Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > New iMac advice

New iMac advice
Thread Tools
not1lost
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 20, 2012, 05:40 PM
 
I have been watching and waiting for the new iMac/Mac Pro but leaning toward the iMac even though I am a little uncomfortable with an AIO Machine. I've been waiting now for about three months. It will be my first Mac I am a heavy computer user (Not video rendering or scientific stuff) just work on it every day running some pretty hungry software building websites and research. I am sosooo tired of waiting I am on the edge of my seat about to hit the "buy it" key on a
iMac 27"
3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
1TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive
AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5
$2,899.00

I'll add more memory myself...

another thought, and question is do you think the new upgrade will have a price hike as well?
Just needing a little input here to help me make my mind up...

I'm currently using a Dell XPS 8300 but Dell is nothing but trouble~! I bought this system in march last year and gave a LOT of $$$ for it... and Dell has worked on it two times I have had to reformat it 3 times - The last time I reformatted it I didnt do the Dell hidden full factory system restore (I'm not talking about just rolling it back to an earlier time) I stripped the machine and only installed the windows 7 OS from the disc and the drivers leaving all the Dell crap out~! and there is a BUNCH of it. It seems to be running a LOT better but I still dont trust it~! I AM GETTING A MAC~ AND NOT LOOKING BACK! I dont know which one I will get yet but I am glad to finally hear some incouraging news of some on the way even if this is false we know the Ivy Bridge is coming and that's a start. I CANT WAIT TO GET A NEW MAC!
>>> I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER DELL<<<
(((((PEACE)))))

OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name XXXXXX
System Manufacturer Dell Inc.
System Model XPS 8300
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600 CPU @ 3.40GHz, 3401 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Dell Inc. A06, 10/17/2011
SMBIOS Version 2.6
Windows Directory CWindows
System Directory CWindows\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume2
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.1.7601.17514"
User Name XXXXXXX
Time Zone Central Daylight Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 12.0 GB
Total Physical Memory 12.0 GB
Available Physical Memory 9.31 GB
Total Virtual Memory 24.0 GB
Available Virtual Memory 20.9 GB
Page File Space 12.0 GB
Page File Cpagefile.sys
Graphics ATI 5700 HD 1G
USB 3.0 X 2
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 20, 2012, 06:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by not1lost View Post
I have been watching and waiting for the new iMac/Mac Pro but leaning toward the iMac even though I am a little uncomfortable with an AIO Machine. I've been waiting now for about three months. It will be my first Mac I am a heavy computer user (Not video rendering or scientific stuff) just work on it every day running some pretty hungry software building websites and research. I am sosooo tired of waiting I am on the edge of my seat about to hit the "buy it" key on a
iMac 27"
3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
1TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive
AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5
$2,899.00
This is seriously over specced for what you're describing, but I can understand wanting the best - after all, that's what I bought on the first 27". The only thing I regret is the money spent on the upgrade from Core i5-> i7 - I almost never saturate the 4 real cores, so hyperthreading gives me nothing.

Originally Posted by not1lost View Post
I'll add more memory myself...
Always a wise choice.

Originally Posted by not1lost View Post
another thought, and question is do you think the new upgrade will have a price hike as well?
Just needing a little input here to help me make my mind up...
The base price points are unlikely to change. The BTOs might, possibly, but it seems unlikely. Ivy Bridge is a straight upgrade from Sandy Bridge, and the only thing it gets you on the CPU side is a little bit of clock speed various modest improvements. The next iMac will likely get USB 3.0, and it may get you a more powerful GPU, but neither AMD nor nVidia have released their next-gen chips for mobiles yet, so that is not certain.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
not1lost  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 20, 2012, 07:58 PM
 
Thanks for the advice!
     
SierraDragon
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Truckee, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2012, 03:19 AM
 
Buy a Macbook Pro (MBP) with SSD and high rez matte display plus an external display for a much more versatile setup. The (IMO mandatory) SSD is only a $100 add on the MBP. Top MBPs are hella powerful, easily providing full desktop replacement for all but the very heaviest workflows. The 17" size runs cooler so less fan noise under heavy worflow.

Since the Sandy Bridge cpus and Thunderbolt came out why anyone gives up portability and buys iMacs is beyond me. The only good thing about iMacs is price for the CPU power obtained, but you give up portability without gaining the brute strength of a Mac Pro tower. And you get a glossy display whether you like it or not (many do not). They are pretty sitting on a desk though.

