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Intended FCPX machine: trials and tribulations (obviously; where's the fun if there aren't?)

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I built my machine hoping for a Final Cut Pro X 10.1 and beyond powerhouse.

I'm not saying it isn't great; it's far better than the iMac I'm coming from, but I have to say I've been glued to this site (and others that shall remain unnamed) trying to figure out my best GPU options and I'm so sick of Gamerspeak, I can't even tell you. I built a machine to use for pro purposes, and it seems like everybody who's buying the really great GPUs are either gaming or bitcoining...whatever, that's not my point.

Where to begin? Okay: my build. Here 'tis:

GA-X79S-UD5
i7 3930k
64GB Corsair Vengeance
h60i cooling
120G Sandisk System Drive
12TB Raid array for storage.

And the GPU? Well, I started off with a GT 640, just to get the system up and running, assuming I could get something better in there once everything was looking stable (yeah, a "noob" idea, I guess - sorry, it's my first time). After reading a bit, looked like the GTX 770 OC 4G would be a good bet! So I got one! Neat! NO!

Took pretty much an entire afternoon of troubleshooting just to boot back in to Mavericks with the thing. Finally I did, though! And then I ran Luxmark and pretty much started crying. Its OpenCL performance is horrible, and for a dedicated FCP machine, that just won't do. So back to the searching I went.

Looked like Radeon would be the answer; people running the BruceX benchmark were posting crazy fast results even with just one R9 2xx or 7xxx card installed, and so many of them claimed they worked out of the box. Yesterday, I took my son to Best Buy (yeah, I know; their return policy is crazy lax, though), and they happened to have an R9 270X, so I snagged it.

Brought it to my machine, popped it in (alongside the 770!) and I was ecstatic! System saw it as a 7xxx (good enough for me) and the Luxmark score (around 2300, with both cards) was encouraging! Naturally, because FCPX arbitrarily doesn't address any cards that aren't powering monitors (correct me if I'm wrong), it didn't address my 270x even though the Luxmark test did, and I got the same result on the BruceX benchmark (about 80 seconds; certainly not the shabbiest, but my machine should be CRUSHING that thing in <30 seconds!).

I've tried everything, or so I think. I've reinstalled Mavericks 10.9.2 with the 270x solely, and it was a dud. I've tried running the 640 and 770 together, and it works, but OpenCL is pitiful.

Here's my thinking: I WANT the AMD card to be my primary card, because I NEED FCPX to see it as my primary card for its OpenCL performance, or it won't address it. I WANT the 770 (it's a 4GB Gigabyte windforce deal, BTW) as my secondary card because I have effects that rely on CUDA, which it's got oodles of, and those effects don't have the same arbitrary restrictions as FCPX (ie, they don't care if the card is plugged in; if they see CUDA cores, they'll access them).

I'm not an idiot. But, I AM an editor, and the fact is I've hit a wall with the amount of research, time and effort I can put into this before I need to, you know START EDITING AGAIN, because I have clients who are waiting for work to be done, and they don't consider me sitting around editing kexts and modifying .plists work. They need their videos. I need their money.

Long short: HELP. I know about the EFI bootloader thing; I fail to see how it's supposed to help load AMD GPUs, though, because it's never been made clear, in anything I've read at least. How do these people just luck into these things working out of the box, and then USE THEM FOR GAMES!!!!!??!??!?! AARRRGGHH!!!! When I think of how quickly I could render a project on a machine that would be an ACCIDENTAL FCPX BEAST I seriously want to scream.

Little help? Can someone please make sense of this? Honestly, I can DEAL with the 770 the way it is, but getting a Luxmark score like 2300 and not seeing it reflected in FCPX is just sad. Maybe I should change the smbios to show a different machine? Any and all advice welcome.

Ask ANY questions; if it'll help you help me...well, help me help you help me.
 
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I'm just wondering aloud...

I've never used a system with BOTH AMD/ATI drivers AND nVidia drivers at the same time. Is that possible? Try removing the older nVidia drivers and then install the AMD/ATI card.

Also, don't dis the gamer rigs. You will find them to be the most-est with the fast-est machines out there. Their Holy Grail is FPS which sounds like that's what you are looking for as well.
 
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Since mac pros are shipping with dual ATI cards, I would take the very nice, but likely causing issues Nvidia cards out and simply use the single ATI card. If that rips the benchmarks like you expect, then get an identical ATI card. It's not reasonable to expect a GPU accelerated applications to use 2 different GPU architectures, much less 2 difference GPU manufactures as well. I think you will find computing Nirvana with 2 matching ATI cards, and no Nvidia cards.

