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Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro

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artgug1
Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 14, 2006 at 12:30:07 pm

I am using a Kona LHe on a Brand new Mac Pro (Dual 3 ghz, 5 gig ram)

If I leave the "report dropped frames" option "on" while editing a DVCPro HD 1080i project on my Mac Pro I get it stopping almost every playback, saying a frame has been dropped. No effects or anything, just playing back, it stops and says "frame dropped". If I turn off the option, the video seems to play ok, so I dont know what is going on. It does this playing back from both a firewire drive, and an internal 1 TB SATA Raid drive.

If I take that Exact firewire drive, plug it into my old Dual 2.0 G5, with all the settings the same, it plays back without stopping. That machine has a Decklink HD Extreme card.

I definitely believe it has something to do with the Kona card, because if I turn off the external monitor, or switch it to Desktop Cinema Preview, it plays back fine. Same exact project. And, as I said, the same project plays back fine from an older G5, on a firewire drive, no less.

I know what the first suggestions will be, so I have already reinstalled the OS, and running the current version of FCP (5.1.2), and have all my Kona drivers up to date.

Please, someone give me some ideas. I didnt spend $6000 on a new system to get less performance than I had 2 years ago.



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Bob Zelin
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 14, 2006 at 5:37:05 pm

you are not being clear here about your firewire drive. From the old 2 Gig computers, to the current MAC Pros, and everything in between, you need AT LEAST a FW800 card to do DVCProHD. If you are using a FW400 drive, I have no idea of how you got it to work reliably all these years, but you should have been playing the lottery. You can't do DVCProHD on a FW400 drive. As for SATA drives, which is all I have been using in countless systems for the past 1 1/2 years, you need at least TWO SATA drives stripped RAID 0 to get reliable playback of DVCProHD. If you are in a MAC Pro, stick TWO SATA drives into the MAC Pro, stripe them together with Apple Disk Utility RAID 0, and you will have no problems. You can use AJA Kona System test to test the speed of the drives. Two SATA drives will give you about 120mb/sec, which is more than enough to do anything with DVCProHD.

Like I said, you were not clear about your FW drive - FW400 or 800. If your 800 is giving you drop frame errors, there may be issues with your drive, but if you can't get your FW400 drive to do DVCPro HD, well, no one can. And if you have been doing it for the past two years, well, you are lucky.

Also, I assume that you have gone to EASY SETUPS in FCP, and selected the AJA Kona DVCProHD codec.

Bob Zelin


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artgug1
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 14, 2006 at 10:08:38 pm

Sorry. Actually its a Lacie 500 gig firewire 800. Works great. The internal is (2) 200 gig SATA striped as raid 0, with the Kona card test giving me about 115 - 120 mb/sec. The Lacie is getting about 45 write, 73 mb/s read. Same exact symptoms from either drive.


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JeremyG
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 14, 2006 at 10:44:40 pm

You have something set up funky somewhere.

Jeremy


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Bob Zelin
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 14, 2006 at 10:57:00 pm

I agree - if you are getting these good numbers on your SATA drives, and still getting dropped frames, something (and I don't know what) is setup incorrectly. I know that you want suggestions, and I usually have them (weather I know what I am talking about, or not), but not this time. I can't imagine why you are getting dropped frame errors with drive speeds like this.

Bob Zelin


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AJA Sales Department
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 14, 2006 at 11:13:11 pm

Hello,

If you are still having issues, you are welcome to contact our technical support department who can help diagnose what may be going on. They can be reached via email at support@aja.com, or via phone during PST business hours, +1 (530) 271-3190.

Thank you,


--
AJA Video Systems
(530) 274-2048 Intl.
(800) 251-4224 US
sales@aja.com


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artgug1
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 15, 2006 at 7:42:06 pm

I will call AJA again on Monday. I guess I should let you know I did call AJA on Wednesday, and was told to "turn off the report drop frames" option, as this is normal, and has something to do with the "handshake" between the card. Maybe I just got the wrong guy that day, and will give AJA another shot, as to be honest, I do not believe that this is normal, and if it is, someone let me know, so I can return this card, and shop for something else, as that should be unacceptable. (unless someone can really convince me that this should be happening, but I sure dont see anyone else on this forum saying they have this problem.)

Also, when I turn off the output through the Kona card, either with no output or desktop cinema display, the timeline plays fine. So it has to be something with the Kona card, and not the disk sub system.


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JeremyG
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 15, 2006 at 10:05:23 pm

Yeah, that's weird, but the MacPro is new so there's going to be some growing pains in how everything works together.

