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Vega Hardware Accelaration

Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Messages
16
Motherboard
Asus H97-Pro Gamer
CPU
i7-4790K OC @ 4.7GHz
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Hi everyone I am coming to you looking for advice. I´ve used to have an Nvidia GTX980 and since it is no longer supported on newer macOS versions I´ve sold it and bought an AMD Vega 64 looking forward to learning and take advantage of it on FCPX. I´ve been exporting h.264 files with it but it doesn´t do ti fast and when I´ve checked on hardware monitor I noticed my vega 64 it´s not being used at all. I´ll post the screen capture. I have also tried to follow some guides on the forum to enable quicksync and different approaches but it never seems to take effect.

I will upload the screen capture and mi EFI folder. Maybe someone that understands more, can help me figure it out

My current setup

MacOS: 10.14.6
Asus h-97 ProGamer
Intel i7 4790k
AMD Vega 64
FCPX version is the last one
 

Attachments

  • config for FCPX.plist
    4 KB · Views: 26
  • EFI.zip
    24.5 MB · Views: 16
  • Captura de Pantalla 2019-12-16 a la(s) 13.51.47.png
    Captura de Pantalla 2019-12-16 a la(s) 13.51.47.png
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jaymonkey

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Joined
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Messages
3,910
Motherboard
ASRock-Z97 EX6
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i7-4790K OC @ 4.8GHz
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Vega 64LC + HD4600
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  1. MacBook Air
  2. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
  2. iOS
I´ve been exporting h.264 files with it but it doesn´t do ti fast and when I´ve checked on hardware monitor I noticed my vega 64 it´s not being used at all.


@juantasstic,

As far as I know FCPX does not use the dGPU for transcoding, only for rendering effects and transitions, this is true for almost all other video editing software.
  • For basic H264 encoding FCPX will use IQS (Intel Quick Sync) on the IGPU (should be configured as headless)
  • Haswell CPU's/IGPU's have no support for H265 (HEVC) so is done via CPU.
  • All Apple ProRes Codecs are software transcoded except for on the new Mac Pro with the Afterburner card which is a dedicated hardware encoder/decoder for Apple ProRes codecs.
The best way to test if FCPX is using your Vega GPU is to run the BruceX test :-


That project has no source video, it's all effects and transitions which is very GPU heavy.
My video edit system (MonkeyMac Pro build in my signature) is very similar to yours:-
  • ASRock Z97 Extreme 6, i7 4790K O/C @ 4.8 Ghz with a Vega 64 dGPU (liquid cooled edition)
My system exports the standard BruceX 5K test in 10.2 seconds.
If export time on your system is 12 seconds or less then everything is working correctly.

Cheers
Jay
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Messages
16
Motherboard
Asus H97-Pro Gamer
CPU
i7-4790K OC @ 4.7GHz
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
@juantasstic,

As far as I know FCPX does not use the dGPU for transcoding, only for rendering effects and transitions, this is true for almost all other video editing software.
  • For basic H264 encoding FCPX will use the IGPU via IQS (Intel Quick Sync)
  • Haswell CPU's/IGPU's have no support for H265 (HEVC) so is done via CPU.
  • All Apple ProRes Codecs are software transcoded except for on the new Mac Pro with the Afterburner card which is a dedicated hardware encoder/decoder for Apple ProRes codecs.
The best way to test if FCPX is using your Vega GPU is to run the BruceX test :-


That project has no source video's, it's all effects and transitions which is very GPU heavy.
My video edit system (MonkeyMac Pro build in my signature) is very similar to yours:-
  • ASRock Z97 Extreme 6, i7 4790K O/C @ 4.8 Ghz with a Vega 64 GPU (liquid cooled edition)
My system exports the standard BruceX 5K test in 10.2 seconds.
If export time on your system is 12 seconds or less then everything is working correctly.

Cheers
Jay

I just tried this one, it took 14.2 for me. I saw a boost on GPU usage but I didn´t go to peak performance. I honestly thought that FCPX used the GPU for exports. I saw some tld videos on YouTube showing how the new update on FCPX took advantage of the vega 20 that the 2019 mbp has and almost idled the cpu
 

jaymonkey

Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
3,910
Motherboard
ASRock-Z97 EX6
CPU
i7-4790K OC @ 4.8GHz
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Vega 64LC + HD4600
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
  2. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
  2. iOS
I just tried this one, it took 14.2 for me. I saw a boost on GPU usage but I didn´t go to peak performance.


