MP All Models Is Apple ****ing themselves over the ThreadRipper 3 yet?

macjunkie2013

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2013
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IMHO they should be.

I hate topics like this, but the neglect by Apple on productivity is stunning.

The new AMD ThreadRipper 3 series (3960X, 3970X) vastly outclasses all the top Intel CPU's by a wide margin in productivity. There is literally no competition except the last gen ThreadRipper. Yes TR3 is pricey, yet combined w Nvidia might slam the door shut for the Mac Pro 7.1 being remotely competitive.

I have been using Macs for productivity since Mac OS 6. The addition of Nvidia was huge, and is now a huge loss. My heavy upgraded Mac Pro 4.1 will last me another year or two.

I really prefer Mac OS over Windows, but damn!
 
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Digital_Sousaphone

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2019
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I'm already seeing machines going for 4.5k with TR3 and 2080ti's. You'll have to get a gaudy gamer case instead of a gaudy Apple designed thing, but you'll be crushing renders on the cheap. It makes that base Apple price point look extra silly. I wont even mention pcie4 and the extra lanes...wait...i just did.
 
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macjunkie2013

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Jun 9, 2013
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IMHO, it can be hard to compare price of each platform as it can become subjective, never the less and in a way, Intel seems to be switching w AMD for the "value" position?

By focusing exclusively at performance in a productivity app workflow it seems the TR3+Nvidia far out-strips Intel+Radeon. Possibly even accounting for software/OS "ease of use" the gap seems very large.

I honestly really like the new Mac Pro 7.1 and its ascetic, plus there is a lot of value in Mac OS. I just wonder if it is sold as a "no compromises" workstation, will it actually be "compromised" by the Intel chips (no Nvidia...!!!) it uses?

Start of Rant:

Again this seems to be a cumulation of a decade of neglect by Apple.

The whole Apple vibe has watered down the meaning of "Pro" to the point that they may not know what "Pro" means anymore, or more likely, they just don't care. This may not be effectively addressed by adding a new "pro" machine if the whole Apple culture is ignorant of that?

End of rant.
 
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goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
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Apple likely has access to AMD's roadmap. They are also still likely under an exclusivity agreement with Intel. That agreement is also rumored to be ended soon (which is what kicked off the ARM Mac rumors.)

I don't think any of this is a surprise to Apple. Intel's failures are probably why they are letting exclusivity lapse. But either they ship a Mac Pro now with what they have, or we wait longer for things to be post-Intel.

If you don't like it, wait for the rev b. I dunno if it will be AMD but it's probably going to be better than whatever Intel has now.

Intel being stuck on 14nm is the issue here. And it's something everyone saw coming in June when this thing was announced.
 

konqerror

macrumors 65816
Dec 31, 2013
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Threadripper is highly overrated for the compute heavy applications I do in three major areas:

1. AMD's vector core just caught up with Haswell. Zen 1 fakes AVX 256 by doing it in 2 128 bit cycles. Intel has been able to do it in a single cycle since Haswell. New Intel high-end CPUs have dedicated AVX512, so Intel is ahead in vector elements per cycle by 2x.

2. Intel's MKL are highly hand tuned assembly math routines. They're used in nearly every computation program. AMD tried to copy with a drop-in compatible ACML, then quit.

3. Intel has 6 memory channels on Xeon W, Threadripper only has 4. It makes a major difference in bandwidth-limited computation. Plus, Xeon is one die with a 2-D mesh network, not a higher-latency MCP.

If you're serious about memory and IO anyway, you get a Xeon SP dual socket system, not the compromised Xeon W/Threadripper.

In my opinion, Threadripper is a bunch of stuff they threw together to get their core market, gamers and kids at home, excited. That's why people aren't making serious clusters with AMD and why I wouldn't buy an AMD Mac.
 
