What to do: AMD vs. NVIDIA - Further Updates #3

I have used NVIDIA CUDA core technology for a large amount of server-based virtualisation & visualisation programming and processing.

In the last three years, I have made a significant switch from solely NVIDIA graphics computing to a 60-40 split in favour of AMD Fire Pro graphics.

However, the split is increasing due to the multiple 4K stream support from the AMD Fire Pro W9100 workstation graphics solution which is enabling me to link to processing systems/networks and run full scale visualations on multiple 4K UHD & DCI monitors increasing scalability and visualisation capabilities for a larger number of concurrent processes or a larger process.

NVIDIA does support 4K UHD & DCI monitors, but support two or three on the most expensive graphics solutions 4K monitors; when compared to six Mini DisplayPort connectors for the AMD Fire Pro W9100, each supporting a single 4K UHD or 4K DCI video stream at 120 fps.

Open source software & Linux support is greatly increased with AMD graphics, NVIDIA has not had the best time with Linux, but support is growing slowly.

In recent years, Apple Mac OS X support has been gearing up for AMD and NVIDIA, but the 2013 Mac Pro features dual AMD Fire Pro D300, D500 & D700 workstation graphics.

With all of this in mind, transferring, in chunks, to a predominantly AMD based graphics solution is a move I am willing to make and to sell most of the NVIDIA graphics as there is a high resale value.

** Edit - Sunday 10th August 2014 **

I am not enjoying the continual denial of 4K support on all ports from NVIDIA at the moment; I am growing tired of the whole system they are employing within their design, engineering and managerial teams of recent.

A few years ago, NVIDIA was on top of the graphics market with connectors, monitor support and features, but AMD is flying past in the last year. It is not a good model for a tech company to be employing.
A model they should be following is the one employed by Intel Corporation, where they are working to continually extend and improve their product range with new and interesting developments that can be used today, tomorrow and in years to come.

I am not sure on the way forward from within NVIDIA, but I would strongly suggest ditching DVI & VGA.
HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort are the only way forward. Thunderbolt could be arranged later after a few HDMI 2.0, DP & MDP only graphics solutions come out of NVIDIA.

** Edit - Monday 18th August 2014 **

I am working on a few projects that include AMD Fire Pro workstation graphics, the more I use Fire Pro graphics, including the W9100, I find myself pushing for a complete overhaul of the rest of my own NVIDIA graphics based servers and workstations.

I have found the connectivity to be far superior - it is as simple as that.

The brute force, if you like, is a little greater, but the 16 GB GDDR5 SGRAM is a great improvement on the 8 GB offered with the NVIDIA Quadro K5200 or 12 GB offered with the NVIDIA Quadro K6000.

For complex graphical processing, programming, visualisation, virtualisation or CPU offloading, the Fire Pro graphics appear to have the Quadros wrapped up.

A little more testing, written up in another update, will tell us exactly what the difference is for real performance and 4K/5K/6K/8K support, which has been rumoured due to the ability of AMD to update the W9100 from Mini DisplayPort 1.2 to 1.3, which is being developed by Apple Inc. for release Q2 2014, but start of Q3 2014 we have passed, so in the coming months, before the end of 2014, we should see MDP 1.3.

** Edit - Monday 1st September 2014 **

I am going for it!

AMD is going to take over from NVIDIA!

I think it is the right time to make the decision.

I am no longer using Windows once a day, thankfully.

It appears to be once every other day, so my Macs are my main computers by the vast majority.

Prior to this summer holiday and my Windows 8.1 computer glitch in late Januar/early February 2014, I used my Windows 8.1 laptop with three monitors and my 27" iMac all the time, every day.

Currently, I use:
27" iMac L2010 (totr) connected to a Iiyama ProLite E2473HDS 24" FHD monitor - AMD graphics
15" MBP M2010 (totr) connected to a Iiyama ProLite E2473HDS 24" FHD monitor - NVIDIA graphics
iPad Air 128 GB Wi-Fi only
Dell XPS 15 (totr) optionally connected to two Iiyams and a Hauppauge HD PVR 2 GE Plus recording box
iPhone 4S 32 GB
Along with a smattering of other gadgets and monitors

As such, most of my equipment in my command centre is made by Apple Inc.

Apple tend to include AMD graphics in all of their computers, this is not exclusively as the MacBook Pro and iMac range can be specked with NVIDIA graphics.

With the rise of the Mac Pro, in my eyes, I am transferring all systems, except for NVIDIA development systems to AMD.

My next update should discuss how I am going to achieve this.

** Edit - Friday 5th September 2014 **

As above, I stated:

I am going for it!

AMD is going to take over from NVIDIA!

I think it is the right time to make the decision.

I am going to move over to just AMD graphics on my netbooks, notebooks, desktops, servers & workstations.

I will be keeping my Dell XPS 15 (totr) running Windows 8.1 Pro x86-64 with an NVIDIA GT 540M 2 GB graphics card which supports three monitors including two 2560x1440 monitors.

My main computers will be Mac Pros - their Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 12 core CPUs are very powerful, 64 GB of DDR3 ECC RAM should be enough for my line of work and the dual 6 GB AMD FirePro D700 graphics will power all of my 4K UHD [3840x2160], 4K DCI [4096x2160] & 5K 21:9 [5120x2160] content.

Part of my PhD research project supports the need for workstation testing, as such, I have proposed a workstation build to AMD, Apple & Intel.
My intensions for supply are as followed:

  • AMD would supply eight FirePro W9100 16 GB PCIe workstation graphic cards and four FirePro S400 sync PCIe cards
  • Apple would supply their legendary operating system: Mac/Macintosh OS X 10.10 Yosemite, Thunderbolt (2.0 or 3.0) Displays & any components that OS X can specifically communicate with (such as DVD drives and Thunderbolt controllers)
  • Intel would supply Xeon processors, custom main/motherboard, PCIe & SATA Express SSDs, RAM and all other components required other than that supplied by AMD and Apple

I am planning to finish my four year PhD research in less than three years time, but it will continue to grow with both classical and quantum computing.

It will work hand in hand with many of my (pending) patents and designs on many levels of computing, from networking to graphics and much more I cannot disclose.