Mac Pro, Metal & moving forward

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SreckoM
If you want to stay with OSX than you already answered your own question. Just you have to prepare yourself for wait. Some developers will support Metal directly some will not. No one can give you exact date. Prepare for wait and uncertainty. That is going to be long process (stretched over several years). I had same doubt when trashcan was out, and back than decided to switch to Win/Linux and it proved to be right move. It had great GPUs back than but it was outperformed by 2x cheaper Nvidia cards pretty quickly. Only one render engine was using their full power, and when that engine arrived those card were already outdated. I do not consider switching back to OSX anymore.

If you want to squeeze most $ from your investment, want it right away, PCs are, especially with new Ryzen CPUs, better choice.

All this is related to 3D and Houdini, if you want talk about broadcast industry than you are on wrong forum.

Not sure where anyone was talking about broadcast industry to make you say that, but at least you made some points about why you like PC. That said, it's still an opinion and “better choice” is relative.

Mac is the better choice in my opinion and I believe Metal 2 is the future and going to be the platform to beat in the next several years. But that's just my opinion and I'm not here to try and change your minds, I really don't care what platform you use, and believe you should use what best makes sense to you as an individual artist, not what anyone says on a forum.
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callie_btw
believe Metal 2 is the future and going to be the platform to beat in the next several years

Can I ask what are you basing this on? It's already beaten in performance by OpenGL/OCL on Win/Linux, and Vulkan and Direct X. Metal 2 is only better than OpenGL on MacOS, as OGL on Mac is stuck at a 2010 version.
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Metal should have better performance than OpenGL, for several reasons:

Precomputed shaders and up-front state validation
Explicit synchronization between GPU and CPU
Shared memory space between GPU and CPU
Lower driver overhead
Efficient multithreading: every CPU thread can send commands to the GPU.
Some of these points reduce the amount of work the CPU is required to do to successfully execute commands on the GPU. This can lead to overall performance gain because the CPU can then be used to compute other tasks.


(from Wikipedia)
>>Kays
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Whilst it may be true that Metal 2 modernises the MacOS graphics stack, it's real-world performance is still lagging:





https://barefeats.com/opencl_v_metal_resolve.html [barefeats.com]
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I thought this was a Houdini forum, why are you posting about a color grading app?
>>Kays
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Midphase
I thought this was a Houdini forum, why are you posting about a color grading app?


Well, Metal 2 scores 0 in Houdini as it doesn't support it.
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I thought this was a Houdini forum, why are you posting about a color grading app?

He's not.

He's posting about the relative performance of the two cards.

It can be assumed at a hardware level there might be a similar performance results for some Houdini operations.(relative between the two cards).

Maybe not. But at least he is providing some technical data to shed light on the discussion, which is much better than someone just saying in their opinion:

“…The GPU's aren't just nice, they are, as I said, the most powerful on earth in a single system…”
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BabaJ
I thought this was a Houdini forum, why are you posting about a color grading app?

He's not.

He's posting about the relative performance of the two cards.

It can be assumed at a hardware level there might be a similar performance results for some Houdini operations.(relative between the two cards).

Maybe not. But at least he is providing some technical data to shed light on the discussion, which is much better than someone just saying in their opinion:

“…The GPU's aren't just nice, they are, as I said, the most powerful on earth in a single system…”

Which makes his post relevant, and yours just childish and smug.
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callie_btw
Which makes his post relevant, and yours just childish and smug.

We are simply trying to make it clear that if you order the new Mac Pro, available from tomorrow, you will be running Houdini on a 2020 computer with a 2010 graphics software architecture. Of course, if you install Windows or Linux then it will run Houdini as well as some of the best PCs out there.

This may change in the future, but being fully aware of the caveats of your computing investment today is wise. Not sure how to make this any clearer.
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Which makes his post relevant, and yours just childish and smug.

How so?

I answered his question with an explanation;

If one wants to rig themselves up for personal reasons that's fine.

But if we want to help others in a forum with a discussion about what might be the best choice for running and using Houdini;

It needs technical facts and references.

Nothing childish or smug about that.
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Since I started this topic not much more information has come to pass that I am aware of.

I didn't want to start another “macOS vs windows vs linux” discussion as those are getting heated pretty quickly, because this is based on everyones bias to either one of them and right now there are little to no facts (like performance of metal in houdini, redshift etc.) that would help make an argument for either.

Now.. The all new (again…) mac pro will be available for preorder starting tomorrow so I guess I / we will get at least the question of “how freaking expensive is it” gonna be answererd.

As to it's value for production with houdini, etc., as I said earlier, not much more information to go on right now.
Guess we (still…) have to wait and see how the whole metal thing will turn out.

My hope is that a year from now everything important and certain already announced 3d renderers will have been sucessfully ported over and on par with cuda. Here's to hoping…
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Christoph F
Since I started this topic not much more information has come to pass that I am aware of.

I didn't want to start another “macOS vs windows vs linux” discussion as those are getting heated pretty quickly, because this is based on everyones bias to either one of them and right now there are little to no facts (like performance of metal in houdini, redshift etc.) that would help make an argument for either.

