OpenCL, Radeon 4870, & 2006 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bozz2006, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    Location:
    Minnesota
    #1
    as owner of a 2006 mac pro, with the Apple version of the Radeon 4870, that officially is not supported by my machine but actually works perfectly, and upon reading this article, I have a question.

    Much of the reason for purchasing the 4870 was 1. needed a graphics card, and 2. wanted to be able to have OpenCL enabled on my machine. This article states that my 2006 mac pro is not supported for OpenCL. Now, I can understand Apple saying this, since none of the original cards for the 2006 machine are capable of OpenCL. But since I have the 4870, I would hope that though my machine is officially not capable of OpenCL, for one reason or another, can anyone confirm or disconfirm that OpenCL is supported on the 2006 mac pro with the 4870? When you're running Leopard, is their some type of evidence that would show whether OpenCL is running or not, such as in system prefs, or system profiler, or something? thank for reading and thanks for answering, if you can.

    *I originally posted this question in a thread in the news section, but have decided that it may merit its own thread.
     
  2. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

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    Jul 14, 2008
    #2
    It works fine. The article either misinterpreted Apple, or is poorly worded. OCL support depends on the graphics card's hardware and whether or not the card's drivers support OpenCL. That's it. Apple has said the 8800GT and 4870 are both good to go. Go look at the official page on Apple.com. It doesn't give a list of supported machines, it gives a list of supported graphics cards. If you have one of those, you are in. If you don't, your card either lacks the necessary hardware, or nobody felt like writing the driver to get your card into the party.
     
  3. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #3
    sweet. that is what i thought. opencl support is based upon the graphics card, not the rest of the computer.
     
  4. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

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    #4
    I'm REALLY hoping my little old ATI 3870 will be invited to the party - otherwise, it's upgrade #23 for me. ;-)

    How will we even know "it works?" Nothing's out there yet to really test it or demo it. Sigh - I hate the waiting!

    Hopefully Handbrake, SETI@Home, iMovie '10, iDVD '10, Aperture 3?, and lots of little stuff in the OS will take advantage of it ( I read somewhere that certain OS operations might be handed off to OpenCL, but again, that may not be ready for 10.6 - maybe 10.6.3).

    Why do I say "not yet ready?" Notice how many OpenCL demos they showed during the WWDC Keynote? Zero.

    Here's hoping!

    JP
     
  5. Rainier42 macrumors member

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    Aug 21, 2009
    #5
    I hope that you are all correct and it is just based on the graphics card. Now I have a question ... how does the Radeon 4870 compare to the GeForce 8800gt? ANy negatives associated with the 4870?
     
  6. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #6
    i think it depends on what you use it for. I have heard that for certain pro-type applications, the 8800 doesn't perform as well as people think it could/should. If your main reason for wanting a great vid card is for gaming, i think most of the people who ditch the 8800 for the 4870 are underwhelmed. the 4870 is a bit more of a performer, but i don't think there's a light/day difference. check out barefeats.com for benchmarks and performance reviews. lots of good info there.
     
  7. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #7
    I expect the 3870 to work if it is only a driver problem. ATI are well known for their excellent after market support. They would not snub their customers like Apple do. I'm prepared to bet money on that.

    It is easy to know. Like open GL support open CL support will probably be mentioned in profiler. We will simply have to wait and see.

    And for the unlikely case that the 3870 will not work I can fit my flashed PC 4870 and run my HDTV off the 3870. I don't care if I have OCL with that and apps like handbrake can then use the 4870.
     
  8. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

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    Jul 14, 2008
    #8
    Handbrake does not use the GPU for anything, and will not until GPGPU something or other is implemented in x264.

    Also, some people are doing testing with various cards using the beta in another thread, and ATM, the 3870 DOES NOT support OpenCL. Not to say it won't happen (the hardware does support it), but it seems the driver is not yet available.
     
  9. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    Jan 5, 2008
    #9
    My flashed 4870 made everything a bit snappier, plus it whines less than the 8800 GT.
     
