Would an eGPU improve S/Spy performance?
  • Ben & Co,
    I noticed that today's release of 10.13.4 supports external GPU (eGPU). Would S/Spy benefit from this? For machines with Thunderbolt3, would this maybe be more cost effective than replacing the entire machine?

    "External GPUs provide extra graphics processing power for graphics-intensive applications. eGPUs are able to accelerate apps that use Metal, OpenGL. and OpenCL. "

    thanks in advance.
  • The two main GPU-accelerated frameworks that SecuritySpy uses are OpenGL for video display, and VideoToolbox for video decoding/encoding. We already know what OpenGL is supported for eGPUs, but there is not yet any confirmed information about VideoToolbox. It's certainly possible - adding an external GPU may in fact allow VideoToolbox to offload more of the H.264 video processing to hardware and therefore speed up SecuritySpy, but no information about this has yet been officially released. At this point we'll just have to wait and see.
  • With the release of the new Mac Mini today - and its TB3 ports - this is an intriguing possibility. Any news on what benefit SecuritySpy might see from an eGPU (or if it would be able to use it)?
  • I have 2 similar questions. If I off-load SecuritySpy to a new Mac Mini, would I benefit from more CPU cores (4 or 6)? Also, probably a dumb question, but how could I get the video feed from SecuritySpy (assuming it's running on a Mac Mini) to display on my my MacPro monitor? Thanks, Ben.
  • One thing we know for sure is that the built-in 8th-generation Intel Core CPU in the new Mac minis offer hardware-accelerated decoding of up to 16 H.264/H.265 video streams - this will give a huge boost to SecuritySpy and will allow high numbers of cameras to be used on one Mac mini.

    Any additional cameras beyond 16 will need to be proceed by the CPU, and in this case the performance of the CPU becomes relevant.

    So, @rdforbes, if you are using many more than cameras than 16, then you will certainly get a big increase in performance capability with a 6-core CPU vs a 4-core CPU. The other area in which you will benefit from a 6-core CPU is if you are frequently streaming multiple cameras simultaneously via SecuritySpy's web interface.

    To view cameras from one Mac on a different Mac, please see this section of the user manual: SecuritySpy as remote viewing software.

    As for an eGPU, as far as I can tell, there is no indication that Macs can take advantage of hardware-accelerated video encoding/decoding on eGPUs, so I don't think that SecuritySpy would benefit from this.
  • Not to hijack the thread about eGPUs but since the Mac mini came up & Ben's implication that 4-core is sufficient for less than 16 cameras - I'm wondering how much SS's (future) usage of CoreML and object detection will tax the CPU. So without any knowledge, and "just in case," I sprung for the 6-core.
  • Hi @bp33 this is a good question. CoreML will use the GPU where possible, and it is conceivable that an eGPU would help here. Testing would have to be done to confirm this.

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