MP 7,1 Final Cut Pro with multi 3rd party GPU utilization

awkward_eagle

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Original poster
Feb 5, 2020
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Long time reader, first time poster. Just put in an oder for new Mac Pro today and am trying to figure out which 3rd Party GPUs to buy to work with Final Cut Pro and Davinci Resolve Studio.

I know Resolve allows manual selection of GPUs for compute, but was wondering if anyone has had any experience with using multiple 3rd party GPUs with the latest builds of Final Cut Pro and MacOS. I'm hoping I can leave in the stock 580X to drive the monitor and use a pair of Radeon VIIs or WX9100s for Metal compute in both Resolve and FCP.

When using an eGPU with a Macbook Pro for FCP, there's a dropdown in the FCP preferences that allows selection of which card is used for graphics processing. Does this same option appear when all GPUs are internal? Does having a third ( 580X ) slower card reduce the overall utilization like it does in Resolve?

Any help would be appriciated.
 
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awkward_eagle

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2020
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Latest FCPx update now supports GPU selection
More specifically, I was hoping to find out if the GPU selection was any different than the internal / external selection on the laptop with an eGPU.

For instance, if I have the stock GPU and two identical 3rd party GPUs, can I deactivate the stock 580X from Metal processing and leave the two 3rd party cards active ( similar to Resolve ). Or does it only allow one card to be manually selected at a time?
 

Casey P

macrumors member
Jan 16, 2020
30
9
I have a 580x and two Radeon VII's installed. With FCPX, you can still only select one card as a render card. The program, however, does seem to be using all of the cards even if a monitor isn't plugged into a card. I'm not sure what the program is doing, but according to my istat menus readout, the card processors are barely being taxed but the vram fills up quite fast on all three. I am running my two monitors off of the Radeon VII's and letting the 580X sit without anything plugged in.

I have been considering taking the 580x out, but I doubt it makes any difference. It would be nice to know what the computer is doing, but there isn't anything that I can throw at FCPX that causes it to slow down.

I've been wondering if the Radeon Pro Vega II Duo is considered a single GPU for the purposes of rendering.
 

awkward_eagle

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2020
67
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I have a 580x and two Radeon VII's installed. With FCPX, you can still only select one card as a render card. The program, however, does seem to be using all of the cards even if a monitor isn't plugged into a card. I'm not sure what the program is doing, but according to my istat menus readout, the card processors are barely being taxed but the vram fills up quite fast on all three. I am running my two monitors off of the Radeon VII's and letting the 580X sit without anything plugged in.

I have been considering taking the 580x out, but I doubt it makes any difference. It would be nice to know what the computer is doing, but there isn't anything that I can throw at FCPX that causes it to slow down.

I've been wondering if the Radeon Pro Vega II Duo is considered a single GPU for the purposes of rendering.
Thank you! It's great to hear from someone with first hand experience. GPU compute in general prefers homogeneous cards, so I wouldn't be surprised if removing the 580x increased performance or stability. At least this is true in Resolve, but you can manually deactivate the UI card from compute for better results. It sounds like FCP just uses everything that's plugged in. Sounds good, but the imbalance of compute resources likely has a negative impact like Resolve or the Redshift renderer.

Overall, how are you liking the Radeon VIIs in FCP? I'm having a hard time deciding between those and the WX9100 which has better cooling for multi-card setups and hopefully no fan problems when the system sleeps.

edit : I saw somewhere that the Vega II Duo appears to the system as two separate GPUs. They posted a screenshot of the Activity Monitor's GPU graph for confirmation. This person had two of the cards so it showed up as 4 discrete GPUs.
 
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Casey P

macrumors member
Jan 16, 2020
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If AMD releases a similar card with more RAM than the Radeon VII's that also allows me to put my computer to sleep then I will replace them. FCPX barely uses the RAM in my system, but it does seem to like to take up VRAM. For just video editing, they are fine. They don't even work hard enough to spin up the fan while I am editing. The 580X wasn't enough without them.

My hope had been that FCPX would work such that two of the cards could be used for monitor playback while the third card would allow rendering in the background without pausing for playback. I still have to stop editing for any background rendering to occur. For the most part, my system plays back without needing to render, but noise reduction and certain transitions can cause hiccups.
 
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awkward_eagle

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Original poster
Feb 5, 2020
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Good denoising has always been slow for every NLE / compositor. The best one is Neat Video. It can be "fast" if it's been optimized, nut nowhere near real time.

My hope is that since all of my footage is 4.6K ProRes 4444 files, that they can play with reframing and basic color correction without having to render. If it cant, at least it can render quickly. I was able to do this on a base iMac Pro but not a 15" MBP with eGPU given the bandwidth constraints of TB3. If the Vega 56 in the iMac Pro could handle it pretty well, I'm really hoping two cards that are a lot faster can cut through it like it's nothing. If not I'll probably add an Afterburner when they become available separately.
 

Casey P

macrumors member
Jan 16, 2020
30
9
My most demanding footage is 22MP RAW timelapse photos that I put into a timeline and turn into a compound clip to play back as video. My old 2013 Mac Pro couldn't play more than a frame a second, although this was on the old non metal version of FCPX. The new Mac Pro can play it back in real time with as many color correction and video tweaks as I care to put on it. I've put up five layers of 60p 5.6K CRL with color correction and partial transparencies on top of each other without dropping a frame. You should be fine with ProRes.
 
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awkward_eagle

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Original poster
Feb 5, 2020
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Damn. Didn't realize it was rendering raw photos with corrections applied on the fly. I count that as being worth the upgrade. I hear CRL is a heavy codec to decode. Once camera makers started offering internal ProRes recording ( RED, Arri, Blackmagic ), I never looked back.
 

