iMac, ATI, 10.6, and OpenCL

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
I have been reading that Apple worked with nvidia on OpenCL and that leaves me wondering: will ATI see all the same GPU acceleration of nVidia?



I am looking to buy an iMac in the next few months, and am stuck deciding between the lesser nVidia 130 that can use open CL or the fast ATi that may not...

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


    I have been reading that Apple worked with nvidia on OpenCL and that leaves me wondering: will ATI see all the same GPU acceleration of nVidia?



    I am looking to buy an iMac in the next few months, and am stuck deciding between the lesser nVidia 130 that can use open CL or the fast ATi that may not...



    I asked a similar question in a thread at Ars. I was informed that all ATI cards series 2xxx and higher would be open cl compatible.



    Don't have a link to back it up though.\
  • Reply 2 of 11
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I asked a similar question in a thread at Ars. I was informed that all ATI cards series 2xxx and higher would be open cl compatible.



    Don't have a link to back it up though.\



    Thanks!



    Also, now that I think about it, when will we see a intel i7 quad imac?
  • Reply 3 of 11
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


    Thanks!



    Also, now that I think about it, when will we see a intel i7 quad imac?



    Well, I hope that I'm not misinforming you. I went to ATi's website and they have no mention one way or the other of open cl compatibility.



    Personally I have the last gen iMac with the 2600 pro card so I HOPE I'm correct, because it affects me as well.



    As for quad core iMacs, your guess is as good as mine.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,436moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    Well, I hope that I'm not misinforming you. I went to ATi's website and they have no mention one way or the other of open cl compatibility.



    The only GPUs listed as directly OpenCL compatible are the Firestream ones. However, Nvidia and ATI have their own drivers that directly manage the GPU and have their own SDKs for GPU programming. AMD/ATI have the Stream SDK and Nvidia has CUDA. It seems that OpenCL uses the drivers to achieve its goal. This is the case with CUDA as mentioned by someone from NVidia so CUDA compatible = OpenCL compatible. If it's the same on the ATI side regarding the Stream SDK, all of the 2xxx series cards are compatible. The X1600 cards and Intel GMA chips seem to be the only Intel GPUs that aren't compatible. They may find a way to use them to some extent but I would doubt it.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by a_greer View Post


    I have been reading that Apple worked with nvidia on OpenCL and that leaves me wondering: will ATI see all the same GPU acceleration of nVidia?



    I am looking to buy an iMac in the next few months, and am stuck deciding between the lesser nVidia 130 that can use open CL or the fast ATi that may not...



    Apple created OpenCL and then contacted Nvidia, ATI and Intel to work the spec and make sure it works with their chipsets. They then took it to a broader committee to be worked out amongst the many OpenGL members to endorse after it has been vetted.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,501member
    AMD ATi OpenCL Cards are all upcoming cards:



    http://ati.amd.com/technology/stream...u_history.html



    Quote:

    OpenCL Coming to a Computer Near You! (2009)



    Right after the release of the OpenCL 1.0 specification, AMD announced its intent to rapidly adopt the OpenCL 1.0 programming standard and integrate a compliant compiler and runtime into its free ATI Stream SDK.



    Even before the OpenCL 1.0 announcement, the ATI Stream Computing team had been busy implementing an OpenCL solution for its customers. Working from early specifications of OpenCL, the ATI Stream Computing team has already started running code on its initial implementation.



    AMD will be working closely with OpenCL content developers and ISVs to provide them with a developer version of the ATI Stream SDK with OpenCL 1.0 support in the first half of 2009. A public release of ATI Stream SDK v2.0 with OpenCL 1.0 support is expected sometime in the second half of 2009.



    Also in the first quarter of 2009, AMD will be releasing the AMD FireStream 9270 which satisfies the needs of the truly high-performance computing user. The FireStream 9270 delivers an impressive 1.2 TFLOPS of performance at a typical power consumption of 160W.



    http://ati.amd.com/technology/stream...ng/opencl.html



    Quote:

    OpenCL: The Open Standard for Parallel Programming of GPUs and Multi-core CPUs



    OpenCL (Open Computing Language) is the first truly open and royalty-free programming standard for general-purpose computations on heterogeneous systems. OpenCL allows programmers to preserve their expensive source code investment and easily target both multi-core CPUs and the latest GPUs, such as those from AMD.







    It looks to me they have a plan with OpenCL and leveraging a mixed use of Firestream and Radeon configurations.



    Introducing the new ATI Radeon? E4690 Discrete GPU is their next generation embedded chipset OpenCL1.x/OpenGL 3.x ready GPGPU.



    I doubt it too terribly difficult to surmise that their next line of ATi Radeons will be OpenCL 1.x and OpenGL 3.x ready.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    So... Are there any Macs with open cl compatible cards?



    I hope mine is as I doubt, with a dual core iMac, that Grand Central will be of much benefit to me. Open cl is really the only feature which has the potential to greatly enhance the performance of my iMac.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,436moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    So... Are there any Macs with open cl compatible cards?



    I hope mine is as I doubt, with a dual core iMac, that Grand Central will be of much benefit to me. Open cl is really the only feature which has the potential to greatly enhance the performance of my iMac.



    As above, if you have an X1600 GPU or Intel GMA, OpenCL will likely be of little use. Anything else should be fine but we don't know for certain about the ATI 2000 series - all we know is that they are compatible with the Stream SDK. All Nvidia chips are OpenCL compatible including the 9400M so basically every Mac that Apple sells now is OpenCL compatible.



    They would kind of have to be. There's not much point having the WWDC this Monday and saying they've introduced OpenCL only to say that it doesn't work with the majority of the Macs out there because an OS upgrade is intended for people to see a benefit. The switch to Nvidia across the lineup was a precursor to the OpenCL introduction. Even the updated Macbook Air will benefit from it.



    Nvidia's drivers have already been submitted for approval:



    http://news.developer.nvidia.com/200...nd-linux-.html



    and they will be done already on the Mac platform as Apple developed them along with the language itself. According to Nvidia, OpenCL isn't much different from CUDA so CUDA code that already exists (quite a lot) should translate into OpenCL very easily.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    jonnyboyjonnyboy Posts: 525member
    i also started wondering about this this week. i have the 1st gen aluminium 24" imac with ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO. i'm certainly hoping that it will be supported, seeing as it's a recent model as far as i'm concerned
  • Reply 10 of 11
    http://www.apple.com/macosx/specs.html



    According to this page, the ATI HD2xxx series will not support OpenCl.



    That's rather disappointing to learn. Any idea if Apple will add support to the other chipsets?
  • Reply 11 of 11
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chemeddy View Post


    http://www.apple.com/macosx/specs.html



    According to this page, the ATI HD2xxx series will not support OpenCl.



    That's rather disappointing to learn. Any idea if Apple will add support to the other chipsets?



    Yep. Big bummer for me.
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