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Friday Apple Quickies

pudge posted about 11 years ago | from the he-shoots-he-scores dept.

Technology (Apple) 78

An anonymous reader writes "Steve Jobs' $78 million Apple income tops Fortune magazine's list of CEOs whose companies lagged behind the S&P 500 performance last year. The number 'reflects the value of five million restricted shares Jobs got this year in exchange for 27.5 million underwater options.'" markomarko writes "Well, despite Charlie White making all us Mac users eat crow over his comparison of render times between a dual 1.25 GHz Power Mac and a Dell 3.06 GHz P4, it seems that that Dave Nagel has given us a reason to take another look at the Mac. His article shows how After Effects render speeds can be doubled with the Mac, by using both CPUs."

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78 comments

It's nice to see Scotty McNeilly that list. (1, Funny)

Sevn (12012) | about 11 years ago | (#5757994)

$31.7 salary
74.7% behind

Watching Linux grab up your market share?
priceless.

After effects (0, Flamebait)

selderrr (523988) | about 11 years ago | (#5758060)

this whole after effects comparision is a joke. Mac users use Final Cut (pro or express) or Shake. You can not compare these apps with AE in terms of computation time, as they are algoritmically different.

Give it a rest.
Go compare
iMovie3 on the other hand, sux so hard it would put Miss Lewinsky to shame. Goddamit Apple, how could you release such a POS ????? It's not even worthy of an alpha label !!!!!!

Re:After effects (5, Informative)

cyb97 (520582) | about 11 years ago | (#5758080)

I wonder if you know what After Effects does sir, as there are different uses for Final Cut *, Shake and After Effects.
After Effects is actually what the name implies a program to add Effects after it's been edited (or even while). Final Cut is a linear editor, while After Effects is a visual effects program. The do wastly different things.
Shake on the other hand is not unsimilar to AE, but the price tag on it ($5,000) just prices it out of the competition. That's also why they marked it as a digital composition tool, aimed at filmproducers rather than the average joe just wanting to put some flashy-text in his average home-video.

Re:After effects (2, Informative)

seinman (463076) | about 11 years ago | (#5758919)

Cut is a linear editor

Great post, you're right about the difference between FCP and AE. However, FCP is a non-linear editor.

Re:After effects (1)

stubear (130454) | about 11 years ago | (#5759316)

"That's also why they marked it as a digital composition tool, aimed at filmproducers rather than the average joe just wanting to put some flashy-text in his average home-video."

bzzzzztttt...wrong. After Effects has long been the industry standard post production effects applicaiton used in film and television. Sure some studios might use flint, flame or inferno but After Effects has been used in lower budget broadcast and even in some film work. It is far beyond the grasp of "the average joe just wanting to put some flashy-text in his average home-video". Don't let its price tag fool you. AE is a great tool used by many in the film and television industry as the backbone of their workflow.

Re:After effects (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | about 11 years ago | (#5765065)

don't let it's price tag fool you? It cost us £1500! I don't know if you could really call AE "industry standard", but it's WIDELY used across all sectors of broadcast and film work, but is rather too slowly and fiddly for most TV work. Most of our gfx are created in Quantel Editbox (much better than AE) and DS (questionable...).

Re:After effects (1)

rfsayre (255559) | about 11 years ago | (#5760292)

Shake on the other hand is not unsimilar to AE, but the price tag on it ($5,000) just prices it out of the competition.

Only if you're a hobbyist. The difference in price is insignificant for a business if the product is better.

Re:After effects (1)

cyb97 (520582) | about 11 years ago | (#5760447)

If your company does commercials for the local tv-station not only would shake be expensive, but also overkill... and expensive/difficult to learn...
Just speaking out of experience...

Re:After effects (1)

valkraider (611225) | about 11 years ago | (#5761727)

The difference in price is insignificant for a business if the product is better.

Which business is this? I have always been stuck with substandard tools - because accountants and planners only ever look at one thing, current costs. Lifetime costs, future benefits - they never look good to shareholders. Internet time can be bad too!

Re:After effects (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5762724)

I've never seen an annual report that listed a $5,000 software package as a line-item expense. I have seen companies that spent millions on a sock puppet, though.

Re:After effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5759002)

Excuse me? Who modded this guy Insightful?

iMovie 3 (3, Informative)

Llywelyn (531070) | about 11 years ago | (#5759794)

"iMovie3 on the other hand, sux so hard it would put Miss Lewinsky to shame."

That being said, iMovie 3 is free and better than any other free editor I have ever seen.

