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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

2019 Mac Pro with Afterburner - Part One

April 21st, 2020 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

We are just getting started probing how Apple's Afterburner Card enhances the 2019 Mac Pro's performance.


Apple Afterburner Card

GRAPH LEGEND

With Afterburner
= Afterburner installed and active in 2019 Mac Pro 12-core
Without Afterburner = Afterburner removed from 2019 Mac Pro 12-core (or disabled in DaVinci Resolve Preferences)

TEST MULE
2019 Mac Pro 12-core 3.30GHz W-3235 CPU, 96GB of 2933 MHz DDR4 ECC memory, 1TB PCIe based flash internal storage

DaVinci Resolve 16.2 - 8K RED to 4K ProRes 422
Note how much the CPU load drops when the Afterburner Card is active. (LOWER CPU load percentage = FASTER)

DaVinci Resolve transcode from 8K RED to 4K ProRes 422

DaVinci Resolve 16.2 - 8K ProRes 4444 XQ to 4K ProRes 422
Note how much the CPU load drops when the Afterburner Card is active. (LOWER CPU load percentage = FASTER)

DaVinci Resolve transcode 8K ProRes 4444 XQ to 4K ProRes 422

 

WHAT DID WE LEARN?

We were hoping that the encoding would go faster with the Afterburner installed and active. It is apparent that not every encoding scenario is accelerated by Apple's Afterburner Card. In fact the 8K ProRes 4444 XQ to 4K ProRes 422 encoding task completed faster withOUT the Afterburner.

NOT JUST ABOUT SPEED: What was dramatic, however, was the drop in CPU load when the Afterburner was installed and active. That's what we highlighted in the graphs above.

What you see is the Afterburner taking over the work normally done by the Mac Pro's main processor.

We use the term "installed and active" because, in the case of DaVinci Resolve, you must go to Preferences > Decode Options and check "Use Afterburner if available."

We will continue to experiment with various sample assets and will post more results -- especially when we are able to create a scenario where the Afterburner shortens the render time or speeds up the playback speed.

Meanwhile, check out this YouTube review of the Afterburner Card. The benchmarking starts at the 3 min 35 sec mark.

 

Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to email me, Follow me on Twitter @barefeats.

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Funding of 2019 Mac Pro test unit for BareFeats Mad Scientist on his 75th Birthday

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copyright 2020 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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