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Extrapolating iMac Pro GPU Performance Using RX Vega 64

December 14th, 2017, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
December 18th, 2017, added 'Mac Editions' of Radeon HD 7950 and GeForce GTX 680

Someone with a seeded 2017 iMac Pro with Pro Vega 64 GPU posted their Geekbench 4 OpenCL Compute Score in the Geekbench Browser Database. That inspired us to compare that result to other Macs running the desktop version of the RX Vega 64.

Geekbench OpenCL Compute Test
Measures the compute performance of your GPU from image processing to computer vision to number crunching, Geekbench 4 tests your GPU using relevant and complex challenges.
(HIGHER Score = FASTER)

GRAPH LEGEND
Pro Vega 64 iMac Pro - AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64 (16GB) GPU inside the 2017 iMac Pro 3.0GHz 10-Core Xeon
Pro 580 iMac 5K - AMD Radeon Pro 580 (8GB) inside the 2017 iMac Pro 5K 4.2GHz 4-Core i7
Vega 64 nMP eGPU - AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 (8GB) GPU installed in Sonnet eGFX Breakaway box connected to a Thunderbolt 2 port of the 2013 Mac Pro 3.0GHz 8-Core Xeon; GPU connected directly to a Dell 5K display using dual DisplayPort cables.
Vega 64 cMP - AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 (8GB) GPU installed in 2010 Mac Pro 3.33GHz 12-Core Xeon with DisplayPort of GPU connected to a Dell 5K display.
GTX 1080 Ti cMP - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (11GB) GPU installed in x16 Slot 1 of 2010 Mac Pro 3.33GHz 12-Core Xeon with DisplayPort of GPU connected to a Dell 5K display.
GTX 1080 cMP - GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB) GPU installed in x16 Slot 1 of 2010 Mac Pro 3.33GHz 12-Core Xeon with DisplayPort of GPU connected to a Dell 5K display.
HD 7950 cMP - AMD Radeon HD 7950 'Mac Edition' (3GB) GPU installed in 2010 Mac Pro 3.33GHz 12-Core Xeon with mini DisplayPort of GPU connected to a Dell 5K display.
GTX 680 cMP - GeForce GTX 680 'Mac Edition' (2GB) GPU installed in x16 Slot 1 of 2010 Mac Pro 3.33GHz 12-Core Xeon with DisplayPort of GPU connected to a Dell 5K display.

Once we have access to the iMac Pro, we will do extensive benchmarking. Meanwhile, here are some "Pure GPU" benchmarks we ran with the RX Vega 64 installed in two different Mac Pros. The native High Sierra drivers for the Pro Vega in the iMac Pro open the way for the desktop version, RX Vega, to become essentially an Apple 'blessed' GPU upgrade for Mac Pro towers and (with the help of an eGPU box) Mac Pro cylinders.

DaVinci Resolve 14
Using the Candle project, we measured how fast it could playback the 117 frame video clip while applying one node of noise reduction. GPU Processing mode was set to OpenCL for all GPUs and we added CUDA processing mode for the NVIDIA GPUs.
(HIGHER Frames per Second = FASTER)

Luxmark 3
This two minute OpenCL Benchmark uses the selected GPU to render the LuxBall Scene. (HIGHER KSamples per Second = FASTER)

Geekbench 4 METAL Compute Test
(HIGHER Score = FASTER)

WHAT DID WE LEARN?
You may be planning to buy an iMac Pro with Pro Vega 64 GPU. However for a fraction of the price, you can upgrade your existing Mac with an AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 or 64. The beauty of this upgrade is that no hacks or firmware flashing is needed since it uses the native Radeon drivers that come with macOS High Sierra.

Depending on your model of Mac, you may also need an eGPU Box to connect with the Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 port. If you decide to buy the iMac Pro at a later date, you can always use the RX Vega and the eGPU box to add a second GPU.

As a reference point on performance progress, I added the last official 'Mac Edition' GPUs, the Radeon HD 7950 and GeForce GTX 680.

The only gotcha I see with the Vega is if you need CUDA support. AMD GPUs do not 'speak' CUDA. Here's an example of a "CUDA only" pro app to hammer home that point:

Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to email me,
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WHERE TO BUY THE AMD RADEON RX VEGA 64 GPU
B&H Photo Video sells various brand of Radeon RX Vega 64. Check also with NewEgg. Both also sell the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and various other Pascal NVIDIA GPUs.

WHERE TO BUY Thunderbolt 3 GPU expander boxes
Order the eGFX Breakaway Box direct from Sonnet Technologies or from B&H Photo Video.

The AKiTiO Node eGFX Box can be ordered from B&H Photo Video.

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