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Which mac?

 
 
Danl Johnson
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      10-21-2004
I'm aiming at overhauling my image processing equipment while adding a
medium-format film scanner. (I currently have a Linux-based network,
and long discouraging experience with Windows.) What I've read so far
convinces me that a Mac is the most reliable and capable
image-processing platform. But... does anyone monitoring this
discussion group have a clear idea of what's cost-effective? (The
goal is not to spend as much money as possible, but to spend what it
takes to be efficient.)

Let's presume a Nikon Super Coolscan 9000 ED for scanning, and the
biggest hard drives available, big memory and a DVD-writer as basic.

But which Mac is "enough"? Will a G4 be adequate, or is a G5 a
significantly better choice? If so, single or dual processors? (I
tend to assume that processor speed is less important that RAM and
hard drive capacity for scanning film and using Photoshop to refine
the images.)

I know that you can't really tell me which to buy, but I'd appreciate
experienced voices saying what to avoid, or things you did that you
regret, or are grateful you did.

Thanks much.

Dan Johnson
 
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JR
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      10-21-2004
Well, the ONLY option for you is a Powermac G5. You can get a single
CPU 1.8 GHZ for $1499. You could go for bigger and faster if your
budget allows but this will get you started. Then buy LOTS of RAM. The
reason this is th eonly option for you if you are serious about image
editing is that you need a CRT monitor. A flatscreen LCD is very
difficult to calibrate and in some cases impossible. So the iMac G5 is
out of the question. It is an all in one solution. You can get one,
but you'll need an external monitor anyway, and you may as well by a
faster CPU instead of getting a built in LCD screen that you don't need.
So I would get a Dual 2.0 G5 and a 20" CRT monitor, and a good
calibroation system. This will allow you to correctly calibrate your
scanner and monitor and I assume your printer as well. So when you
scan, edit and print, the colors are as accurate as possible between
them all. Yes you are right to some extent about memory, but rememebr
the G5 is a 64 bit CPU, the G4 a 32 bit. The G5 thinks and talks MUCH
faster than a comparable speed G4. Also look into memory prices for
each model you are looking into. I just bought a powerbook and the 15"
memory is WAY cheaper than 12" memory. So it was a better deal to get a
15" powerbook vs. the cheaper 12" because the 12" memory was so much
more expensive. I use the G5 dual 2 GHZ for scanning and editing and on
large files it's great. My G4 was not adequate for medium format scans,
but 35mm was not an issue. Digital editing is much faster and snappier
on a G5. Bottom line, buy the fastest G5 you can get, a good 20" CRT
monitor and at least 2GB RAM. Then have lots of fun with it.

JR


In article <(E-Mail Removed) >,
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Danl Johnson) wrote:

> I'm aiming at overhauling my image processing equipment while adding a
> medium-format film scanner. (I currently have a Linux-based network,
> and long discouraging experience with Windows.) What I've read so far
> convinces me that a Mac is the most reliable and capable
> image-processing platform. But... does anyone monitoring this
> discussion group have a clear idea of what's cost-effective? (The
> goal is not to spend as much money as possible, but to spend what it
> takes to be efficient.)
>
> Let's presume a Nikon Super Coolscan 9000 ED for scanning, and the
> biggest hard drives available, big memory and a DVD-writer as basic.
>
> But which Mac is "enough"? Will a G4 be adequate, or is a G5 a
> significantly better choice? If so, single or dual processors? (I
> tend to assume that processor speed is less important that RAM and
> hard drive capacity for scanning film and using Photoshop to refine
> the images.)
>
> I know that you can't really tell me which to buy, but I'd appreciate
> experienced voices saying what to avoid, or things you did that you
> regret, or are grateful you did.
>
> Thanks much.
>
> Dan Johnson

 
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Phil Stripling
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-21-2004
(E-Mail Removed) (Danl Johnson) writes:

> But which Mac is "enough"? Will a G4 be adequate, or is a G5 a
> significantly better choice? If so, single or dual processors? (I
> tend to assume that processor speed is less important that RAM and
> hard drive capacity for scanning film and using Photoshop to refine
> the images.)


I don't have the expertise to answer specifics with current Macs. I'm
hoping you'll get lots of helpful answers before the thread devolves into
the holy war. Post your query at
comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc
and
comp.sys.mac.apps
--
Philip Stripling | email to the replyto address is presumed
Legal Assistance on the Web | spam and read later. email to philip@
http://www.PhilipStripling.com/ | my domain is read daily.
 
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Crownfield
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      10-21-2004
JR wrote:
>
> Yes you are right to some extent about memory, but rememebr
> the G5 is a 64 bit CPU, the G4 a 32 bit. The G5 thinks and talks MUCH
> faster than a comparable speed G4.


but remember,
a 64 bit processor
and a 32 bit processor,
and a 16 bit processor

may take the same time and the same number of instructions
to do an operation on a 12 bit raw value.

its only when the data 'chunk' is larger than 16 or 32 bits
that the 64 bit processor should show any improvement.

