So, eh what about the new powermacs? at

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Old October 19th, 2005, 08:37 PM   #1
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So, eh what about the new powermacs?

Really torn here. Was set on a purchase of a new powermac with dual cores for an upcoming documentary in HDV but was expecting all the new dual cores to have clear advantages over their dual processor predecessors but with slower clock rates with dual core setups at lower prices and the next to most expensive powermac still offered being a dual proc. 2.7 (I would assume the performance range is in sequential order of pricing), what's to make of all this? I've read online that intel and AMD dual proc. are faster than their dual core counterparts and ddr2 has its tradeoffs, so what's a better idea for fcp hdv editing, a dual core 2.3 with 2.5 gigs of ddr2 ram and pci express vid card or a dual 2.7 processor with 2.5 gigs of ddr ram and pcix video? Yes there's the quad processor g5 out in a month or so but I sure wouldn't want to be the gineapig on that one, talk about a veritable space heater...
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Old October 20th, 2005, 08:59 PM   #2
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In one of my classes my professor was talking about online/offline editing so if you work that way it doesnt matter what system you have. Anyways i have a dual (non Dual-core) Powermac G5 2.7ghz plus 3GB of ram over 600gb of storage space and im not having a difficult time editing( not really working with HDV) so either way you go you win.....i say as long as you can edit then its all good. Sort of how people say as long as your alive nothing else matters. just my two cents.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 09:41 PM   #3
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Kevin, yes this is all good and well. I edited many scenes from a super 16mm feature on my mac mini, spent days tweaking the final film on my mini, and also started a promo package for the upcoming feature doc I'm editing also on my mac mini and fcp5 without a hiccup (doc all shot in hdv but downconverted to dv just for the promo side) but this is more about what speed advantages if any to editing a dual core system with the new pci express and ddr2 ram might have over a dual processor system like a 2.7 with the older vid and memory formats. I bet many people (myself included) are in a position of purchase to upgrade their system (I mean, the mini has worked for me but professionally, I'm expected to have more, especially when I'm about to start an hdv project with online editing needs, and to settle producers/director's nerves not to mention all the other speed advantages). Just curious if people felt strongly on the editing or rendering time applicable speed bumps of the dual cores vs the dual processors.

UPDATE: here's the first posted speed tests between the new systems:
Looks like the dual 2.3 is a bit faster than the old dual processors (minus the dual 2.7) so it might be worth getting the dual core 2.3 over the dual processors including the somewhat faster 2.7 because

a) greater room for upgrades with pciexpress and ddr2 up to 16 gigs of ram (that's a rediculous amount that would never be used I doubt)
b) less noise and cooling issue to worry about
c) greater expansion with internal drives, up to one terabyte of internal storage
d) free mighty mouse and keyboard
e) lower cost
f) dual layer superdrive

Not bashing any dual processor system at all, like Kev says, if it works it works and a dual 2.7 is one blazing setup, just trying to stack the systems next to each other and hear others opinions on the almost redundant g5 performance system comparisons... the quad will own all, but also be a nice tinderbox.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 11:24 PM   #4
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Whoa, four processor dual core version? I doubt it as it sounds like someone misinterpreted the "quad core" thing but it wouldn't be impossible. Certainly Motion wouldn't be a problem anymore (I hear it's pretty rough and CPU intensive) with eight processors going! =)

I wonder how much it would cost. But either way these new Macs open up a lot of possibilities for performance. Only thing missing is SLI.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 11:32 PM   #5
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Its 2 dualcore 2.5 GHz processors. So its 4 processors total. Dualcores have heat and speed advantages, but putting 2 on one piece of silicon so far means you have to lower the clock speed. Same for Intel, AMD and IBM. So the heat issues for the quad machine shouldn't be too bad. Note that they aren't water cooling it... so if there was a big heat issue, you would think they would go that route.

In terms of what box to get, if you bought in the last 6 months, only the 2 dualcore behemoth really stands out. Otherwise, you are looking at other improvements on the board, not pure processor power. 2 processors on one piece of silicon running at 2.3 vs. 2 processors in separate sockets running at 2.5... pretty much a dead heat.

If you are looking for an upgrade from your older G4 or first gen G5, then these are a great buy for a year or 2 to wait out how the Intel transition goes...
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Old October 21st, 2005, 12:13 AM   #6
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heh heh, no I understand it's a dual processor dual core 2.5, I guess I just worded it wrong in my excitement... =) though 8 processors would be quite exciting!

Mark, I just assumed the quad would be water cooled, very interesting that it's not, nice. What do you think about the ddr2 ram? With FCP being such a ram hungry program but only able to take advantage of ~2.5 gigs of ram, do you think the faster ddr2 would somehow usher in speed advantages compared to 2.5 gigs of the older ddr or just negligeable differences? And just to clarify, RAM helps responsiveness of FCP and its ability to handle large numbers of files (larger projects) but not encoding or rendering times which is all processor power right? So, for fastest rendering times maybe the dual 2.7 will have superior render speeds but I guess we'll have to wait for more benchmarks to find out what advantages certain setups have...
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Old October 21st, 2005, 09:13 AM   #7
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I guess really no one knows yet if the quad will be water cooled or not, but from what I have read on tech boards, Apple is kind of claiming to have "solved" the heat issues to some degree... but still, look at those fans and heat sinks!

The quad should beat the dual 2.7 for heavily multi-threaded apps, but no one knows yet how well FCP doles out tasks across 4 processors instead of 2. According to Apple's site though, the quad kills the dual 2.7...

Tech Overview PDF:

Makes it seem as though FCP is really good at dividing up streams and realtime effects to separate threads and processors, so "real time" editing should be where you see a lot of improvement. So in the end, I think only the quad will really see large speed improvements.

EDIT: Just read that "According to the tech service manual, the PM G5 Quad 2.5Ghz is Liquid cooled."

Last edited by Mark Sloan; October 21st, 2005 at 12:13 PM.
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