Note that new Mac laptops of some kind will almost for sure be out before June so wait to see them if you can. Mac Pros are also expected soon but the timing is not such a sure thing as the laptops.

All the Sandy Bridge Macs are excellent boxes (no overwhelming need to wait for Ivy Bridge), and Mac refurbs are a very good way to go. Right now there are great refurb deals on MBPs: http://forums.macnn.com/69/mac-noteb...k-pro-blowout/.

HTH

-Allen
     
Waragainstsleep
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2012, 08:23 AM
 
There is sometimes a fine line between helping someone out and pushing your opinion on them, you are skirting pretty close to that line here Allen.

The iMac has much more power, much more storage and more screen real estate for pretty much the same money.
( Last edited by Waragainstsleep; Apr 22, 2012 at 07:19 AM. )
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 21, 2012, 08:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Since the Sandy Bridge cpus and Thunderbolt came out why anyone gives up portability and buys iMacs is beyond me. The only good thing about iMacs is price for the CPU power obtained, but you give up portability without gaining the brute strength of a Mac Pro tower.
The GPU is easily twice as powerful as what you can get in an MBP, you can get twice the RAM, and even the CPU in the crazy-expensive top MBP is not really close to the top desktop CPU. The difference is nowhere near as large as it was back when the iMac had Lynnfield and the MBP was stuck with Arrandale, but it is larger than it was back in the Core 2 days.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
not1lost  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 22, 2012, 12:01 AM
 
Tapping the table and spinning my pencil listening and thinking..... Thanks
     
SierraDragon
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Truckee, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 22, 2012, 05:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
There is sometimes a fine line between helping someone out and pushing your opinion on them, you are skirting pretty close to that line here Allen.
Agreed I was pushing my opinion, but I hope it is clear enough that it is my opinion. I did try to state the facts, and did identify value as the iMac strength: "...good thing about iMacs is price for the CPU power obtained."

The iMac has much more power...
Not true for the top boxes. E.g. look at Geekbench scores from Primate Labs: Geekbench Browser

The top MBP laptop and the top iMac rank within 10% of each other at ~11k, while a 2006 Mac Pro tower ranks at ~6k. Even most of the 2009 Mac Pros rank lower than the best 2011 laptops.

With the 2011 Sandy Bridge CPUs we entered a space where CPU power is so strong and so well implemented that IMO we should be looking at configuration purchase choices a bit differently than we did in the past.

That is not to say that the Primate Labs rankings are all there is to "power," far from it. I have always been and remain a strong proponent of tower power for heavy work. My point is that both MBPs and iMacs lack the beef to be ideal for really heavy workflows. What I said was with iMacs you give up portability without gaining the brute strength of a Mac Pro tower.

Agreed the top iMac graphics are significantly stronger (~double). But top MBP graphics are very strong, strong enough that if graphics are important to a workflow and one foregoes portability, from a hardware standpoint a tower probably makes more sense anyway so one can get real graphics upgradability (5x an iMac's graphics today, much more in the future).

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The iMac has ...much more storage
The fact that iMacs are not portable anyway and all Macs now have Thunderbolt greatly reduces the value of having more available internal storage.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The iMac has ...more screen real estate
When one uses a laptop in a single-desktop location it is common to add a second display. Great third party displays from the likes of NEC, Viewsonic and (expensive) Eizo provide good value, and one is not forced to tolerate the inherent glare of current iMac displays.

The OP's needs are stated as
heavy computer user (Not video rendering or scientific stuff) just work on it every day running some pretty hungry software building websites and research.
and he is close to spending $2900 on a new iMac.

A top MBP with SSD and an external display can be had in that price range or less with the refurb values currently available. Personally I run Adobe CS and hardware-hog Aperture on an early-2011 MBP with SSD, 8 GB RAM and non-glossy external display. Two anti-glare displays, rocking fast performance, zero page outs, and the ability to go to 2x8=16 GB RAM if page outs ever do creep up above zero. The limiter for my workflow will be the 6750M GPU but I do not notice it.

