Thread: Not excited yet about PC Resolve

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  1. #1 Not excited yet about PC Resolve 
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    Maybe I am missing something, but I can get a 12 CORE mac pro for $5000, including everything but the screen the GPUs and some extra RAM (which is quite cheap if you don't buy official Mac RAM .

    An 8 Core Mac pro is only $3500

    How much would a 12 core PC be? Are they available? Are there even 8 core PCs available yet?

    My 2008 Mac pro 8 core beats all PC performance reports I see here (without a Cubix expander). My 2009 8 core smokes these reports by a mile. It is so good that a Red Rocket is a luxury, not in any way an absolute need.

    For 1080p work, my GTX 285 rarely looks unhappy even with gigantic node trees (the bottleneck is CPU Red Raw decoding, not the nodes) , and for a few hundred $$ I could upgrade later to a bigger/better GPU. (BTW - The Quadro 4000 is significantly slower - not sure why it is so expensive, but there are other cards you can get for the Mac - you just have to look around)

    Again, maybe I am missing something....
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    Senior Member Solomon Nero's Avatar
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    We have at the studio i work/worked for, dual socket 6 core zeons that hyperthread. (so 6 cores double to 12, times 2) so 24 usable cores, with 24 gigs of ram, and a Nvidia quadro 4000. I think we paid a little over 3 grand for it over or under a year ago. Our 5000 dollar macs cant perform using Autodesk Maya NEARLY as well as on our PCs. Which may sound hard to believe but its true...our macs would crash loading our scene files we used for this short film we are finishing up. (this is for 3D, not video but, hey...apples and oranges? Cant be too far off)

    I am looking to build for my video production company a dual 8core (hyperthread to 16 each) so 32 core workstation plus pro card and so on, for a little under 4000. But...still on the fence about it. :P

    When it comes to comparing to a Mac on the video side of things as opposed to 3D animation that we do, we have not tested it in my studio. But I cant imagine the video aspect performing much less then the 3D in comparison to the higher end mac pros.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Solomon Nero's Avatar
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    P.S. When it comes to editing RED footage, my little 1300 dollar toshiba qosmio plays back 5k R3D's in realtime at 1/4th res. flawlessly...not bad for a mid range pc laptop

    I feel when it comes to the whole PC Mac battle, it just comes down to preference, but in my experience, I get way more performance out of PC then Mac. But that could be just me...but i doubt it.

    Hope this helps! ( I know I really didnt touch on resolve much, but it seemed more of a hardware question)
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  4. #4  
    Most of the PC performance reports you see here are for single-CPU with 4 or 6 cores. So the dual-Xeon configuration of the Mac Pro usually will outrun these PC's on intensive multi-threaded tasks, like rendering, multi-processor R3D debayer, that sort of thing. That said, there are lots of high-end PC solutions that can trounce even the most tricked-out Mac Pro. You can get into systems with 8 CPUs (up to 80 cores at the moment!), if you have enough cash to burn.

    One thing that people really like to pick on Apple for is the price of the Mac Pro. But rarely do any of these people compare Apples to er.. apples. When you look at the price of the Mac Pro in comparison to *EQUIVALENT* PC systems they are usually quite competitive. Apple occasionally falls behind on the pricing since they don't fluff their specs quite as often. But just watch what happens when Intel releases the new Sandy Bridge Xeon CPUs and you compare the next Apple dual-Xeon offering to an equivalent dual-Xeon workstation from HP, Dell, Boxx, etc.. There are times the Apple system is actually cheaper on launch day. It was when they released both the '08 and '09 Mac Pro systems. Cheaper than equivalent hardware spec from HP by more than 5%. Of course, a production system from any vendor, especially a quality one, will always be more expensive than something you build yourself. And desktop class systems will always be significantly cheaper than their more powerful workstation alternatives, which most people building PCs, even around here, tend to ignore.

    Anyway, not trying to make this a Mac vs. PC debate...

    Just saying that in PC-Land, you can build just about anything. To get beyond the current 6-core desktop CPU world you do have to venture into the territory of Xeon CPUs (or AMD chips like the Bulldozer) and the price shoots up in a hurry. When you buy a 12-core Mac Pro, the bulk of the cost are the dual 6-core Xeon CPUs. The Xeon 5675 Westmere-EP 3.06GHz 6-Core CPU is over $1400 each from discount vendors or about $2885 for the pair. There are also 8-core and now 10-core Xeon CPUs to pick from as well and the cost rockets up really fast!

    So, by the time you pick a good dual-Xeon motherboard (EVGA SR-2 or similar), that's $550, plus $2880 for CPUs, plus another $180 for 24GB RAM or $600 for 48GB... $175 for Win7 Pro 64bit, hard drives, video cards, case, cooling fans.. You're knocking on the door of that $5K price tag of the Mac Pro and you have also spent several hours pricing out and ordering parts, another few hours to assemble the system, 2 or 3 days to properly burn-in and test it. Suddenly that Mac doesn't seem so expensive... If that is the configuration you need. On the other hand, by going the PC route, for the same money you will walk away with a newer and better GPU and should have a few more PCIe slots to install more cards into.

    The Quadro 4000 is not significantly slower than the GTX285. In fact they're pretty much equal, with the 4000 being a touch faster for some operations. It was slower on release until nVidia and PNY got the drivers under control. It's more expensive because it's a Quadro... And has some advantages based on the newer architecture, for example, it only takes a single-slot width. Because they're similar in performance, and especially since you're still limping along with an older Mac, you're just fine with the GTX285, you would be gaining nothing by moving to the Quadro4000. There are other card options for the Mac, but currently the Quadro 4000 is the best of the best. It's possible to make a GTX480 work via a hack, but I have yet to see it run 100% stable for a primary GPU and the hack doesn't allow for use of all the CUDA cores for Resolve acceleration, so you may as well just stick with the GTX285 for a dual-width card. The catch is the GTX285 is out of production and has been for some time. It's rather difficult to come across an official Mac edition of the card. Most people who own them won't let go unless you pry them from their cold, dead fingers.

