ATI 5870: 10bit output?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Sahib7, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Sahib7 macrumors member

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    Aug 19, 2010
    #1
    Simple question:
    Does the new ATI 5870 support 10bit output via Display-Port if a 10bit capable display (e.g. NEC PA271W) is connected?

    THX!
     
  2. 2contagious macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

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    #2
    I'd say yes, through the display port, but I'm not sure ?
     
  3. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #3
    I think that may only be officially supported on workstation cards like the Quadro, in Windows. I'm not sure if they've limited it that way, but it's definitely not supported at all in OS X on any card, which is a pity because the hardware's been capable for some time. But even in windows, the functionality is barely supported and terribly clunky.

    Long story short: don't count on it any time soon.

    I would like them to add that to OS 10.7, though.
     
  4. goMac macrumors 603

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    #4
    The 4870 had 10 bit output in OS X, so I'm going to say yes, but I haven't verified that yet.

    Need to be using the displayport though.
     
  5. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #5
    Unfortunately, software compatibility is a crucial part of the pathway - if any of the links do not support 10 bit output - and OS X does not - it won't work.
     
  6. goMac macrumors 603

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    #6
    OS X does indeed support 10 bit output for software that can output a 10 bit graphics context.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/accessories/10bit.shtml
     
  7. dknightd macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Excuse my ignorance. What does 10 bit give you - more colors?
    I don't even see a way to select this in 10.6 anymore.
     
  8. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #8
    10 bit gives you a larger range of colors.

    You have to have a 10 bit monitor, a 10 bit GPU, and 10 bit software. If you don't know if you have a 10 bit monitor, you probably don't. :p
     
  9. JavaTheHut macrumors 6502

    JavaTheHut

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    #9
    Waiting on a cable for the exact config. MDP>DP. at this point I only get Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color:(
    Let you know when my cable comes in...

    My question is where the hell is the vid card support from ATI? for the Mac OSX? Like Catalyst etc...
     
  10. goMac macrumors 603

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    #10
    This is what OS X will report with 10 bit color output.

    You cannot change the whole OS to bit color in display settings, only certain apps support it. This is why you have to manually switch Photoshop to OpenGL mode for it to work. You can't just change your display settings to 10 bit color. Each app has to be updated for 10 bit individually.

    If course if you're using DVI you won't even get 10 bit color out of Photoshop.
     
  11. macz1 macrumors 6502

    macz1

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    #11
    Where does the system store the color profile for a monitor? At which point does the mapping from system colors (8 bit) to monitor colors (10bit or more) occur?
    If it is the job of the graphics card the whole 10bit thing concerns only the monitor and the GPU, the only thing OS X must do is the definition of a color profile, which is supported for a long time... or did I not understand the problem correctly?
     
  12. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    #12
    being dumb. if we have 32 bit, then whats the advantage to 10 bit?
     
  13. Sahib7 thread starter macrumors member

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  14. goMac macrumors 603

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    #14
    32 bit refers to the bit depth of an entire color (with RGBA channels). 10 bit refers to the bit depth of one channel.

    So, 8 bits per color x 4 = 32 bit color.
    10 bits per color x 4 = 40 bit color.

    So a 10 bit monitor/GPU and display 40 bit color. Just a difference of the bit depth for one channel of the color vs. the bit depth for all four colors.

    Of course, a monitor doesn't need the alpha channel, but the OS still has to process the color as 40 bit.
     
  15. JavaTheHut macrumors 6502

    JavaTheHut

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  16. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    #16
    ah thank you gomac, makes sense

    wouldn't this have a huge impact on performance though?
     
  17. goMac macrumors 603

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    #17
    It would have an impact on performance, but not huge. Only applications that can handle 10 bit colors will output at 10 bit. Currently the only way to do so is to use special features under OpenGL. So you're not going to see a performance drop across the board, and it won't be a serious drop, but applications running in 10 bit will perform very slightly slower.

    Keep in mind if you're on a 64 bit machine, your computer is normally crunching numbers 64 bits in size. So working with a 10 bit color channel isn't exactly rocket science for your CPU.

    I'm not sure what effect it has on GPU speeds yet. We haven't gotten our 10 bit setup in the office yet, but it's on our list of things to do.
     
  18. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #18
    This may be nitpicking, but I wouldn't describe "Works on an Eizo monitor that implemented a workaround in firmware" as supported by OS X.

    The graphics card can pass the data - that hasn't really been an issue - but there are some severe software gremlins still.