My opinion is that portability has a huge amount of value, and that the current state of Mac hardware is such that the only real value-add iMacs provide above top MBPs is the stronger graphics. While iMacs provide the negatives of
• not portable
• only glare displays and limited display size choices.

Of course each of us much do our own prepurchase value analyses of our own expected future workflows, but my opinion is that currently (Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt era) if one values portability at all Mac laptops often make better choices than iMacs. That is, up until one reaches the need for the heavy workflow strength of a tower.

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Apr 22, 2012 at 06:20 PM. )
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 22, 2012, 06:26 PM
 
Don't forget that the iMacs have twice the RAM ceiling, and the CPU clock speed is higher both on base and max turbo. You may argue that the top MBP has ENOUGH power for your task, but that doesn't mean that it is equal to the top iMac, the way it was back in the early Core 2 days. The fact that the OP has upgraded the GPU over the base version should also be a hint that he will use it.

That the prices are as close as they are relatively is because Apple is overcharging for the SSD. $600 is almost twice what the (highly similar) Samsung 830 goes for at the same size - and why don't they offer the cheaper 128GB version that they do on the MBP? It would make even more sense on the iMac since you already have a big HDD installed.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
not1lost  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 24, 2012, 09:04 PM
 
Thanks for all your comments, Extremely important and helpful.... still on the drawing board...
Also with all the news we are awfully close to an upgrade probably across the board or most machines...
( Last edited by not1lost; Apr 24, 2012 at 09:14 PM. )
     
Eug
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Caught in a web of deceit.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 24, 2012, 10:01 PM
 
Personally I'd wait for an Ivy Bridge iMac with USB 3 support, and but for a lower spec'd machine. Core i5.

You can get a 4 GB machine, and then add another 8 GB of good third party RAM for about $80.
     
jmiddel
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Land of Enchantment
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2012, 12:46 AM
 
Here is what macrumors has to say:

Recommendation
Don't Buy - Updates soon
Last Release
May 03, 2011
Days Since Update
358 (Avg = 273)

in support of Eugs post. And, if possible, get the i7, it's great for not too much more!
     
Big Mac
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2012, 06:01 AM
 
Are i7s upgrades really worth it for Macs? Do you really think the virtual cores ever get put to good use, and if not, what good is the upgrade?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2012, 07:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Are i7s upgrades really worth it for Macs? Do you really think the virtual cores ever get put to good use, and if not, what good is the upgrade?
In my opinion no, it is not worth it. I have the i7, and it's the one upgrade I regret making. I did it because I tend to keep my machine for 5 years, and I figured that in 5 years time those extra threads might be useful, but I'm half way through those 5 years and so far it's pointless.

And before anyone asks: The larger LLC on the mobiles is even more pointless, at least as far as SB. If IB makes better use of it (it has a new algorithm for allocating CPU/GPU usage of it) then maybe it might be borderline useful, but so far no. The one thing that IS useful is higher turbos. The i7 on the MBA has SIGNIFICANTLY higher turbos than the base i5, which is something I missed when buying mine.

(I seem to remember reading Intel saying that if you completely remove the LLC on SB, the performance loss on regular desktop use is less than 10%. The reduced latency for main memory accesses weighs up a lot of the gain from lower latencies on a smaller working set. Unfortunately I can't find that reference again, so don't put too much stock in it).
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
mitchell_pgh
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Washington, DC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2012, 07:44 AM
 
I'm in a similar boat, and I'm just waiting for the new iMac. Portability isn't an issue as I also have a lower power MacBook Pro.

I mainly will be using the system for web/design, but will occasionally do a bit of video work. That alone is worth purchasing the iMac. With 32GB of RAM and a SSD, it's going to scream...

...now, Apple just needs to release it.
     
Eug
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Caught in a web of deceit.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2012, 08:38 AM
 
I have the i7 too, and I don't think it's worth that much either for my usage.

However, I will say that I can max out the machine including the virtual cores with video encoding. It's just that I don't encode video that much.

Also, unless Apple can really improve the resolution handling of OS X, or unless Apple goes retina on the iMacs, for my next iMac I'd consider downgrading to a 21.5" instead of sticking with the 27", because I don't like the 27" iMac's high pixel density. I don't like its screen height either. The 21.5" has both a lower screen height, and larger native text size. I would have gone with the 21.5" right at the outset (when I bought in 2009 when the 21.5" & 27" were both introduced), but the 21.5" at the time was too crippled. Nowadays, a 21.5" is a really decent option.
     
