11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 30, 2014 4:10 PM by AnticipateMedia

    New Mac Pro 8-core / D700 not much faster than an iMac... in PPro CC.

    AnticipateMedia Level 1

      So.... my very preliminary testing with our new Mac Pro using the plugin I use most (filmconvert -FC) anyway, shows that Premiere CC needs more optimization for the dual GPUs. In fact, I'd say the CPU utilization is not up to snuff either.


      I know FC only uses one GPU presently from the developer. That will change. In the meantime, using a couple of typical projects with that plugin as an example, I'm only seeing 25-45% speed up in renders over our maxed out iMac (late 2012, 27") exporting the same project. That's significant of course but not the 100%+ one would think we would be seeing at the least given the MacPro config of 8 cores and dual D700s. Premiere Pro CC seems in fact to never maximize CPU (never mind GPUs). I have yet, in my very limited testing, see it "pin the meters" like I did on the iMac.


      Of course that's just testing now two short (under 5 min) projects, and it depends on what one is doing. Some stuff is much, much faster like Red Giant's Denoiser II or Warp Stabilizer VFX. The improvement there can be 3-4x faster anecdotally.  I used to avoid them for speed reasons unless absolutely needed a lot of the time but now they are fast enough to rely on quickly. Other stuff unrelated top PPro CC like DxO PRIME noise removal on RAW stills is much faster too, as is Photoshop CC.  Some effects like blur, sharpening, resize there are nearly instant now even on giga pixel files in Photoshop CC.


      And of course FCPX is much faster on it but I hate the whole editing paradigm. The timeline is just horrid on it; simple things like replacing a word in someone's dialogue is a multi click, multistep process that is nearly instant in Premiere and most every other NLE. Just to try to see your whole timeline is a chore, to see what your edits and sound are in detail are problematic, trying to keep things in sync is a chore, and you can't even zoom your timeline window to full screen! If anybody has edited for any amount of time, I do not understand how they use FCP X. If they start with that program, for example if they are young, then that is a different beast.


      I'm sure Adobe will improve over time. They have to to stay competitive. In the meantime I'll take my 45%... but I wish I saw much more improvement given the cost and hardware differential. Unfortiunately, for now, the mainstream reviews I have seen regarding PPro performance on this machine were right.

        • 1. Re: New Mac Pro 8-core / D700 not much faster than an iMac... in PPro CC.
          ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

          Codecs and FX can decide how well media threads during processing. Some Codecs dont thread well as well as some players dont thread as well as others. Many FX especially 3rd party do not thread well or are just now getting the multithreading optimizations done. These unfortunately are out of Adobe's control. The GPU acceleration performance is due to Open CL versus Cuda. It is going to take time for Adobe to refine the memory management with their Open CL and until then, the performance with the nMPro is going to be less that what you see with Nvidia systems since CUDA is far more mature at this point. That is the sacrifice you make with getting the nMPro. GPU acceleration as a whole is still in it's infancy. There is still some considerable development time ahead before it matures.




          • 2. Re: New Mac Pro 8-core / D700 not much faster than an iMac... in PPro CC.
            AnticipateMedia Level 1

            Very good response, thank you. I agree on all points. I know that Filmconvert in particular is a very processor intensive plugin (it does thread well at least) but it only uses one GPU for now, per the developer.  I have also noticed FCPX is much better at ProRes export speed than Adobe. I thought Adobe used a 64 bit process now for QuickTime? All I ever see loaded is the 32 bit helper. Maybe I am looking at the wrong thing.


            All of what you said considered, I am still seeing that boost. It translates to an hour saved (give or take) for every 4 hours of export. So that's an hour back for other things... and worth every penny. I just wanted two hours, because I know the hardware can handle it. That is, when it isn't crashing. That's another post.... the machine going to sleep during exports then losing all drives attached to it and rebooting. It's a known Mavericks issue I guess; I hasd to shut down all power savings for now.

            • 3. Re: New Mac Pro 8-core / D700 not much faster than an iMac... in PPro CC.

