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Bob Zelin
USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 15, 2010 at 1:39:21 am

If Blackmagic doesn't post "certified" USB3 cards for existing MAC Pro computers, so I can use their new products, I am going to start crying. We can't be limited to the new HP computers for this.

Bob Zelin



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Luke Maslen
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 15, 2010 at 2:29:16 am

Hi Bob,

Unfortunately all the USB 3.0 PCI Express cards that currently exist lack Mac drivers and there is no USB 3.0 support in Mac OS X. That's why UltraStudio Pro, Intensity Shuttle and Pocket UltraScope are currently only supported on Windows. Hopefully USB 3.0 support will be added to Macs and which case it would be easy for Blackmagic Design to make these new products work on Mac OS X.

It might be possible to use Bootcamp and a USB 3.0 PCI Express card in a PCI Express 2.0 slot but it's not something we've tested and I'm not sure whether you would get the full USB 3.0 speed required for uncompressed video capture and playback. In any case, running Bootcamp would not be very convenient if wanting to use Final Cut Pro.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Aaron Pulicano
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 15, 2010 at 4:25:18 am

Luke, so are you saying you can in fact use a PCIe 4x USB 3.0 card with the Intensity Shuttle rather then having to build a new computer based on an Intel X58 motherboard? Something like the below card:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813995004

Also, on that tech specs for the Intensity Shuttle it lists 480p support. Could you confirm if that is supported for both Component and HDMI input and does that 720x480p support consist of both 59.94fps and 60fps?


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Jason Finnigan
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 15, 2010 at 4:51:15 am

What advantage (besides saying your one of the few who have a usb 3.0 i/o device) would one of these give you. I mean I know 3.0 technically can have 4.8gbps (not that your ever going to see that) over say a pcie slot (4-8) and firewire 800. because even HD uncompressed is around 1.5gbps. obvisoly it would be better than a firewire 800 solution (aja IO HD, which I don't like anyhow since your tied to pro res). but it doesn't have anything on a pcie card that I would think of except laptops, but I've never seen anyone ingest on a laptop.

It would be neat to have the ultrastudio pro on a mac just because of the audio meters. but I'm never going to have enough money for one so that is trivial


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Luke Maslen
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 15, 2010 at 5:42:23 am

Hi Jason,

[Jason Finnigan] "What advantage (besides saying your one of the few who have a usb 3.0 i/o device) would one of these give you ... but it doesn't have anything on a pcie card that I would think of except laptops, but I've never seen anyone ingest on a laptop."

You're quite right that a USB 3.0 i/o device will simply do the same things that a PCIe i/o card will do. However ...

1. Obviously it's much easier to install a USB device as you just plug in to an external port on the computer. With PCIe cards, you need to open the computer, unscrew things, plug in the card and try not to crack the motherboard as you press down on it (I've done that before!), close everything up and try not to cut your hand on any nasty sharp bits of metal inside.

2. USB 3.0 will soon make it possible to capture and playback uncompressed video with laptops which is obviously something that many people will want to do. The current generation of USB 3.0 chips used in laptops do not run USB 3.0 as fast as the USB 3.0 standard allows and are not quite adequate for uncompressed HD. However tower PCs with the x58 series chip do support the "super speed" of USB 3.0 and are fine for use with all our new USB 3.0 products. It won't be long before laptops have faster USB 3.0 chips which are adequate for uncompressed HD video as computers are always becoming faster.

3. As USB 3.0 becomes increasingly common, PC manufacturers will likely make smaller, cheaper PC's because they can now remove the PCI Express slots and simply include a few USB 3.0 slots. So we wanted to make devices which allow people to use low cost but powerful computers.

I don't think PCI Express slots will disappear any time soon as there are various applications where cards might be more convenient, e.g. video streaming servers containing multiple cards is a much neater solution than a whole bunch of external USB devices connected to a server. Educational facilities would probably prefer PCI Express cards as they are less likely to walk out the door than a USB device. However I do expect a transition to computers with either no PCI Express slots or fewer slots as USB 3.0 takes hold.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Luke Maslen
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 15, 2010 at 6:05:01 am

Hi Aron,

[Aaron Pulicano] "are you saying you can in fact use a PCIe 4x USB 3.0 card with the Intensity Shuttle rather then having to build a new computer based on an Intel X58 motherboard?"

No. The Intel x58 chipset is essential because it fully supports the PCI Express 2.0 specification which in turn provides enough capacity to drive the full speed of USB 3.0. There are some cut down versions of the x58 chipset which are cheaper but they don't provide reliable performance for things like uncompressed 10-bit playback. Currently we will exclusively recommend the x58 series motherboards but I'm sure this will change rapidly as motherboards seem to be updated every few months so we should see other options soon.

Could you please repost your question about 480p support next week? The relevant engineers are at NAB this week so I'm unsure if I can get an answer for you. But if you repost next week, we should be able to get an answer for you.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Aaron Pulicano
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 15, 2010 at 1:24:52 pm

My GigaByte X48 Intel motherboard has two full speed PCIe 2.0 slots at 16x speeds. So that was why I was thinking I could just pop in a 4x or 8x USB 3.0 card in and use the Shuttle, but guess not from what you said.