I also should say that, in my limited working with it, I have not had any problems.

For those who are doing more than making home movies, Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express are reasonably priced.

Re:After effects (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 11 years ago | (#5764425)

After Effects works with Final Cut Pro/Express to add effects, titles etc etc.

iMovie is free, and isn't all that bad. It holds its own against Microsoft's hastily made "windows movie maker" program, released to be an alternative to iMovie.

What more do you expect from a free app? It can't be too good, otherwise no one would buy FCP/E. iMovie fits its target audience pretty well - home users with camcorders who just want to do very simple edits, titles and sound tracks/effects/VO.

New! Improved! (-1, Troll)

adolf (21054) | about 11 years ago | (#5758113)

This just in: By using multiple CPUs, you can get more work done, faster!

Imagine a Beowolf cluster of...naah, fuck it. Keep the Mac and give me a quad Xeon. Thanks.

mac gets slaughtered again (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5758416)

well i'm fucking glad someone said something,

BUT FUCK ADOBE
pc perferred. fuck YOU, WHY WOULD YOU RELEASE A PROGRAM THAT DOESN'T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HALF THE MACHINE,

especially for something like DV express. I sell that shit and it's EMBARRASSING (yes sir it is twice as fast on a pc...)

Are you kidding? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5758597)

His article shows how After Effects render speeds can be doubled with the Mac, by using both CPUs.

And yet, it still lags dramatically behind a single Intel CPU.

Re:Are you kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5758642)

Umm... With over 50% decrease in render times, no, it isn't.

Re:Are you kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5759169)

Please learn to read.

Re:Are you kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5759656)

Please learn to think.

Re:Are you kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5759830)

maybe he learned to "think different"

Re:Are you kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5760172)

Not much need to in this case, it's spelled out pretty clearly. I guess reading comprehension isn't the strong point for some people.

Re:Are you kidding? (2, Interesting)

jlaxson (580785) | about 11 years ago | (#5763806)

Umm, no. The Mac vs. Dell comparison was done using one instance of the AE renderer. It was only using 1 CPU. Thus, he was comparing a 3GHz P4 to a single 1.25GHz G4.

That's kind of interesting, considering that the Mac scores were (usually) only 5-20% slower than the Dell, even though the Mac CPU was running 60% slower.

I would like to see the results of the test if one were to use both CPUs (2 AE Rendering Instances) in the Mac. Perhaps the 'Puts it to shame' comparison will be pointing the other direction.

How Does AfterEffects Run... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5758952)

... on my Quad Processor Xeon? Can I do this trick to improve my performance, or is it just for mAcs?

So in other words.... (4, Insightful)

Squidgee (565373) | about 11 years ago | (#5759005)

Adobe is technically screwing over the Mac.

By releasing a product which uses 1/2 of the Mac's power, they've crippled it. It would be similar to capping that 3ghz pentium to 1.5ghz, in which cause the Mac would (Guess what) slaughter the PC.

Yea, Adobe's a real good Mac software maker.

Re:So in other words.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5759207)

Oh, right, it's Adobe's fault. *rolls eyes*

Re:So in other words.... (4, Insightful)

arloguthrie (318071) | about 11 years ago | (#5759599)

Oh, right, it's Adobe's fault. *rolls eyes*

Damn right its Adobe's fault. It's Microsoft's fault that Windows sucks, is it not? It's not Intel's fault that Microsoft is not writing an operating system that runs smoothly and efficiently on their processors and chipsets. So if Adobe isn't willing to optimize their software to take advantage of Altivec and dual-processors on the platform that made their company what it is today, then I say, "Adobe -- j'accuse!"

I have many of the same feelings about Adobe as I do Microsoft. Adobe had a nearly monopolistic place in the design industry (Photoshop, especially) and they abuse it by filling their software with bloat and not actually improving it. They have a history of making their software incompatible with others (see this article [pennnet.com] ). And let's not forget when they sued Macromedia for using a fairly common UI widget.

When optimized for G4s and multiple G4s, software can be very zippy on a Mac. In raw power, they are still lacking behind in Intel, all us Mac lovers are sad to admit. But this article proves that Macs, compared to PCs in their price point neighborhood, can hold their own if developers like the marketing-driven ones at Adobe, took the time to make their software take full advantage of the machine they're working on.

Re:So in other words.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5759864)

not every mac user has a dual G4. Or even a G4. Intel's C++ compiler can generate code that checks which features the processor supports, and run the most optimized code for it. Does gcc or MetroWorks compile binaries that are optimized for altivec but have slower code for older processors?


