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Old January 15th, 2007, 11:39 AM   #1
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Requirements Mac Pro - Uncomp

I am planning to purchase a Mac Pro with FCP. I was wondering if anybody out there know the hardware requirements to be able to preview and edit an uncompressed 1080i or 720p timeline in FCP?
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Old January 15th, 2007, 07:45 PM   #2
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Nima,

Here's a system I recently built that should answer your question. Still have to post some footage though.

Attached is the system on a recent shoot (far right).
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Requirements Mac Pro - Uncomp-macpro.jpg  
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Old January 16th, 2007, 12:12 AM   #3
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For uncompressed HD, you need at least 3-4GB of RAM, and a five drive RAID capable of 230MB/s of data transfer. Uncompressed 10-bit requires about 180 MB/s, and as the drives get fuller performance drops, so having that much leeway is a good thing.

Now, while you MIGHT be able to get that much performance out of the 3 remaining drive bays internally on your MacPro (1 stream at best), it would be best to be sure and get drives that are rated for uncompressed HD

I highly recommend the S2VR HD by CalDigit. It is an external SATA 5-drive RAID that comes with a controller card included. It uses port multiplication, so one cable for the drive unit...and it has 4 slots.

www.caldigit.com.

I know these guys. E-mail the sales guy, Jon, with any questions and tell him I sent you.

sales@caldigit.com
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Old January 16th, 2007, 02:12 AM   #4
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If you are serious about editing uncompressed [not DVCProHD] then you should research shared filesystems [not xSan unless you really think you'll need concurrent file sharing. xSan is too expensive, you'll need to double up on the xServe to get 4Gb and requires a PhD to administer - at least its not for the faint of heart] but take a look at volumn level managers that you can run across 12 to 24 spindels with 6-7 TB's. 230 MB/s is barely enough for a single stream.

Also SATA is good, fiber channel is much better if you can afford it.

The thing I love about working with HD is that's it like drag racing, the more money you spend the better the performance. Just choose wisely...
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Old January 16th, 2007, 02:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Ross
For uncompressed HD, you need at least 3-4GB of RAM, and a five drive RAID capable of 230MB/s of data transfer. Uncompressed 10-bit requires about 180 MB/s, and as the drives get fuller performance drops, so having that much leeway is a good thing.

Now, while you MIGHT be able to get that much performance out of the 3 remaining drive bays internally on your MacPro (1 stream at best), it would be best to be sure and get drives that are rated for uncompressed HD

I highly recommend the S2VR HD by CalDigit. It is an external SATA 5-drive RAID that comes with a controller card included. It uses port multiplication, so one cable for the drive unit...and it has 4 slots.

www.caldigit.com.

I know these guys. E-mail the sales guy, Jon, with any questions and tell him I sent you.

sales@caldigit.com
Does that get us the good guy discount???
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Old January 16th, 2007, 02:18 AM   #6
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Sorry Chuck, it doesn't. It just lets them know where recommendations came from. Who knows, they may treat you nicer than normal, if that is possible.

But you are right. The 5 drive unit, while capable of Uncompressed HD, will get you one stream, no more. They do sell an 8-drive unit that gets 450MB/s for multiple streams.

I recommend eSATA Raids for single station units. Only if you need shared storage do I point to the fibrechannel options, like Ciprico systems and Fibrenetix.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 02:27 AM   #7
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Ciprico's a bit pricey.

I try to steer people who are foolish enough to take on uncompressed HD towards fiber when ever possible for a couple of reasons.

With some solutions you can attach mutliple users directly to the storage. This is important because you know they sadly underestimated what it really takes to edit uncompressed and they need help to make whatever rediculous deadline they have to meet.

And, you know they won't even come close guessing the amount of storage they will need and with fiber add a switch and rent some drives.

That's my story for today anyway...
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Old January 17th, 2007, 01:18 PM   #8
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I certainly do not mean to threadjack, but what about requirements of DVCproHD? Would 1 system drive and 3 internal drives striped be enough for DVCproHD editing? I'm new to Mac and FCP and I have a client that is now shooting HDV and will be feeding me HDV tapes for editing. Will the following system allow native HDV editing or should I use an intermediate codec or convert to DVCproHD?

Mac Pro 2.66
1 gig of RAM,
Will expand to 4~5 GBs to accommodate HD editing
250 g system drive
Will soon add 3 more internal sata drives w/ stripping (or should I be looking at an external solution?)
Will add DeckLink HD card for monitoring (for now to a consumer 16:9 CRT HD Toshiba).

Capture "Deck" looks likely to be a Canon HV-10 mini HDV camera.

Any thoughts are always appreciated.
Jeff
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Old January 17th, 2007, 01:28 PM   #9
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Jeff,

The system you describe will kick ass on HDV and DVCproHD.

Shane and Chuck. Our setup can edit one stream of 10 bit uncompressed HD. there is NO real time anything in FCP at that high of a data rate. The scopes aren't even live. The RT Extreme options are not available when we edit uncompressed. Once you add ANY filter or transition, it's time to render. This is with a fibre channel raid. I can't imagine using eSATA.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 01:41 PM   #10
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First, I will address Dave Perry:

Just because you are using a fibrechannel array doesn't mean that you can edit more than one stream of uncompressed HD. It depends on how many drives you have, what raid configuration, RAID controller...lots of variables. I have built an internal SATA RAID using popsicle sticks that was able to handle 2 streams of uncompressed HD, and a got a few realtime effects, like 3-way color correction and dissolves:

http://lfhd.blogspot.com/2006/09/pop...id-redeux.html

Then I moved all the drives to an external PC case and added a drive. I got 3 streams of uncompressed 10-bit and a few more RT effects:

http://lfhd.blogspot.com/2006/12/dar...sata-raid.html

This with direct SATA connections, not port multiplied or anything. BUT, if I was to work with 10-bit uncompressed, I would be offlining in a more managable codec (DVCPRO HD) then onlining at 10-bit, where I wouldn't have the need for real time effects, as I would rebuild, render, and output. I don't know of many places that capture everything at full res and edit. I can't think of one, as a matter of fact.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 01:46 PM   #11
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Now to address Jeff:

DVCPRO HD is a compressed HD format that doesn't require much to edit it. Internal SATA drives in the drive trays unRaided will allow you to edit 2 streams of DVCPRO HD just fine. SATA alone is rated about 80MB/s, plenty for the 35MB/s that DVCPRO HD requires. Now, if you raid the remaining 3 drives you will get much better performance for about 6 layers of DVCPRO HD, about 200MB/s.

BUT...here's the rub. To capture HDV as DVCPRO HD you need a capture card. One with analog inputs. The decklink HD extreme has these inputs so you should be fine. You will also need a deck with analog outs. You cannot capture HDv as DVCPRO HD via firewire. You need a capture card.

Here is a paper on the topic, from AJA:

http://www.aja.com/pdf/support/AJA_whitepaper_HDV.pdf
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Old January 17th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #12
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Okay, thanks guys. I guess I need to do some testing to see how well HDV footage edits in FCP. Perhaps I won't need to convert it, period. Will a stream or two play at 30fps--or is it too much for the machine to deal with all of the compress/decompress stuff? I know editing MPEG2 has always been a bear to edit unless you have hardware designed to deal with it (as in the old Pinnacle DC1000)
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