Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Computers & Peripherals => Topic started by: Brad P on May 30, 2018, 06:14:12 pm

Title: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on May 30, 2018, 06:14:12 pm
Iíve been a Mac guy for a looong time. I have a souped up old early 2009 Power MAC that Iíve loved, but Apple isnít allowing anything past Yosemite on it, and having been hacked recently Iím feeling vulnerable with anything but the most secure operating environment.  So I need a new computer. 

I DONíT want a new screen. Iíve got a 31 inch NEC monitor thatís still got years left.

I do heavy processing (e.g., Zerene Stacker operating on 30 51MB files).  On a new machine I want at least 64MB of RAM, 1 TB solid state hard drive and a workhorse graphics card.

Looking at Macís current offerings Iím not excited.  The new power iMac would be the obvious choice.   But the screen is integrated and less useful than my NEC.  And the price points for my specs seem outlandish.  I do see some refurbished trash can Power Macs on EBay, but I worry that in a few years Apple would leave me in the same place as I am today with an outdated operating system.  Iíve read (I think I remember) that Apple is likely abandoning the Trash Can, so I worry about that generally long term.

For PCs I see many NEW stand alone PCs with these specs that are about the same price point ($3,000) as the EBay Power Macs.  So Iím for the moment leaning in that direction. 

Anyone been recently down this road and have any thoughts?
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Farmer on May 30, 2018, 06:31:53 pm
Well this will open a giant can of worms :-)

Honestly, either system will do what you want in terms of processing power - it really doesn't matter.  Cost wise, you will probably get things a little cheaper on the PC side but if you go for the higher end units and parts the savings won't be huge.

This is what it comes down to.  Which operating system do you like using, and do you already have an environment (software, phones, music, other hardware, etc.) that would be easier to go Mac or PC?  Answer those two questions and that's your real answer.

If you have no preference for any of those things, then you can get a price saving on the PC, but use the two points above to make your decision.  Any other advice one way or the other is truly irrelevant.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on May 30, 2018, 06:46:09 pm
I guess I agree with that for base, advertised platforms with Mac being a little more expensive, and if weíre just that differential Iíd choose a new Mac. But when you add 64MB of ram, a terabyte S drive and maybe an upgraded graphics card, plus the unwanted screen on an Power iMac, the Power iMac becomes about twice the price of a new comparable PC.  And I donít even have a place for it on my smaller desk.  Thus I lean PC. 

Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn on May 30, 2018, 07:07:25 pm
I'm in the same boat as the OP. Been using only Macs since my first computer in the early 90's. Have zero interest in Windows or gaming, but tired of waiting year after year for Apple to make or update a product for my needs.

I just ordered an Alienware gaming computer from Costco. For $1700 it gets me the i7 8700k 6 core chip that many think is the sweet spot for Photoshop. 16GB Ram, a 256GB nvme SSD, and a nvidia 1070 graphics card that Puget Systems considers to be the sweet spot / price point for Photoshop. I will add ram and upgrade to a larger SSD, but this should be a great start for trying things out.

https://www.costco.com/Alienware-Aurora-Gaming-Desktop---Intel-Core-i7-8700K---8GB-NVIDIA-Graphics.product.100405468.html (https://www.costco.com/Alienware-Aurora-Gaming-Desktop---Intel-Core-i7-8700K---8GB-NVIDIA-Graphics.product.100405468.html)


The reason I'm going this route is, while I'd be willing to pay the $4300 for an iMac Pro (at Microcenter) if I thought it would pay Photoshop dividends, it wont.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE58q8OHvdI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE58q8OHvdI)

The reason I bought this from Costco is they add an extra year of warranty (from 1 yr to 2) and most important of all, they offer a 90 day return policy.

So I will have 3 months to decide if I can deal with transitioning to Windows. Also gives Apple time to advance the iMac or Mini, or whatever, to remain viable and competitive for pros. But frankly, I hope the Windows thing pans out, I like the choices.

Should arrive in a couple of weeks. Very excited to take it for an extended spin.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn on May 30, 2018, 07:15:14 pm
That might not have been the right video I posted, but the point is the iMac pro really only comes into it's own for high level video editing. For LR and PS you're better off with a faster chip.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: armand on May 30, 2018, 07:36:25 pm
Iíve been a Mac guy for a looong time. I have a souped up old early 2009 Power MAC that Iíve loved, but Apple isnít allowing anything past Yosemite on it, and having been hacked recently Iím feeling vulnerable with anything but the most secure operating environment.  So I need a new computer. 

I DONíT want a new screen. Iíve got a 31 inch NEC monitor thatís still got years left.

I do heavy processing (e.g., Zerene Stacker operating on 30 51MB files).  On a new machine I want at least 64MB of RAM, 1 TB solid state hard drive and a workhorse graphics card.

Looking at Macís current offerings Iím not excited.  The new power iMac would be the obvious choice.   But the screen is integrated and less useful than my NEC.  And the price points for my specs seem outlandish.  I do see some refurbished trash can Power Macs on EBay, but I worry that in a few years Apple would leave me in the same place as I am today with an outdated operating system.  Iíve read (I think I remember) that Apple is likely abandoning the Trash Can, so I worry about that generally long term.

For PCs I see many NEW stand alone PCs with these specs that are about the same price point ($3,000) as the EBay Power Macs.  So Iím for the moment leaning in that direction. 

Anyone been recently down this road and have any thoughts?

While I don't have your issue with MAC vs Windows (I use windows) I've been planning for an upgrade with similar specs as you.
A Dell XPS Special Edition Tower with the 8700K, 1 TB SSD PCIe, 64 GB RAM and a better video card GTX 1080  8GB will run you about 2.5K. The main reason I didn't bite yet is that it doesn't have Thunderbolt.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Farmer on May 30, 2018, 11:26:43 pm
I guess I agree with that for base, advertised platforms with Mac being a little more expensive, and if weíre just that differential Iíd choose a new Mac. But when you add 64MB of ram, a terabyte S drive and maybe an upgraded graphics card, plus the unwanted screen on an Power iMac, the Power iMac becomes about twice the price of a new comparable PC.  And I donít even have a place for it on my smaller desk.  Thus I lean PC.

