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Kona LHi Slot on new 2009 8-Core Mac Pro

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Jay Moffat
Kona LHi Slot on new 2009 8-Core Mac Pro
on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:34:39 pm

Hi, I have a new Mac Pro 8-Core 2.27, using a Kona LHi, and I think the slots on this machine are a little different to what is being recommended in the AJA documentation, which seems to be for the earlier Mac Pro Quads. Can anyone advise me on using the correct slot, they are as follows as stated in the manual:

From top to bottom:
Slot 4: x4 PCI Express 2.0 Slot (currently used by Caldigit HDPro interface card)
Slot 3: x4 PCI Express 2.0 Slot
Slot 2: x16 PCI Express 2.0 Slot
Slot 1: x16 PCI Express 2.0 Slot (used by ATI Card)

I have a Caldigit HDPro in slot 4 which seems to be the correct one.

Thanks

J


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Jared Picune
Re: Kona LHi Slot on new 2009 8-Core Mac Pro
on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:53:01 pm

Slot 4 is the idea choice for the eLane-1e (CalDigit PCIe card), although it will also work in slot 2 and 3 as well.

Don't hesitate to ask if you have any additional questions.

Jared Picune
CalDigit. Serious Storage.Denver Final Cut Pro UG
Geeky Mac | FCP Tips & Tricks


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Andrew Golden
Re: Kona LHi Slot on new 2009 8-Core Mac Pro
on Jan 13, 2010 at 8:34:15 pm

Kona 3 and LHi cards are best placed in SLOT 3. This will give you the most flexible configuration for any other upgrades. I work for a systems integrator and configure these systems on a regular basis. The older AJA cards, LHe and LSe need to be in SLOT 2 for these 2009 machines no matter what. While the Kona 3 and LHi cards can work just fine in SLOT 2, many people need the 8x bandwidth of SLOT 2 for their storage cards that work at 8x, this is why I reccomend placing the card in SLOT 3.

Andrew S. Golden
Director of Marketing / Technology Specialist
Video Corporation of America
7 Veronica Avenue
Somerset, NJ 08875
http://www.vca.com


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peter tours
Re: Kona LHi Slot on new 2009 8-Core Mac Pro
on Jan 19, 2010 at 5:52:08 am

Your comment on slot 2 interests me. I have an internal Apple Raid, so slot 2 is open. Would my LHI get any adantage if I move it up from slot 3?

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL


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Andrew Golden
Re: Kona LHi Slot on new 2009 8-Core Mac Pro
on Jan 19, 2010 at 1:45:52 pm

Hi Peter,

Putting your Kona LHi in Slot 2 will not give you any added benefits. The LHi is not an 8x card and therefore can not take advantage of Slot 2's higher speed. The main reason the LHe and LSe need to be in Slot 2 is because in testing, these slots were found to be the best stable slots for the cards. Additionally, the LHe and LSe are a different architecture than the Kona 3 or LHi (which share a similar architecture). As for the Kona 3 or LHi, either Slot 2 or 3 will work just the same. My only reason for suggesting Slot 3 as the best configuration is that it gives you the widest options when configuring a system.

Andrew

Andrew S. Golden
Director of Marketing / Technology Specialist
Video Corporation of America
7 Veronica Avenue
Somerset, NJ 08875
http://www.vca.com


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gary adcock
Re: Kona LHi Slot on new 2009 8-Core Mac Pro
on Jan 19, 2010 at 2:57:01 pm

[peter tours] "Would my LHI get any adantage if I move it up from slot 3? "

Peter.

Card placement is about utilizing the buss, the fastest slots tend to be farthest from the Graphics cards, and since that FCP/ MAC still carries some of the legacy code regarding PCI throughput, yes, it has been my experience that the farther the Video card is from the Graphics Card- the better the machine performance.

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows for the Digitally Inclined
Chicago, IL

http://blogs.creativecow.net/garyadcock


http://library.creativecow.net/articles/adcock_gary/AJAIOHD.php




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peter tours
Re: Kona LHi Slot on new 2009 8-Core Mac Pro
on Jan 19, 2010 at 3:08:18 pm

My top slot, formerly occupied by the appropriately named blackmagic card, is open. So should I move the LSI up?

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL


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Andrew Golden
Re: Kona LHi Slot on new 2009 8-Core Mac Pro
on Jan 19, 2010 at 3:40:30 pm

[Peter Tours] "My top slot, formerly occupied by the appropriately named blackmagic card, is open. So should I move the LSI up?"

NO, NO, NO.

