Max, I think one needs to distinguish between Apple and PNY in all this. Much as I have my issues with Apple, who otherwise make a fine product in so many respects, it's one thing if the misinformation is coming from PNY and another if it is coming from Apple, as it would be unfair to hold the latter accountable for the advertising of the former. But you mentioned several posts up that the Apple store is also advertising billions of colours. That of course is another matter deserving of attention in the monologue with Apple about facing the issue, if correct. I combed through Apple's on-line documentation and I couldn't find a statement supporting 10-bit display capability in OSX. If you can point me to something I may have missed, I would appreciate it.
All that said, one could I think fault them for not explicitly advising potential purchasers of limitations with respect to 10-bit colour rendition, insofar as they are equipping the computers with cards that can do it, but an OS which cannot.
In European Apple Store description of Quadro 4000 has changhed and also the price! I notice that this morning! Now not a single word about 10-bit and the price is now 100 Eur less.............. I bought the card 1 week ago............. This is really strange.
But on official nVidia page of Quadro 4000 for Mac, 10-bit bit support on Mac Pro via Display port is still mentioned!!!!
Chris, are we any closer to getting this issue resolved? It is critical for us advanced image-makers.Is there any indication that 10.7 will address 10-bit per color plane imaging? Certainly some one must have some insight into this issue!
I too would love to have an answer to this question, but lots of luck trying to
get anything useful out of Apple on what they intend. Even if they did enable it
in 10.7, we would then encounter the issues of their wretched mini-DisplayPort
technology which doesn't play well, at least with the NEC PA271W.
It seems amazing that Windows guys have been running 10-bit for a year and a half, and Apple still cant get it together. I have been running on Apple since the Mac II and PS 2. This has been one of the damnest issues I have ever run into with Apple. I think its time for Adobe's senior management to weight in on it with Tim Cook.That is likely the only way past the dead-end.
Yes I agree fully. Apple has been totally obtuse on this issue, as well as on
the related issues of mini-DisplayPort functionality with high-end 3rd party
displays. High-level pressure looks like the best way forward.
You could try to talk to Adobe management and convince them it's a priority.
But frankly, we have bigger issues we need Apple to solve.
You might get farther if you convince Apple that it should be a priority (or that they should be embarrassed for letting Windows take the lead).
This gets very complicated with Apple. There are two issues here: (1) the OS
doesn't accommodate 10-bit; (2) even if it did, only DisplayPort can convey the
data, not DVI. So there are AT LEAST these two necessary conditions. Even when
they satisfy (1), there is still (2) which they will not necessarily have dealt
with because the display providers are involved and Apple shields itself
magnificently from 3rd party exposure. Because Apple insists on supplying AMD
video cards with mini-DisplayPort instead of standard DisplayPort, one needs to
use converters or converter cables. Neither NEC not Apple will take
responsibility if one tries any of these hardware connections and they destroy
equipment, because they are all 3rd-party. This is seriously interfering with my
ability to work with NEC to solve this issue. I'm up for trying whatever,
provided I don't have to pay for the consequences of screw-ups which these guys
should have collaborated on avoiding from the get-go. But they don't collaborate
and none of their warranties save consumers harmless of the consequences from
trying stuff which they themselves suggest without having properly tested what
they are suggesting. Go figure. It is a circular mess.
So what this means is that if I go purchase a mac and run windows on it with bootcamp then I can successfully drive my 30 bit monitor? I've been using PCs forever and now that I've finally decided to switch to the dark side I found out about this business...
Has there been any progress in this matter yet? Does OS X 10.7 "Lion" address this issue in its initial release (which should be out any day now as the golden master is said to be available to developers already)?
That is a real good question---whether 10.7 addresses the 10-bit issue. I contacted Tim Cook at Apple and briefed him on the problem, but never received a reply---though it appears he received my note. There just does not seem to be any interest in solving this problem. Extremely disappointing, but we are in the new age of customer be damned I am afraid.
I have become so disgusted with Apple I can't express myself. I have been following this thread for months and it's the same old noise from the Steve Jobs money farm.
I just bought Premier Pro and the whole production bundle when I saw what FCP X was all about... a joke. Apple is now a consumer electronics company and has dumped it's pro users in a burlap bag by the side of the road. I have been using Adobe products for years and have never been disappointed. The last Apple laptop I bought last Spring will likely be my last. To really harness the best features of Premier Pro and 10 bit video card for photography editing it means back to a PC... that's fine (the constant updates are annoying!) Onward!
I do wish that senior management at Adobe would confront Tim Cook on the subject, but I think they are unwilling. It is going to take public shame to move Apple to 10-bits. Adobe seems more interested in their conflict with FLASH then the issues with Photoshop. And while we are on the subject of Adobe, how is it that we still dont have EVERY function in Photoshop in 16 bits, 32 bits fixes or FP? The progress is glacial. I remember how it took to Version 7 just to get to 16 bits! That is not much better then Apple on the 10-bit video card issue. Notice how all the art filters are still 8 bits?