Now.. The all new (again…) mac pro will be available for preorder starting tomorrow so I guess I / we will get at least the question of “how freaking expensive is it” gonna be answererd.

As to it's value for production with houdini, etc., as I said earlier, not much more information to go on right now.
Guess we (still…) have to wait and see how the whole metal thing will turn out.

My hope is that a year from now everything important and certain already announced 3d renderers will have been sucessfully ported over and on par with cuda. Here's to hoping…

THIS is the conversation I was hoping this would be. And yes, the problem is people bringing in their biases against Mac instead of adding something constructive to the Mac focused conversation. I'm excited to see how much my $20k investment in January is going to get me on this machine and I'm excited to see what Metal 2 running with the world's most powerful graphics card is going to do for our industry once these softwares are optimized for it Thank you for coming back and participating in the convo
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From testing a few years ago, on the exact same hardware:

Mac was 20-50% slower than Linux
Windows was 20% slower than Linux

Mac has many bugs in QT and GL.

Anyone is free to do the tests, it just takes enormous effort.
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goat
Mac was 20-50% slower than Linux
Windows was 20% slower than Linux

what are those numbers based on?
meaning, is this sim time, disk load time, render time mantra, ..? or a combination of all?

Not to start the whole freakin OS discussion myself but Linux was always mentioned to be quickest at a lot of stuff and especially with disk operations. I wonder if this is still the same with ssds or even more so.
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Christoph F
goat
Mac was 20-50% slower than Linux
Windows was 20% slower than Linux

what are those numbers based on?
meaning, is this sim time, disk load time, render time mantra, ..? or a combination of all?

Not to start the whole freakin OS discussion myself but Linux was always mentioned to be quickest at a lot of stuff and especially with disk operations. I wonder if this is still the same with ssds or even more so.

His numbers are based on nonsense and bias. He said on “the exact same hardware”, which means he doesn't understand the finesse of optimization. All Macs are built to be optimized to Apple software, hence they run so blazing fast with their own software. When software is optimized for Mac, it runs the most efficient on Mac. These softwares will be optimized to take advantage of Metal 2 white running on the most powerful GPU on earth. But he will continue to ignore that. No idea why…
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Christoph F
what are those numbers based on?
meaning, is this sim time, disk load time, render time mantra, ..? or a combination of all?

It was a combination of all those things. Times may have changed now, so someone should do some more testing.

But even testing today, with H18.0.310, MacOS 10.14.6, AMD 580X card there is a bug in Mac with OpenCL and Pyro. The attached gif shows that in CPU the pyro works, but turning on OpenCL causes the sim to fail. In my experience, these types of bugs are very common on macOS.

@ callie_btw. Houdini is platform agnostic as far as I know, perhaps you could enlighten us on which parts have been optimised for Mac.

Attachments:
PyroOCLMacError2.gif (308.0 KB)
PyroMacError.hiplc (1.0 MB)

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Just tested this on my mac mini with the Intel HD Graphics 4000 and it works as it should. Maybe this is a problem with the 580?
I looked at the activity monitor to make sure it didn't just fall back on the cpu and it showed the gpu hard at work. Slow but working.
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Christoph F
what are those numbers based on?
meaning, is this sim time, disk load time, render time mantra, ..? or a combination of all?

It was a combination of all those things. Times may have changed now, so someone should do some more testing.

But even testing today, with H18.0.310, MacOS 10.14.6, AMD 580X card there is a bug in Mac with OpenCL and Pyro. The attached gif shows that in CPU the pyro works, but turning on OpenCL causes the sim to fail. In my experience, these types of bugs are very common on macOS.

@ callie_btw. Houdini is platform agnostic as far as I know, perhaps you could enlighten us on which parts have been optimised for Mac.

You never answered my questions: What do you use Houdini for? What studio do you work at? Are you an indie artist? What is your website so I can evaluate your work? How long have you been using Houdini? Do you only run Houdini? Have you ever ran Houdini on a Mac? What studio are you currently working out of? Are you a freelancer? Do you believe Houdini would be better if it only used CPU?
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Christoph F
Just tested this on my mac mini with the Intel HD Graphics 4000 and it works as it should. Maybe this is a problem with the 580?
I looked at the activity monitor to make sure it didn't just fall back on the cpu and it showed the gpu hard at work. Slow but working.

That raises some interesting questions. The Intel GPU is officially unsupported on Mac and the AMD 580 is essentially the same as the new Mac Pro Radeon 580X.

@callie_btw I once did an internship at a community tv station and I have also won a shiny award that my mother is really proud of. Hope that helps.
Edited by goat - Dec. 9, 2019 15:18:57
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@callie_btw I once did an internship at a community tv station and I have also won a shiny award that my mother is really proud of. Hope that helps.

It doesn't. At all. You didn't really answer the questions so…but I expect as much. Been warned in DM's by many here about your “antics” at this point, was just confirming for myself. Take care.
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