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Upgrading a PC Tower



  • Hey everyone,

    I'm pushing a lot through my MacBook Pro and am seeing that it seems to be maxed out. Thinking I need to set up a windows machine that will have more power. We have an extra towers in one of our labs that I'm thinking of setting up for maximum Izzy potential. I've checked out the two very helpful forum postings on setting up a Windows based system, and I wanted to run by what I'm doing/thinking to see if it's making sense to those who know. 

    I'm working with a theatre project that will include pre-built video and animation, Kinect set-up with NI_Mate, two usb web cam feeds (one for overhead blob tracking and one for actual video input controlled by the performers) and two more robust video cameras (Canon XA 30) that need to be able to stream clean 1080i. This will all go out to two projectors of differing specs and and a television monitor that is part of the setting. There will also be the need to have at least one more monitor dowstage for performers to track themselves during interactive work happening on the screens behind them. All of the projectors, monitors and cameras are HDMI.  I'm able to handle pretty much everything on the list but when it gets to the high quality video I can't get anything more than one camera with a super-lagging image through my mac--coming through the Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle. And my Matrox won't handle the different projectors/monitor(s) because of their differing specs.

    So. I'm guessing that having a Windows machine with a Blackmagic DeckLink Duo 2 card would help the high-end video streaming input? And a more robust graphics card? (My mac has Intel HD Graphics 530 and Radeon Pro 460) would help in being able to send out multiple stages without the Matrox system and that might take care of the differing specs on the monitors/projectors?

    Here are the specs on the machine we have with potential upgrades:

    • Processor: 5820K 6-core i7 @ 3.3G
    • RAM: 16GB RAM (upgrading to 64GB)
    • GPU: gtx 750ti (most likely replacing with 1080ti)
    • HDD: 7200RPM 1TB (upgrading to m.2 nvme for OS and possibly raid SSD for media?)

    Thanks for the other posts on this subject and thanks for your feedback on this.



  • @montanamurph

    With all that going on, I would be considering separating processes across multiple computers and linking them through a network. It appears to me you are asking a lot from a single machine Mac or PC.

    Best wishes

    Bonemap



  • Or not, I am running a project with 4 SDI inputs via a duo 2, a kinect and a Vive and my machine (similar to your upgrade - 1080ti, m2 32 g ram, but with a newer CPU) and 3 HD outputs and my control screen, the macine handles everything well with a little room to breath, the vive is the most hungry device here anyway. The only thing I am not sure about is Ni mate. Ni mate uses libfreenect as far as I know and this is not an efficient program, libfreenect has a lot fo possiblities for acceleration Cuda, opencl and others, but I dont know what is active. If you are using a kinect V2, Ryan Webber has made an interface for Isadora (https://github.com/rwebber/kin...) based on the kinect SDK that is a lot more efficient. Definatley swap the webcams to using a blackmagic input.



  • @bonemap

    Yes. I'm sure my tendency comes from not having worked with networked computers in any of my work before. I'll definitely look into it as I keep ascending my learning curve. Thanks for your input!



  • @fred

    Thanks much for the feedback. Since I've only worked on Macs at this point I haven't given any thought to Kinect v2 but will definitely look into Ryan Webber's solution and test it and the v2 out.  The only other thing I've been rolling over has to do with sound and whether I need a separate sound card. I have a colleague who is into large audio installations who works with a Universal Audio Apollo 8 and a less expensive unit from them. His thoughts are that if we're moving into high-end audio that the station should be a separate one and that I can probably get by with a USB based mic interface. Your thoughts?