MP 7,1 Radeon Pro W5700X and the Mac Pro

pierre1610

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Anyone know when this graphics card is likely to be released?

What do you think it will cost?
 
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MaxYuryev

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Oct 25, 2015
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No word on release date, and hopefully $1200 or no more than $1400.

AMD released their workstation version the 5700 (W5700) at the same time as the Mac Pro.

It costs $799 and is not based on the 5700XT that has 40 compute cores which is what Apple will be offering but with 36 compute cores since it’s not the “XT”.

It also has 8GB if GDDR6 memory like the gaming card and I believe the gaming card is roughly $350 or so.

If they made a workstation version of the 5700XT with 8GB of memory it would be more than $799 possibly $999.

Since Apple is doubling the memory to 16GB and putting it into an MPX module with the large housing and controllers for 4x TB3 ports it should definitely cost more.

The Vega II is similar to to Radeon VII (same architecture) but has 4 more compute cores and double the HBM2 memory and the whole MPX design with TB3 and support for infinity fabric while costing about 4x as much in standalone form.

Since GDDR6 memory is way cheaper than HBM2 and these cards won’t have infinity fabric support I’m hoping it won’t be 4X the cost of the 5700XT ($399-$450) but more like 3x coming in at $1200 but I have my fingers crossed.
 

bsbeamer

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Anyone know when this graphics card is likely to be released?
Heard it's possible at the end of January or beginning of February for W5700X and the rack mount version chassis, but seems there is a decent enough chance they're going to miss the target with the upcoming Lunar New Year shutdowns.

The Apple Business reps I've spoken to all said they cannot offer preorders or even general verbal estimates for these specific configurations. They're expecting the W5700X to only be available in BTO before it's available standalone.
 
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jasonmvp

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Jun 15, 2015
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What is the advantage/disadvantage of the w5700X over the VegaII?
It likely won't be quite as capable in rendering, but it'll be much faster with hardware encoding/decoding of h.264 and h.265. It also has half the VRAM as the VegaII, and the memory on it is slightly slower.
 
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Stanly.ok

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Nov 1, 2011
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What is the advantage/disadvantage of the w5700X over the VegaII?
The advantage would be Display Stream Compression support (you can connect 1 extra Apple Pro Display XDR compared to single Vega II + faster speeds for display's built-in USB ports) and better h.264 and h.265 acceleration (encoding and decoding, including 10bit) thanks to the newer GPU architecture. Might be a bit better at graphics (better gaming and viewport performance). Probably lower temperatures and power consumption as well. Also cheaper, should've been the base option.

The disadvantage is slower type of VRAM (GDDR6 instead of HBM2), less compute power (slower particle simulations and real-time GPU rendering).

I'm personally waiting for it to be released to come to any conclusions (=
 
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chfilm

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Guys, as an editor I‘m very curious about how the W5700X will behave during encoding vs the Vega II..
do you think if I‘ll throw in a 5700 next to my Vega, it‘s gonna be utilized for rendering? I‘m still debating if a second Vega with IF is gonna be better or maybe the 5700 because of bang for the buck and the newer architecture...

In the end I guess we‘ll have to wait and see, but this is really interesting.
 
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Stanly.ok

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Nov 1, 2011
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In the end I guess we‘ll have to wait and see, but this is really interesting.
That is the ultimate answer, because it really depends on the optimization on software side as well. As of right now seems like even FCPX can't take full advantage of hardware depending on codec. By the way, what sort of footage are you working with?
 

jasonmvp

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Jun 15, 2015
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Guys, as an editor I‘m very curious about how the W5700X will behave during encoding vs the Vega II..
If you're producing h.264 or h.265, it'll beat the Vega II in time. The VCE in the 5700 is newer and faster. If your output is something else, then it'll likely not make much of a difference.

do you think if I‘ll throw in a 5700 next to my Vega, it‘s gonna be utilized for rendering?
Remember: Render != Encoding. It's a mistake nearly everyone makes. Rendering may be done during the encoding, but it doesn't mean encoding.

For rendering, the 5700 will very likely be slower than the Vega II. I'm guessing here as I haven't seen any benchmarks. But based on what I can tell, that GPU will be slower at rendering. But when it comes to outputting h.264 or h.265, it'll be faster. Now, will the software know to use one versus the other? I don't know.
 
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Pressure

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NAVI has much improved encode and decode engine over VEGA and Polaris. NAVI also has full hardware VP9 decode.
 

chfilm

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If you're producing h.264 or h.265, it'll beat the Vega II in time. The VCE in the 5700 is newer and faster. If your output is something else, then it'll likely not make much of a difference.



Remember: Render != Encoding. It's a mistake nearly everyone makes. Rendering may be done during the encoding, but it doesn't mean encoding.