I doubt it's a driver problem, it's more likely that when the program you want to run loads, it has to choose what code path to use based on the hardware it finds, and there are no computers that you can buy at the Apple store that has an ATI GPU along side a Nvidia GPU.
 
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FCPX does not make efficient use of the nVidia cards. I did a set of benchmarks on my Mac Pro with 1 x 5770 (yep they're old), 2 x 5770, 1 x GTX 660 (3GB) and a i4770 CPU with the same set of graphics cards.

The 660GTX was great for everything BUT FCP X. the Mac Pro with a 5770 did the Bruce X bencmark in around 70 secs, add a second 5770 and the time dropped to 60 secs (or so), shove the 660GTX (and remove the 2x5770) and the time increased to around 170 secs.

The i7 with 2 x 5770 did the Bruce X benchmark in 31 secs.

Every other type of usage showed the GTX660 to be a great card, but for FCP X its not optimised at all. I want a fast FCP X machine so will stay with the 2 x 5770 which are dirt cheap to buy (mine cost £50/$70) but work really, really well with FCP X. There's a fair few threads that report similar issues with nVidia cards.

I didn't try the 5770 and the GTX660 together but would be surprised if they worked very well.

As the benchmarks show, great FPS in games does not necessarily translate to great usage in FCP X.

One other point to know is that the i7 chipsets are very, very quick at encoding H264 if you are doing single pass encoding as they have hardware designed to do it, do double pass encoding for better quality and they really slow down.

Hope this helps,

Rob
 

WonkeyDonkey

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Long short: HELP. I know about the EFI bootloader thing; I fail to see how it's supposed to help load AMD GPUs, though, because it's never been made clear, in anything I've read at least.

Don't take this the wrong way; you should read some more. The information IS out there, its where the rest of us learn about it as well.

'The EFI bootloader thing' as you put it, achieves 2 things from a technical point of view, 3 if you include niceness.

1. It allows Asus 8 Series motherboards to boot using Chimera. This is a big deal for newcomers who happen to have an Asus board because otherwise it will have them going round in circles and getting nowhere. Asus know about the issue and have stated they have no intention to make the necessary changes. If a newer Asus board 100% suits somebodys needs, this allows them to create the hackintosh using the tools provided on this site. It can also be done with Clover. It means the users have choices.

2. It allows newer cards to boot on a hackintosh correctly. Prior to this, they would crash, fill the screen with gibberish or need all manner of tricks and workarounds. This method does away with most if not all of that and allows the cards to work properly in a hackintosh. If you bought a $400.00 graphics card and it absolutely did not work at all under any conditions, you would be pretty pissed. This method allows those cards to work most of the time.

3. Niceness : It moves some files and folders to a hidden partition, thereby keeping your OSX main system partition a little more cleaner and a little more mac-like.

It is obvious you are not too happy right now, so why not make a more constructive post.

You mention about changing your system definition, but you don't mention what you are using to begin with.

Then you say the R9 270X works, then you say its a dud.

You dont say if you installed the official nVidia drivers for the 770.

Apple do not make any of their systems that contain both nVidia and AMD at the same time, so you cant just expect that combination to work for you.

Your mobo and CPU combination, while they can be made to work, do not have full integration and power management, as stated in the buyers guide. The X79 chipset is NOT fully supported in OSX. Take a look at this thread to read a little more, in relation to the newer radeon cards.

The net result of these factors ? You cant just throw everything in there and expect it all to work flawlessly.

Start with the basics, with a little trial and error:

Build your clean system with the 770. Install the latest nvidia driver package, cuda updates etc. The 770 cards are known to work in OSX. Research your boot flags, paying particular attention to the 'nvda_drv' one.

Then you can swap out the 770 with the R9 card. Set the necessary flags for it and then test it, alone.

To be safe, use the EFI method from the beginning.

Also, read the many many threads of people running similar hardware to yourself. A quick search reveals plenty of builds using the same parts as you. They detail the issues people are having and the work they are doing to resolve those issues.

Finally, grab a coffee, take a deep breath, and relax!

Getting wound up because something is not working as intended does not help you one little bit.

:thumbup:
 
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Hey pythionoth,
So what happened?
I too use my hack for editing using fcpX.
I have a GA77X-UD5H and a 7950 but i'm thinking of building a new system with 2 R9270X's along with yosemite.
Did you get your problems fixed?
 
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Switch to Abobe Premiere, enable the mercury playback engine and enjoy your great GTX 770!!!
 
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