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Magma CardBus to PCI Expansion

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dopoccMagma CardBus to PCI Expansion
by on May 31, 2006 at 9:33:58 pm

Would anyone be familiar in this forum with the Magma series of CardBus to PCI Expansion chassis? (PCMCIA to PCI)

http://www.mobl.com/expansion/products/cardbus_expansion/index.html

A sound engineer friend of mine has been using one flawlessly on a laptop PC for years now, in order to use his pro audio application of choise (Pyramix) which requires a PCI DSP card to run, on a laptop.

I was wondering if anybody has ever tried or has been thinking to use one of these expansion cards on the last 17" PCI Powerbook, in order to plug a Kona2 PCI as well as a SATA Raid Card on the Magma expansion and edit DVCPRO HD with FCP 5 or capture uncompressed on a Laptop.

This way an Apple 23 or 30 inch monitor (not shure if it works with the Powerbook but 23" does the job anyway) could be hooked on the Powerbook's DVI output for additional desktop real estate and an Pro LCD monitor such as the Pany BT-LH1700W could input from the Kona via SDI for critical viewing. Also an HD camera like the Pany HVX for example could be connected on the Kona to capture uncompressed.

My questions are:

a) Is the PCMCIA Bus on a 17" Powerbook capable of supporting full bandwidth for BOTH the RAID PCI card and the Kona?

b) If Magma choses to support the Macbook's Pro PCIe architecture and release a PCIe CardBus to PCIe expansion chassis, will the 17" Macbook's Pro PCIe bandwidth support both an PCIe RAID card and the Kona LHe on the same physical bus?

c) What do people think of this approach (if applicable) for location editing, uncompressed capturing, documentary work, van applications etc., as opposed to the less compact Powermac G5 approach? Notice should be taken that the cost wouldn't be reduced, since the differnce in price between a Powermac and a Powerbook is worth the Magma expansion. Also some other issues could be introduced, like the fact that the Magma (probably) serializes with the laptop's board and (probably) only works with the machine it serialezes with (kind of a licence I believe).

thanks to all and excuse me for my ignorance if this subject has already been discussed and been brought on in the past



Bill Belegris
Cinematographer
Renegade Arts Inc.
HD Cinematography, Audio Production
and Digital Content Creation Studio Services
Thissio, Athens, Greece


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dopoccRe: Magma CardBus to PCI Expansion
by on May 31, 2006 at 10:06:57 pm

Magma web site quote:

"Our 64-bit 2 Slot accommodates two full-length 64-bit PCI cards, and also has a drive bay specially designed so you can add internal SCSI or FireWire disk drives. Although communication to the host computer with be in a 32-bit mode, communication inside the expansion system is available in 64-bit mode, thus enhancing various applications."

My question is if this could benefit uncompressed capture, using two internal HDD as RAID pair

Bill Belegris
Cinematographer
Renegade Arts Inc.
HD Cinematography, Audio Production
and Digital Content Creation Studio Services
Thissio, Athens, Greece


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Bob ZelinRe: Magma CardBus to PCI Expansion
by on May 31, 2006 at 10:19:51 pm

you write -
What do people think of this approach (if applicable) for location editing, uncompressed capturing, documentary work, van applications etc., as opposed to the less compact Powermac G5 approach? Notice should be taken that the cost wouldn't be reduced, since the differnce in price between a Powermac and a Powerbook is worth the Magma expansion.

REPLY - I think you are crazy. Even if it works, there is this fantasy that becuase you are on a notebook, everything else is small. You STILL need ALL KINDS OF STUFF, that will be hanging off the computer - drives, monitors, keyboards, USB hubs, black gen, the Magma - it WONT be portable - you will have ALL THIS STUFF - just get a rack on wheels, stick the damn G5 in the rack, and be done with it. And have room in a rack draw for your mouse, cables, etc, etc. I see people all the time with laptop AVID systems, but they are using a Mojo, and have all this crap hanging off the system, with millions of wires - it's just crazy. You ain't running a word processor here - our business requires all kinds of STUFF - and all those outboard pieces of equipment (including the Magma) don't make it "portable".

