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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

Rat Rod Your iMac with an eGPU? Or Sell It And Build A Hackintosh?

May 25th, 2017, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

Should you 'hack' your iMac to run an eGPU with fast GPU? Or should you replace it with a Hackintosh or used Mac Pro tower?


The Rat Rod above is one of the creations from the Vegas Rat Rods show.

GRAPH LEGEND
cMP>1080Ti - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (11GB) GPU installed in 'mid 2010' Mac Pro tower with 3.33GHz 12-core X5680 Xeon, 96G of 1333MHz ECC memory, 512G SM951 PCIe flash boot volume
Hackintosh>1080Ti - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (11GB) GPU installed in the x16 slot of a Hackintosh with Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H main logic board, 3.4GHz Quad-Core i7-4770 CPU, 32GB of 1600MHz DDR3 memory, 512GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD boot drive.
iMac>Break>1080Ti - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (11GB) GPU installed in the eGFX Breakaway Box and connected to the Thunderbolt 2 port of a 'late 2014' iMac 5K with 4GHz Quad-Core i7-4790K, 32G of 1600MHz DDR3 memory, Radeon M295X GPU, 3TB Fusion drive.
iMac2015 - 'late 2015' iMac 5K with 4GHz Quad-Core i7-6700K, 64G of 1867MHz DDR3 memory, Radeon M395X GPU, 1TB PCIe SSD.
iMac2014 - 'late 2014' iMac 5K with 4GHz Quad-Core i7-4790K, 32G of 1600MHz DDR3 memory, Radeon M295X GPU, 3TB Fusion drive.

The GTX 1080 TI in the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box was connected directly via DisplayPort cable to the Dell UP2715K 27" display. The Hackintosh's GTX 1080 Ti was also connected to the Dell 5K display. The 1080 TI in the 2010 Mac Pro received aux power from the lower optical bay to insure against overpowering the PCIe bay's provision.

Blender - Lets you choose one or more GPUs to render a 3D scene with OpenCL or CUDA. As you can see from the graph, rendering with CUDA using just one high-end NVIDIA was much faster than even three AMD GPUs rendering using OpenCL.
(LOWER time in seconds = FASTER)

OctaneRender
This is a "GPU only" standalone renderer that can process scenes created in Maya, ArchiCAD, Cinema 4D, etc. -- and does so in a fraction of the time it takes with a CPU based renderer. However, it only runs only on CUDA capable NVIDIA GPUs. We used a test scene called octane_benchmark.ocs and selected RenderTarget PT (Path Tracing).
(LOWER time in seconds = FASTER)

DaVinci Resolve - Candle 1080p project playback renders Noise Reduction Node (1NR) on-the-fly. Preferences > Video I/O and GPU > GPU Processing mode set to OpenCL or CUDA. GPU selection mode was set to Manual allowing selection of GPUs to be used including the ones in the eGFX Breakaway Box.
(HIGHER frames per second = FASTER)

LuxMark 3 OpenCL - This benchmark lets you chose which devices are doing the rendering regardless of what display they are connected to and regardless of whether they are internal or external.
(HIGHER KSamples per Second = FASTER)

Valley OpenGL Benchmark - This animation uses advanced OpenGL extensions as it 'flies' through 18 detailed landscape scenes.
(HIGHER frames per second = FASTER)

Tomb Raider OpenGL game. We ran built-in Benchmark using High preset.
(HIGHER frames per second = FASTER)

WHAT DID WE LEARN?
1. A 4-core iMac connected to a 1080 Ti GPU in an eGPU Box and a 4-core Hackintosh with a 1080 Ti GPU can match or beat the GPU performance of a 12-core Mac Pro with a 1080 Ti GPU.
2. The Hackintosh and the Mac Pro tower allow
internal user serviceable upgrades that are not possible with the iMac 5K. However, adding an eGPU to the iMac 5K does provide equal GPU performance in most cases.
3. An added advantage of the Hackintosh is that, if, in addition to macOS, you are running Windows, the main logic board is
SLI and CrossFire certified.

Of course, when it comes to CPU intensive performance, that's a different story. You can never have too many cores and too much RAM. The graph below shows how the three Macs and one Hackintosh compare running CPU and memory intensive After Effects CC 2014 render of Total Training's Benchmark Project. Why "CC 2014"? Because Multiprocessing panel in Preferences lets you specify how many cores will render and how much RAM each core gets to use.
(LOWER time in Seconds = FASTER)

Watch for Part 2 of "Rat Rod Macs" comparing Storage upgrade options for the three Macs and one Hackintosh.


The above cartoon is by the famous "Big Daddy" Roth who is famous for his creation of various characters depicted abusing their hot rods.

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copyright 2017 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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