Blackmagic Design Forum
Ultrascope PC Configuration
Ultrascope PC Configuration
by Gregorio Paolini on Jun 28, 2011 at 3:32:23 pm

I need a little help from Blackmagic guys because I'm going to buy a PC for installing a Blackmagic Ultrascope, and I'm not buying any Win machine for eons. An office desktop machine as this Dell (Dell Vostro 460, i5-2400 Processor (3.1 Ghz, 6Mb cache), Win 7 Professional 64bit, 4Gb RAM (2x2048). NVIDIA Geforce GT 420 (1Gb) is enough? Should I change the graphic card following the list on the BMD site? What about the motherboard? The Dell Site isn't specific about the motherboard. Is that one fine? Sorry but it's very difficult to follow the BMD specifications if you buy online.

Re: Ultrascope PC Configuration
by Alex Gerulaitis on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:56:51 pm

UltraScope does not need much from the PC except PCIe bus to transfer data to the graphics card which then uses hardware OpenGL calls (if I understand right) to do that thing it does.

So your PC is totally fine - a lesser machine will do - however it's hard to say up front if there might be some sort of a compatibility issue as I am sure BMD hasn't tested that particular machine or motherboard type.

The GTS420 graphics card may be fine - it seems to support hardware OpenGL - but no guarantees unless someone actually tried it. For one of my clients, ATI Radeon HD 3450 didn't work (no hardware OpenGL), GeForce 8800GTS did even though it's not formally supported by BMD.

So the Dell Vostro 460 will most likely be fine; you may have to replace the GTS420 with something else.

Alex (DV411)

Re: Ultrascope PC Configuration
by Paolo Castellano on Jun 29, 2011 at 12:30:18 pm

Ciao Gregorio,
I suggest you to not to buy a branded PC if you're buying it for the Ultrascope or other BlackMagic products. It is easy to build (or to buy) a right PC almost everywhere. I suppose you to live in Italy, if you'd need some help feel free to write to me, maybe we could live in the same city :-).
Best Regards,

Re: Ultrascope PC Configuration
by Andrew Stone on Jun 30, 2011 at 2:13:08 am

There are a few threads on this very subject that go back at least a year. Bob Zelin and the Blackmagic people have been adamant that you follow the recommended PCs or motherboard/graphic card combos.

I know when I asked within the past half year a Blackmagic tech responded with some info that wasn't on their "minimum requirement" spec sheet.

Given all the issues that have come up with people straying from their recommended parts list, I would recommend following it.

Here is the page from the Blackmagic site. You find it by going to the "Support" section of their website.

Steadicam & Camera Operator