MP All Models Future of AVX (Advanced Vector Extension)

MapleGreen

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 25, 2019
76
5
Hi there
last night I installed a VST Plugin (Native Instruments Massive X) for music creation on Mac Pro 5,1 but after installation it said:
"MASSIVE X requires an AVX-compatible CPU"
so every time I load the plugin it crashes.

my cpu is Xeon X5690 as we know it only supports Intel® SSE4.2 an it happens to be the best cpu we can put in Mac Pro 5.1

I believe more applications need this feature in the near future. so what happens to Mac Pro 5,1 then?!
 

jonwatso

macrumors newbie
Mar 22, 2016
21
23
Auckland, New Zealand
Sadly it will become redundant.

in saying that I ran a 1,1 for ages without issues even after the SSE4.2 instruction set became more popular and apple switched over to it. So apart from the occasional application, there is a little bit more life left int here machines.
 

MapleGreen

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 25, 2019
76
5
Sadly it will become redundant.

in saying that I ran a 1,1 for ages without issues even after the SSE4.2 instruction set became more popular and apple switched over to it. So apart from the occasional application, there is a little bit more life left int here machines.

It is the first application that I have this issue, maybe a lot more to come!
It's very sad my Windows PC with old intel Core i7 2600k have AVX but my monster Mac pro with 12 core Xeon can't support it!
 

jonwatso

macrumors newbie
Mar 22, 2016
21
23
Auckland, New Zealand
It is the first application that I have this issue, maybe a lot more to come!
It's very sad my Windows PC with old intel Core i7 2600k have AVX but my monster Mac pro with 12 core Xeon can't support it!
I think these applications are few and far between thankfully, at least in my experience. Hoping to get much more like out of my 5,1.
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,046
10,121
Could pick up a newer Mac Pro refurbished or sell your soul for the new one. Is your NI tied to a OS? You could always invest in a PC workstation.
 

MapleGreen

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 25, 2019
76
5
No os in not a problem, just hardware related
[doublepost=1561943392][/doublepost]
Could pick up a newer Mac Pro refurbished or sell your soul for the new one. Is your NI tied to a OS? You could always invest in a PC workstation.
OS in not the issue
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,046
10,121
No os in not a problem, just hardware related
[doublepost=1561943392][/doublepost]
OS in not the issue
Reread my post carefully before replying.

Could pick up a newer Mac Pro refurbished or sell your soul for the new one.
If you pick up a newer Mac Pro, this will include a new processor that has AVX instructions, right? Yes, it would. Or you could buy the brand new one in the fall.

Is your NI tied to a OS? You could always invest in a PC workstation.
Is your NI tied to a specific OS at purchase? If not, buy a PC.


Now, before I have to guide you by the hand in case you still don't get it, sometimes when you buy professional software, you are buying the license to use it, and often times it isn't implied to be OS specific. In other words, you could buy a Sonar or Cubase license, and get the installer for either Windows or macOS. Get it now? If you're not sure, speak with support OR see if they can issue a refund or credit of some type. Tell NI you weren't aware that your Xeon did not have AVX instruction sets.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,095
4,154
The Peninsula
It is the first application that I have this issue, maybe a lot more to come!
It's very sad my Windows PC with old intel Core i7 2600k have AVX but my monster Mac pro with 12 core Xeon can't support it!
All Apple has to do is build AppleOSX to require AVX. OSX runs better, and the cMP is dead.

And then, Apple can kill the MP6,1 by building for AVX2. (AVX has a pretty full set of operations to work on 256-bit registers (eight 32-bit floats per instruction. AVX2 extends that to handle eight 32-bit ints per instruction). AVX-512 extends AVX2 to use 512 bit registers, so 16 32-bit floats or ints per instruction.)

People are worried about the T2 as signaling the end of the cMP - but in fact AVX will kill it quicker and faster (and the fact that Intel is not making microcode changes in the ancient CPUs to mitigate the vulnerabilities will give Apple an excuse to compile for AVX to kill the older systems).
 
  • Like
Reactions: thekev

MapleGreen

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 25, 2019
76
5
Reread my post carefully before replying.



If you pick up a newer Mac Pro, this will include a new processor that has AVX instructions, right? Yes, it would. Or you could buy the brand new one in the fall.



Is your NI tied to a specific OS at purchase? If not, buy a PC.


Now, before I have to guide you by the hand in case you still don't get it, sometimes when you buy professional software, you are buying the license to use it, and often times it isn't implied to be OS specific. In other words, you could buy a Sonar or Cubase license, and get the installer for either Windows or macOS. Get it now? If you're not sure, speak with support OR see if they can issue a refund or credit of some type. Tell NI you weren't aware that your Xeon did not have AVX instruction sets.
If you read mine carefully I have a pc, no need to buy another one!
This post is about the future of avx and specially Mac pro 5.1 so I don't want any guide for buying another pc , by the way thanks for sharing your thoughts
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,046
10,121
You have a solution in front of you. Use it. I'm surprised the 2600K has AVX support. The 5,1 isn't considered a viable product at this point for production use.
 

