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Intensity Shuttle

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Lachlan Jadezak
Intensity Shuttle
on Nov 14, 2010 at 8:58:51 pm

The compatibility of this seems very limited, and I'm very unsure about whether to buy it or not.

My main concern is my motherboard, a Gigabyte P55-UD3, and if the Asus U3S6 USB 3.0 expansion card will work with it. If it does, will the shuttle work with and i7 860, 4 GB RAM, 2x Radeon 5770's and a 1TB Hard Drive? I don't want to go to the trouble of buying it to find out it doesn't work and have wasted my money :|

I would get the Pro as it seems much more simple, but I don't have a hard drive array to capture uncompressed video. My only other choice if I can't get the shuttle to work is a Hauppauge HD PVR. I'm capturing PS3 footage.


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Bob Haber
Re: Intensity Shuttle
on Nov 15, 2010 at 1:10:14 am

With the Asus USB3 card, you would seem to meet the requirements for the Intensity Shuttle.

As far as disk I/O requirements, though, it should be the same between the Shuttle and the Pro, as they are very similar in terms of what they can capture. With only a single hard drive, you wouldn't be able to capture uncompressed HD video from either system, you would have to compress it. The main difference between the Intensity and the Hauppage is that the Hauppage would be doing the compression in the capture device, so you wouldn't have any control over it, or the ability to switch to uncompressed down the road if you were to upgrade your disk.

Going forward, the Shuttle gives the potential for capturing 1080p60 which would be better for game consoles, but this doesn't work yet. Blackmagic says the hardware in the device can theoretically support it with faster USB3 controllers.


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Lachlan Jadezak
Re: Intensity Shuttle
on Nov 15, 2010 at 3:44:30 am

Hi, thanks for the reply.

I wanted the shuttle mainly because I have the ability to work with only one hard drive due to being able to compress videos, and I believe the formats are easier to work with in editing programs, (the Hauppauge is H264, which can be a bit iffy at times), and I'd be able to work with uncompressed later on if I upgrade my hard drives. My main concern was the compatibility of the USB 3.0 expansion card with my mobo, but as all seems well i think I'll give it a go.


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Danny Hays
Re: Intensity Shuttle
on Nov 15, 2010 at 6:13:44 pm

Since your MOBO has the p55 chipset and you have that Asus USB card, the shuttle should work. You can capture to one drive as Blackmagic motion JPEG, and it still looks great and edits well too. Make sure you follow the instructions and update the NEC firmware for the USB card like it states in the Shuttle pdf manual. I have the Shuttle and used the ASUS P6X58D Premium Mobo, which already had the USB ports. But I have since bought a Panasonic HDC-TM700 which captures to 1080 60p where I was capturing straight from the imager off a Sony HVR-A1 as the motion jpeg avi 4.2.2 color space and bypassing the HDV encoder and the 4.2.0 color space. It worked great, but the quality from the TM700 surpasses it by far. I probably wont be using the sony unless I need a second camera and it's a hoome studio session since I have to have the computer there with the Shuttle.



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Lachlan Jadezak
Re: Intensity Shuttle
on Nov 15, 2010 at 8:54:50 pm

Ok thank you :) I am sure to buy this now, only one last thing, I've found a more suitable USB expansion card, the Gigabyte GA-USB3, the only difference I see between it and the Asus one is it is x1 lane PCI Express 2.0 where as the Asus one is x4 lane PCI Express. Is there a difference in speeds or something important here? I know very little about PCI so a quick explanation would be very nice.

Thank you both for your help!

Lachlan


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Bob Haber
Re: Intensity Shuttle
on Nov 16, 2010 at 6:28:09 am

I'm afraid I gave you some bad advice before and here is an explanation.

PCIe consists of many lanes, each lane carries the same amount of bandwidth from a card or onboard device to the CPU. There are a limited number of lanes so exactly where they go has to be rationed by the motherboard. PCIe slots can be 1x, 4x, 8x, or 16x (and theoretically others but those are what actually tend to exist), which groups one or more of these channels together. A 1x slot has one lane and a 16x slot has 16 lanes, and so on. You can put a smaller card into a larger slot and it will work fine.

PCIe version 2.0 is supposed to be twice as fast as 1.0 or 1.1 but otherwise works the same way and uses the same slots. However, only the X58-based motherboards and certain AMD motherboards can actually drive all their PCIe slots to the full 2.0 speed. Most others, including P55-based motherboards, only work at 1.0 speed for some or all slots.

Complicating the situation is the fact that you can have slots that are physically one size, but electronically less capable. This is the case with your motherboard, which has two physical 16x slots, but one of them is only electrically 4x. This allows you to put a 16x-sized card in it, which will then work at 4x speed. This is done so you can get Crossfire graphics working even though your CPU is a little short on PCIe lanes. Of course, you could also put a 4x or even 1x card in the slot.

With a 9xx series CPU, with many more lanes available, you would be able to run both cards at 16x speed, which is much of why the 9xx series CPUs work better for crossfire/SLI (and also why they are more expensive).

What I didn't realize from your initial post was that your motherboard's high-capacity slots are actually all full, because you have two GPUs installed and your other slot is only 1x. That means that you would actually not be able to get the ASUS USB card to work because you would not have a slot to put it in.

