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BlackMagic eGPU - Yes, I Know It's Mentioned In Other Threads... BUT!

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1 hour ago, Robert Collins said:

I'm not sure I agree. By the time you have bought your fan, external egpu and desktop monitor to recreate a fairly feeble desktop, you should realize that what you probably need is an iMac (pro). And if you need to save money and want to remain portable just get a fairly basic Macbook Pro 13.

What about if you want performance while in the studio but also need to retain portability?

For example for those who shoot travel films and will need something to do media management and the odd quick edit in the field, but who will return to the studio and will want more power.  Your solution proposes to have two computers, which is the least economical of all.

I've raised this point before, and it's not specifically aimed at you Robert, but there's a pretty significant undercurrent of "if you want high quality you have to shoot the way the pros shoot with a huge camera and shot lists and studio editing suites" or "if you want portability then you obviously don't care about quality - go and buy a camcorder and stop pretending to be a real film-maker" on these and other forums, and it's basically discrimination against the new types of film-making that technology is now enabling.

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16 hours ago, Don Kotlos said:

If you compare the 2018 to previous gen MBP in some heavy rendering task you will see what everyone means by i9 being limited. The performance gain will be very small ~10-15% and in some extreme cases it can be worse as well. That is far from the ~50% performance gain that you would expect theoretically from using 2 extra cores. 

[...]
In short, the current macs do not perform as good as expected. I am confident that apple can at least provide some remedy with a combination of wattage limitation after few seconds + some tighter coupling of fan speed and the temperatures. 

Thanks for running those tests, the heat issue pretty much maps with my experience with the first gen Touch Bar 15in MBP -- once temps get to 100C it's pretty much all over. I try to mitigate it by using iStat Menus to override system control of the fans and force the fans to run at full speed before I need to do something really heavy duty, and that seems to keep my CPU temp to the low 90s even at full utilisation. I'm wondering if you've run the test under that scenario and whether it would make any difference to performance?

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34 minutes ago, kye said:

What about if you want performance while in the studio but also need to retain portability?

For example for those who shoot travel films and will need something to do media management and the odd quick edit in the field, but who will return to the studio and will want more power.  Your solution proposes to have two computers, which is the least economical of all.

I've raised this point before, and it's not specifically aimed at you Robert, but there's a pretty significant undercurrent of "if you want high quality you have to shoot the way the pros shoot with a huge camera and shot lists and studio editing suites" or "if you want portability then you obviously don't care about quality - go and buy a camcorder and stop pretending to be a real film-maker" on these and other forums, and it's basically discrimination against the new types of film-making that technology is now enabling.

Forgetting the rant at the end there (which may make a lot of sense) but is a totally different subject.

I fundamentally disagree (in most cases) with the point I have highlighted in bold.

Generally speaking, video editors 'want' as much power as possible to 'render' video. And 'as much power as possible' (as well as quite a lot of disk space) is the complete antithesis of 'small light and portable'' in every sense - battery life, sound, efficient use of cpu/gpu etc.... So what you end up with imho is a massive compromise on both usually at a very large expense. Your laptop isnt very powerful or if it is, it isnt very portable. You can add an egpu, docking station, decent display and laptop fan but all you really end up with is a feeble desktop with no portability.

So if you look at all the add-ons for a Macbook Pro, they really appear to me to be trying to recreate a 'desktop replacement' in a 'minute form factor' and that is almost certainly a concept for an extremely 'expensive' solution to the underlying problem. It might be the right one for some people but I doubt it is for most. I would guess for most people who split there time from needing 'portability' and 'power' - actually two computers makes a lot of sense. 

 

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36 minutes ago, Robert Collins said:

Forgetting the rant at the end there (which may make a lot of sense) but is a totally different subject.

I fundamentally disagree (in most cases) with the point I have highlighted in bold.

Generally speaking, video editors 'want' as much power as possible to 'render' video. And 'as much power as possible' (as well as quite a lot of disk space) is the complete antithesis of 'small light and portable'' in every sense - battery life, sound, efficient use of cpu/gpu etc.... So what you end up with imho is a massive compromise on both usually at a very large expense. Your laptop isnt very powerful or if it is, it isnt very portable. You can add an egpu, docking station, decent display and laptop fan but all you really end up with is a feeble desktop with no portability.

