Apple's thrust into the high-end 3d video market MUST include new hardware!

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
If Apple is truly after the high end video market, then their plans must hinge on hardware that is in development. It just doesn't make sense that Apple is buying up all these high-end 3d compositing/animation/effects applications in an attempt to capture the market, when they have no hardware that can run said applications competitively. As long as people can buy Intel hardware for half the price that's more than twice as fast, it doesn't matter what applications Apple owns.



These are the sort of news articles we can expect for as long as Apple continues to push uncompetitive hardware on mac users. Something must be done soon or Apple will lose the high end video market forever.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is the news article I speak of:



<a href="http://news.com.com/2001-12-0.html?tag=hdrgf"; target="_blank">http://news.com.com/2001-12-0.html?tag=hdrgf</a>;



"Star Wars" effects studio shifts to Intel



By Michael Kanellos

Staff Writer, CNET News.com

July 21, 2002, 9:00 PM PT



Industrial Light and Magic has joined the empire, at least in terms of hardware.



The technical effects studio has switched from using RISC-Unix workstations from SGI to using Intel-based Dell systems running Linux for the bulk of its animation and special effects work, said Cliff Plumer, ILM's chief technology officer. As part of the conversion, ILM recently deployed 600 Pentium 4 workstations.



"The Intel workstations that were deployed were probably 20 percent of the price of SGI workstations we bought a few years ago," Plumer said. "Performancewise, they are about three times as fast."





ILM created the special effects in the "Star Wars" series of movies, among other blockbuster films.



ILM's shift from RISC workstations to more standardized workstations is part of an ongoing change in the computer rooms of the entertainment industry.



RISC-Unix machines from companies such as SGI dominated Hollywood for years because they offered far superior computing power. Most of the high-end graphics applications also were written for RISC computers. Typically, RISC companies built their own chips and computers, and developed their own version of Unix.



Now, the performance gap has largely vanished and application developers such as Alias/Wavefront have moved their products to Intel machines. In addition, several of the companies building workstations around RISC chips have gone out of business or, in the case of SGI, begun to de-emphasize RISC because of the cost involved in developing the chips.



It's also easier to find employees with experience on machines running Windows or Linux with Intel-compatible chips.



"Right now you have to grab someone from an Irix (SGI's version of Unix) background to serve as your system administrator. It is a very limited circle," said Grant Boucher, a consultant with Digital Revelations, a studio owned by actor Morgan Freeman.



Digital Revelations is largely relying on Intel-based computers for the effects on "Rendezvous with Rama," a thriller coming out next year in which a group of humans seek revenge on aliens that blow up Italy.



RISC-Unix machines, though, are far from dead. Currently, a number of studios have deployed Intel-based machines for their render farms, conglomerates of hundreds of servers working in tandem to refine scenes and special effects. Much of the more precise animation still takes place on RISC-Unix.



In "Shrek," for instance, DreamWorks studio used Linux/Intel servers to render the skeletal images for the movie, but then used SGI-RISC workstations for much of the final animation. For "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron," an animated film starring the voice of actor Matt Damon as a horse, DreamWorks used more than 200 HP workstations.



ILM began experimenting with Intel-based workstations when working on "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace," and used them extensively in "Episode II: Attack of the Clones." The conversion process took about nine months, Plumer said. The company is currently using these machines on "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" and "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines."



Along with replacing its workstations, ILM also has installed a 1,000-processor render farm based on Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon processors and a server cluster built with Compaq Alpha processors.



[ 07-22-2002: Message edited by: Junkyard Dawg ]</p>
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    jpfjpf Posts: 167member
    I assume you saw this:



    <a href="http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020722/sfm132_1.html"; target="_blank">http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020722/sfm132_1.html</a>;



    Shake 2.5 for Mac OS X just released, there has to be new hardware coming in the next few weeks. There's no way around it now.
  • Reply 3 of 80
    [quote]Originally posted by JPF:

    <strong>I assume you saw this:



    <a href="http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020722/sfm132_1.html"; target="_blank">http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/020722/sfm132_1.html</a>;



    Shake 2.5 for Mac OS X just released, there has to be new hardware coming in the next few weeks. There's no way around it now.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    It needs Jaguar and a G4 at least !!!
  • Reply 4 of 80
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,255member
    <a href="http://www.apple.com/shake"; target="_blank">www.apple.com/shake</a>



    :eek: $10k Apple Software!





