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Apple to Offer Cluster Rendering?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,564
13,187
Thinksecret reports that Apple will soon bring distributed, cluster-based rendering to its line of pro video applications.

This distributed rendering would allow users to take advantage of a cluster of networked computers.

Such capabilities appears as if it would advantageous to both larger cluster owners as well as home users. One example offered is the use of two Powerbooks in the field.
 

BurntCalc

macrumors member
Jan 2, 2002
57
0
Tucson
About time! This is gonna be huge for editors. Final Cut and all the apps will have a significant edge over the competition. Since this is my business, I'm really excited.
 
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aussiemac86

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2004
261
0
the land of OZ
This sounds pretty cool, does anyone have an idea of like what percentage of processing power you can utilise over a ethernet connection though.
 
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ClimbingTheLog

macrumors 6502a
May 21, 2003
633
0
Think Grid

oliverlubin said:
how does xgrid come into play with this idea? is it just an off-shoot of that?

Sure - it's inevitable that all of Apple's CPU-intensive apps will get gridded. Probably 10.4 will have all the hooks necessary for iMovie, et. al. to be gridded too.

Of course if you're not on gigabit ethernet some things might not make sense to grid.
 
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Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,558
0
VA
This is fantastic! I wonder if it will just be for Apple's apps or we'll be able to use it for 3D animation as well...:D

D
 
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iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
9,025
1
It's about time... Apple really needs this for FCP, as it's totally nailed by Media 100's 844/X, the lack of Qmaster is holding FCP back purely because of the lack of rendering performance.

What I'd like to see is Apple to offer some kind of inbuilt hardware acceleration or an Apple designed Magma style expansion chassis, capable of running multiple processor acceleration cards without the need to buy several PowerMac G5's or Xserves for dedicated editors and motion graphics people.

Then we'd see FCP becomming more popular, and certainly challenging the high end Avid and Media 100 systems.
 
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iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
9,025
1
Mr. Anderson said:
This is fantastic! I wonder if it will just be for Apple's apps or we'll be able to use it for 3D animation as well...:D

D

Qmaster already handles Maya ;)
 
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KC9AIC

macrumors 6502
Jan 31, 2004
316
0
Tokyo, Japan or Longview, Texas
Distributed computing is definitely a good thing for Apple. Can you imagine a couple of people in a school computer lab editing video at blazing rates because they are borrowing processing power from the kid checking his email? It will eliminate wasted power, and mean that you can no longer annoy everyone else in the lab by playing Tetris for hours on the fastest computer they have. :rolleyes:
 
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thatwendigo

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2003
992
0
Sum, Ergo Sum.
Yet, when xSan debuted and I made a nice, long post about how Apple was going to go big on ditributed computing, nobody batted an eye... Lovely. :rolleyes:

This really fits in with the direction that their products have been taking, especially since the release of the xServe and xServe RAID, along with keeping gigabit ethernet standard on pro machines. What you're going to see in design and art houses now is a front end with G5 towers that do the basic modeling and setup, storing the files off on a behind-the-scenes TB drive that's shared to them all. When done, you send your task to the render farm and let it churn it and spit it back onto the company's RAID array. From there, you access it using your FibreChannel card and make any necessary corrections, feeding it back through the render queue if necessary.

My next prediction:
In the next two years, apple will offer a home-office type device with similar functionality but less speed. It will be a chassis running IPoverFireWire and 10/100/1000 Ethernet (possibly even 802.x wireless), with room for, say, four hard drives on an SATA bus. There will be an embedded controller running a derivative of xSan, and it will cost arond $300-500 for the device. The size will be just a bit bigger than LaCie's Bigger Disk, and it will function as a simple network hub so that you don't really need anything other than a cable/DSL/satellite modem.
 
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ccuilla

Guest
Dec 19, 2003
236
0
This would be pretty nifty for times when my wife is doing some iMovie stuff...and my laptop is just sitting there doing nothing. Off-load some rendering across the network. Too sweet. Let's hope it applies to consumer level apps too.
 
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Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,558
0
VA
iGAV said:
Qmaster already handles Maya ;)

I'm on Lightwave and there is a distributed rendering system that comes with it - but its a pain to set up.

How does Qmaster work?

D
 
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Windowlicker

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2003
713
1
Finland
what can I say.. this is just great! wonder how it works over an ethernet network. I mean, how much does it affect it compared to say fibre channel?
 
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toontra

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2003
261
0
London UK
Would it be possible to include pro-audio apps (eg Logic) in this? The idea of having 2+ comps clustered whilst mixing would be great - some of the new 3rd-party virtual instruments and convoluted reverbs are mighty CPU-hungry!
 
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gileschin

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2004
12
0
Unbelievable!

This is amazing! All this technology! Fantastic capabilities! Way ahead! Only Apple can do it!
 
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whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,585
674
Cork, Ireland.
This must be great news for budget-sensitive companies/institutions, especially when it comes to upgrading.

If a lab of media usage Macs are too slow, instead of having to upgrade the lot, just add a couple more G5's to the grid. Cheaper, and more flexible.
 
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trebblekicked

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2002
896
0
Chicago, IL, USA
good news, provided it's true, and i don't see why it wouldn't be. apple's been throwing a lot at pro vid users this year, and they seem to be thinking a lot about productivity and efficiency. it's nice to see them treating FCP as part of an overall system, not just a standalone piece of software.
 
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GrannySmith_G5

macrumors 6502
Aug 28, 2003
314
0
oith
thatwendigo said:
Yet, when xSan debuted and I made a nice, long post about how Apple was going to go big on ditributed computing, nobody batted an eye... Lovely. :rolleyes:

Stop being so modest. Don't worry, you can post your opinion with as much confidence as you wish. No one will think you are an ego maniac.
 
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FlamDrag

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2003
425
0
Western Hemisphere
Wow, this would be great if I can get some extended use out of my old Pismo and Sawtooth with my new(ish) powerbook.

This is the first thing in a long time that I want NOW. My imagination runs wild...
 
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thatwendigo

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2003
992
0
Sum, Ergo Sum.
toontra said:
Would it be possible to include pro-audio apps (eg Logic) in this? The idea of having 2+ comps clustered whilst mixing would be great - some of the new 3rd-party virtual instruments and convoluted reverbs are mighty CPU-hungry!

I'd say it's likely to come to fruition soon, when xGrid is nailed down and the plugin architecture has been finished and is ready. Then, Apple can release plugs for their major pro apps, and you can have the client machines churn away at secondary tasks while you work.

GrannySmith_G5 said:
Stop being so modest. Don't worry, you can post your opinion with as much confidence as you wish. No one will think you are an ego maniac.

Hey, I can't help it if I was right about both the Centrino on desktop (which people dismissed) and xSan meaning we'd see even more clustering apps (which people didn't respond to). Now, to see if I can go on with my iMac predictions...
 
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Earendil

macrumors 68000
Oct 27, 2003
1,549
0
Washington
This is going to be awesome! Already my 1.25PB has to wait through iMovie rendering. Yet, within this house my Dad has a 867PB, and my mom has an 867G4 Tower (which she uses for email! :eek:). my little siblings also have a little rev b iMac running at 233mhz, I culd plug that into the rendering network just to cheer the other computers on :D

G4 1.25gh
G4 867
G4 867
-------------
G4 2.9ghz

No, it won't be the same, but let me dream ;)
Oh to have the PC friends over and show them how "blazing fast" my PB is at rendering. I can mention a bit later, on a completely different note, that I can network the rendering tasks :D

Now can we get this sweet technology working on the current line of games? :rolleyes:

Earendil
 
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