SierraDragon
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Truckee, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2012, 04:08 PM
 
Agreed, high pixel density can be frustrating. The high-rez MBP display sometimes drives me crazy, but the improvement in portable image viewing makes the higher resolution way worthwhile (for me personally).

When my MBP is in desktop mode (like an iMac always is) I solve the pixel density issue with a non-glare 24" external display chosen to exactly suit my eyes, workspace and budget. Approximately the same pixel dimensions as the MBP, and the MBP display lives centered under the external display (multiple displays absolutely rock for productivity).

With a Matrox graphics expansion module one can even have two external displays at 1920x1200 plus the 1920x1200 MBP display.

Once in a while (e.g. Netflix) I will either use the MBP in clamshell mode or just drop the MBP display brightness to zero.

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Apr 25, 2012 at 04:32 PM. )
     
SierraDragon
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Truckee, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2012, 04:23 PM
 
Regarding i5 vs. i7 the trend continues strongly toward more and more multi-threading in apps and the OS. Personally I believe that i7s have a fair value over i5s for Macs being purchased now for 2012/13/14/15 relatively high end usage.

And if one both tolerates zero portability and is not looking at relatively high end usage then the Mini should also be included in consideration.

Certainly if one is cost analyzing iMac vs. MBP one should price i7 against i7, SSD against SSD.

I really wish we had the Ivy Bridge Mac Pros in the mix to consider.
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Apr 25, 2012 at 04:34 PM. )
     
Waragainstsleep
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2012, 04:58 PM
 
P, would you say it was useful to have extra cores when running a VM or two?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
cgc
Professional Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Down by the river
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2012, 05:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
...My opinion is that portability has a huge amount of value...
All great points in your post but I'll bet not very many MacPro, iMac, or Mac Mini have been destroyed by dropping it or stolen from a backpack.
( Last edited by cgc; Apr 27, 2012 at 05:53 PM. )
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2012, 05:24 PM
 
Well, the Mac Pro won't even get Ivy Bridge unless Apple decides to move them down to regular desktop chips - and if they planned to do that, they should have done so no, when Sandy Bridge-EP was so delayed. Ivy Bridge-EP is not on the roadmap - it will go straight to Haswell and that very interesting transactional memory.

And that brings us to the reason why I think HT is not so useful in a quad core Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge. Whenever more than one thread could possibly work on the same data set, that set has to be preemptively locked before any thread starts accessing it. This locking (and then unlocking) in itself takes cycles - which may be a complete waste - and if any thread encounters a lock, it has to wait for that lock to be cleared to continue. Transactional memory is a set of new instructions (TSX) that removes the need for all this locking. Strictly speaking there are two sets, one that makes current locking easier and more efficient through a clever hack, and another that replaces the locking with a different paradigm. Instead of locking, you assume that there are no other threads around, go ahead and execute and make sure that you can roll back to a safe earlier state if you have to. If it all works out, threading will become easier and faster, and thus likely be used more often - but it will require at least Haswell, so to use it, you will need a separate code path for it.

Since Intel keeps locking the vast majority of its processors to 4 threads (or less - all those Pentiums and lower have only 2 threads), the number of processors that have support for more than 4 threads yet does not have support for transactional memory will be vanishingly small. It will be the i7 processors, excluding some mobile Arrandales, and most server CPUs. That is a small part of the bell curve - the brand Intel sells most of is supposedly still Pentium. The only AMD CPUs to qualify are Thuban (Phenom X6) and Bulldozer (FX series) so far. The gain of going beyond 4 threads is also tiny - HT is roughly 20% of a core on its best days. We are now making use of 4 threads with some efficiency, but it has taken us years to get here, and it would take a lot of work to take us further.

