OS X 10.8.3 and NVIDIA 6xx OpenCL Benchmarks

Discussion in 'Graphics' started by MacMan, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. MacMan

    MacMan Administrator Staff Member

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    Mar 25, 2013 #1
    MacMan

    MacMan Administrator Staff Member

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    opencl.png With the release of OS X 10.8.3, users have noticed a significant decrease in OpenCL benchmark numbers using LuxMark on NVIDIA 6xx Kepler based video cards. I have done a number of tests, and have concluded that with the new drivers in 10.8.3, the benchmarks are now accurate, whereas in earlier versions of OS X they were not. I will attempt to explain why.

    Before we discuss LuxMark and it's results let's first look at the hardware specifications for NVIDIA 4xx / 5xx (Fermi) and 6xx (Kepler) cards. Both GPUs have what is called a SM or streaming multiprocessor that is a highly parallel multiprocessor. In Kepler GPUs, NVIDIA has made major changes to the SM architecture and is now calling them SMX for Next Generation SM. For those who really want to learn the details I recommend reading this pdf from NVIDIA detailing the Kepler architecture and how it compares to Fermi. The key change is that NVIDIA has reduced the number of SMs but increased the number of CUDA processors per SM. The end result is an improvement in gaming performance and a decrease in raw computing power (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2402021,00.asp). To summarize the differences, a Fermi GPU can have up to 16 SMs and Kepler can have up to 8 SMXs.

    Now that that is out of the way let's look at LuxMark. It's using OpenCL to measure compute power by using all the SMs it has available. The issue is that the OpenCL support in 10.8.2 was broken and misreporting the # of GPU units and clock speeds and was miscalculating results. My EVGA GTX 670 has 7 SMs and a 980 MHz clock, but Luxmark running on 10.8.2 reports 28 SMs and a 705 MHz clock as seen here.

    GTX 670 10.8.2.png
    10.8.2 LuxMark

    Now on 10.8.3, Luxmark reports the correct specifications of 7 SMs and a 980 MHz clock as seen here.

    GTX 670 10.8.3.png
    10.8.3 LuxMark

    Furthermore, when running LuxMark in Windows, performance numbers are the same or lower than those in OS X 10.8.3. This is evident when comparing scores in the LuxMark results database.

    The root cause for the performance decrease is twofold. One, the reduction in the SM count in Kepler. And two, NVIDIA not optimizing their OpenCL drivers to take advantage of the increased CUDA cores. These two changes combined with inaccurate reporting by 10.8.2 drivers have caused the decrease in OpenCL benchmark scores. In summary, OpenCL for Kepler was broken in 10.8.2 and has been fixed in 10.8.3.

    Related Posts:
    10.8.3 - Luxmark OpenCL Scores Significantly Lowered
    Optimizing NVIDIA GeForce 4xx and 5xx Graphics Cards Using OpenCL and CUDA

    LuxMark Official Information and Downloads
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2016
  2. Coolz

    Coolz

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    Mar 25, 2013 #2
    Coolz

    Coolz

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    With my 670, I only noticed benchmark reductions... everything else seems just as fast as before. Thanks for the time and effort you put into letting us know the facts!
     
  3. MacAndor

    MacAndor

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    Mar 25, 2013 #3
    MacAndor

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  4. bughyz

    bughyz

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    Mar 25, 2013 #4
    bughyz

    bughyz

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    I am running a UP5TH with an ASUS GTX 650 TI. Do I need to enable 10.8.x OpenCL Patch in Multibeast?
     
  5. markart

    markart

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    Mar 25, 2013 #5
    markart

    markart

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    Article: OS X 10.8.3 and NVIDIA 6xx OpenCL Benchmarks

    Hello, very interesting.
    I have a gtx 550 ti (with lion 10.7.4). I would like to move to Mountain lion but I have to upgrade the GPU.
    I do not play, but I do video editing and use Adobe premiere, after effect, final cut, potoshop etc. ... maybe it is better to fermi a card for me? ... 570/GTX GTX 580 vs GTX660 ti / GTX 670?

    Fermi card 570 and 580 are fully supported in Mountain Lion?
    Sorry for my bad English. Hello.
     
  6. Darky57

    Darky57

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    Mar 25, 2013 #6
    Darky57

    Darky57

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    Great article! Thanks for clearing that up.
     
  7. inactive-user

    inactive-user Guest

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    Mar 25, 2013 #7
    inactive-user

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    Article: OS X 10.8.3 and NVIDIA 6xx OpenCL Benchmarks

    Thanks for the info!

    Well, i have a nVidia GTS 450, i just want to share my Score, maybe someone could tell me if this score is normal or not?

    thanks in advance.
     

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  8. PJALM

    PJALM

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    Mar 25, 2013 #8
    PJALM

    PJALM

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    Article: OS X 10.8.3 and NVIDIA 6xx OpenCL Benchmarks

    What score and what GFX card?

    Never mind, the picture wasn't showing.

    Here is mine.

    View attachment 50697
     
  9. miv79

    miv79

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    Mar 25, 2013 #9
    miv79

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    Thanks MacMan, interesting reading... :)
     
  10. Bimmer325Ci

    Bimmer325Ci

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    Mar 25, 2013 #10
    Bimmer325Ci

    Bimmer325Ci

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    Great write up, thanks!!!
     

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