Sure, a poor artist blames his tools. Adobe could have rewritten some key functions to be altivec optimized. But the Macintosh market is smaller, (and therefore less potential profit). Furthermore, Apple has been adding free/lowcost software that competes with Adobe and other manufacturors.

Re:So in other words.... (3, Informative)

Llywelyn (531070) | about 11 years ago | (#5760137)

" Does gcc or MetroWorks compile binaries that are optimized for altivec but have slower code for older processors?"

It is simple enough to check and several of the libraries that are commonly used (as opposed to directly using the altivec commands) do exactly this.

" Adobe could have rewritten some key functions to be altivec optimized. "

The vast majority of designers who use Adobe on the Mac have at least one G4.

". Furthermore, Apple has been adding free/lowcost software that competes with Adobe and other manufacturors."

Last I checked, half of Adobe's profit came from the Macintosh--at the least on certain product lines.

Re:So in other words.... (3, Interesting)

GlassHeart (579618) | about 11 years ago | (#5760479)

not every mac user has a dual G4. Or even a G4.

Since graphics professionals are somewhat more likely to require and afford top-of-the-line hardware, it's not an unreasonable assumption to optimize for at all.

Adobe could have rewritten some key functions to be altivec optimized. But the Macintosh market is smaller, (and therefore less potential profit).

Be careful with your math. Although the Macintosh market is comparatively small, it's not necessarily a correspondingly small part for a maker of software for graphics professionals. I would not be surprised if the Macintosh products bring 10% (double the apparent Macintosh market share) or even 20% of Adobe's sales.

Re:So in other words.... (3, Informative)

afantee (562443) | about 11 years ago | (#5765979)

>> Macintosh products bring 10% (double the apparent Macintosh market share) or even 20% of Adobe's sales.

It's actually 30% according overall, according to Adobe's latest report. Excluding consumer products like Acrobat and Photoshop Album, the figure may well be over 50% for their professional lines.

Re:So in other words.... (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 11 years ago | (#5762146)

Adobe could have rewritten some key functions to be altivec optimized. But the Macintosh market is smaller, (and therefore less potential profit). Furthermore, Apple has been adding free/lowcost software that competes with Adobe and other manufacturors.

So you're not disagreeing that the software is at fault, you're just trying to explain why.

Re:So in other words.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5759961)

Does gcc or MetroWorks compile binaries that are optimized for altivec but have slower code for older processors?

Well, yeah.

Dear Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5759068)

Dear Apple,

I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

Please let these contests end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5759191)

I, for one, am getting quite sick of the PC vs. Mac benchmarks wars. If I'm out driving in my Vette, and some asswipe in his fartcan Civic wants to race me, do I give him the time of day? Hell no, it's just sad. Please let these stop, the Mac is good for plenty of things, but speed just isn't one of them.

Re:Please let these contests end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5759883)

"Vette"? Oh, a Chevette. Did you get flames painted on the sides, too?

Re:Please let these contests end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5760093)

Whatever you say, kid.

Re:Please let these contests end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5762740)

nice comeback.

Re:Please let these contests end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5771338)

So, you're out driving your "vette". With your incredibly hot USDA Grade-A pussy girlfriend, right? Then you wake up with a hard on, and show up late for work (Burgetr King Asst Manager) because you had to pull your pud while looking at a JC Penny's catalog.

Frustrating (5, Informative)

Niles_Stonne (105949) | about 11 years ago | (#5759194)

Reading the "Mac vs. PC III: Mac Slaughtered Again" article was an exercise in frustration, particularly when the other link states how to nearly double rendering performance. The writing in the article just generally pissed me off.

Anyway, perhaps it's time to send a nicely worded e-mail to Mr. Charlie White. A real benchmark may be impressive, considering a 3.06Ghz Dell system was only 2 times faster than the 1.25Ghz G4 in the best case - a Mhz/Mhz comparison should put it closer to 2.4 times faster.

By doing a little analysis of their data, we get the following table:


Test Name (Mac Time in Seconds/Dell Time in Seconds) = Time Ratio
1. After Effects: Simple Animation (14/7) = 2.0
2. After Effects: Video Composite (85/54) = 1.57
3. After Effects: Data Project (227/125) = 1.82
4. After Effects: Gambler (43/29) = 1.48
5. After Effects: Source Shapes (426/254) = 1.68
6. After Effects: Virtual Set (495/264) = 1.88
1. Photoshop: Layer styles & transformation (7.1/4.5) = 1.58
2. Photoshop: Filter Effects (62/35.1) = 1.77
3. Photoshop: Manipulations and adjustments (4.5/3.4) = 1.32

Average Time Ratio: 1.68


That means that On Average The Mac, running at 1.25Ghz only took 1.68 times longer to do the same task.