    On the PC, you can use cards like the GTX580 and go for an overclocked-water-cooled version. It is possible to bottleneck at the GPU in Resolve on faster systems like the 12-core Westmere Mac Pro or even the latest Sandy Bridge 6-core PC's. So the GPUs on newer Macs are a bottleneck and we have to look for other solutions like the Cubix or Cyclone expanders.

    I use both Mac and PC hardware. I prefer the Mac and OSX because of my Unix roots and a few other little reasons, so I find myself working on a Mac more often. But Windows PCs are still where it's at if you need the most raw power for graphics or most economical solutions for rendering or compute-intensive tasks. There's Linux too, but that's a whole other discussion and a lot of what we need in this industry is still lacking on the Linux platform. I do have systems running Linux, though...

    FWIW, I'm not in a phase of my work that demands Resolve much, so I just recently sold my Cubix expander and a couple Quadro4000 cards. I will be using Resolve heavily on a project I have just started, but not for a couple months. And I'm already running it on Windows and it screams pretty fast on my new SB-E 6-core system I just built. In some ways faster than the Mac Pro it was running on, in other ways not as much. Overall about the same. I'll reassess the situation when the time comes, but it seems I could work just fine as it is on a PC that cost about the same to build (with dual GTX580 GPUs) as what I paid for the Cubix and a few Quadro cards...
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Joe Minuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Ruffo View Post
    Maybe I am missing something, but I can get a 12 CORE mac pro for $5000, including everything but the screen the GPUs and some extra RAM (which is quite cheap if you don't buy official Mac RAM .

    An 8 Core Mac pro is only $3500

    How much would a 12 core PC be? Are they available? Are there even 8 core PCs available yet?
    Not doing the legwork on the cost but yes. The 12 core mac pro's use 2 Intel xeon server class processors, the same used in a PC. Same GPUs, and memory can be shared across all platforms ( not meaning EXACT hardware but it functions the same on the basic level regarding Nvidia GPUs and RAM types and clock speeds). All you need is a dual socket motherboard that supports the intel xeon westmere 6 cores.

    Most PC and MACs share same hardware. With same CPU's GPUS and RAM, you will not notice a difference in speed no matter running WIN/OSX/LINUX when it comes down to the nitty gritty if you're running the same software. (Maya renders just as fast on my similarly spec'd PC as our MAC at the studio). The only time you should see any kind of drastic performance gap is when a program is designed from the ground up for osx. These days it comes down to your OS preference, the basic hardware is all shared now.
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  6. #6  
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    It's a simple matter of choice. Mac Pro will do some things just as well in workloads it was designed for as the competition, but it is simply not a platform optimized for graphically intensive work. In a more open environment you can build or choose a system that is more suited to your requirements. It's a simple idea - Apple will give you what they think you might want (and they may be right in your case), a more open platform will let you choose what you really need. For example - it is quite clear that for most of our use we need a Core i7 3930K and GTX 580 to begin with for an excellent price/performance ratio. As Jeff mentions, an entire system like that costs as much as the Cubix X-pander, which is unnecessary as we have chosen a more appropriate motherboard with 6 PCIe slots. Or if we want a really powerful system, we could use a 40-core Xeon or 64 core Opteron with 6 Quadro 6000s. Neither of the above cases is even remotely possible on any Apple PC. Of course, this is a simplistic example and this list of "things you cannot do on an Apple PC" is a rather extensive one.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Matt Gottshalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe View Post
    And I'm already running it on Windows and it screams pretty fast on my new SB-E 6-core system I just built.
    Jeff,

    Don't know if I saw it, but could you detail your PC's specs?

    Thanks sir.
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  8. #8  
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    Thank you all for informative responses. I guess what I liked about Mac is ultra-low tie expenditure and.. It really wasn't that expensive like you said Jeff.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe View Post
    I use both Mac and PC hardware. I prefer the Mac and OSX because of my Unix roots and a few other little reasons, so I find myself working on a Mac more often. But Windows PCs are still where it's at if you need the most raw power for graphics or most economical solutions for rendering or compute-intensive tasks.
    I know of quite a few editors and post houses who are nervous as to Apple's future commitment to desktop workstations. Already, one major reality show producer (Bunim/Murray) has dropped FCP in favor of Avid; I'm not sure what their stance is on hardware.

    I'd like to see Apple make a statement committing to supporting the pro workstation market for the next X number of years, but I dunno... they're making an awful lot of money on iPhones and iPads, and desktops are only a tiny fraction of their business nowadays. No doubt we'll find out more at NAB.

    I'm also curious to see how long Blackmagic will support Resolve on three platforms (Linux, Windows, Mac). I don't doubt that they'll base their decision purely on what users want, but it'll be interesting to see fast a top-flight system works in Windows vs. Linux. I think this will affect the post facility market; not so sure about single users.
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  10. #10  
    I was quite excited about PC Resolve, but not so much now, after some experience. It's fast on PC, and you can build a good system cheap. But, the problem is Windows and its limited choice of codecs, and most importantly, getting projects into Resolve with reasonable effort. Sending Final Cut XML:s to PC Resolve haven't worked for me (same XML:s work on Mac Resolve) also many codecs like XDCAM HD don't work.. lots of recompression, workarounds, time consumed in copying files between systems..

    I know it's still beta on Windows, and if things get better, that's great. But, at least in my country, Final Cut/Prores rules - and I have to say that now I'm now eagerly waiting for the new Mac Pro.
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