It surprises me how few photographers seem to care about the 10-bit video card issue. There is not much of a cry from the photo world for 10-bits, and I would assume that this is just a blind spot---but it is troubling. Seeing is believing, but no one semes to bother to even check it out.
In the 1990's when Apple was down to the nubs, it was photography and graphic arts that produced the revenue to pull the company out of the celler. Our reward for all that? iPad and iPhones, not computers or software that supports advanced imaging. They seem unable to focus on more then one thing at at time, and what is in, is in, and what is out, is out.
Very sad Steve, Tim and Apple! It shows personal immaturity.
I would hold out hope that Lion will add 10 bit, but at the cost of the user interface I prefer. In addition to that I have spent years getting my Epson 3800 to print the way I want.. and need to repeat prints that are currently being printed. I also use QuadTone RIP and not sure if that will work under LION. No Rosetta with Lion either. Forget it, I have frozen my system at 10.6.8.
Pete has it right...
how is it that we still dont have EVERY function in Photoshop in 16 bits, 32 bits fixes or FP?
Because they take time (that could be spent on new features), and because users haven't identified much that they still need in 16 bit or 32 bit/channel.
They keep asking for everything instead of telling us what they actually need - so they get nothing.
Well Chris, anytime Adobe would like me to bring in an allstar team of consultants in advanced image processing to get the issues straight in PS, just let me know.
I have been using PS since Version 2 and the forward movement on key image processing features has always been glacial. PS is THE bedrock product for Adobe, so why is it that senior management is so out of touch on the 10-bit issue that they are not breaking down the door at Apple demanding a solution? Sorry, but I bet that not one email or phone call has been made by senior management at Adobe on this issue to Apple. Like Apple, Adobe keeps trying to make more and more product lines, instead of making sure that the one's that are key to the company actually work. For example, the 32-bit functions in PS is a total mess in CS5. The 32-bit tools are unusable for image processing, and that is a shame. Even a 32 bit fixed point solution woudl be better then having a 32 bit FP solution that does not work.
The 10 bit issue is really, really minor compared to all the other problems with MacOS.
We've asked Apple for it, and they haven't delivered it.
10 bit/channel display is ready in Photoshop, whenever the OS adds the code.
And it's been available on Windows. (plus Windows would run faster on your MacPro, thanks to kernel bugs in MacOS)
The 32-bit tools are unusable for image processing, and that is a shame. Even a 32 bit fixed point solution woudl be better then having a 32 bit FP solution that does not work.
Again, you need to give specifics.
Because as far as everyone else can tell - the 32 bit/channel features work just fine, and are quite actively used by many people.
I'm using PS on Mac OSX 10.6.8, and I haven't seen any performance drags that I
would consider remarkable. Mind-you, I do have 24 GB RAM and 24 virtual cores to
throw at it, so maybe that's why, but grateful if you could elaborate on what
these "kernel bugs" are and how they impede performance.
The kernel (or kernal) is the lowest level part of the OS. It's the part that supervises all other parts of the OS, and handles the lowest level of resource management, threads, etc.
The biggest MacOS kernel bugs that I know of are in thread scheduling: Windows can make use of the 24 virtual cores without slowing down. MacOS can only make use of 12 of the cores before slowing down, so MacOS doesn't get the benefits of hyperthreading, and runs slower than Windows on hyperthreaded systems. The sad part is that the Apple kernel engineers don't even understand the problem.
Then there's the locks on trivial memory functions that slow down threaded code, overall poor thread scheduling (not involving hyperthreading), excessive cache flushing slowing down all threads, etc.
You see all of this as reduced performance. We have to track down each part to explain why some things run faster or slower on each OS when using the same hardware.
Thanks Chris. Looks like a big turnaround between the two systems, because not
many years ago I think the informed technical view was that Max OSX handled
multiple cores and hyperthreading much better than Windows (XP then).
Chris Cox wrote:
…OS X gets relatively slower with each increase in core count.
Gulp! May I pick your brain in this regard, revered guru?
Would going from running Photoshop 11.0.2 under OS X 10.4.11 on a 1.25 GHz PowerPC MDD Dual G4 maxed out at 2 GB of RAM to running the same application under the same OS on a 2.5 GHz PowerPC G5 Quad with 16GB of RAM still give me the substantial increase in performance I was hoping for? It was my understanding that the late October 2005 2.5 GHz G5 Quad was/is the fastest PPC machine ever made by Apple, and I might be making just that move in the next two weeks or so.
Thanks in advance.