I think that since performance-oriented developers will want to make use of transactional memory, they will only keep developing threading on the code path that requires Haswell. Those of us with 8 threads but without TSX will be left on the old code path, which noone will bother to develop the threading any further for. To be fair, I opted for the i7 for another reason as well (VT-d - and a general distaste for crippled parts), but I did think that HT would be more useful than it has been.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2012, 05:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
P, would you say it was useful to have extra cores when running a VM or two?
Yes, when running multiple VMs it can be useful. If you have a quadcore with HT and run two VMs with 4 cores in each VM - or one guest and one host, with both doing some real work - you can rely on the CPU hardware to switch contexts faster than it otherwise would be able to. That's not really the case for me, though - when I run a VM, I don't have much going on in the host OS.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
not1lost  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 25, 2012, 10:20 PM
 
Hey everyone, I am really excited about the news today of WWDC 2012! and now I know I will wait for the new models. I have been reading your post and soaking it in. I noticed your conversation about hyperthreading and using all 8 threads on the i7 well as you know I have that now on the Dell machine. I multitask often with two monitors and use photoshop and website building software. but the real hog on my machine (I really dont understand why) is my biblical research software Logos4 I have one of the higher grade libraries with over 2000 books keyed to different languages plus every word is keyed to all other resourcs for various searches from simple word searches throught the library to complicated searches in foreign languages searching out sintax, grammer, verb tens in each occorance etc. When I have this program running full blown it sometims slows my machine down to the point of my typing in notes on microssoft word (which I will also have open) to the point that it is putting the words on the screen in a skippy manner sometimes three words behind my typing and I am not the fastest typist in the world. I have checked my resource manager when doing all this and many times it is running all cores/threads at 80-90 % and often maxing out my 12G of memory. It is frustrating to say the least. I dont like to have to wait on my machine to catch up so often. some on the forums that use this software say it runs better on Macs. Here is a short intro video of what the software does but get past the simple beginning to the meat of what it really does. and by the way ignor what is says about using it on an iPhone and iPad I have both and its capabilities on them are very limited. also the minimum requirements for the software are really a joke - just there to get you to buy it and it doesnt come cheap, I have thousands invested in mine. Here is the link to the intro video Logos Bible Software 4 - Logos Bible Software

Hopefully this will help you see what I am up against.... Thanks for all your help....
     
SierraDragon
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Truckee, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 26, 2012, 12:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by not1lost View Post
...the real hog on my machine (I really dont understand why) is my biblical research software Logos4
...many times it is running all cores/threads at 80-90 % and often maxing out my 12G of memory.
My first thought looking at that statement was "Get thee to a Mac Pro." Then I thought "why should text-search DB software so intensively use all those resources?"

Then I went to the Logos forums looking for systems requirements info. First I found that Logos lies about system requirements just like Adobe and Apple do. Then it turns out that (IMO) basically the core Logos code is lame; the developers are aggressively seeking new hire programming assets; the developer lead is whining that support for 10.5 is holding them back; yadayada.

And customers have bought into thousands of dollars of Logos-specific data resources. You are not the only user frustrated by performance.

Bad code presents less badly on over-strong hardware. And my perusal of the forums seemed to indicate that the developers preferred users to be in OS 10.7 for better performance, and graphics support does seem specifically relevant.

So given all that I recommend against a MBP but also against an iMac in favor of a Mac Pro (not the Quad model) with strong graphics card and an SSD with your Library on the SSD. Logos charges a lot for the Bible resources but the file sizes did not seem all that large.

The SSD allows 20-second reboots so if as is likely Logos has persistent memory leaks at least the reboot process will be easy. Do not buy RAM from Apple, but from OWC, Crucial or Kingston and install it yourself (very easy in a MP). I suggest starting by adding 2 x 8-GB sized modules and see what happens with page outs. Note also that page outs are much less problematic on Macs using SSD for boot.

HTH

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Apr 26, 2012 at 01:05 AM. )
     
not1lost  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 26, 2012, 01:33 PM
 
My first thought looking at that statement was "Get thee to a Mac Pro." Then I thought "why should text-search DB software so intensively use all those resources?"

Then I went to the Logos forums looking for systems requirements info. First I found that Logos lies about system requirements just like Adobe and Apple do. Then it turns out that (IMO) basically the core Logos code is lame; the developers are aggressively seeking new hire programming assets; the developer lead is whining that support for 10.5 is holding them back; yadayada.

And customers have bought into thousands of dollars of Logos-specific data resources. You are not the only user frustrated by performance.

Bad code presents less badly on over-strong hardware. And my perusal of the forums seemed to indicate that the developers preferred users to be in OS 10.7 for better performance, and graphics support does seem specifically relevant.