Then there's your answer.  That's entirely valid.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Joe Towner on May 31, 2018, 12:05:31 am
It may be worth mapping out what other connectivity you want.  If it doesn't have TB3, are you ok? Do you need 2 or 3 PCIe 3 slots?  I would think at some point you're going to want 3 NVMe drives, one for OS, one for Images, one for blending swap. Toss in a nice graphics cards, plug 64gb RAM, and you're spending a lot.

I've got a soft spot for AMD and I did a Ryzen 7 threadripper setup, and 64gb of RAM in 16gb sticks is ouch!
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: kers on May 31, 2018, 06:40:59 am
I am also on the edge of buying a new computer- have a 10 year old macpro- still working fine but a little slow.
The new mac pro arrives in 2019 they say, but it could be december 2019 and very expensive....

So i am thinking of buying a hackintosh... with m2 memory 6 core i7 etc..
Problem with that is you are not sure if the future will bring some OSX-updates that are causing problems...
If that happens i can always switch to windows...

Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: mcbroomf on May 31, 2018, 07:18:53 am
I have not been in the camp where I considered a switch (in my case it would have been going Win to Mac).  I've only used Windows machines but over the last 6 months or so have helped out some members of my camera club who do have Macs (although far from power users) and I can see from the little exposure I've had to the Mac OS that it would not be a difficult switch.  Having said that I don't do Social Media, music etc on my computers and my desktop is used for photography largely.

I recently upgraded though, with a Puget Sounds PC.  I've bought Lenovo and Dell in the past, and made my own desktops but decided I wanted an easy warranty this time round.  I went with a system that has an MB with 2x TB3 ports for an external TB3 drive enclosure and some USB-C peripherals but most importantly slots for 6 SATA drives inside that came pre-wired (important to request it!) + 2 M2 drives.  The M2 drives are used for the OS and the LR/PS caches respectively and 2 SATA slots taken with a pair of 2TB Raid 0 SSDs for the current year raws and print files.  3 more slots are taken up with a pair of 12TB drives and an 8TB for all my Raw and scanned images, all print ready files, and everything else respectively.  I added all of the SATA drives myself to save.  Of course everything is backed up to the TB3 enclosure and again to a NAS.  The system is very fast with 64GB and an i7 7800x and it has an Nvidia P2000 for video.

If you're interested in more details shoot me a PM and I think I can send you a link to the build so that you can compare or change components.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: kers on May 31, 2018, 08:22:48 am
At the moment Apple is moving to system 10.14.
It is supposed stability will be its mayor goal.
...and that is about time. Basic things simply work less good than some years ago ; the finder for one.
The new APFS file system has brought new problems and fixes for Meltdown and Spectre has made the computer slower.
Diglloyd came today wit a list of flaws.. ( https://macperformanceguide.com/  )
If 10.14 will be stable it is the system to go ; otherwise i might stick on 10.9 - the last good OS i find, but lacking support for new software...
Does anyone know what new intel cpu hs a new architecture that makes it not vulnerable for Spectra and Meltdown?



Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Joe Towner on May 31, 2018, 10:32:45 am
Spectra and Meltdown are in the pre-fetch and pre-execution areas, and while they may be 'fixed' it's like the current firmware smackdown rather than improved/replaced logic. It's funny how many steps in front of your current task the CPU can be - having to anticipate what is next.

MacOS hasn't given me issues, but figure I've been lucky?  I don't recommend anything older than 10.11.6 at this point, and even that is long in the tooth.  The issue comes around more on the App support side, and you'll want to make sure you use Chrome/Firefox as Safari doesn't get the updates.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: NancyP on May 31, 2018, 10:41:53 am
That's a good tip, about Safari being slow to update. Firefox on PC seems to be pretty diligent about updates.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on May 31, 2018, 01:24:41 pm
I recently upgraded though, with a Puget Sounds PC.  I've bought Lenovo and Dell in the past, and made my own desktops but decided I wanted an easy warranty this time round.  I went with a system that has an MB with 2x TB3 ports for an external TB3 drive enclosure and some USB-C peripherals but most importantly slots for 6 SATA drives inside that came pre-wired (important to request it!) + 2 M2 drives.  The M2 drives are used for the OS and the LR/PS caches respectively and 2 SATA slots taken with a pair of 2TB Raid 0 SSDs for the current year raws and print files.  3 more slots are taken up with a pair of 12TB drives and an 8TB for all my Raw and scanned images, all print ready files, and everything else respectively.  I added all of the SATA drives myself to save.  Of course everything is backed up to the TB3 enclosure and again to a NAS.  The system is very fast with 64GB and an i7 7800x and it has an Nvidia P2000 for video.

Nice!   I just priced out a dream system for just over $6K on their website.  Looks like an improvement over the trash can, but more than I want to spend if I can avoid it. 

Hereís the best on what I can find out about rumors for the upcoming Power Mac specs. (https://www.macworld.co.uk/news/mac/new-mac-pro-2019-3536364/)  Too long to wait for me . . . maybe.

Iím now wondering if the sweet spot may be a refurbished trash can.  See example here.  (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-Pro-6-1-Late-2013-2-7GHz-12-Core-64GB-Memory-1TB-SSD-Dual-D500-6GB/222631560807?hash=item33d5e00667:g:9wAAAOSw~0paNz4I) I can get a top end 12 core, 64 MB, 1 Terra system for around $3600 and Iím guessing since Apple is selling them now, I should likely be able to use it for (purely a guess) 4 years before they stop supporting the latest operating system.  And I wonít have to deal with all the migration headaches and expenses.   I back up now with external hard drives and itís actually not so bad.  They are not upgradeable though, and never used one.  Anyone have any experience with those to share?
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn on May 31, 2018, 01:49:13 pm
Unless you know for certain that focus stacking makes use of multiple cores, I'd avoid the trash can.

