Radiance-general digest, Vol 1 #288 - 7 msgs

From: Greg Ward <[email protected]>

However, I'm forced to agree with Rob that in
terms of peformance vis a vis Radiance, your best value is a
probably a home-built, dual-processor Linux box.

I'm a Radiance Newbie myself, but I've got a little insight
on this. I've got a dual Athlon MP Linux Box, running
Mandrake, and my Wife has a G4 800 Mac running OS X.

I'm an Architect; she's a Graphic Designer.
I use my box for 3D and CAD; She uses hers for Graphic
and Web Design, and lets me test software on it, for I'm
very interested in having my next computer be a Mac.

My computer wins when it comes to rendering. Hands down.
Her G4 800 can't compete with the dual Athlon, and my
box new cost what hers did used at about one year old.

However, her computer wins in usability. Photoshop is
much faster on her machine, and she can be doing four
things at once, and burn a CD without Itunes skipping
the MP3's coming off of the server. :slight_smile:

Also her computer is vastly easier to take care of
(something is always broken on my Linux box it seems),
looks a heck of a lot cooler, has some better features
hardware-wise (like Firewire, everything's USB, ect.),
and is much quieter. I think there are five or more
fans in my box to cool the dual Athlons; it sounds like
a damn turbojet when you start it up; her computer
you wouldn't even know it was on if it weren't for
the big glowing light on the front.

And with a Linux Server and Samba, we can have
her Mac, and my dual boot Windows/Linux box
talk without issue, share files, printers, ect.

I very nearly got one myself,
but decided instead to pay roughly twice as much to get a
dual 1.4 GHz
PowerMac G4 with 1 GByte of RAM and a DVD writer for about $3K.

My next computer will probably still be a Mac, depending if the
CAD software I use is ported to it or not. Then, my current
dual-boot box will become the Radiance server, and I'll use
the Mac for the modeling. I'm not running production jobs
on Radiance yet; it's more occasional use as needs demand,
and so I fall into that usability is more important than
speed camp. And Macs win out on that.

But, if speed is what is the most important, than go with
the AMD dual boards.

In your case, a dual-processor Wintel machine with dual-boot
into Linux
or (my recommendation) FreeBSD may be the best option with your
existing software investment.

I concur. This is the set-up I've got; a dual-boot machine, and
with the newer Linux Distros such as Red Hat or, my fav, Mandrake,
setting up a dual-boot box is pretty trivial (not like it used to be).

I don't know what a 64-bit processor will buy in terms of Radiance
performance. Other than getting past the 2 GByte memory addressing
limit, there might be some improvement in floating point speed since
you can load double's into registers, but 64-bit integers are not
really useful as far as I'm concerned.

I know people in the CAD world are excited about the 64-bit systems
mostly for the effect they will have on the relational databases
that run under the hoods of our systems, and the ability to have
a frightening amount of RAM.

But, if any of the rumors about the new IBM processors that will be
going into Macs later this year are true, then Mac could quite possibly
be the best of both worlds; very very fast and very very useable. :slight_smile:

Jeffrey McGrew