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Craig Seeman
USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:15:11 pm

http://macperformanceguide.com/MacPro2013-USB3-performance-limitations.html

Interesting limitation. All USB3 ports on single PCIe lane on MacPro.
MBP has one port per line.



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Gary Huff
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:26:17 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Interesting limitation. All USB3 ports on single PCIe lane on MacPro.
MBP has one port per line."


The USB3 ports were probably intended to be used for any wired input accessories, external optical drives, and the occasional need for a 5,200k portable drive that you might need to hook up to pull data from.

Which is why there are only four.


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Craig Seeman
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 3, 2014 at 2:39:24 pm

[Gary Huff] "Which is why there are only four."

The issue is not that there are only four but that all for are on only one PCIe lane.
The MBP Retina only has two but each are one their own PCIe lane.

Two lanes on Retina
One lane on MacPro.
Retina will have better performance on USB3 RAIDs. Retina can use two devices on separate buses for maximum throughput.



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Tom Sefton
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 3, 2014 at 3:21:10 pm

interesting.

I'm not aware of any USB3.0 RAIDs that have more than 2 hard drives, but the external SSD is an annoyance. We've got a couple of USB 3.0 docks that we use to transfer data from Blackmagic Camera SSD's. Sounds like this could double the amount of time it takes to transfer data from a full card from what it has been doing with our Retina MBPs.


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Craig Seeman
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 3, 2014 at 4:18:07 pm

[Tom Sefton] "I'm not aware of any USB3.0 RAIDs that have more than 2 hard drives, "

Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 can do USB3 RAID.
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/RAID/Desktop/

Although I was thinking of using it just for JBOD purposes. OWC said Thunderbay IV would be more appropriate for JBOD use as well as JBOD and RAID combination.
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/External-Drive/OWC/ThunderBay-IV



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Tom Sefton
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 3, 2014 at 4:48:46 pm

Nice - those things look good.

Tricky to import to the UK, but after pleading ignorance and bothering to search in google I can see there are some nice LaCie ones out there too.

A strange move from apple then.


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Paul Dickin
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 3, 2014 at 7:25:28 pm
Last Edited By Paul Dickin on Mar 3, 2014 at 7:27:35 pm

[Tom Sefton] "A strange move from apple then."
Hi
Blame it on Intel:
http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/mac/MacPro2013/MPsystemarch_north.png
http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/mac/MacPro2013/MPsystemarch_south.png
Or they could have eliminated the GigE and WiFi...


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Chris Kenny
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 4, 2014 at 6:47:56 am

[Craig Seeman] "Mercury Elite Pro Qx2 can do USB3 RAID.
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/RAID/Desktop/"


But you'd need to hook up at least two of them and do simultaneous data access in the same direction across both of them before you'd feel the difference between one PCIe lane for all the ports and one PCIe lane per port. Actually, even that might not do it. Those units benchmark below 200 MB/s each over USB 3. At that data rate you'd need three of them, with simultaneous data access in the same direction across all three, before you'd be bottlenecked by that 500 MB/s PCIe lane.

That's a pretty contrived situation. In general, Apple knew they'd need to accept bottlenecks in some places given the number of PCIe lanes available from the CPU and the chipset... and they were pretty smart about locating those bottlenecks so they'd cause the fewest compromises in real-world performance.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

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


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Craig Seeman
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 5, 2014 at 12:37:54 am

So while doing a live stream one is recording ProRes 422 1080p29.97 on one drive, playing back a ProRes 422 clip on another, using a Magewell SDI to USB3 device for HD camera in doing a Picture in Picture with the clip. I think that might be pushing things far. Based on the above info that might be easier to do on a 15" MBPRetina. Just saying...



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Eric Santiago
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 5, 2014 at 2:10:41 pm

Maybe with the Mac Pro the intention was simple since you have plenty of other ports.
The rMBP is limited so why not give each a dedicated lane.


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Craig Seeman
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 5, 2014 at 3:27:48 pm

Or another way to put it is that the MacPro, Thunderbolt PCIe had a higher priority given the greater potential utility and demands. Only so many lanes to go around.



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Gary Huff
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 5, 2014 at 2:51:24 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Just saying..."

So you don't really mean that?


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Craig Seeman
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 5, 2014 at 3:37:15 pm

It wouldn't be uncommon on a small live streaming job to use two thunderbolt and one USB3 port for 3 HD camera in and then recording ProRes to an external USB3 drive.

There's less necessity to do that on a MacPro, given the number Thunderbolt ports... but if you're using the same peripherals and trying to use the MacPro, which may see more on location use given its small size, you could find a bottleneck if you've been using two high throughput USB3 devices. Easy to work around though.

[Gary Huff] "So you don't really mean that?"

Basically it could happen unless one is aware of the limitation, hence, my reason for starting this thread.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 5, 2014 at 4:47:00 pm

[Craig Seeman] "There's less necessity to do that on a MacPro, given the number Thunderbolt ports... but if you're using the same peripherals and trying to use the MacPro, which may see more on location use given its small size, you could find a bottleneck if you've been using two high throughput USB3 devices. "

Test it and report back!!!

;)


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Gary Huff
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 5, 2014 at 9:03:40 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Basically it could happen unless one is aware of the limitation, hence, my reason for starting this thread."

So you're not "just sayin'" then?


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Craig Seeman
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 5, 2014 at 9:23:31 pm

[Gary Huff] "So you're not "just sayin'" then?"

My guess it would be rare for most people and for those who might bump into this there'd be easy solution by replacing USB3 with an equivalent Thunderbolt.

The limitation does seem to be real and while OWC didn't give me the tech explanation they said I'd be better off with Thunderbolt 4 bay for JBOD use.

The difference between USB3 on MacPro and MacBook Pro is real and that's certainly not "just sayin' "



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Gary Huff
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 6, 2014 at 12:23:30 am

[Craig Seeman] "
The difference between USB3 on MacPro and MacBook Pro is real and that's certainly not "just sayin' ""


Then maybe you should stand by your words and not use that.


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Craig Seeman
Re: USB3 implementation MacPro Tube vs MBP Retina
on Mar 6, 2014 at 1:39:24 am

I made clear the concrete technical differences in my first post.
The debate was over there was real world impact, as I see it.

For most people, maybe not.
The wall is real and there are some workflows that can hit it though, maybe not for editing though but that's not the only video work I do.
So for editing, just sayin'
... but if you need live access to multiple devices on USB3, you can do things on MBPr that can't be done on MacPro.



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