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AJA killing my system... and me.

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project17
AJA killing my system... and me.
on Feb 27, 2007 at 8:01:09 pm

Hello,

I just got the AJA card, installed and running but i have questions as to what type of performance i should be experiencing as opposed to what I'm getting.

I understand about the increased time to open a project in Premiere 2.0, but once in if I happen to ALT-Tab to another program, then ALT-Tab back into Premiere it takes a good 5 to 10 minutes before i can do anything. Not too mention that my premiere has crashed more times than i can count since i began using the card.

I'm pumped about the potential of this card but am experiencing nothing but headaches in performance. I am thinking its a memory problem but before I go get another 2 GIGs of RAM, I'd like to know that that'll solve the issues.

Current system: (and i know its not a BOXX or HP but i was told by AJA that it wouldn't matter)

Windows XP service pack 2
Intel Xeon 3.06GHz
2GB RAM
300GB RAID Drive @ 7200RPM

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot,

A.J.

http://www.project17.ca


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shueardm
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Feb 28, 2007 at 6:05:46 am

Is that 2X Xeons? Even if it is 2X Xeons I think that the 800FSB are not up to it or barely adequate. You should be using Woodcrests.
Also, have you got a Quadro FX card? That is a requirement.


http://www.on2dvd.com.au


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Tim Kolb
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Feb 28, 2007 at 2:11:13 pm

When you talk about Alt-tabbing between apps, are these apps often Photoshop and AE?



TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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project17
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Feb 28, 2007 at 2:26:36 pm

I can be alt-tab-ing between anything and it just seems to grind to a halt. I try to not work with more than one adobe app at a time just because of the memory usage they take up. Another example is that i accidentally hit the windows key on my keyboard to initiate the start pop up menu and without any other programs running it still took about minutes to get back to Premiere.

Thanks to both responses so far...

AJ


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Tim Kolb
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 1, 2007 at 4:43:43 am

Hmmm... Interesting.

Can you describe your system in more detail?

Configuration?

Other software/hardware?



TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 1, 2007 at 7:02:00 pm

I had the same exact problem! Just clicking on the Start menu will also do the same thing, causes PPro to just sit there forever.

I haven't fully tested it yet by doing a full project, but I removed a Soundblaster Audigy 2ZS card that was on the same PCI bus as the Aja card and my preliminary tests show the problem went away. I discovered there were problems when I replaced that sound card (yay no more Avid on this system!) with a USB/Firewire card in the same slot. The machine wouldn't boot due to conflicts between the USB card and the Aja card.

The problem was so bad, I had to move my current project to another computer and work on it with an Adobe HDV preset. The problem put me so far behind schedule, I need to finish the project before doing further testing to see if I really did fix it.



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sashid
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 1, 2007 at 7:36:49 pm

i have the same problems, however, i think it is our fault because we are not sticking to the required hardware for the Aja card, ie. the xeons, dual opterons, proper mobo, and the quadro, as well as raid requirements.

I have had nothing but crashes int he oddest times, slow alt tabbing, etc. but my specs are:

opteron 170, asus a8n sli, 1.34tb raid 0 (media drive), 400gb raid 0 (system os drive), both raids are on 7200rpm drives, ati 1900xt..

I think the best solution is to stick to aja's recommended specs



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project17
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 1, 2007 at 8:08:43 pm

I got a little excited about the possibility of moving my RAID card being a possible solution... but it just took about 15 minutes for a 3.7MB project file to open.

While typing this, I just tried to switch back to Premiere and my computer is reeeeaally chugging now. Extremely frustrating. According to my IT guy and from what I can tell, my specs match up and everything should be working properly. I really don't understand what's happening and what's more frustrating is that i haven't used an AJA set up before so I don't know what I should be experiencing.

Tim, my IT guy is gone for the day and without ripping open my machine, I can't give you a detailed tech spec. I will try to post that tomorrow.

Thanks again for people throwing in their 2 cents...

AJ


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Tim Kolb
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 2, 2007 at 3:45:15 am

Well... i know that my big new 3+ TB RAID is sitting until we figure out how to free up a PCIe slot for the controller because my Xena LH is in a PCIx slot and my storage guys tell me that having the video I/O card and the drive controller in the same set of slots is bad mojo...

It's a possibility...



TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 2, 2007 at 5:08:14 pm

You need to get a handle on what slots are sharing which PCI Busses, get the RAID controller and the Xena on separate busses. Preferrably each one will have its own shared with nothing else.

That is hard to do unless you have a dual cpu motherboard that has separate bus segments. That is the primary reason why companies like Aja and Avid recommend machines like the dual cpu ones, not because there is more than one cpu (since their drivers and software don't really take advantage of multiple cpus in most cases).

