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Gaspar Potocnik

Vision, better performance on MAC or PC

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Has anyone tried identical systems running vision on both OS preferably with newer GPU cards? Anyone seen any differences?


Also, is there any way to know how many FPS one is getting out of the system?

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Most Vision users with dedicated Vision machines are running Windows because Mac has a very limited video card selection.

Most users have found they can get much better video cards for Windows and can easily upgrade if a better card is released.


For Vision on the Mac there are only 3 acceptable choices. Top of the line MacBook Pro, iMac Pro or the Mac Pro.

And even these Macs come with "older" video cards.

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I don't completely agree, you can use any of the most recent cards, Nvidia 10x series and AMD Vega on either a Mac Pro5,1 or New MacBook Pro or iMac with eGPU...That is why I am asking, since I can get any card to work on both OS, is there any specific tests anybody has donde to understand which runs better?


It would be great for users to be able to see the FPS somewhere and be able to run some test....

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I would push for a technical answer from the Vision team. I know for a fact if they're routing through CoreVideo (I don't think they are) the eGPU option via Thunderbolt isn't an option as the MacOS won't use the hardware. It should, however, use the OpenGL hardware. In my tests QLab didn't utilize the external hardware (CoreVideo) and Processing did (OpenGL). That was using a Mac Mini 2014 as a test-case which was pretty solid.


For whatever it is worth installing the external hardware in an enclosure was a bit of work and less reliable than I liked. My experience with Qt (which is what Vision and Vectorworks are built on) is that it runs very well on Windows, Linux, or Mac so you're probably hardware bound. 


My recent experience leads me to believe that building a simple PC with a high-end graphics card is less expensive than trying to integrate the external enclosure. You're looking at ~ $200 base for the enclosure which is very similar to the cost of a motherboard and CPU for a PC. That being said, if you're using that card to power other things on your Mac it might be worth it.


Best of luck!

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I cant comment too much on the internal architecture, but I will add my two cents on external GPUs. First, I'd say overall, not worth the money. As Daniel aptly pointed out, often a custom built PC will be cheaper, and far outperform the mac (external aside, due to limited GPU options and....limited mobo performance). Mac Mobos are made by foxconn, and err....not made well. We're talking PCIe x4 slots, shoddy, non-modular PSUs, etc. 


But the question of the day is really, how does the external stack up? The problem we run into is the connection first and foremost. Thunderbolt 1 has a transfer rate of 10Gbps, T2: 20Gbps, T3:40Gbps.


While this sounds great on paper, and is DEFINITELY  great for storage devices (HDD, SSD, etc) A PCIe 3.0 x8 slot offers 63.01Gbps transfer rates. An x16 slot offers 126.03Gbps, if my math is right ((8GTs x lanes) x (128b/130b) = Transfer rate in Gbps where 128b/130b accounts for encoding. Double check that, my math is a little rusty lol. (Sorry Mr. Oswald, you were right, I would use it.)


This leaves us with the connection itself bottlenecking, Vision aside. 


Now, Vision looks for the first GPU, or the primary, on both mac and windows. This can cause some issues with auto GPU switching on some laptops (windows and mac) as well, as Vision will initialize while being bound to the card it sees first. Maybe @bbudzonknows something about the logistics of identifying a switch, but that's a bit above me so I won't comment. 


For the easy, and less expensive solution, if anyone needs any tips on building a custom rig, tuned for Vision let me know, I can totally help with keeping costs down and maximizing performance. 

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Thanks for your answers guys, so eGPU aren't as good as paper says...


Going back to the original question, if using the same hardware (lets say Mac Pro 5,1 with GTX 1080 Ti) in which OS is Vision going to work better?

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Hey Gaspar, if somehow you were using identical hardware, it wouldn't matter which OS you were using. I haven't really seen a difference in the two when dual booting. 

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