MacOS GPU

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Re: MacOS GPU

Postby Neil-B » Sat May 09, 2020 12:51 pm

Firstly, let me say I wish all compute resource of every type was usable by FAH :) - but I accept there are some realities that preclude this :(

I may well be wrong but I believe in the past there have been clients for various other platforms, PS3, and maybe even MacOS … with the companies doing exactly what you suggest and helping with the development … unfortunately the companies concerned then chose not to continue to support/develop for whatever reasons and those clients are now deprecated.

It may be that with the current crisis that the companies might wish to re-engage … but the development time that this might entail could mean that the COVID-19 surge is over by the time the clients are available.

Ongoing support and impact on other clients needs to be taken into account … It a new core utilising Metal meant that existing cores for Win/Linux/NVIDIA/AMD no longer worked - or if the researchers had to do specific Projects for such devices then the benefit of doing this needs to be carefully weighed against such costs.
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Re: MacOS GPU

Postby PantherX » Sat May 09, 2020 8:56 pm

Neil-B wrote:...I may well be wrong but I believe in the past there have been clients for various other platforms, PS3, and maybe even MacOS … with the companies doing exactly what you suggest and helping with the development … unfortunately the companies concerned then chose not to continue to support/develop for whatever reasons and those clients are now deprecated....

There was a PS3 client and it was made with a partnership with Sony and once the partnership ended, the client stopped.

V7 has the ability to detect the GPU on macOS as it was something conceivable but GPU folding on macOS hit a roadblock with the OpenCL implementation by Apple. By the time it was resolved, there were other pirorities and now, the move is from OpenCL to METAL.
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Re: MacOS GPU

Postby SteveW928 » Sun May 10, 2020 1:00 am

l008com wrote:I don't think that market share chart tells the whole story. While I'm sure there are more windows systems out in the world than Mac, many of those windows systems are old, el-cheapo systems in offices that would not be running anything like this. If there were some way to measure OS marketshare for computers that are real potential folders, I don't think the gap would be quite that large. But there isn't so I'll just keep on speculating I guess.


That's a really good point, but I was a bit shocked that chart was showing near 20% (or 1 out of 5). Then, if you factor in the aspects you're talking about above, that would have to bump it up considerably. I'm an old-school Mac guy, so I remember arguing with people back when the claim was that it was under 10%. But, yes, a lot of Windows machines are point of sales, generic office machines, or generic systems for all sorts of things.

l008com wrote:This was another thought I had, actually. For a trillion dollar company, it wouldn't take many resources to provide a small team that could help F@H, Rosetta, and maybe just distributed computing projects in general, write Metal Computer or whatever it's called, native GPU cores for projects. It would help Apple show off Metal, it would give them plenty of goodwill. They would not only be helping the cause, but facilitating their large user-base to themselves, help the cause in a big way. Someone just needs to get this idea into "Tim Apple's" ear.


Hmm, that's a really interesting idea. Apple could get a lot of good exposure out of something like that. But, it would probably take a while to get going and the momentum behind this might start to decline before it could get going.

I was thinking the other day... I sure hope that once Covid-19 is past us, so many of the people who jumped onboard will want to stay onboard.
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Re: MacOS GPU

Postby Neil-B » Sun May 10, 2020 9:52 am

I wonder what the proportions of desktop/server to laptop formats are for Windows and Apple devices? … and the proportions of dedicated graphics and on board are for each? … these would probably also come into play - the laptop format has traditionally had more issues coping with GPU load as heat is harder to manage with a laptop than a desktop/server - and again with onboard graphics compared to dedicated.

I have no clue/data, but it would not surprise me to find that Apple devices have a higher proportion of laptop to desktop/server than Windows and possibly fewer dedicated graphics setups (but maybe not) … If so this might mean that the potential pool of "appropriate" Apple devices is as high as it may seem?

That doesn't mean it isn't worth sorting out if Apple were to get on board :)
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Re: MacOS GPU

Postby Omoeba » Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:58 am

Update: I'm folding using a 2080 super + R7 3800x now and getting around 3 million ppd. I guess the only solution for the foreseeable future is using Windows or Linux instead of Mac OS.
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Re: MacOS GPU

Postby JohnChodera » Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:15 am

> This was another thought I had, actually. For a trillion dollar company, it wouldn't take many resources to provide a small team that could help F@H, Rosetta, and maybe just distributed computing projects in general, write Metal Computer or whatever it's called, native GPU cores for projects. It would help Apple show off Metal, it would give them plenty of goodwill.

We've had a chat with some folks at Apple to see if we could get anyone on the Metal team excited enough to help us add Metal support to OpenMM so we could do this, but haven't been successful so far. If anyone ever finds folks at Apple that would be excited to pitch in, we'd love to work with them!

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