Thunderbolt 2 and external video cards

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by linescreen, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. linescreen macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2002
    So I have heard that could connect external video cards to the new Mac Pro via Thunderbolt 2, and that there would be more than enough bandwidth to run them.

    So that would be good no?
  2. Giuly macrumors 68040


    What for? 13 Teraflops, 4K real-time editing while rendering effects in the background sounds plenty.
  3. linescreen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2002
    It seems everyone is worried that they will not be able to run Nvidia graphics cards, and it sounds like there could be a way.
  4. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

    Jul 21, 2012
    Right. Silverstone just showed an enclosure for GPUs together with a small PSU that you can connect via TB.
    That might be your way to go if you need CUDA (a pretty expensive way - a 3k+ machine plus 1k for a GFX Titan + enclosure....)
  5. Giuly macrumors 68040


    I guess by the time this becomes an issue, the software in question has been ported to OpenCL already.
  6. thedarkhorse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2007
    most people that need nvidia cards for CUDA work though benefit greatly from the high-end cards, which will be bottlenecked by the limited bandwidth of TB2 (20Gbps on TB2 vs 128Gbps on PCIe 3.0 x16).

    I think it will be best to wait and see what other options they offer for different tiers. Clearly they revealed the top top model to showcase the power vs the old model, if they expect real world sales the entry model will offer different GPUs and hopefully nvidia is part of that equation. Unless they plan only to market these to the likes of pixar and high end studios, which I can't see them doing myself.
  7. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    As with all GPGPU applications, their performance is directly related to not only the speed of the GPU, nor that plus the bandwidth of the connection, but also the processing/data ratio.

    If you need to perform a moderate amount of processing on a large amount of data, getting a Titan on a Thunderbolt connection will be completely pointless. It will be bandwidth limited, and you would probably be better just doing everything on the CPU.

    If you need to perform a large amount of processing on a small amount of data, or the application is such that the GPU itself is able to CREATE the data as well as process it itself, then the bandwidth restrictions won't affect performance, and a Titan (or six) on Thunderbolt will perform brilliantly.

    It comes down to what software, what process, what data, and how much programming skill/effort is involved in the software creation. There is no clear-cut YES/NO to your question.
  8. ThisIsNotMe Suspended

    Aug 11, 2008
    Everyone has a hard on for CUDA.....
    And what happens when every major developer updates their application to OpenCL.

    Adobe is doing it.
    BlackMagic is doing it - And says the new Mac Pro kicks serious ass.

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