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Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC

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Dan Kline
Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Mar 3, 2009 at 3:22:49 am

Has anyone been able to get multiple BM Intensity cards working in single PC? I'm attempting to do multiple realtime/live HDMI captures (via multiple Pana HMC-150s) to a PC ala Cineform. From what I've heard (and read from searching around), BM says its possible. I'm assuming I could just hook up a graph in graphedit and it will "just work" but I know that's wishful thinking. If that's not an option, I have no problem coding something up w/ the DirectShow apis but I'd like to avoid that if possible.

For anyone that's interested, I need to do THREE or FOUR 720p 59.94(8bit) simultaneous realtime captures via HDMI. Right now I'm hoping to do it on a single I7 system. I know it sounds crazy but after looking at David Newman's blog, this machine seems to have the horsepower to do it and the Cineform encoder API can certainly do it. The main problem I'm running into (besides a realworld confirmation that BM will do multiple captures) is finding an X58 motherboard that has 4 general use pci-e slots for each of the BM cards. The BM only needs 1x pci-e but it seems all the boards I've found don't have enough x1, x4, or x8s and the ones that have multiple x16s are reserved for SLI/Crossfire (in other words, they only work with video cards only and are not available for general purpose use). I've been emailing motherboard manufacturers and they've confirmed the x16 video card only tidbit. I also ran into this x16 problem in a previous Gigabyte system and the Xena card.

I looked around and found the Magma, Sonnet, etc pci-e expansion boxes but $2k for one is ridiculous. I guess I'm stuck with multiple PCs (each w/ 2 BMs in it).

Anyone have any words of wisdom (hopefully constructive ;))?

Thanks for any advice/suggestions.
Dan


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Dennis Ciccone Jr
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Mar 3, 2009 at 6:02:21 pm

Somewhat related to your question but .... If you read my other post... Im having issues with using the Intensity card on an I7 intel MB board. It is currently Intel's only model for the I7's and I have been reading that other pcie x1 cards have been having issues on the board as well. I would advise you to look into this and possible get a different brand MB if you werent already.



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Dan Kline
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Mar 4, 2009 at 4:46:40 pm

Dennis, thanks for your response. I wish you the best of luck. Do you have another video card you can try in combination with the BM card? Perhaps from your old system?

If I gather any information outside of this forum, I'll post it back here.

Dan



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Dennis Ciccone Jr
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Mar 4, 2009 at 9:47:40 pm

I did try using a TV tuner card and it works fine on the board. It's not the card and not a defective board.... the board is just not compatible or as of now doesn't have a compatible bios. It just will not work with the card. I have since read of two other people with different x1 pcie cards having the same problem. One person I talked to already replaced theirs with a Gigabyte MB and got their card working. Im pretty sure since the problem was identical that the Intensity will most likely work on it as well. I need to give up on waiting for an Intel update that corrects it and just buy it now.



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cowcowcowcowcow
Tilford Bartman
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Mar 4, 2009 at 2:48:15 pm

The Asus P6T6 Revoultion motherboard has 6 PCIe slots. It has no PCI. It also has no onboard firewire so if you plan to use that you need a firewire card. I have this board with an i7 920 running at 3.6 and 12 gigs of ram. So far it runs excellent.



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Dan Kline
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Mar 4, 2009 at 4:50:47 pm

Tilford, thanks for that. I did look into that MB and have an outstanding email to Asus as well as on their support forum as to whether non-video cards can go in any slot or if it has slots that are reserved strictly video/graphics out. Do you know whether you can put your firewire card (or any non-video pci-e) in ANY slot? Which color slots do you have your cards in?

Also, unrelated, are you running Vista 64/xp64 or server64?

Thanks!
Dan



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Aristides Tiropolis
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Mar 4, 2009 at 8:17:25 pm

This is interesting. I like impossible projects.


Some questions/comments:

By looking at the product pictures, the intensity and studio card have a different slot gap than the bigger models. This gap is in my eyes absolutely compatible with PCIe x1 slots in desktop motherboards. To my knowledge 98% of x1 slots can be found only on desktop mainboards and not on workstation/server class ones and absolutely not on Mac Pro's.
The biggest concentration on x1 slots I have ever seen on desktop mainboards has never exceeded the number of 2. How would you physically install the rest of them? The x4,x8,x16 PCIe slot has different slot gaps...unless I'm missing something and maybe I am since Blackmagic states x4,x8,x16 slot support in their website. How is this possible?