The "How to Double your After Effects Performance" article averages almost exactly a 2x speed increase, taking on average 49.2% of the time on the "long tests". Taking this into account, we can look at the two longest tests, factor in the speed increase, and look at the "final" performance:


5. After Effects: Source Shapes (209.65/254) = 0.83
6. After Effects: Virtual Set (243.61/264) = 0.92


If we go through the same calculation for _all_ of the calculations, we get the Mac BEATING the Dell, taking only 83% of the time that the Dell took. If we take the Photoshop calculations out of the average, it is still at only 86% of the time the Dell took.

Note that these are all calculated values, and as such may vary significantly from actual values, also that I used the improvement on the "long" test for everything, and did not use the improvement on the short test at all - I imagine that the two systems would end up nearly even in a real test.

Apparently all of my tables were lame when I had them formatted, thanks lameness filter!

Re:Frustrating (1)

Flamerule (467257) | about 11 years ago | (#5759513)

A real benchmark may be impressive, considering a 3.06Ghz Dell system was only 2 times faster than the 1.25Ghz G4 in the best case - a Mhz/Mhz comparison should put it closer to 2.4 times faster.
Nope. Read the article closer next time, because your entire reply is just wrong. It was a dual 1.25 GHz G4. And 3.06 / 2*1.25 = 1.224. So your elaborately compiled list of result ratios just reinforces White's claims -- they're all greater than 1.224, making the Mac, indeed, more poorly performing than the P4.

Re:Frustrating (4, Insightful)

Niles_Stonne (105949) | about 11 years ago | (#5759582)

Read both of the articles, you will see that After Effects only uses one processor - hence the ability to "double your performance" using the dual processor "tip" from the second article. My calculation is correct, given that the second processor is roughly equivalent to a brick as far as After Effects is concerned in it's standard configuration.

The entire point of my post was to extrapolate from given data what the data may have looked like if White's testing had used the dual processor tip, instead of just using a single 1.25Ghz G4 vs a 3.06Ghz Intel.

Re:Frustrating (4, Informative)

Llywelyn (531070) | about 11 years ago | (#5759844)

Do you know *anything* about SMP?

1) If the mac was only using one processor, then while a dual system is still faster (OS tasks can be sent to the other processor, other apps have more of a pipeline to be scheduled in, &c) it is nowhere near the point of using all of its processors.

2) Two single processors have advantages and disadvantages when compared to one faster processor. Some of the advantages include that it will feel more responsive and will actually be faster when performing lots of smaller or a mixed group of CPU based tasks. When performing a single large tasks (such as what AE tends to do without this hack), each one independently, the dual processor system suffers greatly.

Dual processor machines are just completely different beasts--adding their MHz and comparing them that way is a very poor way of scaling them per MHz against a single processor system, since it is completely and totally nonrepresentative of how the systems work.

Re:Frustrating (1)

dtfarmer (548183) | about 11 years ago | (#5760006)

So your elaborately compiled list of result ratios just reinforces White's claims

don't you mean: "So your elaborately compiled list of result ratios just reinforces my claims"

nice try at saving face, Mr. White, but you need a refresher course in the math subject area. I must admit I am amused to think of all the PC apologists who inisted that After Effects, and therefore your article's testing, was using both processors on that dual G4.

My simplification of Charlie White's article:
A single 1.25 GHz G4 is 68% slower than a 3.04 GHz P4. (is that something to tout now, really?)

Re:Frustrating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5760077)

You guys crack me up. I'm sure Mr. Gates is a big poster on a pimply 15 year-old's site, too.

Re:Frustrating (1)

dtfarmer (548183) | about 11 years ago | (#5760291)

Glad you got the humor of my post. Do I actually believe that poster was Charlie? no. Do I believe a 1.25 GHz G4 is 68% slower than a 3.04 GHz P4? no. But I can spot the idiots on both sides of the fence, and Mr. White is one of them, if only because he believed the results of his tests enough to publish them, and make a fool of himself, the same way some mac users will point to Photoshop bakeoffs as proof that a 1 GHz G4 is 2x faster than a 2.5 GHz P4.

