mac at Appleís developers conference.

My proposed machine:

Processor
Intel - Core i7-7820X 3.6GHz 8-Core Processor. $469.99      

CPU Cooler   
NZXT - Kraken X62 Rev 2 98.2 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $146.49

Motherboard   
Asus - PRIME X299-A ATX LGA2066 Motherboard. $278.49            

Memory   
G.Skill - Sniper X 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4-3000 Memory $679
   
Storage   
Samsung - 960 Pro 1TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive $572.75   

2 Hitachi - Deskstar NAS 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $123.99 each

Video Card   
PNY - Quadro P2000 5GB Video Card. $429.99      

Case
Fractal Design - Define R5 Blackout Edition ATX Mid Tower Case. $99.99   

Power Supply   
SeaSonic - FOCUS Plus Gold 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply.  $110.03   

Operating System   
Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit.  $95

Optical Drive
Asus - DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer.  $18.19
      
Total:   $3151      
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 07:05:39 PM by Brad Paulson »
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JimGoshorn

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2018, 04:48:11 PM »

FWIW, I chose Windows 10 Pro because I wanted the option to delay updates for a few months. With this option, Microsoft will not send you the update until they feel it is stable enough for businesses.

Jim
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Brad Paulson

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2018, 04:49:57 PM »

FWIW, I chose Windows 10 Pro because I wanted the option to delay updates for a few months. With this option, Microsoft will not send you the update until they feel it is stable enough for businesses.

Jim

Good idea.  Iíll do that. 
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smahn

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2018, 05:05:41 PM »

Hereís the current build Iím working on at PCPartPicker.com, so Iím going to build it myself.  A couple comments.

* Please comment!  Iíve messed around a lot successfully inside PCs, but never built one.  Any comments welcome, particularly those that reduce costs, increase performance, reliability and future proofing.  Iíve researched this pretty well now and made some cost benefit decisions, but I am not a computer guru. 

* Correct, I do need a quadro card to display 10 bit color in PS on my NEC monitor. 

* The motherboard is wired for LAN, and the case includes cooling fans, so I donít think I need anything more there. 

* Zerene Stacker currently doesnít use GPU, but does use GHz, multiple cores and processors, and fast SSD 

* No news yesterday on a new Power Mac at Appleís developers conference.

My proposed machine:

Processor
Intel - Core i7-7820X 3.6GHz 8-Core Processor. $469.99      

CPU Cooler   
NZXT - Kraken X62 Rev 2 98.2 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $146.49

Motherboard   
Asus - PRIME X299-A ATX LGA2066 Motherboard. $278.49            

Memory   
G.Skill - Sniper X 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4-3000 Memory $679
   
Storage   
Samsung - 960 Pro 1TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive $572.75   

2 Hitachi - Deskstar NAS 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $123.99 each

Video Card   
PNY - Quadro P2000 5GB Video Card. $429.99      

Case
Fractal Design - Define R5 Blackout Edition ATX Mid Tower Case. $99.99   

Power Supply   
SeaSonic - FOCUS Plus Gold 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply.  $110.03   

Operating System   
Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit.  $95

Optical Drive
Asus - DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer.  $18.19
      
Total:   $3151

Looks enviable.
Did you happen to get a quote for something comparable from eCollegePC? I ask because, while I think I could handle the build (have helped my gamer son do a couple) as a first timer to Windows myself, I might desire a bit of hand-holding/warranty/support.
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Brad Paulson

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2018, 05:17:31 PM »

I worked on one and generally it did look less expensive than Puget Sound, but they didnít appear to offer some of the components (e.g., a Quadro video card).  Generally Puget Sound did seem to build with higher quality components.  I havenít priced out the savings from building it myself, but it looks like somewhere around a grand. 
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smahn

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2018, 09:59:53 PM »

Just to know, I did a similar build to yours (not exact...faster RAM, newer SSD...but damn close) on eCollegePC.
They do offer the Quadro.

Building your own saves about $500. I'm sure $500 is a fair up-charge, but I'm cheap. Not sure which way I'd go.

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Brad Paulson

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2018, 10:24:57 PM »

Interesting, I couldnít find the video card.   Yeah thatís certainly a fair price.  But I kinda want to build it myself anyway.  If for no reason just to say I built my own.  It doesnít look that difficult really from a YouTube video I saw. 

I do think the 970 Pro SSD is meaningfully faster according to a benchmarking review I read earlier today.  Itís also cheaper (!) by about $100 from one source.  So I updated my specs. 