> JR
>

 
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Matt Ion
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      10-21-2004
Danl Johnson wrote:

> I'm aiming at overhauling my image processing equipment while adding a
> medium-format film scanner. (I currently have a Linux-based network,
> and long discouraging experience with Windows.) What I've read so far
> convinces me that a Mac is the most reliable and capable
> image-processing platform. But... does anyone monitoring this
> discussion group have a clear idea of what's cost-effective? (The
> goal is not to spend as much money as possible, but to spend what it
> takes to be efficient.)
>
> Let's presume a Nikon Super Coolscan 9000 ED for scanning, and the
> biggest hard drives available, big memory and a DVD-writer as basic.
>
> But which Mac is "enough"? Will a G4 be adequate, or is a G5 a
> significantly better choice? If so, single or dual processors? (I
> tend to assume that processor speed is less important that RAM and
> hard drive capacity for scanning film and using Photoshop to refine
> the images.)
>
> I know that you can't really tell me which to buy, but I'd appreciate
> experienced voices saying what to avoid, or things you did that you
> regret, or are grateful you did.


A G4 will be more than sufficient for image processing, and you probably
don't need any more than a half-gig of memory.

The only catch to this is that older G4s will use SD-RAM (168-pin
modules) while newer ones and G5s will use DDR-RAM (184-pin modules),
which tend to run about half the price (my usual supplier has 256MB
SD-RAM for $65-$120 depending on format and manufacturer, vs. 512MB
DDR-RAM for $100-$115. If you go for the G4, you may want to make sure
which type of memory it takes in case you decide to add some in the
future (unless it comes with enough to do you for a while).

Dual processors are probably overkill as well, unless you do some REALLY
extensive Photoshop doctoring that requires extensive re-rendering of
images.
 
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Lourens Smak
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      10-21-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed) >,
(E-Mail Removed) (Danl Johnson) wrote:

> But which Mac is "enough"? Will a G4 be adequate, or is a G5 a
> significantly better choice? If so, single or dual processors? (I
> tend to assume that processor speed is less important that RAM and
> hard drive capacity for scanning film and using Photoshop to refine
> the images.)


For scanning, an "older" G4 is good enough as the computer will be
faster than the scanner anyway. With OSX, more RAM is better, simple as
that. (and even more RAM is best...). Hard drives can be added with FW
or internally. With an older Mac, I would go for external FW-drives,
more practical when the computer is upgraded after a while. A
dual-processor is nice, OSX makes full use of that. (unlike the old
MacOS).

But, Apple has introduced a new entry-level (single-cpu) G5 just
yesterday...maybe that is your new computer.

Lourens
 
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Chris Brown
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      10-21-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed) >,
Danl Johnson <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>Let's presume a Nikon Super Coolscan 9000 ED for scanning, and the
>biggest hard drives available, big memory and a DVD-writer as basic.
>
>But which Mac is "enough"? Will a G4 be adequate, or is a G5 a
>significantly better choice?


I'm using a PowerMac G4, 1.25 GHz uniprocessor with 2 gigs of RAM and
Photoshop CS to work with scanned 6*6 and 6*9 medium format. I'd say it's
adequate, but a G5 would be a bit nicer, especially during the import stage.
The main concern for dealing with scanned stuff is memory. Not too much of
an issue for 35mm, but if you want to work with medium format, you'll want
as much memory as you can get hold of.

BTW, as a Linux user, you'll probably really like OS X. It'll give you
everything you're used to with Linux, but without the near constant
tinkering that most Linux distributions and GUIs seem to require. A very
civilised way to experience UNIX.
 
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JR
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-21-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Crownfield <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

> JR wrote:
> >
> > Yes you are right to some extent about memory, but rememebr
> > the G5 is a 64 bit CPU, the G4 a 32 bit. The G5 thinks and talks MUCH
> > faster than a comparable speed G4.

>
> but remember,
> a 64 bit processor
> and a 32 bit processor,
> and a 16 bit processor
>
> may take the same time and the same number of instructions
> to do an operation on a 12 bit raw value.
>
> its only when the data 'chunk' is larger than 16 or 32 bits
> that the 64 bit processor should show any improvement.
>
> > JR
> >


But because of the increased CPU bit depth there is also the increase in
bus speed....1000 Mhz vs. 167 Mhz...This is significant. Also as the OS
becomes more and more 64 bit over time, your G4 will stay the same
speed, but your G5 will get faster because the OS will evolve to better
take advantage of the G5 capabilities.


JR
 
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JR
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      10-21-2004

> For scanning, an "older" G4 is good enough as the computer will be
> faster than the scanner anyway.


Yes but for post processing? This is not adequate. Ever try editing a
few layers of a 600MB 6x7 scan? It's painfully slow on a G4, zippy on a
G5. If you are just doing 35mm, then the max size is about 200mb and a
G4 can deal with that.

JR
 
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JR
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      10-21-2004

>
> A G4 will be more than sufficient for image processing, and you probably
> don't need any more than a half-gig of memory.
>


Well this presumes small image files. I have a G5 with 1GB of Ram and a
G4 with 1 GB of RAM...I hate loading my large files on my G4 into
photoshop. VERY slow to do any type of post processing. The Dual 2 ghz
G5 is a dream to work on 600+MB image files. With 16 bit, 6x7 MF scans,
you can easily get 600+MB files. And now with an Epson 4000 printer you
can get excellent 16x20 300dpi 16 bit color depth prints from home, so
all this resolution and color depth is usable.

JR
 
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