Any point in sticking with Mac?

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  04 April 2017
Any point in sticking with Mac?

Bit of backstory here:

I purchased a 2010 Mac Pro early 2011, back when I was doing iOS development almost full time (which didn't turn out to be nearly as profitable as I'd have hoped). I've been using that system ever since, though it's still running 10.8.5 on the internal disk drives (didn't have much luck with 10.9 stability wise, and I can't stand the look of 10.10 and beyond).

These days, I seem to be making more money off 3D graphics than iOS development. To be honest, I'm kinda tired of Apple's antics these days. I've been chasing around after their mobile handhelds for nearly a decade, and while it's a job, it's certainly not an enjoyable one. I just want a set of tools that I can rely on day in and day out and sit down and work on something for 12 straight without worrying about stuff going sideways in ways I can't control.

Anyways, I digress...

This system seems pretty decent the way it is, but it's getting extremely long in the tooth. I could throw some money at it, try and buy a different RAID card so I can boot Windows, buy a new flashed GPU, etc... I'm just not sure why I'd bother. At the end of the day, I'd either be stuck with OS X, or Windows on a system that isn't nearly as standardized as a good old PC.

So, I was wondering...

Is there any reason why switching to a PC running Windows 7 could hamper my CG career somehow? I don't really care what I'm running or how, so long as it works, and I can fix it if something breaks. I don't know why I'd bother sticking with Apple, but that's why I'm banging out this post right now. I don't have any interest in their "upcoming" Mac Pro (I need better hardware in the next 2-3 months, not 1-2 years). Their software ecosystem doesn't really offer me anything that I need and can't run inside VMware Workstation.

How many of you guys are still using OS X, and Mac in general? Is Windows ultimately the better platform for 3D stuff these days?

-CMPX
 
  04 April 2017
At the end of the day it's just a tool. I'm sticking with MacOS because I have so much time and energy invested in it - not to mention apps and plugins. I could switch to Windows, and nearly did earlier this year, but I don't do enough CG to justify it. If I was making a living at it, I'd probably have both: a big fat PC for 3D and a Mac for web browsing, admin, email, writing etc. There are still plenty of apps that run fast enough on a Mac Pro (the old or the new). I'm looking forward to the next Mac Pro, but I wish Apple hadn't have been so pigheaded about it – we could have had a cracking new machine by now, ready for WWDC...
 
  04 April 2017
Originally Posted by CMPXCHG8B: Is there any reason why switching to a PC running Windows 7 could hamper my CG career somehow?
-CMPX


Yes, there is a major reason why switching to Win 7 is a bad idea for you: http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/16/1...cessors-skylake

Personally I'd stay on the Mac, get a maxed out cheesegrater Mac Pro and ride it out.
 
  04 April 2017
The main reason to use OS X is that it, or an application that is only available on OS X, fits your needs and feels comfortable for you. The same argument holds true for Windows and Linux.
If this does not hit the mark then don't overthink things. It's not a life or death decision, go with what does the job and fits the bill.
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  04 April 2017
When I switched, I didn't lose any professional software or have to buy anything new.
What software is on Mac but not Windows.... (I know Logic Pro and the odd Final Cut Pro X but....)

I never tried Windows 7 but Windows 10 is very very good.

Lance
 
  04 April 2017
A lot of c4d artists use Mac and a lot use PC. There is no right or wrong answer.

I was a huge MacBoy, going all the way back to the early days. I still own three Mac computers. But I now do most of my 3d work on PC.

Both platforms feature pretty much the same 3D apps, so that doesn't factor into things much for c4d. There is almost always feature parity within those apps between platforms.

For me it came down to computing power and price, which currently favor PCs. You also enjoy more hardware options and can size and scale and update your system more easily. Overclocking is easy for 20-30% gains on top of an already sizable performance gap. On the flip side Macs require less fuss to use and maintain and enjoy a certain elegance that you give up w/the PC. The Mac OS is a joy.

Here are my recommendations for different types of users that want to stay w/their platform:

-MacBook or 'Trashcan' Mac users: Buy an external GPU case and put Nvidia 1080 TI in it. Use Octane, Cycles, Iray or Maxon's upcoming GPU renderer. Both Thunderbolt 2 and 3 can easily transfer GPU rendering data. Nvidia drivers will be available shortly for 1080/1080TI.

-MacPro 'Cheese-grater': Put TWO Nvidia 1080 TI in your case. You might have to fuss with power cables (maybe PSU) but it will be worth it. Use Octane, Cycles, Iray or Maxon's upcoming GPU renderer.

-Windows users...think about Ryzen CPU and 1080TI. For more demanding CPU rendering-centric folks...wait for AMD Naples for a brute rendering node.

Last edited by IceCaveMan : 04 April 2017 at 08:32 PM.
 
  04 April 2017
Originally Posted by IceCaveMan: -MacBook or 'Trashcan' Mac users: Buy an external GPU case and put Nvidia 1080 TI in it. Use Octane, Cycles, Iray or Maxon's upcoming GPU renderer. Both Thunderbolt 2 and 3 can easily transfer GPU rendering data. Nvidia drivers will be available shortly for 1080/1080TI.


