4K editing - 980 vs 980 Ti vs Titan X

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Bytehoven, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Bytehoven macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #1
    Hello...

    I am hoping any Mac Pro 5,1 users doing 4K work using either a GTX 980, 980 Ti or Titan X might be able to chime in.

    I am interested in a performance comparison of these three GPUs as far as how well they support 3-4 monitor set up AND push 4k data to one of the displays. Particularly how responsive they are at scrubbing 4k source clips or the program timeline.

    I'm trying to determine just how much advantage there is moving from a GTX 980 up to either a 980 Ti or Titan X.

    My current set up is:

    MacPro 4,1->5,1
    2x 2.93GHZ 6-core Intel Processors
    64GB Ram
    GTX 980 (MacVid flashed)
    ATTO R680 -> 8TB SSD RAID (1700-1800 MB/s reads)
    DP 1 & 2 - 2x Dell U2711 @ 2560x1440 (editing desktops)
    DP 3 - ViewSonic VP2780 4K Monitor @1080p (source and program monitoring)
    HDMI - Dell 2408 @ 1080P (Bin selections) (also use this HDMI output for 1080P Projector)

    With this set up, while I can run the VP2780 4K monitor at a higher resolutions, performance of 4k playback of the source and program monitors is reduced. Apparently the GTX980 or PCIe slot can only handle so much data.

    SO... would upgrading to a 980 Ti or Titan X offer a performance upgrade in this set up?
     
  2. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan, Dec 1, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #2
    You have 12 Westmere cores that should handle it fine. Even the slowest of that generation can playback 4K smoothly. Regarding graphic cards, there is practically no difference between these cards and a previous generation Kepler when it comes to video playback and scrubbing as the web drivers are not optimised for Maxwell. This effects the regular GeForce GTX980 more than its bigger brothers because it has a 256bit bus. If you can use Boot Camp then you can make the most out of these GPUs. But with so many monitors attached don't expect miracles. That's a lot of pixels to push and if you were doing that on a PC two graphic cards would be ideal. It's a pain trying to stuff that in a cMP.
     
  3. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #3
    I had a guy who wrote me quite peeved that his new titan-X was choppy playing 4K via QT.

    He had a 2.66 Quad Core. He sent me the file and I tried it with a 2.66 Quad Core Tray....sure enough choppy as heck.

    Chucked in the 12 Core 3.46 Tray, problem solved. Many playback issues are CPU issues.

    I tried it from a variety of GPUs and HDs, didn't make the least bit of difference, all about CPUs.

    That said, it was a bad QT codec from my understanding as well, but not many reasons NOT to get 5690s these days, they are a tiny fraction of their original p[rice.
     
  4. Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #4
    I appreciate the feedback...

    It's not so much the 4k was jerky. It's more like the delay when Premiere Pro is buffering a source clip and making it ready for play back. I could tell the process was slowed when trying to buffer enough to drive the VP2780 at resolutions above 1080P. So, while I can live with 1080p monitoring during the edit, I'm looking at ways to improve that buffering response. I had assumed one of the primary bottlenecks was the GPU.

    I do have an extra PCIe slot available and a GTX 680 sitting on the shelf. I guess I could drop that 680 back in to drive the (2) U2711 desktop monitors and leave the 980 to drive the 4k monitor and the HDMI.

    ... as how I might tweak things just enough to squeeze a little more 4k performance out of this Mac-asaurus...

    1- stay with a GTX 980 but upgrade to the 3.45ghz processors

    2- keep the 2.93ghz processors but switch to a faster maxwell card ( 980 Ti or Titan X)

    3- go 3.46ghz AND a 980 Ti or Titan X

    4- Keep what I have and put the GTX680 in to help the monitor loads. (and a few more CUDA cores to boot)

    Again, my only goal is to get a tad better response when working with 4k footage from the Bins or on the program timeline.

    I have heard some say the GTX 980 just about handles all that the Mac Pro PCIe 2.0 x16 slot can through at it and that the only real performance boost well come from switching to a PCIe 3.0 equipped rig, so why throw anymore $$$ at my current Mac Pro...