  10. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

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    #10
    Well, lowendmac.com is already stating that the 2006-2007 Mac Pros ARE NOT compatible with OpenCL, but I think they are just talking the party line on that, listening to Apple when it may not be accurate.

    I mean, Apple themselves said that the nVidia 8800GT would be compliant, that that WAS an Apple-provided card in the 2006 Pros. I don't understand why LowEndMac is saying this.

    JP
     
  11. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #11
    that was the article that was causing me consternation. My inclination is that lowendmac is not understanding correctly. As J the Ninja has said, I have never seen any Apple literature stating which machines are OpenCL compatible, but rather have only seen evidence of which cards are compatible. And I have never seen evidence of what lowendmac has said anywhere else. I have a hard time taking such an isolated account at face value, especially for something like this, where public outcry would be high if it were in fact true.

    maybe apple told them that only mac pros with certain vid cards (GT 120, Radeon 4870) can do OpenCL. And since the 4870 "doesn't" work in the 2006 mac pro, OpenCL doesn't work either. But we know that the 4870 works in the 2006, so i can't imagine why OpenCL wouldn't go on a 2006 mac pro if you have the 4870...
     
  12. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

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    #12
    Well, Bozz, the only thing I can say is this:

    We are going to have a firestorm of articles to read in the coming days, since SL is going to be on retail shelves on the 28th.

    I suppose we'll find out for sure - even though I STILL think OpenCL is not ready for prime time yet.

    JP
     
  13. benborman macrumors member

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    May 28, 2008
    #13
    I read the LEM article yesterday when Rainier linked it in another thread, and my take on it is that the OpenCL section was poorly worded and rather misleading, as it says that OpenCL "is not supported on the most Intel Macs". It should say "Most Intel Macs didn't ship with supported GPU hardware".
     
  14. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #14
    that's the way i understand it too, benborman. at any rate, i'm getting SL on friday, so i can report back, if there happens to be a way to check on whether or not OpenCL is supported once SL is installed.
     
  15. macwanabe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    #15
    Open CL Benchmark

    Hi

    Here is a small terminal based Open CL benchmark by a guy named Andreas, just follow the instructions. Here is my results for 8800 GT. Was 5.6 times faster than my CPU only.

    CL_DEVICE_NAME: GeForce 8800 GT
    CL_DEVICE_VENDOR: NVIDIA
    Now computing - please be patient....
    time used: 2.624661
    Number of elements computed: 2097152
     

    Attached Files:

  16. ManiG macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #16
    No chance I'll be running a binary someone posts on a forum!!

    Can you point to a source code package so I can examine/compile it myself?

    Does this require SL? I'm guessing yes ...
     
  17. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #17
    bug in program

    I have a 9800GT in my machine acting as "helper card" to a GTX285.

    This app calls them both 9800GT and here is GTX285 result:


    ...........................................................
    CL_DEVICE_NAME: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU 5160 @ 3.00GHz
    CL_DEVICE_VENDOR: Intel
    Now computing - please be patient....
    time used: 15.324719
    Number of elements computed: 2097152
    CL_DEVICE_NAME: GeForce 9800 GT
    CL_DEVICE_VENDOR: NVIDIA
    Now computing - please be patient....
    time used: 2.201337
    Number of elements computed: 2097152
    CL_DEVICE_NAME: GeForce 9800 GT
    CL_DEVICE_VENDOR: NVIDIA
    Now computing - please be patient....
    time used: 2.194948
    Number of elements computed: 2097152
    Now checking if results are valid - please be patient....
    :) Validate results test passed - GPU=CPU :)
    logout

    And here it is connected to 9800GT:

    CL_DEVICE_NAME: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU 5160 @ 3.00GHz
    CL_DEVICE_VENDOR: Intel
    Now computing - please be patient....
    time used: 15.286676
    Number of elements computed: 2097152
    CL_DEVICE_NAME: GeForce 9800 GT
    CL_DEVICE_VENDOR: NVIDIA
    Now computing - please be patient....
    time used: 2.313060
    Number of elements computed: 2097152
    CL_DEVICE_NAME: GeForce 9800 GT
    CL_DEVICE_VENDOR: NVIDIA
    Now computing - please be patient....
    time used: 2.282690
    Number of elements computed: 2097152
    Now checking if results are valid - please be patient....
    :) Validate results test passed - GPU=CPU :)
    logout

    So the GTX285 was a tenth of a asecond faster?

