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nVidia PC envy...

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Lance Bachelder
nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 7:26:27 pm

So like everyone here. I'm eagerly awaiting word on the new Mac Pro - hoping that there actually will be one. But if Apple sticks with ATI the next round I think I may have to seriously look in another direction. This years NAB will be the tell-tale sign for me - mainly what Adobe does with CS6. Since I'm going to be shooting my next feature with RED cameras at at least 4k, I need a solution to quickly get into post. Yes FCPX is on my short list, but that will mean transcoding hours and hours of huge files into Pro RES 4k files, which I'm not necessarily against. I have no problem cutting and finishing in Pro RES vs. a RAW workflow.

The big advantage Adobe has right now over everyone is the nVidia CUDA real-time stuff including the ability to cut 4k Red raw files. Now with this new card from nVidia the PC world has a massive horsepower advantage over the Mac. There's 256 CUDA cores on an $1,100 Quadro 4000 for Mac card. The new GTX 680 introduced today retails for $499 and has a whopping 1,536 CUDA cores! Unless we can get these cards for Macs, it starts to make more sense to use a PC if I decide to use CS6 for my next show...

http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gtx-680

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Craig Seeman
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 7:52:49 pm

Barefeats did this test a few weeks back. Obviously it wasn't video specific but it included the nVidia GTX580 and AMD 7970. They used a MacPro 2010 and Bootcamp to test the cards it get a Mac vs Windows comparison. 7970 and 580 seriously outperformed the Mac GPUs currently available. There's definitely a bit of Windows envy as he admits.

http://barefeats.com/wst10g14.html



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Lance Bachelder
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 7:59:21 pm

Yes and the GTX 680 has a 1,000 MORE CUDA cores than the GTX 580!

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Pierre Jasmin
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 24, 2012 at 11:59:51 pm

To add to this, the latest 7970 is a beast in that price point but in practice (fine print) it requires something like 450W of power by itself. It does not help at all someone using Premiere but it would help a lot an openCL app like FCP X for example. Just so it's clear to run a new dual Sandy Bridge dual Extreme and two 7970 cards and add other peripherals, would bring the power requirement to something like a 1400W power supply for a system (before anyone tries overclocking, what is that? $100 a month in electricity for 12 hours a day???). And not something that could be retrofitted on say an iMac (iMac Pro X would need to be bigger)... If FCP was still considered an horse in terms of driving hardware sales, they would probably have made sure to go with cards that can't run CUDA just to annoy Adobe... At this point it does not look like it's going to happen on Apple front and maybe Smoke on the Mac (to give a different clear example of a system where such config would be legit) should also become Smoke on Windows... :)



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Andrew Richards
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 7:58:30 pm

I saw a review of that new GTX 680 that made me worry about its immediate future as an Apple OEM card. Dig the last graph, the one that tests OpenCL performance. The 680 sucks at OpenGL compared to the new AMD 7000 series. Apple is an OpenCL partisan, so it seems unlikely to me they would ship a Mac Pro with a card that sucks at their favored technology.

That doesn't stop NVIDIA from putting forth the effort to make a couple Kepler cards Mac-friendly, but if the status quo of Apple having to OEM cards for them to work on a Mac carries forward, it does not bode well for modern CUDA on the Mac.

Best,
Andy


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Lance Bachelder
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 8:01:52 pm

Understood - just would be nice to have some options when it comes time to BTO a new MacPro... there are no nVidia options for BTO, though there are nVidia cards in the Apple online store.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Andrew Richards
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 8:05:37 pm

[Lance Bachelder] "just would be nice to have some options when it comes time to BTO a new MacPro"

It would be nice, but I doubt Apple would have a BTO option for a card that would make its own software run poorly. I could see them selling a third party card in their store, but getting it built-in might be a non-starter for them if the OpenCL performance is indeed that poor on the Keplers.

Best,
Andy


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Lance Bachelder
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 8:12:37 pm

Well FCPX and Motion need OpenCL which the nVidia does support. But Maya, Avid, Adobe, DaVinci, Magic Bullet etc. all do better with nVidia. So if Apple is going to tailor their Mac Pro's for FCPX/Motion users only, that would be sad...

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Andrew Richards
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 8:39:04 pm

[Lance Bachelder] "Well FCPX and Motion need OpenCL which the nVidia does support."

...barely. They use it the same way PPro uses CUDA- to improve performance and enable more real-time processing of effects and codecs. I agree it is a poke in the eye, but it is in keeping with Apple's MO to build for their own offerings. It could happen; maybe offering a BTO card that suits third party apps while hamstringing Apple's own is just the kind of deviation from Apple's norm we'll see more of under Tim Cook. It would be refreshing, for sure. It's one thing to not put them in iMacs, but to pretend that Mac Pros are only used for Apple's software? Silly.