How well do you know FCP and how to set up and install an FCP system? I am assuming that you know what you are doing, I am just asking for clarification so I can try and help you. Please don't take my questions as rude or unfounded. I am trying to help. There are a zillion reasons for dropped frames and I have to say most of them involve operator error. The most common reason (besides slow drives which you have ruled out) have to do with your sequence and media format not matching and having your media play from different drives (for instance if you have music playing from your boot drive instead of your media drive). Also, the kona card's frame buffer should match the format you are trying to do output, choosing the correct easy setup will fix this. Also, mixing down your audio takes care of a lot of these things.

Let's start there, and turn your dropped frames preferences back on. That's bad advice (sorry AJA).


Jeremy


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Bob Zelin
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 15, 2006 at 10:30:59 pm

this particular post has taught me a valuable lesson. WAIT on buying a Mac Pro - let someone else suffer this out (between the 2 Gig issues, the firmware issues, the SATA and ATTO issues - I can wait another 60 days).

Bob Zelin


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artgug1
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 16, 2006 at 11:30:52 am

I have been editing on Final cut since version 2.0. Between the computer, Kona, drives , memory, etc, I am in for over 10 grand total. (and I have a 2 year old G5 with a Decklink card that works better. Not good)
I am very experienced in Final Cut, but what I am not experienced in is KONA. This is my first Kona card, and I am trying to figure out if there is some magic setting I am missing.

I am a serious user, and have been for years. I wanted to keep them out of it, but this system was set-up by ProMax, and they were even able to log-in remotely and try to work on the problem, and even they have no ideas. I normally NEVER call tech support, as usually I feel I am quite sophisticated when diagnosing problems such as this. No offense to AJA, but when you get answers like they gave me, you tend to lose confidence in tech support. The fact of the matter is, this shouldnt be a tough problem to work out. The machine is brand new, with barely any media or other programs installed. Generally I am working with footage imported from an HVX, and its simply a matter of selecting the right "easy Setup". The problem happens on every type of media though, including new media digitized through the Kona Break-out box.

This is not a mismatch error, or problems with set-up. As I stated before, just turning off the Kona output clears the problem up. I was really just hoping someone here had a magic answer, so now after seeing the replies, I am more confident there is a serious problem, either with the card or the Mac Pro. I will give AJA another shot, then I will be exchanging the card for another card, possibly another decklink. I was really excited about the Kona, and some of its advantages, but unfortunately, this isnt working out.

Does anyone else out there have a Kona with a Mac Pro that can verify this isnt a common issue ?





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gary adcock
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 16, 2006 at 1:10:48 pm

[artgug1] "Also, when I turn off the output through the Kona card, either with no output or desktop cinema display, the timeline plays fine. So it has to be something with the Kona card, and not the disk sub system."

Not True.
the Kona card is receiving the drop frame warning from FCP, by turning off your Kona Card you are turning off the warning. YOu never have mentioned whether the old systems you are testing has the exact same hardware / software set up? Older versions of the software do not always give this report.

What is the FW drive attached to?
are there other things on the buss?
How full are the drives( and a single drive in a case is not really fast enough to consistently play 10860i)
are both machines on 5.1.2 / QT 7.1.3
The MP Machine Is NOT on 10.4.8.



gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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artgug1
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 16, 2006 at 3:11:35 pm

I dont believe I am following you. When I play back just to the Mac desktop, or desktop cinema display, no frames are dropped. That is a FCP option, under user preferences, not a Kona card option. Only when the output is set to go through the Kona card, do any frames get dropped.

This is a brand new machine, with over 400 gigs free on both the system drive and the internal SATA raid drive also has over 400 gigs free. (the video and all my scratch drives are set to the RAID.)

When I play it off of the firewire drive, it is connected to the FW 800 port on the back of the machine.

My older machine is a Dual 2.0 G5 with a decklink HD card, and that has no problems playing the same stuff back consistently from both an internal raid and the exact same firewire 800 drive.

I am using Kona 3.2 software, with the latest OS upgrades, as well as Final Cut Pro upgrades installed.



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gary adcock
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 16, 2006 at 3:37:22 pm

[artgug1] "When I play back just to the Mac desktop, or desktop cinema display, no frames are dropped. That is a FCP option, under user preferences, not a Kona card option. Only when the output is set to go through the Kona card, do any frames get dropped. "

The Kona card is considerably more sensitive to drop frames than FCP in "desktop" is- The card is telling you the frames are dropping because that is what will happen when you try to output to a deck. The other preview modes are not reliable for professional results - and you are working with a tool that forces FCP to respond in a professional manner. Just playing out the files is not the same, you Kona card is actually saving you should you output to a real deck at some point.[artgug1]

"with the latest OS upgrades,"
OUCH maybe that is part of the problem-- 10.4.8 has some very weird glitches on every FCP machine I have seen it on especially when working with multiple monitors or the Kona card set to Mac Desktop.

