Installation & update
About program installation and update, hardware, operating systems, setup, etc.

Dual PC or Dual Mac?

Not applicable
I expect to finalize a contract soon to provide Rendering and Animation Services on a large residential project.
I plan to use AC9 and C4D r9 as my primary tools. Part of my bid includes a bit of change to build a worthy workstation.
I have read some of the forum info on Mac versus PC. It looks like most people are leaning to the Dual G5 these days. I can't say i have a real preference for Macs, except to say that I am quite unsatisfied with my PC rig. WAY too many crashes/ down time because of failed hardware, etc. etc.
So that said, dollar for dollar (ive got enough earmarked for a dual processor system), which will support my software configuration the best?

thanks for your input
I'd swing to mac, but I have always been strange that way.

However, just having had a rather unhappy animation rendering experience - caused by asking for way too much from the machine in an unreasonably short time - I suggest you look into Render King's Render Ranch for your Cinema 4D rendering.

Way cheaper than a new work station.

Or do both. Hiring a render ranch lets you make corrections faster.
Dwight Atkinson
Not applicable
What's Render Ranch?

I'm kinda curious. Can you explain your "unhappy animation experience?"

Also, I'm beginning to "need" a 30" Apple Display. Do I remember you saying that you have one, or two of those? Like 'em?

Would a 2.5 GB machine have helped you?
Making an animation is a bigger task than it looks.

I called it "The Night Of The Buzillion Pixels."
We we attempting a 15fps movie at 720x480 with LightWorks in ArchiCAD and getting frame rates around 20 minutes each going thru the kitchen and dining room that presented slick reflective surfaces and many pixels in fixtures and entourage. I had spent a lot of time building the scnes, materials and lighting. A superior set of stills, however.

My contract was to flythrough the apartment for two minutes. I had both machines working for days and finally compromised at 360x240 just to make deadline. I could have used fifty times the computng power, not double or triple.

Cinema is faster, but not double in speed. Therefore, you need to hire out the rendering to a commercial service like Render King where it only takes minutes instead of days.

It is a matter of getting quality images in reasonable time. One machine can't do much more than a joke animation - small and 10 fps.... say for streaming video or CD, not to create a large DVD on a plasma screen.

In future, I will encourage clients to go for the half-second per frame cross-fade slideshow that progresses through the scenes, having extreme light and material quality and captions as needed. A very elegant and high quality response to personal computing limitations.

I have the Apple Cinema display 30" since November. From my posting frequency you can tell that I am in front of it a lot. I have yet to find a happy arrangement for ArchiCAD windows and neurotically shift them around all the time depending on the shape of the plan I'm working on - it can vary considerably.

While the PC Mag review observes that it is not a wide angle display - it does color shift when you get way off center, it is flawless otherwise. Well, not quite. When playing a video and the screen goes to sleep, you get funny lime green tracer lines when it wakes up . A quick on/off fixes it. Wierd.

I crave another one, but that is silly because with my eyesight, this is all that I can look at. More is just greedy. I would like another smaller one - a 20" say off to the side... but I can cope. The budget is blown.

My advice to ArchiCAD members seeking a larger screen is to cut cardboard rectangles to size and figure out how they will look at it all without ruining their necks. This becomes critical as you age - not that our younger punk colleagues will appreciate this observation. "What the hell is he talking about?"

Wait and see, sonny. Pass my cane.

The most economic way to maximise pixels right now seems to be 2-23" displays. That is a sweet solution. You avoid the extra graphics card that way. Of course, full screen DVD isn't quite as good on the 23".

Now that the 17" Powerbook can drive the 30" display, it will be a popular option.
Dwight Atkinson
Not applicable
Now that the 17" Powerbook can drive the 30" display, it will be a popular option.


First, thank you for sharing your -vast- experience. I, too, am becoming "age cognizant."

Just this AM I visited the Apple Store here in San Diego, CRAMMED with people just minutes after opening. Wow. iPods are going fast. The Apple store must be the envy of all the "fashion" and running shoe stores in the mall. The store was packed. It's ALWAYS packed. Amazing. Wish I'd bought their stock when it was at $15 US last year. (It's $82 now.)

The 30" screen isn't that big, though two would be a real mouse and neck workout. You're right, a 17" Powerbook and a 30" screen might work very well. (If only they were G5 Powerbooks.) Let's see, that'd be about $4000 for the 17" with more RAM, and what, $3000 for the 30"? Actually, it's $6897.00 from their online store. Only $7431.52 US counting our local sales tax. Hmmm. For a G4. Hmmm.

I seem to remember a number of positive comments about two smaller screens. The G5 and two flat screens may be the way to go. That 30" doesn't seem to satisfy you, nor does it seem grand enough by itself.

I am planning no feature length movies, though we've made some very nice fly throughs with ArchiCAD. I freeze frame on key renderings, then resume the fly through, ...add music, ...nice.

Thanks again for your perspective on Mac hardware.

Now I'll check out the renderking link you sent. (Thank you for that too.) Speaking of high numbers, they must cost a bundle, no?
You buy the 30" display because you get tired of the split screen.
With a desktop machine, however, you must purchase a special graphics card that can drive two 30" displays, so there's always that nagging itch.

If I sell enought books to pay for their printing, we'll see.
Dwight Atkinson
Not applicable
this weekend i talked to a friend of mine. turns out his firm runs exclusively on MACs. they use vectorworks and artlantis and have two dedicated g5 duals.

will the G5 run vectorworks/artlantis and AC9/C4D with the same performance?
Since both ArchiCAD and Cinema 4D are better programs than Vectorlantis, I would say that you'll get better performance.
Dwight Atkinson
Not applicable
thanks dwight!

it looks like i am quite convinced on getting the G5 dual now.
Can you advise me on an adequate configuration?
i imagine 1 GB of RAM would be a minimum starting point.
how about the video card?

any other advice would be great too 🙂 thanks.
btw, can i plug a regular PC monitor in the mac?

Plugging in depends on the display - the mac comes with a number of card configurations and adapters. Consult your supplier. I had used Sony displays with VGA for many years......

Since Mac gave up the proprietary ADC connector, it is now either DVI or VGA-type [?]. Neither is powered.

The base video card is okay until you want the 30" display that takes a bejesus big card - but then you can have TWO 30" displays!

No application as of today can address more than 2 Gigulonz of RAM. I own 3.5 Gigameggz which, sixteen months ago was the cheapest way to top-out the machine [2-256 supplied and 6-512 in the 6 remaining slots]

The hardest rendering ArchiCAD ever did addressed 1.85 G. Then there was smoke. Joke.

She slows down a little when Photoshop, two ArchiCADs, Silo, Cinema and Artlantis, Excel, Word, and the usual gang of idiots are open. I can even occasionally get the scrolling gray curtain of death. Go for the limit, I say.

I'm in Winnipeg starting this Wednesday - next Tuesday if you want to have a visit. Send PM.
Dwight Atkinson

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