As for crossfire getting in the way. I don't know about that. My mainboard has a second PCIe, that is supposedly there for a second VGA in crossfire mode, but my Decklink sits happily there fully supported on Vista x64. Crossfire is disabled in bios.


I hope this helps.



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Dan Kline
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Mar 5, 2009 at 4:47:08 am

Thanks for the info! I was looking into that board (P6T6 WS Revolution) the other day and sent off an email to ASUS tech support about it. I just checked and they replied. Here's what they say:

"Any PCI-E 1x card will work in any 8x or 16x slot.
Any 8x card will work in any 8x or 16x slot.
And of course a 16x card requires a 16x slot."

So it looks like I shouldn't have a problem using multiple intensity cards in this board (woohoo!). And, for anyone else that is interested in a similar setup or has a similar problem w/ finding a board that has enough PCI-e slots for non-SLI/crossfire boards, the SuperMicro X8STE also allows any type of PCI-e card to be installed into any of its slots. It definitely was difficult to find these boards....everyone is so consumed w/ SLI/crossfire!

However, the FoxConn Renaissance X58 i7 motherboard's PCI-e x16 slots are NOT available for general use. According to their tech support, the the x16 slots are reserved for video/graphics cards ONLY (SLI/Crossfire). I'd imagine the Gigabyte EX58 will be similar since I had the P45 model (GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P) for a Core2Quad and could not get anything other than a video card to work in the x16 slots (this includes a XENA LHe and a BM IntensityPro). Later, tech support confirmed that the slots could only be used for video/graphics cards so I returned that and got an ASUS P5Q-E MB which is great.

Oh, and regarding the slot size question, the slot notches don't cause a problem when putting a PCI-e x1 into an x16. The offset to the notch is the same, it's just that there won't be another notch/wall immediately after the x1 card when it's seated in the x16 slot. Check out this famous Tom's HW article about PCI-e. It's a great read:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-scaling-analysis,1572.html

Thanks again
Dan



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Dan Kline
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Mar 5, 2009 at 4:50:53 am

Whoops, looks like I consolidated Tilford's and Aristides' post in my head when I was replying so my post is really a reply to both. Thanks to both of you.

Dan



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Brandon Bates
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Apr 22, 2009 at 6:58:12 pm

A year ago (so this is old news) multiple Intensity cards (and perhaps decklink too?) are not supported. Tried, failed, tried to work around, failed, called tech support, they said no. I think the drivers are only written to expect one card. Don't know if that has changed. (If it has I'm interested :) Just my experience so far, may be old news though.


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Greg Sullivan
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Jan 11, 2012 at 7:38:13 pm

Dan I'm also needing to build a system with 3 active HDMI inputs.. Did you ever get this working? (Or anyone else)


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Duncan Ross
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on May 5, 2009 at 10:09:47 pm

Tilford,

You posted the following;

"Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
by Tilford Bartman on Mar 4, 2009 at 3:48:15 pm

The Asus P6T6 Revoultion motherboard has 6 PCIe slots. It has no PCI. It also has no onboard firewire so if you plan to use that you need a firewire card. I have this board with an i7 920 running at 3.6 and 12 gigs of ram. So far it runs excellent."

I am trying to find out from Black Magic which new x58 Motherboards support the Intensity/Intensity Pro. They are being a bit tight lipped.

Do you have an intensity card running in your set-up?

Duncan


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Brian Daly
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Aug 10, 2010 at 11:23:56 pm

Dan, I used a 3 way HDMI Switcher connected to one of my Intensity Pro cards and connected remaining Camera directly to the other Card. I also use HDSDI HDMI Mini Converters for longer runs with a 4 way HDSDI Switcher. I record using On-Air 2 so I can switch and monitor the other Camera's before I change over in On -Air 2
Brian Daly


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David Kadlec
Re: Multiple BlackMagic Intensity Pro Cards in a single i7 PC
on Sep 27, 2010 at 2:37:05 pm

Brian,

You mention you use a 3 way HDMI switch. Is this the inexpensive type switch commonly used for hooking up multiple HDMI devices to a TV? If so, are there any HDCP handshaking issues associated with it? For instance is the switching instantaneous?


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