MapleGreen

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 25, 2019
76
5
All Apple has to do is build AppleOSX to require AVX. OSX runs better, and the cMP is dead.

And then, Apple can kill the MP6,1 by building for AVX2. (AVX has a pretty full set of operations to work on 256-bit registers (eight 32-bit floats per instruction. AVX2 extends that to handle eight 32-bit ints per instruction). AVX-512 extends AVX2 to use 512 bit registers, so 16 32-bit floats or ints per instruction.)

People are worried about the T2 as signaling the end of the cMP - but in fact AVX will kill it quicker and faster (and the fact that Intel is not making microcode changes in the ancient CPUs to mitigate the vulnerabilities will give Apple an excuse to compile for AVX to kill the older systems).
Thanks, It was very helpful, I have the same opinion, if they want to do something relentless, Mac pro 5.1 will be completely useless in 2020.
But I believe it's not the right course of action
If they do it now, they repeat this to Mac pro 2019 couple of years later for the sake of their in house cpu chips.
[doublepost=1561950442][/doublepost]
You have a solution in front of you. Use it. I'm surprised the 2600K has AVX support. The 5,1 isn't considered a viable product at this point for production use.
It has every thing I want from a music workstation, I worry about the future, I have just one Vst Plugin that has to run with avx supported cpu.
This forum is all we have, to at least be heard.
Developers must help us during this transition.
 

netkas

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2007
1,122
292
If one takes a look at supported macs list for 10.15 - there is only ivt-bridge+ macs, not even sandy bridge macs on the list.
so with Catalina a 3rd party dev can target 10.15+ only and use avx at will.

but most devs tend to support older releases as well, considering 10.14 will have another 1.5 year of security updates, we are mostly safe.
 

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2008
349
130
As mentioned in another thread, run your PC as a slave to your Mac under Vienna Ensemble Pro.


This is so not true. At least in the audio world.
Even outside the audio world. The latest updates (hacks) giving AMD hardware acceleration for encode / decode keeps it viable for video production as well.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,095
4,154
The Peninsula
It's not just AVX that threatens the cMP. Newer CPUs have AVX2 - similar to AVX except that AVX is mainly for floating point, with some 256-bit integer operations. AVX2 adds more integer instructions, and FMA3 - making the vector speedups more useful.

Next up, starting with Skylake, is AVX-512 - with 512-bit registers. The base set is like AVX2, but twice as wide.

Apple has lots of potential "kill switches" to forcibly obsolete older systems.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DearthnVader

DearthnVader

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2015
896
4,873
Red Springs, NC
It happens, tech moves on, leaving older system behind.

It's better new software target feature sets than compatibility when those features can accelerate workflow.

This has always been the case with Macs and the macOS, to leave the legacy behind in such of tighter code.

It's sad sometimes, because these old Macs are like our friends, we done so much work on them, spending so much time with them......
 

MapleGreen

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 25, 2019
76
5
It's not just AVX that threatens the cMP. Newer CPUs have AVX2 - similar to AVX except that AVX is mainly for floating point, with some 256-bit integer operations. AVX2 adds more integer instructions, and FMA3 - making the vector speedups more useful.

Next up, starting with Skylake, is AVX-512 - with 512-bit registers. The base set is like AVX2, but twice as wide.

Apple has lots of potential "kill switches" to forcibly obsolete older systems.

so what happens if apple decides to use his in house chips and not to use intel CPU's at all?!
Mac Pro 2019 can be completely useless 5 years later for example in 2025( consider you pay 40,000$ for top mac pro configuration just for 5 years)
It's not fair, I think it is not the right course of action if they take it!
developers can use AVX and AVX2 and newer technology for faster processing as well as considering compatibility with older systems
Xeon X5690 in not a bad cpu by any standard and it can handle any application and heavy processing.
they've not to be completely exclusive!
 

MapleGreen

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 25, 2019
76
5
this VST plugin supports AVX but not exclusively
here's a note from developer:

The standard version of Vaporizer2 requires a CPU with AVX vector extensions - if your system is older than from 2011 please check first! We added an SSE2 compatible version per huge demand. But take into account that this one will not achieve highest CPU performance.
vaporizer_perspective_1000x1000_new.png
 

deconstruct60

macrumors 604
Mar 10, 2009
7,979
1,173
so what happens if apple decides to use his in house chips and not to use intel CPU's at all?!
those are not the only choices Apple has.

1. They could split their line up. Mobile vs Desktop. which means they wouldn't drop completely.
Apple is no where near getting to equivalence to the iMac , iMac Pro , Mac Pro CPU in breadth and scope of capabilities. Maybe in some single threaded drag race on a "fit in L3 cache" tech porn benchmark, but broad spectrum replacement for large memory loads on high number of threads they don't have.

The notion that Apple is going to do a "Big Bang" , "12 months or less" replacement of the whole Mac line up any time soon doesn't have much substance at this point.


