Accelerated Workflows with eGPU


Mike Griggs TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Download PDF
Download PDF

Customer:
Creative Bloke

Industry:
Media & Entertainment

Challenges:
To enable a small independent visual effects facility, Creative Bloke, with a versatile GPU that contains a combination of portability and performance to cater to their wide and varied portfolio of clients.

Solution:
Creative Bloke utilized the AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100 graphics card in the Apple recommended Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W, with Sonnet connected to an AMD FreeSync-enabled 4K display.
Results:
Enhanced performance, power, and speed enabled Creative Bloke artists to work faster and more efficiently. For a Radeon™ ProRender scene he created, the Radeon Pro WX 9100 eGPU took 10 minutes and 8 seconds to render the scene compared to more than 42 minutes for the laptop’s internal Radeon Pro 560X.2

Software used:
After Effects I Adobe
Premiere I Adobe
Final Cut Pro X I Apple
Cinema 4D I Maxon

From the UK’s National Trust to magazine publishers to manufacturers, digital content creator Mike Griggs has a wide and varied portfolio of clients for whom he creates 3D art, motion graphics and multimedia exhibits. A typical day might involve sampling birdsong near Virginia Woolf’s country estate or creating 3D animations for VR. To keep on top of these demands, Griggs wanted to take the full power of the GPU computing revolution on the road.

“My work is never the same from one day to the next, and I need the power that GPU computing offers for CGI animation and portability — for client visits, working on the go, collating data from photo and video shoots and just exploring ideas while sitting on the sofa,” said Griggs, founder of Creative Bloke.

However, until recently, Griggs found the combination of portability and performance led to many compromises instead of the optimal “laptop turned desktop workstation” he sought. Then Apple officially rolled out external GPU (eGPU) support for Thunderbolt 3 equipped Macs3, only recommending eGPU solutions powered by AMD graphics cards.

“I was thrilled,” Griggs said. “The eGPUs have long been the grail of modular computing and staying with the Mac has become so much easier because of the eGPU support.”


AMD RADEON PRO SUPERPOWERS MAC GRAPHICS

An eGPU is a full-sized graphics card installed in an external enclosure with its own power supply that is then connected to the host PC or laptop via a Thunderbolt™ 3 USB Type-C interface. The latest macOS versions robustly integrate eGPU support for Radeon Pro graphics, providing a simple, plug-and-play experience for artists such as Griggs to easily and instantly boost the graphics capabilities of his Mac system.

Griggs chose the AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100 graphics card in the Apple-recommended Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W, with the Sonnet connected to an AMD FreeSync1-enabled 4K display. The combination overcomes a “frustrating compromise” that Griggs had made for years — that of having to switch between his Apple MacBook Pro and higher-powered Windows-based workstations he custom-built.

With the Radeon Pro WX 9100 eGPU, Grigg says his laptop feels like a workstation. “Day-to-day tasks feel quicker with the powerful GPU,” he said, adding that “the Radeon Pro WX 9100 throws graphics and UI elements around the screen smoother than a hot knife through butter.”

He said in his experience, the performance of After Effects and Premiere, both from Adobe, is enhanced by the powerful GPU, while his favorite editing application, Apple Final Cut Pro X, is “a beast” on the eGPU when scrubbing, rendering previews and working with effects and motion graphics.

In his own tests, Griggs said the speed improvements when using the Radeon Pro WX 9100 eGPU with a MacBook Pro for Maxon Cinema 4D are also dramatic. For a Radeon ProRender scene he created, the Radeon Pro WX 9100 eGPU took 10 minutes and 8 seconds to render the scene compared to more than 42 minutes for the laptop’s internal Radeon Pro 560 integrated graphics. This is a benefit when working under tight deadlines.

“With everything delivered digitally, if you’re on a one- or two-day turnaround and someone’s screaming at you, a half hour can make a difference,” he said.
With a performance increase of up to 4x4, the Radeon Pro WX 9100 eGPU in tandem with the MacBook Pro also has a creative impact, according to Griggs.

“Quicker render times means quicker iteration which makes better images,” he said. “You are starting to explore things with your creativity you would not have before because it would take 45 minutes to render. Now what you see is what you get, you can tweak and update while maintaining a continuous workflow.”