Re:Frustrating (4, Insightful)

GlassHeart (579618) | about 11 years ago | (#5760522)

Mr. White is [an idiot], if only because he believed the results of his tests enough to publish them, and make a fool of himself

I don't think there is reason to believe that the White benchmarks are invalid. First of all, they are out-of-the-box configurations, still valid for those who don't want to hack their software. Secondly, it predates this dual processor hack.

Its conclusion can now be called into question, but I think "idiot" is far too harsh. If he is intellectually honest, he will redo his benchmarks applying this recent discovery.

please... It's not a "HACK" (2, Informative)

Satchel Buddah (534002) | about 11 years ago | (#5762150)

It's called "using the provided software". Unless you consider using expert features of a program a hack. It is not uncommon to use the network renderer in pro houses for heavy comps. I never thought of using two "render nodes" on the same machine tho, but it makes total sense. The big difference of AE for NT/2K/XP vs AE for Mac is that AE for windows is threaded and uses multiprocessoring (has been for years), while AE for Mac is not using both processors. It is pure sillyness and lazyness from Adobe (or strategic evil payback to FCP by trying to move people out of Macs), since ALL the professional Mac animation/compositing monkeys use dual proc machines. Mac Duallies are standard in the industry for over 3 years.. Anyway, Adobe needs to seriouly overhaul its rendering sub system (practically unchanged since they bought "Causa After Effects 2.0", way back). They should use a self replicating render deamon, like many more efficient compositing systems. Maybe do something fancy like rendez-vous rendering a la Shake 3. While not "top end" AE remains a bargain for the all the functionality it offers and remains the standard swiss knife for many effects/animation shops. As for the guy stating that Mac users prefer to use FCP and Shake, obviously he does not know what he is talking about. Totally different stuff. FCP is a (very nice) rather unexpensive, feature packed non linear editor with some compositing functions, but not a full fledged compositor like AE. Shake is a great compositor for the wealthy ($5k license on macs, while AE production is what, $500?) with many great features (color tools, keying, easy scripting all over the place, SPEED) and unparalleled control, a toy for rather expert compositors. It also inherits from its "linuxy geeky" past many annoying inconsistancies (undos are ***ed up, UI is on the garish/unreadable/confusing side, file acess looks linuxy...). it is also lacking some features (hello ? where is the mesh warping ? Crappy timeline also). It will turn out beautifully in version 4 once apple spends some time polishing it. Version 2.5 was just a quick port on the mac platform ("look Steve ! it does run on mac") but gave a feel of work in progress, performance wise and UI wise. Didnt try new vers 3 yet.

Re:Frustrating (3, Insightful)

dtfarmer (548183) | about 11 years ago | (#5762410)

but I think "idiot" is far too harsh. If he is intellectually honest, he will redo his benchmarks applying this recent discovery

Yes, idiot might be too harsh, but from what I've heard of him and his demeanor towards macs, I seriously doubt he will redo the benchmarks using the full power of a dual processor mac. I certainly hope he proves me wrong, for the sake of his "intellectual honesty".

Take for instance the entire tone of the article, which can be summed up by the title he used "mac slaughtered again." Now ask why he never once questioned the performance of the Mac, and why it performed as such? He never even asks if the fault of the performance lies with Apple (hardware) or Adobe (software). He wants to lead you believe it is the Mac hardware that falls short, when the software is as much or more to blame for the performance. Had the software he was using been threaded properly (and Adobe knows how to do this, see Photoshop) to take advantage of the multi-processors, which this "hack" allows you to do, his precious new Dell with it's hyperthreading might not have fared so well.

Nonetheless, when we get right down to brass tacks, my only point (which I admit I overdid in using the term idiot) is that Mr White has a bias, and his tests were meant solely to reinforce that bias, just as Photoshop bakeoffs are meant to reinforce a pro-mac bias.

Charlie White is biased (1)

afantee (562443) | about 11 years ago | (#5766033)

The Charlie White benchmark is a very unprofessional piece of work. It reads more like an interview with the Dell product manager, and he might get paid by the Dell marketing department for that.

Re:Frustrating (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 11 years ago | (#5762118)

Nope. Read the article closer next time

Naturally you mean other people should read more closely, rather than you, who obviously can't be bothered.

Re:Frustrating (1)

BigBir3d (454486) | about 11 years ago | (#5760679)

This just in: Dual proc Mac's might be faster than single proc PC's!

If we could, how about a fair comparison: Mac G4 dual 1.42 GHz versus dual P4 3.06 GHz. Dual versus dual, or dumb down the Mac, single versus single.

News at 11.

