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Someone explain this...

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Bobby Mosca
Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:06:30 am

I get that the capacity of a TB or TB2 is 1/4 or 1/2 the lanes of a PCI card. That limitation should be significant. How on God's green earth did this happen? (old video, I know):

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/davtechtable/tech-demo-thunderbolt-macbook-air-re...


If the new Mac Pro, that no one has seen or used, is such a useless piece of trash in part because of its dependence on thunderbolt, how is this even possible? I just need to know if I should be okay with the new TB paradigm, or join the 2 minutes hatred.

I'm being snarky here, but in part I'm completely serious. What the heck is this???


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:28:53 am

ThB won't help you if you want more GPU power than the machine ships with. ThB 1 is equal to a 4x PCIe slot. ThB 2, I would assume, is equal to an 8x slot. GPUs typically sit in a 16x slot.

For data through-put ThB is fine. For adding external GPUs, though, it's slow.




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Rick Lang
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:39:21 am

We don't know a lot about the 2 GPUs it will ship with except they each have 6GB GDDR5 video memory and have more bandwidth than AMD's top-of-the-line S10000, so lets wait about four months before pronouncing it useless. And not all of the cards that people are used to require 16 lane PCIe. I don't know the significance or impact of using PCIe 3 but I assume it helps too.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:45:13 am

Exactly - the specs we have on the new GPU's look way faster than anything currently shipping from nVidia or even ATI and you get TWO OF THEM! Overkill for most folks - but i look forward to using them - daily :)

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Rick Lang
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:51:38 am

Lance, did you see the post from Grant Petty about the new Mac Pro and the performance of Resolve 10 using the new version of OpenCL? In a word, "screaming." Until I read that post I was feeling nervous, but I trust Grant.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 6:18:21 am

Yeah great review from Grant - glad he said what he did even though I'm sure he's under heavy NDA. Hopefully we'll get more in depth info well before the launch since they've given us this very un-Apple-like "sneek peek".

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Bobby Mosca
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:47:50 am

Then how was this guy running RED 4K video at full resolution, without hardware assistance on the mercury playback engine, coloring it, recording a screencast, and a webcast, on a MacBook Air, at the same time? What else can you throw at it?

So are we just talking about raw data transfer? The read/write speeds of the fastest drives are below the transfer rates of TB 1, aren't they? What am I missing?

Forgetting for a moment the specs, what about as a tool to do a job? Does it not do it? And if it worked in this case, what does it take to demonstrate the shortcomings?


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:01:53 am

[Bobby Mosca] "Then how was this guy running RED 4K video at full resolution, without hardware assistance on the mercury playback engine, coloring it, recording a screencast, and a webcast, on a MacBook Air, at the same time? What else can you throw at it?"

I think you misunderstood something in the video. The RED Rocket card (in an enclosure connected via ThB) is allowing him to do all of that because it's processing the RED footage. Before he enabled the RED Rocket card the computer couldn't even playback the footage.




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Chris Kenny
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:21:27 am

[Andrew Kimery] "I think you misunderstood something in the video. The RED Rocket card (in an enclosure connected via ThB) is allowing him to do all of that because it's processing the RED footage. Before he enabled the RED Rocket card the computer couldn't even playback the footage."

His point, though, is that in order to use a Rocket at 4K via Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt needs the bandwidth to handle 4K — uncompressed 4K RGB, since that's the decoded signal the Rocket is sending back. And if it's that fast, why is the lack of internal slots such a big deal?

He's pretty much right. First-generation Thunderbolt is a little iffy for 4K, but Thunderbolt 2 should manage it easily. The truth is, with Thunderbolt 2's bandwidth, the list of real-world use cases where you still need PCIe is pretty slim. It mostly does just come down to GPUs.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:36:58 am

[Chris Kenny] " The truth is, with Thunderbolt 2's bandwidth, the list of real-world use cases where you still need PCIe is pretty slim. It mostly does just come down to GPUs.
"


Agreed. I thought I said as much in my first post. Maybe I worded it poorly?


[Bobby Mosca] "I want to see a set-up the melts that sucka!! Here's an example of a pretty powerful peripheral doing just fine with the TB limitations, so here's a positive. I want a negative demonstration, too!"

I don't have a video of a negative example but I can't imagine trying to run a 16x GPU full tilt via a 4x or 8x pipe would yield good results.

Most editors aren't going to run into situations that ThB 2 can't solve. I've been guessing Apple is going ditch PCI slots and internal expansion for that reason since 2011.




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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:44:31 am

Here is a guy running an external GPU over TBolt:

http://www.coreyrobson.com/post/52451664259/thunderbolt-gpu-is-alive-and-mo...

Not exactly negative, but honest.


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Bobby Mosca
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:25:53 am

[Andrew Kimery] "I think you misunderstood something in the video. The RED Rocket card (in an enclosure connected via ThB) is allowing him to do all of that because it's processing the RED footage. Before he enabled the RED Rocket card the computer couldn't even playback the footage."