So if you look at all the add-ons for a Macbook Pro, they really appear to me to be trying to recreate a 'desktop replacement' in a 'minute form factor' and that is almost certainly a concept for an extremely 'expensive' solution to the underlying problem. It might be the right one for some people but I doubt it is for most. I would guess for most people who split there time from needing 'portability' and 'power' - actually two computers makes a lot of sense. 

I think it probably depends on what kind of performance you're trying to achieve.

Adding an eGPU may not represent as much processing power per dollar as buying a dedicated desktop computer, but if it gives you sufficient processing power for your task then it might be the most economical option.  Your point about wanting as much processing power as possible is reasonable, however the usefulness of extra power is a diminishing returns equation.

If, for example, an eGPU gives your laptop sufficient power to edit 4K footage from your camera, then that might be enough.  

My MBP isn't able to stabilise footage in real-time, but that doesn't bother me.  It also can't play footage with grades applied in real-time, or render in real-time, but these are limitations I work around.  I suspect that these limitations are also things that quite a few other people would be willing to work around.  However, the fact my MBP can't play 4K footage from my camera in real-time is not something that I think nearly as many people are willing to work around.  I get around it by rendering lower quality proxy files which also mean I can fit lots of footage on the HDD in the laptop, negating the need to edit from an external HDD, which means I am even more portable.  

I suspect that eGPUs will mostly be used as a device to enable people to get real-time editing on their existing computer for less than the cost of a second computer.

There are also quite a number of overheads associated with maintaining a second computer that must be factored in too.  Im not familiar with PP or FCPX but having a second license for those, plus time configuring, applying upgrades, etc all contribute.  Personally, I replaced my previous laptop with another laptop knowing full-well that it gives less performance per dollar but it meant that I avoided all the overheads of a second computer, and all those moments when the cloud storage didn't sync / you forgot your USB HDD / the software didn't upgrade on both machines that risks you not having your files when you need them.

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according to macrumors,

Apple has also confirmed that all four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar are now full speed, compared to only the two left-facing ports on the equivalent 2016 and 2017 models.
 

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7 hours ago, jonpais said:

according to macrumors,

Apple has also confirmed that all four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar are now full speed, compared to only the two left-facing ports on the equivalent 2016 and 2017 models.
 

Yeah but does it have a SD Slot LoL?

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6 hours ago, jpfilmz said:

Update from Apple that fixes throttling issues with the i9.  Im getting much better cpu performance with it.  

https://www.macrumors.com/2018/07/24/apple-addresses-macbook-pro-throttling/

 

C1528726-8CB9-4BD0-BC0D-871EA09F3038.png

Still the Cinebench number is not great even compared to a Dell XPS 15.

And the 'fix' seems to have received limited enthusiasm.

 

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Adding to the rant - take a look at this video:

 

This guy is sure the power unit isn't build to feed the cpu and gpu with enough power simultaneously (Apple are not alone)

And another worrying detail - there are no way to get the data out of the machine should the motherboard burn. The ssd (apparently any size config) is soldered to the motherboard and there are no emergency connector to get the data off the soldered ssd on the MBP2018 models...

In general we are a bit in deadwater right now when it comes to laptop performance (mac and pc alike, considering the battery, heat and weight issues the gtx1080 based laptops have). Sure, the cpu and ssds are really fast. But memory bandwidth and finally GPU performance is really far behind. For realtime performance GPU(and fast SSD for video)  is so important - much more than the CPU.
So egpus are a necessity to easily expand gpu performance for laptops.
But the Blackmagic eGpu is too wimpy - a least offer a top end card too like a Vega64 16GB

And then there are the CUDA drylands in the macworld...with openCL being deprecated in the next MacOS update not sure where that leaves us. Metal2 is meant not only for 3d acc like directX but also as a compute platform?

Like Max I am a heavy mac user but hate when thing get sloppy cooked!

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Shirozina said:

You can't get around the physical limitations of a thin case.......

We are all going to have the same problem with Smartphone down the road. I think the folded optics thing is going to be the future on Phones, but it is not happening on ones that are 3mm thick! It Has to stop somewhere, and Apple with the no headphone jack, no SD card thing is pushing it Way too far too fast.

