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RT performance of ioHD on MacBookPro vs Mac Pro

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Carsten Orlt
RT performance of ioHD on MacBookPro vs Mac Pro
on Jan 17, 2009 at 6:31:11 am

I'm considering getting a Mac Pro 2.8 and was wondering about the following:

I'm currently on a MacBookPro 2.33 + ioHD and editing in 1080i25.

Because the ioHD does (all?) the ProRes encoding/decoding would the RT performance of FCP actually increase or stay the same, if all other components like harddrives would stay the same? (I have a Sonnet eSata card and eSata raids with 100MB/s)

e.g. if I apply the 'unsharp mask' filter to a clip, FCP shows me an orange bar but can't play it back and stops due to dropped frames. Would the Mac Pro 2.8 handle this without any problems?

Would be a drag if I spent all that money for something that is limited by the ioHD workflow and not the CPU.

Many thanks for sharing any experience you guys have on this subject.

Cheers Carsten


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: RT performance of ioHD on MacBookPro vs Mac Pro
on Jan 17, 2009 at 6:58:18 pm

FCP real time performance is pretty much controlled by three or four things.

CHoice of codec and format for one(i.e. frame rate and resolution), but more importantly, processor speed and disk speed.

The 2.33 GHz MacBook Pro is the slowest machine rated for the ioHD by he way.

The ioHD does not perform or add any more real time effects than what your computer can already handle.

Also, make sure to set your effects to unlimited RT and your playback frame rate and video quality to dynamic. If you want even more rt effects, set your playback quality to medium. It's fun.

Jeremy


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Carsten Orlt
Re: RT performance of ioHD on MacBookPro vs Mac Pro
on Jan 18, 2009 at 3:42:34 am

Thanks Jeremy for the response.

2 questions:

Have you used the ioHD on both MacBook Pro and MacPro setups? If yes would you say the MacPro gives you a huge boost in performance in FCP? (I know that the rest of FCP STudio will benefit).

I know the ioHD doesn't add any RT performance, but in my case it actually takes away RT performance. Some RT effects that play (either preview or unlimited) with external monitoring off, do not play with external monitoring on (through the ioHD).
Is this normal behaviour or caused by the 'slowness' of the MacBook Pro?

Cheers Carsten


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: RT performance of ioHD on MacBookPro vs Mac Pro
on Jan 18, 2009 at 6:30:34 am

[Carsten Orlt] " but in my case it actually takes away RT performance. Some RT effects that play (either preview or unlimited) with external monitoring off, do not play with external monitoring on (through the ioHD).
Is this normal behaviour or caused by the 'slowness' of the MacBook Pro?"


That's a very good point. It does take some processing to play out real time video through any capture card device. It's just the nature of the game as the video signal that goes out of FCP takes more horsepower as the video color space, frames, audio, everything must be accurate and in sync when displaying on an external monitors or when being sent to devices. This requires power. When displaying just through FCP and no capture card, accuracy is not as much of a concern, especiialy when it comes to temporal resolution.

Yes, I use both a MacPro and MacBook Pro. I use the ioHD mainly on my laptop, though. The Macpro is a work horse, but I can't bring it with me in the field when we're out shooting, so I use the laptop. Yes, it's a big speed boost, but I have 8 3.0 Ghz processors and a raid that sustains close to 400MB/sec. I would expect it to go faster just by the math alone. The MBP Express card is a limited bandwidth bus, you can only push so much data through it at a finite speed. The multilane PCIe structure within the MacPro is much more flexible and much faster when combining the throughput of several drives. In my case, my raid has 8 drives which is why I see the speed.

It really depends on your workflow and what you need. I need both so I use both.

Back in the 'old days' of editing on a dual 2.0 G5, turning off the internal display (mirror on desktop) allowed more rt editing of uncompressed HD. Perhaps you should try that as it may help you. Display only externally and not internally to FCP.

Hope that helps a bit.

Jeremy


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Carsten Orlt
Re: RT performance of ioHD on MacBookPro vs Mac Pro
on Jan 18, 2009 at 7:24:50 am

Yep thanks Jeremy.

Already doing the 'not' mirror to desktop trick as otherwise it's un-workable on the 2.33. At least in 1080.

Only thing left to decide now is to wait for the new MacPro version or buy now... Throwing a coin as we speak.

Cheers Carsten


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: RT performance of ioHD on MacBookPro vs Mac Pro
on Jan 18, 2009 at 7:35:46 am

Yep, sorry man. A laptop just can't compare to a desktop, especially when working 1080i.

Buy for what you need now, don't wait for the latest greatest thing. No matter what, you're new computer will be old in 8 months. :) The MacPros are very nice machines and will last you a good long while.

Jeremy


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