To make this remotely more scientific, you'd either need to buy a 4k monitor for the PC, or use a Mac Pro and just take the monitor out of the equation.
Honestly, though, I don't think the point was to do an apples-to-apples hardware comparison. This was on a cost basis only.
On the other hand it's a Lightroom test -- the target market for Lightroom is precisely those that do care for such resolution.
Also, the end of the article shows the next text is a Mac Pro. I thought commenting without reading was a reddit thing, not hn.
The exception to this is 'smart previews' test which shows a 6.5 minute difference.
I've asked the creator of fileloupe (http://www.fileloupe.com/) if his app would improve the performance of this one test. I know nothing about photos, so I don't even know what this 'smart preview' thing is...
Which isn't vastly relevant in a single-application-suite workflow. It's end-to-end Adobe so you plug your SD card in, it copies some files out to an Adobe library and you edit them in Lightroom.
I think many of the problems people are describing is more to do with what's being compared in hardware. Different monitor resolution, different CPU, etc.
My own objection is buying top-end rubbish from a photography equipment supplier. You can get similar spec stuff and much cheaper. This seems to be an exercise in trying to spend $4k (which is actually quite hard when you're not buying a Mac) rather than building for value.
I think that speaks to the "quality" of the software more than anything. I'm wiling to bet that Adobe Premiere would render that macbook useless. I wonder how much more(I can't imagine how difficult it is to write their software cross-platform) amazing the Adobe suite would be if they only focused on Windows (which allow for these super powered machines).
And the 1TB flash storage option they chose can also be questioned. I mean, 1TB of the iMac's internal flash storage is super expensive, but it's also WAY WAY faster than the Samsung 850 EVO in terms of read/write times. (Samsung 850 EVO has the SATA bottleneck.) My point is that if you know your process is constrained by CPU speed, don't put so much of your budget into fast storage. If they had opted for the 256 GB flash storage option in the iMac they'd take $700 off the price.
OTOH, I don't see a way around the inability to overclock the iMac's cpu. Stuck with 4.0 GHz (or 4.2 in Turbo boost).
That's only true if all 8 hours are 100% spent waiting on the machine, which doesn't seem likely. This doesn't seem like a CPU-bound task. Most of the time is probably spent by the human actually looking at the photos and making decisions.
Not having ever wanted to buy a machine for that amount of cash, I'd expect to do better with multi-socket systems.
Anyone care to chime in? I struggled to spend over 1K GBP with my latest machine. (I think 'Extreme Edition' is basically like buying the S version of a car, mind). i7-5820K, 64GB ram.
One thing that does stick out is an odd monitor comparison. There's an expensive color repro "low" (in comparison) res monitor for the PC, against the standard iMac retina. Aren't there cheaper 4K monitors/TV's about?
The rest is on the GPU
Basically, is the whole article just nonsense? :)
This stinks of a cross between attempting to do PR and having someone who didn't make a spending decision justify it.
As I said elsewhere, the place to improve is in their human workflows, or there is no improvement to get.
1) High-end i7 and Xeon with the same core count hover around the same price. However, Xeon are not made for overclocking whereas the i7 can be overclocked (easily).
2) The application they used for benchmarking relies on high CPU speed. Normally what you find is the more cores a CPU has, the lower their clock speed (I assume to keep it within the TDP).
Also, CPU is all but one price component in a Xeon system:
- The base motherboard would cost the same to a high-end consumer motherboard. If you're looking for dual-CPU motherboard it will cost almost twice as much.
- (Most) Xeon systems will require ECC RAM, which is more expensive than the regular RAM.
However, never ever skimp on motherboard if you're planning to overclock :)
Yeah, the project car will probably smoke it. But not everyone wants a project car.
A better example might be the cost delta between buying a car from the manufacturer and buying all the parts to make the same car separately and putting it together. The direct from manufacturer car will be far cheaper.