Most functions in PS are single core or lightly threaded. A regular old iMac or Macbook Pro wipes it in most uses:

https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks/
https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-Photoshop-CC-Multi-Core-Performance-625/

Best i can surmise right now, the Intel i7 8700K 6 core chip is the state of the art CPU for Photoshop at this time. Unfortunately Apple moves so slowly it's not available anywhere in their lineup at this time. That's why I'm trying the PC for 90 days.

Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on May 31, 2018, 03:35:51 pm
Unless you know for certain that focus stacking makes use of multiple cores, I'd avoid the trash can.

Most functions in PS are single core or lightly threaded. A regular old iMac or Macbook Pro wipes it in most uses:

https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks/
https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-Photoshop-CC-Multi-Core-Performance-625/

Best i can surmise right now, the Intel i7 8700K 6 core chip is the state of the art CPU for Photoshop at this time. Unfortunately Apple moves so slowly it's not available anywhere in their lineup at this time. That's why I'm trying the PC for 90 days.

Fantastic article!!  Thanks!   I just sent an email to Zerene asking them about these issues and will report back.  Thatís my main bottleneck right now.  But PS can be too (and Phocus, which I need to check into as well).   Makes me also wonder about a few plugins, but thatís not so much a biggie as the others. 

Obviously all these could change (or not) over time, but itís good to know the baseline. 
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn on May 31, 2018, 04:08:19 pm
Zerene may indeed use their own secret sauce, but here's another example where native PS (HDR & Photomerge) benefits most from higher chip speed than number of cores. Here again, the i7 8700K wins:

https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Photoshop-CC-2017-1-1-CPU-Performance-Core-i7-8700K-i5-8600K-i3-8350K-1057/

If Apple announces next week that they'll be putting that chip into 5K iMacs within the coming weeks, I may go that route, even though I loath sealed computers and glossy screens. They'll also have to do something about heat/fan noise with the i7 chip. Otherwise it just doesn't pay to stay loyal to the brand.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: mcbroomf on May 31, 2018, 04:11:14 pm
OWC (Macsales) also offer MacPro systems, in fact a bewildering assortment if you decide to go that route.  I'd guess that many cores is a big cost adder as my system was "only" $4k ... or maybe you dream bigger  ;D
https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Apple-Systems/Used/Mac-Pro?_ga=2.63198895.1898621980.1527793200-1520724954.1527793200
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: JimGoshorn on May 31, 2018, 05:55:10 pm
December 2016 I got tired of waiting for Apple and a new MacPro so I bit the bullet and went to a custom built PC. I got it from Puget Systems with lifetime tech support (as long as I have the PC) and I got it when they were running a 3 year warranty included special. Had to call them about 3 or 4 times for issues (mostly my acclimation to Windows) and they always solved my issue. While the Mac has a prettier GUI and fonts definitely look better on screen, after getting used to the PC, I pretty much don't miss the Mac. I have iCloud and iTunes for the PC so my mail and images can be accessed on the PC and my iPad.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Kirk_C on June 01, 2018, 12:50:17 am
A year ago I needed to replace a Macbook Pro and decided to try an HP for half the price. W10 is fine, but the forced updates just broke printing to my basic laser printer, not enough printer memory to print a file that prints fine from W7 or OS10. Card reader has broken, keyboard sticks, HDMI jack is unreliable and drops connections. Saved a lot of money over the comparable Mac but will toss it soon and buy a new Mac.

I bought the top of the line iMac in January with the 512GB SD and added OWC 64GB of RAM. Using a Spectraview 21" NEC with it. Everything works great. Fast and trouble free. CC and C1 are stable and fast.

I support 36 PCs at the studio. Running W7 and W10. W10 presents problems with updates and printing. W7 OK but slow. Have had to replace 4 PCs that were less than 5 years old in the last year.

Several iMacs, going back to Mid-2011 generation. All stable and rarely an issue. Updated old HDs to SSDs myself. Easy to do.

FWIW

Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Joe Towner 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
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P 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. 
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: mcbroomf 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/
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn 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.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P 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      
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: JimGoshorn 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
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P 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. 
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn 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.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P 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. 
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn 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.

Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P 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. 
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn 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.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn 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/
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P 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. 
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P 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/
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P 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. 
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Farmer 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.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P 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. 
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Farmer 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!
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn 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/
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: JimGoshorn on June 06, 2018, 12:02:21 pm
I got the code extended keyboard with the clear switches. Even though the clear switches offer high pressure resistance, after all the years of working with Apple keyboards with the chiclets, I still bottom out the keys.

Love it!

Jim
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on June 06, 2018, 08:46:44 pm
OK, final build attached.  Just placed the order.  I added a media card as shown too. Cool.  No more dangling card readers and it may even be a lot faster than my old USB port and device. 

I didnít order Windows 10 Pro. It appears that can be downloaded for free now from Microsoft and is fully operational without entering a product key, except you canít change the desktop background and screensaver from the defaults using their preset options and there may be an annoying message that a product key is still needed.  Iíll probably go ahead and register later anyway. 

