Any point in sticking with Mac?


#1

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


#2

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…


#3

Yes, there is a major reason why switching to Win 7 is a bad idea for you: http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/16/10780876/microsoft-windows-support-policy-new-processors-skylake

Personally I’d stay on the Mac, get a maxed out cheesegrater Mac Pro and ride it out.


#4

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.


#5

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


#6

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.


#7

I always thought this was no option for Mac users, can macOS even take use of CUDA cores?


#8

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.


#9

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


#10

CheeseGraters don’t need eGPU. They have 3 plug and play PCI slots…two of the slots that can hold a 1080 e.g.


#11

You don’t need flashed cards. I’ve been using off-the-shelf reference 780s in eGPU for the past few years.


#12

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.


#13

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.


#14

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.


#15

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 :slight_smile:

Richard


#16

You can use external enclosure right now on both your dustbin and any other TB enabled Mac.


#17

Apple’s business model revolves around selling ‘the best’ turn-key, ready-rolled products. Everything soldered to 1 board with no expansion slots, like big iPhones. CG / VFX systems prefer configurability and upgradability so that you can get the most CPU speed / CUDA cores and ram for your $$$. Because GPUs advance so fast, you really want this to be upgradable, but Apple no longer provide any new generation hardware options that support this.

Apple also happens to have by far the worlds best OS IMO. So, really if you want configurable hardware on the Rolls Royce of operating systems, then Hackintosh is the only way to go. Mac Pro’s pricing puts it out of reach of many, and I think Apple is acknowledging that there is a niche group of users for which there is no appropriate product, hence they are relaxing their position on custom hardware setups. It means potentially more people on App Store, and if you use macOS on your workstation, you’re likely to choose Apple when you want a laptop. Because of this I think we’ll see the trend toward ‘unofficial support’ of non apple hardware on macOS continue in future.

The best of both worlds course is a dual-boot Hackintosh. That way you can have the pleasure of using macOS unless you absolutely need windows for something, and then its only a reboot away.


#18

I’ve made the PC jump, so this isn’t a personal recommendation or anything, but there’s a few companies popping up filling the gap Apple has left with custom-build cheese-grater Macs, including Titan/1080Ti cards, faster processors etc and they’re guaranteed, so no need to worry about compatibility. Example here:

https://create.pro/upgrade

They’re not cheap of course, and you’re compromising quite a bit compared to a similar price PC, but if sticking with OSX is holding you back then these machines are an option at least.

They’re also offering upgraded trash-can Macs, but these are less interesting - £2k for a single CUDA card in an enclosure is just too steep IMO.


#19

I have a pretty maxed out 4.1 --> 5.1 Mac Pro. The 1080 Ti isn’t really available in Switzerland yet, but I’ll drop one or two of those in there as soon as I get my hands on one.

With Nvidia’s latest driver support pledge, I think the classic Mac Pro is a viable option until the new Macs get here—if you’re already invested in MacOS.

The modifications can be easily made with a little patience. The Mac Pro forum at Macrumors.com has all the answers.

Obviously, for people who enjoy Windows, there is great price/performance when building a PC.


#20

Little example of benefits of custom hardware…
I built my machine in late 2009, i7 930, 12gigs and ATI 5770.

Fastforward to now, I picked up a Xeon 6 core which runs at 4.0ghz (with a small boost) for $150 from eBay, another 12 gigs, and a GTX 960.

So with a few upgrades a 7+ year old machine beats the latest iMacs.

But I would never give up macOS. The few times that I do boot into windows, I’m quickly reminded by virus checker pop-ups, malware scanners, inevitable frustration of nondescript error windows, and the temptation to waste hours tweaking settings and installing 3rd party utilities to make it nice, that Windows is a place you only want to hang out as long as you have to.

Windows is fairly good these days, and if thats all you know you’ll probably love it. But if you’re used to macOS, just bare in mind you’re going to feel a sacfrice has been made.