    But isn't OpenCL supposed to be a communal sort of thing?

    The app is promising but needs some work...I imagine the writer doesn't have access to 20 different Macs and GPUs, something he can get here.
     
  18. benborman macrumors member

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    May 28, 2008
    #18
    Thanks, Bozz. I'll be looking forward to your report. I find most of your posts to be helpful, since we're running very similar setups. You, and Tesselator as well. If only I had thought up a clever/unique username for myself!
     
  19. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    Minnesota
    #19
    thanks for the compliment. I've enjoyed our little mini-community of Mac Pro Classic upgraders.
     
  20. benborman macrumors member

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    May 28, 2008
    #20
    Yup. They're great machines, I believe they've got a lot of life left in them still! Long live the Mac Pro Classic!

    For me, the next stop (although probably further down the road) will be SSD.
     
  21. bozz2006 thread starter macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #21
    same here. maybe a couple of them... RAID, anyone?
     
  22. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #22
    On 421a

    (432 a bad topic here....just think 99.97%)

    This is on Gen 1 and a 4870 1 Gig XFX

    1 OpenCL platform found!

    [Platform 0]
    Name: Apple
    Vendor: Apple
    Version: OpenCL 1.0 (Jul 15 2009 23:07:32)
    Profile: FULL_PROFILE


    2 OpenCL devices found!

    [Device 0]
    Name: Radeon HD 4870
    Vendor: AMD
    Type: GPU
    Device Version: OpenCL 1.0
    Driver Version: 1.0
    Compute Units: 4
    Work Group Size: 1024
    Clock: 750 MHz
    Global Memory: 128 MB
    Local Memory: 16 KB
    Cache Size: 0 KB
    Cache Line Size: 128 Bytes
    Available: Yes
    Double-Precision: No
    Extensions:

    [Device 1]
    Name: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU 5160 @ 3.00GHz
    Vendor: Intel
    Type: CPU
    Device Version: OpenCL 1.0
    Driver Version: 1.0
    Compute Units: 4
    Work Group Size: 1
    Clock: 3000 MHz
    Global Memory (Total): 13312 MB
    Global Memory (Host): 13056 MB
    Global Memory (PCIe): 256 MB
    Local Memory: 16 KB
    Cache Size: 4096 KB
    Cache Line Size: 64 Bytes
    Available: Yes
    Double-Precision: Yes
    Extensions:
    cl_khr_fp64
    cl_khr_global_int32_base_atomics
    cl_khr_global_int32_extended_atomics
    cl_khr_local_int32_base_atomics
    cl_khr_local_int32_extended_atomics
    cl_khr_byte_addressable_store
    cl_APPLE_gl_sharing
    cl_APPLE_SetMemObjectDestructor
    cl_APPLE_ContextLoggingFunctions

    I have now tried the linked OpenCl benchmarking app on both OEM 4870 and flashed XFX 1 Gig...locks up with either when it comes time to test card.

    Either App is flawed or not designed to run in 421a

    Will hopefully have 432 sometime later today.
     
  23. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

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    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #23
    Is this from the same terminal program, or another?

    I just ran the Terminal script on 432, and it didn't pick up my 3870 as a capable OpenCL device. The CPUs did OK though:

     
  24. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #24
    yeah, looks like "Game Over" for the 3870.

    There is another thread about GTX285 and OpenCl.

    There is a "OpenCL compatable" test app linked there.

    I ran it with 3870 in 421a and reported NO Open CL ...but was waiting for 432 test.

    Looking bad for the venerable 3870.

    BTW...you CPUs kicked my CPUs BUTT'S !!!
     
  25. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

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    Nashville, TN
    #25
    8 cores, baby! The 2006 Mac Pro is still a contender.

    As Han Solo said: "she still has it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself."

    ;-)
     

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