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On ‎7‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 10:03 AM, kye said:

What about if you want performance while in the studio but also need to retain portability?

I have a laptop and I can do editing on it or plug it into a monitor and work in a studio. No need for an external GPU atleast not yet.

It's a pc. It can coexist in a mac environment easy.

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On 8/8/2018 at 5:43 PM, hmcindie said:

I have a laptop and I can do editing on it or plug it into a monitor and work in a studio. No need for an external GPU atleast not yet.

It's a pc. It can coexist in a mac environment easy.

Same here.  It's just strange when a topic like "how can I boost the power of my laptop" comes up and people answer "buy a 24 ton supercomputer" and you're like "how on earth does that even make sense?" :)

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3 hours ago, kye said:

Same here.  It's just strange when a topic like "how can I boost the power of my laptop" comes up and people answer "buy a 24 ton supercomputer" and you're like "how on earth does that even make sense?" :)

It makes sense when you try to edit 4k highly compressed codecs 😉

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56 minutes ago, Shirozina said:

It makes sense when you try to edit 4k highly compressed codecs 😉

Changing your lifestyle makes sense?

So, when I bought a 4k camera I should have stopped editing video on the 2 hours per day commute that I had to my day job and instead edited video at home instead of spending time with my family?

Are you on drugs?

How about this - if you can edit on a desktop computer then why are you even in a thread about an eGPU which is clearly aimed at laptop users...?

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49 minutes ago, kye said:

Changing your lifestyle makes sense?

So, when I bought a 4k camera I should have stopped editing video on the 2 hours per day commute that I had to my day job and instead edited video at home instead of spending time with my family?

Are you on drugs?

How about this - if you can edit on a desktop computer then why are you even in a thread about an eGPU which is clearly aimed at laptop users...?

I have an eGPU that I use with my laptop. I use this at home when I don't want to edit in the studio. Without the eGPU the laptop overheats and slows down when I edit the GH5 UHD 400mbps codec. When I'm just editing UHD Pro Res I don't have a problem so I can get away without an eGPU and it even worked on my previous less powerful laptop. 

BTW - I'm not on drugs

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17 hours ago, Shirozina said:

I have an eGPU that I use with my laptop. I use this at home when I don't want to edit in the studio. Without the eGPU the laptop overheats and slows down when I edit the GH5 UHD 400mbps codec. When I'm just editing UHD Pro Res I don't have a problem so I can get away without an eGPU and it even worked on my previous less powerful laptop. 

BTW - I'm not on drugs

That makes sense..  

It sounded like you were suggesting that because some codecs require a lot of processing everyone should switch from a laptop to a desktop and completely lose all the benefits of having a portable computer.

The way I see it is that there are many stages of film-making in which a computer is required:

  • On set, ingesting footage
  • Reviewing dailies after shooting
  • Editing
  • Colour correcting
  • VFX / compositing
  • Grading
  • Titles and export
  • Archiving

If you use a laptop you can do all of the above with the one computer - with the same computer.  But then 4K H265 codecs appear and because you can't edit or grade that footage the advice is to switch to a desktop, which means maintaining two complete setups, or losing the ability to do many of the remaining steps.  There's an assumption that because grading requires a calibrated monitor and environment that you'll be doing all the other things in that environment too, which is complete bollocks.

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35 minutes ago, kye said:
  • On set, ingesting footage
  • Reviewing dailies after shooting
  • Editing
  • Colour correcting
  • VFX / compositing
  • Grading
  • Titles and export
  • Archiving

If you use a laptop you can do all of the above with the one computer - with the same computer.  But then 4K H265 codecs appear and because you can't edit or grade that footage the advice is to switch to a desktop, which means maintaining two complete setups, or losing the ability to do many of the remaining steps.  There's an assumption that because grading requires a calibrated monitor and environment that you'll be doing all the other things in that environment too, which is complete bollocks.

All the above is true. But none of it makes me think of using a Apple Laptop to do it using power hungry Codecs. Apple just seems to me to be on some suicide mission with video lately. They are becoming irrelevant in it with their design over usefulness thing.

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