D700 vs GTX 980 Ti - Disappointment

armut

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 9, 2014
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Hi guys,

last time I assembled a PC with a GTX 980 Ti graphics card and made a benchmark with CompuBench.
When I saw the results from the GTX 980 Ti compared to the graphics card D700, I was a little bit disappointed, because the D700 had in all test cases less performance than GTX 980 Ti. The average performance from D700 was the half of the GTX 980 Ti.

The D700 is a workstation card which is made for opencl and the GTX 980 Ti is a gaming card. I don't understand why the GTX 980 Ti is performing much more better. Also when i compare the prices between D700 (W8000) and the GTX 980 Ti, the D700 is much more expensive than the nVidia card.

In that case, Apple could also upgrade the nMP with dual GTX 980 Ti cards and we could have three time more performance.
 

koyoot

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Jun 5, 2012
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D700 is based on 2012 AMD Tahiti chip. GTX 980 Ti is few months old.
Single D700 has 3.5 TFLOPs of compute power, whereas GTX 980 Ti has 6.4 TFLOPs.

Dual D700 will have 10% higher performance than single GTX 980 Ti. In roughly the same power envelope.
 

MacVidCards

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D700 is based on 2012 AMD Tahiti chip. GTX 980 Ti is few months old.
Single D700 has 3.5 TFLOPs of compute power, whereas GTX 980 Ti has 6.4 TFLOPs.

Dual D700 will have 10% higher performance than single GTX 980 Ti. In roughly the same power envelope.

You forgot to mention that there is no crossfire in OSX. So, for any OpenGl app in OS X , the D700 isn't even on the same playing field. It is only for OpenCl apps where both cards come into play in OS X. Otherwise the 2nd one is just sitting there taking up space.
 

armut

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 9, 2014
65
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You forgot to mention that there is no crossfire in OSX. So, for any OpenGl app in OS X , the D700 isn't even on the same playing field. It is only for OpenCl apps where both cards come into play in OS X. Otherwise the 2nd one is just sitting there taking up space.
That's what I'm meaning.
The second graphic card is only for computing, but there is no CrossFire option. I think Apple could increase the power of the graphic cards also for other applications with enabling crossfire in MAC OS and I'm hopefully waiting that something will happen.
In some application the second graphic card is not active and you can only use 6GB video ram instead of 12GB. So you take only use of the second graphic card in FCP X and in some other applications.
I think Apple is limiting themselves.
 

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AMD can barely get Crossfire working in Windows, if you read GPU tests there are some places where it just doesn't work, or has horrible micro-stuttering. If they don't have the resources to make it work right in Windows, you can probably guess how important it ISN'T to spend time on OS X. Especially since Apple has so few Dual GPU machines.
 

koyoot

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It will not be needed when you will get Mantle-ish API applications. It will be of course on Apple side, to add the option to use both GPUs in parallel, and on devs side, to use this option in their applications.

The biggest problem at this moment is the fact AMD GPUs in MP are OpenCL 1.2 compatible, where we are heading to OpenCL 2.0 already.
 

Redneck1089

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Jan 18, 2004
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It will not be needed when you will get Mantle-ish API applications. It will be of course on Apple side, to add the option to use both GPUs in parallel, and on devs side, to use this option in their applications.

The biggest problem at this moment is the fact AMD GPUs in MP are OpenCL 1.2 compatible, where we are heading to OpenCL 2.0 already.

The D700s should be compatible with OpenCL 2.0 under Windows, correct? Should that support not eventually be coming to the Mac Pro? I think the cards are capable of it:

"AMD Product Compatibility

The AMD OpenCL 2.0 driver is compatible with AMD graphics products based on GCN first generation products or higher."
 

koyoot

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Unfortunately OpenCL 2.0 is supported ONLY on GCN 1.1 and higher GPUs.

GCN 1.0 like Pitcairn, and Tahiti(D300, D500, D700) GPUs will not support this feature, as they are GCN 1.0.

The two AMD GPUs in Apple lineup that are able to support OpenCL 2.0 are M370X(GCN 1.1[Freesync added]) and R9 M295X(GCN 1.2).
 
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armut

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 9, 2014
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If you compare D700 with the graphic card in iMac 5K m295x, the performance of them are nearly equal.
Workstation card vs. mobile card.
 

koyoot

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Because both have the same core clock, and same amount of GCN cores. Therefore both will have the same compute power. The difference is under the hood. Tonga has much higher pixel filtrate than even R9 290.
http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph8460/67234.png
R9 280X is the same chip you have in D700, only higher clocked.
R9 285 is cut down R9 M295X(1792 vs 2048 GCN cores).
 

Macinsquatch

macrumors member
Mar 28, 2015
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One other thing to remember is that the D700's are made to operate for prolonged periods of time at 100% load vs an enthusiast graphics card which is not. The failure rate is much higher for gaming cards when used for rendering. Reliability is expensive.

These are not gaming cards.
 

shaunp

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Indeed, the performance of my D700's in bootcamp sucks when running in cross-fire. Playing Skyrim on the Mac is often worse than playing it on an xbox 360, and a PC with a GTX 780 (which is quite an old card now) absolutely kicks it's ass in the same game. I've not bothered trying it without cross-fire to see if it improves performance, it just seemed like a waste of time.
 