    There damn well better be some arse kickin Harware for this!
  • Reply 5 of 80
    I agree with you 100%. That's exactly what I've been saying about Apple making inroads with business. They now have the best OS hands down and that goes for the server side too. Jaguar only improves upon an already stellar OS. What more could you want than the stability of UNIX with an interface that's not only easy to use but a pleasure as well?



    Back to the subject at hand. I believe these are interrelated and Apple's lack of true high end hardware at a competetive price point is the only thing holding them back from gaining a substantial portion of the market.



    I think there are unspeakable amounts of people who have HAD IT with Micro$oft and are looking for an alternative, hence the Linux upswing. Now if Apple can only come up with hardware that's truly highend and priced attractively, people will have the best of both worlds.



    That's my 2 cents!
  • Reply 6 of 80
    [quote]Originally posted by Bombthroat:

    <strong>

    Now if Apple can only come up with hardware that's truly highend and priced attractively, people will have the best of both worlds.



    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    I hope so....
  • Reply 7 of 80
    Don't forget Jobs is CEO of Pixar...
  • Reply 8 of 80
    rolandgrolandg Posts: 632member
    [quote]Originally posted by Bombthroat:

    <strong>I think there are unspeakable amounts of people who have HAD IT with Micro$oft and are looking for an alternative, hence the Linux upswing. Now if Apple can only come up with hardware that's truly highend and priced attractively, people will have the best of both worlds.



    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Didn't they want to pull Windows support entirely as they did with E-Magic? Well, anyway, I guess the $4000 you save with the Mac version easily compensates whatever Apple will charge for the new PowerMacs.



    Or maybe they update the Xserve and offer clustering, but I am sure we will see new stuff along with the release of Jaguar and Shake.
  • Reply 9 of 80
    lemon bon bonlemon bon bon Posts: 2,383member
    Ouch! 10K if you're a Windows user!!!



    Right in the goolies!



    5K if you're a Mac user!



    Apple sure going after software...don't day?



    They must be pretty confident in the hardware they got coming up!



    Lemon Bon Bon
  • Reply 10 of 80
    blue2kdaveblue2kdave Posts: 652member
    One thing to keep in mind about ILM, is that they didn't transition to Windows, they transitioned to Linux. Big difference. That being said, if Apple is going to win over the high end crowd they are going to need a much more powerful system. However, I don't think we should envision places like ILM with racks of Xservers. I believe that what Apple wants is the production machines to be Macs, and the renderfarms to be based on Linux. Microsoft loses twice.
  • Reply 11 of 80
    jamiljamil Posts: 210member
    So what if JObs is CEO of Pixar ? Pixar is just one company churning out their own movies. I don't think they do any large scale animation work for third parties as ILM does.



    To me it seems like Apple just lost ILM as a current or potential customer and purely because of hardware issues.



    As we all know Hardware drives the software. Apple better have something BIG up their sleeves or they will loose the High end graphics market before you can say Apple.
  • Reply 12 of 80
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    This is the last version for Windows.



    As far as I know IRIX and Linux versions will keep going on until end of 2003, if market is still good there Apple may continue to update them
  • Reply 13 of 80
    lemon bon bonlemon bon bon Posts: 2,383member
    Yeah, JD, I posted a little extract from that. Got it from Macminute and posted it in the new 'powerMac' photos thread.



    But, yeah. It's ominous. From the top end to the bottom end...Dell is starting to eat markets alive.



    Apple will have to compete with Dell. It aint no use comparing them to Wallmart when I.L.M takes x amount of Dells into work on the Starwars movies.



    Apple needs to learn to compete on price a little more.



    ...and they need 3D systems that can compete. Ati and Nvidia seem to be doing their bit. So Apple needs to somehow do their bit in getting Moto'/IBM somebody to increase the FPU performance of the G4...but mostly it's mobo throughput as well. In short, they need 'power'Macs that can hang with the software they're putting out.