              Last I checked, Premiere CC uses both GPUs on the Mac Pro, as seen here... http://blogs.adobe.com/premierepro/2014/01/newgpusincc.html


              Regarding CPU usage, the first factor when it comes to threading is the codec, and what amount of threads it takes for the player to decode it. This means its dynamically based on the media and the player. Last I checked, Premiere is capable of using multiple cores (all of them if needed).


              The issue I see with the new Mac Pro is that its been hyped up way too much, and now that its being put to the tests with different software (like Adobe), its true colors are coming through, which would be that its no faster than other machines, and in some cases its slower. Now its by no means a bad machine, but certainly not anything world shaking, as some have claimed it to be when it comes to editing.

              • 4. Re: New Mac Pro 8-core / D700 not much faster than an iMac... in PPro CC.
                AnticipateMedia Level 1

                It only uses one GPU until export, which is widely documented by Adobe. The latest version only whitelisted the card.


                Premiere does not max out the 8 cores on the new Mac Pro except in minor cases while exporting for a moment here or there (for ProRes out). FCPX does. What is your experience with the new Mac Pro, are you seeing all cores being utilized?


                I do agree with your last statement. Aside from software tuned for it (FCPX, LuxRender, Neat Video, etc)... it's actually slower in some cases than a 2010 Mac Pro. Which was cheaper even then. This is odd.


                Don't get me wrong, for what I do (video editing) the Mac Pro as shown with FCPX has some amazing potential and it's by no means "slow" so I am happy with it. It's faster than my previous already pretty damn fast iMac. But it'll take some time for apps to get better, if Apple even supports them properly - for all others except in specific use cases I wouldn't recommend the new Mac Pro... yet.


                More reading: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/01/two-steps-forward-a-review-of-the-2013-mac-pro/ - apparently Apple's OpenGL drivers suck and the OpenCL is an enigma.

                • 5. Re: New Mac Pro 8-core / D700 not much faster than an iMac... in PPro CC.
                  ONeillSG Level 1

                  Yes, that is true, just like any other machine. Only one GPU is used while editing, but both are used while exporting. However, all decoding/encoding is done by the CPU. I believe FCPX works the same way. All decoding/encoding is done by the CPU, and some effects and other things are offloaded to the GPU.


                  I do not have a Mac Pro, so I can only go on what others have said on other media related sites, as well as my own experience with Premiere. One user with the previous gen Mac Pro (dual 6-core) mentioned that he has seen extensive usage of all cores, particularly when sending rendering to AME. I recently did a test on my machine (5 year old, 8-core BOXX) and I exported a 1080p animation using h.264, and all 8 cores were being used. They were not maxed out at 100%, but all 8 were being used, and occasionally hit 80%. I have yet to monitor the CPU usage with other formats to see how they do.


                  As far as the article you posted, you'll have to excuse my blunt response, but I do not care at all for the author of that article. He is a member of another CG site that I often visit, and I do not care for his attitude, nor the way he has talked about his readers in the past. So please dont take it personally if I choose not to read the article or give it any attention or merit.


                  But with all that being said, I think that more work needs to be done on the codecs for better multi-threading. Hopefully we'll see some improvements soon.

                  • 6. Re: New Mac Pro 8-core / D700 not much faster than an iMac... in PPro CC.
                    ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                    Unfortunately right now the nMPro just doesnt have the processing power available since there isnt a Dual CPU option. Apple decided to move to a GPU acceleration based system when the GPU acceleration development just isnt there yet. There is no way a single 10 or 12 Core CPU can push 2 of those D700 cards to their processing capability with the way GPU processing is done in the Media Content Creation industry. The performance is decided by how fast the CPU's can get the data decoded and transited to the GPU's so the single CPU is lowering the performance capability of the system as a whole. 2 GPU's dont add much if both are only running 50% load while the CPU is 80 to 100%. The Dual Xeon E5 V2 2697 systems however are handling the processing of Red 5K at 1/2 res with ease and not even using half the processing available. From what I am hearing the nMPro is having trouble with 1/2 Res even in FCPX which has the most optimizations for the current configuration. OSX and Windows are pretty much even in performance so the difference at this point is strictly hardware and the application. Considering the Price tag of the nMPro is close or equal to a Dual Xeon, there is not much reason to move there unless Mac is the only option for the client.




