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Decklink and Kona in same Mac Pro -- YES IT WORKS -- If you've been wondering read on...

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Chris Tomberlin
Decklink and Kona in same Mac Pro -- YES IT WORKS -- If you've been wondering read on...
on Nov 19, 2012 at 6:55:15 pm

I replied to a thread below that posed this question with some initial testing I'd done with a Mac Pro, Decklink Extreme 3D, a Kona 3 and a Cubix expander. You can read that to see one possible configuration. Today, I've discovered some more options that those of you interested in a dual boot scenario (boot one partition with BMD drivers for the Decklink card, and boot another partition with Kona drivers for Kona 3) may find useful.

CAVEAT - these are initial findings and have not gone through the "torture test" of long hours with clients in the room. Basic functionality with Avid, FCP7, After Effects and Resolve has been done and everything plays and renders as it should. That said, proceed at your own risk. Also note that I'm not using the additional HDMI out backplane on the Decklink.

First, the simplest configuration requires no Cubix. Put the Decklink in slot 3 of the Mac Pro and the Kona in slot 4. As long as you boot to the partition with the appropriate drivers there seems to be no problem. Slot 1 is of course occupied by GPU and slot 2 COULD theoretically be used for storage (fibre, eSATA, whatever) but I didn't specifically test that.

Second, if you want a more beefy Resolve system with multiple GPUs etc, you'll need a Cubix Xpander. I'm using the Desktop Xpander 4. The following configuration allows me to boot into a partition with AJA drivers to work with everything BUT Resolve and to restart into a BMD partition to work specifically WITH Resolve:

Mac Pro:
Slot1-Quadro 4000
Slot2-Cubix interconnect card
Slot3-Decklink Extreme 3D
Slot4-empty

Cubix Xpander 4:
Slot1-Kona 3
Slot2-Atto Celerity FC42-ES
Slot3-NVidia GTX690
Slot4-Empty

One configuration that specifically did NOT work for some reason was putting the Quadro 4000 in the Cubix and using an ATI 6770 as the display GPU. This arrangement would cause the Kona card to disappear but didn't seem to affect anything else. Due to other arrangements that I tried, I believe that particular conflict was between the Quadro and the AJA as positioned in the Cubix and had nothing to do with the ATI. This arrangement does remove the Quadro from the cuda cores that Resolve can use for rendering, but DOES make it available for After Effects and Smoke. With the GTX690 handling the processing for Resolve, this is probably a decent trade off.

So, there it is. This CAN be done. Your mileage may vary and I'd love to know if any of you get other configurations working well. If this whole thing goes up in smoke in the next few days I'll let you know, but so far so good.

Chris Tomberlin
Owner/Editor/Colorist/Mad Scientist
Outpost Pictures


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Christian Betong
Re: Decklink and Kona in same Mac Pro -- YES IT WORKS -- If you've been wondering read on...
on Nov 21, 2012 at 10:44:46 am

This sounds very interesting!

We have a mac pro station running davinci resolve and when we heard abaout smoke 2013 for mac we really wanted to have smoke on the same station.

Will this then be possible? Have you tried smoke on this setup?

Christian Berg-Nielsen
Sement&Betong
postproduction
Norway


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Chris Tomberlin
Re: Decklink and Kona in same Mac Pro -- YES IT WORKS -- If you've been wondering read on...
on Nov 21, 2012 at 2:50:10 pm

Yes, Smoke works with this set up. That was part of what prompted all this insanity. On this one system I can run Resolve (which supports Decklink only), Smoke (which supports Kona only), Avid (which works better with AJA than BMD), FCP7, Premiere, After Effects, etc... One box to rule them all!

There are some caveats as I mentioned previously - for instance it helps to have a way to switch your video outputs since you'll be feeding your monitor, deck, etc, two outputs (one from each capture card). Also, this is early testing on my part and I haven't really torture tested everything yet; but so far so good. I'll also occasionally get a kernel panic when restarting from one partition to another, but the mac just sits there for a minute, reboots again and comes up fine.

And lastly, the Cubix (actually, I think it's the GTX690 IN the Cubix) is a little louder than I'd like for something that's in the suite. You might also need a sound isolation box to keep things quiet.

Chris Tomberlin
Editor/Compositor/Owner
OutPost Pictures


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Eric Fiegehen
Re: Decklink and Kona in same Mac Pro -- YES IT WORKS -- If you've been wondering read on...
on Dec 4, 2012 at 5:24:43 pm

Hi Chris,

Would you mind if either Mic Grover or I contact you about this configuration? Might also be able to solve the noise question (given it's a Cubix fan and not the NVIDIA fans).

Eric Fiegehen
Cubix


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Chris Tomberlin
Re: Decklink and Kona in same Mac Pro -- YES IT WORKS -- If you've been wondering read on...
on Dec 4, 2012 at 6:52:22 pm

Sure, happy to talk to you about it unless I'm tied up with a client. 205-822-4060 is the office number.

Chris Tomberlin
Editor/Compositor/Owner
OutPost Pictures


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