For rendering, the 5700 will very likely be slower than the Vega II. I'm guessing here as I haven't seen any benchmarks. But based on what I can tell, that GPU will be slower at rendering. But when it comes to outputting h.264 or h.265, it'll be faster. Now, will the software know to use one versus the other? I don't know.
Yea I meant encoding, not rendering.. sorry for the confusion, but you’re right, the background rendering in FCP is not equal encoding.
Benchmarks about how much of an impact this will have are gonna be interesting!
- - Post merged: - -

That is the ultimate answer, because it really depends on the optimization on software side as well. As of right now seems like even FCPX can't take full advantage of hardware depending on codec. By the way, what sort of footage are you working with?
I can’t really narrow it down, everything from Prores, to Sony Alpha MXFs, the occasional drone shot from some gopro.. rarely r3d files. Very often some random long gop nonsense because some producer wanted to save money.
 
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OkiRun

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The advantage would be Display Stream Compression support (you can connect 1 extra Apple Pro Display XDR compared to single Vega II + faster speeds for display's built-in USB ports) and better h.264 and h.265 acceleration (encoding and decoding, including 10bit) thanks to the newer GPU architecture. Might be a bit better at graphics (better gaming and viewport performance). Probably lower temperatures and power consumption as well. Also cheaper, should've been the base option.

The disadvantage is slower type of VRAM (GDDR6 instead of HBM2), less compute power (slower particle simulations and real-time GPU rendering).

I'm personally waiting for it to be released to come to any conclusions (=
The Vega II has four Thunderbolt 3 ports and one HDMI 2.0 port on the card. Does the 5700 have more? Sorry to be dense.
- - Post merged: - -

Yea I meant encoding, not rendering.. sorry for the confusion, but you’re right, the background rendering in FCP is not equal encoding.
Benchmarks about how much of an impact this will have are gonna be interesting!
- - Post merged: - -


I can’t really narrow it down, everything from Prores, to Sony Alpha MXFs, the occasional drone shot from some gopro.. rarely r3d files. Very often some random long gop nonsense because some producer wanted to save money.
My current version of FCPX only allows export in H.264; not H.265. We use it only when a TV station is adamant about receiving content that way.
 
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bsbeamer

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The Vega II has four Thunderbolt 3 ports and one HDMI 2.0 port on the card. Does the 5700 have more?
From Apple:

AMD Radeon Pro W5700X
40 compute units, 2560 stream processors
16GB of GDDR6 memory with 448GB/s memory bandwidth
Up to 9.4 teraflops single precision or 18.9 teraflops half precision
Four Thunderbolt 3 ports and one HDMI 2.0 port on card
Two DisplayPort connections routed to system to support internal Thunderbolt 3 ports
Support for Display Stream Compression (DSC)
Support for up to six 4K displays, three 5K displays, or three Pro Display XDRs
Full-height MPX Module fills an MPX bay and uses extra power and PCIe bandwidth
 
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OkiRun

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Guys, as an editor I‘m very curious about how the W5700X will behave during encoding vs the Vega II..
do you think if I‘ll throw in a 5700 next to my Vega, it‘s gonna be utilized for rendering? I‘m still debating if a second Vega with IF is gonna be better or maybe the 5700 because of bang for the buck and the newer architecture...

In the end I guess we‘ll have to wait and see, but this is really interesting.
If you are mainly working with ProRes it seems like the Vega II is the better option - along with the Afterburner Card.
 

Stanly.ok

macrumors newbie
Nov 1, 2011
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The Vega II has four Thunderbolt 3 ports and one HDMI 2.0 port on the card. Does the 5700 have more?
It's about bandwidth, not ports. Directly from Apple:
Screen Shot 2020-01-12 at 12.44.47 PM.png


Display Stream Compression allows more Pro Display XDR connections and faster speeds for the USB-C ports on the display because it uses less bandwidth for the display data itself. Note that with Vega II and 580X you're getting USB 2.0 speeds from the display's USB-C ports at best.

everything from Prores, to Sony Alpha MXFs, the occasional drone shot from some gopro.. rarely r3d files
ProRes is CPU-intensive codec, GPU doesn't matter that much. It is also very optimized in macOS, so any current Mac will run it fine.
Sony Alpha cameras record XAVC-S/AVCHD, not MXF. It's an 8-bit long gop codec that will work fine on any top of the line current Mac, no need to worry about GPU unless if it's 580X.
Modern GoPro and drones record h.265 which might make good use of newer architecture W5700X.
R3D files are getting Metal optimization with the next update. May be Vega II we be about 1.4 times better at this, but the question is if W5700X will do. We'll have to wait and see.

random long gop nonsense
Long gop is not nonsense. Compressed codec with same bitrate has better quality when recording long gop, but is more CPU intensive to decode. Usually not GPU dependent.
- - Post merged: - -

If you are mainly working with ProRes it seems like the Vega II is the better option - along with the Afterburner Card
Or a better CPU – Afterburner is used only for decoding, so your source has to be ProRes and your editing app has to use VideoToolbox framework to actually use Afterburner. Rest of encoding / decoding is done on the CPU. GPU is only used for applying effects, color grading and driving the display, so I'd personally invest in CPU before getting Afterburner. You can also buy Afterburner after the fact for the same price.
 