2. Apple could drop Intel and still ship x86_64 based systems ( AVX gen 1 , gen 2, gen 3 included ) .


Mac Pro 2019 can be completely useless 5 years later for example in 2025( consider you pay 40,000$ for top mac pro configuration just for 5 years)
Apple's Vintage and Obsolete policy doesn't have anything about system cost in the formula to compute time to Obsolete status. Even if Apple does keep buying Intel chips if they don't go back into Rip van Winkle mode and update the Mac Pro in 1.5-2 years in 5 years your 40-90K system will be on a countdown clock.

Apple "Big Bang" wiping out all the 100+M x86 Mac in less than 5 years would be very tough for them. Especially, since users have been on a multiple year trend of increasing the amount of time between their personal computer upgrades ( computers are getting longer cycles. Phones are relatively shorter cycles but they are also increasing the cycle length. )

What Apple did on the 68K-PPC and PPC-x86 changes was on a much smaller installed base ( like an order of magintude or two smaller) and much faster 'native' upgrade cycles.

Similar with Windows. There may be an uptick in Windows ARM systems by the end of 2018 that gets the tech porn press all hot and bothered but the installed x86 base isn't going to collapse in a couple of years. apple has some of the issues now.


It's not fair, I think it is not the right course of action if they take it!
developers can use AVX and AVX2 and newer technology for faster processing as well as considering compatibility with older systems
If 95% of the installed base has AVX ( from v1 on up) is it really fair to hold back development for that group so some subset of that other 5% can split the development resources in half for a shrinking group ?
If it was simply a magical compiler switch on the same code to build to maximum optimzesd libraries that would be one thing. But if there is custom code hints/directives , profiling , and assembler to be tuned to create the feature then it is a substantive resource hit to have two development tracks.

So if that fair for 95% to be paying for code that doesn't use the hardware they paid for that is better? ( paying for slower code is fair how? )


Xeon X5690 in not a bad cpu by any standard and it can handle any application and heavy processing.
they've not to be completely exclusive!
if all of these new things that modern AVX2 optimized code is going to do in the near future was eminently doable on a X5690 why didn't folks do it 5 years ago? For workloads that were 'heavy' 5 years ago the X5690 works. If some folks workloads haven't changed in the last 5 years then it will work. But there were task that the x56990 couldn't do before and still can't do now. If it is in the highly vectorized code solution space the the X5690 just isn't going to keep up. Non vectorizable code sure, but that is old workloads and old code.
 

MapleGreen

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 25, 2019
76
5
If 95% of the installed base has AVX ( from v1 on up) is it really fair to hold back development for that group so some subset of that other 5% can split the development resources in half for a shrinking group ?
If it was simply a magical compiler switch on the same code to build to maximum optimzesd libraries that would be one thing. But if there is custom code hints/directives , profiling , and assembler to be tuned to create the feature then it is a substantive resource hit to have two development tracks.
So if that fair for 95% to be paying for code that doesn't use the hardware they paid for that is better? ( paying for slower code is fair how? )
if all of these new things that modern AVX2 optimized code is going to do in the near future was eminently doable on a X5690 why didn't folks do it 5 years ago? For workloads that were 'heavy' 5 years ago the X5690 works. If some folks workloads haven't changed in the last 5 years then it will work. But there were task that the x56990 couldn't do before and still can't do now. If it is in the highly vectorized code solution space the the X5690 just isn't going to keep up. Non vectorizable code sure, but that is old workloads and old code.
Sorry . I don't agree with you
I'm currently testing new VST Vaporizer 2 witch is AVX required, but also compatible with SSE2
I have mac book pro with AVX CPU and I have to tell you my Mac Pro outperform it even in this plugin
developer says :

The standard version of Vaporizer2 requires a CPU with AVX vector extensions - if your system is older than from 2011 please check first! We added an SSE2 compatible version per huge demand. But take into account that this one will not achieve highest CPU performance.

but in real life it works without a single problem
we should be wiser my friend, this is a policy to force huge community of Mac Pro owners to upgrade to new Cheese grater and I have to tell you we are not 5 percent!
just see Native Instrument forum after they release Massive X , then you find out.

just see my CPU Audio performance meter in Cubase!
Developers have much simpler work with AVX, that's why they tend to be exclusive.

vp.png
 

kazkus

macrumors member
May 25, 2019
44
50
San Francisco, CA, USA
I installed prebuilt binary of TensorFlow 1.13.0 on Ubuntu Server 18.04.2 LTS running on MacPro5,1, and got the following error.
Code:
root@ubuntuserver:~# python3
Python 3.6.8 (default, Jan 14 2019, 11:02:34)
[GCC 8.0.1 20180414 (experimental) [trunk revision 259383]] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import tensorflow as tf
2019-07-04 05:03:17.612831: F tensorflow/core/platform/cpu_feature_guard.cc:37] The TensorFlow library was compiled to use AVX instructions, but these aren't available on your machine.
Aborted (core dumped)
root@ubuntuserver:~#
I found that the prebuilt binary of TensorFlow 1.6 or later uses AVX instructions.
Since TensorFlow is an Open Source software, I can compile it without AVX instructions though..