@juantasstic,

14.2 seconds would suggest that your Vega GPU is being used for rendering transitions and effects. My Vega 64 is liquid cooled and clocks at 1800Mhz with out throttling, i'm also running the HBM memory at 1100Mhz over the stock 945Mhz which is probably contributing most to the performance difference, my Vega 64 temp never goes over 60 degs C even when stress testing at 100% GPU load.

It very much depends on the project, if it has a lot of effects and transitions then it will benefit from a dGPU, if it just a basic cut that requires transcoding on the export then not so much.

Thats just the way it is with MacOS i'm afraid, i read a lot of posts from users reporting that they don't see heavy GPU use when exporting videos in FCPX and other video editing software and its a case that they don't fully understand the processes involved and how MacOS uses the VideoToolBox Framework.

One option that I have not explored is to try using the iMacPro1,1 SMBIOS with the IGPU disabled. That machine is a Coffee lake CPU based system with Vega 56 or 64. A lot of Coffee Lake users have switched to using that SMBIOS which forces the dGPU to do everything, how much it effects FCPX (if any) i don't know.

As Coffee Lake (8/9th gen) CPU's are a Sky Lake refresh using the iMacPro1,1 SMBIOS also works for SkyLake (6th gen) and Kaby Lake (7th gen) systems.

But Haswell (4th gen) lacks many of the newer instruction sets available on Sky Lake so i'm not sure is it's possible to use the iMacPro1,1 SMBIOS on a Haswell system like we have. I keep thinking about giving it a go but have never found the time and as my system (using iMac15,1 SMBIOS) is so stable i have never really needed muck around to it.

I might try and find the time to give it a go over the Holidays and see if it helps, if i do i'll post the results here.

Cheers
Jay
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2012
Messages
16
Motherboard
Asus H97-Pro Gamer
CPU
i7-4790K OC @ 4.7GHz
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
@juantasstic,

14.2 seconds would suggest that your Vega GPU is being used for rendering transitions and effects. My Vega 64 is liquid cooled and clocks at 1800Mhz with out throttling, i'm also running the HBM memory at 1100Mhz over the stock 945Mhz which is probably contributing most to the performance difference, my Vega 64 temp never goes over 60 degs C even when stress testing at 100% GPU load.

It very much depends on the project, if it has a lot of effects and transitions then it will benefit from a dGPU, if it just a basic cut that requires transcoding on the export then not so much.

Thats just the way it is with MacOS i'm afraid, i read a lot of posts from users reporting that they don't see heavy GPU use when exporting videos in FCPX and other video editing software and its a case that they don't fully understand the processes involved and how MacOS uses the VideoToolBox Framework.

One option that I have not explored is to try using the iMacPro1,1 SMBIOS with the IGPU disabled. That machine is a Coffee lake CPU based system with Vega 56 or 64. A lot of Coffee Lake users have switched to using that SMBIOS which forces the dGPU to do everything, how much it effects FCPX (if any) i don't know.

As Coffee Lake (8/9th gen) CPU's are a Sky Lake refresh using the iMacPro1,1 SMBIOS also works for SkyLake (6th gen) and Kaby Lake (7th gen) systems.

But Haswell (4th gen) lacks many of the newer instruction sets available on Sky Lake so i'm not sure is it's possible to use the iMacPro1,1 SMBIOS on a Haswell system like we have. I keep thinking about giving it a go but have never found the time and as my system (using iMac15,1 SMBIOS) is so stable i have never really needed muck around to it.

I might try and find the time to give it a go over the Holidays and see if it helps, if i do i'll post the results here.

Cheers
Jay

Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply to me. I really appreciated it. I´ll keep using Adobe Pr for the time being
 

jaymonkey

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Joined
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Messages
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Motherboard
ASRock-Z97 EX6
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i7-4790K OC @ 4.8GHz
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Vega 64LC + HD4600
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
  2. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
  2. iOS
@juantasstic,

I had the day off work today so i made a clone of my system and switched to using the iMacPro1,1 SMBIOS with the IGPU disabled which forces MacOS to only use the Vega 64.

I ran some tests on FCPX using a 3 min basic cut video with no effects or transitions.