Plus it could be that OpenCL isn't a weakness, just that particular OpenCL benchmark is a weakness.

Best,
Andy


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Bobby Mosca
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 24, 2012 at 6:35:24 pm

You may have just wrapped it all up for us. Apple is not going to release a Mac Pro just to support Final Cut X, Aperture, and Logic..


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Walter Soyka
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 8:17:31 pm

I'm with you. I'd love to see better NVIDIA support on the Mac. (10.7.3's universal NVIDIA driver [link] is interesting and encouraging, but with no official support, still too scary for production, in my opinion).

[Lance Bachelder] "The big advantage Adobe has right now over everyone is the nVidia CUDA real-time stuff including the ability to cut 4k Red raw files."

There's a lot of GPU-accelerated goodness in Premiere Pro, but RED debayering happens on the CPU. You might consider a RED Rocket.

The GPU is used for scaling, so if you're cutting 4K in a 1080 sequence, there's still some GPU gain to be had, even when debayering at 1/2.


[Lance Bachelder] "There's 256 CUDA cores on an $1,100 Quadro 4000 for Mac card. The new GTX 680 introduced today retails for $499 and has a whopping 1,536 CUDA cores!"

It has six times the number of CUDA cores, but I'd also note that it has the same amount of RAM (2 GB) -- so while performance will almost certainly be higher across the board, there may be some cases where memory will cause a bottleneck.


[Lance Bachelder] "Unless we can get these cards for Macs, it starts to make more sense to use a PC if I decide to use CS6 for my next show..."

Come on in, the water's fine! At this point, I think that PCs are worth considering for anyone, unless you're dedicated to FCPX.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Lance Bachelder
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 8:27:24 pm

Understood. I'm assuming that without a Red Rocket I'd be cutting Red raw 4k stuff with PPro set to 1/2 or 1/4 in a 4k sequence to get any type of real-time performance. The Red Rocket is nearly 10 times the price of the GTX 680 though :(

I use both Win and OSX machines everyday so not a prob to "come on in" lol. Just gonna wait 'til NAB and see what Adobe has done with PPro for now then decide what kind of beast I'll be ordering or building in the near future. Hopefully Apple will show us a new Mac Pro by then. Of course there's the caveat of getting the money n the bank for my next film before any of this happens...

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Lance Bachelder
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 8:36:31 pm

I'll ad that I've never shot or cut a Red show so still learning here. Guess that since I'm comfy cutting on any NLE, hardware comes into play. If I'm gonna get a substantial performance boost on one system over another I'll usually gravitate toward the faster system regardless of brand or OS.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Michael Hancock
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 8:46:36 pm

I don't recommend cutting a feature at 4K using the .r3d files. You'll definitely want to offline/online this. Avid and Premiere handle .r3d files natively (Avid downscales to 1080).

Check out Oliver Peters blog - great info there:
http://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/a-red-post-production-workflow...

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Lance Bachelder
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 11:24:42 pm

Thanks i'll check out the blog. Gonna be lots of research and testing before I start shooting for sure.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Dennis Radeke
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 24, 2012 at 8:53:57 pm

[Lance Bachelder] "Understood. I'm assuming that without a Red Rocket I'd be cutting Red raw 4k stuff with PPro set to 1/2 or 1/4 in a 4k sequence to get any type of real-time performance. The Red Rocket is nearly 10 times the price of the GTX 680 though :("

A few quick comments for you Lance.

The 680 does indeed look very, very interesting. I talk to the NVIDIA guys all of the time and when they make something like this in a Quadro, I'll be very excited even though it's a bit more expensive.

I think that the issue with previewing at full 4k res is twofold - one subjective and one practical. subjectively - do you really NEED to view at true full res (4k) and is there a practical true 4k viewing experience to fit most mortal's budgets? Consider that RED 4k at quarter res is still HD quality (1000 lines) and it looks really nice. Edit the originals at a good quality even half (2k) and if your final deliverable is in fact 4k, then when you get to your grading you can go out to a 4k grading solution and hopefully finish in 4k.

My two cents.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 24, 2012 at 10:42:27 pm

So are you saying offline low rez and then online later? Or just work at 1/4 rez and then finish in 4k? I prefer the latter - I have no prob working in 1/4 rez because as you say it's still HD. I'd like to avoid the whole offline/proxy mess if I can - that would be the reason to go Adobe/nVidia for me.

As far as GeForce vs. Quadro - there is no difference at all in the 2D world. CUDA cores are CUDA cores regardless of the card they are on. Just read the FAQ for Tesla for apps like 3DSMAX - it's all about the cores. Of course memory can be a big thing and you do get more memory on the higher end cards like the 6000 and the Tesla but at a huge price bump. As far as raw power, a GTX 680 should be stronger in PPro than anything else out at the present.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Dennis Radeke
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 26, 2012 at 1:32:13 am

[Lance Bachelder] "So are you saying offline low rez and then online later?"

