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  • Old PC or Mac Mini?

    Should I buy a 3.4 ghz PC w/2 gigs ram (big SATA drives and nice Hammerfall card) for $1200 or get two Mac Mini's and do the Wormhole audio solution? (I would add a gig of ram to the PC and run the 3gb switch.)

    Are mac mini's limited to 2 gigs of ram physically? When people say 4 gig mini's do they mean a couple of 2 gig sticks (which aren't available yet?)

    In regard to the PC: will Vista eventually allow 64 bit apps to run on it? (motherboard and hardware-wise?) Will two gigs ram sticks then work in the four available slots?

    Don't want to make a dumb move if a new world is opening up. If 64 bit is only a software/OS upgrade then I don't mind but I would rather spend more money on something that will allow for future use and maximum ability (ram loads, performance etc.)

    Okay, just try and answer all that.

  • - Mac Minis are limited physically to 2GB of memory. That's not a limitation based on availability of bigger memory moduloes, but on the chipset.

    - Vista will work in both 32-bit and 64-bit modes (except for the standard edition, which will only be 32-bit).

    Jerome

  • Hey Dave:

    Part of the answer to your question resides in what your particular future holds. Two things in favor of the PC route for the future:

    1. MIR
    2. 64-bit

    As for today, both the PC and Mac Mini options will work. For the extra hardware (HD upgrades?) and RAM needed to outfit the Mac Minis, you may find yourself weighing the price of each as much as anything else.

    There are pros and cons on both sides for today's use, but I have my doubts about the how much use I could get out today's Minis down the pike. Apps are likely to go 64-bit on PC sooner. Even MIR is not slated for Mac in the foreseeable future.

    I have my own theories about some of this, which we can discuss over a sizzling filet!!! [:P]

  • jerome, as far as my research showed up the chipset in the minimacs (intel) and probooks would be able to see 4 GB - my assumption was it is not supported because of heat issues ....
    christian

    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • Thanks to all for responding and good point about MIR which hadn't entered my thinking JWL - very important consideration. Wouldn't VSL be looking at running Vista on a Macpro Quad 3GHZ for MIR?

    The motherboard on the PC is and Intel P4 with the 875 chipset. I'm guessing that means I'm limited to 4 gigs ram in the future (I didn't know the chipset was what allowed for size of ram. I imagine that those older boards weren't designed to go bigger than 1 gig per slot.)

    cm, interesting about mini's maybe able to handle more ram. If heat issues can be solved it makes it more flexible for growth.

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    Hey cm--

    I indeed went on Intel's website, and it specifically says that the Intel 945GM can handle up to 4GB of ram.

    On a Zdnet blog, I also found the following regarding the MacBook Pro's 3GB limitation:

    @Another User said:

    Although the Intel 945PM chipset can physically handle 4GB of DDR2 RAM, there is the potential for "memory overlap" when more than 3GB of RAM is installed.

    a number of items that must be stored in physical RAM space, and when RAM reaches 4 GB, there is some overlap. In other words, in a 3 GB RAM configuration, there is no overlap with the memory ranges required for certain system functions. Between 3 GB and 4 GB, however, system memory attempts to occupy space that is already assigned to these functions.


    Interesting!

    Jerome

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    @dpcon said:

    Thanks to all for responding and good point about MIR which hadn't entered my thinking JWL - very important consideration. Wouldn't VSL be looking at running Vista on a Macpro Quad 3GHZ for MIR?


    Hey Dave--

    I'm waiting to hear news about "serious" audio and video apps being run on a Mac using Vista before making that committment. The word "native" still offers a great of comfort-- and terms such as Bootcamp and Rosetta make me nervous. Until more info comes in, it all sort feels like word processing and the like will benefit the most in the earlier phases. I don't want to make too many assumptions, but erring on the side of safety for the moment seems to be the way to go.

    In that light, the Minis are starting to make more sense to me- especially with Jerome's citing of the RAM overlap issue. It's not that I don't understand it. I just don't understand why it's necessary. Seems like such a waste of resources-- but maybe that will improve down the road?

    I've said it before: I like my steak medium-rare, but I want my electronics to be well done.

    See you at the steak house tonight!! [H]

  • Hey JWL,

    I understand the caution and it's the only way to go. I'm going to get this PC as it's a bird in the hand (already here with VI loaded.) Gonna add more ram and invoke the 3GB switch. A few mac minis may be in the cards as well or even a monster macpro becoming my DAW and 2.7 being put out on the farm.

    Speaking of farms, I will see you for some good cow in just a bit and try to avoid any bull at the table.

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    @dpcon said:

    Hey JWL,

    I understand the caution and it's the only way to go. I'm going to get this PC as it's a bird in the hand (already here with VI loaded.) Gonna add more ram and invoke the 3GB switch. A few mac minis may be in the cards as well or even a monster macpro becoming my DAW and 2.7 being put out on the farm.

    Speaking of farms, I will see you for some good cow in just a bit and try to avoid any bull at the table.


    LOL!! And the cow was indeed top shelf, was it not? Didn't notice any bull-- what a pleasant evening of good food and brain picking!

    A bird in the hand. JUST finished talking to someone about that. First, get the most out of what you've got. Then take note of where it falls short before plopping down cash.

    I still don't know what I'm going to do, but I just don't see anything happening on the Mac or PC side for less than $10-15k for what I need.

    The quest continues.

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    @JWL said:

    The quest continues.


    Yes but you fancy quests as Frodo himself, has always been my impression.

    Indeed last night was very informative. There is no present solution for those who wants everything at their fingertips that does not include multiple cpu's no matter the platform. A friend just told me of the issues he's having with a mac mini (kvm switching away cause video to lose contact.) I think it's pat a lot of money now on lots of cpu's or pay a whole lot of many later for a few high powered machines.

    The problem is not VI's and gear: it's the life we've chosen.

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    @Another User said:


    Indeed last night was very informative. There is no present solution for those who wants everything at their fingertips that does not include multiple cpu's no matter the platform. A friend just told me of the issues he's having with a mac mini (kvm switching away cause video to lose contact.) I think it's pat a lot of money now on lots of cpu's or pay a whole lot of many later for a few high powered machines.

    The problem is not VI's and gear: it's the life we've chosen.


    What!! And give up show business? [:D] [:D]

  • Hey guys [:)]

    Great evening indeed!!!

    Re. the KVM switch problem, we've been having the same issue here. I wonder if it's a brand-related issue (we're using a Belkin switch) or if this would happen with any KVM switch. I know it doesn't happen with the Powermacs - only the Mac Minis. Weird.

    Dave, I'd love to know which KVM brand he's using.

    Jerome

  • I was just wondering, not being that knowledgable about PC world:

    Is there a box or can one build a box-- with multiple independent mother boards to house what are essentially four PCs in one housing?

    It sounds like a silly question even to me-- but if multiple PCs with 2-3GB RAM each are what's needed, it would be nice to in effect make a Cube playback box with USB ports, PCI slots, internal HDs and route everything to a single DVI somehow.

    I was musing over the Magma Chassis for PCI expansion and was wondering about carrying this idea *more than* a little further to actually include independent CPUs.

    In concept, it would be great to have two of these boxes with 4 independent CPUs each-- but, I know.... there would be more heat sinks and fans in the box than anything else.

    Hmmm.