2013 Mac Pro cylinder with AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT GPU running under macOS 10.15.1 Catalina
November 6th, 2019 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
We connected the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT to the 2013 Mac Pro 'turbo tube' using an eGPU box. We then compared its performance to the internal AMD FirePro D700s. Ditto for two other external GPUs.
VII = Radeon VII (16GB HBM2 memory)
5700 XT = Radeon RX 5700 XT (8GB DDR6 memory)
RX 580 = Radeon RX 580 (8GB GDDR5 memory)
D700s = Dual FirePro D700s (6GB GDDR5 memory each)
TEST NOTES: 2013 Mac Pro 8-core 3.0GHz Xeon E5-1680 CPU, 64GB of 1866 MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM, OWC Aura Pro X2 1TB PCIe-based flash module mounted internally. External GPUs were mounted in eGPU boxes and connected to the lower left Thunderbolt 2 port. A Thunderbolt 3 adapter connected the other end of the cable to the .1 TB3 port. We ran the purge-wrangler-master 'Setup eGPU' function after installing macOS Catalina to insure stable operation.
Blender 2.79 - OpenCL Render of BMW Demo Scene
(LOWER Time in Seconds = FASTER)
DaVinci Resolve 16.1 - Real Time Noise Reduction
Using the 1080p Candle Project, we applied the "1NR" preset and started playback. We rendered using both Metal and OpenCL. (HIGHER Frames per Second = FASTER)
Using the 1080p Candle Project, we applied the "3NR" preset and started playback. We rendered using both Metal and OpenCL. (HIGHER Frames per Second = FASTER)
Final Cut Pro X 10.4.7 - BruceX Test
Exported the BruceX sample 5K project to ProRes 4444 XQ. (LOWER Time in Seconds = FASTER)
Motion 5.4.4 - Render RAM Preview
Performed a Render RAM Preview on the 600 frame Atmospheric-Open sample project. (LOWER Time in Seconds = FASTER)
TW: Three Kingdoms - 2K Benchmark
Used the built-in Battle benchmark. (HIGHER Frames per Second = FASTER)
TW: Warhammer II - 4K Benchmark
Used the built-in Skaven benchmark. (HIGHER Frames per Second = FASTER)
WHAT DID WE LEARN?
The $400 AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT beat the $700 Radeon VII running Blender OpenCL 3D Render and DaVinci Resolve's triple node Noise Reduction looping playback. It beat or tied the RX 580 in all other tests.
The dual FirePro D700 GPUs inside the 2013 Mac Pro were both fully active in the Motion render RAM preview. The active pair also beat the single RX 580 in the DaVinci Resolve tests. You can add a second RX 580 eGPU but, for some reason, the Mac Pro cylinder refuses to use both in Motion and Final Cut Pro. Ditto for the iMac Pro. However, the 'old' Mac Pro tower DOES use dual RX 580s to render in those apps.
Though the D700s can combine with external eGPUs in the Resolve and Blender tests, doing so provided no advantage.
The external GPUs reported best game frame-rates when connected directly to our Dell UP2715K display using the GPU's DisplayPort.
BTW, all three external AMD GPUs tested support 5120x2880 (5K) when we connect dual DisplayPort cables to our Dell UP2715K 5K display.
As noted above, we ran the purge-wrangler-master 'Setup eGPU' function (in Terminal) after installing macOS Catalina.
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copyright 2019 Rob Art Morgan
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