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mattspace

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Jun 5, 2013
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I'm already seeing machines going for 4.5k with TR3 and 2080ti's. You'll have to get a gaudy gamer case instead of a gaudy Apple designed thing, but you'll be crushing renders on the cheap. It makes that base Apple price point look extra silly. I wont even mention pcie4 and the extra lanes...wait...i just did.
Go have a look at System76's Thelio desktops. Nothing gaudy there.

https://system76.com/desktops
 

macjunkie2013

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2013
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GoMac:

That is starting to sound much like the G5... that I had as well!

konqerror:

I am coming from a creative art production viewpoint, so perhaps my expectation is skewed.

#1 I am not well versed in AVX512 and how it applies to what I need?

#2 Yeh Intel "computationally" is better, but from a practical use scenario the TR3 still runs circles around Intel in productivity and bucket rendering.

#3 My limited understanding of how AMD handles memory is that it uses the clock speeds much better than intel?

It is well known that AMD threadripper is terrible for games, plus way too much $. IMHO Nvidia is still king there. My focus is on 2d and 3d art creation, if I want to play games I use my playstation.
 

ssgbryan

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2002
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#1. AVX512 is for video encoding. AMD brute forces it, and based on the benchmarks released, makes AVX512 less compelling.

#2. Numbers don't support that, except for edge cases (lightly threaded apps - games & such).

#3. Yes - AMD has higher IPC (Instructions per clock) than Intel.

#4. The 3990X releases in Jan - 64 cores/128 threads.

Next year we will see Zen 3 - new architecture (samples already being shown) - expect to see another double digit IPC increase.

AMD is already at work on Zen 4 - there is a real chance we'll see SMT-4 (4 threads per core).

If your 2d & 3d art workflow is built around cores & ram (like mine is), you should see some major improvements.
 
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danwells

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Apr 4, 2015
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Those System76 machines are beautiful, but Linux-only. Doesn't really help if you need to run Adobe apps, Final Cut, or most other commercial software. DaVinci Resolve is an exception...
 
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ct2k7

macrumors 603
Aug 29, 2008
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Threadripper is highly overrated for the compute heavy applications I do in three major areas:

1. AMD's vector core just caught up with Haswell. Zen 1 fakes AVX 256 by doing it in 2 128 bit cycles. Intel has been able to do it in a single cycle since Haswell. New Intel high-end CPUs have dedicated AVX512, so Intel is ahead in vector elements per cycle by 2x.

2. Intel's MKL are highly hand tuned assembly math routines. They're used in nearly every computation program. AMD tried to copy with a drop-in compatible ACML, then quit.

3. Intel has 6 memory channels on Xeon W, Threadripper only has 4. It makes a major difference in bandwidth-limited computation. Plus, Xeon is one die with a 2-D mesh network, not a higher-latency MCP.

If you're serious about memory and IO anyway, you get a Xeon SP dual socket system, not the compromised Xeon W/Threadripper.

In my opinion, Threadripper is a bunch of stuff they threw together to get their core market, gamers and kids at home, excited. That's why people aren't making serious clusters with AMD and why I wouldn't buy an AMD Mac.
https://atos.net/en/2019/press-release_2019_06_06/atos-to-deliver-most-powerful-supercomputer-in-norway-to-national-e-infrastructure-provider-uninett-sigma2
 

smbu2000

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2014
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Well if you want to see how the 28 core Xeon W-3175X ($3000) compares to the new Threadripper CPUs (24core at $1400 or 32core at $2000)you can check out Anandtech's review. (18core i9-10980XE and 16core Ryzen are also there)

https://www.anandtech.com/show/15044/the-amd-ryzen-threadripper-3960x-and-3970x-review-24-and-32-cores-on-7nm

"AMD has scored wins across almost all of our benchmark suite. In anything embarrassingly parallel it rules the roost by a large margin (except for our one AVX-512 benchmark). Single threaded performance trails the high-frequency mainstream parts, but it is still very close. Even in memory sensitive workloads, an issue for the previous generation Threadripper parts, the new chiplet design has pushed performance to the next level. These new Threadripper processors win on core count, on high IPC, on high frequency, and on fast memory."
 