    The 'power'Macs are behind in most benches now by a long way on their supposed 'best' machine. We're not talking drawing internet pages or scrolling office docs. We're talking about the actual markets Apple are trying to muscle into. They need hardware with muscle. Or people will go with the hardware that has.



    Lemon Bon Bon



    [ 07-22-2002: Message edited by: Lemon Bon Bon ]</p>
  • Reply 14 of 80
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,255member
    ILM just doesn't excite me like they used to.



    Long live Weta Digital!!!
  • Reply 15 of 80
    [quote]Originally posted by blue2kdave:

    <strong>One thing to keep in mind about ILM, is that they didn't transition to Windows, they transitioned to Linux. Big difference. That being said, if Apple is going to win over the high end crowd they are going to need a much more powerful system. However, I don't think we should envision places like ILM with racks of Xservers. I believe that what Apple wants is the production machines to be Macs, and the renderfarms to be based on Linux. Microsoft loses twice.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Don't agree...



    They want production machines to be Macs, and the renderfarms to be based on XServe (they make more benefits)



  • Reply 16 of 80
    rolandgrolandg Posts: 632member
    I find it a bit odd that Apple states that you need an nVidia Quatro workstation graphics card or the likes and on the Mac a desktop Geforce will be sufficient.



    Well, at least we'll get a three-button mouse.
  • Reply 16 of 80
    [quote]Originally posted by Jamil:

    <strong>

    To me it seems like Apple just lost ILM as a current or potential customer and purely because of hardware issues.



    As we all know Hardware drives the software. Apple better have something BIG up their sleeves or they will loose the High end graphics market before you can say Apple.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    See my post on page 6 of this thread :

    <a href="http://forums.appleinsider.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=002143&p=6"; target="_blank">http://forums.appleinsider.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=002143&p=6</a>;

    This kind of market could be win by apple when they will have better hardware at lower price.



    When I said that SJ is CEO of PIXAR, I wanted to say that he's user too and I think he want betetr hardware for osx.
  • Reply 18 of 80
    lemon bon bonlemon bon bon Posts: 2,383member
    "ILM just doesn't excite me like they used to. "



    You can say that. I wouldn't.



    Out of all the effects house that came to our 3D University...ILM had the showreel that was the most pervasive and outstanding. Blew anybody else out there...completely and utterly out of the water.



    Lord of the Rings looked hot when it came out...until I saw the effects on Starwars II...



    Lemon Bon Bon
  • Reply 19 of 80
    shannylashannyla Posts: 58member
    From <a href="http://www.apple.com/shake"; target="_blank">www.apple.com/shake</a>



    [quote] Existing Shake customers will be given the option to double the number of their existing licenses at no additional cost by migrating to Mac OS X.

    <hr></blockquote>



    ...for the simple reason that we'd need at least twice as many macs to get the same amount of work done with present hardware.



    It's fair to say that Junkyard Dawg's assertion is dead right.



    [quote] I find it a bit odd that Apple states that you need an nVidia Quatro workstation graphics card or the likes and on the Mac a desktop Geforce will be sufficient. <hr></blockquote>



    That's called marketing, the reason Shake needs a Quadro is because it uses a ton of OpenGl for everything including the interface (which is how you write graphics programs on SGI boxes, which is where Shake started). Run it on slow hardware and it crawls. A Geforce3 or 4 will probably be ok, using Shake on a machine with an MX will be like torturing dumb animals



    [ 07-22-2002: Message edited by: shannyla ]</p>
  • Reply 20 of 80
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    [quote]Originally posted by shannyla:

    <strong>From <a href="http://www.apple.com/shake"; target="_blank">www.apple.com/shake</a>







    ...for the simple reason that we'd need at least twice as many macs to get the same amount of work done with present hardware.



    It's fair to say that Junkyard Dawg's assertion is dead right.



    [ 07-22-2002: Message edited by: shannyla ]</strong><hr></blockquote>





    THAT is what I was thinking too

    <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
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