I think Iím going with dual 6TB drives too and link them with Windows ReFS. 

The RAM speed differential I donít think would be noticeable from what Iíve read. 

One question still in my mind is the graphics card.  Iím considering an upgrade to the P4000.  Itís meaningfully faster, but Iím wondering if itís worth the extra $300 or so. 

And Iíve also reconsidered the motherboard - ASRocks x299 Taichi got a couple good recent ratings.  About the same price. 
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smahn

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2018, 10:44:37 PM »

In truth, the fastest ram and the fastest nvme probably doesn't really make a difference in LR and PS use. I think they mostly payoff for sustained rendering and large file transfers and the like. Image editing gets slowed down a lot by human thought and input.

However, the difference in price is not huge, and who knows how software will be rewritten in the next few years. If it's all told a two or three hundred dollar difference to have a sense one is future proofing, and may get a small benefit from it here and there, even now, maybe it's worth it.

That's said, the $300 difference for a faster graphics card alone is probably not worth it for stills use. Happy to be proven wrong, but my understanding is fast graphics cards are really for high FPS stuff, which stills are not.
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smahn

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2018, 10:53:37 PM »

Looks like the higher model Quadro would net about a 5% difference overall. more for Smart Sharpen, zero for other tasks.

https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Photoshop-CC-2017-NVIDIA-Quadro-GPU-Performance-900/
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Brad Paulson

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2018, 11:01:26 PM »

Yeah, thatís my sense too.  If there was only something I could add to speed the human brain....

The P4000 Iím going to look into a bit more.  I did see your last post and that may be the best answer.  Itís better than the artificial benchmarking review I saw googling for p4000 vs p2000, which suggested more difference than Puget Soundís real world PS review.   In the future, one can always add on another graphics card, but I think it has to be the same one.  So it seems important for me to understand more than I do right now. 
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Brad Paulson

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #34 on: June 06, 2018, 12:17:24 AM »

This article suggests Photoshop stops using the graphic card if its internal memory is exceeded (then just uses the main processor), and that PHotoshop can only use one graphics card.  It also says a 30 MB file can safely use a card with 4GB of Ram in 10 bit color.  I donít know if thatís all true, but if it is my files are 51 MB, so Iíll go with the upgrade.   Hopefully we have a graphic card guru who can weigh in to validate or correct.

https://www.punchtechnology.co.uk/graphic-card-for-photo-editing/
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Brad Paulson

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2018, 01:14:24 AM »

After much hand wringing over each part, here is my current build.  Iím likely going to order tomorrow absent any critiques that change my course. 
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Farmer

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2018, 04:03:22 AM »

Keyboard and mouse?

Personally, I like the gaming devices.  A mechanical keyboard with programable keys is awesome for shortcutting and with LED backlighting you can highlight certain keys with certain colours as a guide if that suits you (based on the program that's open at the time).  Plus, mechanical keyboards are very durable, super responsive, and just plain nice to use.  Gaming mice have cool features like I can change the resolution and speed of the mouse with a programmed button on it - it's really great to slow it down when you want to do fine adjustments, for example (if you're not using a tablet and pen) and I prefer wired rather than wireless to minimise weight and not have to worry about recharging.  Gaming devices are also crafted for long use - i.e. comfort.

Have you consider a memory card reader?  You can get some that fit into the expansion bays that connect internally to a USB slot - can be nice to keeping it all in one package.
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Phil Brown

Brad Paulson

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2018, 04:38:40 AM »

A built in memory card reader would be nice.  I donít see that in the builder menu.  Could you please suggest how to find one?

Agree on mechanical//backlit keyboards and more importantly wired ones.  Gaming/programmable keyboards I havenít considered, but will.  Most important is a neutral lit backlight (maybe 5000K) that I donít see any attention to. 

I have an ancient trackball I like.  Better than any kind of pad for me. 
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Farmer

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2018, 07:20:10 AM »

You're in the US, so check eBay US for something similar to these from my local (Australian) site:

https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2499334.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.X5.25%22+bay+memory+card+readers.TRS0&_nkw=5.25%22+bay+memory+card+readers&_sacat=51082

The backlit keyboards are RGB - so you can set colours as you see fit (or even off).  I use a Logitech G910, but there are many!
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Phil Brown

smahn

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Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2018, 11:50:12 AM »


I like a wired keyboard but a cordless mouse. The Logitech Mx Master has been serving me well for a couple of years. Very ergonomic for my hand.

I haven't tried one, but these seem relatively elegant:

https://codekeyboards.com/
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