                    • 7. Re: New Mac Pro 8-core / D700 not much faster than an iMac... in PPro CC.
                      AnticipateMedia Level 1

                      That statement about 4k/5k in Premiere CC with the nMP is false, insofar as performance goes.


                      I just tested 5K Red raw files just dragged into Premiere Pro CC (latest version). I expected this to be slow, given my HD experience. However, on my 8 core/D700, I can play 1/2 just fine, full speed. And I even can also do that with a very streneous plugin/filter attached - FilmConvert (in OpenCL mode), also at 1/2 which is quite impressive. I can even add a bunch of other Premiere filters and SG looks and it still stays at full speed at 1/2.


                      Ironically, this is quite faster than FCPX which can't seem to play back 5K at all with that filter attached (it doesn't stutter, but it's not smooth... low resolution at "best performace" and reduced frame rate). Even if I remove all filters FCPX plays back Red 4k (again not transcoded) about the same as CC at 1/2, but with a seemingly lower resolution to keep it smooth.  It's a head scratcher. It's like Adobe's Red handling is much better coded than Apple's in this case.


                      Or... it has to be attrituable to that particular plugin (other FCPX motion-based plugins don't suffer the same fate and are fast). But either way, filter or no, Premiere Pro CC is definitely and sharper looking at 1/2 when cutting Red 4k/5k with no transcode, playback in real time, than FCPX which needs to bump it down to what looks like a 1/4 or less rez to keep it smooth. So I have no idea what is going on.


                      This experience is the opposite with HD, where FCPX is significantly faster (using the same filters/plugin, using C300 Canon XF for HD and 4 and 5K RedRaw alternatively).  Premiere seems slower in HD than FCPX by a good amount in HD and signficantly faster with Redraw 4k. Go figure.

                      • 8. Re: New Mac Pro 8-core / D700 not much faster than an iMac... in PPro CC.
                        AnticipateMedia Level 1

                        FCPX uses both GPUs while playing back/editing/transcoding too.  Premiere CC 7.2 doesn't. Both use both GPUs on export, with FCPX seemingly doing more of it. This is in HD mind you; see my most recent post here for RedRaw 4k where Premiere seems to have a leg up.. it's like opposite world. (That's why it's good to have multiple NLEs....)


                        On my 4 core iMac, Premiere CC did indeed max out all cores. On my 8 core model, it only does briefly. It must top out at 6 cores or something, which is not unusual. AME seems to be around what you mention but it is slower than export right from Premiere by about 10%. (no idea why.)


                        AE is a different beast; it uses every CPU cycle it can.


                        I am exporting ProRes so I can't speak to any other codec except H264.  H.264 one pass is faster on my iMac due to quicksync, I can tell you that.


                        I re-read the article and I understand the concerns. The review shows the nMP to be quite fast but he still kind of trashes it for certain graphics needs, which I didn't understand.


                        Agreed on multithreading for codecs. And more GPU usage... you would think transcoding would be the perfect workload for them!

                        • 9. Re: New Mac Pro 8-core / D700 not much faster than an iMac... in PPro CC.
                          ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                          CC threads out to as many threads as the codec/FX used will require. There is not a threading limitation. The 4K/5K performance being reported is what the users are experiencing. Each project and workflow is different so I am not surpised they are seeing performance issues. I have a single 12 Core E5 V2 on my my bench and 1/2 Res will push that system though it can play it back. There just isnt the processing headroom left that the Dual Xeons have for that media with realtime playback.



                          • 10. Re: New Mac Pro 8-core / D700 not much faster than an iMac... in PPro CC.

                            What is your storage? Is it the same as your iMac?

                            • 11. Re: New Mac Pro 8-core / D700 not much faster than an iMac... in PPro CC.
                              AnticipateMedia Level 1

                              I work off a 10TB Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID, so yes same storage; I get anywhere from 500-800MB/sec sustained out of it depending on how full it is. My iMac never had any work on, just apps and itunes, etc. Now on nMP there is a 512GB SSD that stores my apps, and another SSD for music and so forth. All work remains on the RAID.