[artgug1] "When I play it off of the firewire drive, it is connected to the FW 800 port on the back of the machine."
anything attached to the other FW ports at all? how much free space on the FW drive?

[artgug1] "My older machine is a Dual 2.0 G5 with a decklink HD card,"
this machine is fully current also same OS/ QT/ FCP versions?

How much RAM is installed on EACH Machine?






gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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artgug1
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 16, 2006 at 4:13:51 pm

All software is up to date on both machines. There is about 80 gigs free on the firewire drive, but as I said, it does this when I move the project to an internal SATA Raid, with the whole drive free also.

Also, this is not a timeline thats even been edited. Just mark a 20 second clip with an in and out, throw it on the timline, and that cause problems. The G5 with the decklink card chews it up and spits it out for breakfast, the Mac Pro with the Kona card chokes almost immediately.

The Dual G5 has 2 gigs of ram, the new MacPro has 5 gigs of Ram.

The main differences are, the G5 has a decklink card, is loaded to the brim with programs and crap, but it runs the 1080i video perfectly.

The MacPro with a Kona card, with 5 gigs of ram, dual 3.0 ghz procs, and practically empty drives fails from ever playing the footage back without stoppage.

I'm not asking for the world here, DVCPro HD footage should not be difficult for this new machine to play back, considering my old G5 has been doing it for over a year now. If you look at my earlier posts, you will see the numbers that my disk array was reading with the Kona system test program. (115 - 120mb/sec)

Can the card be defective? Everything else seems to run fine, it shows no signs of other issues.

BTW, the card is plugged into slot 3, per AJA specs.




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gary adcock
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 16, 2006 at 4:57:20 pm

[artgug1] "The Dual G5 has 2 gigs of ram, the new MacPro has 5 gigs of Ram."

THAT's IT !!!!!!!

Apple is still having issues with all 3rd party cards and more than 2 gigs of ram in the MP machines.
take it down to 2 gigs and all should work fine. I am not able to run my 3G MP machine with more than 2G ram and any 3rd party card.


gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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artgug1
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 16, 2006 at 6:56:19 pm

Thanks, you read my mind. I pulled the second riser out with the extra 4 gigs of ram, and with 1 gig, all seems to be good so far.

I am going to try to ad another gig back in, and see how that goes.

Thanks for your continued help and suggestions. I really hope this is the solution. I will post updates as I get them to keep all new users up to date on the situation.





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artgug1
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 16, 2006 at 7:12:20 pm

I would like to add that according to AJA, the latest drivers (3.2) and the apple firmware update should have fixed this issue, but apparantly it hasn't.





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artgug1
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 16, 2006 at 7:13:11 pm

WHat happens to your machine when you do ?



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Bob Zelin
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 16, 2006 at 11:45:27 pm

The people that participate on this forum might comment "well, if you had read some of the recent posts, you would have known about the 2 Gig limit on the MAC Pro" - but I can fully appreciate that fact that this RAM limitation is still not worked out fully yet, and it is a shame that we have to suffer thru this. We can't all read every post.

With this said, I am glad that Gary isolated this problem for you. And this reinforces the fact that the NEXT GENERATION MAC or the next generation OS (Elephant, Leopard, Warthog) will screw everything up all over again.

Bob Zelin


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artgug1
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 17, 2006 at 11:08:06 am

I had heard of the 2 gig limit before, but this system was set up by Promax, so apparantly they didnt. I just assumed when they were going to be able to put 5 gigs in, that they knew what they were doing. Also, if you called AJA as of yesterday morning, they said there was no longer a 2 gig limit. So regardless of previous posts, there is some conflicting stories with what is actually the case. I am here to tell you, it hasnt been totally worked out yet.



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walter biscardi
Re: Kona LHe dropping frames on a 3 ghz Mac Pro
on Oct 17, 2006 at 11:22:45 am

[artgug1] "I had heard of the 2 gig limit before, but this system was set up by Promax, so apparantly they didnt. I just assumed when they were going to be able to put 5 gigs in, that they knew what they were doing. Also, if you called AJA as of yesterday morning, they said there was no longer a 2 gig limit. So regardless of previous posts, there is some conflicting stories with what is actually the case. I am here to tell you, it hasnt been totally worked out yet."

I can tell you for certain that 4GB works just fine in our Mac Pro Quad 3.0 without the ATTO 42ES card. With the ATTO is in there, we're only running 2GB. But as far as I can see, AJA has definitely got the 2GB limit under control with their drivers.

A solution from ATTO is supposedly coming along and we should see updated drivers in the near future.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Food Network's "Good Eats"
HD Editorial for "Assignment Earth"

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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