Looked up the specs on this system vs a new iMac Pro.  Iím pretty confident this will at least keep up with a $5700 version, probably beat it in performance actually for most tasks.  And even then, I can overclock it a bit for free if desired.  Of course, the iMac Pro comes at that price with a nice screen too, but not a $2200 value one.  Iíd rather keep my 31Ē NEC, and with this setup I can upgrade my machine in the future in any number of directions, even with the currently very pricey i9 chips in a few years when the prices fall.  Anyway, Iím feeling good about it for now. 
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on June 06, 2018, 08:57:54 pm
Here is a good sequence of videos in case anyone is interested.  Iíve only seen the second which gave me enough comfort to build myself.  Off to finish watching the third now ... and Iím not sure I want to watch the first. 

Choosing parts
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lMC_xzqJxo4

Assembling parts
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=baDsVFyXqyY

Booting up
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LbpqkiaO7q4
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn on June 07, 2018, 02:06:14 pm
Looks like a dream build.
Keep us posted on how assembly goes, and of course use and performance.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: nemophoto on June 07, 2018, 09:33:59 pm
Wow. An excellent system you've put together with lots of power and longevity. This is why I've always preferred to use PCs -- the ability to customize a system the way I want, for my needs. Plus, I'm geeky, so there's a sense of satisfaction every time I put together a new system (about every 4-yrs). In the intervening time, I can replace components as I see the need. I think you'll be thrilled with your result. Probably the only downside I've found over the years (and I've been building my own computers since about 1990 -- if you don't count a Timex-Sinclair back in 1982!) is that you have to be your own tech support at times.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on June 07, 2018, 11:58:08 pm
Since this is my first ground up build, thatís good to hear from you.  I did up the power supply this AM to 1000W ó almost 2x overkill from what I need now.  But thanks to that and the chipset, just about everything should be nearly as fast as the best off the shelf machines now and very upgradeable.  Mac Pros pre trash can used to be much more like PCs that way.

Will post some benchmarks after I get it running.  Looking forward to seeing how my next big stack in Zerene Stacker fares.  That will be my ultimate benchmark along with a few plugins. 
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: nemophoto on June 08, 2018, 09:17:51 am
Since this is my first ground up build, thatís good to hear from you.  I did up the power supply this AM to 1000W ó almost 2x overkill from what I need now.  But thanks to that and the chipset, just about everything should be nearly as fast as the best off the shelf machines now and very upgradeable.  Mac Pros pre trash can used to be much more like PCs that way.

Good that you upgraded your PSU. Thatís one of the most overlooked component upgrades. An earlier build, I was experiencing erratic performance. I finally suspected the PSU. I changed it from 750watts to 1000 and issues were ďmagicallyĒ resolved.

The pre trash can Macs can be upgraded, but only to a point. My wife, for instance, has an older Mac Pro (sheís a graphic designer) and I upgraded her GPU with an older AMD Radeon board I had. No really issues, but I could not have just suddenly switched to an nVidia board since there would not have been the drivers available. Also, I routinely will swap out the CPU after a couple years (though that creates havoc sometimes as Windows and other programs suddenly see my computer as being ďnewĒ - PITA). As far as Iíve been able to tell on my wifeís Mac, thatís not an option.

Iíll be curious to hear the benchmarks. Iím sure they will be smoking!
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on June 17, 2018, 03:43:29 am
OK.  After a 12 hour day, I have assembled all the parts, run the bios and installed windows.  No errors along the way.  I have a few more drivers to install and files to transfer.

I havenít run benchmarking software for years, but if there is a free one let me know what youíd like to see. 

Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: kers on June 17, 2018, 11:28:38 am
OK, final build attached.  Just placed the order. 


It seems like a very good system indeed.
I am also making a system and would like to change a few things...

i would opt for the more expensive 7900X processor since it has more PCI lanes.  44 vs 28
Because at the moment the PCI interface is getting more and more used and important being the fastest interface.
The GPU already uses 16 lanes. M.2 interface uses 4 lanes ( i would have chosen the 2TB samsung 970 because of that).
That leaves you with 8 lanes left for all that is coming and external connections.
Good thing is you can always buy a new processor later on....
Anyway i am still on an old mac pro being much ( 3-4x) slower, but it is a very solid workhorse...
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn on June 17, 2018, 12:25:06 pm
My foray into the world of PCs has been pretty unsuccessful.
(Using a rather affordable, but current and decently equipped for speed, Alienware as a tester kit.)
My biggest fear was about having to remap my muscle memory for keyboard shortcuts, but I haven't been able to get that far.

Hours/days spent installing programs, actions, plugins, presets, extensions. Many not working (ie presets called by actions).

Currently trying to navigate thru a recurrent BSOD/Recovery screen.

This all takes tripple time to a person erstwhile unfamiliar with Windows, especially compared to just buying another Mac and Migrating everything, which will work as should in a couple of hours.

So as I try to get work done now, I can spend some hours trying to get the PC functional, or grind it out on my 2012 Mac. Whatever slowness the old Mac offers is more than compensated for by ease of use.

The kicker is, even using a speedy 8th gen 6 core i7 8700K chip, my machine benchmarks slower than a 2017 iMac using the 7th gen 4 core chip.

None of which is to say Mac is better than PC, simply that the transition from one platform to another has been fraught. Very fraught.

Pretty ticked at Apple for their Mac neglect. Still, the second they upgrade I'm probably in for another bite of the Apple.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn on June 17, 2018, 12:49:06 pm

I havenít run benchmarking software for years, but if there is a free one let me know what youíd like to see.

There may be better, but here's one I know:
https://browser.geekbench.com/

I don't remember the exact score I hit on single thread (where most of Photoshop lives), something around 5300k, I think.

Here are Mac Scores:

https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks/

And some people are getting in the high 9000's with my chip. Must be some death defying overclocking going on:

https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/singlecore
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: kers on June 17, 2018, 02:26:49 pm
I agree the Mac has made it easy just to be focussed on the actual work and less on maintaining a computer.