That number is probably an order of magnitude higher than the profit margin of component makers.
Other than that, I find the review centered around their use case and well explained. Well done.
The above seem like a non-sequitur, but seems apt. I switched from Windows to OSX in 2007 to work exclusively on iOS. In the past year: I abandoned WatchOS due to artificial constraints, discovered that the Apple Pencil has an annoying skid/squeak, and an Auto-update from Xcode 7.2 to 7.3 broke my C++ toolchain. The last, of which, Apple QA has decided not to fix, even though XC 4 thru 7.2 worked just fine. Meanwhile, can't run Cuda on my year old MBP AMD Chipset. I may be switching platforms. Hence the interest in OP's article, including the tangental Final Thoughts.
The SMB/CIFS change from samba is what caught me, that was kind of painful. I finally upgraded to El Capitan, and not sure I like it much better. For the most part, OSX is the one that stands out in terms of how I use my computer... Ubuntu and Windows are closer to each other (with bash) than OSX, and once windows has native Linux subsystem in general availability, I may wind up using it more.
However, the disappointing thing to me here is that you can't reach performance parity with the iMac by throwing more money at it. The iMac tested here is a completely maxed out machine.
The Skylake processor in the iMac is something the end user cannot overclock (without doing something extreme). And none of the Mac Pro cores are as fast. And Apple doesn't water cool their machines. They simply don't offer robust overclocking options to us. So, for a single-core, the 4.0 GHz Skylake in the iMac is the fastest thing Apple offers.
If there is an underlying, valid core criticism in this article, it's the same one everybody already knows about: Apple doesn't offer their end users a truly competitive array of system configurations. Instead, they force their users into carefully defined and limited product tiers, each one costing significantly more than the last.
Should have spent it on PCIe SSD or Xeon CPU.
EDIT: Yep, for what it's worth, if you are doing retouch for print, pro studios use EIZO screens and they are usually around 2k-3k+ per unit.
Now, the PC price comes out to $4370+42=$4412, so we need to drop $1146 of from the PC to get a realistic price comparison. The RAM, Screen, SSD, and graphics card are anchored due to our Apples to Not Apples comparison. That leaves the motherboard, case, CPU, power supply and water cooler to drop in price.
I don't know water cooling particularly well, but lets say we leave that in to continue overclocking the CPU, but drop to a lesser model, same with the Power Supply and Case. So revised budget for each is:
Case: $125 -> $80
Power Supply: $140 -> $80
Water cooling: $120 -> $80
Now a gaming motherboard was selected because it's stable for overclocking, but let's throw caution to the wind and drop our budget to half that and hope it still overclocks stable. $480 -> $240
That leaves $261 for the CPU, which buys an i5-6600K (3.5GHz), or we drop the water cooling and run everything at stock to get to an i7-6700K (4GHz). In other words, the same processor in the iMac. If this benchmarks any differently, it's the Lightroom developers fault, not the hardware.
So, the upshot is, spending the same amount on a Mac will get you the same specs in a much better looking equivalent device.
Oh, I forgot, there's nothing as painless as a properly set up Windows Server with auto provisioning...
My primary work machine is a 2011 MBP and it's working like a fucking beast, but still, I fear the moment it will break and require 1-2 days in the IT department for reinstall.
Provisioning a Win7 machine with MSIs is PAINLESS if you know how to deal with the MS toolchain (except Java which is a PITA to get running...)
Ditto for network-backed home directories, as long as you have Cat6 networking and good networking hardware which you should have anyway if you're a serious business, it's a couple of config options set up ONCE for the entire AD and you're done.
Macs, to this day, don't speak PXE but their own Apple protocol, and something even remotely alike to assigning MSIs via Active Directory is not achievable without (paid!) 3rd party tools.
"The honest truth is, I have spent just as much time in a Apple store at the Genius Counter getting my Apple machines repaired as I have maintaining my well built PCs."