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Extracting the last bit of life from my G5

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Paul Ramsbottom
Extracting the last bit of life from my G5
on Nov 5, 2009 at 10:41:11 pm

Forgive me if these are stupid questions.

1. Will a PCI-X AJA Kona card accelerate DVCProHD projects in FCP6.x if I chose not to actually use the Kona to monitor my work.

The reason for this somewhat odd question, is that I am currently editing a large project on an older dual 2.7ghz G5. It's a simple but long project and the renders are showing the age of the hardware. I'm currently using the Matrox MXO box from an ATi X800XT (the fastest AGP card that Matrox has qualified) to monitor the grade and, other than the overall sluggishness, this is all going very well.

A friend has an unused PCI-X Kona card that he has suggested I might put in my G5 alongside the regular GPU to give them system a boost. I m curious if this this going to add anything, if I continue to monitor via the existing ATi / MXO? (knowing how intimately the performance of Mac OS X systems are interwoven with the GPU).

2. Will this new set-up allow me to view 10bit 422 material in the full bit depth. AFAIK, the Matrox+ACD is only showing me 8bit e.g. if I bought a 10bit capable flat panel and stuck that alongside my 23" ACD, and connected the KONA via an adapter like the AJA Hi5 SDI to HDMI, would I get a true 10bit picture on the new panel?

3. Finally, does anyone know if the consumer Sony XBR960 34" HD CRT (which, according the the marketing information) has a 10bit comb filter, can display a true 10bit color image?

Thanks for any thoughts.

Paul.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Extracting the last bit of life from my G5
on Nov 6, 2009 at 3:02:21 am

1. It won't make that much difference, and you'd need to be using the Kona not just have it sitting in the computer. CPU handles most of the render speed with FCP. You want faster? Gotta buy a new mac. It's FCPs dongle.

2. If you have 10bit material, absolutely. Dvcpro HD is 8 bit, though.

And C. That Crt should be able to display 10bit properly, yes.



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Paul Ramsbottom
Re: Extracting the last bit of life from my G5
on Nov 13, 2009 at 7:08:59 pm

I went ahead and bought the Kona 2 card and installed it with the latest drivers alongside my Matrox MXO which I still use to display. Two observations. Jeremy is absolutely correct, I do not see any speed improvements when rendering the timeline. However, and apologies for the largely anecdotal analysis of this but it definitely feels as if my system has had a performance increase in general use, and I noticed that FCP re-profiled for RT Extreme upon first launch after this install.

Overall the system has a definite extra snap when quickly scrubbing through large HDV timelines. I know that sounds terribly subjective but it's definitely there. I'll see if I can find some way to benchmark it, although I probably can't be bothered to do an uninstall for that. It's not much but definitely worth the $270 with shipping that I paid for this card, BOB and cables.

I'm pretty impressed with the quality of this [now somewhat old] AJA product. They definitely live up to their reputation of quality.

A final question if anyone feels like indulging me. When I finally drag my giant Sony 34" 1080i HD TV into my studio, and start using it as a client monitor for my ProRes422 24P projects, will the 1080 23.98 psf output selection be the correct setting. Based on everything I have read here it is but I wanted to check. I suppose it must be that 'progressive segmented format" that my PS3 uses to send a 24P image from my Bluray disks to my 1080i TV.





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