Bob Zelin


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dopoccRe: Magma CardBus to PCI Expansion
by on May 31, 2006 at 11:04:28 pm

Well "stuff" is stuff anyway be it on a G5 or Laptop+Magma, I don't see much more "Stuff" introduced. You could probably even get away without a keyboard and mouse ford hard cut editing, plus I don't see any hubs, I even see weight advantages in this approach.

Believe me, I have done serious audio recording, critical audio projects on a powerbook/667/onyx, running OS 9, with a considerable amount of outboard gear and 8 mics, in situattions where a G5 wouldn't go unless you have a second G5 backup machine for safety.. I don't see why serious uncompressed HD work, couldn't be handled similarly using a laptop.. I beleive you missunderstoud my point here that was about a) compatibility and bandwidth issues, b) a way to get away of the G5 for tight and hairy situations, c) I never implied that I wouldn't use a rack on wheels for the rest of the "stuff", I just wouldn't have to squeeze and "saw" a G5 in there. I believe I could just leave our Quad in the studio and carry less weight by getting a second hand PBook 17" for the road and rack the magma in a much smaller flight case along with our Kona and Raid enclosure. Easy man

I really don't see the "stuff" factor as a flaw. I believe that "all this crap hanging from your system" as you say is probably hanging from your G5 anyway. Again, never implied that a flight case wouldn't be used.

Any other approaches, ideas or workarounds?

Thanks and sorry if this still seems crazy, maybe it's late but I still think it could work for tight situations (if the PCI bandwidth is not an issue).

Speaking of bandwidth, I believe that it's more than clear that this was the essence of my post, which was food for thought - intended anyway.

Thanks

Bill Belegris
Cinematographer
Renegade Arts Inc.
HD Cinematography, Audio Production
and Digital Content Creation Studio Services
Thissio, Athens, Greece


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gary adcockRe: Magma CardBus to PCI Expansion
by on Jun 1, 2006 at 1:08:47 pm

[dopocc] "Thanks and sorry if this still seems crazy, maybe it's late but I still think it could work for tight situations (if the PCI bandwidth is not an issue)."

Bill
It is my understanding all of the card based expansion is only for PCI -- Not PCI-x, NOT PCIe
so that Kona board is not going to work... it needs PCIx to functions

I however can and do run my Kona LS (sd only) on my magma (but the Io is a better option for this)


gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows
Chicago, IL
gary@studio37.com


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Mike CurtisRe: Magma CardBus to PCI Expansion
by on Jun 1, 2006 at 12:41:32 am

Short version - it won't work.

Why:

1.) 1st off, the bus - it is PCI ONLY, not PCI-X nor PCIe.

2.) Even if it were PCIe native, it would only be one lane, and the max throughput isn't enough

3.) All HD capable cards are PCI-X 100/133 MHz, or PCIe 4 lane cards

4.) Even if you had the HD card working, there wouldn't be enough leftover bandwidth for the storage solution

5.) I specifically asked Grant Petty from BlackMagic if it would be possible to do anything HD over the expansion slot on the newest Intel based MacBook Pros, and we discussed it and it boiled down to NO, can't be done for HD. You might be able to get 720p24, 8 bit only 4:2:2, that kind of a thing, so not worth doing. And even then, you'ld only have the HD signal and no fast storage (FireWire 800 not fast enough). Since a single card solution would require both a storage solution and an HD solution, and no company has all that expertise, and there's not enough throughput anyway, and that'd be a tiny market to serve, It Ain't Gonna Happen.

With FireWire ingest for HDV, DV, DVCPRO/50/HD, and Matrox MXO coming for HD-SDI output, that even more reasons why this product doesn't have sufficient demand to make it on top of the fact that it is not possible and not practical and not feasible given the technology limitations.

I'd like it to work, but it ain't gonna.

-mike

HD For Indies
http://www.hdforindies.com

Mike Curtis
HD For Indies - Hi Def Filmmaking & Post for Independent Filmmakers


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