As a person who switched from Windows to Mac last year in order the improve the
overall computing experience, needless to say I did know about these speed hits
and the performance tests I saw on the Mac side looked pretty impressive
compared to what I was using before this upgrade (Windows XP on a four year old
Dell). So I guess this kind of experience raises a question about practicality
and criticality. I think many of our decisions are based on compromises wherein
some things stand out for practicality and others are more or less critical as
the case may be. So reading what you are saying here, had I known this last year
would I have decided just to upgrade to Windows 7 instead of going Mac? Mac has
a lot going for it, so to answer that question I would have needed to know how
different these performance speeds really are between my 12/24 intel Mac and its
equivalent in Windows. I've been told in the past by other Photoshop engineers
that some things in Photoshop can't really benefit much from multi-core
technology while others can. As well, the most usual operations I perform in
Photoshop don't require using various filters that really do tax a machine
heavily. By the time I take an image into Photoshop, it's been Lightroomed
already, so much of the heavy lifting is done there, and in Photoshop I do
finishing touches - maybe some transforms, some layer masking, some contrast and
vibrancy adjustments, sharpening with Photokit Sharpeber and printing.
With that as background and getting down to brass tacks - would I really notice
much difference in performance speed between 12/24 Mac and Windows for stuff
like importing images to LR and building LR thumbnails, and doing the basic
image editing adjustments in LR 3 and PSCS5? Or does one need to do bench
testing to see that theoretical speed differences of little practical importance
do occur? Of course whatever the answer, it is disappointing that Apple is
losing it technologically, but this is a company making gazillions in iPhones,
iPads and iTunes, so if they're dropping the ball on their less remunerative
computer business it's not totally unexplainable.
...had I known this last year would I have decided just to upgrade to Windows 7 instead of going Mac...
Mac can run Windows 7. So you have not gotten yourself stuck to a single platform.
It was a question, not something I'd necessarily do. Anyhow, reverting to your
answer - yes I know. BUT it runs as a virtual machine under Parallels - not
clear what kind of a performance hit that creates. Likewise for the less
flexible and more inconvenient option of using Bootcamp. Also, Adobe has not yet
seen fit to make Photoshop a cross-platform license, unlike what the same
company allows for Lightroom; don't ask me about the logic of that - it's nuts,
but that being the case, one would need to buy another copy of Photoshop IF one
wanted the flexibility to run it on both platforms. There are of course other
issues using Windows, why from an overall computing experience perspective it
may still be preferable to remain using a Mac as a Mac. That is why I reverted
to Chris about the real impact of the performance differences.
Because our work and needs in Photoshop are different, only you can determine difference in performance. Adobe offers a 30-day trial for Windows that would let you compare performance.
Crossgrades are available from Adobe to switch platforms if you find that the Windows trial runs better than your Mac license.
Yes Marian, I realize all that. There are also plugins and linkages with other
applications to consider. It's not simply a "which OS works faster" issue,
unfortunately. It may be worth test or two anyhow, but if Chris can share
further insight into the practical extent of these performances differences it
would help to decide whether the time and trouble experimenting could be
The availability of cross-grades is fine, but in this day and age Photoshop's
licensing policy remains an industry anachronism.
I would love to see a cross platform license arrangement. I would probably use Windows for Premier Pro CS 5, but am locked out unless I buy another copy or totally abandon my Mac license. Come on Adobe... help us out!
The thread is drifting off-topic, but since I did not find a more suitable forum, I can't resist the temptation to dig deeper into matters of multi-thread and multi-core speedup. As I learned in what little computer science I studied, concurrent computing is where we should expect the most performance gains in the future (apart from quantum computers, if and when such machines become available) now that CPU clock speeds and transistor miniaturisation are fast approaching the physical limits of today's technology. So parallel/concurrent programming really is a key issue (Adobe might want to observe, or even participate in, research on the open-source Barrelfish operating system by ETH Zurich and Microsoft Research: http://www.barrelfish.org/).
While I still run Photoshop CS5 on a first generation Mac Pro with just two dual-core processors, I have not yet run across too much evidence of Photoshop heavily using multiple cores. When running an action on a batch of separate files, for instance, what I see in Activity Monitor suggests that the files are processed strictly sequentially, not concurrently on as many cores as are available. Is this correct? If so, then why is such a basic opportunity for an instant and massive speedup wasted? Pixel Bender shows a promising framework for flexibly using hardware resources including the GPU to boost performance. By contrast, Photoshop itself seems to rely much less on such techniques. I assume load balancing, memory management and I/O bottlenecks are far from trivial to solve, but wouldn't this be much more significant and useful than cramming applications with ever more (sometimes questionable) features/gimmicks and thus promoting Wirth's Law? It says “Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster.”, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wirth%27s_law.
Along with the paradigm change from sequential to concurrent, there is probably a need for companies that presently act rather independently to focus on much more intertwined systems that require a globally orchestrated approach in order to make any quantum leaps possible. Unfortunately, this is often diametrically opposed to predominant tactics in today's economy where market shares and monopolies seem to count more that the actual quality of and progress in the products that are developed and marketed. This is not to say anything against Adobe or other firms but for making efforts to go a step or two further and apply more long-term thinking. It is the vision and strategy that counts most in the long run.
Without knowing your exact workflow, I can't tell you how much the OS problems will affect your performance.
Overall, Windows benchmarks as faster than MacOS when runninng on the same hardware.
A few operations are faster on MacOS, but many common operations are faster running Windows.
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