Re:Frustrating (2, Interesting)

Gropo (445879) | about 11 years ago | (#5760831)

If we could, how about a fair comparison: Mac G4 dual 1.42 GHz versus dual P4 3.06 GHz. Dual versus dual, or dumb down the Mac, single versus single.
Better still, let's compare a cluster of G4's versus a cluster of Pentium 4's... Taking in to account OS X's native Multilink Multihoming capabilities and freedom from the shackles of the PCI bus.

Or, we could just compare prices, in that two 1.25 Ghz G4's from Apple cost roughly the same as a single 3.06 Ghz P4 from Dell... Any idea what two 3Ghz Xeons would cost? Any idea what two XServe Dual 1.3 Ghz "Cluster Models" would cost?

Re:Frustrating (1)

GlassHeart (579618) | about 11 years ago | (#5762455)

Any idea what two 3Ghz Xeons would cost?

I spec'ed out a dual Xeon based on the "Ultimate" PowerMac, and it came to just under $5,000 without Bluetooth. Re-spec'ing it to a CD-RW drive (from a DVD+RW), 1.5 GB (from 2 GB) RAM, 80 GB (from 120 GB) hard disk, and a cheaper 32 MB video card (from 128 MB) would bring it to the neighborhood of Apple's $3,800 "Ultimate" package. Apple certainly has reason to be concerned at the top end.

Re:Frustrating (1)

Lars T. (470328) | about 11 years ago | (#5762626)

Wow, you're my hero. After I did the same to the "Ultimate" Mac, and removed Bluetooth and Modem (but still with 120 GB HD), it cost $2,920.00. Sorry, PCs are just too expensive.

Re:Frustrating (1)

GlassHeart (579618) | about 11 years ago | (#5762948)

After I did the same to the "Ultimate" Mac, and removed Bluetooth and Modem (but still with 120 GB HD), it cost $2,920.00.

Yes, but now you don't have the option to spend the $1000 you saved in raw CPU speed, if that's what you really need. Lack of options at the high end is the "worry" I'm talking about.

Re:Frustrating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5762689)

I spec'ed out a dual Xeon based on the "Ultimate" PowerMac, and it came to just under $5,000 without Bluetooth. Re-spec'ing it to a CD-RW drive (from a DVD+RW), 1.5 GB (from 2 GB) RAM, 80 GB (from 120 GB) hard disk, and a cheaper 32 MB video card (from 128 MB) would bring it to the neighborhood of Apple's $3,800 "Ultimate" package. Apple certainly has reason to be concerned at the top end.
I don't understand your point. If you re-spec'ed it by downgrading all the goodies of the "Ultimate" paclage, why are you still comparing them?

Re:Frustrating (1)

GlassHeart (579618) | about 11 years ago | (#5762928)

If you re-spec'ed it by downgrading all the goodies of the "Ultimate" paclage, why are you still comparing them?

Because the PC is proving to be more flexible. That is, for the same price, you can get what are probably more powerful CPUs by sacrificing items you don't need. If you don't need that much CPU power, you can spend the same money on the peripherals.

Basically, you don't want to be in a position where you don't have anything more expensive to sell a buyer, and that's where Apple is at the high end desktop workstation.

Re:Frustrating (1)

Gropo (445879) | about 11 years ago | (#5771326)

Alright, let's try and squeeze as much PowerPC in to your $5000 ballpark figure as possible:

Xserve Dual 1.33 base model - $2699 USD

Xserve Dual 1.33 base model - $2699 USD

Total: $5398 USD

Accumulative peak theoretical FLOPS: 38 GigaFLOPS


And against this, a Dual Xeon 3.06Ghz workstation, within the $5000 price range would give you an estimated:

Accumulative peak theoretical FLOPS: 12.24 GigaFLOPS

My figure regarding the Xeon's peak performance is based on the only data I could readily find [216.239.57.100] - from a 2.53 Ghz P4 (@ 5.06 PTGigaFLOPS) - keep in mind that the P4/Xeon's now have a faster bus and 512k L2 cache - I'd suspect these factors might afford a dual 3.02Ghz Xeon rig another 10-30% on top of my peak theoretical figure.

IOW, Take the above Xeon figure with a grain of salt - but also acknowledge that $5000 would buy you around double the peak theoretical floating point performance if you were to go the Apple route.

This is actually Apple's top-end solution - buy as much power as you need - and cluster.

When You'd have to distribute the After Effects rendering in the exact same manner on Dual Xeons/XP (as to my knowledge, AE-for-Windows doesn't multithread natively either) what difference does it make if you pump your frames out of one enclosure or two (or 16?)

