Author Topic: Xeon Phi  (Read 14995 times)

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Offline Trampam

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Xeon Phi
« on: November 05, 2012, 10:06:35 am »
Hi,

I'm not sure if i'm posting this in right thread, but still.

Intel anounced about Xeon Phi. It is coprocessor which will go as additional computing unit to Main CPU.

If you made any reserch on this theme - then can you please share your ideas whether this unit incease Keysot performance?

Thanks


Offline DriesV

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 10:59:53 am »
I think one of the KeyShot guys (can't remember who exactly) already confirmed that KeyShot would benefit from Xeon Phi.

I'm also very much interested in this add-on card.
If the rumors that this card will carry a 500-1000 USD price tag are true, it will carry a very compelling value proposition in terms of KeyShot rendering. Especially when compared to expensive Xeon E5 CPUs.
It could be a VERY sensible and economical solution to scale up rendering performance.

Dries
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 11:13:12 am by DriesV »

Offline KeyShot

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 01:24:41 pm »
We are keeping an eye on the Xeon Phi cards. Looks promising.

Offline DriesV

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2012, 05:40:04 am »
Today Intel is declaring war on GPU rendering  ;D.
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/xeon/xeon-phi-detail.html
1 teraflop DP is just insane!

I hope KeyShot will support this soon...

Dries

Offline PhilippeV8

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Offline DriesV

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 06:54:42 am »
http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2012/9/26/exclusive-intel-xeon-phi-preferred-pricing-revealed---only-24400-per-card.aspx


400$ ?!
...

Yeah, at first I thought so too.

But the 5110P model that was released today costs around $2600.  :P
It still is much cheaper than a Xeon E5 configuration of comparable computational power.

Offline tfinlay

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 11:13:52 am »
This is pretty interesting also: 

The Xeon Phi 3100 product family will be made available in the first half of 2013 carrying prices under $2,000 per coprocessor, Intel said.

The forthcoming Xeon Phi 3100 family is more of a value proposition, offering greater than 1 TFlop of double-precision performance, support for up to 6GB memory at 240GB/sec bandwidth, and thermals of 300 watts.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2412048,00.asp

Offline PhilippeV8

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 01:08:17 pm »
So, in theory .. what would such a card do for KS .. if KS were to support this ..  Is this like adding 50 CPU in a network ?

And does anyone understand what other hardware you need ?  Do you just need a PCIe slot 16x ?

Offline DriesV

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2012, 01:32:53 pm »
So, in theory .. what would such a card do for KS .. if KS were to support this ..  Is this like adding 50 CPU in a network ?

And does anyone understand what other hardware you need ?  Do you just need a PCIe slot 16x ?

You'd need a PCIe slot and a beefy power supply, as these things are rated up to 300W for a single card.

As far as my understanding on the subject goes (not very far  ;)):
I see it as being able to accelerate real-time rendering as well, not just network render jobs.
Compared to GPGPU applications programming for it should be much easier, as the familiar x86 programming model remains.
Yet, code will still have to be optimized to run efficiently (or to run at all...) on Xeon Phi accelerators. Xeon Phi is not using the same instruction set as most modern CPU's (remember Xeon Phi is NOT a CPU; it is an accelerator using a derivative of the x86 instruction set). Existing code will have to be recompiled in order to make it work for Xeon Phi.

So it is not the be all and end all rendering solution, I guess. But the fact that it is using a very familiar architecture (x86 instructions) make me want to keep an eye on these things. I do expect them to be used for rendering in some way or another.

Let's wait and see what the Luxion code wizards come up with ;)!

Dries
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 01:40:01 pm by DriesV »

Offline PhilippeV8

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 01:37:21 pm »
So this is not "a render farm of cpu's" on a PCIe card ?

Offline DriesV

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2012, 01:41:36 pm »
So this is not "a render farm of cpu's" on a PCIe card ?

Well, it definitely has the horse power to count as a "render farm". 1 tflop is A LOT. To put things in perspective: a system with TWO Xeon E5-2690 CPU's peaks at about 350 gflops. That's roughly a third of the raw computional power of a SINGLE Xeon Phi card... and two E5-2690's cost about 4000 euros (just talking about the CPU's alone  ;D)..

It just needs specific code in order to work like that for KeyShot. My point is that it will not just swallow the KeyShot binaries that you run on your CPU(s) now. Well...it will try to swallow, but it will choke!  ;D
But when they do get these cards to work in KeyShot, it will be huge...
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 01:58:06 pm by DriesV »

Offline Trampam

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2012, 11:20:20 am »
Also heard that Xeon Phi won't be available in retail. So there is a chance that usual user won't be able to purchase this item.

Offline DriesV

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 03:32:43 am »
Also heard that Xeon Phi won't be available in retail. So there is a chance that usual user won't be able to purchase this item.

I believe this might be true for the 1st generation (5110P) of Phi products. These cards have passive cooling and thus are suitable for rack server installations only.
Sometime in 2013 Intel will be releasing the Xeon Phi 3110. This card will have active cooling and is rumored to be a workstation-class card.

Again, compatibility with future KeyShot releases remains highly speculative, until it is officially confirmed by Luxion ;D

greetings,
Dries
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 03:39:53 am by DriesV »

Offline DriesV

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2013, 05:45:15 am »
I was reading over the SC12 Xeon Phi announcement keynote during lunch break and stumbled upon some interesting preliminary rendering performance figures.
Apparently Xeon Phi is 1.8 times faster than a dual Xeon E5-2687w in Intel's own raytracer Embree.

The workstation version of Xeon Phi (3100) is expected to cost less than 2000 USD. Now consider that two E5-2687w CPU's cost 3780 USD (1890 each). So if you'd like to match the Xeon Phi rendering performance with E5-2687w CPUs you'd need 3.6 of them (theoretically...). This would set you back 6800 USD, and that's not even considering the extra motherboard, memory, PSU... you'd need to run them.
So for rendering, these Xeon Phi cards sound very promising price/performance wise...

Let's now do some wishful thinking and make a quick and dirty 1-1 translation for KeyShot: :P
Plugging one Xeon Phi card into your system would boost the camera benchmark by around 325fps. ;D
Plugging two Xeon Phi cards into your system would boost the camera benchmark by around 650fps. ;D ;D
This would make it extremely useful for realtime presentations!
...

Dries
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 06:38:54 am by DriesV »

Offline lpeter

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Re: Xeon Phi
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2016, 11:02:00 pm »
So in the end, does keyshot support xeon phi, ot not? I have a chanche to buy some phi card, to fasten my render settings, but the question, if i can use it at all?