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Rick Lang
Intel Xenon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 19, 2012 at 7:36:55 pm

Of course maybe it's just a coincidence that really interesting improvements for Macs are promised to be in the pipeline for later in 2013. Maybe this will bring a smile to Herb's face:
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/06/18/intel-says-more-about-supercomputer-...

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Intel Xeon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 19, 2012 at 9:12:43 pm

I saw that the other day.

It looks crazy (and probably pricey!)!

It's when you see things like this, you realize that none of this is stopping. We might be in a lull right now in Mac land, but cool things are still happening.


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Rick Lang
Re: Intel Xeon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 19, 2012 at 9:22:16 pm

Jeremy:
"It looks crazy (and probably pricey!)!"

But aren't those very words one way to describe the Mac Pro? 8^)

Sounds like it could be a fit. I didn't pay too much attention frankly to the articke's emphasis on supercomputing use as it wouldn't surprise me to see this trickle down to something like the Mac Pro or whatever Tim Cook is really working on that he can't tell you except to confirm it's coming.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Chris Harlan
Re: Intel Xeon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 19, 2012 at 11:41:19 pm

[Rick Lang] "Sounds like it could be a fit. I didn't pay too much attention frankly to the articke's emphasis on supercomputing use as it wouldn't surprise me to see this trickle down to something like the Mac Pro or whatever Tim Cook is really working on that he can't tell you except to confirm it's coming.
"


I don't think you understand the process being described here. The "M" in "MIC" stands for many, and by many, they mean MANY. It doesn't scale down. Its about taking stripped down specialty cpus and placing them in very intense clusters of 50 or 100 or more. This has nothing what-so-ever to do with anything Apple might be producing next year.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Intel Xeon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 20, 2012 at 12:33:25 am

[Chris Harlan] "I don't think you understand the process being described here. The "M" in "MIC" stands for many, and by many, they mean MANY. It doesn't scale down. Its about taking stripped down specialty cpus and placing them in very intense clusters of 50 or 100 or more. This has nothing what-so-ever to do with anything Apple might be producing next year."

Totally, I'm sure intel will learn nothing from it.

Also, (and I say this to joke with you) you're holding it wrong, those 50 cores are on one PCIe card: http://theverge.com/2012/6/18/3094404/inte-xeon-phi-50-core-x86-HPC


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Chris Harlan
Re: Intel Xeon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 20, 2012 at 1:09:33 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "[Chris Harlan] "I don't think you understand the process being described here. The "M" in "MIC" stands for many, and by many, they mean MANY. It doesn't scale down. Its about taking stripped down specialty cpus and placing them in very intense clusters of 50 or 100 or more. This has nothing what-so-ever to do with anything Apple might be producing next year."

Totally, I'm sure intel will learn nothing from it.

Also, (and I say this to joke with you) you're holding it wrong, those 50 cores are on one PCIe card: http://theverge.com/2012/6/18/3094404/inte-xeon-phi-50-core-x86-HPC
"


Nice looking picture of it. But what is the cost of the thing--20, 50, 100 grand? If you have to ask, you're not a potential client. Its a module for a super computer.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Intel Xeon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 20, 2012 at 2:11:01 am

[Chris Harlan] "Nice looking picture of it. But what is the cost of the thing--20, 50, 100 grand? If you have to ask, you're not a potential client. Its a module for a super computer."

I'd imagine to be around the cost of a good GPU if that's the market they are chasing.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Intel Xeon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 20, 2012 at 2:46:20 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I'd imagine to be around the cost of a good GPU if that's the market they are chasing.
"


This is interesting. These folks put together a Tesla GPU workstation and have a config tool.

http://www.velocitymicro.com/wizard.php?sr=0&iid=194&gclid=CMvD47_i27ACFWLk...

11 or 12 grand is the starting price for a system with two Tesla Fermi Processors, which they price out at 2 grand each. 16 GPUs brings the system to 25 grand. And that is with an 8 meg video card.

Give it a real video card, top out the ram (288) and the available Xeons and you are looking at 37 grand. Not bad for a supercomputer. My guess is that the Intel cards--which apparently blow the Fermis away--will be in the same ballpark, but a tad pricier. So my guess is that a starter machine will run between 15 and 20 grand and a sizzle-core-eating top-of-the-liner will come in around 50 or 60 grand. Still, that would be an amazing amount of calculation power for under 100 grand. Now, if we can only get that into a tablet.


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Rick Lang
Re: Intel Xeon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 20, 2012 at 4:50:53 am

Chris:
"Its about taking stripped down specialty cpus and placing them in very intense clusters of 50 or 100 or more."