OkiRun

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2019
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Japan
Damn. Didn't realize it was rendering raw photos with corrections applied on the fly. I count that as being worth the upgrade. I hear CRL is a heavy codec to decode. Once camera makers started offering internal ProRes recording ( RED, Arri, Blackmagic ), I never looked back.
RED = RED R3D. Did not know that RED cameras film internal ProRes.
 

awkward_eagle

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Original poster
Feb 5, 2020
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RED = RED R3D. Did not know that RED cameras film internal ProRes.
The newer RED cameras can shoot R3D and ProRes simultaneously. The Sony F55 can do the same with ProRes limited to HD along side their 16bit RAW. Not sure about their newer Venice camera. Its a good proxy workflow.
 
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awkward_eagle

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Original poster
Feb 5, 2020
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Just ordered 2x Radeon VIIs made by XFX. Was either that or ASROCK. Never head of either so I went with the cheaper ones.

Who makes your Radeon VIIs?
 

Casey P

macrumors member
Jan 16, 2020
30
9
From my brief research, it appears that AMD designs the cards. They allow people to license the design or something and sell the cards as long as it meets the specs. In the case of the VII, the manufacturing is pretty much locked in so that all of the cards are interchangeable. I picked up the XFX cards as well.
 

awkward_eagle

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2020
67
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From my brief research, it appears that AMD designs the cards. They allow people to license the design or something and sell the cards as long as it meets the specs. In the case of the VII, the manufacturing is pretty much locked in so that all of the cards are interchangeable. I picked up the XFX cards as well.
It's good to hear you're using the exact cards I'm getting with no problems. Hoping the recent update to 10.15.3 fixes the fan sleep problem. Then again, I don't sleep computers. Prefer to leave them on.
 

OkiRun

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2019
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I see...

ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 LT at 4K (4096 × 2160) up to 30 fps

ProRes 4444 XQ and ProRes 4444 at 2K (2048 × 1080) up to 120 fps
ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 LT at 2K (2048 × 1080) up to 120 fps
 

awkward_eagle

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2020
67
28
From my brief research, it appears that AMD designs the cards. They allow people to license the design or something and sell the cards as long as it meets the specs. In the case of the VII, the manufacturing is pretty much locked in so that all of the cards are interchangeable. I picked up the XFX cards as well.
Looks like someone else might be having Radeon VII problem causing kernel panic.


Hoping you haven't run into anything similar. Fingers crossed since I'll be installing mine tomorrow when the machine arrives.
 

awkward_eagle

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2020
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I guess i’m ordering the WX 9100s. Noticed the Radeon VII isn’t on the official gpu support list. That’s a shame considering the price.
 

chfilm

macrumors 68030
Nov 15, 2012
2,834
1,605
Berlin
Good denoising has always been slow for every NLE / compositor. The best one is Neat Video. It can be "fast" if it's been optimized, nut nowhere near real time.

My hope is that since all of my footage is 4.6K ProRes 4444 files, that they can play with reframing and basic color correction without having to render. If it cant, at least it can render quickly. I was able to do this on a base iMac Pro but not a 15" MBP with eGPU given the bandwidth constraints of TB3. If the Vega 56 in the iMac Pro could handle it pretty well, I'm really hoping two cards that are a lot faster can cut through it like it's nothing. If not I'll probably add an Afterburner when they become available separately.
If all your footage is prores, wouldn’t your money be better off with an afterburner?
 

awkward_eagle

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2020
67
28
If all your footage is prores, wouldn’t your money be better off with an afterburner?
I’m adding an Afterburner once they become available separately. Needed to prioritize gpus for other stuff in my workflow. Editing in FCP is just one piece when you’re dealing with VFX and finishing where and Afterburner wouldn’t have an effect.
 

h9826790

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Apr 3, 2014
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awkward_eagle

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 5, 2020
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Radeon VII is on the supported list
View attachment 893728

I saw the Radeon VII was on the FCP supported list. Weird that it's not on the eGPU list.


Wonder if it's an oversight or if its an intentional exclusion. Still going with the 9100s. My experience with multi gpu systems has always leaned toward the reliability of rear exhaust cards when in close proximity, particularly when using something like Redshift that hits the cards harder for longer than FCP or Resolve.
 

profdraper

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2017
110
86
Brisbane, Australia
Good denoising has always been slow for every NLE / compositor. The best one is Neat Video. It can be "fast" if it's been optimized, nut nowhere near real time.

My hope is that since all of my footage is 4.6K ProRes 4444 files, that they can play with reframing and basic color correction without having to render. If it cant, at least it can render quickly. I was able to do this on a base iMac Pro but not a 15" MBP with eGPU given the bandwidth constraints of TB3. If the Vega 56 in the iMac Pro could handle it pretty well, I'm really hoping two cards that are a lot faster can cut through it like it's nothing. If not I'll probably add an Afterburner when they become available separately.
FWIW, have been using Neat for quite some time: on a Win workstation w/ RTX 2080Ti (works well); and now on MP7,1 with Vega II 32GB. At first, Neat did not see the Vega at all; wrote to Neat & they updated to a version that sees the card but can only use CPU cores. They say an update will be coming that will calculate, optimize the Vega at some point.
 

Z28McCrory

macrumors regular
Jan 20, 2014
109
51
Indiana
I've had two XFX Radeon VII in my 7,1 for about 6 weeks now. The only issue I've had is the fans going full blast when it goes to sleep. Once I prevented the computer from going to sleep, its been smooth sailing.
 
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