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Luke Maslen
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 16, 2010 at 12:03:35 am

Hi Brett,

Unfortunately not. It turns out that just because a computer has PCI Express 2.0 slots doesn't mean they are being driven at full speed. In many cases that would not matter but the speed is vital for the USB 3.0 bus to work fast enough for uncompressed HD. That's why we specify the Intel x58 series of motherboards.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Aaron Pulicano
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 16, 2010 at 12:08:03 pm

If you were responding to me, the name is Aaron not Brett. Anyway, I confirmed with GigaByte that my motherboard has two 16x PCIe 2.0 slots as seen below. I am not sure what you mean by PCIe 2.0 slots that run at "full speed", but mine appear to do so. PCIE_16_2 shares with the three PCIe 1x slots on my board, but I have no cards installed into those. It would seem based on the above information that adding a internal PCIe 4x USB 3.0 card to my second PCIE_16_2 slot would allow me to use the shuttle or is it still not going to work? Just asking as I wanted to see if I could make it work on my current system rather then having to build a new one.

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (The PCIE_16_1 slot supports x16; the PCIE_16_2 supports x16.)
3 x PCI Express x1 slots (share with the PCIE_16_2 slot)


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Luke Maslen
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 19, 2010 at 1:13:09 am

Hi Aaron,

My apologies for typing the wrong name. I saw Brett's name in the thread and mistakenly typed it. Further to my previous comments about the x58 series of motherboards, I've just learnt that virtually all of the USB 3.0 PCI Express cards use a Linux driver, or a port of a Linux driver, which does not have isochronous support and are only useful for hard disks with simple, slow speed, bulk transfers. That means that these cards will not be suitable for uncompressed HD capture and playback as they'll just be too slow.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Luke Maslen
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 19, 2010 at 4:31:17 am

Hi,

I've just learnt that virtually all of the USB 3.0 PCI Express cards use a Linux driver, or a port of a Linux driver, which does not have isochronous support and are only useful for hard disks with simple, slow speed, bulk transfers. That means that these cards will not be suitable for uncompressed HD capture and playback as they'll just be too slow. Hopefully I didn't get anyone too excited with the PCI Express card idea.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Brett Howe
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 15, 2010 at 5:46:02 am

Don't cry Bob, you know you'll ugrade sooner than you could have thought.

It seems only yesterday I built my new HD edit suite, and now,three years have almost past, and I've just done it all again!

I do have USB3 on an X58 board. So bring it on! Practically, I think it's a great idea. We know the Intensity is great value, but it looks to be even better value if we can move it between machines as required.

More importantly, BM has had quite a time certifying the Intensity for any machine with a PCIe slot, as they all seem to be so different (Hence the NO DELL support). USB3 should simplify matters accross the board. And that can only be a good thing.

As for the very sexy Ultra Studio Pro, again, any investment in hardware that we can feel confident will travel through a couple of machine upgrades is welcome.

Now we just need some AVCIntra presets in the drivers, and native AVCInra support (like the recent DVCPro addition) and we won't know ourselve's.

Brett Howe
Creative Director / Producer
Brave Vision Pty Ltd


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Dave Artez
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 16, 2010 at 4:05:36 am

If I could butt in, is there a list of known supported motherboards for the Shuffle? I'd really like to get one, presuming it's the plug and play solution I'm hoping it is, but I've had a lot of trouble with the Intensity Pro in the past, and if I pick one of these up I want to make sure it's 100% painless to install. Can I just pick up any old x58 motherboard, plug it in, and it's good to go?


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Jeff Bernstein
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 17, 2010 at 11:37:06 pm

Before Bob starts sobbing, let me be the first to inform him that Sonnet will have a USB 3.0 PCIe 2-lane card next month with Mac drivers!!!

That should get me another drink ticket for next year!



Jeff Bernstein

Digital Desktop Consulting
Apple Pro Video VAR
XSAN Certified
MetaSAN Master Reseller

323-653-7611


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Jason Finnigan
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 18, 2010 at 12:51:58 am

sure to be overpriced if it's from sonnet. I see most are about $30 so theirs I bet will be over $100


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Luke Maslen
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 19, 2010 at 1:11:27 am

Hi Jeff,

I've just learnt that virtually all of the USB 3.0 PCI Express cards use a Linux driver, or a port of a Linux driver, which does not have isochronous support and are only useful for hard disks with simple, slow speed, bulk transfers. That means that these cards will not be suitable for uncompressed HD capture and playback as they'll just be too slow.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Jason Finnigan
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 19, 2010 at 4:24:41 am

I really doesn't matter that there ported from linux. a lot of drivers for the mac are unix (since in fact mac os is a flavor of unix).. it's just a matter of people modifying these drivers to run better on the mac after ported. but I wouldn't except that to happend from any of the pcie card except. also if the driver isn't supporting isochronous transfers, it isn't conforming to the standards of USB. but it may still work as long as you only plug in the single device, basically isochronous support works similarly to to an IRQ, allowing it to take over when other things are going on when it needs it.

would I imaging apple will release a usb 3.0 driver update later this summer when the new mac pro comes out with the core i7 980 based xeon cpus (6 cores each) I would expect it to have built in usb 3.0 but that could be sometime. a friend that works for apple is saying he is hearing it will be out in late july or early august but it's just speculation


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Jeff Bernstein
Re: USB3 for new Blackmagic Products
on Apr 20, 2010 at 9:06:11 pm

I need to amend my announcement. It is, in fact, LaCie who will have the USB 3.0 card.


Jeff Bernstein

Digital Desktop Consulting
Apple Pro Video VAR
XSAN Certified
MetaSAN Master Reseller

323-653-7611


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