So you would have to stick with a 1x USB3 card which will fit in your free 1x slot. But then that complicates matters because your 1x slot is not a full speed slot, it runs at the speed of PCIe 1.1. This is probably not enough performance for the Shuttle, even with a high speed 1-lane card like the Gigabyte.

With 4 lanes available, the ASUS card ensures it has enough bandwidth available. With two USB3.0 ports and also two SATA 6GB ports, using only 1 lane would not provide enough speed for all these components. The 4x PCIe interface provides more performance (even on systems without full speed PCIe 2.0 slots) at the cost of needing a bigger slot... which you don't have, unless you take out one of your graphics cards.

So at this point I think you might be stuck with using the Intensity Pro, which will work in your free 1x slot, or getting a new motherboard with a different slot configuration and/or onboard USB3.


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Lachlan Jadezak
Re: Intensity Shuttle
on Nov 16, 2010 at 9:08:20 pm

Hmm well that's a bit of a pain, and I haven't got enough money for a new motherboard. I'd almost be willing to take out one card, but this all seems to be getting a fair bit of a hassle just to capture some footage. The Intensity Pro can't capture compressed can it? That rules that out as I don't have a hard drive array to capture uncompressed.

That leaves me the choice of getting the Shuttle and removing a graphics card, or going with the Hauppauge, which doesn't have the ability to capture uncompressed at all if I were to ever get a hard drive array.

Reading my motherboard manual, I have a PCIe x16 slot, running at x16 and a PCIe x16 running at x4, I currently have my graphics cards in these two slots, if I were to replace one with the GA-USB3.0, where would it go? In the x4 one?

Thanks for your explanation on PCI.


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Danny Hays
Re: Intensity Shuttle
on Nov 17, 2010 at 1:03:26 am

I have the shuttle, not the Intensity pro card, but they both use Media Express software to capture as well as some NLE's capture like Premiere and Finalcut.
I believe it does capture as MJPEG (the compressed format from Blackmagic)as it Shows it it's comparison chart to the Shuttle here.

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/techspecs/

Scroll down to the chart, Processing and extras and it'll also show which PCI Express slot, lane required. It doesn't support as many HD formats as the shuttle, higher on the chart shows you this.

There are 4 provin MOBO's that work with the shuttle found here on this Forum thread, second post down.

http://stream-recorder.com/forum/blackmagic-intensity-shuttle-and-usb-3-0-t...

If you haven't bought the shuttle yet, maybe the card will work with what you have. Just has pigtails instead of a nice pretty box.
Hope this helps, Danny Hays



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Bob Haber
Re: Intensity Shuttle
on Nov 17, 2010 at 1:56:59 am

The only real difference between the two in terms of capability is that the Shuttle can handle a couple more video formats, but they both send the same, uncompressed data to the CPU. Your CPU would then do the compression in real-time before writing the data to disk. This is where the Intensity is better than the Hauppage because you can capture to MJPEG* which is more flexible than H.264 and much better for editing or effects.

* And sometimes other codecs as well, depending on your software


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Lachlan Jadezak
Re: Intensity Shuttle
on Nov 17, 2010 at 6:03:50 am

Oh ok, thank you for that, I thought the Pro was only uncompressed as everyone I have talked to has stressed that I use >1 hard drive because it captures uncompressed. So, that raises the question, can I capture compressed footage at a smooth FPS with my current set up?

I should probably be a little more specific about my hard drive as I assume it would be the main cause of bad performance.

I current have a "WDC WD10EARS-00Y5B1 ATA" as my device manager tells me. I actually don't really remember purchasing my hard drive, so I don't really know what it is. I knew very little about computers back then, and just kinda grabbed some stuff without thinking too much about it, which I kinda regret. From my google searches, this is what I found about the hard drive (not %100 sure it's the same one to be honest)

Drive Performance
Buffer: 64MB
Maximum External Data Transfer Rate: 300MBps
Maximum Internal Data Transfer Rate: 111MBps
Rotational Speed: 5400 rpm

I'm currently looking for a new job (I'm currently doing my HSC course (important Australian final exam if you don't live there, done in the last year of high school) so I can't work much, but I will try and get enough money to grab an extra hard drive at some point and do some research on RAID configurations (do they need any specific hard drives?)

Anyway, just a little summary, I will be capturing at 720p, using the Black Magic Intensity Pro with 1 hard drive and an i7 860, with 2 Radeon HD 5770's and 4GB RAM. Can I capture at a smooth FPS? If I can the Pro is definately a better choice due to lack of a PCI slot for USB 3.0 because of 2 graphics cards.

Thanks,

Lachlan.


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Bob Haber
Re: Intensity Shuttle
on Nov 17, 2010 at 11:12:09 am

Drive performance really varies a lot, so I can't say. Probably, you will be fine but I'm not 100% sure.

For RAID you need to have every drive with exactly the same size and reported drive parameters, usually it's best to just get several of the same exact drive. Also, depending on your RAID drivers & hardware, you may have to reformat the drives. In this case if your boot drive is to be RAID, you would have to reinstall everything. If this happens it's also somewhat annoying to install RAID as the boot drive if you use Windows XP, unless you have a floppy drive.


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Lachlan Jadezak
Re: Intensity Shuttle
on Nov 18, 2010 at 8:37:20 am

Ok, well I'll make sure to by multiple disks next time I do. Thank you very much for the help!

This is the first thread I've created on the forum and I'm extremely impressed by the responses on here, great website!

I shall be purchasing the Intensity Pro :)


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