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Old June 25th, 2007, 09:19 AM   #1
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Warning for MacPro users and Dual Video Cards

Here's a weird one:

On a clean install of FCS2 I was attempting to use one of the FXPlug filters, "soft focus" and did the normal "drag-n-drop" filter into the filters tab in the viewer. When I do I get an all-red screen with a warning that says, "The effect "soft focus" failed to render" and then FCP 6 crashes.

At first I thought there must have been something wrong with the install so using another internal drive I did another clean install of 10.4.9, got all the updates (minus the .10 OS update) and installed just FCP 6. Same problem.

Then I did the same thing but before I did another re-install I disconnected the ATTO fibre card and the KONA just in case there was a driver issue. Same result still.

I should point out that this red-screen then crash behavior is specific to ANY the FXPlug filters, not just "soft focus" however all other filters and effects work just fine. FXplug filters also work just fine in Motion, but not FCP 6.

I've contacted Apple Pro Support and of course they say their machines run the FXPlug in's with no problems so they're researching this. Hmm.

This is all on the 8-core MacPro with 8GB ram, 4 internal drives, (2) nVidia 7300GT cards, (2) fibre arrays and a KONA LH/e card on 10.4.10.

Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot this? Is anyone else experiencing the same problem on their MacPro with FCP 6 and the FXPlug filters?
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Last edited by Robert Lane; June 25th, 2007 at 02:15 PM.
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Old June 25th, 2007, 02:14 PM   #2
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Update

After troubleshooting this with another system exactly like mine we've figured out the problem - to which there is no fix, yet.

If you have a MacPro with (2) Nvidia 7300GT cards installed and attempt to use any of the FXPlug effects/filters it will cause FCP 6 to crash. If you un-install the secondary card (not the primary) then everything works fine.

Apple is aware of this issue and they have been working with me directly on troubleshooting. At the moment they are scratching their heads and call this an "engineering" issue, but aside from physically disconnecting the second video card there is no other workaround - other than not using any FXPlug effects.

The other potential option but one that has not yet been tested is if installing the ATI X19000 (for the MacPro) would resolve the issue since it has (2) dual-link DVI ports rather than just one dual-link.

More on this as it shakes out.
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Old June 25th, 2007, 02:26 PM   #3
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I also get severe crashes using my depth blur filter from fxfactory. The system just locks up or switches off....serious crashes!!! I have the ati card
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Old June 25th, 2007, 05:33 PM   #4
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Band-Aid Fix

For now, the solution for MacPro's which have been configured with (2) separate video cards (Nvidia 7300GT) is to remove one card and only use the primary display card. Unfortunately this means you can't run (2) 30" ACD's simultaneously but I can "get by" with one 30 and one 23.

Apple is currently working this issue and I'll report back when they have a "fix", if any.

Phil,

I'm assuming your hardware/software setup is the same - MacPro, FCS2 etc? If so you should report this to Apple's tech support. If it's an older system or FCP 5 you'll have to do some of your own troubleshooting to dig into where the problem lies.

One of the things that I cannot test - for now - is whether or not a single ATI X1900 for the MacPro would cause the same problem. So far, everything we've tested and what Apple has shown is that this issue with FXPlug not talking properly is directly related to having (2) video cards installed.

Let us know what your troubleshooting pulls up.
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Old June 25th, 2007, 08:39 PM   #5
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Robert, I have the X1900 on an octocore- no problem with "soft focus".

I had a different problem that dealt with 10 bit timelines. The solution was to render effects as 8 bit instead of 10 bit under sequence settings.

Are you using a 10 bit timeline? The general consensus is that FCP 10 bit is buggy.

Hope this helps.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 10:51 AM   #6
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At the moment the issue seems to be related to having (2) video cards in the same MacPro when attempting to use FXPlug filters. Since the FXPlug core is a GPU accelerated plug-in that means the plug-in has to talk to both video cards at the same time or, decide which one it is supposed to talk to.

What I've deduced thus far - and the Apple engineers are supposedly testing - is that the plug-in literally gets confused because it either can't decide which video card to send it's acceleration to or, when trying to address both cards simultaneously it simply gives up because it's code wasn't written to handle 2 cards at the same time. This is all conjecture at this point but it's starting to make a lot of sense.

Your experience with the X1900 seems to prove the point, that as long as you only have a single card in the machine that the FXPlug works just fine.

I'll keep the forum posted whenever Apple comes up with a solution.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 11:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
What I've deduced thus far - and the Apple engineers are supposedly testing - is that the plug-in literally gets confused because it either can't decide which video card to send it's acceleration to or, when trying to address both cards simultaneously it simply gives up because it's code wasn't written to handle 2 cards at the same time. This is all conjecture at this point but it's starting to make a lot of sense.
That was my initial thought. But I was leaning towards two video cards trying to answer the requests simultaneously, causing a bus issue.

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Old June 29th, 2007, 05:48 PM   #8
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No Official Fix - Apple swapping cards

Although Apple has acknowledged this current bug (using 2-video cards in a MacPro w/FCP6 and not being able to use any FXPlug filter) they still do not have a proper fix.

However, what they are doing is replacing my (2) installed Nvidia 7300GT's with one ATI X1900 XT which will resolve the problem as a work-around type of fix. We could have simply disconnected one of the video cards and then the FXPlug filters would work however we wouldn't have been able to use both our 30"inch ACD's since only the ATI card has two dual-link DVI's.

Apple is currently working on a proper fix but they don't have a timeline for it's release. If you have a MacPro that was a CTO and configured with (2) video cards and you're tyring to use the FXPlug filters you will experience this same issue and, you should contact Apple support and have them replace your cards with the same ATI card instead.

I'm sure the ".2" update for FCP 6 will address this issue.
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Old June 30th, 2007, 11:35 PM   #9
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Follow-up

The ATI X1900 XT now installed and both 30" inch ACD's running FCP 6 and the FXPlug filters are all working like a dream; no issues to report.
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