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  • Mac Studio review roundup: Incredible speed, that not everybody needs

    Incredible speed? Really...

    Blender 3.1 Benchmark. Blender Benchmark is superior to Cinebench IMHO as it tests multiple scenes with various complexity across CPU and GPU.

    M1 Ultra - 1132
    M1 Max  - 706

    RTX 3090 5552

    I guess Apple wasn't using this benchmark suite for their performance graphs.
    The Metal backend and Apple Silicon compatibility for Blender *just* came out and it's documented that it still has a ways to go with optimization. I don't think this is a fair test. 
    That Metal backend was developed solely by Apple so it is very much a fair test.
  • Apple's Mac Studio launches with new M1 Ultra chip in a compact package

    That's great, it's always nice to read someone else's journey.

    The CAD/BIM world is one that has avoided me over the years and I know very little about other than the market is dominated by Autodesk products in the UK. I've done my fair share of animations for architectural projects, not Archviz per se, but motion graphics for investors or planning committee approvals etc but zero experience in the nuts and bolts of doing the CAD. I wish you all the best in getting back into the 3D world and if there's any questions you think I can answer regarding rendering etc you're welcome to PM me here.

  • Apple's Mac Studio launches with new M1 Ultra chip in a compact package

    cgWerks said:

    Thanks for the in-depth background and information!

    Yeah, when I did a lot of CAD/3D work in the past (I spent over a half-decade heavily into it, then more as a hobby since), I was using Electric Image Animation System (dating myself there! I used to hang in forums with Alex Lindsay, people from ILM, people working on the Matrix, etc.) and a Spatial ASIS-based 3D CAD app (Vellum Solids -> Ashlar Cobalt -> Concepts Unlimited -> ViaCAD now. Same product.) I was doing mostly architectural design (in a mechanic sense, though!) and visualization.

    My scenes were HUGE and complex. I modeled every detail, so it wasn't like game design or even a lot of 'illustrative' architectural stuff. I was dealing with many millions of polygons (once tessellated for rendering) even back in the late 90s. EIAS was one of a few apps that could even handle that very well.

    I more recently learned Revit to get back into the industry, but who knows what I'll do on my own, as I want to get more into architectural visualization. BTW, EIAS has an update in the works, so I'm quite interested to see what they do. I'm probably going to start playing with Blender, as it has gotten quite advanced. I'm really interested in the huge number of renderers out there these days. Making a choice must be tough!

    But, from your post, it looks like how well the new Macs might do will depend a lot on which type of 3D you do, not just that you do 3D. I wouldn't have considered a lot of that, so thanks much! Great points about how all that shared RAM might be used. I was looking and even the 3080/3090 are in that ballpark of 800 GB/s (a bit above and below, respectively). If the speed is the same, then it shouldn't matter much if it is dedicated or shared RAM, I'd think. It just provides greater flexibility.

    Yeah, for video production, it looks like Apple will own that. And, yeah, at this point I just run one machine, which will be a Mac. But, if I start making money on my own with 3D work, then I'll pick the most money-making machine for that work (and probably use a Mac for everything else).
    Well I started out on Imagine 3d on the Amiga then Lightwave, then C4D. I now use Houdini and a bit of Blender. So who's dating who?

    Apple has a huge team of in house developers who have assisted greatly in porting Redshift, Octane and now Blender's Cycles to Metal. I saw yesterday that Apple is committing huge amounts of development to Blender, they are writing a new Metal backend so Blender runs right on top of Metal for the viewport and EEVEE which is Blender's real-time renderer, Cycles is Blender's photorealistic renderer. I also saw that one of the Apple developers say they expect to get more performance with Cycles in the coming months are they begin to lean more on the M1 architecture. So even for Apple it's an iterative process to getting the best out of the new architecture. BTW, I highly recommend Blender it has blossomed into an incredible App and Apple is playing a big part in its development. Blender is going places and it pays to know it as so many more studios are using it now. 