ssgbryan

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2002
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Well if you want to see how the 28 core Xeon W-3175X ($3000) compares to the new Threadripper CPUs (24core at $1400 or 32core at $2000)you can check out Anandtech's review. (18core i9-10980XE and 16core Ryzen are also there)

https://www.anandtech.com/show/15044/the-amd-ryzen-threadripper-3960x-and-3970x-review-24-and-32-cores-on-7nm

"AMD has scored wins across almost all of our benchmark suite. In anything embarrassingly parallel it rules the roost by a large margin (except for our one AVX-512 benchmark). Single threaded performance trails the high-frequency mainstream parts, but it is still very close. Even in memory sensitive workloads, an issue for the previous generation Threadripper parts, the new chiplet design has pushed performance to the next level. These new Threadripper processors win on core count, on high IPC, on high frequency, and on fast memory."
And remember folks, the 3990X (64 cores/128 threads) releases in January.

I suspect the 8,1 will be a Zen3 TR system. AMD TRX reference board in the 7,1 case and bob's your uncle.

The 7,1 now only makes sense for workflows that are built around AVX-512. (Which is who the 7,1 is targeted at.)
 
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koyoot

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Jun 5, 2012
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Apple likely has access to AMD's roadmap. They are also still likely under an exclusivity agreement with Intel. That agreement is also rumored to be ended soon (which is what kicked off the ARM Mac rumors.)

I don't think any of this is a surprise to Apple. Intel's failures are probably why they are letting exclusivity lapse. But either they ship a Mac Pro now with what they have, or we wait longer for things to be post-Intel.

If you don't like it, wait for the rev b. I dunno if it will be AMD but it's probably going to be better than whatever Intel has now.

Intel being stuck on 14nm is the issue here. And it's something everyone saw coming in June when this thing was announced.
And the fact that already in Catalina 15.2 Beta 3 we have seen all of AMD APUs in GPU drivers, including the one that is unreleased and appears to be Semi-Custom project.

Which means that Apple is testing stability of the OS and Apps, and develops Metal optimizations for APUs, AMD CPUs and GPUs.

And yes, we should expect Zen 3 based Macs, and nothing earlier. And based on what I know about Zen 3 I am kicking my butt for choosing Intel platform, instead of AM4.
 

koyoot

macrumors 603
Jun 5, 2012
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Threadripper is highly overrated for the compute heavy applications I do in three major areas:

1. AMD's vector core just caught up with Haswell. Zen 1 fakes AVX 256 by doing it in 2 128 bit cycles. Intel has been able to do it in a single cycle since Haswell. New Intel high-end CPUs have dedicated AVX512, so Intel is ahead in vector elements per cycle by 2x.

2. Intel's MKL are highly hand tuned assembly math routines. They're used in nearly every computation program. AMD tried to copy with a drop-in compatible ACML, then quit.

3. Intel has 6 memory channels on Xeon W, Threadripper only has 4. It makes a major difference in bandwidth-limited computation. Plus, Xeon is one die with a 2-D mesh network, not a higher-latency MCP.

If you're serious about memory and IO anyway, you get a Xeon SP dual socket system, not the compromised Xeon W/Threadripper.

In my opinion, Threadripper is a bunch of stuff they threw together to get their core market, gamers and kids at home, excited. That's why people aren't making serious clusters with AMD and why I wouldn't buy an AMD Mac.
I think you should get out of under a rock more often.

And most powerful supercomputer in the world will be built based on what? Intel+Nvidia, or AMD only?

https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/7/18535078/worlds-fastest-exascale-supercomputer-frontier-amd-cray-doe-oak-ridge-national-laboratory

Also, you compared server grade hardware with HEDT.

P.S. 64 core EPYC with 8 memory channels still outperforms dual socket 56 core Intel platforms, while costing less, and using less power ;).
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
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The question - for Apple - is not: Which one is faster? The question is: How much will it cost us, and how many customers will we get or lose, by switching to AMD?

Are you going to buy a Mac Pro with AMD processor? How many will switch from PC + Threadripper + Linux to Mac + Threadripper? And how many will switch away from Mac Pro if it doesn't come with an Intel processor?

