Offloading GPU work to Quadro 4000 via Thunderbolt

Do you have questions about Desktop Video, Converters, Routers and Monitoring?
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

adamroberts

  • Posts: 4516
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:27 am
  • Location: England, UK

Offloading GPU work to Quadro 4000 via Thunderbolt

PostTue Sep 18, 2012 11:26 am

I did a quick search and I've not really found an answer so here goes. If this has been discussed already can you kindly point me to the thread? :-)

Questions relates to using a MacBook Pro 17" or iMac for Resolve work. I'm not investing in a MacPro at the moment as I'd like Thunderbolt in the MacPro.

So... would this work, all footage is sitting on a Promis Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID:

1: Simple set-up in the studio, connected to a MacBook Pro 17" or iMac via Thunderbolt:
Sonnet Echo Express (±£460)
http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoe ... assis.html
plus
nVidea Quadro 4000 (±£800)
http://www.nvidia.com/object/product-qu ... ac-us.html

2: More complex & expensive set-up but it adds HDMI monitoring:
Magma ExpressBox 3T (£900)
http://www.magma.com/thunderbolt
plus
2 x nVidea Quadro 4000 (±£1600)
http://www.nvidia.com/object/product-qu ... ac-us.html
plus
Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro (±£140)
http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/intensity/

Would that work? It seems similar to the set-up many are using on the Mac Pro to offload the GPU work to external cases holding nVidea Quadro 4000 (or other graphics cards).
Offline

Neil Roberts

  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:36 am

Re: Offloading GPU work to Quadro 4000 via Thunderbolt

PostTue Sep 18, 2012 12:46 pm

Hi Adam,

My first thought is that the slots in the expansion units are not really fast enough for graphics card use, but I suppose they may be OK just to use the GPU's as co-processors.

My second thought is that the Nvidia Quadro 4000 has been seriously outclassed by the latest Kepler cards. You could save yourself a lot of money by going for a GTX 660ti or GTX 670, or even the GTX 570

The Quadro 4000 has 256 CUDA cores, The GTX 660ti has 1344 CUDA cores and costs less than a third of the price :-)

I'm running a PC GTX 660ti in a MacPro under Mountain Lion with no modifications.

see nrsotw.blogspot.co.uk for more info
Offline
User avatar

adamroberts

  • Posts: 4516
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:27 am
  • Location: England, UK

Re: Offloading GPU work to Quadro 4000 via Thunderbolt

PostTue Sep 18, 2012 1:24 pm

Thanks Neil

Had not really looked into other card yet as the Nvidia Quadro 4000 seems to be the most common one used in Mac Pro Resolve set-ups.

Does make sense to go for a better card if I'm gonna get more back for my buck.

The Magma does support 16x in one slot. So I guess I might get better performance out of running 1 new card in that slot??
Offline

Neil Roberts

  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:36 am

Re: Offloading GPU work to Quadro 4000 via Thunderbolt

PostTue Sep 18, 2012 1:45 pm

Hi Adam,

I think the main reason people use the Quadro 4000 is they don't realise they can now use PC cards in a Mac. It's only been since Lion 10.7.3 that it was possible without hacking the firmware.

If you are restricted to one x16 slot maybe go for the GTX 690, it's a single card but with twin GPU's. You should be able to pick one up for around 850. Its got 3072 CUDA cores :-) But does need 300W of power.

There is also the Quadro K5000 which is coming in October but that will be around 1500 :shock:
Offline
User avatar

adamroberts

  • Posts: 4516
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:27 am
  • Location: England, UK

Re: Offloading GPU work to Quadro 4000 via Thunderbolt

PostTue Sep 18, 2012 3:16 pm

After a bit more research I found the following limitations:
- Thunderbolt is limited to 4 lanes. So even if 16x is supported by the external chassis you'll only get 4x speeds.
- Apple does not have GPU over Thunderbolt enabled.
– The power supplies in chassis are not powerful enough. (15oW in the Sonnet & 250W in the Magma)

Looks like this is a dead end.
Offline

Eric Santiago

  • Posts: 520
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:41 am

Re: Offloading GPU work to Quadro 4000 via Thunderbolt

PostWed Sep 19, 2012 12:19 am

According to Sonnet this wont work with their Echo Express Pro.
I tried myself with a Quadro 4000 and got as far as looking for the place to plug the power in...there was no place for that in the Sonnet Echo Express Pro :(
Here is the support pages http://www.sonnettech.com/support/kb/kb ... ction=b663
Good thing is I got the the Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro running like mad in that Echo attached to a Retina.
I also got the BMD Intensity Pro installed but havent tested yet.
For the record, a lot of us knew about using hacked cards for GPU.
But trying to get something like that approved with the people you work is like pulling teeth :P
It works for folks that run their own show but some of like to be compliant.
Now that more cards are available, then future set-ups will get a chance to try cheaper faster cards :)

Edit: tested Media Express and Resolve 9. Only footage I had was Jon Carrs offering. God I want this camera bad now ;)

Return to Post Production

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 17 guests