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Old November 28th, 2007, 10:03 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
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Building a Mac

I'm building a mac for use with Cineform, my main question comes down to the video acceleration cards. I've been recommended to get the Kona LHe. Also, what would be required in terms of hard drives to play back multiple 10bit Cineform files in FS quality? Any thoughts on performance with Cineform files from the comp building stage?

The specs currently are as follows:
2x dual core (quad) 3.0GHz
8gb ram
1 500gb system drive
3 750gb storage drives (with hardware RAID card)
Kona LHe
ATI Radeon X1900 XT

Thanks as always!
Carl
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Old November 28th, 2007, 10:23 AM   #2
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Location: Solana Beach, CA
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Carl,

From CineForm's perspective, the specs on your Mac are great. I will point out that we still have additional threading performance to add for Mac. Some of the current threading techniques we use on PCs have Windows-specific dependencies. We're incrementally upgrading our threading architecture so it is OS independent, but we haven't finished the work - it remains in progress. This will limit the number of RT streams you'll be able to process in the short term.

On our 2.6GHz Mac Pro we easily get full-res, full-frame 1080p performance in QT Player. In FCP when using a Window size less than 100% we also have full-frame performance. But because we can't access the FCP RT engine, combined with not-yet-complete threading, we aren't showing full frame rate at full res in FCP yet. We'll get there.

Regarding performance using Kona cards, we haven't yet characterized this, partly because of the FCP discussion above. We'll also get there with Kona.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 10:29 AM   #3
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So, these specs are what Cineform will be growing into, thereby being the best setup I could choose given the issues being worked out?

If so, that's great news from my perspective. With the Kona card as an external preview, will it still have issues with RT playback?

I'm looking forward to trying to push the limits with Cineform on Macs, as I think you guys really have a lot to offer on both sides of the Mac/PC fence with that excellent codec of yours. :) Also, the simplicity of the mov/avi rewrap is a big step. Last time I networked with a mac, I had to deal with getting files with no extension, renaming to .dv, and then having semi-compatibility with windows, no fun at all. It's good to see simplicity being added in the world of HD that wasn't there for DV. :)

Carl
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Old November 28th, 2007, 10:51 AM   #4
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Carl, the specs are great. It'll be a great-performing CineForm machine when we finish optimizations. We expect that with threading optimizations Kona preview performance will be fine. In fact, when you put this machine together we'd be glad to work with you as an Alpha user with the Kona if you have the time.

Regarding cross-platform compatibility - this was our first priority when we started the Mac work, and it's in pretty good shape. It's easy to move files between the platforms, allowing a shared workflow today, even with less-optimized Mac threading.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:11 AM   #5
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Wonderful! We're building the system for a project starting mid-February. Should take delivery by January 1st-15th or so. I spoke with the other people involved in the project financially - we would all love to be involved in alpha testing. We're all big fans of the bleeding edge. :)

Anything we can do to help put it through the paces - we'd love to!

Carl
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