So given all that I recommend against a MBP but also against an iMac in favor of a Mac Pro (not the Quad model) with strong graphics card and an SSD with your Library on the SSD. Logos charges a lot for the Bible resources but the file sizes did not seem all that large.

The SSD allows 20-second reboots so if as is likely Logos has persistent memory leaks at least the reboot process will be easy. Do not buy RAM from Apple, but from OWC, Crucial or Kingston and install it yourself (very easy in a MP). I suggest starting by adding 2 x 8-GB sized modules and see what happens with page outs. Note also that page outs are much less problematic on Macs using SSD for boot.

HTH

-Allen
Thanks so much Allen,
Yes there are a lot of unhappy campers out there who like me have invested a lot of cash in this software and have also had a lot of trouble running it. I have read some of the forums myself looking for answers which was one of many reasons I have decided to switch to a Mac for all my computing needs. I dont know much about code, most of the website building software and on line tools I use does 90% of that for me. I have to change some simple things here and there but that's it. Even though what you said is not good news about the software it does help to know. Although I am in it too deep now to back out and it is an integrated part of all that I do and I depend on it a lot to save huge amounts of time. It is sad that a "Bible" based software company would lie so much about their product. I'm not surprised though as I am not too happy with organized religion as my website shows religious leaders who lead others have lied about a lot of things - big time. I'll get off that this is not the place for that discussion.

Considering the situation being it is what it is... I also started out thinking I probably need a Mac Pro but now I dont even know if it would be wise to buy one at this transitional time. I dont think the MP is even going to be updated till next year from what Ive read. so I dont know if it would be a wise choice right now.Then again the ones out now may be all I need??? I do think it is a beautiful machine and so clean on the inside - like a work of art! (compared to the mass of wires crammed everywhere inside my PC and everything else looking like it was just stuck in as an afterthought) Who knows though they may surprise us all with a new MP formfactor and all As you say, I would definatly go with with a strong graphics card and an SSD but you also said "not the Quad model" what model would you suggest? Also the MPs being so expensive would you trust a refurbished one? there was a time I said I wouldnt touch a used computer with a ten foot pole after being burnt a couple times.... Do you think the Mac Pro will be updated this year? Soon? any other thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks
     
SierraDragon
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Truckee, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 26, 2012, 02:15 PM
 
Pretty good odds we will see a new MP in Q2 2012.

Refurbished Macs are excellent purchase choices if you find what you want, IMO the preferable way to buy Mac Pros. Note that "refurbished" means from Apple, sometimes repaired, sometimes just the channel unloading new overstock. "Used" is a different category where one must 100% trust the seller.

Refurbs often show up more just before a new release.

Which MP model depends on price. I diss the Quad models only because they are usually overpriced = less good value, not because there is anything wrong with them. The big limitation of the Quads is having only 4 RAM slots, but for your needs I do not ever see you needing more than 4x8 = 32 GB RAM anyway.

If you can wait until June just to see what values shake out it would be good. IMO any existing MP (including the Quad) would be good for your needs, it is just about value. If 2012 MPs are announced the 2011 MPs should see values improve, we will see.

Mac towers are heavy-duty beasts made to work. They have very long life cycles, are less "disposable" than other Macs. I see no reason not to buy older Mac Pros when the value for the planned work suits. All the Sandy Bridge processors have been great, and the lowest end 2011 MP will take a top graphics card.

The only reason to avoid 2011 MPs is for those folks who demand the very latest cpu performance, Thunderbolt or USB3. Thunderbolt i/o is huge on portable or storage-compromised boxes like laptops, Minis and iMacs but not so essential on Mac Pro with your usages or mine. USB 3 is far out performed by Thunderbolt at the top end anyway, and at lower end USB 2 works fine.

What is important is SSD implementation. SSD pricing has been falling and third-party SSD reliability has been rising at rapid rates. How Apple prices SSDs can affect the best way to proceed, but if we do not see a new MP soon it is easy enough to get guidance here regarding best SSD retrofit choices.

