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Old December 4th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #1
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3 monitor Setup

Hey everybody, I am not sure if this is the correct forum for this but everybody here seems to know their stuff and people in the general mac forums are clueless.

I have a new Mac Pro 2.8ghz octo arriving today and I want to do a three monitor setup (Actually 4) with Final Cut Pro.

I have the stock Radeon HD 2600 as well as a Radeon 3870, can I just put these both in the machine and plug in 2 monitors to one and one to the other or would I need to link them?

I also have a Black magic Intensity for monitoring for the forth monitor.

I have heard that FCP has problems with a 3 monitor setup using 2 cards is this true??

Thanks!

Also i am new to macs (Haven't used one since the 80'S!) is there anything else I should know, I am going to put 8gb ram and 2 HD set up in a raid 0.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 02:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Nickle View Post
I have the stock Radeon HD 2600 as well as a Radeon 3870, can I just put these both in the machine and plug in 2 monitors to one and one to the other or would I need to link them?
Not sure what you mean by "link them up," but you will have to adjust settings in System Preferences > Displays to get the best resolution and arrangement of the displays. I have never heard of FCP having problems with multiple monitors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Nickle View Post
Also i am new to macs (Haven't used one since the 80'S!) is there anything else I should know, I am going to put 8gb ram and 2 HD set up in a raid 0.
I would not make your start-up drive out of two RAID 0 drives. You are better off going for a small (250GB) start-up drive, then adding RAID externally. You don't want to capture video to your startup drive, as a general rule. Look at this blog for a cool RAID setup that gives you awesome speed.

Oh, and I'm really jealous of you. Good luck!
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Old December 4th, 2008, 04:17 PM   #3
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Thanks Edward, What I meant was I have the stock 350gb hard drive that I am going to use for my boot drive and then 2 500gb drives setup in a software raid 0 for scratch etc.. Thanks for the answers!

Chad
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Old December 4th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #4
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Ah, yes, that is a much better option. Thanks for clarifying. Enjoy your new system.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 08:59 PM   #5
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I've done 3 monitors with 2 video cards and a matrox mxo. All was fine and even when I turned off the mxo and my ACD was a side monitor. Color will freak out though that is for sure. Every other program should work fine. Your mac will pick up the video card and the hardest part is picking which slot to place the card in, everything else is done perfectly for you. I'm letting my 23" ACD go though so let me know if you want it.
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Old December 4th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #6
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What exactly will happen in color? I use quite a bit of CC

Thanks
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Old December 5th, 2008, 11:46 PM   #7
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Yes, FCP does NOT like 3 Monitors...

Search the Apple Knowledge base, I saw a forum there about the known issues Final Cut Pro has with a third monitor. I guess it's optimized for up to two, and three can cause unexpected results. I found out after the fact of adding a second NVIDIA card.

It will still work, but issues such as not rendering large segments or not being able to use FxPlugs (Motion Effects) in FCP are my current issues. It also could work fine too. Other people had different problems on the forum I saw. A few had suggested work-arounds, none of which I have tried. Your new Octo might not have the same issues as earlier computers.

Anyway...

Open Expansion Slot Utility (System/Library/CoreServices) and see what choices you have for lane speed choices (16X, 8X and 4X). Put the beefier card in the primary 16X slot, the second card in an 8X (or if it allows 2 - 16X's the second 16X slot), and the BlackMagic in whatever the next highest it allows. There's only so much bandwidth allowed, so they have a few suggested configurations for slot speed allocations. Not too complex once you open it. I suggest checking it and knowing your choices before adding the second card if you're doing it yourself so you can place the second video card and BlackMagic cards where they'll have the best speed. Don't change anything til the cards are loaded. Usually upon first powering up after adding cards, Expansion Slot Utility opens automatically.

You can also maximize usage, rendering and screen redraws by putting a single monitor on the main (better) card and keeping the Program windows (Canvas and Viewer) on that monitor. The spare VRam will also work towards movie exports and segment renders.

Once everything's plugged-in, open System Preferences/Displays and rearrange the screens and menu bar by dragging them around in the selection window. When you click a screen in System Prefs a red outline on the corresponding monitor will appear, letting you know which is which. And just click and drag the tiny white menu bar to whichever monitor you choose.

I have three Monitors and a fourth on a BlackMagic card, my four HD's are all 750 GB's the first for start-up and programs and FCS and AE project files, the second HD for FCS content (LiveType, Motion and DVDSP templates), stock movie files (Jumpbacks/ArtBeats), stills, music and clone #1 of main OS partition; and the last two 750's are an internal software RAID 0 for raw footage. I have bunch o' externals (4TB), some RAID 0, some not to back up content and main system Clone #2 using Carbon Copy Cloner.

Works well. Well except for that third monitor thing....
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