Certainly everything you say is true if you want to build a supercomputer. I just thought there might be a different way to implement the Xeon Phi using one card. Even that might be too expensive for Apple to touch. It does seem odd that 50 cores would only use 8 GB GDDR5 memory in the Knight's Corner card.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Chris Harlan
Re: Intel Xeon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 20, 2012 at 5:31:18 am

[Rick Lang] "Chris:
"Its about taking stripped down specialty cpus and placing them in very intense clusters of 50 or 100 or more."

Certainly everything you say is true if you want to build a supercomputer. I just thought there might be a different way to implement the Xeon Phi using one card. Even that might be too expensive for Apple to touch. It does seem odd that 50 cores would only use 8 GB GDDR5 memory in the Knight's Corner card.

Rick Lang
"


Rick, I misspoke. I didn't really have a good idea of what was going on here until after Jeremy started sending additional links. Its a fascinating thing that acts as a coprocessor with Sandy Bridge Xeons, and seems to do a lot or most of the floating point work. I truly don't know whether it would be useful or not when it comes to rendering, but it seems like it would be quite expensive and would require some serious hardware to support/take advantage of it. My guess is that it is far too pricy a package for the next Mac Pro, but I'd sure be curious if you can build something out of it to render and design with. Sorry that I jumped to conclusions about your post, and thanks for posting it because I've enjoyed reading about it throughout the day.


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Rick Lang
Re: Intel Xeon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 20, 2012 at 11:59:40 am

Chris:
"I'd sure be curious if you can build something out of it to render and design with."

Rendering is one of the areas which could benefit from the co-processor approach and, as you're thinking, it's utility will depend upon its affordability. It's sounding like Intel is taking off the gloves to counter the rapid rise of NVIDIA and the CUDA engine in their GPUs. Intel may be on a road where they are just starting out and may need to discount the product to get a foothold in this market although pricing new products inexpensively isn't something Intel is known for.

That's where Apple might help since Apple will try to get a bargain where they can or ignore the product. And then there's the Windows based competitors that may also play into the scenario at some point. I think 2013 will be interesting. Perhaps the 'next generation' thinking will bear fruit for many disciplines including those related to video post processing. Like Bob Mansfied says when talking about the MacBook Pro Retina (and I paraphrase): when you think incrementally you are limited in what you can do; when you start over to build something new, you can achieve more. Tim Cook's comments about what's coming for high-end computers next year smells like 'next generation' thinking that takes time to implement right. Not taking anything away from the usefulness today of the HP Z820 for example, there may be more good things coming from a direction we weren't even thinking about.

An example of that can be found perhaps in the BlackMagic Cinema Camera using a sensor designed for scientists for mainstream entry-level professional creative videographers shooting raw (or in-camera ProRes422HQ and DNxHD) in an unusually affordable camera and quality post workflow.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Chris Harlan
Re: Intel Xeon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 20, 2012 at 4:59:01 pm

[Rick Lang] "Tim Cook's comments about what's coming for high-end computers next year smells like 'next generation' thinking that takes time to implement right. Not taking anything away from the usefulness today of the HP Z820 for example, there may be more good things coming from a direction we weren't even thinking about. "

Rick, I fear we're just going to have to disagree on a whole bunch of topics from what Tim Cook's comments "smell like" to what you can do with a Xeon Phi. To me, Tim Cook's comments "smell" like a vague after-thought of placation. Even calling them "comments" is giving that little grunt of communication far too much credence. And, trying to bend the use of something like Xeon Phi to fit into the service of a Mac, at least from everything I've read about it, is wishful thinking. Customers for the Xeon Phi are companies like Cray and HPC. Unless Apple is planning a huge and momentous turn in direction, I don't see how the Xeon Phi could be part of their 2013/14offerings. I fear that waiting to see if this is so is the province of acolytes. From my POV, it requires a great deal of belief to blend the Xeon Phi and Tim Cook's grunt into the same milkshake.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Intel Xenon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 19, 2012 at 9:19:28 pm

[Rick Lang] "Maybe this will bring a smile to Herb's face:"

Computer chips still in development will not bring a smile to any part of me no matter how many cores they have; I'm a bird in the hand sort of guy. On the other hand I just took possession of my last OSX computer. While overpriced and outdated it runs FCP without crashing, which is an experience I've been sorely lacking these past few months, and that brings a smile to my face.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Chris Harlan
Re: Intel Xenon Phi in 2013 f/WSJ
on Jun 19, 2012 at 11:47:30 pm

[Herb Sevush] "While overpriced and outdated it runs FCP without crashing, which is an experience I've been sorely lacking these past few months, and that brings a smile to my face.
"


There you go! I was back on FCP for awhile, yesterday. Every time I go back, I think what a great platform.


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