HTH

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Apr 26, 2012 at 02:36 PM. )
     
not1lost  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 26, 2012, 02:39 PM
 
Thanks ! Very helpful indeed! This is a great forum. Most helpful I've found yet
I think a lot of the others don't take me seriously since I'm new to Mac; but I am in no means new to computers. I started out many years ago and even built a monster of a PC (at that time) for my own use and have went from that to doing more and more till it's a full time 10-12 hour a day job in a home office. with some travel but my needs for mobile devices were met when I purchased my iPad2 cant see needing anything else for quite a while. I do all my heavier work in my office at home.
PS
I dont like laptops! I have had a stack of them from small to huge. just dont like them or really need one especially since the iPad2 although before anyone gets their panties in a wad; I can see where some would need one....
( Last edited by not1lost; Apr 26, 2012 at 02:46 PM. )
     
not1lost  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 26, 2012, 10:05 PM
 
Just to clarify... I re-read my earlier post and it may have been a little bit confusing the way I worded it... I said
"even built a monster of a PC (at that time) for my own use and have went from that to doing more and more till it's a full time"
I didn't mean that I am now building computers that one was enough for me I meant that I now "work with" computers 10-12 hours a day - building and maintaining websites, photoshop, videos, research, writing, and blogging. No more computer building for me. although If I want to add more memory or another card or drive I would like to be able to do it without disassembling the whole machine and fighting with a mass of wires in my way like most pcs look inside now and a laptop? forget it! I have said before and again the inside of a Mac Pro is beautiful an engineering work of art!
     
driven
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 4, 2012, 09:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
There is sometimes a fine line between helping someone out and pushing your opinion on them, you are skirting pretty close to that line here Allen.

The iMac has much more power, much more storage and more screen real estate for pretty much the same money.
Agreed. My 3.2Ghz Core i3 iMac kept up (and in some ways was faster) than many things on my (2010?) era dual-core i7 MBP. (For far less money)
- MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.3Ghz / 256SSD (Work laptop)
- iMac 3.2Ghz 1TB
     
SierraDragon
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Truckee, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 4, 2012, 11:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
Agreed. My 3.2Ghz Core i3 iMac kept up (and in some ways was faster) than many things on my (2010?) era dual-core i7 MBP. (For far less money)
Of course what you say is true about the OLD boxes you discuss. No one said otherwise. This is however 2012 and referencing pre-Sandy Bridge boxes means nothing regarding a 2012 scenario. And the OP spec'd a $2900 iMac, so "(For far less money)" really does not apply.

Today the processors are so strong (Geekbench 10,000-12,000 range for top iMacs and MBPs) that IMO it changes things a bit. Today we have Thunderbolt. Today we have IMO mandatory SSDs. Today for the first time top MBPs are true DTR boxes.

I said "The only good thing about iMacs is price for the CPU power obtained, but you give up portability without gaining the brute strength of a Mac Pro tower." To be more comprehensive I will restate as The good thing about iMacs today is price for the GPU/CPU power obtained (and they are beautiful on the desk), but you give up portability without gaining the 5x+ graphics power and brute strength of a Mac Pro tower. And with iMacs you are limited to one of 2 display sizes, both glossy.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The iMac has much more power, much more storage and more screen real estate for pretty much the same money.
Agreed iMacs are more competent than laptops at similar price points; the trade off for not being portable. And the displays are glossy. And the graphics power is paltry and non-upgradable as compared to MP towers.
     
driven
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 4, 2012, 11:33 AM
 
Has anyone really upgraded a video card in a MacPro? Has Apple actually packaged video card upgrades?

(Just curious if anyone has really taken advantage of this theoretical upgrade)
- MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.3Ghz / 256SSD (Work laptop)
- iMac 3.2Ghz 1TB
     
SierraDragon
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Truckee, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 4, 2012, 11:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
Has anyone really upgraded a video card in a MacPro? Has Apple actually packaged video card upgrades?

(Just curious if anyone has really taken advantage of this theoretical upgrade)
Nothing theoretical about the upgrade, and yes Apple offers CTO GPU options when buying a tower as well as standalone GPU card sales. The best G5 tower would choke on Aperture until one replaced the stock graphics card. I replaced the stock GPU on my 2006 MP.

Folks who benefit from stronger graphics (Aperture users for instance, gamers, users of multiple displays, various design disciplines, etc.) do it with some frequency. Usually by buying a third party card(s) and simply plugging it in; very large graphics gains are available:

Radeon 7970 in a Mac Pro vs other GPUs

The real issue is that graphics card power has been rapidly advancing, meaning any laptop or iMac becomes (for those who benefit from GPU strength) graphics-lame in a year or two. OTOH with MPs one can for a few hundred dollars easily stay graphics current; actually a very big deal and becoming a bigger deal as graphics power is more and more used mainstream.

