Mac Pro with Nvidia H100

By: Simon Farnsworth (simon.delete@this.farnz.org.uk), June 20, 2022 11:20 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
Doug S (foo.delete@this.bar.bar) on June 20, 2022 10:32 am wrote:
> Simon Farnsworth (simon.delete@this.farnz.org.uk) on June 20, 2022 10:09 am wrote:
> > Anon4 (anon4.delete@this.example.com) on June 20, 2022 9:04 am wrote:
> > > Doug S (foo.delete@this.bar.bar) on June 17, 2022 10:37 pm wrote:
> > > > IMHO it is highly unlikely the Mac Pro supports any full sized PCIe cards, and while
> > > > I expect it to have some x4 slots I would not be totally shocked if it does not have
> > > > any slots at all. Apple has already said they will not support 3rd party GPUs with ARM
> > > > Macs, so the only possible uses for PCIe expansion will be storage and networking.
> > >
> > > The actual use of PCI-E on Mac Pro is more for:
> > >
> > > AVID HDX DSP cards for ProTools
> > >
> > > Black Magic Design Decklink and AJA cards for uncompressed digital video IO.
> > >
> > > Various different Pro Audio and Audio over IP (including Dante) which
> > > need better latency than you can achieve out of a multipurpose card.
> > >
> > > Now Apple may abandon these markets to Windows PCs however I would not bet
> > > against a very expensive and niche machine to service these markets.
> > >
> >
> > Note that PCIe is carried in Thunderbolt 3 connectors - both Black Magic Design and
> > AVID sell Thunderbolt 3 equivalents of their PCIe cards, at a price. And both StarTech
> > and Sonnet do PCIe cages for Thunderbolt 3 machines - the StarTech one is about $350
> > retail - to let you use an existing PCIe card with your Thunderbolt 3 computer.
> >
> > So this is a market Apple already addresses in the Apple Silicon era, just via Thunderbolt and costing
> > a bit more - but any price-sensitive professional user won't be buying a Mac Pro to begin with.
>
>
> Guess I should have read your response before asking about Thunderbolt in my reply to him. Does TB introduce
> any additional latency versus a directly connected PCIe card that would be a problem for these uses? I know
> audio is very latency sensitive but perhaps not at the scale of the difference we'd be talking here.

The latency added by Thunderbolt is on the order of that added by a PCIe switch - 100 nanoseconds or so order of magnitude. Throughput of Thunderbolt 3 at 40G is comparable to a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot if nothing else is using that Thunderbolt port, and is reduced if other things are trying to share the link.

If this level of latency mattered, people would be plugging these cards into the CPU-attached PCIe slots, and being cautious to avoid the ones coming from the PCH in Intel land, and I can find no evidence of that online, suggesting that the added latency from TB is tolerable in this application.
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TopicPosted ByDate
M2 benchmarks-2022/06/15 12:27 PM
  You mean "absurd ARM"? ;-) (NT)Rayla2022/06/15 02:18 PM
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                M2 benchmarksDummond D. Slow2022/06/16 01:03 PM
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                  Apple’s STEM AmbitionsSean M2022/06/17 04:18 AM
                    Apple’s STEM Ambitions---2022/06/17 09:33 AM
                      Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Tony Wu2022/06/17 06:37 PM
                        Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Doug S2022/06/17 10:37 PM
                          Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Tony Wu2022/06/18 06:49 AM
                            Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Dan Fay2022/06/18 07:40 AM
                          Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Anon42022/06/20 09:04 AM
                            Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Simon Farnsworth2022/06/20 10:09 AM
                              Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Doug S2022/06/20 10:32 AM
                                Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Simon Farnsworth2022/06/20 11:20 AM
                              Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Anon42022/06/20 04:16 PM
                            Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Doug S2022/06/20 10:19 AM
                        Mac Pro with Nvidia H100me2022/06/18 07:17 AM
                          Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Tony Wu2022/06/18 09:28 AM
                            Mac Pro with Nvidia H100me2022/06/19 10:08 AM
                              Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Dummond D. Slow2022/06/19 10:51 AM
                                Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Elliott H2022/06/19 06:39 PM
                            Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Doug S2022/06/19 06:16 PM
                              Mac Pro with Nvidia H100---2022/06/19 06:56 PM
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                                    Mac Pro with Nvidia H100anon52022/06/20 08:41 AM
                                      Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Sam G2022/06/20 07:22 PM
                                    Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Sam G2022/06/20 07:13 PM
                                      Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Doug S2022/06/20 10:19 PM
                                        Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Sam G2022/06/22 12:06 AM
                                          Mac Pro with Nvidia H100Doug S2022/06/22 09:18 AM
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      M2 benchmarks-DDR4 vs DDR5Doug S2022/06/16 09:58 AM
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