Tags: iss134 | sonnet | egpu | amd | post production | editing | Mike Griggs
Contributing Author Mike Griggs

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Download PDF
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Sonnet Technologies demo a mobile workstation for editing in the field at IBC 2018

    Sonnet Technologies demo a mobile workstation for editing in the field at IBC 2018

  • New 10g Ethernet to Thunderbolt adaptor from Sonnet at NAB2018

    New 10g Ethernet to Thunderbolt adaptor from Sonnet at NAB2018

  • eGFX Breakaway Box and Puck from Sonnet at NAB 2018

    eGFX Breakaway Box and Puck from Sonnet at NAB 2018

  • External GPU Enclosures from Sonnet at IBC 2017

    External GPU Enclosures from Sonnet at IBC 2017

  • Eco Express Expansion Chassis from Sonnet at IBC 2017

    Eco Express Expansion Chassis from Sonnet at IBC 2017

  • Fusion Flash Drive and Dual DisplayPort Adapter from Sonnet at IBC 2017

    Fusion Flash Drive and Dual DisplayPort Adapter from Sonnet at IBC 2017

  • Sonnet Technologies Thunderbolt Chassis at IBC 2014

    Sonnet Technologies Thunderbolt Chassis at IBC 2014

  • Sonnet Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Sonnet Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Sonnet Technology at IBC2011

    Sonnet Technology at IBC2011

  • Camdec at BVE 2014

    Camdec at BVE 2014

  • AMD at IBC2011

    AMD at IBC2011

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

  • Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Forscene at IBC 2014

    Forscene at IBC 2014

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

  • Autodesk at NAB 2012

    Autodesk at NAB 2012

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • SGO at IBC2011

    SGO at IBC2011

  • FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

    FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

  • Editors Keys at NAB 2014

    Editors Keys at NAB 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Lightworks on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

    Lightworks on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

  • Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

    Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

  • NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

    NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

  • Dalet at NAB 2013

    Dalet at NAB 2013

  • AJA at BVE 2013

    AJA at BVE 2013

  • Avid at BVE North 2011

    Avid at BVE North 2011


Related Shows
  • Larry Jordan and Den Lennie talk editing at BVE

    Larry Jordan and Den Lennie talk editing at BVE


Articles
The brave new world of software based production
Boromy Ung In today’s rapidly evolving broadcast industry, the only constant media organizations can truly count on is change — and the need to adapt as rapidly and cost-effectively as possible. One of the biggest agents of change is the IP revolution, driving broadcasters to migrate their operations to all-software solutions running on commodity, IT-based technologies.
Tags: iss134 | chyronhego | graphics | sports | ott | Boromy Ung
Contributing Author Boromy Ung Click to read or download PDF
AI in Media and Entertainment
David Candler Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a term appearing everywhere these days. What is happening in media and entertainment (M&E) that makes the industry ripe for AI? In other words, why does the M&E industry need AI?
Tags: iss134 | AI | wazee | David Candler
Contributing Author David Candler Click to read or download PDF
University and Mental Health
Rhiannon Jenkins University study and mental health has been in the media quite a bit over the last year, and I’m sure there are many people wondering what is going on? The issues are complex, and I suppose the focus of employability off the back of a degree course has raised the stress stakes for a lot of young people. I’m only qualified to talk about this from my perspective, and my story began when I joined a course not knowing I had a mental health condition.
Tags: iss134 | portsmouth uni | mental health | student | tvfutures | Rhiannon Jenkins
Contributing Author Rhiannon Jenkins Click to read or download PDF
What content providers need to know about OTT
Hiren Hindocha As OTT (Over-The-Top) technology has gotten more mature and established robust standards over the years, the concept of OTT monitoring is gaining popularity. With customer expectations soaring, it’s vital for OTT providers to deliver superior quality content. To deliver Quality of Experience (QoE) on par with linear TV broadcast, the entire system, starting from ingest to multi-bitrate encoding to delivery to CDN must be monitored continuously.
Tags: iss134 | ott monitoring | qos | logging | compliance | dash | atsc | cloud | Hiren Hindocha
Contributing Author Hiren Hindocha Click to read or download PDF
An Epiphany Moment
Peter Savage 2 I had been negotiating the sale of my company and had reached the really hard end of the bargain. We were close to agreeing the final sum after a lot of too-much-give-and-not-enough-take negotiation. The solicitors were calling me, keen for a deal. It had come down to one sticking point and, in my hard ball “I am the Wolf of Wall Street” guise, I wasn’t going to let it go. It would make a value difference of 1.5% on the total outcome. Not much, you might think, but I had already nearly fallen out with the solicitors over their fees and I was giving my advisors an extremely hard time because the corporate adviser couldn’t see how I had already given more than an inch and the buyers were taking more than a mile. I was not going to let them win.
Tags: iss134 | azule | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF