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For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.

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Jeremy Garchow
For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 23, 2013 at 7:31:55 pm

What are you doing with your PCIe cards?

Are you buying enclosures or are you repurchasing Thunderbolt devices?


Sonnet has a deal right now where you can buy their enclosure and they will update to Thunderbolt 2 for free.

I am thinking that we will repurchase video out and drive connection devices, but stick our data controllers (fibre/etc) in a TB2 enclosure as I haven't seen any news on ATTO TB2 fibre connectors.

Just out of curiosity, what are you doing when switching to Thunderbolt?

Jeremy


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Michael Garber
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 23, 2013 at 8:36:55 pm

I went almost all-in with Thunderbolt a year ago. Now I'm all T-bolt. I had purchased a Sonnet PCIe expansion chassis and had a Kona 3G card in it. All I can say is that it was loud, but worked fine. I sold it on eBay about 3 months ago.

I would recommend selling what you can and going Thunderbolt where you can. If you need fibre, then yeah, I guess you're stuck with a PCIe enclosure for now. Just make sure the PCIe card is compatible with the enclosure. That's one area that bit me when I first bought the chassis.

Also, I ended up going with an Ultrastudio Express - which I don't really recommend other than for monitoring Resolve. It's had its share of problems. If I had that to do again, I'd spend the money on an AJA Io XT or the upcoming 4K.

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP
My Moviola Webinar on Cutting News in FCP X


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 23, 2013 at 8:59:47 pm

Thanks, Michael.

[Michael Garber] "Also, I ended up going with an Ultrastudio Express - which I don't really recommend other than for monitoring Resolve. It's had its share of problems. If I had that to do again, I'd spend the money on an AJA Io XT or the upcoming 4K."

This is exactly why I'd like to repurchase our video out devices.

This way, I can switch back and forth to the better tool for the job, and also use them elsewhere (not just on the studio computers).

Cheers,

Jeremy


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Michael Garber
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 23, 2013 at 9:28:44 pm

I find that the Thunderbolt devices pretty much stay put. But that's mainly because of cabling and the fact that I have only two computers now. But it is nice to be able to swap out quickly.

Also, I recommend picking up some USB 3 to eSATA adapters in addition to the LaCie eSATA to thunderbolt hub. They're really cheap and come in handy if you need more than two esata drives connected at a time. You might even consider using those instead of the hub if you're not using a lot of eSATA drives.

So far, I haven't run out of space with the number and kinds of drives I have connected to my computer at a time. That said, I have come close!

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP
My Moviola Webinar on Cutting News in FCP X


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Dave Jenkins
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 23, 2013 at 9:00:08 pm

I'm going with the AJA T-Tap and the UltraStudio Mini Monitor, hopefully I can use both without conflicts. Then when we start with 4k I'll take a look at the options. I'll keep my AJA card in my current MacPro for capture. I've always loved AJA products but looking at moving to DaVinci Resolve for grading so....

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
MacPro 3.2GHz Quad Core - AJA Kona LHe+
FCS 3 OS X 10.7.4
FCP X, Logic Pro, Squeeze, Filemaker 10.8.3


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Bret Williams
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 24, 2013 at 5:53:34 am

What kind of problems with express? I have one and it's a rock. I flip between AE, legacy, premiere, X, resolve, ps and it's all good. Love it.


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Michael Garber
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 25, 2013 at 4:01:54 am

Spotty playback in FCP 7. Dropped frames, mostly. Prores HQ support, but technically no standard ProRes support. No ability to convert 23.98 to 29.97 inside the box - not fault of the express, but I've been spoiled by AJA hardware and assumed it came standard on vid-out devices. Lately I've been getting black frame flashes inside FCP X. Also, not as quick to update during shuttling in the timeline as with the Kona 3 and 3G I had fooled around with before I got it. Blackmagic support not as responsive as AJA.

For standard playback, it's been ok and yeah it works in all the apps. Just the extras stuff I mentioned and the issues that are bringin' me down. Ultimately, I'm just picky.

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP
My Moviola Webinar on Cutting News in FCP X


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David Roth Weiss
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 23, 2013 at 9:23:51 pm

Hey Jeremy,

Consider calling me some time before you buy your new Mac Pro(s). Without wanting to sound negative, I'd really like to discuss a few of the potential technical limitations/roadblocks you might encounter with 4K/5K workflows moving forward that I've been reluctant to mention here. 861-2709 in the nine - four - nine area code is my direct line.

David

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Steve Connor
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 23, 2013 at 9:42:20 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "Without wanting to sound negative, I'd really like to discuss a few of the potential technical limitations/roadblocks you might encounter with 4K/5K workflows moving forward that I've been reluctant to mention here"

I'm sure there are quite a few people here that would like to hear about these potential problems before they drop $$$$ on a new MacPro!

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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David Roth Weiss
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 23, 2013 at 10:16:55 pm

[Steve Connor] "I'm sure there are quite a few people here that would like to hear about these potential problems before they drop $$$$ on a new MacPro!"