Well, with Premiere Pro, you're always using the original media, it's just how much information you're playing back at any time. As for finishing - you just need to target what your final deliverable is.

GeForce vs. Quadro: Well, I haven't played with a GTX 680 yet, but there's no denying that it is a heck of a good card.

however, the Quadro's are designed to be over-engineered and provide a 24x7 type performance necessary for certain applications. While Quadro's are more expensive they do offer some benefits including things like a single source provider (NVIDIA) and other things.

I get it that a lot of people want GeForce but there are good reasons for Quadro too. Until they come out with Kepler Quadro's though, the GeForce 680 looks good.

Dennis


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 28, 2012 at 3:21:06 am

[Lance Bachelder] "So are you saying offline low rez and then online later? Or just work at 1/4 rez and then finish in 4k? I prefer the latter - I have no prob working in 1/4 rez because as you say it's still HD. I'd like to avoid the whole offline/proxy mess if I can - that would be the reason to go Adobe/nVidia for me."

Hey, Lance.

I'd like to offer a bit of advice here.

First, how much footage are you planning to have, and how much storage do you currently have?

Even though r3D is compressed, it still takes up space, and you'll have to consider a work files, your backup, and your archive.

Check here for some back of the napkin calculations: http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/242/5843

My advice would be to use an offline. I typically cut red @ 720p23.976 ProResLT, or sometimes 1080 if it's a short piece (like a spot).

Red provides a free tool called RedCineX, and they have a "Pro" version in beta that is constantly updated.

It's very thorough and works well. You can edit the proxy files, send an interchange file to RCX (and can even trim the r3ds to keep it efficient), and then send the raw back to PPro for online or whatever you need to do. In my opinion, you don't need the raw power in the midst of the edit. For finish, conform, grade, whatever, then yes absolutely.

It would also allow you to transfer the offline project relatively easily to another system instead of trying to lug 6+TBs of raw around plus renders/cache/audio.

While it is possible to edit @4k at this point in history, it's not completely necessary, and for features it might not be the best way due to all the data. I find RCX to be a really decent conform tool.

Of course, you'll do whatever's best as it is possible to edit 4k in PPro.

Jeremy


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Andrew Richards
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 8:44:10 pm

[Walter Soyka] "It has six times the number of CUDA cores, but I'd also note that it has the same amount of RAM (2 GB) -- so while performance will almost certainly be higher across the board, there may be some cases where memory will cause a bottleneck."

They are also PCIe 3.0, so the data can get in and out twice as fast and might require less RAM for buffering. I guess.

Best,
Andy


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Tim Wilson
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 23, 2012 at 11:54:52 pm

Here's all I have to say about this. Be sure to swing by the NVIDIA booth at NAB and take a look at the HP Z820. Let's talk about envy when you get back.

I should mention you'll also be able to see the Z820 at Adobe, Avid and Intel too, among many others, but since we're starting with NVIDIA, you should too.

:-)

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine




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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 24, 2012 at 12:55:34 am

It wouldn't be too crazy if 21c media production broadly became a pc concern would it?


http://www.ogallchoir.net
promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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David Roth Weiss
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 25, 2012 at 5:20:55 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Be sure to swing by the NVIDIA booth at NAB and take a look at the HP Z820. Let's talk about envy when you get back."

The Z820 is a great workstation - I know, because I reviewed the Z800 for the Cow when it was initially released. However, if you want a double dose of workstation envy while you're at NAB, don't miss the new ProMAX ONE professional workstation. Like the Z820, it's guaranteed to make you green with envy. :)

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com
http://www.ProMax.com
Sales | Integration | Support


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Frank Gothmann
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 25, 2012 at 10:29:27 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "However, if you want a double dose of workstation envy while you're at NAB, don't miss the new ProMAX ONE professional workstation. Like the Z820, it's guaranteed to make you green with envy. :)"

Looks very sweet. Am I wrong or is this possibly the machine a certain Walter B might be test driving soon?


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Richard Cardonna
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 25, 2012 at 11:43:30 pm

I asked him and he said no not an HP. He is testing a dell and some other machine what the other machine is? who knows he would not say.
Maybe it could be a mac or a Box. Who else gateway? Maybe its something new.

RC


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David Roth Weiss
Re: nVidia PC envy...
on Mar 25, 2012 at 11:51:12 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "Looks very sweet."

It is sweet... Very sweet!

And, did I mention, the ProMAX ONE is both AVID and Adobe certified?

[Frank Gothmann] "Am I wrong or is this possibly the machine a certain Walter B might be test driving soon?"

If I answered that I'd have to kill you...

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com
http://www.ProMax.com
Sales | Integration | Support


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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