Mac Pro 'cheesegrater' 2019 support

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Hi,

With the new Mac Pro being announced at WWDC 2019 and SideFx endorsing it on the Apple webpage, the question arises as to the type of support that is being developed for it? i.e. Blackmagic Design, Otoy, Unity, Redshift/Maxon, Pixar and others have stated they are actively supporting Metal development.

SideFX
“With the new Mac Pro’s incredible compute performance and amazing graphics architecture, Houdini users will be able to work faster and more efficiently, unleashing a whole new level of creativity.” — Cristin Barghiel, vice president of Product Development, SideFX
https://www.apple.com/au/newsroom/2019/06/pro-app-developers-react-to-the-new-mac-pro-and-pro-display-xdr/ [www.apple.com]

I'm interested if the Radeon Pro Vega II Duo is fully supported as a compute card, and, if the viewport will be better supported than OpenGL 4.1.

Thanks!
Edited by goat - June 6, 2019 18:11:28
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The Duo's 2 GPUs can be used to divide the viewport and compute workload. One GPU can do all the rendering work, and the other can do all the compute work.

Houdini still uses OpenGL and OpenCL for those workloads. Apple still supports those for us, regardless of the deprecation of both.
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Great! Thanks for clarifying. This helps enormously.

If future versions of Houdini change this, please let us know!
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Thanks for the info! Does a duo card give any benefit compared to two regular GPUS on two separate cards? Like for example two Radeon VII cards ? If memory could be pooled I can see a benefit for larger simulations that uses OpenCL, otherwise, what is the point?
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I believe the Duo is simply 2 separate GPUs in one package, each with their own VRAM pools. It only takes up one slot and might be somewhat more power efficient.
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What twod said. We didn't add the Duo to the list of supported cards because we didn't want to give people the impression that Houdini would treat it any differently than two cards.
Chris McSpurren
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With the reveal of Sidefx Solaris (which looks amazing btw) would that benefit even more from the Mac Pro 2019? - trying to figure out of it's worth the investment looking from a sidefx houdini perspective.
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gulfen
With the reveal of Sidefx Solaris (which looks amazing btw) would that benefit even more from the Mac Pro 2019? - trying to figure out of it's worth the investment looking from a sidefx houdini perspective.

Solaris can ingest very large USD scenes, so the AMD Pro GPU with its greater VRAM capacity will help a lot with that. The extra CPU cores will come in handy as well.
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I'm a Mac head myself but do all my rendering and heavier work on a PC with RTX 2080 ti cards at the moment. I too contemplate if a mid tier Mac Pro 2019 will be a reasonable investment as a main workstation or if it just dumb to get one. I'll gladly pay a premium for macos, but it has to be able to be about as fast as a similarly specced windows or linux WS. For CPU tasks I guess it is easy, it is just a price difference. But for GPU stuff with OpenGL and OpenCL deprecated, who knows about the future of viewport previews, OpenCL sims and Karma GPU? I have not seen or heard anything about H getting some metal support. Has there been anything said on this?
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Considering that Houdini is now almost always mentioned at Apple presentations aimed at pro machines, that several of the Houdini Hive presenters were using Mac Books, and that the new Mac Pro seems poised to target our exact demographic, I find it hard to believe that Karma GPU isn't being developed for Metal on the Mac side.

In addition, Redshift is already committed to porting to Metal supposedly by the end of the year.

As a Mac user, I feel much better than I have in years regarding CG app support for OS X!
>>Kays
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For CPU tasks I guess it is easy, it is just a price difference.

In the past the CPU side of MacOs was slower than Windows/Linux. Not sure where we are with that today.
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I can't help feeling that Apple has backed the wrong horse for the cpu and gpu. New threadrippers from AMD coming out this year will blow intel out for the water in terms of price/performance. Especially with apple tax. Nvidia still has the advantage in the gpu area, with anything that can use cuda. Yes there is development towards metal but I can't see the performance catching mature, optimised cuda code for a while.
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