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OT: MacPro PCIe slot limitations...?

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JeremyG
OT: MacPro PCIe slot limitations...?
on Nov 4, 2006 at 9:08:50 pm

What are the slot limitations for the new MacPros?

In my G5 2.0 PCI-X, I have a fibre card, a Kona 2 and of course, everyone knows that that's all I can put in there without compromising PCI bandwidth.

In a MacPro I will have a Kona 3, a fibre card and i want a SATA card to use for SATA backups. Can the PCIe bandwidth in the MacPros handle that or we still only allowed a fibre card and a capture card?

Jeremy


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Bob Zelin
Re: OT: MacPro PCIe slot limitations...?
on Nov 4, 2006 at 9:45:41 pm

that's a damn good question. You should put the Kona into slot 3, the SATA into slot 4 (I guess you can put the Fibre into slot 4 as well) - but you can't have any "1 lane" slots, they must be (I think) 4 lane slots for every one of these cards (4 lanes minimum) - so I guess you have to use the expansion slot utility to reconfigure so you can make slot 2 into a 4 lane - but I don't know what the limitations are (I havn't done what you are trying to do yet). Great question though !

bob Zelin


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Don Wilson
Re: OT: MacPro PCIe slot limitations...?
on Nov 5, 2006 at 8:28:22 am

Jeremy,

My 2 cents worth here... Worked with the AJA code writers before the Mac Pro drivers were released and they found that the Kona in slot 3 and configured as 4 lane works best. I use setting #4 in the Expansion Utility as I have a CalDigit SATA card in Slot 4, Kona 3 in 3, Atto UL5D in 2 and all is well. I've seen no degridation in quality running the graphics card in a 8/16 lane setting and I'm pumping into two Dell 2405's with the standard card. I am in the midst of a feature shot on DVCProHD 720/24 and a bunch of uprezed footage so I'm not really pushing the big bytes through but have done tests with HDCam and no issues there, but only a test. I've got a Mac Pro 3 gig and a 2.66 and both are solid though I've experienced some lock-up issues importing P2 footage with more than 2 gigs of ram. Working with Atto and AJA to try and figure that one out. With the ram on the slides it's really no big deal to pull out a few gigs and reset. I need to do further testing and narrow down the circumstances but haven't had the time yet.

Hope this helps.



Don Wilson
AmericanaMediaInc.com


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david issko
Re: OT: MacPro PCIe slot limitations...?
on Nov 5, 2006 at 7:49:41 pm

very informative thread, thanks.
just one otvquestion related to your post don, how are the caldigit drives?

are they up to capturing HDCAM?

they look and sound good as i am looking to move to hd that will include kona 3 card in the new year and caldigit is a firm favourite for hdds.

any comjents would be appreciated.

thanks.


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Don Wilson
Re: OT: MacPro PCIe slot limitations...?
on Nov 5, 2006 at 10:30:21 pm

I have a mixture of CalDigit and Huge drives and they both are great. I've never had a single issue with either and both capture uncompressed (well that's not true, all HD is compressed) HDCam and D5 flawlessly. I like the CalDigit guys as do I the Huge guys. I gave CalDigit a shot as I met them at NAB and they're a small company with a great desire to help and they were the first to get me MacIntel drivers. Atto on the other hand........and their attitude......!! I think Apple needs to get with it in terms of optimizing for P2 material and the real time playback thing they claim is just not real. But I also have a Nitrus Symphony in the stable and it's not much better though more powerful and boots up fast unlike the FCP big projects which can take 5-10 minutes.

Any other questions don't hesitate.



Don Wilson
AmericanaMediaInc.com


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david issko
Re: OT: MacPro PCIe slot limitations...?
on Nov 6, 2006 at 8:41:47 pm

Thanks Don,

from what i have read, the Caldigit seems to be just right for my proposed move to HDCAM. Your feedback goes a long way in helping me make a truly sound decision.

I will eventually get hold of a set of Caldigit drives and test them out or at least see them demonstrated prior to committing but i have no doubt they will perform flawlessly.