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Does Barefeats even bother including 7970s on his graphs? Might make them too wide. You can't expect a 2011 GPU to be even mildly competitive with a Maxwell from 2015. Like racing a Kia with a Corvette.
 

ixxx69

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One other thing to remember is that the D700's are made to operate for prolonged periods of time at 100% load vs an enthusiast graphics card which is not. The failure rate is much higher for gaming cards when used for rendering. Reliability is expensive.
This may be what they want you to believe, but not true in my experience (Or from anything I've read from a non-biased source). But this "common wisdom" continues similar to the same thing some continue to say about Xeons.
 

fuchsdh

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Jun 19, 2014
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This may be what they want you to believe, but not true in my experience (Or from anything I've read from a non-biased source). But this "common wisdom" continues similar to the same thing some continue to say about Xeons.
It's certainly true comparing Apple products. A gaming card versus another workstation using a consumer GPU I don't think you'll face as many (or any) longevity/perf issues, unless you rely on the ECC RAM most workstation GPUs provide.

To a degree it's entirely true that for most people an i7 and a gaming card will get you almost as much or even better performance versus Xeons and workstation cards at a lower to significantly lower price point, but it's often about more than just stats—Xeons are almost certainly going to be the best binned chips, ECC RAM makes a difference, having more cores and more PCIe lanes matters, et al.
 

h9826790

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I think it's not if the chip can run 24/7 under load, but the cooling system. If you put the iMac's CPU / GPU inside a Mac Pro, I am quite sure that they can render 24/7 But still stay quiet and cool.
 

shaunp

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This may be what they want you to believe, but not true in my experience (Or from anything I've read from a non-biased source). But this "common wisdom" continues similar to the same thing some continue to say about Xeons.

Actually as much as I don't like my nMP as a gaming platform, for photoshop, lightroom and as my VM lab it's brilliant. I tend to run it 24 x 7 and it stays quiet even when pushed. I wouldn't call it a proper workstation as it simply doesn't scale high enough, and my own opinion is this should be 'the Mac' and the Mac Pro should be a different beast all together with proper workstation graphics options. The D700's don't have ECC RAM from what I've read (please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), it's only the system RAM that is ECC. I do get the nMP as a product, but it's not a general purpose workstation, it's more like a mini workstation.
 
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Redneck1089

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Indeed, the performance of my D700's in bootcamp sucks when running in cross-fire. Playing Skyrim on the Mac is often worse than playing it on an xbox 360, and a PC with a GTX 780 (which is quite an old card now) absolutely kicks it's ass in the same game. I've not bothered trying it without cross-fire to see if it improves performance, it just seemed like a waste of time.
While I haven't specially tried Skyrim as of yet, the D700s in crossfire are very close to my GTX 980 Ti SC in my 5,1 Mac Pro. There's no question that the GTX 980 Ti SC is better, mainly because it's a much newer and a single card system, but the D700s are almost on par in GTA V, Thief, Tomb Raider, Battlefield 4, and Far Cry 4 nonetheless.

Some games just don't support multicard systems very well, which is why a single powerful GPU will always be the best option. When it does work, however, there's not much to complain about. Most things still play well at 1600p on ultra. My biggest complaint is the AMD drivers are iffy, whereas Nvidia always does a pretty damn good job with theirs.
 
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shaunp

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While I haven't specially tried Skyrim as of yet, the D700s in crossfire are very close to my GTX 980 Ti SC in my 5,1 Mac Pro. There's no question that the GTX 980 Ti SC is better, mainly because it's a much newer and a single card system, but the D700s are almost on par in GTA V, Thief, Tomb Raider, Battlefield 4, and Far Cry 4 nonetheless.

Some games just don't support multicard systems very well, which is why a single powerful GPU will always be the best option. When it does work, however, there's not much to complain about. Most things still play well at 1600p on ultra. My biggest complaint is the AMD drivers are iffy, whereas Nvidia always does a pretty damn good job with theirs.
I don't doubt this for a second, my observation really is that the D700's aren't that good really and can be easily beat by a single mid-range GPU for a lot of tasks.
 

Redneck1089

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I don't doubt this for a second, my observation really is that the D700's aren't that good really and can be easily beat by a single mid-range GPU for a lot of tasks.

Well, as others have said, they are old. 2012 tech vs 2015. The GTX 980 Ti will be in a similar position to the D700s in a few years. For the most part, however, they can still get the job done so long as the app is multi-card aware.

Keep waiting, I'm sure the nMP will be updated with Fury Nanos either late this fall or early next year.
 

shaunp

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Well, as others have said, they are old. 2012 tech vs 2015. The GTX 980 Ti will be in a similar position to the D700s in a few years. For the most part, however, they can still get the job done so long as the app is multi-card aware.

Keep waiting, I'm sure the nMP will be updated with Fury Nanos either late this fall or early next year.
Nah. When I do replace it, it won't be with another Mac. The hardware is too limiting for my professional needs so I'll probably go with the Z840, or something similar. I need CPU cores and RAM more than I need GPU for work. I don't game on the Mac, I just decided to compare with my PC because I could - hence my observation about the D700's not been that good. The nMP is still a nice little machine, I've just outgrown it.
 

Redneck1089

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Nah. When I do replace it, it won't be with another Mac. The hardware is too limiting for my professional needs so I'll probably go with the Z840, or something similar. I need CPU cores and RAM more than I need GPU for work. I don't game on the Mac, I just decided to compare with my PC because I could - hence my observation about the D700's not been that good. The nMP is still a nice little machine, I've just outgrown it.
Fair enough.