nMP 2013 GPU OpenCL

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by markovchain, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. markovchain macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2015

    I am considering to buy nMP 2013 after the the price drop this April.

    The main use is to develop multithreaded CPU and industry standard OpenCL GPU applications.

    I am more concerned with server grade processor stability than single core performance like 7700k in iMac 2017. I plan to run some multi days simulations.

    My main concerns are :
    1. Apple Metal API is not as open as OpenCL. Codes written in Metal is not running in Linux without major changes.
    2. Apple OpenCL driver remains version 1.2 for the years given the latest OpenCL 2.2 C++.
    3. After google and check various forum, it seems only one D700 can be used for GPU compute because the other must be used for display. I plan to use nMP as headless node to run dual D700 codes.

    The conventional wisdom is I should wait for the mMP in 2018 and beyond. But I like the small footprint of nMP and the Xeon class cpu is good enough for my usage.
    I also think mMP price will be sky high then.

    Would appreciate if anyone experience who have tried or consider nMP for simialr usages.

    Also, my development usage may involve lots of host to device traffics so the eGPU might not be viable option i.e, PCIe 3 x16 16GB/s vs TB3 40Gbs.

  2. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    No experience on this area, but AFAIK ALL GPU (regardless D300/D500/D700) can be use to compute.

    The limitation is that only one GPU on each nMP can be used to display, but no limitation on compute.
  3. teagls macrumors regular

    May 16, 2013
    Just my 2 cents. I used the nMP 2013 for a similar use case, but ended up damaging one of the GPUs probably due to overheating by running them too hard and too long. I ended up selling it because it wasn't that good.

    The cooling system inside the nMP is not adequate and running both GPUs and possibly the CPU continuously for days might end up damaging the machine.

    Here is an example. The Deadpool editing team used nMPs and burned through 10 of them.

  4. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040


    Jul 4, 2015
    Only a custom Windows 10 PC will adequately cool and provide the most modern GPUs with best drivers and the newest OpenCL you need.
  5. markovchain thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2015
    @h9826790, @teagls, @SoyCapitanSoyCapitan,

    thank you for your information and advice.

    Last anandtech reviews in 2014 didn't reveal the gpu issue, and direct User experiences are always appreciated. ;)

    It is sad to switch to another platform for high performance computing coz I really want Mac to be my single development platform. But Unstable GPU, overheating, outdated drivers are too much a risk to make. :oops:

    Looks like the only option is to add Linux/Windows server, and ssh/vnc into it by my MBP.

    The good side is I could use standard GCC toolchains in Linux i.e., I never got gdb worked in 10.12.
  6. teagls macrumors regular

    May 16, 2013
    Thats basically what I did. I developed on a Mac and then deployed to Linux for production/actual work. Worked out pretty well.
  7. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    The only GPU issue I know of is related to a bad batch of GPUs back around April 2015, mine was one of the ones impacted by GPU/system resets, graphics glitches, etc. The GPUs were replaced and the system has been rock solid ever since (Issue happened 6-8 months after purchase, GPUs were replaced 1.5 years ago).

    I've watched system temps with my nMP with D700s compared to a 12-core cMP and GTX 680 when both were being worked hard, the nMP stayed much cooler than the cMP. You should have no problems with the nMP, IMO.
  8. markovchain thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2015

    Thankyou for input. I truly believe Apple should have fixed the previous batches of defect gpus?

    Apart from Apple departure from open standard OpenCL, I am more worried the nMP can't stand days if not weeks of both d700 and Xeon run? :(

    Would you mind telling your usages?

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