As I said in my previous posts, your AJA card requires Slot 2 or 3. This comes directly from AJA. Nowhere did I mention Slot 4. If you put the card in Slot 4, there may be instability and system crashes etc. Granted, I said "may be" but do you really want to take a chance and put the card in a place that is not explicitly recomended for performance by the manufacturer and risk crashes? This is why AJA tells you the best placement for the cards. I recommend Slot 3 because it is versatile for your specific card and putting it in the faster Slot 2 won't make any difference because the card can't run at 8x anyway.

These configurations I have been talking about are specific to the 2009 Mac Pro and the Kona LHi. Configurations on other machines with other cards are different and I'd be happy to help anyone out with the proper card configuration for any mac system. However, you can't go by what is meant for one system and apply it to an older system. Older Mac Pros etc. have different slot speeds, different card placements and the original ones even had a software configuration utility to assign the speed of slots.

For Everyone:

If you are going to do your own system configuration and not involve a systems integrator, please do some research on card placement for your specific card and computer. It will save you time when you are crashing your system or when your hard drive array is not giving you enough bandwidth and you can't find a reason why you are having these problems. A lot of the time, it's as simple as the card is in the wrong slot. This is even more imperative with shared storage environments where you have to balance the speed of the card for storage and the capture card and maybe an eSATA card etc. Getting the configuration wrong can cost you downtime. Just like you should always do a clean install for operating systems and editing software, make sure you're using the right slot configuration for your hardware.

Andrew

Andrew S. Golden
Director of Marketing / Technology Specialist
Video Corporation of America
7 Veronica Avenue
Somerset, NJ 08875
http://www.vca.com


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gary adcock
Re: Kona LHi Slot on new 2009 8-Core Mac Pro
on Jan 19, 2010 at 3:46:12 pm

[peter tours] "My top slot, formerly occupied by the appropriately named blackmagic card, is open. So should I move the LSI up? "

yeah- like Jared said,
put storage in the slot farthest from the Graphics card, then the LHI in slot 3.

This is my placement on every machine I own or work on, every single one.



gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows for the Digitally Inclined
Chicago, IL

http://blogs.creativecow.net/garyadcock


http://library.creativecow.net/articles/adcock_gary/AJAIOHD.php




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Andrew Golden
Re: Kona LHi Slot on new 2009 8-Core Mac Pro
on Jan 19, 2010 at 3:50:49 pm

Sorry gentlemen. (especially you Gary) I read LSI as LHI and thought you both were refering to the Kona card, not storage. Since the LSI card is not in need of an 8x slot then yes, Slot 4 would be best. However, I maintain that even for storage, if the card requires 8x (like most 4GB and 8GB firewire cards and SAS cards do) they need to be in Slot 2, because it is the only open 8x capable slot. My apologies again for my previous posts.

Andrew

Andrew S. Golden
Director of Marketing / Technology Specialist
Video Corporation of America
7 Veronica Avenue
Somerset, NJ 08875
http://www.vca.com


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Andrew Golden
Re: Kona LHi Slot on new 2009 8-Core Mac Pro
on Jan 19, 2010 at 3:25:26 pm

[gary adcock]"Card placement is about utilizing the buss, the fastest slots tend to be farthest from the Graphics cards, and since that FCP/ MAC still carries some of the legacy code regarding PCI throughput, yes,"

Gary

I've been working for one of the largest system's integrators for 10 years. I don't know where you got this information but it is simply false. If you just look at the speeds assigned to slots on the current Mac Pro, you will see that Slot 1 (with the graphics) and Slot 2 are the two fastest slots (each supporting 16x cards) and they are the closest to the graphics cards (one IS the graphics card). Slots 3 and 4 are only 4x slots - the SLOWEST slots on the computer and they are the farthest away from the graphics cards.

Card placement is about matching the correct speed slot with what works best for the card and making sure there are no conflicts with other hardware. We have pages and pages of configuration guides based on manufacturer and real world experience that tell us what cards should go where. My previous posts detail this information and come directly from my AJA rep. These guides exist because if you put your 8GB (8x) fibre channel card in Slot 4, it's only working at HALF it's speed and will give you major problems. AJA's own slot recommendations only mention Slot 2 and 3 (and either would work because the AJA cards are not greater than 4x speed). You can put a slower card in a faster slot but not the other way around.

When you don't follow configuration guides or just make random arbitrary decisions where to place cards in a Mac Pro - because you think you know where they should go, you are asking for an unstable system and problems.

Andrew


Andrew S. Golden
Director of Marketing / Technology Specialist
Video Corporation of America
7 Veronica Avenue
Somerset, NJ 08875
http://www.vca.com


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