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RED Rocket Card vs New GPU Utilization with CineX-Pro

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Mark Fanjoy
RED Rocket Card vs New GPU Utilization with CineX-Pro
on Jan 31, 2014 at 6:35:22 am

I'm a bit vague on the tech side, so bear with my laymen question here.

I am now shooting regularly with the RED Epic. I transcode my own footage at my home workstation. I rent a Red Rocket Card and transcode using RED CineX-Pro. I edit with FC7. I have NO issues and love the workflow. Sometimes a tiny bit choppy and sluggish, but works for me. Also, I do not utilize or need real time full 4K video playback.

If I understand correctly the new access usage of video card GPU usage by RED CineX-Pro software, my question is this:

It is much more cost-effective for me to purchase a used RED Rocket Card. Can pick one up from $3-3.5K. HOWEVER, would it be smarter to pay less for a beefed up video card and take advantage of this new GPU, openCL usage concept, and save a few bucks? OR, if I'm willing to spend $3,500, maybe yet another option I am not aware and haven't considered as more viable, such as putting that money into a new Mac Pro?

Will my suggested option above deliver similar, or close enough transcoding performance as with the RED Rocket Card?

Appreciate anyone's insight and opinion on this.

My System (Don't laugh :)
Mac Pro (Early 2008)
2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
14GB 800 MHz DDR2-FB-DIMM
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB
OSX 10.9.1 (13B42)

Wherever I am...I'm lost!


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Christoph Heimer
Re: ED Rocket Card vs New GPU Utilization with CineX-Pro
on Feb 20, 2014 at 3:21:05 am

I'm curious about the same question! Although a red rocket is out of my budget, I just got my new Mac Pro and am wondering, how it compare to a system with a rocket just using the new gpu optimization in Rcx!

I can play back 1/2 res epic footage in rcx, but in resolve I have to go down to 1/4 in order for it to play back in RT...



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Mark Fanjoy
Re: ED Rocket Card vs New GPU Utilization with CineX-Pro
on Feb 20, 2014 at 4:00:07 am

I never received a response to my question. I don't think these guys like open-ended, "loose" topics like this. More direct, immediate problem-solving questions I think are the norm.

Since this original post, I did have the tech guys at RED tell me they believe it is still more efficient and productive to have a Red Rocket Card for transcoding. They were very nice and seemed objective, but they signed the email, "Thanks for supporting RED". Sooooooo, maybe a bit bias? I don't know.

Would be nice if someone here "been there done that" offered an opinion, but I understand. I've had several key troubleshooting questions answered here that proved very helpful. So, I can't take a dig :)

Wherever I am...I'm lost!


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Michael Jones
Re: ED Rocket Card vs New GPU Utilization with CineX-Pro
on May 19, 2014 at 3:45:24 pm

Just got my Red Epic and would like to know if you made a decision on a 3rd party card. (Man I don't want to buy a rocket now that we have the CUDA option!) Would like to know what 3rd party card works best and with a Mac. I hear a lot of talk about the Titan but I don't think it will work on a MAC. Plus, the old Red Rocket (I think) will not support the new Dragon and you would need the Red Rocket "X"! Which basically uses CUDA technology. (True?)



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Mark Fanjoy
Re: ED Rocket Card vs New GPU Utilization with CineX-Pro
on May 19, 2014 at 4:16:26 pm

Well, I'm now on the other side of my original question. So, ironically, and since no moderators ever responded, I can answer myself on the forum!

I purchased a new Mac Pro with dual AMD FirePro D700's. I am excited to report that utilizing the openCL capabilities of RED CineX-Pro, my new Mac is processing RED material, shot in multiple frame rates (23.98, 59.97, 120), at and slightly better than real time. Interestingly, sometimes it processes longer clips (15min lengths) at slightly slower than real time (about 90%).

As I continued to venture into this question, I decided to abandon the RED Rocket Card for another reason as well. I learned that even if some of the other cards were not quite at real time processing of RED media, they were well over 50%, which I decided for the price difference, was acceptable. I didn't need absolute real time transcoding just to say I could. I was willing to push the button, go to lunch and accept 50% or so speed, and save $1,500 - $2K.

Wherever I am...I'm lost!


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Sam Schnorr
Re: ED Rocket Card vs New GPU Utilization with CineX-Pro
on Dec 19, 2014 at 11:18:14 pm

Hey Mark, just seeing this thread now-- I'm looking to get a new Mac Pro to use mostly as a mobile transcoding machine and it sounds like we have similar needs. I'm curious about the rest of the specs for your setup, as I haven't been able to find much consensus on what specs are most important for transcoding.

I know I'm going to want D700s, and I think we can get away with 32GB RAM, but I'm lost on the question of whether to go for 8 or 12 cores; I don't see much agreement on whether it's better to have fewer faster cores or more slower cores, if Redcine-X or Resolve utilize the multiple cores enough to make getting 12 worthwhile, etc.

Would you mind sharing the rest of your specs? Are you still happy with your setup? Any advice or insight would be really helpful, thanks.


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Mark Fanjoy
Re: ED Rocket Card vs New GPU Utilization with CineX-Pro
on Dec 20, 2014 at 1:22:26 am

Sam, WOW. Quite an investment for only a mobile transcoding device. I wish I had that kind of budget!

3 GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon E5
32 GB
Dual AMD FirePro D700's (6144 MB)
OSX 10.9.5

I AM NUTS ABOUT THIS MACHINE. I LOVE IT!

As a mobile unit, you will love it. Obviously, bulkier than a laptop, but same logic. I go to hotels, and presto, I feel like I'm right there at home. Damn cool!

As for overall speed, buckle up. As for the RED Rocket card, throw it away. This unit burns transfers at REAL TIME. I haven't clocked it, but I swear in some instances it is transcoding even faster than that. Absolutely love it.

As for 12-Core, no clue the difference. But if all you need is to run Cine-X Pro, 8-Core FLYS for me. Full 4K loading and playback in CineX, faster than you can view the clip. I worked with an amazing Mac Rep when I purchased. He was totally into the editing thing. I told him, I don't care what I spend, this is what I need to do. This is the unit he set me up with. He could have stocked me with the max, but said this will do it.

I use Photoshop, Compressor (standalone from FC), Lightroom, MS word, all often at the same time while playing online poker. I'm losing money faster than I ever have!

They have very cool travel cases online for this trash can. Heavily padded. I think those are cooler than a Pelican case. But personal preference.

Hope this info helps.

Fanjoy

Wherever I am...I'm lost!


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