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moebis

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 11, 2008
96
23
Slovakia
So I'm thinking about how powerful the current iPad Pro's are, and how easy it would be for Apple to make those processors available to the new Apple Silicon based Macs via thunderbolt or USB 4. Everything is already there, it worked with eGPUs, how hard would it be to plug your iPhone and iPad in and do a render in Maya or Modo with 18 cores available just by plugging them in?
 

cmaier

Suspended
Jul 25, 2007
25,406
33,446
California
So I'm thinking about how powerful the current iPad Pro's are, and how easy it would be for Apple to make those processors available to the new Apple Silicon based Macs via thunderbolt or USB 4. Everything is already there, it worked with eGPUs, how hard would it be to plug your iPhone and iPad in and do a render in Maya or Modo with 18 cores available just by plugging them in?

the overhead involved in the communications would make it not worth the effort.
 

moebis

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 11, 2008
96
23
Slovakia
the overhead involved in the communications would make it not worth the effort.

I'm not sure about that. We already do GPU acceleration over thunderbolt with eGPUs. USB 4 and Thunderbold have plenty of bandwidth, and it's just the I/O (I guess intel called this southbridge) that would be taxed. Also, talking about render farms, you're simply sending the alternate frames you want the external CPU to render, that is done on device and the output is sent back.... very very small overhead. So imagine the possibilities. You could get render acceleration on CPU heavy ray tracing projects just by plugging your iPad or iPhone in.
 

Boil

macrumors 68000
Oct 23, 2018
1,984
1,549
Just make future Apple TV models have a 10Gb Ethernet connection & build that render farm!
 
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cocoua

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2014
702
404
madrid, spain
I'm not sure about that. We already do GPU acceleration over thunderbolt with eGPUs. USB 4 and Thunderbold have plenty of bandwidth, and it's just the I/O (I guess intel called this southbridge) that would be taxed. Also, talking about render farms, you're simply sending the alternate frames you want the external CPU to render, that is done on device and the output is sent back.... very very small overhead. So imagine the possibilities. You could get render acceleration on CPU heavy ray tracing projects just by plugging your iPad or iPhone in.

this would imply a dedicated thunderbolt interface in the iDevice to do this. Don't count on it.

Complicated, expensive and not worth for Apple

IPhones dont even have USB3…
 

moebis

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 11, 2008
96
23
Slovakia
I guess its a shame then. Seeing all this powerful silicon sitting idle on our ancillary devices, it would be so cool to add this feature as part of Sidecar or something. Since it's all the same silicon in the future Macs and iPads, it would just be one of those magical things that Apple does and no one has to think about. Geez, this render is taking forever.... ah just plug my iPad in to take up some of the load. One can dream. ;-) ....speaking of Sidecar, the fact that the iPad can be used as a display device which consumes a ton of bandwidth, why can't the Mac talk to the cores on the attached device? Is it really that hard or not worthwhile? I remember setting up Modo on a couple of my extra MacBooks that were lying around just to do network renders like 8 years ago and it worked really well... and that was over wifi.
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...or even better, this could be built into OpenCL, where all of the attached CPU and GPU cores could be leveraged for intensive tasks like video editing/rendering effects (After Effects, Motion) or 3D like Maya and Modo.
 

JPack

macrumors G3
Mar 27, 2017
9,376
16,342
Look at how quickly the processor in the iPhone and iPad throttle. The chassis wasn't designed for sustained performance.

So even if Apple added Thunderbolt to the iPad, it would be limited in performance.
 

PortoMavericks

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2016
262
308
Gotham City
I'm not sure about that. We already do GPU acceleration over thunderbolt with eGPUs. USB 4 and Thunderbold have plenty of bandwidth, and it's just the I/O (I guess intel called this southbridge) that would be taxed. Also, talking about render farms, you're simply sending the alternate frames you want the external CPU to render, that is done on device and the output is sent back.... very very small overhead. So imagine the possibilities. You could get render acceleration on CPU heavy ray tracing projects just by plugging your iPad or iPhone in.

So, just to let you know, eGPUs are 27% slower than in the PCIe connection due to bandwidth.
 

moebis

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 11, 2008
96
23
Slovakia
These are all valid points, thanks for the responses, especially the thermal throttling and the thunderbolt limitations. Maybe sometime in the future. I thought this would be some low hanging fruit to add some quick value to the Apple ecosystem.
 

Hexley

Suspended
Jun 10, 2009
1,641
493
So I'm thinking about how powerful the current iPad Pro's are, and how easy it would be for Apple to make those processors available to the new Apple Silicon based Macs via thunderbolt or USB 4. Everything is already there, it worked with eGPUs, how hard would it be to plug your iPhone and iPad in and do a render in Maya or Modo with 18 cores available just by plugging them in?
Why not suggest this to Apple?

 
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