Export time was the same in both configurations (within margin of error)
  • iMac15,1 with IGPU Enabled
  • iMacPro1,1 with IGPU disabled
So that pretty much concussively shows that FCPX does not use the dGPU when performing basic transcoding which is waht i believe most video editing programs do.

I also ran some geek bench tests and the iMacPro1,1 SMBIOS was slower than the iMac15,1 SMBIOS that i've been using for years. Most notable was a drop of around 3000 points for the OpenCL test and 1500 points for the Metal test, this is most likely because the iMacPro1,1 SMBIOS does not use the IGPU. The CPU test was also a bit slower.

The only benefit of using the iMacPro1,1 SMBIOS for me was that HD DRM playback in Safari worked which is the only thing that does not work when using the iMac15,1 SMBIOS. But since thats not important to me i switched back to the iMac15,1 SMBIOS which has the benefit of using the IGPU (configured as headless).

Just thought you might like to know and save you the time of testing it out for yourself.

Cheers
Jay
 
Joined
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I guess it is depends on OS and FCP X versions, I run 10.15.2 and last FCP X 10.4.8

iMac 18.x SMBIOS use my UHD630 + 5700XT and Burce X is 10 sec, also I have 1h video in FCP X without crazy effects, rendering to H264 takes 30 min
iMacPro SYMBIOS don't use my UHD630 and Bruce X is 7,3 sec, same 1h video to H264 takes 20 min.

I have tried MacPro SYMBIOS also, but I get message when OS X desktop Strats 'memory modules misconfigured'

i7 7700k, Z270, 16GB, 512 nvme, 5700XT

Like a reference I have my MacBook Pro 13-inch, 2018, 2,3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 1536 MB. - Bruce X 50 sec, my 1h video to H264 takes 1h +
 
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As far as I know FCPX does not use the dGPU for transcoding, only for rendering effects and transitions, this is true for almost all other video editing software.
I think that is basically correct. Here's a example from Blackmagic of the distribution of tasks between CPU and GPU in Resolve:

https://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=47660&p=359248&hilit=cpu+vs+GPU#p359248

The main GPU party trick is parallel processing so in video work you tend to see them utilised in scenarios where the image can be dealt with in small tiles. This explains why scaling, compositing, colour grading and de-noising get sent to the GPU in a lot a cases and also why compression & decompression, especially inter-frame, is often not helped by a GPU.
 

jaymonkey

Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
3,910
Motherboard
ASRock-Z97 EX6
CPU
i7-4790K OC @ 4.8GHz
Graphics
Vega 64LC + HD4600
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
  2. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
  2. iOS
I think that is basically correct. Here's a example from Blackmagic of the distribution of tasks between CPU and GPU in Resolve:


@hanuman,

I think it's true for all Video Editing software not just FCPX and Resolve, unless a specialised hardware transcoding card is installed in the system such as RED Rocket or Apple's new After Burner card, however they are codec specific.

Here is an article on the Adobe Premier Mercury rendering engine which also states that the GPU is only used for effects and transitions during final rendering :-


I'm not sure why a lot of users think that the GPU is used for everything, it's never been the case.

I think for basic H264/H265 encode/decode FCPX/MacOS will use Intel Quick Sync to some degree if the IGPU is configured as headless and using the correct SMBIOS (or use AMD's video engine if using iMacPro1,1 SMBIOS). However it's still very CPU intensive. All Apple Pro Res Codecs are handled by the CPU unless using the new Apple After Burner card.

Cheers
Jay
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
1
I guess it is depends on OS and FCP X versions, I run 10.15.2 and last FCP X 10.4.8

iMac 18.x SMBIOS use my UHD630 + 5700XT and Burce X is 10 sec, also I have 1h video in FCP X without crazy effects, rendering to H264 takes 30 min
iMacPro SYMBIOS don't use my UHD630 and Bruce X is 7,3 sec, same 1h video to H264 takes 20 min.

I have tried MacPro SYMBIOS also, but I get message when OS X desktop Strats 'memory modules misconfigured'

i7 7700k, Z270, 16GB, 512 nvme, 5700XT

Like a reference I have my MacBook Pro 13-inch, 2018, 2,3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 1536 MB. - Bruce X 50 sec, my 1h video to H264 takes 1h +
Can you share your refi folder? have the same setup and can't boot with dual igpu and dgpu

thanks
 
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