Mac Pro’s latest GPU setup

We are huge fans of the original Nvidia GTX TITAN GPU at Create Pro, as well as the updated Nvidia GTX TITAN Black card. We weren’t so big on the TITAN Z as it’s triple slot setup wasn’t ideal for the Mac Pro.
With Nvidia’s latest release, however, they have won our hearts like never before. The Nvidia GTX TITAN X 12GB is quite simply the greatest GPU we have ever encountered. It combines by far the best CUDA performance we have ever seen with quite frankly astounding OpenCL performance, especially for an Nvidia GPU.

Put simply, the Nvidia GTX TITAN X is the undisputed king of CUDA. We have never seen a card this powerful. When testing CUDA performance we typically use an Octane Render benchmark test, as this application in particular is great for unveiling true CUDA performance due to its super tight integration.

The original GTX TITAN, which was no slouch when it came to CUDA, took 1 minute and 40 seconds to complete the Octane Render benchmark test.

The TITAN X? It absolutely demolished all competition by clocking in a blistering time of just 1 minute and 10 seconds. Simply breathtaking.

How about 2 Nvidia TITAN X graphics cards installed in a CUBIX PCI-e Xpander? Just 35 seconds. Check out the videos below to see both setups annihilate the CUDA benchmark test.Nvidia graphics cards haven’t always been known for their OpenCL performance, recent cards such as the GTX 970 & GTX 980 are strong performers however. The TITAN X on the other hand is another story altogether when it comes to OpenCL.
Lets look at the top spec AMD GPU configuration for the Mac Pro 6,1. The dual D700 6GB GPUs (based on the AMD 7970s) will score 3,500 in the LuxMark Sala benchmark test (higher is better).
In LuxMark Sala a single Nvidia GTX TITAN X will score an astonishing 3,100. If you use 2 externally? A massive 6,200. Keep in mind that you could also pair the external setup with another internal card for potential scores above 8,000. Quite impressive we think!
Check the screenshots below for exact scores.

Apples new silicon for faster editing time

So it has officially been confirmed that Apple will be leaving Intel and switching to custom Apple CPU’s, for its future line of Mac hardware. The switch to Apple silicon chips has been labelled as “a historic day for the Mac” by Apple CEO Tim Cook. The chips are taken straight from Apple’s A12Z that is in its iPad 2020. Theoretically, there should be a host of advantages that come from Apple-designed CPUs. But there’s also a host of questions that come with this announcement, for example, why did Apple decide to go it alone when they could’ve switched to AMD? Did they perhaps get sick of waiting for Intel with no guarantee that the chips will be good? It’s known that Intel have been trying for years to get a low wattage high-performance CPU out and maybe Apple simply couldn’t wait any longer and felt forced to do it theirselves. Sometimes if you want something done it’s best to do it yourself, is that the case with Apple silicon?

One advantage of Apple switching to Apple silicon chip is that Mac will now be able to run iOS apps along with macOS apps which is a significant development. According to Apple, most iPadOS and iOS applications will “just work”. While the first Macs with Apple silicon chips will not be released until the end of the year, it is certainly an exciting transition that Apple says will take 2 years.

Apple has said that their in house RISC architecture chips are designed for efficiency to gain higher performance per watt and can get better performance than Intel chips. Along with improved performance, they are touting less power consumption. And with every major Apple product now migrating to common technology and the ARM-based architecture, it should now be easier and more simple for developers to write and optimise apps across all devices. With the chips being such a major milestone and numerous benefits being attached to the changing from Intel chips, it is to be expected that Apple are going to switch out the chips without any other major changes allowing them to market a “brand new product” while highlighting performance and battery life as the major changes, so if you were expecting any major aesthetic and visual design changes from Apple this year with their Macs you may have a little longer to wait.

THE COST OF FILMING POST LOCKDOWN

You might think creativity would blossom during self-isolation and lockdown, more time and less outside stimulus can mean greater introspection and time spent with your craft. However, one creative industry that has ground to a standstill during the recent weeks’ events in the film industry.

Around 20% of the world population is currently under total lockdown, with no ability to leave their homes other than for food, medical supplies and exercise, shooting anything outside of your own home is theoretically prohibited. This is a huge roadblock for even a self shooter, but for film and TV industries worldwide this is practically a ban on working. Any serious production will require a crew vastly out-sizing current lockdown limits, aside from this, how do you shoot a scene with multiple people when they aren’t allowed within two metres of each other? Note that we aren’t complaining about current lockdown rules, we recommend you fully comply! This is just an explainer on the current situation.

We’ve heard of stories about product houses that have gone from a jam-packed 6 months to having every single shoot and production postponed. Post-production departments can continue with their current work remotely, but that won’t last forever with no new shoots on the horizon.

It’s not as if people can start work on all those passion projects they’ve always dreamed of, they aren’t even allowed outside, nevermind with a crew, no matter how stripped down. Of course, if you shot it 5 years ago you can finally get round to editing, but that only benefits a select few.

You could call this a perfect storm, lockdown means we are consuming more film and TV than ever, but it also means our capacity to produce this form of media has been crippled. We have all the time in the world to watch films, but no ability to make them. Even for the countries who aren’t under lockdown currently, producing is at worst impossible and at best irresponsible. Hopefully, lockdown won’t last forever, but it will be interesting to see how the film industry responds once restrictions start to be lifted and the public feels more at ease working together. It’s not as if the day the cinemas reopen we’ll be able to produce new films in a week’s time, the average Hollywood movie takes one and a half years to go from the start of pre-production to the end of post-production. Could we see a new film and television drought?

Perhaps there are ways around this though, it’s still possible to create animated films and media, actors can record voice-overs maintaining social distancing precautions and even remotely if needed. At the production house I work for, our post department is still functioning, we can still create media without having to shoot anything, and by extension, so can individuals at home. This can all be done remotely, from pre to post-production, with minimal human contact and no need to ever come within two metres of another human.

Further to this, what about films and TV shows relating to the natural world? With no need to shoot human interaction, social distancing can be maintained whilst outdoors, and as already mentioned, voice-overs and post-production aren’t issues. Indeed, with so much less pollution currently, has there ever been a better time to create such films?

We’re currently only at the beginning of what could be a very difficult few months, so this is all just speculation, it will certainly be interesting to see how this pans out for the film industry, an industry that touches so many of us and is currently so hard hit by the coronavirus. And as already mentioned, if you are under a lockdown or social distancing rules, don’t go breaking them to shoot a film, the world will still be here once we’re done with the Coronavirus.