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Thunderbolt Expansion Chasis

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Robert Crosby
Thunderbolt Expansion Chasis
on Mar 18, 2012 at 8:31:23 am

I began working on a Resolve at home on my 2011 MacBook Pro. I have a Thunderbolt Pegasus Raid, UltraStudio 3D and Display. I was waiting for the Tbolt Mac Pros to come out, but now are not sure if they will ever come out. I work on Mac Pros with Red Rocket cards at my work (Company 3) and miss that performance at home.

I am trying to keep my Tbolt setup and am looking to buy a new iMac with 16 Gb of ram, which is twice as much as my Macbook Pro setup. Also much faster, obviously, but I wanted to use a Red Rocket card or two. I found sites such as http://www.magma.com/thunderbolt.asp and http://www.sonnettech.com/product/thunderbolt/index.html coming out with PCI Thunderbolt expansion chassis'.

I'm pretty new to configuring video graphics cards and I was just wondering if this would be a good idea to purchase one of these when they come out. I mean will DaVinci have any troubles recognizing the RED rocket card in this expansion chassis? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


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Desmond Ford
Re: Thunderbolt Expansion Chasis
on Mar 18, 2012 at 4:05:05 pm

I'm in a very similar dilemma. What people have told me so far is to wait due to the uncertainty of GC compatibility with Resolve and even Macs. We don't want to be the guinea pigs considering our limited knowledge on configuring external graphic cards.

Therefore, since I'm in need of a new computer, my choice is between a full spec 17"MBP or a full spec 27"iMac. You have experience on both, which one would you recommend for a student of color correction?

How was coloring in Davinci on you MBP? Was it super slow?

I'm sure that you and I are not the only ones in this dilemma right now. I'll be following this thread. Good luck!


Dezzy


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Mike Most
Re: Thunderbolt Expansion Chasis
on Mar 18, 2012 at 5:22:16 pm

Well, if you want to do what you say on a Mac platform, I'd recommend a Mac Pro. Neither the iMac nor a laptop is going to do what you want to do at the speed you probably expect. You need a computer with PCIe expansion capabilities, and therefore the capability of housing GPU cards running at full speed. That means either a PC or a Mac Pro.

There is no "uncertainty" with regard to NVidia GPU cards with the Mac Pro. Using NVidia's latest drivers, all NVidia cards work just fine, including cards like the GTX580 series that were previously PC-only.


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Desmond Ford
Re: Thunderbolt Expansion Chasis
on Mar 18, 2012 at 5:51:35 pm

[Mike Most] "There is no "uncertainty" with regard to NVidia GPU cards with the Mac Pro. Using NVidia's latest drivers, all NVidia cards work just fine, including cards like the GTX580 series that were previously PC-only.
"


This is true, external chassises such as Cubix work well with Resolve on Mac Pros.

I was referring to iMacs and MBPs. As of yet, it is not known if Apple will employ NVidia cards and or support in any upcoming products. Even if they did, there is no indication that you could use them with iMacs or MBPs. Just think if we could add a Cubix to a MBP... who would need a Mac Pro ever again?

Also, Thunderbolt is somehow incapable of interfacing with such external chassises, which is something I still don't understand the reason for... is it an intentional design to keep competition at bay, or is their a limited system architecture that prevents it?


Dezzy


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Mike Most
Re: Thunderbolt Expansion Chasis
on Mar 18, 2012 at 6:45:36 pm

>>Just think if we could add a Cubix to a MBP... who would need a Mac Pro ever again?

Anyone who wants PCIe expansion with full 16 lane capability and full bus speed.

Unless Thunderbolt is seriously re-engineered, this is only capable with bus mounted HBAs.


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David Jackson
Re: Thunderbolt Expansion Chasis
on Mar 18, 2012 at 4:06:43 pm

No, bad idea.

From all I've read, Apple have effectively knobbled the use of off board gfx cards via Thunderbolt.

This may change in the future of course, but then again it may not. I'm sorry I can't find the source info, but I looked into this too and was realised that at least for now, this was a distinct non-starter


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David Jackson
Re: Thunderbolt Expansion Chasis
on Mar 18, 2012 at 5:29:17 pm

Here's where I read it - from Magma's site in fact.....

External Graphics

There is an interoperability issue with MacOS using graphics (GPU) cards externally through Thunderbolt. Unfortunately, external graphics solutions for MacOS X do not work and we do not expect a resolution from Apple in the short term.


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andrew sableton
Re: Thunderbolt Expansion Chasis
on Mar 20, 2012 at 3:42:24 pm

Seems to nail it down.... No iMac davinci for me....gotta start costing out a Windows suite :(


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David Jackson
Re: Thunderbolt Expansion Chasis
on Mar 20, 2012 at 4:13:07 pm

Yes, it's a real shame - since TB is a development of PCI data format anyway it would make perfect sense....but Apple in their wisdom no-likey, so we don't get to play.

Like you I've found a TB-based MBP solution works, but slowly so I'm looking at PC options. I'm not sure we can count on there ever being another Mac Pro, sad as that is.


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Christopher Adams
Re: Thunderbolt Expansion Chasis
on Mar 21, 2012 at 1:30:11 pm

I do wonder if one of the eliete books would would. Those have an option for a Dreamcolor display at high res. and a quadro card and desecrete graphics. I would assume that you would need to swap to the internal crappy graphics to free up the quadro from being connected actively to the display for resolve to work.. anyone go that route testing this yet?
CJ


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Eric Fiegehen
Re: Thunderbolt Expansion Chasis
on Mar 27, 2012 at 2:16:41 am

That's only part of the problem. Apple could fix that one if they wanted to.

The real issue is the inability to hot-plug a discrete graphics card into a PCIe bus - nobody can do it at present. Can you imagine all of the support issues involved with releasing a thunderbolt product to the masses of iMac and MacBook? Despite whatever you tell everyone as to proper procedure to use, many (if not most) will attempt to connect the discrete graphics to a live system without powering down first. That's why you don't see any one supporting the technology for use with discrete graphics.

Eric


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