Monday, 24 September 2012

GTX 660ti in a Mac Pro and DaVinci Resolve 9

If you have been reading some of my other posts you will know that I have been experimenting with PC versions of Nvidia graphics cards in my Mac Pro.

I first tried the GTX 550ti but had some issues with the Mac coming out of sleep (this issue may have been fixed in the latest drivers)

I have now installed an EVGA GTX 660ti. My Mac Pro is running Mountain Lion 10.8.2, the latest Nvidia driver from here and CUDA version 5.0.36 here.

The Mac does not show a startup screen when booting into OSX but as soon as it gets to the login screen the display appears. The machine is stable under OSX and Windows 7.

The speed of the graphics card is excellent and running synthetic benchmarks I get very good results, however, one of the main reasons for installing this card was to get better performance in DaVinci Resolve 9, colour grading software from BlackMagic.

I recently came across this thread on the creative cow forums, about the "Standard candle" test for systems running Resolve 9.

Here you can download a test Resolve project and compare performance on your machine.

The link in that thread has expired, many thanks to Fernando for hosting the files here

Now some of the systems listed here are very powerful, with multiple GPUs but the standard system, based on a Quadro 4000 card, gives the following results:

V00 02 blur nodes 24 fps
V01 04 blur nodes 16 fps
V02 08 blur nodes 09 fps
V03 16 blur nodes 05 fps
V04 32 blur nodes 02 fps
V05 64 blur nodes 01 fps
V06 01 NR 2 nodes 4.5 fps
V07 03 NR 2 nodes 1.5 fps
V08 06 NR 2 nodes 0.5 fps

My system with the GTX 660ti gives these results:

V00 02 blur nodes 24 fps
V01 04 blur nodes 24 fps
V02 08 blur nodes 19 fps
V03 16 blur nodes 11 fps
V04 32 blur nodes 06 fps
V05 64 blur nodes 03 fps

I am only running the lite version of Resolve so I cannot test the Noise Reduction.

I am very impressed with the performance in Resolve and also in Adobe CS6

If any of you are thinking of running Resolve on a Mac Pro I would recommend the GTX 660ti as a budget card with excellent performance.

Just for clarity, my Mac Pro is the early 2008 3.1 model, with 14GB of 667Mhz RAM and is running just the 660ti as the GUI and GPU card. If I can pick up a GT120 cheap I may add that as the GUI card and would then expect faster performance in Resolve.

IOS6 Maps affect Tripadvisor searches?

Way off my usual topics (more on the GTX 660ti soon)

I was in Notting Hill the other day, looking for somewhere to have lunch, so I fired up Tripadvisor to look for local restaurants. One of the suggestions was the restaurant "Bahnhof Nord" which sounded good.

I was curious about the #10 of 28 restaurants in Bottrop so I clicked on the entry to check the address...

Hmmm... don't remember that being in Notting Hill...

Apparently it is though. :-)

I have to assume this is a problem with the new maps in IOS6 affecting the search in Tripadvisor.

Although curiously it does show the bing logo and copyright Microsoft and Nokia at the bottom of the map...

Just for fun I checked the directions which showed it was a seven hour drive away :-)

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Nvidia to release Kepler based Quadro for Mac

Nvidia's Quadro K5000
Nvidia have announced the launch of a new Quadro card for the Mac, the K5000. Based on the Kepler chipset, this will be the most powerful graphics card that has ever been available for the Mac Pro.

The previous Mac compatible card was the Quadro 4000, which had 2GB of RAM, 256 CUDA cores and a memory bandwidth of 90GB/s

By comparison, the new Kepler based K5000 has 4GB of RAM, 1536 CUDA cores (!) and a memory bandwidth of 173 GB/s.

Now obviously this kind of performance doesn't come cheap and the K5000 has a list price of $2,250 dollars.

When you consider the price of a fully specced Mac Pro for editing or 3D that's not too bad (of course cheapskates like me can continue to use cards aimed at gamers :-)

The K5000 can also be paired with a Tesla card to create a real GPU computing powerhouse called "Maximus" :-)

Click here for more info on the K5000 from Nvidia.

Or here if you want to know how to get better performance on the cheap.

Monday, 10 September 2012

New Nvidia drivers for Mountain Lion

Hi all,

Just a quick post, I'm still away.

Nvidia have released new drivers for Mountain Lion, Version 304.

You can download them here and new CUDA drivers here

I have not had a chance to test them myself so I accept no responsibility for problems. :-)

When I get back I will load them on my system and let you know the results.

Keep watching!