Apple has been working with Intel for over 13 years. Even if AMD is ahead today, for how long?
 
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koyoot

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The question - for Apple - is not: Which one is faster? The question is: How much will it cost us, and how many customers will we get or lose, by switching to AMD?

Are you going to buy a Mac Pro with AMD processor? How many will switch from PC + Threadripper + Linux to Mac + Threadripper? And how many will switch away from Mac Pro if it doesn't come with an Intel processor?

Apple has been working with Intel for over 13 years. Even if AMD is ahead today, for how long?
And how is AMD's Instruction set different than Intel's Instruction set...? o_O

If people will switch from Apple platform solely based on the fact that it uses AMD CPUs instead of Intel it will show only one thing.

That they are stupid, and should be stripped of their voting rights, because they are incapable of making the right decisions in their lifes. /joke

;)

P.S. Next year AMD will bring 20% performance uplift per core(IPC+clock speeds) with Zen 3, over Zen 2, alongside better efficiency. What Intel has been working to release next year?

Another 14 nm products spin?

P.S.2. Want to know what Apple has to gain with switching platforms, apart from higher scalability, higher performance and efficiency, compared to Intel?

Hardware that is secure and not full of security holes, and its performance is not being dragged down by mitigations.

Hardware that can offer Apple ability to give 7 GB/s read/write SSD's. Those are not the things you sniff over.
 

macjunkie2013

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Jun 9, 2013
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IMHO. many Apple users may not care what CPU is inside (AMD, Intel, ARM) just as long as stability and performance meet expectations.

If Apple is locked to Intel they might be truly f**ked.
 

fendersrule

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Oct 9, 2008
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AMD is the new king for just about everything CPU related. Zen 2 changed the industry. Honestly, RIP Intel 2019.

And 2020 doesn't have anything going for Intel based on their road map and AMD's 7+ nm lineup.

If one were to build a computer right now, they'd be a damn fool to chose Intel.

And I say that being a gamer....which Intel still has a very slight lead on AMD, but we're talking FPS that you'll probably never see. I'll trade 2-8 FPS when I'm well over 120 FPS to get 100% better multi-core performance at a cheaper price whilst running at lower TDP which means less heat. And at 1440p which is the sweet spot and realistically where I game, that's 0-3 FPS difference at best vs Intel's strongest chip.

And with the 10% IPC uplift from Zen 3 coming next year, it's likely that AMD will match, if not surpass Intel in many games, whilst also continuing to curb stomp them in multi-threaded applications.....all for much cheaper.

I feel like we are entering the Athlon days all over again...where Intel was insignificant all of a sudden.
 
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goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
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IMHO. many Apple users may not care what CPU is inside (AMD, Intel, ARM) just as long as stability and performance meet expectations.
If Afterburner or Vega 2 Duo actually deliver as claimed, a lot of customers might be willing to overlook the CPU. Apple is already focusing on offloading tasks from the CPU, so Intel's performance issues might not be as big an issue as this thread makes them out to be.

If Apple is locked to Intel they might be truly f**ked.
Intel's 14nm stall is likely why Apple is leaving Intel.
 

AustinIllini

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Oct 20, 2011
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If it were easy to co-produce Threadripper and i9 Macs, Apple would almost certainly be doing it. The fact is, there isn't an ROI for Apple as of yet. AMD would have to be ahead for the better part of 4 or 5 years. Even then, there are things Apple can do in the meantime to attempt to mitigate the difference in performance.
 
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koyoot

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Jun 5, 2012
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If it were easy to co-produce Threadripper and i9 Macs, Apple would almost certainly be doing it. The fact is, there isn't an ROI for Apple as of yet. AMD would have to be ahead for the better part of 4 or 5 years. Even then, there are things Apple can do in the meantime to attempt to mitigate the difference in performance.
You realize that AMD CPUs do not have Thunderbolt 3 out of the box?

Only USB4 will bring it to ALL of CPUs around the industry.