Quad core MP and Snow Leopard

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SimonMW, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. SimonMW macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #1
    I own one of the previous gen Intel MP's (2.66GHz quad core) with the Radeon X1900 XT graphics card.

    I use this computer professionally for video editing and even though I am dealing with high def footage from all types of sources it is coping just fine. I didn't feel that the Octo core would give enough of a performance boost to warrant upgrading due to the way that many programs, even in the Pro Apps line do not use multi-core processing very well.

    Snow Leopard seems to be promising a large performance increase with better use of multi cores and Open CL for GPU usage for calculations. The question is, will the X1900 be compatible with this? I keep reading conflicting reports. Some seem to suggest that there is no reason why it shouldn't be able to, while others say no way. Is there any definitive answer to this, or is it down to Apple to come up with drivers that would enable it?

    If it can't, what are my options for upgrading the graphics card in my MP to enable the use of OpenCL functionality?

    I like to run my equipment into the ground before upgrading. I don't like chasing technology if for the most part my computer does what it needs to. But if I can get a suitable processing speed bump for FCP etc through Snow Leopard if it means a simple graphics card update then it sounds reasonable to do.
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    I think you'll have to wait until we find out more on SL before anyone will be able to tell you definitively.
     
  3. TrapOx macrumors 6502

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    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #3
    If your computer is supported by Snow Leopard (it is) then your video card will work with OpenCL.
     
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    From what I understand the X1900 lacks the programmability for this to work.

    My understanding is that it was not until the ATI HD4000 series and beyond nor nVidia 8000 series and beyond that the GPUs were sufficiently programmable for the widening array of GPU software.

    Though this may be a limitation of nVidia's CUDA and AMD's Stream rather than the cards themselves.
     
  5. Macpropro80 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    #5
    velocity, I believe your wrong, the 2400 and the 8800 released days apart from each other and they are both programable. Also back to the orginal poster, what do you think will be faster? a car with 8 cylinders or 4? Same applies to computers.
     
  6. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #6
    According to Wiki, the X1900 does NOT have unified shaders, and as I understand it, no unified shaders = no GPGPU support of any kind.
     
  7. SimonMW thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #7
    That isn't the point. If the GPU can be made to take over many of the tasks then the quad core machine can be given a lot more life. There is no point in having 8 cylinders unless they are all being used effectively. In the case of the pro apps, other than one or two of the codecs, and some rendering operations, they do not use all the cores effectively. So I believe that there is a lot of untapped power in the quad core if GPU operations can be utilised and Snow Leopard and updated pro apps make more use of all cores for general operations.

    But anyway, one of my questions was whether I could upgrade the card in my MP to one that can do GPGPU operations?
     
  8. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #8
    You can install the 8800 GT easily. I'm not certain if the HD3870 from ATI can do GPGPU operations.
     
  9. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #9
    Just a little bit of research and you might find something like this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_FireStream

    S-
     
  10. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #10
    A. If I had been interested in researching it, I would have. This isn't a case of me being unwilling/unable to search. ;)

    B. Your post should've been directed to the OP, not me.

    Other than that, thanks for the link.
     
  11. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #11
    Don't get your panties in a bunch......

    Just because your text was quoted does not mean it was directed only at you. Your post gave my post context...which is the main reason it was quoted.

    S-
     
  12. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #12
    I was not sure about the 2400 because AMD's defunct Stream required a 4600 or better. I knew that both the Radeon HD2000 and GeForce 8000 included support for processing HD video. I just could not confirm that the Radeon HD2000 series included programmability.
     

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