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Re: Upgradable GPUs

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Chris Kenny
Re: Upgradable GPUs
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:16:13 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I suspect my thinking comes from how a move through machines. I tend not to sell them but, rather, move them to less demanding tasks. Additionally, going forward, I'm thinking of clustering older machines for encoding. If I had to replace more frequently then, yes, I'd probably have to sell but it does require a rethink for me."

Most encoding/rendering tasks are getting so fast on current hardware that the idea of clustering a bunch of large, power-hungry old machines isn't going to be that appealing in many cases.

[Craig Seeman] "With Apple particularly, the tech changes are often "jumps" punctuated by speed bumps. The trick is timing the purchase with the jump. "

In many ways just planning on a regular two year upgrade cycle helps with this problem, I think. I tried to play the purchase timing game with my last MacBook Pro, a 2007 model, and ended up keeping it for five years, first holding out for Thunderbolt to show up, then holding out for Retina displays to show up. I certainly saved some money in the process, but toward the end that machine was pretty damn useless for pro video work despite having an SSD added and its RAM doubled (it couldn't plausibly run FCP X or Resolve because of limited graphics memory). In retrospect I'm pretty sure I'd have been better off buying an additional machine in between the 2007 MBP and the 2012 MBP.

Once you just plan for a two year upgrade cycle, the stakes of 'missing' a new feature by buying a year early are greatly reduced, because you'll just get it the following year, whereas if you keep machines for four years and miss a new feature by a year, you'll have to wait a full three years to get it.

And, of course, if it really comes to it, you can always resell and buy a new machine after a year — since it'll retain more of its resale value at that point, this might not even end up costing very much more.

Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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