Have your IT guy check out your MOBO's block diagram and find some PCI diagnostic tools to run to see what slot is sharing which resources.



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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 2, 2007 at 1:12:58 am

I am running the same motherboard as the approved HP xw8200. I am also running dual Xeon 3.6 800 MHz FSB CPUs on the motherboard (the approved list has 3.2 800 MHz FSB, but I seriously doubt having .4 more speed on the CPUs is an issue). So for all intents and purposes I'm running the equivalent of the HP xw8200 that is listed on the system requirements document.

Before I bought the card, I sent my machine specifications to Aja and their technical department gave me the thumbs up. More than one person at Aja has assured me that their card should work fine with my system.

I'll know if the issue has been resolved soon, when I start a new project on the machine though, but like I said, my initial tests look good.



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Bob Zelin
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 2, 2007 at 5:06:27 pm

one of the requirements of hi end capture cards, and hi end storage is having 2 seperate busses. The HP xw8200 (for example) use slot 1, 2 and 3 as one buss (that is shared with the firewire buss), and slot 4 and 5 for your storage devices. If you are running an AVID Adrenaline (for example) that uses the firewire port, and stick a card into slots 1 or 2, EVERYTHING STOPS WORKING. Any storage card must be in a seperate buss - slots 4 or 5.

This certainly applies to the MAC's. If you have a Mac dual 2.7 or MAC Quad (for example), slots 2 and 3 are on one buss, and slot 4 is on another buss. If you put the AJA card in slot 2 and the storage card in slot 3, you will have nothing but problems. Something must be in slot 4. (MAC Pro's are dynamically assigned, so they do not suffer this issue).

Another great example that happened to me recently was at an AVID client on an HP xw8200, that was also running Pro Tools LE with an M-Box. They wanted to put the M-Box on another computer, and had about 20 DELL computers in their office. We tried FIVE DIFFERENT DELLS, and could never get the Pro Tools LE software runing on the DELL - even thought the M-Box just used the USB port for the interface, it conflicted with the hardware !

Moral of all of this - USE THE RECOMMENDED HARDWARE.

I always point out to people, that when you go to a trade show, and you pass the AJA booth, the Blackmagic Booth, the Adobe booth, and the AVID booth - they are all using HP xw series workstations.

Bob Zelin


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project17
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 5, 2007 at 1:54:30 pm

I've got more ammunition to go to my IT guy with now. Thanks for all the posts. I'm going to have him take a look (again) today, make him earn his paycheck and figure it out.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

A.J.



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LowrySam
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 7, 2007 at 4:52:05 pm

Do a search for "AJA Dragging" or Author: "Lowrysam" in this forum for a relevant thread. I had some success by pulling out just one file. Also, my workstation is WAY over-qualified to use the AJA card so using the recommended hardware was not an issue.

AJA is aware of the problem and through private emails, is working to correct it. It is mentioned at the end of the v2.5 release notes as "Known issues".



Lowrysam


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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 8, 2007 at 7:08:07 pm

The person I was working with at Aja, kept insisting it was environmental, so I'm glad to know that is is software and that they are working on fixing it.

I only did one project with the pre-2.5 drivers, so I wasn't sure if the problem was there or not.

I'd roll back, but I need the multi-cam support that 2.5 gives you more than I need this problem fixed :)



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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 16, 2007 at 4:28:20 pm

FWIW...

I'm still experiencing this problem of PPro just "freezing" for many, many minutes when alt-tabbing between applications like AE, using the latest Aja drivers. In my case, it wasn't the board conflict I originally posted about :(



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project17
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 16, 2007 at 4:44:30 pm

i've talked to AJA and they will be sending me a link to their latest Beta Driver. They think that it should fix the problem. meaning they were aware of this little hang up. I'll post the results of the new driver once i get it and run through it.

AJ


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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 16, 2007 at 8:54:45 pm

Cool! I'll have to contact them and see if I can get a copy too...



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Lowrysam
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 19, 2007 at 2:43:36 pm

Great! Let us all know how it works. I can't afford to go into a Beta right now. Too many clients in the fire, so to speak.

Lowrysam



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project17
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 19, 2007 at 8:23:25 pm

Ok... got the beta driver today, spoke with a really cool guy at AJA who was great in making sure i was able to download it and begin my install. Then i tried it.

No great news here. It was the same if not worse. It took about 15mins for my 4MB project to open. Playing or scrubbing through the timeline was painful and I tabbed away and came back into the project with the same result. Major lag. It's not like my projects are feature films, they are very short, limited footage, marketing videos. I'm cutting a 30min pilot on my laptop without any additional horsepower from the likes of a mojo/aja type accelerator and it is just putting my desktop AJA powered system to shame.