On the other hand as you say they have neglected the Macpro since 2012 - i see the 2013 macpro more and more sold secondhand at the moment.
Maybe those people bought a iMac pro for video.
The 2012 Macpro lives so long because you can upgrade the GPU, the Ram, the CPU, USB3.1 and put 4 harddisks in it. Even today you can add the latest M.2 memory in it.
Still the motherboard etc has its limitations and is not up to date.
The problem with Apple is they always want to reinvent the wheel and may come up with a square one because they think it is better- like with the 2013 macpro...
A new modular mac pro is said to arrive in 2019- maybe it will be december 2019 like with the mac pro dec 2013...
I do not know if i can wait that long and -at the same time- do not want to spend money on old technology.
My camera went from 12 tot 46MP during the last 6 years and now the computer slows me down.
That said a macpro 2019 may be something to wait for- it may have some new technology in it like perhaps pci 4.0 or 5.0...


Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Cornfield on June 17, 2018, 04:40:55 pm
I have a similar build from last year and am very happy with the performance.  The only addition I would make to your spec is to add another 8Tb drive and have both drives in raid 1 configuration or just use the Windows 10 Storage Space to have a mirror copy.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on June 17, 2018, 04:56:59 pm
Here are the geekbench scores. Now to check out those other links to see how it compares. I probably will run it against my souped up nearly to the max early 2009 Mac Pro just to see the difference.

Single Core: 5,102
Multi Core: 28,548
OpenCL score: 148,546

The real proof of the pudding will be later today after I migrate some old pics and use PS & Zerene Stacker.  Iíll wait to see how that looks before deliving into over clocking.  It is over clock ready. 

And yeah, I will someday add more storage and mirror the drives using that Windows mirroring capability that Iím forgetting the name of. B
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on June 17, 2018, 05:15:06 pm
Just roughly checked and the unoverclocked performance right now at $3500 is roughly comparable to a $5800 iMac pro, except that of course has the monitor (but doesnít have my NEC), and I can upgrade literally every component for many years.  So about what I expected.

Now off to learn windows again, migrate files and get CC set up. 
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: kers on June 17, 2018, 06:40:52 pm
Just roughly checked and the unoverclocked performance right now at $3500 is roughly comparable to a $5800 iMac pro, except that of course has the monitor (but doesnít have my NEC), and I can upgrade literally every component for many years.  So about what I expected.

Now off to learn windows again, migrate files and get CC set up.

The Imac Pro has more pci lanes ( 48) addressed through use of 4 thunderbolt3 ports and a 1000$ monitor, a xeon with ECC memory and it works out of the box .
So in the end it is not that much more expensive - if you do Finalcut pro it is unbeatable.
But i fully understand your switch. I have the same thoughts but would then try a hackingtosh.
Really like OSX and am working with it since 20 years...

Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Frodo on June 17, 2018, 07:14:47 pm
I have a gen 1 (?) i7 860 running 8GB RAM in an 8 year old machine.  I have moved from a 12MP to a 50MP camera in that time.  But having just bought a Canon 5DsR, NEC PA242W and Epson P600 in the last year, I am on a budget.
My conclusions, thanks to the great resources provided by Puget Systems:
- i7 8700 vs 8700K as not much gained by overclocking
- 2 x Lenovo 8 GB DDR4 2400 MHz UDIMM RAM as Lightroom rarely uses more - and RAM is expensive, but want future options.
- Gigabyte H370M D3H mATX motherboard.
- Although my monitor does 30 bit colour, LR on Windows does not, so simply relying on integrated graphics
- 250GB WD Green SSD
- 4 TB internal hard disk - exploring going bigger.  I run USB 3.0 external hard drives at the moment because of the funny noises my PC makes from time to time!  I do manual back-ups on portable hard drives and store offsite.  I am comfortable with back-up system.

Without a graphics card I am limited to HDMI andDVI ports.

This comes in at $1600 NZ (USD 1100).

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on June 17, 2018, 07:38:45 pm
Those sound like reasonable specs for the price point and what you say.  You MIGHT take a look at the P2000 graphics card too.  That will accelerate some other programs (unsure about lightroom) and give you 10 bit color.  If not now, then maybe later.  I'm not sure 10 bit color makes a huge difference, it's more the acceleration in Photoshop or other programs that I'd want that for.

If you're thinking about building your own machine, having just finished that, my advice is to look at all the YouTube videos you can (not watch, but look at the parts they are assembling that they announce in the beginning.  And try to find one that as closely as possible matches the specs you want.  Especially important is the motherboard.  The videos I cited above and built off of actually didn't match a lot of what I was building and I had to do a lot of back and forth with the motherboard manual in particular.  Could have been sped up to less than 6 hours to assemble instead of 12 if I had a video that matched the machine I was building. 

Regardless though, I'd have selected the same parts I did and taken longer, but just a thought.

Make sure your motherboard and power supply are overkill for what you're building and expandable.  There's wires youíll put all over the place from those, and if you want to make your computer last 8 years or so and be reasonably functioning during that time, those are key components.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Frodo on June 17, 2018, 09:22:31 pm
All good points Brad, thanks.
On the graphics card, I'm pretty sure Lightroom on Windows doesn't do 10 bit per channel (30 bit) colour, even though my NEC monitor does. I was recommended to get a Leadtek Quadro P400 GPU to operate in 10 bpc colour and its only NZD 230.  But if LR doesn't currently play ball, this is a future option. 
And a good point about keeping options open with the motherboard. 
I've been recommended a EVGA 550 GD 550W 80+ Gold Power Supply as being sufficient.
I won't be building this myself.  Don't mind adding RAM etc (or adjusting valves in my motorbike!) but want to stay away from the insides of a PC!
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Farmer on June 17, 2018, 10:13:09 pm
It's interesting when folks comment about an OS they don't use much.  You know how much time I spend "maintaining" my PC each week?  Zero seconds.  It backs up in the background constantly to the cloud and an image is saved weekly automatically to a local DAS.  Basically, the same experience that a seasoned Mac user has on their Mac.