Right! So... it works? I am reading a lot of 'need' when it comes to PCI slots, but I'm not seeing a lot of evidence other than the specs on the cable. I want to see a set-up the melts that sucka!! Here's an example of a pretty powerful peripheral doing just fine with the TB limitations, so here's a positive. I want a negative demonstration, too!

See, the Mac Pro is the next step up for me. As a tool, are those saying TB, no.. ThB (I do like that better) isn't going to cut it, in the right? Will I have buyer's remorse at year 2.5? Or will this work for me? Indications are I'll be fine.


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Santiago Martí
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:10:01 pm

It works, partially. The RedRocket card runs crippled. It's not at full capacity. Red Epics record 5K, and 6K in the near future, and then there's RedRocket X, a new Pci 3.0 card. You would need at least 80Gbps to get the most of the card, that also speeds rendering a lot. You can get the preview to work at least in one video layer, but not the high speed renders.

Santiago Martí
http://www.robotrojo.com.ar
Red One M-X, Red Epic X, Red Pro Primes, Adobe CS6, Assimilate Scratch


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Andrew Richards
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:36:08 am

It just isn't pushing the GPU to the limits. Even at partial utilization, they got those results.

Best,
Andy


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Bobby Mosca
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 3:53:21 am

Andy, you snuck in while I was replying, but you sort of answered my question. They're not pushing it all the way, but dang. I don't expect to be filming 4K in the near future, but even so. What else do you think they can throw at it to get a really good test?

And someone mentioned 3D on another thread, and how they really wanted 24 cores. Aren't they doing a workshop with Pixar tomorrow? If Sully's hair isn't taxing enough, I don't know what is.


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Andrew Richards
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:07:09 am

[Bobby Mosca] "Andy, you snuck in while I was replying, but you sort of answered my question. They're not pushing it all the way, but dang. I don't expect to be filming 4K in the near future, but even so. What else do you think they can throw at it to get a really good test?"

The thing about GPGPU is it doesn't need all the bandwidth the card can push all the time. If someone were so inclined, I don't see any reason someone couldn't built a compute-only Thunderbolt GPU box that does what that demo shows is possible, but doesn't have any monitor connections. A little bit goes a long way, eh?

[Bobby Mosca] "And someone mentioned 3D on another thread, and how they really wanted 24 cores. Aren't they doing a workshop with Pixar tomorrow? If Sully's hair isn't taxing enough, I don't know what is."

Pixar isn't going to be walking away from their custom Linux stuff for their real work, but there is considerable muscle in the new Mac Pro. It isn't my ideal box (can I still call it a box?), but it will be very powerful, and the idea of hanging a GPU off of it's TB ports seems awfully superfluous given the GPU muscle inside.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:07:43 am

Here's trip down memory lane when we talked about this 1.5 years ago. I apologize for getting punchy, I was all alone on a Thunderbot raft in a sea of pcie cards.

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/335/24438

Jeremy


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:15:09 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Here's trip down memory lane when we talked about this 1.5 years ago. I apologize for getting punchy, I was all alone on a Thunderbot raft in a sea of pcie cards.

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/335/24438"


Not to hop on the bandwagon but I was that raft too.


Some snippets from a couple of my posts in that thread:

"First off, I don't see how anyone can watch that demo and not be impressed. 4k playback, screen recording and recording a feed from an external camera via SDI all happening concurrently on a MacBook Air! Seriously?!? "

and


"Given the desire for clean lines and simplicity I'm sure there are mock-ups of devices at Apple that don't have anything but USB 2 and ThB ports."




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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 4:32:30 am

[Andrew Kimery] "Not to hop on the bandwagon but I was that raft too."

How could I forget?

You are my rock of Gibraltar.

Craig Seemen pretty much nailed it, too.


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shawn Bockoven
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 2:59:38 pm

Could the Thunderbolt channels be combined for external video cards or other peripherals?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Someone explain this...
on Jun 11, 2013 at 6:24:27 pm

[Bobby Mosca] "And someone mentioned 3D on another thread, and how they really wanted 24 cores. Aren't they doing a workshop with Pixar tomorrow? If Sully's hair isn't taxing enough, I don't know what is."

Don't be fooled by Apple's appeal-to-authority marketing.

Pixar sells RenderMan, which runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. While RenderMan will certainly run well on a single-socket 12-core CPU, it will also certainly run better on a pair of 12-core CPUs.

3D is always limited by computer performance, and this new Mac Pro will have a lower performance than a Windows or Linux PC that you can stuff with additional CPUs, GPUs, and RAM (if you are willing to pay).

This doesn't mean the new Mac Pro will be a bad computer -- it will surely be a very nice computer. It just won't be anywhere close to the best computer for some kinds of work, 3D among them, Pixar's presence at WWDC notwithstanding.

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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