MacPro Multi GPU onboard

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by yfile, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. yfile, Nov 30, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    #1
    Imagination Technologies says that the PowerVR 6 series will offer performance up to 1 TFLOPS.
    I wonder whether it would be possible and reasonable to put a several such GPU processors on new MacPro 2013 motherboard for OpenCL calculations in addition to regular CPU.
     
  2. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #2
    The 5770 that comes stock on Mac Pros already can do 1.36 TFLOPs and they're horribly dated. Even the 5870 does 2.72. Just put a modern GPU in the Mac Pro and it'll probably be cheaper and faster than having a custom board with PowerVR 6s.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2011
    #3
    I'm thinking about the use of 10 or more such GPUs on the motherboard. Maybe a lot more on PCIE cards or connected with thunderbolt. I think it could be fast and power efficient.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    What 10 GPU connections on the motherboard are you talking about? Are you remotely familiar with the Mac Pro?
     
  5. yfile, Nov 30, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012

    thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I am talking about cluster of 10 PowerVR GPUs (for example) connected to PCIE line in MacPro 2013.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #6
    Won't happen because it takes up space and the new Mac Pro will have a GPU that generates 5+ TFlops (or whatever the 7000 or 6xx series does).

    Waste of time, money and space. Won't happen. Period.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Location:
    Zurich
    #7
    10 PCIe lanes???
    I don't even know a PC motherboard that provides you 10 PCIe lanes.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2011
    #8
    10 GPUs one cluster connected to 1 or more PCIE lines, like multiprocessor accelerator.

    ----------

    Why?
    The same I could say about top AMD or NVIDIA cards.
    It could be interesting to compare size, price and performance.
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #9
    Do you mean 10 GPU cores or 10 GPU dies?

    The former is like every other GPU out there, the latter won't happen because A) It won't fit, B) expense, C) difficulties in integrating 10 GPUs...


    Even if it is 1 GFLOPS, the 7970 gives out 4300 GFLOPS (4.3 TFLOPS). So what would be the point when the 8970 would give out ~6?

    Does the PowerVR chip support openCL?
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2011
    #10
    I mean many PowerVR GPUs dies on motherboard/PCIE card.
    A) The die size is about 10 mm2
    B) Apple A6 costs $28, so I think one PowerVR GPU will not cost more
    C) This is my main question. Maybe there is on this forum a technology enthusiast - engineer who could answer this question?

    Indeed 7970 is powerful chip, but power hungry, hot and huge. Installing more than 1 such card in today MacPro is difficult.

    Yes, PowerVR6 chip support OpenCL 1.X, OpenGL 4 and probably DirectX 11.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

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    Sep 12, 2007
    #11
    Firstly, your in a fantasy world (and I'm sorry to say limited of your knowledge in electronics) if anybody other than a large company has the ability to create such a card.

    Secondly, your suggesting that a 10mm^2 chip will produce 1 TFLOP, where is this data from?

    The GPU in the iPad is 25.6 GFLOPS (http://www.anandtech.com/show/6324/the-iphone-5-performance-preview), so where is this 10mm^2 going to produce 1 TFLOP?

    Thirdly, the die itself might be 10mm^2, but all the supporting electronics, connections, memory subsystems and what not takes up space and costs £££. Why do you think Intel and AMD are moving more and more of the things that used to be on motherboards (Northbridge, Memory Controllers, etc) to the CPU itself?


    Finally, 10 dies != 10x the compute performance. You have overheads, limitations in the PCI-E interface, extremely limited driver set compared to current cards, etc, etc, etc.

    If there was a market for this, somebody would have done it already.

    Sorry to burst your bubble!!
     
  12. macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Poole, England
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2011
    #13
    I know I'm in fantasy world :)

    I'm not sure PowerVR6 is 10mm2, but largest PowerVR5XT 8,7mm2 manufactured in 40um technology (PowerVR6 is 20 um) and both are designed for mobile devices.

    I don't know how it could produce 1TFLOP - ask Imagination Technology.

    I know it is not easy but I think Apple is one company can do this if it's possible.

    "...If there was a market for this, somebody would have done it already..."
    Luckily many people think different. That's why we have iPhone, iPad, Retina etc, etc, etc...
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #14
    There is a market for those items.

    What your suggesting is a highly unique thing that only really supercomputer makers would order. They have Xeon Phi, Nvidias tesla cards, etc...
     
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2011
    #15
    I think many of us need supercomputer at home. Scientists, students, motion graphers, architects, 3D designers, animators and more. MacBooks and iMacs are great computers, but from my point of view just a toys. Mac Pro just can't be replaced with these toys, not today, not tomorrow. You can record great music album with 8-track recorder but you can't compare it to true pro recording studio.
    Many people still waiting for new workstation from Apple and its great time to create something more than HP/Dell like computer with OSX installed.
    Maybe its naive but I hope for something groundbreaking. Like NeXT 2013.

    Thank you for Xeon Phi info.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Super computers are often very good at one or two tasks. I like my computer to perform well in a number of tasks. I'll skip the super computer at home.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    #17
    One or two tasks? Computer with fast OpenCL hardware is potentially very versatile tool for professionals - audio, video, 3D, science calculations... but useful even in daily home use. Many people don't need such powerful hardware of course.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

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    Sep 12, 2007
    #18
    So for these people what's wrong with the cheaper AMD or nvidia alternatives?
     
  19. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2011
    #19
    Nothing's wrong - for less demanding people. But after few years more demanding people expect something special from Apple, I think. We are like a vampires after one hundred years spent six feed underground and waiting for fresh blood :)
    We can ask Apple:
    "Do you want to sell gadgets and electronic toys to the end of the world? Or do you want to change the world of design and science?"
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    UK
    #20
    Let me assure you they don't give a monkeys toss so long as the money is coming in.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #21
    And what makes you think that a chip designed for mobile applications has any chance of competing with the latest desktop card from AMD or NVIDIA? The GK110 cards from NVIDIA are already at 4 TFLOPS from what I've seen.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2011
    #22
    http://www.imgtec.com/powervr/sgx_series6.asp

    and look at my 1st post - I asked about possibility to connect several such chips in one cluster and maybe several clusters to PCIE lines (new motherboard design).
    Still waiting for answer...
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #23
    And why do you think people on an internet forum will have such an answer? If Imagination wants to get into the high-end desktop GPGPU market, more power to them. Of course, they'll have to compete with AMD and NVIDIA, the latter of which is pretty much dominant with their Tesla line of cards (such as the GK110 ones used to power the Titan supercomputer). Personally, I don't see it happening.
     
  24. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2011
    #24
    Because this forum becomes a place for mad scientists trying to keep alive a wonderful but very old machine...
     
  25. macrumors 601

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #25
    If this was your question...

    ...a lot of people has answered it. You just don't like the answers.
     

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