As to something more useful: Brad, I highly recommend a small expenditure on Directory Opus.  It's file management software and I know of some Mac users who run parallels just to use this software (I've been using it since it was developed and released for the Amiga).  https://www.gpsoft.com.au/

I'm not affiliated with them in any way, it's just simply the best file management software and can (and should) replace File Explorer as your default, imo.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on June 17, 2018, 10:18:59 pm
Thanks for the link Phil - I spend a lot of time looking for files (particularly right now figuring out what to migrate) and that looks like it will help in the future.  Fortunately for a few years I won't be able to mess up the new drive too badly.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn on July 25, 2018, 01:32:40 pm
Here are the geekbench scores. Now to check out those other links to see how it compares. I probably will run it against my souped up nearly to the max early 2009 Mac Pro just to see the difference.

Single Core: 5,102
Multi Core: 28,548
OpenCL score: 148,546

The real proof of the pudding will be later today after I migrate some old pics and use PS & Zerene Stacker.  Iíll wait to see how that looks before deliving into over clocking.  It is over clock ready. 

And yeah, I will someday add more storage and mirror the drives using that Windows mirroring capability that Iím forgetting the name of. B

Brad, how'd the whole Migration thing go for you? I got flummoxed and gave up. As a lifelong Mac user I could never get my mind around the Control key (Command on a Mac) - the most used modifier key - being all the way on the far side of the keyboard. Simple moves on the Mac keyboard, like CMD+T for transform, were a tedious stretch for me on the PC keyboard. (Such a stupid little thing, but at 58 and lazy, I'm old enough it's hard for me to learn new tricks.)

So I bought into the Mac system for another round that I hope will get me through the next 3-5 years before I consider again. My i9, 32GB ram, 2T nvme, Macbook Pro gets about 5500 Single Core and 22500 Multi, which matched or beat out the two relatively substantial i7 6-core gaming PC desktops I tried. (Though it think their beefier graphics cards trounced the MBP's relatively meager 62,000 OpenCL score.)

The beauty for me is it's portable, so it'll be my mobile and desktop solution, don't have to sync my Lightroom cat & library between 2 computers, migration was a breeze, and I don't have to remap my muscle memory.

Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on July 25, 2018, 03:13:41 pm
All in all Iím quite happy with the PC.  The biggest hurdle wasnít designing or building it.  Not even close.  The biggest hurdle has been the amount of time I spent migrating everything cross platform, setting up all the presets, setting up color management, reinstalling my large format printer and learning an entirely new directory structure.  Even after all this time I feel only 95% migrated and 5% confused about where everything is.  There is something to be said with sticking with the same platform. 

I continue to be surprised that I havenít had to buy much software at all. I did have to buy QImage and antivirus software, but thatís about it.  Everything else nowadays can be reinstalled in a Windows version. It all operates pretty much the same, but some programs take some getting used to as well.  Once configured properly, most programs operate about the same though with very little differences.  Resetting up color management took some time. 

The control key doesnít bother me so much, probably since Iíve used PCs in the distant past, although it did take some getting used to.  I edit with an old Logitech Trackman Trackball, and that behaves differently - a bit less precise firmware it seems for the PC.  Thatís my biggest annoyance and might finally prompt me to find a substitute thumb-driven mouse or *gasp* try a Wacom again. 

Still Iíd do it again because of the cost issues for about the same performance, and the future proofing.  Iíll get over the 5% confusion in time.  If Mac hadnít walked away from their open architecture in the Pre Trash Can days I might feel differently.  But as it is, my machine is very upgradeable and will last quite a while.  And best of all, I donít feel like Iím waiting for the computer to process things anymore.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: nemophoto on July 25, 2018, 03:37:56 pm
It's interesting to hear your tale of Mac to PC migration. There's heated discussion going on at Extreme Tech regarding similar things. I find the hottest heads are usually Mac users who don't actually have ANY experience on a PC -- only what they think they know or have read. (In the fashion biz, I call these types the alligators-in-the-sewer. All they know of the world is what they see through the sewer grates, the feet walking by.) Because my wife has a Mac, I use both systems ambidextrously -- but I prefer PCs. And I infinitely prefer PCs for the upgradeability. (See my post on the hoops I'm going through just to even change the graphics card on my wife's Mac. Additionally upgrades are limited by the PSU. I can't just pop something bigger in her Mac 5,1. Yes something to be said about Open Architecture. But that is, traditionally, where Apple has made its money -- as a hardware company. OS X comes along for the ride.)
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: Brad P on July 25, 2018, 04:06:38 pm
Yeah Iíd agree with that.  A bit like religion and politics.  One more thing in favor of PCs and their open architecture is the ability to tailor the machine to the jobs at hand.  For my purposes, I could shift money around from processor cores to the graphics card and internal storage, where that benefits my particular workflow. 

Rumors are the next Mac Pro (next calendar year) will go back to a more open architecture design, which would be a good thing.  I couldnít wait for that with my older system.  But some might.  Even then though, my experience with my old 2009 Mac Pro was that it could only be updated only to a point.  Anything beyond what was supported by the operating system (like, famously, graphics cards) couldnít be upgraded without major hacks that could behave unpredictably.  That cuts both ways.  What the Mac OS does support it does very well.  But what it doesnít has meant in my experience hardware limitations. I suspect that dynamic will continue in an open architecture future Mac Pro too.  Time will tell. 
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn on July 25, 2018, 05:08:30 pm
All in all Iím quite happy with the PC.  The biggest hurdle wasnít designing or building it.  Not even close.  The biggest hurdle has been the amount of time I spent migrating everything cross platform, setting up all the presets, setting up color management, reinstalling my large format printer and learning an entirely new directory structure.

Great to hear you're happy.

