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Workstation build: X299/Coffee Lake and 1080ti/Vega 64

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Joined
Oct 25, 2015
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Z390 Aorus Pro Wifi
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I9 - 9900K
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GTX 1080 Ti - OC
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  1. MacBook Pro
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Hi everyone!

I'm a Hackintosh user for several years and happy with my current stable, but old setup. It's time for an upgrade!
After reading a lot on the forum for a few months I am still debating about my new setup.
I am a beginning freelancer active in graphic design (interactive) and use my workstation mostly for Adobe Creative suite, Cinema4D, maybe Maya in the future and a few other programs. I use my dekstop quite a lot for rendering.

CPU
Currently I am thinking about the 8700K Coffee Lake or hoping for an 8-core Coffee Lake coming soon. I think this CPU will fit my needs, it has less PCI lanes but I am not thinking about using multiple GPU's (currently). What I am reading about Coffee Lake is that it's quite natively supported in High Sierra? I think this is a benefit over X299 which is rather a pain in the ass? There are only a few X299 build on the forum at the moment.

GPU
Because of AMD native support in High Sierra my eye fell on the AMD Vega 64. I think it's a great GPU although it produces a lot of heath and energy.. The shop where I ordered one couldn't fulfil my order and I had to choose an alternative. I chose the Inno3D 1080 ti Black edition (liquid cooled), again they could't fulfil my order. I can cancel the order or choose to wait before it will be back in stock. The price difference with a Sapphire Nitro+ Amd Vega 64 is around €70 (85$) which I think the 1080ti will be definitely worth it. The AMD Vega 64 is too expensive at the moment for what it offers I think. Now is my question, is the 1080ti so much better it will outperform the Vega 64? Or is native support more important for a smooth and stable experience?


Thank you in advance!

Giovanni
 

pastrychef

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Vega 56 (Bios flashed to 64)
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There's more to consider than just OpenCL vs Cuda on a hackintosh. There's the issue of driver support (or lack thereof) from Apple. Choosing an Nvidia card means that you will be relying on Nvidia's web drivers which in recent times have been rather buggy. Many users experienced severe UI lag from macOS 10.13.0-10.13.3. The drivers for 10.13.4 seems to have fixed most issues but I still see complaints from some users. Some of the workarounds were (1) revert to using older versions of the Nvidia web drivers and (2) disabling acceleration in some web browsers.

On the other hand, Apple has been working at adding support for eGPU and improving compatibility of many AMD cards. From macOS 10.13.0 to 10.13.4, compatibility has improved to the point where many RX 500-series and Vega owners no longer need additional kexts or hacks to get their cards working.

With graphics card prices being what they are now, we are talking about a fairly significant investment. Are you going to bet that Nvidia will improve their for such a small, niche market or are you going to bet that Apple will continue to improve drivers for AMD cards that are found in most of their products?

I had a GTX 1080 that experienced the lag. I wait and hoped Nvidia would get it sorted. After 3 revisions of their drivers without a fix, I gave up and sold my GTX 1080. Used the money from the sale to pick up a Vega 56 and haven't looked back.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2015
Messages
8
Motherboard
Z390 Aorus Pro Wifi
CPU
I9 - 9900K
Graphics
GTX 1080 Ti - OC
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
There's more to consider than just OpenCL vs Cuda on a hackintosh. There's the issue of driver support (or lack thereof) from Apple. Choosing an Nvidia card means that you will be relying on Nvidia's web drivers which in recent times have been rather buggy. Many users experienced severe UI lag from macOS 10.13.0-10.13.3. The drivers for 10.13.4 seems to have fixed most issues but I still see complaints from some users. Some of the workarounds were (1) revert to using older versions of the Nvidia web drivers and (2) disabling acceleration in some web browsers.

On the other hand, Apple has been working at adding support for eGPU and improving compatibility of many AMD cards. From macOS 10.13.0 to 10.13.4, compatibility has improved to the point where many RX 500-series and Vega owners no longer need additional kexts or hacks to get their cards working.

With graphics card prices being what they are now, we are talking about a fairly significant investment. Are you going to bet that Nvidia will improve their for such a small, niche market or are you going to bet that Apple will continue to improve drivers for AMD cards that are found in most of their products?

I had a GTX 1080 that experienced the lag. I wait and hoped Nvidia would get it sorted. After 3 revisions of their drivers without a fix, I gave up and sold my GTX 1080. Used the money from the sale to pick up a Vega 56 and haven't looked back.
Thank you for the detailed info and explaining the pros and cons. I experienced the lag myself with the Nvidia drivers which was very frustrating. Luckily it's okay now and everything is running well.

True, nothing will beat full native support so AMD will be the best choice for a smooth and hassle-free experience. However, it's still a difficult decision because I think the performance of a 1080ti is still a little bit better, using less power and less heath. Do you experience heath issues with your Vega or is it still okay? I think the 56 has less of the heath issues than the 64? The Vega 64 also has more shader and texture units than a 1080ti, do you know if this will benefit my rendering, editing or other things?
 

pastrychef

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Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
17,701
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 M Gaming
CPU
i9-9900K OC'd @ 5.0GHz
Graphics
Vega 56 (Bios flashed to 64)
Mac
  1. MacBook
  2. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. iBook
  2. Power Mac
  3. PowerBook
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Thank you for the detailed info and explaining the pros and cons. I experienced the lag myself with the Nvidia drivers which was very frustrating. Luckily it's okay now and everything is running well.

True, nothing will beat full native support so AMD will be the best choice for a smooth and hassle-free experience. However, it's still a difficult decision because I think the performance of a 1080ti is still a little bit better, using less power and less heath. Do you experience heath issues with your Vega or is it still okay? I think the 56 has less of the heath issues than the 64? The Vega 64 also has more shader and texture units than a 1080ti, do you know if this will benefit my rendering, editing or other things?

I agree. Nvidia is more efficient in terms of power consumption and heat. It's also probably a better choice for Windows gamers. But, in my opinion, AMD cards as of today are just easier to get working.

For GPGPU work in macOS, you may want to check barefeats.com for some benchmarks. Here's one with some good comparisons:
http://barefeats.com/imacpro_vs_pt2.html

As for the heat of the Vega 64s, yes, they run hot. Personally, if I were to go for a Vega 64, I would seriously consider a water cooled model. Heat is not nearly as much of a problem with Vega 56s. At least I haven't noticed any heat issues.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2015
Messages
8
Motherboard
Z390 Aorus Pro Wifi
CPU
I9 - 9900K
Graphics
GTX 1080 Ti - OC
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I agree. Nvidia is more efficient in terms of power consumption and heat. It's also probably a better choice for Windows gamers. But, in my opinion, AMD cards as of today are just easier to get working.

For GPGPU work in macOS, you may want to check barefeats.com for some benchmarks. Here's one with some good comparisons:
http://barefeats.com/imacpro_vs_pt2.html

As for the heat of the Vega 64s, yes, they run hot. Personally, if I were to go for a Vega 64, I would seriously consider a water cooled model. Heat is not nearly as much of a problem with Vega 56s. At least I haven't noticed any heat issues.
Sorry for the late reply! Thank you for the information and good explanation. The Barefeats benchmark shows a good comparison, I thought the 1080ti would outperform the vega 64 in Adobe, but the results are pretty much the same.

I still didn't make the decision though, :think: but the better support with AMD (currently) is one of the most important things to consider. However, the Nvidia web drivers are currently running perfectly, but you never know what will happen in the future.
 
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