I have uninstalled the beta and i'm back on v2.5... I'm going to respond to the AJA support guy with the results and we'll see what happens. I don't know how much longer I can afford to keep this card on my system if it doesn't function right.

AJ


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project17
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 20, 2007 at 1:37:04 pm

Latest update...

I spent a good hour on the phone yesterday with AJA and we went through a ton of stuff that could be factoring in on the problem. I've got to say, that I'm more than happy with the customer service they are providing. The guy I'm dealing with is honestly concerned with seeing a resolution to the issue, and that's huge in making a small company like the one I'm at feel like we important to AJA. Great customer service goes a long way.

So what did we figure out? We now think that there could be a configuration/workflow conflict on my system. The way he explained how the card works, accesses and processes data was a huge help and I can definitely see a light at the end of the tunnel.

The steps that I'm going to work through are a re-format and clean install of the OS, Adobe Suite then the AJA suite(yeah kinda sucks but at least you know your starting off on the right foot.), my storage configuration (could be a problem with my raid controller), and my format workflow (making sure I use only natively supported files for my image sequences... of which i mainly work with. I had been mixing file formats on my timeline, but now I will format everything to one kind.).

This will take some time to do, got to find time to loose the system for a day or two.

AJ


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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA killing my system... and me.
on Mar 20, 2007 at 4:30:29 pm

FWIW,

I did all of those things and none of them helped. Reformatted, reinstalled, removed RAID controller, etc. That is how I came to the original conclusion where I thought it was a conflict with the sound card.

I am convinced the problem is their drivers. Everything works great without the Xena card and drivers installed :)



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Tim Kolb
Re: A question regarding Beta software...
on Mar 20, 2007 at 9:32:39 pm

AJ,

Just out of curiousity, does AJA know you are posting here regarding non-public beta software? I don't see it generally available from their website so I don't see how they would have furnished you with the software with the intent of having you talk about it on a public forum...

Did you sign an NDA?

A bit of "beta software etiquette" for you: Beta software opens a dialogue between the user and the manufacturer. It's a great way to work with a manufacturer and make sure they hear your views, but publically disclosing beta activities is usually a great way to remove yourself from that process...and quickly.

There are many of us at the Cow who beta test for various manufacturers in various capacities, but Non-Disclosure Agreements are very clear on public disclosure of proprietary information...violation of the letter and the spirit of the agreement.

If you care to comment on trouble-shooting procedures that have to do with released products, please continue to furnish insight to the group here at the AJA Cow.

I suspect if AJA supplied you with beta software, their intent was that the sole recipient of any comments you have regarding it would be AJA.

Since you apparently have in your possession, unreleased development-stage software that I doubt AJA will release to just anyone (as a protection to the user because it's in development and issues need to be worked out), I recommend you refrain from commenting on this forum on whether or not it causes or solves problems as since it's not generally available, it isn't ready for release, and these traits are temporary and that is the purpose of the alpha and beta process.

I am checking with AJA on this situation as typically any non-manufacturer sanctioned conversation regarding proprietary knowledge of unreleased products is not allowed on the Cow as it makes this site a party to the violation of an NDA.




TimK,
Director,
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Jeron Coolman
Re: A question regarding Beta software...
on Mar 22, 2007 at 4:05:49 pm

Tim, I am not currently beta testing any Aja software and I can't speak for project17, but in the past when I have beta tested Aja software, it was very informal and I wasn't asked to sign an NDA (even though I offered to).

I do agree with you "beta ettiquette" philosophy though and even though I didn't sign an NDA back then, I still didn't talk about it and acted as if I did.



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project17
Re: A question regarding Beta software...
on Mar 22, 2007 at 6:31:10 pm

I wasn't asked to sign one either and I was new to the beta ettiquette" philosophy. Never the less, now I'm just looking forward to figuring out a solution to the problem.

Still haven't had the time to go through all the steps (clean install, configuration etc.). Once I do, I'll test it out and see where it takes me.

AJ


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Jeron Coolman
Re: A question regarding Beta software...
on Mar 23, 2007 at 2:16:33 am

I just did some more extensive testing. I hope a clean rebuild helps your problems project17, because I did it twice to no avail.

I created projects as both Adobe presets and Aja presets. I can only get the Aja presets to "break" like this. I still can't determine exactly what condition causes it. I tend to be able to "break" it (make Premiere Pro become unresponsive) when using multi-cam more than not.

This is with the RAID controller pulled out of the system. Whether or not the raid controller is in the computer doesn't seem to change anything, except what is expected from slower disk I/O.

The Adobe presets have never demonstrated this behavior, only the Aja ones which makes me believe this is an issue with the Aja drivers. Next I'll roll back to 2.0 and try that. Oh yeah FWIW, I reported these issues to Aja when 2.5 was released and they "hinted" that it was a hardware configuration or problem with the raid controller as well.


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