To those nMP owners who installed Windows

wheelhot

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 23, 2007
2,080
249
Hi,
I'm planning to purchase the nMP for my work but I only need 1 benchmark test before making the purchase and I hope one of you lucky owners will be able to help me here.

I'm looking for a Specviewperf 12 benchmark test. Thanks

:)
 

wheelhot

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 23, 2007
2,080
249
1. There are many professional softwares (eg: 3D CAD; Creo, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, NX) which makes full use of OpenGL workstation drivers (FireGL, Quadro), you're talking a double FPS or more improvements over standard gaming GPU drivers (Radeon, GeForce).

2. This test will determine if Apple supplied the nMP with real FirePro GPUs (card+driver) or just Radeon with the name FirePro sticked to it (card only)

Now for those who says FirePro and Radeon cards are the same, the simplified version is yes they are probably are pretty much the same card, but the BIG difference is the driver supplied for it which as mentioned, would be looking at double or more the performance gain on the FirePro over Radeon cards.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
115
Vancouver, BC
1. There are many professional softwares (eg: 3D CAD; Creo, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, NX) which makes full use of OpenGL workstation drivers (FireGL, Quadro), you're talking a double FPS or more improvements over standard gaming GPU drivers (Radeon, GeForce).

2. This test will determine if Apple supplied the nMP with real FirePro GPUs (card+driver) or just Radeon with the name FirePro sticked to it (card only)

Now for those who says FirePro and Radeon cards are the same, the simplified version is yes they are probably are pretty much the same card, but the BIG difference is the driver supplied for it which as mentioned, would be looking at double or more the performance gain on the FirePro over Radeon cards.
In addition to running this benchmark, wouldn't it be worth seeing if you can install the Catalyst Pro drivers in Windows? If they recognize the Dxxx cards as FirePro cards, aren't you golden?
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,104
236
In addition to running this benchmark, wouldn't it be worth seeing if you can install the Catalyst Pro drivers in Windows? If they recognize the Dxxx cards as FirePro cards, aren't you golden?
No. 7970GE have been softmodded to use the FirePro drivers in the past and absolutely no benefit was seen in benchmarks. I spent hours looking into softmodding (ironically, in a vain attempt to prove the W9000 was just a pile of overpriced gimmicks on top of a 7970) and found a forum of tinkerers who got the drivers to work, but that there really are special software advantages only the FirePros can take advantage of--it seems this is on the hardware level.

So in short: Benchmarks are necessary. Until then, you can refer to these as downclocked Radeons rather than Downclocked Firepros :)

Edit: Also, it'd be nice to see where they rank in terms of performance. A W7000 is $600 and a W9000 is $3500. In terms of this specific use-case, where do they rank?
 

wheelhot

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 23, 2007
2,080
249
Edit: Also, it'd be nice to see where they rank in terms of performance. A W7000 is $600 and a W9000 is $3500. In terms of this specific use-case, where do they rank?
Yeah, I'm disappointed that no one does a specviewperf test yet as it'll solve the whole "is it really FirePro GPU" and how do they rank compared to other AMD Firepros and Nvidia Quadros.
 

[G5]Hydra

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2004
151
0
2. This test will determine if Apple supplied the nMP with real FirePro GPUs (card+driver) or just Radeon with the name FirePro sticked to it (card only)

Now for those who says FirePro and Radeon cards are the same, the simplified version is yes they are probably are pretty much the same card, but the BIG difference is the driver supplied for it which as mentioned, would be looking at double or more the performance gain on the FirePro over Radeon cards.
Here's the problem with that supposition: Apple exerts great control over the drivers for all the GPU's under OSX. There aren't driver updates so much as there are OSX updates that contain the GPU driver updates. As I understand it AMD and Nv actually do most of the work under OSX but Apple still is the gatekeeper more or less and you don't get to sell any GPU's for Macs now that Apple doesn't include in the machine from day one. Apple is selling the Dxxx series FirePro's which are only sold in the nMP so the "D" series doesn't exist in the Windows world, or any other OS for that matter. If Apple is indeed getting a bargain deal to use specialty binned FirePro's at a reasonable price it isn't in the best interest of AMD to give them all the features FirePro's have under Windows for much less money.

AMD completely controls their drivers under Windows and I can't see how it would benefit them one bit to give the Apple only OEM "D" series the full feature set under Windows. I think this is 100% the reasoning behind the new "D" series naming to begin with. Apple gets GPU's that no one can really complain about being under-clocked W9000's or W8000's etc. because they aren't sold as the "W" series and it gives AMD full cover to not really support them the same way under Windows for the same reason.
 

wheelhot

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 23, 2007
2,080
249
Yes that could be true but why would AMD let Apple use the name FirePro? They can just name it Radeon and people wouldn't care that it doesnt come with a proper workstation GPU.