Hi Steve,

Completely understandable, and a full discussion of the "potential limitations" (prefer not to call them potential problems) is in the works. That will come as soon we unify our company position.

However, so as not to keep you or anyone else completely in the dark, the single most important element of any discussion of the New Mac Pro and 4K/5K workflows is to look at the fine print on the Apple website, which essentially states that ALL of Apple's testing of 4K workflows has been accomplished using ONLY ProRes 422 and ProRes 4444 files.

This fact has certainly escaped many people I speak with on a daily basis, but may or may not be a complete surprise to many here, especially as most here seem to be well aware that the new Mavericks OS lays the groundwork for transcoding of ALL files to just two choices in the future, i.e. Pro Res and h.264. And, while Pro Res and Pro Res 4444 may suffice for many if not most editors, it certainly does not suffice for ALL, especially those considered as "finishing editors," who must be prepared to deliver whatever file formats their clients require.

There are several other potential 4K/5K limitations to discuss, but you'll have to wait a bit longer. Okay?

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Steve Connor
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 24, 2013 at 1:12:54 am

Will be interesting to see what you come up with. Apparently some people will be getting their new MacPros in the next week so we will start to get a better picture of how it works outside of Apple's testing.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Daniel Frome
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 25, 2013 at 7:05:21 pm

David, I had been meaning to ask you...

Put together a top of the line ProMax system and bench it. I'd like to see a mac pro + pegasus RAID price/performance vs a ProMax w/ built in RAID price/performance.

Especially on a 24 core ProMax system... I can dream.


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Tim Wilson
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 24, 2013 at 4:02:11 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "What are you doing with your PCIe cards?

Holiday ornaments, hung from the mantle right next to my NuBus cards.

The tree is also decorated with U-matic tape heads and the eight one MEG simms that I paid $5000 for in 1991. They're family heirlooms man. "Grandma, what's RAM, and why does Pop Pop cry whenever he looks at those little green sticks?"

The good news is that all this stays pretty shiny for a good long while.


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Herb Sevush
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 24, 2013 at 3:01:49 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "What are you doing with your PCIe cards?"

With me it's still in the contemplation stage, but the sonnet Echo Express III expansion chasis, with 3 slots for Tblt 2 expansion, will be the way I would go, providing all my raid card's will play nicely with it. My raids cost more than a new MacPro, the main one hums along at around 850/mbs at 80% capacity, and the idea of tossing them out is a non starter.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 24, 2013 at 4:27:16 pm

[Herb Sevush] " My raids cost more than a new MacPro,"

There's certainly no way we are tossing the raid, just trying to figure out which PCIe cards to keep.

The Sonnet junction looks very cool. I like that you can put more hard drives in there if needed.

Doe anyone know if you can boot from Thunderbolt attached drives?

Jeremy


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Chris Kenny
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 24, 2013 at 4:38:19 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I am thinking that we will repurchase video out and drive connection devices, but stick our data controllers (fibre/etc) in a TB2 enclosure as I haven't seen any news on ATTO TB2 fibre connectors.

Just out of curiosity, what are you doing when switching to Thunderbolt?"


We've got two Thunderbolt PCIe enclosures, one two slot model (The Thunderbolt 2 upgradable Echo Express SE II) with an SAS RAID controller + an SAS HBA that's more tape-drive friendly, the other with just an SAS RAID controller. This lets us buy cheaper SAS RAID gear instead of Thunderbolt gear, and move it not only between machines with Thunderbolt, but also to older non-Thunderbolt machines (that have SAS RAID controllers in PCIe slots). ATTO has Thunderbolt to SAS gear now, but we already had non-ATTO RAID controllers, and there's more flexibility with a non-integrated solution. ATTO's external Thunderbolt gear is also bulkier than we'd like and doesn't have Thunderbolt 2 or an upgrade path, as far as they've announced.

If someone shipped a Thunderbolt 2 SAS RAID controller that was as compact as, say, Promise's SANLink device, then I think at this point we'd probably buy a couple of those and ditch the PCIe enclosures. Alternatively if Thunderbolt RAID enclosures continue to get cheaper we might ditch the whole SAS route altogether for RAID (still need it for talking to tape drives). We've also recently been evaluating 10GbE/iSCSI and Fibre Channel shared storage solutions that could make direct-attach storage mostly irrelevant around here.

As far as video I/O, we just picked up an UltraStudio 4K (new Thunderbolt 2 version) in preparation for the new Mac Pro moving into our DI theater. We've had an UltraStudio Mini kicking around for about a year that we use with laptops, etc. and that has been really convenient. The DeckLink card we have been using for video output in our theater will be transferred to another older machine that will be used for ScopeBox.

--
Digital Workflow/Colorist, Nice Dissolve.

You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read our blog.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: For those making the switch to Thunderbolt for your PCIe needs.
on Dec 30, 2013 at 7:53:59 pm

Thanks so much, everyone.


Jeremy


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