Of course many users receive minimal benefit from the GPU. For those users the graphics issue is moot.

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; May 4, 2012 at 12:35 PM. )
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 4, 2012, 01:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
The real issue is that graphics card power has been rapidly advancing, meaning any laptop or iMac becomes (for those who benefit from GPU strength) graphics-lame in a year or two.
I don't know about lame. The Radeon 4850M in my 2.5 year old iMac is more than twice as powerful as the rumored GPU in the NEXT Xbox, due for launch in a year. That there are $999 graphics cards that are as powerful again is irrelevant in an era where all gaming engines are designed for consoles. If I ever have a problem, I'll just overclock it - AMD has an official tool that lets you overclock both GPU core and memory. Just to test, I entered a 25% overclock on mine and played Skyrim for 2 hours without any problems. Seems I'm safe.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
SierraDragon
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Truckee, CA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 4, 2012, 02:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
I don't know about lame. The Radeon 4850M in my 2.5 year old iMac is more than twice as powerful as the rumored GPU in the NEXT Xbox. ...$999 graphics cards
Obviously if one's OS, application and usage demands remain static then there is never a need for stronger graphics or even a stronger computer for that matter.

Most folks spend $150 to $300 on GPU upgrades. Even the hot new Radeon 7970 is $500. However there certainly are $1000+ cards, simply proving that some folks find advanced graphics beneficial.

It is the folks who do find strong graphics beneficial that my comments are addressed to. In particular those of us whose workflows inevitably evolve over time.

E.g. 6 years ago I typically handled 12 MP images files on OS 10.4, today I typically handle 20 MP images files on OS 10.6 and next year I will be building gigapixel panoramas using 50 MP images files and OS 10.8. My 17" Sandy Bridge MBP will be graphics-lame at 2 years of age and there is no available graphics upgrade.

Thunderbolt-based graphics break-out boxes might change all that for desktop usages but it has not happened yet. More likely I will be forced to a new MBP or will add a MP to the mix (except that I really disliked the MBP/MP workflow when I had it; single DTR MBP is much nicer for me).

-Allen
( Last edited by SierraDragon; May 4, 2012 at 02:20 PM. )
     
not1lost  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Apr 2012
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 4, 2012, 06:10 PM
 
very interesting... I appreciate all the input I can get. I was in Memphis today so decided to stop by the Apple store and just take a look around after the first salesman chatted with me a while and I told him I was intrested in a Mac Pro or an iMac 27 i7 but wasnt buying anything until after WWDC in June or they let us know something before then. He showed me the ONE Mac Pro they had and then the row of iMacs. Then said well Help yourself and look around. Then another one came up to me and I told him the same thing then said I wasnt going to but a Mac pro till it at least had Thunderbolt. He said Oh! it's got thunderbolt! and slid it around and showed me the display ports I said Oh, is this the NEW Mac Pro? He said No. I said well that's not thunderbolt ports then. He said Oh yes it is I said nope and told him what they were and he said, well yeah, but it's the same thing.... I just laughed and said Uh no not at all... and said a little bit about thunderbolt and he said well yeah but you can still run a display on it My point in sharing this is it seems to me they are trying to push these old models out the door for some reason....
     
Spheric Harlot
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 4, 2012, 06:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by not1lost View Post
My point in sharing this is it seems to me they are trying to push these old models out the door for some reason....
This doesn't indicate anything.

This is two things:

1. the Apple Store clerk will try to push ANY model out the door at any time in any way possible. They are under pressure to do so, and most Apple Store employees are completely clueless about any new developments on the horizon, and deliberately stay ignorant of these developments, since getting caught even accidentally speculating on future developments will get them fired immediately.

2. The Apple Store clerks are completely clueless not just about new developments on the horizon. In fact, many of them are completely clueless. Apple's sales training material probably only covers current models, and the emphasis is not on the Mac Pro. He is truly convinced that all current models have Thunderbolt. The course on the Mac Pro obviously does not mention what the computer DOESN'T have, as it was written at a time when Thunderbolt didn't exist.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:20 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,