    Thanks again for the feedback.
     
  5. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #5
    Upgrading the CPUs would have very little effect. I went from X5650 to X5690 and there was such a small difference across most apps that I felt I wasted money. But the chips are very cheap now so...

    See what happens with an extra graphics card, if you have the supplemental power already. If it works then great, if it doesn't then you can get a refund on the GPU. That's much harder to do with a CPU upgrade.
     
  6. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #6
    If you are using a function that is accelerated by CUDA then a better card helps.

    If you are using functions that aren't being helped by CUDA or OpenCl then they are reliant on CPU. Your best bet is to ask these questions at Creative Cow or the Adobe Forums. You may also wish to consider the speed of any HD that the files are being read from or written to.

    I am not trying to skirt answering you, I just don't know what your specific bottleneck is and would rather you spent the money there than on a card that may or may not help you.
     
  7. Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #7
    I appreciate both responses...

    ... part of the reason I went with the 2.93 processors over the 3.46 back when I upgraded, was reliability of the Mac Pro. I feared and still fear the 3.46 option is kinda like burning the candle at both ends, and if at the end of the day we're not talking about that much "real world" improvement, then why put on the extra risk to the MB.

    ... the think I like about the GTX 980 is it's small 165w power foot print. switching to the Ti or Titan would take me back into the realm of putting greater demands on the MB than it's design suggests. But I do have the lower optical bay slot I could task for the power.

    ... I will do some more testing within Premiere with just 1 or 2 monitors on the GTX 980. That should give me a good idea of what taking off some off the 4 monitor load with an extra GPU might do.

    I wish there were some deeper specs on the Maxwell cards as far as how much data they handle thru the PCIe buss. I understand the Titan and Ti have greater processing power and move things around faster on the card... but as far as how they all move data out to a theoretical 5120 x 3200 max desktop size would be an interesting consideration. I had assumed the Ti and Titan, while working in the same max desktop space, do things faster, getting display data to the monitors more quickly thus their higher frame rates.

    Regarding Creative Cow or other creator oriented forums... I do subscribe to an After Effects mail list server, and one of the users there did say he noted a performance boost when he switched from a 980 to a 980 Ti. But it was also clear we were not exactly talking about the same things.

    Thanks again for the posts.

    Byte
     
  8. Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #8
    A follow up question if I could...

    ... what would be the benefit if I used the GTX 980 along side a GT 120, where I used the GT120 for the (2) Dell U2711 monitors for basic desktop duty and the GTX 980 for the 4K and HDMI program and source display playback?

    Is it fair to assume taking a large portion of the over all desktop off of the GTX980 would free it up to better handle the 4K source material?

    Also, if anyone knows how CUDA core management happens with multiple cards, would running parts of let's say Premiere Pro on the GT 120 cause that app to send processing to the GT 120 instead of the GTX 980?

    Thanks
     
  9. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #9
    The
    CUDA support doesn't exist for GT120 anymore. A GT640 would be a better choice for that.

    Quick way to see how taking 2 displays off the 980 is to take them off. Literally.

    Unplug those 2 and run your program file on 980 and see if it is better.
     
  10. Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #10
    Great point about the GT640 being a better 2nd card. It's still only a single slot with much better performance.

    I did run some tests with the GTX 980 today with just (2) monitors. It was a good exercise because the GTX 980 seems to be able to handle everything up to a point, which is somewhere between the (2) Dell U2711 @ 2560x1440 and the addition of the 3rd monitor. All 3 monitors at 2560x1440 seems to be the threshold beyond which playback on the 3rd monitor starts to suffer. Using HDMI for a 4th monitor requires the VP2780 be dropped to 1080P.

    I also noticed choosing one of the "low resolution" options on the VP2780 also gave the GTX 980 a bit more "head room" when trying to work with adding in the HDMI @ 1080P.

    This is making me think the Ti might be the answer others have suggested. I'm not expecting a miracle boost, but just the 20-26% 4K boost in data management to help a (4) monitor setup have some more flexibility.

    So I picked the Zotac version up on on sale at B&H today and should have it to test drive tomorrow. I will then follow up with scheduling/ordering a turn around EFI flash for that 980 Ti.