Thanks Rufus for your recommendation concerning card placement. i had read other suggetions that concur with yours on this and other forums.

one mac reseller tells me to go with fibre channel as it will do 4Gb/sec and the SATA does 3. i am aware of this but i do not think fc is necessary any longer. i don't think the company he works for have the satasvto sell just yet so he is 'forece
' to push what they have.

as my upgrade (from sd to hd/sd) purchas isn't for at least 3 months, no doubt more savvy operators will be using Caldigit or similar systems so more user feedback will be the real world test.

thanks again guys.
all the best.
david.


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gary adcock
Re: OT: MacPro PCIe slot limitations...?
on Nov 6, 2006 at 10:52:31 pm

[david issko] "ne mac reseller tells me to go with fibre channel as it will do 4Gb/sec and the SATA does 3. i am aware of this but i do not think fc is necessary any longer. "

Until the SATA solutions offer reliable Hardware RAID protection, I cannot remind people enough that not having redundancy in a video editing environment is asking for drive failures and loss of data, what you see with FW drives will happen with any SATA solution that does not offer hardware redundancy.

That is the reason that most post houses moving into HD are going to fibre, as it has the power and only a very few solutions do not offer hardware redundancy.

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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David Issko
Re: OT: MacPro PCIe slot limitations...?
on Nov 7, 2006 at 1:05:12 am

Oh yes,
I agree, I have had my fair share of drive failures over the 12+ years I have been editing on Macs wih HDDs. I had to redigitise on new drives but with some drives I was able to recover the data.

I do not really concern myself with drive failures and get on with the job. Maybe it;s not the best way to operate but I just sort out any issues that arise.

I am looking at the SATA setup from a HD capability viewpoint and not from redundancy aspect. I have operated my SD editing in this way.

I will, however look at the fc option in the new year and seriously consider it as well.

What fc setup do you have?

Thanks for your input Gary.


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gary adcock
Re: OT: MacPro PCIe slot limitations...?
on Nov 7, 2006 at 2:27:36 pm

[David Issko] "I will, however look at the fc option in the new year and seriously consider it as well.
What fc setup do you have?"


Hey david

I have fibre from almost everyone( 6 different mfgs). The stalwarts were my old Medea array and my Xraid, that is until I got my hands on one of the G-Speed units from Gtech. With a 4G fibre connection it beats my xraid for performance with 1/2 as many drives (6) and at 1/2 the cost of the apple xraid. (it only weighs 1/3 as much)

Most Sata solutions only offer RAID 0 (fast) or 1 (mirrored) my fibre offers all of the flavors of RAID, 0, 1,3,5,6, with or without spares (that allow for auto rebuilding your content when a drive fails)

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows


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Rufus Jakobac
CalDigit SATA card in slot 4, aja in slot 3
on Nov 6, 2006 at 5:14:14 am

[Don Wilson] "
Jeremy,

My 2 cents worth here... Worked with the AJA code writers before the Mac Pro drivers were released and they found that the Kona in slot 3 and configured as 4 lane works best. I use setting #4 in the Expansion Utility as I have a CalDigit SATA card in Slot 4, Kona 3 in 3, Atto UL5D in 2 and all is well. .... I've got a Mac Pro 3 gig and a 2.66 and both are solid though I've experienced some lock-up issues importing P2 footage with more than 2 gigs of ram. Working with Atto and AJA to try and figure that one out. With the ram on the slides it's really no big deal to pull out a few gigs and reset. I need to do further testing and narrow down the circumstances but haven't had the time yet.
Hope this helps."


I've contacted caldigit before installing their sata card and S2VR SATA RAID, their support people told me their engineers were working with AJA's engineers. Both AJA and CalDigit suggest putting KONA 3 in slot 3 and CalDigit's FASTA-4e card in slot 4.

caldigit faq -
http://www.caldigit.com/faq.asp

I have 8 gigs of ram , no lock-up issue with both AJA and CalDigit's drivers. capture, play back, no problem.


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JeremyG
Re: OT: MacPro PCIe slot limitations...?
on Nov 6, 2006 at 1:09:27 am

I did some digging around and I think I found what I needed. It appears that there's two unused SATA ports on the MacPro motherboard. I can then get something like this:

http://www.firewire-1394.com/sata-dual-internal-external-adapter.htm

and back up that way. I need this mostly for MXF/P2/AE/Project files/media backup. I have a 2 drive SeriTek case that I can load up SATA drives in and raiding is not necessary.

Thanks all for chiming in. If I do in fact need a SATA card later, it sounds like it's doable.


Jeremy


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