I always thought this was no option for Mac users, can macOS even take use of CUDA cores?
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  04 April 2017
Things are more interesting on this front that a week ago because of potential eGPU solutions. Still not supported by Apple but OTOH, official drivers are now provided for a wide range of Nvidia cards (the biggest sort point WRT to Apple gear).

That said not sure there are any Thunderbolt PCIe cards that run in cheese graters so the eGPU point is somewhat moot / won't help you AFAIK.

I think the only thing that would hold me back from switching is if I had some number of apps running on Mac where I knew the Windows experience for those apps wasn't as good or lacked feature parity or something like that. Not applicable with anything related to C4D or After Effects though.
 
  04 April 2017
Originally Posted by Hilt: I always thought this was no option for Mac users, can macOS even take use of CUDA cores?


Absolutely. I was doing GPU (CUDA) rendering 3 years ago with a flashed Nividia 680 in cheese grater MP. Still use the machine as a slave for CPU and GPU rendering today.

What you probably hear about is that the trashcan Mac can't use CUDA but that's because it has AMD GPUs. But if you add an eGPU and a Nvidia card... both trashcan Macs and MacBooks can do CUDA rendering.

A 'cheesgrater' Mac doesn't need the eGPU. Just install the card. Now I don't claim to know the latest status on the Mac drivers, so anyone interested should do their homework.

Over the past few years there was a Mac specialist who would take a PC-only Nvidia cards and tweak a few things. That's where I got my 680. He charged about a $100 for his efforts per card. I don't think that will be necessary in the near future, but I'm not entirely sure. I don't follow Mac hardware so much anymore.

What's nice is Nvidia is now back to providing proper Mac drivers, so the latest cards are supported.

Actually...here is a link that provides more information on current status:
http://barefeats.com/cmp_pascal.html

Last edited by IceCaveMan : 04 April 2017 at 06:59 AM.
 
  04 April 2017
Originally Posted by Blinny: That said not sure there are any Thunderbolt PCIe cards that run in cheese graters so the eGPU point is somewhat moot / won't help you AFAIK.


CheeseGraters don't need eGPU. They have 3 plug and play PCI slots...two of the slots that can hold a 1080 e.g.
 
  04 April 2017
You don't need flashed cards. I've been using off-the-shelf reference 780s in eGPU for the past few years.
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  04 April 2017
Yet another one.... do we really need another topic like this?
There's something wrong with this forum...
Many years ago people comes here to get help about Cinema4d but now the most successful topic are the one used for whining, and post stuff like Mac vs PC, Xrenderengine VS Yrenderengine, C4d VS other 3D packages ecc.
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  04 April 2017
Thanks for that Sirio. Anyway, back on topic: there are lots of single card eGPU enclosures, but this one from Netstor is a pretty serious - if expensive - alternative. But thing is, if you're serious about GPU rendering it provides an enormous amount of power and means you don't have to fiddle with the guts of your Mac (or PC). I bought one once, but at the time OS X was limiting the number of external cards to two, so I sent it back. With the move to El Capitan I believe the restriction has now been lifted so all four cards will work (imagine this thing with four 1080Tis in it!). There's are also this solution from Cubix in the US. Again expensive, but it's basically a render farm in a box.

Personally I'm thinking of getting another GTX980Ti and running it using power from the Mac's drive bay. I think two GPUs is sufficient for my needs.

Last edited by Darth Mole : 04 April 2017 at 10:06 AM.
 
  04 April 2017
Technically PC is superior if you plan to upgrade your rendering system with multiple GPU cores. AMD has came to market with latest Ryzen CPU technology that outruns even Intel i7. If you have guts to pay hardware not the looks then PC is good but if you like to pay for the looks not the power then buy a Mac.

Old days Atari had a slogan "power without the price" and now PC has the same when compared to Mac.
Still Mac is more comfortable without too much viruses like PC does. I think Mac might be more stable with Cinema 4D but I think that is a myth. I have had Cinema 4D crashes with both systems. Mac is most overrated system in ad agencies and consumer market.
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  04 April 2017
I would love to transfer my work station to PC since the Mac lags quite far behind in terms of 3D. Interactivity is where the Mac just can't keep up, and seeing Cuda powered sims in Turbulence FD makes me sad ( they are very very fast) However my workflow also relies on Airdrop which is hugely useful to take pics from your phone and put them straight on your machine. I also drop stuff to my second screen iPad pro for reference. Also I sketch stuff on my iPad Pro and these appear in my Creative Cloud, (would also on a PC I guess).

Aside from anything else the whole PC build scenario is just not for me. I like a machine with little or no maintenance and in my 20 odd years of Mac use I can honestly say not much has gone wrong hardware wise. I still have the 2009 Mac Pro with an Nvidia card as a music workstation and occasional renderer and it's great. Recently installed C4D on it and Cycles and was impressed with the performance compared to my Mac Pro Dustbin. Having said that I am tempted by the new Razer laptops that can be expanded with eGPU enclosure. This might also be a route but I feel so comfortable on Mac that the extra oomph really would need to be huge and I'd have to be doing render heavy work all the time to justify the extra cost

Looking forward to 2019 for new Macs I guess

Richard
 
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