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bsbeamer

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Rackmount MacPro is now available for order today, but the W5700X is still coming soon. Guessing we won't see the W5700X until 10.15.3 is available, at the earliest.
 
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vodouman

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Mar 30, 2008
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I've got my Pro Display XDR arriving on Tuesday/Wednesday next week and nothing to use it with.

I wanted to wait until the W5700X was available but there's no sign of it becoming available. I wonder if I should wait and give it one more week or pull the trigger now.
 

OkiRun

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Oct 25, 2019
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It's about bandwidth, not ports. Directly from Apple:
View attachment 888132

Display Stream Compression allows more Pro Display XDR connections and faster speeds for the USB-C ports on the display because it uses less bandwidth for the display data itself. Note that with Vega II and 580X you're getting USB 2.0 speeds from the display's USB-C ports at best.


ProRes is CPU-intensive codec, GPU doesn't matter that much. It is also very optimized in macOS, so any current Mac will run it fine.
Sony Alpha cameras record XAVC-S/AVCHD, not MXF. It's an 8-bit long gop codec that will work fine on any top of the line current Mac, no need to worry about GPU unless if it's 580X.
Modern GoPro and drones record h.265 which might make good use of newer architecture W5700X.
R3D files are getting Metal optimization with the next update. May be Vega II we be about 1.4 times better at this, but the question is if W5700X will do. We'll have to wait and see.


Long gop is not nonsense. Compressed codec with same bitrate has better quality when recording long gop, but is more CPU intensive to decode. Usually not GPU dependent.
- - Post merged: - -


Or a better CPU – Afterburner is used only for decoding, so your source has to be ProRes and your editing app has to use VideoToolbox framework to actually use Afterburner. Rest of encoding / decoding is done on the CPU. GPU is only used for applying effects, color grading and driving the display, so I'd personally invest in CPU before getting Afterburner. You can also buy Afterburner after the fact for the same price.
"so your source has to be ProRes"

I'm not confident about that statement. FCPX converts source files to your choice of ProRes formats. Once that is done, Afterburner takes over. That's my understanding at this time.
 

Stanly.ok

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Nov 1, 2011
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FCPX converts source files to your choice of ProRes formats. Once that is done, Afterburner takes over.
Those are proxies, what's the point then? If you do proxy workflow, any modern Mac CPU will handle ProRes. As you know – Afterburner doesn't even help encoding to those ProRes proxy files. Of course you can get Afterburner anyway, but will it make sense?

I believe Apple wanted their ProRes RAW in more cameras by the time Mac Pro released, but RED patents didn't let manufacturers implement compressed RAW recording within the camera unit. DJI promised ProRes RAW in their Inspire 2 drone, didn't happen. Blackmagic removed CinemaDNG and created it's own BRAW so it can be recorded without infringing RED patents. Same thing with Arri – they can't touch it. If all those cameras (any of those cameras) recorded ProRes RAW – Afterburner would've made perfect sense.

It is smarter to invest in hardware that accelerates your acquisition codec, doesn't it? And that is CPU and GPU upgrades first, and may be Afterburner sometime later if it gets more functionality. Unless you are already capturing ProRes (=
 
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chfilm

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Those are proxies, what's the point then? If you do proxy workflow, any modern Mac CPU will handle ProRes. As you know – Afterburner doesn't even help encoding to those ProRes proxy files. Of course you can get Afterburner anyway, but will it make sense?

I believe Apple wanted their ProRes RAW in more cameras by the time Mac Pro released, but RED patents didn't let manufacturers implement compressed RAW recording within the camera unit. DJI promised ProRes RAW in their Inspire 2 drone, didn't happen. Blackmagic removed CinemaDNG and created it's own BRAW so it can be recorded without infringing RED patents. Same thing with Arri – they can't touch it. If all those cameras (any of those cameras) recorded ProRes RAW – Afterburner would've made perfect sense.

It is smarter to invest in hardware that accelerates your acquisition codec, doesn't it? And that is CPU and GPU upgrades first, and may be Afterburner sometime later if it gets more functionality. Unless you are already capturing ProRes (=
That’s a feasible theory and sad if it’s true.
I hope they can reprogram the afterburner so that it’ll help with encoding prores, then it would make sense again, or even better, to help decode other high end codecs.

my biggest issue right now during projects though are not high end raw codecs (red will be solved with the new updates through the GPU), but are annoying codecs that are long GOP, like some Sony AVCHD files or so. They play back at 25fps, yes, but scrubbing feels waaaayy more sluggish than prores naturally.
i have the Vega II and im having doubts that a second GPU would help with that because currently even the Vega is barely firing up during playback..