    Thanks for all of your feedback. I know many of these questions are hard to target to nail down with so many variable to consider. I've gone trough some extensive tech talks with ATTO about squeezing top performance out of a SSD RAID on the R680 card, and the number of signal & work flow considerations boggle the mind, but it's an exercise which really paid off.

    Thanks again and I will get my flash order in as soon as I see a window in my production schedule.
     
  11. iBuildMacs macrumors member

    iBuildMacs

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    #11
    Hi. In my opinion, the Titan X is not cost effective. I believe the 980Ti is a great balance between the 980 and Titan X - it has a great amount of CUDA cores and processing power.

    The benchmark of the 12-core 2.93GHz is about 26,500 and 12-core 3.46GHz is about 32,000. There is a decent amount of difference. If you're already at a 12-core, I personally wouldn't change. If you want a boost or want the highest, than go with the 3.46.

    However, I suggest against going with a 12-core 3.46GHz on the 2009 units. The 2009's were not built for the dual 6-core processors. The dual processor board architecture is not as solid as the 2010. The 3.46GHz processors do get hotter which is why Apple did not release the Mac Pros with them. If you plan on going with the 3.46GHz 12-Core, I suggest trading up from your 2009 unit to a 2010 or 2012 unit. You can simple move your drives and PCIe cards over.
     
  12. Bytehoven, Dec 2, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015

    Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #12
    Yes... I have thought the same thing about grabbing a newer MacPro better built to handle the extra demands of the overclocked 3.46GHz processors. Even if was wo just put my current 2.93GHz processors into it.

    Once the small 4K project I'm doing now pays for the investments I have recently made, I might look at MacPro upgrade and then sell my current 2009 with a GTX 680. It might more than offer set half the cost of the new rig.

    Thanks for that reminder.

    BTW... in order to get ready to sell the GTX 980 to a friend, I put the GTX 680 back in. Trying to run the same (4) monitors caused the system to run out of memory and start shutting down apps. The (2) Dell 27" and the VP2780 @ 1980P works but response in access source files from the Bins is more clunky. This kinda confirms I am on the right track as far as going to the 980 Ti.
     
  13. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #13
    His issue was with video scrubbing which has little to do with all 12 CPU cores. It barely registers on a few cores when you scrub video.
     
  14. Bytehoven, Dec 2, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015

    Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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  15. Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #15
    MacVid... can the GT 640 1GB single slot version be placed into slot 4 on the Mac Pro?
     
  16. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #16
    Any card that is 1 slot wide fits in any slot. Part of the beauty of PCIE slots.
     
  17. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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  18. Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #18
    Thanks... I'm just gonna try screen sharing with a Mac Mini to get the Ti up and running and then decide where to go from there. I keep the Mac Mini around for legacy Final Cut Pro 7.0.3 projects which need 10.7.5. Sometimes you gotta just bite your lip when it comes to Apple and their support or lack there of. :)
     
  19. Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #19
    Happy Happy, Joy Joy

    OK... the Zotac GTX 980 Ti arrived from B&H and it's up and running. My cMP already had the latest nVIDIA web drivers installed for the GTX 980, but I had the Mini ready to screen share if I had any issues on start up. Turned out I didn't need it.

    I did a quick check in After Effects CC 2015 and the 980 Ti is recognized and enabled.

    After I complete some back cloning I will start up my current 4K project and and see how things have changed compared to the 980. I'll file a report later.

    Thanks for all of the feedback. As soon as I see a window where I can take my rig offline, I will get with MacVid for the EFI flash.
     
  20. Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #20
    1st feedback GTX 980 Ti vs GTX 980...

    ... I can definitely say the GTX 980 Ti improves my 4K performance within Premiere Pro. My 1st test ,while I am rebuilding my SSD RAID, was to run my current 4K project from the master 5TB back up HDD. I'm doing this test with my previous 4 monitor set up with the VP2780 and HMDI @ 1080P.

    While the opening and loading of the project is very slow from this HDD back up, the playback of the timeline and source was pretty good. I'd assume whatever buffering of files is done in ram by Premiere and then transferred to the GTX 980 Ti is happening much faster or more efficiently. The performance is good enough that if the RAID went down, it appears I could continue from this back up HDD.