It was that whole Migration part I struggled with.
My PC gamer son razzes me about the "Mac tax" I paid. But as a freelancer, that's money I can and do make in a day, compared to the days and weeks it'd have taken me to migrate allm those programs, presets, passwords, etc, and then to adjust. By staying on the same platform the migration takes a couple of hours. So that's a luxury I was happy to pay for.

Anyway, like you my files are processing much faster now. That's a fight worth fighting for, however one gets there.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: nemophoto on July 25, 2018, 05:40:41 pm
...compared to the days and weeks it'd have taken me to migrate allm those programs, presets, passwords, etc, and then to adjust. By staying on the same platform the migration takes a couple of hours. So that's a luxury I was happy to pay for.

Good point. This is the ONE area where I'm somewhat envious of my wife, the few times she bought a new Mac. The ease of transfer is NEVER something to overlook. I've tried several different programs over the years (such as PCMover), and have never had a lot of success. SOME stuff gets transferred over well (luckily Outlook, documents, etc.), but almost always I have to go through a reinstall of most programs. Pain in the butt. I'm going to a new laptop shortly. I don't relish the transfer of programs, but luckily, I don't have anywhere near as much on that as my desktop. Still, the ability to change components within my computer over an average of 4-years enables me to keep it in peak performance.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn on July 25, 2018, 05:49:38 pm
Can't you do a disk image and bring EVERYTHING over, similar to cloning on a Mac?
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: nemophoto on July 25, 2018, 09:43:28 pm
Actually, you can. PCMover does that, but I've used other software that seems better equipped. With configuration changes, what is tricky is if you go from, for example, and AMD motherboard to an Intel motherboard. Or even staying within the brand, a new generation of board (as I have usually done going with AMD). The problem is that different drivers are required with new generation hardware. Some are contained within Windows. Others have to be loaded from driver downloads or disks. I'm not sure what I'll do with my notebook, for instance. I'm going from a 4-year old laptop to a new one -- 4 generations different Intel CPU. In that case, it may be easier from scratch. But I have so many bloody programs on my desktop, it's a nightmare. That's what I've always appreciate the Apple upgrade. They make it easier. Microsoft can only go so far -- the downside of Open Architecture is that, well, it's open, so you have a lot of variables. The disk image works best when you are using it as a recent backup rather than a huge upgrade. For instance, as I type this, I'm creating a new clone/disk image on my wife's Mac to switch her from an HDD to an SSD.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn on July 25, 2018, 11:14:05 pm
Makes sense, thanks for the explanation.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: kers on July 26, 2018, 04:45:20 am
I am in the process of having a Hackintosh built.
It will replace my good old 2008 Mac pro. For me it is something new to do and i do not exactly know what the problems are i will face.
But i just like the OSX system so much - and knowmit so well that i wanted to try. I can always turn it in a windows if it fails.
The nice thing is now that i can buy the mac i really want. Never had that before and it is very nice to do it.
Also i can overclock the CPU; I expect to gain overall a factor 4 in speed and a more smooth working experience with Lightroom par example.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: smahn on July 26, 2018, 12:18:27 pm
I am in the process of having a Hackintosh built.

I'd love to hear more about this. Is this being done by a pro outfitter with experience, do they offer any sort of guarantee? Any predicted pitfalls like audio, wifi, etc?

I wonder if we're headed toward the end of the Hackintosh era as Apple moves toward more use of their own chips.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: kers on July 26, 2018, 05:57:17 pm
I'd love to hear more about this. Is this being done by a pro outfitter with experience, do they offer any sort of guarantee? Any predicted pitfalls like audio, wifi, etc?
I wonder if we're headed toward the end of the Hackintosh era as Apple moves toward more use of their own chips.
Think you are right, this T2-chip will be in the way for future Hackintosh... and already now for restoring your machine in a easy way.
That said they still have to support the T2-less models another 6 years or so.
Personally i do not want any t2... in my machine, i want to restore it in a simple way, but with a hackintosh there is no garantee.
I will have to stick with 13.6 for a while but that is OK. I always install the latest versions of a system - the most stable ones...
I come from 10.9.5 and do not need the new gadgets, but a fast working solution for photoshop, finalcut pro etc.
I can expand it later with new processors, new M.2 memory and new ram if i like and without any Apple bonus.
It is all because apple refuses to built a decent mac pro...- last serious machine dates back from 2010.

Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: kers on September 13, 2018, 11:16:57 am
I'd love to hear more about this. Is this being done by a pro outfitter with experience, do they offer any sort of guarantee? Any predicted pitfalls like audio, wifi, etc?
I wonder if we're headed toward the end of the Hackintosh era as Apple moves toward more use of their own chips.

Update:
I have a hackintosh up and running... i write this post on it...
Although i have not explored everything yet...
This is what  i have :

cpu  10 core i7900 overclocked at 4.5 HZ  with watercooling - does  about 35 nefs 36Mp/ minute in LR to 16 bit tiff
2Tb samsung EVO 700  - does 2500MB/sec read and write( blackmagic speed test) ( for my ongoing work)
one windows and one apple systemdisk on two crucial SSD's
a midrange graphic card  amd 480RX  8TB ( is about the same as a 580 RX)
Thunderbolt3 card- 2 slots
firewire 800 and 400 card
dvd/cd writer
space for about 6  600 sata harddisks -
6 usb2.0  two USB3  4 usb 3.1 gen1 and 4 usb 3.1 gen2
32gig ram (3000gb/s) and room for 96 more.
still room another two pci cards and one nvme SSD.

the system is about as fast as a imacpro 14 core, but the graphic card is less- also i do not have 10GB ethernet - i have 2 gigabyte slots.

the system is very silent- about 4x as fast as my old system and uses about 40% less energy.
geekbench about 5000 one core and 42000 10 core
cinebench 140frames rx480  and 2400 CPU

costs, about 4000€ so a lot cheaper than an imac pro + the NAS.
a new + retro machine - something apple will never built.