The only flaw is, would two separate instances of Adobe's "Render Engine" run on the auxillary XServe (to take advantage of both of its CPU's) without a gruelling software hack? Dunno... On the other hand, I would assume Apple's Shake rendering distribution system properly multithreads on dual systems...

Re:Frustrating (2, Insightful)

yomegaman (516565) | about 11 years ago | (#5762846)

That's nice that a 3 GHz G4 would whup a 3 GHz P4, but who cares? There's no such part. I agree that clock speed isn't everything, but Intel processors still whip any G4 that actually exists. Sure, you can go dual, but you could also go dual Intel with the same trick and we're right back where we started.

Re:Frustrating (1)

Petrox (525639) | about 11 years ago | (#5763134)

Don't forget that the DP1.25Ghz PowerMac is now old news--the DP1.42Ghz new PowerMac provides a nice boost over the old 1.25.

Time for some new benchmarks.

Re:Frustrating (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | about 11 years ago | (#5765115)

and it's cheaper too.

but it's still a pair of overclocked G4s on a fairly creaky motherboard - those massive L3 caches are there to try give the poor old G4 some fast access to memory - those Altivec units have been starved for years.

Re:Frustrating (1)

Petrox (525639) | about 11 years ago | (#5769699)

Those 1.42Ghz G4s are not overclocked. See this thread [infopop.net] for details. Basically, they're 1.4Ghz stamped chips from Moto (or IBM, or whoever makes them), and 20Mhz is not overclocking. In fact, the 1.42Ghz claim is just a byproduct of the bus multiplier: 167Mhz bus*8.5 Multiplier=1419.5Mhz on the processor.

Re:Frustrating (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | about 11 years ago | (#5772147)

why don't Moto advertise these same chips as being capable of such speeds, and why are there such radical cooling solutions in the Apple MDD case design?

Re:Frustrating (1)

Petrox (525639) | about 11 years ago | (#5776494)

I don't work for motorolla so I don't know what went into their marketing decision (though I'll note again that motorolla rates them as 1.4Ghz chips, which might just be rounding down). I'd guess that there is a rather large cooling solution in the towers because there are TWO CHIPS to cool.

Dear Father Randy O'Day (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5759204)

Dear Father O'Day:

Thanks for your letter. Being Catholic myself, I know exactly what you're talking about! It has always been our plan here at Apple Computer Inc to revolutionize personal computing with our high-quality and highly gay products.

I'm happy to answer your letter by letting you know that YES we will be releasing an entire hLife ("homo-life") software line. You'll be able to recognize it in stores by the small stylized logo depicting a large cock entering a tight anus with an Apple logo on it. ("Suddenly it all comes together" indeed!).

Anyway, I hope you and other members of our community will join us on our mission, and purchase the exciting new hLife boxed set. Only the boxed set comes with translucent cock rings!

Sincerely,

Harry Rodman
Vice-president
Homosexual Liaison Services
Apple Computer, Inc.

-1 troll (0, Offtopic)

dankow (462225) | about 11 years ago | (#5759272)

Oh, for the ability to just mod this entire story "-1 Troll." Pudge pratically trolls himself in this one! "Macs suck. No wait, they don't."

Too complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5760194)

That After Effects speed up hack article sounds like a Windows installation manual. Shame on Adobe for not making this a one-click install (but then, it's probably in their interest not to show this hack, for marketing and tech support reasons).

I guess we Mac users are so desperate to make the best use of dual-processors that we have to resort to such hard-to-find tricks. We could also say the same about Altivec, but that's another flame war.

Sorry Charlie, Dave, my fault (4, Informative)

markomarko (665913) | about 11 years ago | (#5761611)

The last thing I wanted to achieve with my posting was another shouting match over the validity of Charlie White's benchmarks. If some more of you had bothered to read the second article, you would realize that this isn't a software "hack", it's a technique that employs adobe software included with the After Effects production bundle, and that it does, in real world terms, double render speeds on many After Effects tasks. Charlie and Dave were both good enough to reply to my inquiries about their tests, and the relationship between them. Seems Charlie is planning another test soon, using the "render farm" technique on both the Mac and the P4, but with the latest hardware. And yes, the technique provided by Dave did come after Charlie's article. Two things I'm disappointed with: One, that adobe didn't recognize that the benchmarks they published didn't make full use of both processors in the mac, when they have software that will do so. Charlie wasn't aware of this trick, and that's fine, but I would have expected Adobe to know more about their own software. Two, (yes I'm saying it again)the number of slashdotters that don't actually read the articles they comment on. To Charlie and Dave: I publicly apologize if my invitation to revisit the results has resulted in a mass of e-mail you don't need, or otherwise inconvenienced you. To Charlie in particular: I in no way meant to slander your test. I just wanted to show that the dual 1.25 is actually capable of much better performance with both processors being used to their full potential.