    After I bring the SSD RAID back online I will push the GTX 980 Ti to see how it compares to the 980. More feedback to follow.
     
  21. Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #21
    Update...

    ... well, once you start down the road updating, sometimes you can not stop.

    I ended up chasing the performance train and now have.

    2010 MP
    2x X5690 (12 core) 3.46GHz Xeon processors
    64GB ram (8x8GB Modules)
    GTX 980 Ti (not yet Mac flashed but running strong)
    512GB Cruscal SSD (OS + APPs)
    ATTO R680
    8x Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSDs in a RAID0
    Sonnet Tempo Duo (2x USB 5G/s3.0 ports + 2x 6G/s eSATA ports)

    Comparison to the 2009 X5670 12 Core 2.93GHz... Just a 15-20% faster on some things like After Effects rendering, but not much faster on other things which do not fully utilize the Mac Pro CPU.

    4K performance comparison in Premiere Pro... the biggest difference was the SSD RAID and the GTX 980 Ti. With those in place, 4K performance seems about the same on the 2.93GHz and 3.46GHz processors. But when rendering the timeline there is a little faster render time with the X5690. I won't say I'm sorry I went with the 2010 MP X5690 because there is a difference, but the 2009 MP X5670 was so very close in performance, it might take a little time to recoup the $$$ invested with faster render times.

    It's been a week or so with the 2010 cMP chugging along on 4K editing, so it looks like I can sell the 2009 cMP 12 core 2.93GHz in some configuration to help get back some of the $$$ spent on the 2010.

    Thanks again for all of the feedback. It was very helpful in helping us tweak our 4K editing rig for a better client edit session experience.
     
  22. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #22
    OP what App are you using? If FCPX, you're better off with 280x's (such as Sapphire Tri-x OC). It's really optimized for the 280x and even if you get something like a 390x it will not work as well. Some people have dual 280x's and get better performance.

    If Premiere, you 980Ti is fine and you can install the nVidia webdriver and CUDA. The oproblem is, however, the CTI in the monitor will jump around a bit because Premiere CC CUDA is optimized for Quadros.
     
  23. Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #23

    Premiere Pro CC 2015. I have FCPx but I have never tried to like it. I'm sure if a paying client was to throw some money at me to do their work in FCPx, I would bite the bullet, but otherwise I remain a h8tr. :)

    I have not noticed anything with the current time indicator, but then again I was not really looking to see if anything was odd. Maybe ignorance is bliss? :)

    On another front, I'm wondering if you might be able to answer a Q... I seem to be limited to 4 concurrent unrendered streams of 4K on my timeline with relatively smooth playback even though I get the yellow drop frame indicator. Adding a 5th stream and everything goes choppy. You noted my setup and it's pretty well maxed out. I'm curious what further changes could be made to allow me to have additional 4K streams in the timeline when building composites? I have assumed it's the cMP showing it's limitations somewhere in the data flow architecture.
     
  24. Bytehoven, Dec 13, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015

    Bytehoven thread starter macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #24
    OMG... seriously?

    It looks like the 2010 Mac Pro we bought on Ebay is in fact a 2009. They said it was a mid-2010 MC561LL. A serial number search shows it as an early 2009 MB871LL. Also the EMC number on the back is 2314 and not 2314-2.

    The wired thing... the Mac Pro was some how hacked or programmed to ready Mid-2010 under About This Mac, while my 2009 (5,1) still reads Early 2009. Very sneaky. I have heard resellers selling 2009 models as 2010, but I didn't know they could fool the About This Mac to show a 2009 as a 2010.

    Anyway... there goes my short period of upgrade bliss. :) Probably should just stick with my 12 core 2.93GHz anyway and put the upgrade $$$ somewhere else.
     
  25. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #25
    Yeah that's cheeky. You must ask the seller or read the fine print because at some point for some reason Apple may choose to no longer let OSX install on a 2009 even if the firmware has been upgraded to 2010-12. Then you would have to do more hackish things to get it working.
     

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