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Octacore AJA Card Placement

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Matt James
Octacore AJA Card Placement
on Jan 7, 2009 at 4:55:07 am

I'm a freelance FCP Editor and love Kona! I've narrowed down an issue I've been having to an amazing fact, as it stands now. My client's Duo Core MacPro's will playback any kind of HD just fine, through an Xsan and a Kona LHe card. However their two Quad Core machines (octacore) do not playback HD at all, even with more RAM, through the exact same Xsan and Kona settings. The drives keep up just fine. The issue is a playback sync issue where it will drift out of sync after a second or two. The video and audio keep up just fine in the Canvas or Viewer. The playback output can't keep up.

I'm using the 1080i 29.97 8bit setting for video playback and having my Kona card downconvert to SD all the time because that's all the monitoring this client has.

I checked the slot location of the cards in machines that do work, and they are the same in the octacores. These two octacore machines are early 2008 MacPro's. Below is a quote from the Apple site regarding the Expansion Slot utility on the "newer" machines. It's the only thing I can think of that might be the problem.

"Mac Pro (Early 2008)
The Mac Pro (Early 2008) computers implement PCI-E revision 2.0 which support twice the data rate per lane as the PCI Express revision 1. Slots 1 and 2 are both x16 revision 2.0 slots. Slots 3 and 4 are both x4 revision 1 slots. Placing a revision 1 card in a revision 2.0 slot, or visa-versa, is supported and results in a revision 1 link.
The number of lanes for each of these slots is permanently set for the Mac Pro (Early 2008). The Expansion Slot Utility doesn't apply."

So my question to you guys is what physical slot do you have your AJA cards in? Right now all of the machines have the Kona LHe card in slot 3, which is the next one down from the top. How can a faster and more powerful machine, that is playing the same file from the same location and using the exact same settings, playback slower than a technically slower machine?

Thanks a lot,
Matt James

Client has four 2x3Ghz Duo-Core MacPro's all with 4Gig RAM and two 2x3Ghz Duo-Core MacPro's one with 4Gig RAM one with 6Gig RAM. All running OSX 10.5.5, FCP 6.0.4, QT 7.5.5, Downgraded to AJA Kona LHe 5.1.





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gary adcock
Re: Octacore AJA Card Placement
on Jan 7, 2009 at 4:19:35 pm

[Matt James] "However their two Quad Core machines (octacore) do not playback HD at all, even with more RAM, through the exact same Xsan and Kona settings."


There is a known issue with HD playback on the early 2008 Octocore (dual quad) machines running certain OS and QT combination versions on this desktop.

you need to contact AJA tech support.

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows

Inside look at the IoHD
http://library.creativecow.net/articles/adcock_gary/AJAIOHD.php




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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Octacore AJA Card Placement
on Jan 7, 2009 at 6:32:40 pm

Hey Matt-

I just spoke with Gary and he wanted me to pass this on to you as he's offline.

I think you need your KonaLHe to be in Slot 2 on the newer MacPros.

Check out this doc for further clarification:

http://www.aja.com/html/support_kona_rec_sys.htm

Jeremy


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gary adcock
Re: Octacore AJA Card Placement
on Jan 8, 2009 at 12:33:33 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "I just spoke with Gary and he wanted me to pass this on to you as he's offline."

JG Thank you very much sir...

it is much appreciated so that Matt was not down too long....




gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows

Inside look at the IoHD
http://library.creativecow.net/articles/adcock_gary/AJAIOHD.php




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Bob Zelin
Re: Octacore AJA Card Placement
on Jan 8, 2009 at 2:01:03 am

boy, I never saw this issue, and I never use slot 2. In the early machines, you go into the expansion slot utility and set the number of lanes (16, 1x, 4x, 4x) so that both slot 3 and 4 are x4. I put the Kona into 3, and the storage card into 4, and it works AT HD resolutions without issue. On the newer machines, expansion slot utility is not an issue.

I remember when AJA talked about using slot 2, but I never used it, and never had issue.

Bob Zelin




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Matt James
Re: Octacore AJA Card Placement
on Jan 8, 2009 at 6:40:29 am

Thank you for all your help guys! As it turns out, I switched the Kona LHe card to Slot 2 on the Octacore machine and it does indeed now play HD and keep up like it should!

Bob, I do have this clients older Duo Core MacPro's set the way you said. Using the Expansion Slot Utility and keeping the Kona LHe Card in Slot 3. We actually have the Fiber card in Slot 4 on both the Duo-core and the Quad (Octacore) machines.

However I've been having fun dealing one of the Octacores that took a big poop today. And it happened before I switched the Kona card to the new slot. After troubleshooting all day, I think I've narrowed it down to the video card. There has been weird colorization and distortion on the main monitor, but only when it's running from a DVD, not hard drive. When it did startup from the hard drive, the monitor looked fine. Then the main monitor completely quit during my clean re-installation of the OS, FCP and everything.

Have any of you guys had issues with a video card? Will it cause the system to crash and give you the Dark Window? I ran the Apple Hardware Test and after 2 plus hours it said there were no errors. I know I should have TechToolPlus, but I don't yet and the local store didn't have it today.

Thanks again for your help,
Matt James


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gary adcock
Re: Octacore AJA Card Placement
on Jan 8, 2009 at 3:40:24 pm

[Bob Zelin] "boy, I never saw this issue, and I never use slot 2."

Yeah, me too.
I was pinged by a friend of mine to mention the link, thats why I asked Jeremy to post an update for me.

[Bob Zelin] "I put the Kona into 3, and the storage card into 4, and it works AT HD resolutions without issue. On the newer machines, expansion slot utility is not an issue."


There is an issue with an incomplete 10.5.6 upgrade disabling the dynamic assignment of the Slot Utility in certain 8 core machines. ( if you think you have this issue reinstall the 10.5.6 combo update from a file rather than using Software update)





gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows

Inside look at the IoHD
http://library.creativecow.net/articles/adcock_gary/AJAIOHD.php




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matt johnson
Re: Octacore AJA Card Placement
on Jan 8, 2009 at 4:32:47 pm

Ran into the same exact problem at my workplace. Two machines both went crazy over sync issues. Moving the card to slot 2 solved it.

We hadn't updated anything in over a month, so the fact that the cards suddenly (and at the exact same time) both went out on the machines is a little baffling. We've had one machine almost a year, and the other for roughly a month, and the problem happened at the same time for both.

The only thing that was done on either machine that seemed related was two days ago I did screen sharing...



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Octacore AJA Card Placement
on Jan 8, 2009 at 4:50:01 pm

[matt johnson] "The only thing that was done on either machine that seemed related was two days ago I did screen sharing... "

...and don't forget, you fed Gizmo after midnight.





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Matt James
Re: Octacore AJA Card Placement
on Jan 12, 2009 at 5:50:52 am

UPDATE:
Thanks again for all your help! I really love the Cow community!

Just wanted to let you all know that my clients Ocatcore computer is working better than ever now. I switched the Kona card to slot #2 and it does indeed play HD just great.

Also I put in a new Nvidia 8800 GT video card and it fixed the crashing problem! Plus I have a nice new fresh system to make a drive image from.

Thanks again,
Matt James


Matt James
Freelance FCP Editor
Denver, CO


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