Oh yeah, (2, Funny)

markomarko (665913) | about 11 years ago | (#5761699)

And mod me down to (-1 obviously impaired) for thinking a hardware comparison between Apples and P4's would be commented on sanely.

is speed important to everybody? (3, Insightful)

nuckin futs (574289) | about 11 years ago | (#5763102)

Speed is not the reason why some people use Macs. They use it because of the OS and bundled apps. Having a nice looking computer,complete with dual processors and altivec to speed things up is just a bonus.

Re:is speed important to everybody? (1)

Dr Reducto (665121) | about 11 years ago | (#5763531)

They are forgetting the random operating system crash that will make all those benchmarks null and void. I would not use Microsoft Windows on any system that I used for work that needs to be done well and fast.

Market lingo stumps me (1)

RadRafe (632260) | about 11 years ago | (#5763734)

What are restricted shares and underwater options, anyway?

For that matter, what are diluted shares (the ones mentioned in Apple's quarterly results)?

Re:Market lingo stumps me (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 11 years ago | (#5771421)

restricted shares - you don't have full control over them. Example, in a trust fund, so you can't sell them, or owned by your ex-wife, but you have voting rights over them.

Underwater options - An option is the right (option) to buy stock at a future date for a particular price (the strike price), which is unrelated to the open market (stock exchange) price. The executive has the incentive to make sure the stock price rises, because the difference between the stock price and the strike price is pure profit. If the stock price is below the strike price, the option is worthless.

That's a poor explanation, so let's give an example.... 3 years, ago, AAPL was trading for $80 or so a share. Let's say the baord gives Mr Jobs an option to buy 1 million shares for $80/share, expiring in 10 years. If the price goes up to $100 a share, he could collect $20 million (by buying 1 million shares for $80 and selling them for $100). However, the price dropped to $13 a share, so no amount of reality distortion field would make Mr Jobs pay $80 a share. The option is underwater, and isn't an incentive of any sort.

To go ranting, it wasn't Mr Job's skills that made the stock price go up irrationally, and it wasn't Mr Job's skills that made the stock price drop irrationally, and having to regrant options at a lower price proves that it's bullshit to call it an incentive. It's more like backscratching. but I digress

Dilted Shares - A company doesn't usually have all their shares on the open market. They usually have a backup amount of shares which they own for safe keeping, to use for purchasing other companies, etc. If they release those shares into the market (via a secondary IPO, purchasing another company, or giving them to executives), they increase the total outstanding shares, and thus dilute the value per share (total company value / number of outstanding shares). If it's used to acquire another company, the total company value should increase, so it's not an issue. If it's a freeby for executives, or used to pay for stock options, other investors get shafted.

Fortune's figures on Jobs are bogus (0, Offtopic)

rsfinn (140348) | about 11 years ago | (#5765457)

I wrote the following to Fortune magazine:
In "High Pay, Rotten Returns" (April 28 issue), you peg Apple Computer's Steve Jobs' 2002 compensation at $78.1 million, saying "This amount reflects the value of five million restricted shares Jobs got this year in exchange for 27.5 million underwater options." First, of course, this grant was awarded in 2003, so adding it to Jobs' 2002 compensation is inaccurate. Secondly, according to Apple's press release the grant vests in three years, so assigning it any value today is premature -- no one knows what the stock price will be in three years, and in any case Jobs doesn't have the stock today.


Apparently you wanted to get Jobs at the top of the list of "piggy CEOs". Fine. But how many other CEOs on the list draw an annual salary of $1? (Well, apparently Tom Siebel of Siebel Systems -- but he "sold lots of old options," and turned in others, like Jobs did.)
(sources: Apple press release; article in 2003-04-14 MWJ [macjournals.com] -- a free trial before Monday should get you this issue)

Fortune sent me a reply saying they're going to print this in the next issue.

Re:Fortune's figures on Jobs are bogus (1)

sco08y (615665) | about 11 years ago | (#5771268)

Nice job. I was a bit surprised to see Fortune doing a class warfare piece... that's what you'd expect in the Nation.
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