    Unless all the complaints by the other users have been resolved, but I have a strong suspicion that  will advertise the support once they consider it ready.
     
  19. goMac macrumors 603

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    #19
    Huh?

    OS X - Supports 10 bit color
    4870 - Supports 10 bit color
    Eizo Monitor - Had a monitor bug fixed with a firmware patch, now supports 10 bit color.

    10 bit color is supported under OS X. Apple does advertise support because they were the ones who added the support in their OpenGL drivers. I know professionals using 10 bit color output in OS X.

    I'm not sure what the deal is here.
     
  20. JavaTheHut macrumors 6502

    JavaTheHut

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    Aug 15, 2010
    #20
    Hey goMac
    Sounds like you have a good grasp of the future of the 10-bit affair.
    Do you know if PS will automatically engage the the hardware if it is made available? given PS setting for OpenGL...etc are dialled in.

    Here is what I presume so far :
    1. ATI 5870 card (mac)
    2. NEC PA27W (or other 10-bit compatable monitor with a displayport)
    3. Mini displayport > Displayport cable
    4. OSX running 64bit mode
    5. CS5 PS running 64bit mode
    6. PS OpenGL on and Advanced mode selected
    7. ? How to know if all is well

    If you come up with a method to invoke and/or benchmark Don't be shy - the kids want to know. It would be really nice to be able to throttle a benchmark or two if that day comes.

    Cheers!
     
  21. goMac macrumors 603

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    #21
    Photoshop isn't going to tell you if 10 bit is working, but it looks like ATI uploaded a handy sample image to test...

    The guide is here (skip the first page, it's Windows driver specific):
    http://www.amd.com/us/Documents/48108-B_ATI_FirePro_Adobe_10-Bit_FAQ_R5_Final.pdf

    The sample document (ramp.psd) is here:
    http://www.amd.com/US/PRODUCTS/WORKSTATION/GRAPHICS/TOOLS/Pages/tools.aspx

    According to ATI, if you're not running in 10 bit, you should see significant banding with that document.

    I work for a company that writes graphics software, and we're supposed to be testing 10 bit support here soon, we just need a 10 bit display. I'll let you know when we get a 10 bit display into the office, and test this out.
     
  22. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #22
    Where?

    I have looked.

    Look, I'm not saying that it's impossible - or even that 10-bit color is definitively unsupported.

    I'm more getting at the fact that it's half-baked right now. I've yet to see anything written by a website or journal I trust on the subject, and everything I've read so far says it isn't quite there yet, though all the technical issues have been solved.

    I find it also relevant to point out that AMD's documentation says that "Adobe does not provide support for 10-bit image display for Adobe Photoshop CS5". This is likely because support is not yet at the point where any company will stake its reputation on it, and also because Display Port uptake isn't high enough (later revisions of HDMI do provide enough bandwidth, but it's not a popular port in the pro space).

    For all I know, it's three terminal commands away, but all evidence and web searching says that this isn't ready for primetime.

    By all means, please let us know what you find when you guys get it going on your end, or get some of the professionals you know to write an article, or post something.

    I would like to know, but everything I've seen so far is a lot less definitive than such a subject should be.
     
  23. goMac macrumors 603

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    #23
    I'm not entirely sure what you mean by half baked. If a developer wants to use 10 bit output, it's available.

    It will most likely not be available as a option in the Display preference pane in the near future, as software would have to be re-written to use 10 bit color.

    It's about as half baked as OpenCL or Grand Central.
     
  24. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #24
    Half-baked meaning few consider it done or ready. AMD officially supports it on windows in limited situations and that's...about it. I'm not saying a technology needs to have an official seal of approval, but generally companies don't consider it done or ready until they (prominently or otherwise) claim to support it.

    Show me where on anybody's website other than AMD's, where this support exists.
     
  25. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #25
    I'm not entirely sure what you're on about. Apple/AMD added it to the developer API's in the public headers, meaning it's supported.

    If I can open a DTS case on it (and I can), it's supported for developers. If users can open support cases on it (which they have), and get feedback from Apple (which they have) then Apple is supporting it for users. Apple even worked with Eizo on their firmware bugs, which again, is another level of support.

    I'm not sure where you are getting any idea that Apple doesn't support 10 bit color... The only thing I do see is that there are only limited instances where it makes sense to use 10 bit color, so there aren't many apps that use it. However, I could say that about a lot of supported, public, finalized APIs as well (and 10 bit color support in OS X is all those things.)
     

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