As Apple Pulls Away, NVIDIA Partners with RED

NVIDIA took to the internet today to announce that with the latest version of macOS 10.14 Mojave, that users of their Graphic cards are experiencing regressions in rendering and slow downs overall over performance. But while Cupertino pays lip service to the professional community, RED is stepping in and working with NVIDIA to create an 8K workflow for their higher end cards.

Developers using Macs with NVIDIA graphics cards are reporting that after upgrading from 10.13 to 10.14 (Mojave) they are experiencing rendering regressions and slow performance. Apple fully controls drivers for Mac OS. Unfortunately, NVIDIA currently cannot release a driver unless it is approved by Apple. Our hardware works on OS 10.13 which supports up to (and including) Pascal. – NVIDIA Developer Blog

Apple has published a list of third party cards which are “Metal capable” on their support site here. On that list are only two NVIDIA Cards: The Quadro K5000 for Mac, and the GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition. That’s it. And on top of that, Apple flat out states: “If the graphics card in your Mac Pro isn’t listed above, you need to install one that’s compatible with macOS Mojave.”

According to Studio Daily, users who upgraded to macOS Mojave without knowing of the change, are pretty upset that their computers are now running into bottlenecks because their GPUs are not supported after the update. They’ve taken to twitter to get the word out with the hashtag #UnblockNVIDIA, and are running a petition urging Apple to approve new drivers that NVIDIA can develop to support the Mojave upgrade.

Meanwhile, NVIDIA has their fans with RED. You remember when Jarred Land resurrected his old 2010 MacPro using new GTX-Tiger drivers and a GTX1080Ti card, along with a RED Rocket-X GPU.  Well that looks to be the beginnings of a beautiful friendship, as RED is now partnering with NVIDIA to create a real time 8K video workflow for single CPU workstations equipped with NVIDIA GPUs to process REDCode Raw video files.  All natively with no proxies or caching. Before the partnership, RedCode Raw could only be ingested using the RED Rocket-X GPU.

“There’s more flexibility for image stabilization, or panning and zooming to reframe a shot without losing image quality in the final [4K] delivery format. For visual effects, high resolution can provide more detail for tracking or keying. Downsampling high-resolution video can help reduce noise as well as maintain a high level of quality.”

Using RED’s Cuda accelerated R3D SDK and REDCine-X Pro software, workflows can now decode and debayer 8K based R3D files using a higher end NVIDIA card like the Quadro RTC6000 GPU. Now that’s a $6300 card, which would far more expensive than just buying a new computer, but NVIDIA says that the same performance can be achieved using an NVIDIA Titan RTX ($2499) or a lower end GEForce RTX 2080Ti. “Editors will gain from new functionality like AI-enabled upscaling, which will let them intermix archival footage or zoom in beyond 8K resolution with the best possible results,” NVIDIA added.

Users of lower cost NVIDIA cards can also work with R3D files, but at lower resolutions. “We expect there to be headroom in the decode performance to allow for effects layers as well in real-time, depending on your system specs,” added Land. “The release of this is tied to the new hardware, but everyone on NVIDIA will eventually win.”

The NVIDIA/RED 8K Redcode Raw workflow will be available by the end of Q1 2019.

About James DeRuvo 801 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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