On the other hand, running a specviewperf test would solve this problem once and for all, the result would easily confirm if the driver supplied for Windows in the nMP is indeed FirePro drivers or Radeon drivers.

I'm hoping it's FirePro drivers as it'll make the nMP a huge bargain, regardless with ECC memory or not. More nMP sales = more sales for Apple = more sales for AMD, it's a win win situation for everyone, and take note that AMD needs to gain more marketshare in the workstation market as it's dominantly Nvidia Quadros, so it could still be a good strategy to supply the nMP with proper FirePro Drivers.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
115
Vancouver, BC
Sorry, (while we're waiting for someone to help us out here) I must be missing something (which is entirely likely given my ignorance of Windows these days)... But... Why does it matter what drivers Apple provides for boot camp? If they supplied the equivalent of Radeon drivers and the benchmark confirms that, wouldn't you still want to download the actual Catalyst Pro drivers from AMD, install them, and then do the benchmark to see if they work? Do you have to use the drivers Apple provides? Based on what little I know, the first thing I'd do once Windows boots, is replace whatever drivers Apple provided with the latest Catalyst unified drivers, and I'd start with the pro version. :confused:
 

wheelhot

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 23, 2007
2,080
249
Sorry, (while we're waiting for someone to help us out here) I must be missing something (which is entirely likely given my ignorance of Windows these days)... But... Why does it matter what drivers Apple provides for boot camp? If they supplied the equivalent of Radeon drivers and the benchmark confirms that, wouldn't you still want to download the actual Catalyst Pro drivers from AMD, install them, and then do the benchmark to see if they work? Do you have to use the drivers Apple provides? Based on what little I know, the first thing I'd do once Windows boots, is replace whatever drivers Apple provided with the latest Catalyst unified drivers, and I'd start with the pro version. :confused:
That's a good question, but from my understanding, chances are if Apple provides Radeon drivers instead of FirePro drivers, downloading FirePro drivers from AMD official site will not work, there's also the problem that there's no D300/D500/D700 listed in AMD site so I'm not even sure if you can even download drivers from the official AMD site.

Note: I've been using Nvidia all this while so I'm not exactly sure how AMD handles their Radeon and FirePro drivers.
 

motegi

macrumors regular
May 14, 2009
197
0
sydney.au
Sounds like you need two things.

Your benchmark using boot camp drivers.
Your benchmark using the latest catalyst drivers.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
115
Vancouver, BC
That's a good question, but from my understanding, chances are if Apple provides Radeon drivers instead of FirePro drivers, downloading FirePro drivers from AMD official site will not work, there's also the problem that there's no D300/D500/D700 listed in AMD site so I'm not even sure if you can even download drivers from the official AMD site.

Note: I've been using Nvidia all this while so I'm not exactly sure how AMD handles their Radeon and FirePro drivers.
I believe, liken Nvidia, AMD drivers are unified... One driver package covers all cards. And I believe AMD offers two driver packages, Catalyst for all Radeon cards, and Catalyst Pro for all their FirePro workstation cards. So again, while it may be telling what drivers Apple provides, it's not definitive proof of whether the Dxxx cards will actually work with AMDs FirePro drivers or not.
 

JordanNZ

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2004
683
116
Auckland, New Zealand
That's a good question, but from my understanding, chances are if Apple provides Radeon drivers instead of FirePro drivers, downloading FirePro drivers from AMD official site will not work, there's also the problem that there's no D300/D500/D700 listed in AMD site so I'm not even sure if you can even download drivers from the official AMD site.

Note: I've been using Nvidia all this while so I'm not exactly sure how AMD handles their Radeon and FirePro drivers.
Anand did that in his review. Although they appear a little buggy, they work.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7603/mac-pro-review-late-2013/9

Also.. In case anyone missed it.

http://www.amd.com/us/press-releases/Pages/new-amd-firepro-2013dec23.aspx
 
Last edited:

wheelhot

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 23, 2007
2,080
249
Anand did that in his review. Although they appear a little buggy, they work.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7603/mac-pro-review-late-2013/9

Also.. In case anyone missed it.

http://www.amd.com/us/press-releases/Pages/new-amd-firepro-2013dec23.aspx
Thanks for the link, I've read it and it's even more confusing as the control center shows FirePro and there's some FirePro settings and even ECC? (I thought its disabled?) yet it comes with CrossFireX instead of CrossFirePro. GPU and Aida detects it as Radeon 7900, so which is it?

I was actually looking forward Anandtech review on the nMP but disappointed that he didn't include a Specviewperf test to compare with other workstation GPU in the market and as you all know, it'll tell if the FirePros found in the nMP actually comes with FirePro drivers or not

:confused::(
 

JordanNZ

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2004
683
116
Auckland, New Zealand
Hopefully someone will actually test it....

Maybe it's worth asking in one of the other threads here. Someone has one with a D500 and was actually doing some Windows benchmarks.
 

Anim

macrumors 6502a
Dec 16, 2011
614
22
Macclesfield, UK
I think Wheelhot is invisible, he has been asking for this in most benchmark posts but people seem to skip his post. No idea why.
 

wheelhot

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 23, 2007
2,080
249
yeah, it seems I am invisible and I have no idea why people are skipping :(

I did asked the one who has the D500 but he's tight up on a project right now and felt that specviewperf benchmark will not contribute to other benchmark already made.

So I'm still looking for anyone else who has Windows installed to try out specviewperf 12 (AMD says no.12 benchmarks AMD FirePros better) and or probably 11 (cause there's more data to compare it with).
 

wheelhot

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 23, 2007
2,080
249
I'll do it when mine comes. That will probably not be very soon though :(
Est. Shipping in February I suppose? Though I heard that some people are getting their nMPs earlier then expected, so there's some hope ;)
 

JordanNZ

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2004
683
116
Auckland, New Zealand
yeah, it seems I am invisible and I have no idea why people are skipping :(

I did asked the one who has the D500 but he's tight up on a project right now and felt that specviewperf benchmark will not contribute to other benchmark already made.

So I'm still looking for anyone else who has Windows installed to try out specviewperf 12 (AMD says no.12 benchmarks AMD FirePros better) and or probably 11 (cause there's more data to compare it with).

Not specviewperf sorry.... But.. I think I replied with this video to one of your questions in another thread.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdLOh8MdU20&feature=youtu.be

If you skip to 3:55 in this video, you'll see a D700 running 3DMark showing it's using the FireGL drivers in Windows.
 

calaverasgrande

macrumors 65816
Oct 18, 2010
1,291
161
Brooklyn, New York.
I believe, liken Nvidia, AMD drivers are unified... One driver package covers all cards. And I believe AMD offers two driver packages, Catalyst for all Radeon cards, and Catalyst Pro for all their FirePro workstation cards. So again, while it may be telling what drivers Apple provides, it's not definitive proof of whether the Dxxx cards will actually work with AMDs FirePro drivers or not.
Actually both Nvidia and AMD have workstation and performance drivers. You can use the GeForce drivers on the Workstation cards, but not vice-versa (at least in my experience with the various QuadroFwhatevers on the PCs we have lying about here).
ATI...(oops...AMD) has drivers that are certified against specific applications as well for their workstation class cards. This is not something you see with consumer level cards because by their nature consumer level machines are multipurpose.
A workstation, conversely is single purpose. An edit bay, a CAD workstation, 3D graphics etc.
 

wheelhot

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 23, 2007
2,080
249
Not specviewperf sorry.... But.. I think I replied with this video to one of your questions in another thread.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdLOh8MdU20&feature=youtu.be

If you skip to 3:55 in this video, you'll see a D700 running 3DMark showing it's using the FireGL drivers in Windows.
Yup, I saw your video, nicely done btw. Yup, 3DMark does indeed identify it as FireGL drivers, but as I said in a couple of posts earlier, in Anand GPU and Aida test detects it as a Radeon GPU. Kinda confusing doesn't it?

Any chance you still have win 8 installed and run the specviewperf 12 and or maybe 11 as well? :p

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No im a 'January' but feels like foreverrrrrr
I know how that feels! My A7r took almost a month to arrive :rolleyes:

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Actually both Nvidia and AMD have workstation and performance drivers. You can use the GeForce drivers on the Workstation cards, but not vice-versa (at least in my experience with the various QuadroFwhatevers on the PCs we have lying about here).
ATI...(oops...AMD) has drivers that are certified against specific applications as well for their workstation class cards. This is not something you see with consumer level cards because by their nature consumer level machines are multipurpose.
A workstation, conversely is single purpose. An edit bay, a CAD workstation, 3D graphics etc.
Oh, that's rather interesting, never knew it was possible to install GeForce drivers on a Quadro before, I assume they is no improvements whatsoever in games for example?
 
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