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Kona LHe stuck on 1x link width

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Alan Kidd
Kona LHe stuck on 1x link width
on Apr 1, 2009 at 2:36:19 am

Hi there. Long time reader, first time poster. I've searched high and low for an answer to this but to no avail.

My situation is that I have an 8 core Mac Pro (late 2007ish, the one with the user configurable PCIe slots) with a Kona LHe that would digitize and output up to standard def uncompressed very happily. When trying to output any video of a higher data rate the Mac monitor would display the video correctly but the Kona output would run at around 1/3 speed. This sounded like a problem talking to the Kona card so I looked at the PCIe config. The card was definitely in a 8x slot yet in the PCI info in About This Mac said the card had a link width of 1x. I had another LHe card handy and swapped it into the same slot. The 2nd card displayed a correct link width of 4x and played out uncompressed 1080 fine.

With the "strange" card I've tried going back and forth between different driver versions, put it in different machines, tried EVERY slot configuration/position possible (even with the GPU in the slower slots) and it still shows a 1x link width and won't perform properly in FCP. I've compared the little rotary switches on both cards and they are the same. I can't identify exactly when this problem started occurring which might help with fault-finding.

Before I go sourcing a replacement card does anybody have any bright ideas? Thanks.


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gary adcock
Re: Kona LHe stuck on 1x link width
on Apr 1, 2009 at 10:39:36 am

[Alan Kidd] "Before I go sourcing a replacement card does anybody have any bright ideas? Thanks."

Call tech support.

[Alan Kidd] "When trying to output any video of a higher data rate the Mac monitor would display the video correctly but the Kona output would run at around 1/3 speed"

This does not sound like a card problem, this sounds as if your storage is too slow to handle the data in realtime.

More on your config
Versions, RAM, Especially your storage solution and what formats you are trying to move from them.



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: Kona LHe stuck on 1x link width
on Apr 1, 2009 at 8:03:56 pm

I bet you have "upgraded" your OS to OS-X 10.5.6, am I right ?

Apple broke their computers. I have no idea of what disk drive storage you are using and you should tell us. Put your AJA Kona card in slot 3 or 4. Open the Expansion Slot Utility. (do you know how to do this - if not TELL ME, and I will tell you how to do it) - then reset your slot lanes to x16 x1 x4 x4 so that slot 3 and slot 4 are both x4 (put NOTHING in slot 2). Say APPLY. Restart your computer. If you open your expansion slot utility, you will see that it is reset to x1, but if you to to "About this MAC/More INFO, and scroll down, you should see that your cards are in x4 slots.

This bug has been reported to Apple by at least AJA, Dulce Systems, and Cow contributor Warren Eig, but it appears that Apple will NEVER fix this problem for early MAC Pros.

Let me know what happens. If you cant' get your Kona card to stay in a x4 slot lane card, you are doomed.

And tell us about your disk drive storage, and what resolution you are working at.

bob Zelin




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Alan Kidd
Re: Kona LHe stuck on 1x link width
on Apr 2, 2009 at 12:39:24 am

Thanks for the replies. Hopefully this make things clearer. I apologize for being a bit vague in my earlier post.

The Mac is:

8 core 3.0Ghz official designation should be "MacPro (pre-2008)" I believe
OSX 10.4.11
8GB 667 RAM
250GB system drive in bay 1
3x 750GB drives striped together in bays 2-4 for video
X1900 GPU in slot 1
Kona LHe in slot 3 (as recommended by AJA)

I have 2 LHe cards to play with. Let's call them Card A and Card B. With Card A the above system can input/output anything I try, 1080i59.94 Kona Uncompressed 10bit for example works flawlessly. Card A shows a link width of 4x in the System Profiler. The system is absolutely perfect with Card A.

If I swap cards so Card B is in the system (in same slot) then the link width displayed is 1x. During Edit To Tape or Print To Video 1080i59.94 Kona Uncompressed 10bit (and other similar data rates) play out at approx 1/3 speed out of all the Kona outputs whilst playback is normal speed on the Mac desktop monitor fed from the GPU.

It appears that the loss in PCIe bandwidth to the card is related to the playback speed out of the Kona outputs.

Bob: I've read about that Leopard update breaking things but this is a Tiger system (I should have said that at the start sorry).

Gary/Bob: Drive speed isn't an issue with Card A.





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gary adcock
Re: Kona LHe stuck on 1x link width
on Apr 2, 2009 at 11:08:42 am

[Alan Kidd] " During Edit To Tape or Print To Video 1080i59.94 Kona Uncompressed 10bit (and other similar data rates) play out at approx 1/3 speed out of all the Kona outputs whilst playback is normal speed on the Mac desktop monitor fed from the GPU.

Gary/Bob: Drive speed isn't an issue with Card A.
"


Sorry- I do not believe you,
I do not think that 3 drives raided are fast enough to handle 1080 60i @ 10Bit Uncompressed (at about 175MBps)

The Slowed down footage confirms this.



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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Alan Kidd
Re: Kona LHe stuck on 1x link width
on Apr 2, 2009 at 9:59:39 pm

The shelf full of HDCAM SRs say that 3x SATA drives are capable of 1080i59.94 Uncompressed 10bit (158.3MB/s says FCP) all day long. AJA System Test reports a read/write never lower than 180MB/s for that drive set.



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Bob Zelin
Re: Kona LHe stuck on 1x link width
on Apr 4, 2009 at 8:33:16 pm

Alan -
I don't care what the theoretical limit is. You are NOT going to be doing an uncompressed HD job (especially with a SRW) with only 3 internal SATA drives. You could not do this with the original XServe RAID unless you had 14 drives stripped RAID 0, and you can't do this today unless you have an external 8 bay SAS/SATA array or Fibre array with 8 drives. I don't want to hear your excuses and your whining. NO ONE is doing SRW jobs without a big expensive drive array - END OF STORY. You don't like it - get out of the business. Am I being rude - no, you are being stubborn. Get the correct drive array and your problems will be gone. NO ONE cheaps out on SRW workflow.

Bob Zelin




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Alan Kidd
Re: Kona LHe stuck on 1x link width
on May 26, 2009 at 4:52:53 am

Solved. As I suspected, AJA advised that they thought it was a faulty card. They replaced it and now it works great. So the moral of the story is if your card reports a link width other than 4x, it's broken.

[Bob Zelin] "I don't want to hear your excuses and your whining. NO ONE is doing SRW jobs without a big expensive drive array - END OF STORY."

[Bob Zelin] "NO ONE cheaps out on SRW workflow."

For editing more than one stream of uncomp HD with any effects etc then yeah I totally agree that a much more robust drive array would be needed. In our case zero editing happens in these machines. Their purely for tape (SR, HDCAM, DVCPRO HD etc) to quicktime conversions and vice versa. We use this 3 SATA drive setup on two FCP machines and through using it on a daily basis it proves that it works for ingest and output just fine thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to contribute though.





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