PS i choose the corei9-7900 for it was according to several sources the fastest for photoshop/LR - a compromise between core speed and multicores

it was very nice to be able to choose  my own computer according to my needs. A process i did not know very well being a mac user.
Macosx 13.6 runs great on it.
If Apple would have made a new sensible Macpro in 2018 i would have not taken this road; but maybe that is a good thing...

yes it is done by an outfitter with a decade experience- i did not want to spend time on all these little knowhows...
garantee... it is his personal garantee... i had a problem with the GPU and he replaced it . now everything works fine.
so yes there is a risk.

so i am Mac + PC now.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: JaapD on September 18, 2018, 06:35:35 am
Hi Pieter,

Looks indeed like a great system. Apart from the video card it could be a benchmark for Apple's next Mac Pro.

Can you tell me what motherboard you've chosen here?

Thanks!

Regards,
Jaap.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: langier on September 18, 2018, 04:12:07 pm
Bought my MacPro tower in 2010, second-hand, and have kept it up to date though hardware and software updates. First updates were installing a 1.5GB striped RAID and a TimeMachine backup. Next was to add 32GB of RAM and then upgraded the start-up drive to SSD first 580GB now 960GB. I added eSata and USB 3.x ports for faster external drives (I have a multi-TB "farm" under the desk). Next was replacing the GT-120 to a Radeon HD 7950 with more VRAM and more up to date GPU. A few months back, I flashed the ROM from 4,1 to 5,1 and upgraded the Nehalem from 4-core 2.66 GHz to a 6-core 3.46 GHz. Found the chip and instructions on eBay and it was an easy process. In all reality, every hardware upgrade was easy to do as was replacing the power supply a few years back. Just make sure it's not a windy day that you've pet your cat and you've belted down a couple of brews before starting! :-P

Little by little I did all these upgrades and now it's about as tweaked as I can do the hardware. It works well and its speed is snappy. I've encountered no issues in this approach since I got this machine over eight years ago.

This year, several software companies warned that El Capitan wasn't going to hack it for their next releases with Adobe jumping on the same bandwagon a few weeks back.

So last week, I did my initial testing by updating a back-up drive and installed High Sierra while it was still available from the Apple Store. Initial testing with critical software (Microsoft's 2008 suite) my back-up legacy Adobe CS software (perpetual license) along with more mundane software and utilities, all came through working just fine in the few hours I took to do it all. Perhaps an iteration will brick something, but for now, it looks good to do the upgrade. Even my printers and wifi worked perfectly.

Though I had many trepidations over upgrading my old 2009 Mac to High Sierra, it appears that this may be one of the smoothest OS upgrades I've had to do without the "tax" of having to upgrade lots of software, reinstall drivers or other annoying hassles of upgrade hell.

Yesterday, the MBP got High Sierra upgrading from El Capitan and it's going great. Soon this antique machine will get the same treatment and I'll be good for another few years. Maybe by then the next killer workstation will be out for a couple of years and someone constantly upgrading his machine to the bleeding edge will be ready to dump their fairly new and slightly used machine perfectly good for my next decade of work.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: kers on September 18, 2018, 06:43:31 pm
...So last week, I did my initial testing by updating a back-up drive and installed High Sierra while it was still available from the Apple Store. Initial testing with critical software (Microsoft's 2008 suite) my back-up legacy Adobe CS software (perpetual license) along with more mundane software and utilities, all came through working just fine in the few hours I took to do it all. Perhaps an iteration will brick something, but for now, it looks good to do the upgrade. Even my printers and wifi worked perfectly.
...
I had upgraded my 2008 Macpro to sierra/ High Sierra  and to my surprise photoshop CS6 worked great, but..

Sierra had a problem with actions - if an action took more than 5 minutes the action stopped..
High Sierra stopped the action too but after 10 minutes...
As you can imagine it took a while to discover the problem... i already had migrated the whole lot and my custom settings and then this happened.
I can imagine that somebody at Adobe could fix this problem in that same 5-10 minutes, but they are not interested....;)
my major migrating problem is mail.
Somehow with every new operating system Apple needs to change Mail and its structure ; it makes migrating less easy.
Now i export/import my boxes manually.

PS my motherboard is called ASUS  x299 deluxe.
Must say i have no thnderbolt3 equipment so need to test that...
As i unnderstand the reason thunderbolt3 supports screens is only that i provides the contacts for the screen- it has a contact ( wire) from the GPU to provide the data.
I admire Apples design for i have a lot of wires going from one place to another... Apple would feel ashamed if there MacPro would be like that.
(but it is all in the box- the box is a fractal design R6)




Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: langier on September 18, 2018, 09:25:00 pm
No issues with my email  & my few Photoshop actions work just fine. Most execute in seconds, nothing too complex in my collection. Upgraded to 10.13.6 also got me to go through my utilities and apps to weed out and archive the obsolete, update some of the less frequent apps I use and confirm that what old apps I still use, still work.

There were some that looked fine (no "prohibited" icon overlays) but simply did nothing after launching. Most I hadn't used in years, so it was time to clean out the folder.
Title: Re: Power Users: MAC or PC?
Post by: kers on September 19, 2018, 05:46:40 am
No issues with my email  & my few Photoshop actions work just fine. Most execute in seconds, nothing too complex in my collection. Upgraded to 10.13.6 also got me to go through my utilities and apps to weed out and archive the obsolete, update some of the less frequent apps I use and confirm that what old apps I still use, still work.

There were some that looked fine (no "prohibited" icon overlays) but simply did nothing after launching. Most I hadn't used in years, so it was time to clean out the folder.

Sounds good.  8-10 years of service from Apple is not too bad...
I had more problems because of a 2008 machine...