MP 7,1 CPU upgrade in 2019 Mac Pro

Softco

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2020
17
8
Vega F.E.s in theory pack all the punch of the Radeon Pro WX 9100 - AMD's workstation flagship .
And Radeon VII is reported to be ~= to the Radeon Instinct MI50 (7nm Vs 14nm 9100). Better, no?


Meet my friend : the magical shielded PCIe extension cable :
Oh, we’ve met. I ran two fat GPUs in my 5,1 for years using it. One card hung from mini bungees out the open side panel. My son called it Frankenputer.
 
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Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
596
373
And Radeon VII is reported to be ~= to the Radeon Instinct MI50 (7nm Vs 14nm 9100). Better, no?
Here's how some alternative GPUs perform in a MP7,1 , but they have some annoying issues .


Rob is patiently waiting for me to deliver the Vega F.E. results , but I got tied up with some repair jobs .

By the way , if you ever tear down an AMD Radeon VII , please be aware it has a graphite TIM . Those are tricky to work with as the fragments are highly electrically conductive when broken up and even if the TIM pad retains its original form it easily loses its "memory" shape in deceptive ways if re-used .

Oh, we’ve met. I ran two fat GPUs in my 5,1 for years using it. One card hung from mini bungees out the open side panel. My son called it Frankenputer.
My finest hour - at least then . 3 x GTX 980 Ti in a Nehalem cMP . These cards had full bandwidth . I also learned Apple firmware would not support four non-EFI GPUs . These Systems did support four EFI GT 120s , though .


P2224506.JPG


I later managed to install and internally power Dual Vega F.E.s in a cMP .
 
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Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
596
373
Record scratch!
Were all the CUDA cores in all 3 cards accessed simultaneously? I was told that Mac didn’t support SLI or anything like it.
All the Cuda Cores were accessed concurrently . It was a hell of an experiment . This is not SLI . Each GPU had a direct connection to a PCIe bus using those shielded 3M PCIe extension cables . Of course , this would not work today , since we cannot use nVidia GPUs with the latest macOSes ( with some legacy , low performance , GPU exceptions ) .

You might be interested to know you can install Catalina in a Nehalem cMP with a nVidia EFI GT 120 as the sole installed GPU . It's a bad idea to run that OS with the card , though , since there is no hardware acceleration and the GT 120 is just so weak anyways as a ten year old card .
 

Softco

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2020
17
8
Of course , this would not work today , since we cannot use nVidia GPUs with the latest macOSes ( with some legacy , low performance , GPU exceptions ) .

You might be interested to know you can install Catalina in a Nehalem cMP with a nVidia EFI GT 120 as the sole installed GPU . It's a bad idea to run that OS
Not so fast. My bread and butter machine (until 7,1 shows up) is a 5,1 running High Sierra with a 1080Ti. I also have a 980Ti that I’m not using. Are you saying that I could stick that into the 5,1 and it would improve frame rates in Premiere Pro and render Adobe Media Encoder faster?
That would definitely make the wait for the 7,1 less painful.
 

Snow Tiger

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2019
596
373
Not so fast. My bread and butter machine (until 7,1 shows up) is a 5,1 running High Sierra with a 1080Ti. I also have a 980Ti that I’m not using. Are you saying that I could stick that into the 5,1 and it would improve frame rates in Premiere Pro and render Adobe Media Encoder faster?
That would definitely make the wait for the 7,1 less painful.
10.13.x was the last macOS you could use nVidia cards with , as long as you d/l the drivers from Team Green . Mojave and Catalina can't use them .

I instinctively recoil at the thought of a mixed GPU rendering array . Some ppl like it , but I'm conservative . If rendering data gets sent to the wrong GPU , it'll kernel panic .

If you can afford one , I'd recommend a MP7,1 . Despite its shortcomings , I really like mine .

If you want to wait , then you might want to install a Radeon VII in your cMP if this is for production .
 

Softco

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2020
17
8
If you can afford one , I'd recommend a MP7,1 . Despite its shortcomings , I really like mine .
I can afford it. It’s a when, not if.
I’m trying to hold out until the W5700X option turns on. I can’t stand the thought of paying a cent for a 580x, let alone all the cents that I’m sure Apple is charging for it. And that goes double for the Vega II that benches identically to the Radeon VII and yet costs 5X.

In the meantime I’m trying not to think about all the time I could have saved if I’d known dual Nvidias worked in High Sierra. I’d swear I read in multiple places that they didn’t.
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
6,562
7,301
Brazil
In the meantime I’m trying not to think about all the time I could have saved if I’d known dual Nvidias worked in High Sierra. I’d swear I read in multiple places that they didn’t.
Without a external PSU or Pixla's mod, they really don't. Anyway, there are several threads here on how to safely install dual GTX 1080/1080Ti/TITANs, for people that need CUDA it's a very worthy modification.

If you can wait for the release of W5700X, will probably be worth the time. NAVI GPUs work a lot better for video encoding than any Polaris/VEGA/VII GPUs, where VCE didn't really changed between Polaris and VEGA, while VII has dual UVDs. It's the first meaningful improvement that AMD does with the VCE and UVD engines, both now integrated inside a new ASIC, the VCN.
 
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ssgbryan

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2002
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Sorry but you see this probably from a pro PC worker point of view, dealing with PC parts all day long. If a normal PC-user with no hardware knowledge starts to build a $5000 PC it surely takes 3 days if not more to find the right parts order them build everthing together. Probbaly you haven't still watched the video, even for the pros this PC built was a challenge.

And the pros are dealing with all the newest parts daily and inform themselves in the Internet or in Magazines. You have also to count this time.

The high price of the MacPro is also demanded to the extremly clever built internals. If this is need? Probably not, but it's cool and almost a peace of art. If you're right with a cabled PC then fine. I prefer the MacPro.
I am sure that was true 10 years ago. Today, not so much.
 

Softco

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2020
17
8
Without a external PSU or Pixla's mod, they really don't. Anyway, there are several threads here on how to safely install dual GTX 1080/1080Ti/TITANs, for people that need CUDA it's a very worthy modification.
I’ve always used an external PSU for my GPU. A lot simpler (and uglier) than Pixla’s mod.

Do you have a link to the dual 1080Ti thread you mentioned? I did a search and the only result was you mentioning it here.