    It's still very early in the development cycle for M1 compatible Apps and developers are still finding their feet but it won't take long before everything is on M1 and highly optimised.

    As you're interested in Archviz, I would check out Twinmotion, Enscape also Unity and Unreal Engine as I know for a fact many of the biggest architect studios in the world are moving towards real-time rendering solutions because they fit so well for highly stylised and clean renders but you can also iterate so much quicker. The Mac Studio can access a huge amount of VRAM and if you make use of that in your Archviz work it could be quite the USP. To get an nVidia GPU with similar memory you'd have to spend more than a Mac Studio just for the GPU! There's definitely areas of opportunity for Apple Silicon Macs in 3D.

    The video editing market is now completely owned by Apple, they own it so much that a Mac mini performs better than a lot of high end PCs, that's not hyperbole, that's fact!

  • Apple's Mac Studio launches with new M1 Ultra chip in a compact package

    I hope in future versions Apple rebalances the CPU core vs GPU core mix. I'm sat here thinking a 10 core CPU + 128 GPU core would've been a much better balance for content creation for Mac Studio. So many applications take advantage of the GPU these days for effects, smoke and fluid sims that having 20 CPU cores seems a waste of silicon especially since traditional CPU tasks have been offloaded to onboard codecs and neural processors.

    If the Mac Pro is 2x M1 Ultra 40 CPU cores and only 128 GPU cores looks even worse balanced, knowing the software I use on a daily basis I wouldn't be able to keep 20 CPU cores busy let alone 40 CPU cores because over the years developers have pushed so much work to the GPU. I think the M1 architecture kind of looks anachronistic and old school. Give me a Mac Pro with 20 cores and 256 GPU cores or even better 512 GPU cores. I just don't see the content creator being that well served by large numbers of CPU cores in 2022.

    I'm sure the Mac Studio and Mac Pro will be kings of Cinebench, problem is no one I know cares about Cinebench scores because everyone is rendering on the GPU. Most creatives I know in the business are typically running 16 core CPUs and heavily invested in GPUs. Those who've got 32 core Threadrippers probably haven't got anything like good value from them.

    I'd be interested if any other content creator has similar views?
  • A maxed-out Mac Pro will cost you $53,000 -- without display

    jmey267 said:
    Stop with this max price crap who cares. But for comparison here you go HP Z8 G4 Workstation 28 cores, 2.2 GHz base frequency | Intel Xeon Platinum 8276 1.5TB (12x 128GB) of 2933MHz DDR4 ECC Registered Memory 4TB SATA3 2.5" Solid-State Drive Slim DVD Writer NVIDIA Quadro GV100 32GB NVIDIA Quadro GV100 32GB Intel X550-T2 | Dual-Port | RJ45 | PCIe 3.0 | 10GbE Network Adapter Intel 8260 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac & Bluetooth 4.2 PCIe Card Windows 10 Professional 64-bit $50,175
    The HP looks better value, the HP uses a $16,000 CPU. It'll also come with far better on-site service support and maintenance too.

    The real issue is the Mac Pro is being marketed towards creative professionals both video and 3D professionals. Creative pros like me are buying Threadripper based workstations and filling them with nVidia GPUs. At every price point the Mac Pro is at least twice the price and slower than an equivalent PC. You often read on this forum that Professionals are not price conscious, we are especially when we can build two faster workstations for the price of one Mac Pro. Why on earth would we want to spend more and get less?

    The real world is moving to PCIe 4.0, Threadrippers will be available in 48 and 64 core counts for a fraction of the price of Apple's upgrade price alone early next year. Next gen GPUs from AMD and nVidia are expect in the first half of next year which will make the mid range Vega GPUs in the Mac Pro look obsolete. Come on Apple that 580x in the base config is a rebranded 3 year old GPU! It's a sub $200 card in the real world!

    I agree stop with the Max Price nonsense and look at the real comparison between the state of art in PC tech and this anachronism Apple has just released. I can see absolutely no good reason to buy the Mac Pro as a creative professional.