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Best hardware setting on Mac Pro 5,1 base



  • Hello @citizenjoe,

    in my case the issue appeared even without playing any video at all and just choose the video input of the deckling capture card. But this might all be a single problem I would not put to much weigh on for argumenting against a PC Base.



  • probably nobody tested this, but could the controller/CPU part be a bottleneck for live input to output streaming?



  • @dusx said:

    Voice Meter Banana

     I see, I got you wrong. You meant audio is better off at OSX than Windows!? I didn't use the audio function of isadora itself for a long time, so this is good to know. But I meant more the surrounding environments in the projects disciplins, like OSs, network, audio, midi, etc.



  • @dillthekraut said:

    but could the controller/CPU part be a bottleneck for live input to output streaming?

    Only if the frame rate drops below the frame rate of the camera because of the actors.

    Remember, the video camera may introduce 1-2 frames of delay depending on your camera. The capture card introduces at least one frame (and probably far more) frames of delay. Finally, the video projector will also introduce one or two frames of delay 

    So with no delays in the software at all, at 25 fps, you can expect at least 3 Frames/120 mS of delay – and much more likely, to 6 Frames/240 mS – even if there were no latency in Isadora at all. But maybe you're talking about something bigger than that.

    (I don't know how to measure the latency from the Blackmagic -- it's really only possible to measure the difference from to the final output in Isadora.)

    There's a useful discussion about latency in this thread from the Blackmagic forum, which I suspect was written by @Fred who you know from this forum.

    Best Wishes,
    Mark



  • @dusx said:

    I am testing a system currently that we plan to make Isadora run perfectly on (so far it looks great). Its powerful, but maybe less than what you are specifying and compact so few internal changes can be made.Lots of IO (DisplayPorts x3 , HDMI, USB3.1 x2,USB3 x2, USB2 x2 and more) I expect it will provide more than enough for 90% of users.

    I hope this system has Thunderbolt too: good solution for capture (Blackmagic Ultrastudio mini, for example) and for fast external SSD communication



  • @mark

    thank you for these explanations, I'm aware of the general delay issues regarding the different components.
    Indeed, what I meant is a different impact. The capture data coming from the PCI (USB, TB, etc.) needs to be send over the PCI Bus and the communication controller, influencing the whole system and maybe slowing it down for other data. I don't know enough about data throughput definitions, and if every PCI slot connection get its full reserved connection, or if there is some sharing needed for all BUS Data. At least there should be a limitation to the RAM communication.

    On this point there comes another question to my mind. Is Isadora capable of using the advancements of a dual CPU?


  • Tech Staff

    I've switched from Mac to Windows. And yes I have a monster of a machine at work, it's still not finished but its a <£10,000 build. 

    GTX1080ti, 64 gig of ram, m,2 SSD and raid 0 media SSD's. i7 quad core 3.6GHz. IN custom flightcase with all the trimmings; back up PSU, WIFI access point, switcher and custom rear patch panel.



  • @dillthekraut I am using a reasonalby high end system (rackmount and in a pelicase for touring). I would not worry about the endless variations you can get for a PC. To be honest most of the variation is a lot of low end junk. You are going to end up with a GFX card (one of two brands supported by OSX also), a CPU (as used in macs) a motherboard (mac motherbaords are manufactured/ designed in part with motherbaord makers you can use for a PC- make some good choices here and dont buy cheap stufff with over the top magic extras, ram (same chips and factories as a mac), chipset etc. There is no differrence and windows 10 runs perfectly. Dont install random crap software, dont install cracked software.

    ?Another aspect is the environment the machines will be working in. As there will be a lot of network connection with the audio environment, which work on MacBooks/MiniMacs mostly." I am not sure what you are saying, windows has more flexible and better notworking in my opinion, and will easliy send and receive any netowkr packet to/from a mac.

    Renting a PC for something like Isadora is kind of random, of course with any hardware you should keep a close eye one what you are using, I have no idea why your rented machine was crashing, but macs crash too with Isadora and this has been due to a lot of things, mostly fixed by point releases of Isadora. 

    In the end you can pay around 4k for a pretty amazing PC based Isadora setup with some serious throughput (raided SSDs for media, 1080ti, 4x 3g SDI input m2 drive for OS etc). For this money in mac world you can barely buy the bottom of the line 5 years out of date trashcan that you can never upgrade.  After that you will need to enter dongle and peripheral city just to connect to anything, let alone 4x SDI inputs.

    The thing you do have to do is put the time in researching hardware and understanding a bit of computer architechture to make the right choices. Of course there are some great high end gaming or workstation systems from windows based providers that come with great warranties (they will send a service person to your location for a repair fast, unlike booking an appointment 3 weeks in advance in the genius bar to then make a repair apointment a week or two later), that also have high specs and normal pricing and remain upgradeable in the future.



  • @fred thank you for this detailed view of yours!

    initially I shouldn't hide that I'm coming from the IT, originally, trained as a system admin. This helps a bit to understand the pitfalls of IT in general (or doesn't at all😝). Not only because of this I totally agree with you about

    "Dont install random crap software, dont install cracked software. "

    This should be considered for all systems, (even on private computers, and yes there is Crap Software for OSX too!).
    And we also don't need to talk about the trashcan as well (even though I had pretty good experiences with it in several projects!)
    "In the end you can pay around 4k for a pretty amazing PC based Isadora setup with some serious throughput (raided SSDs for media, 1080ti, 4x 3g SDI input m2 drive for OS etc)."
    Actually, 4 - 5 k is the price, round about a self BTO  Mac Pro 2012 with dual 8Core Xeon CPU, high end 1080ti and 1TB 1500Mb/s PCie SSD!
    Ok, to find this with the right components commercially with warranty, is not easy to find.

    But I did!
    http://create.pro
    No, I'm not connected to this company, but I'm just pretty amazed!

    12 Core 3.46GHz X5690 (2012) 3 week build time
    48GB (6 x 8GB) 1333Mhz DDR3 ECC
    Operating System:
    macOS 10.12 Sierra (Recommended
    Nvidia GTX 1080Ti 11GB (3584 CUDA Cores) (OS X 10.12+) (New) (Bootflashed!)
    Samsung 1TB 960 Pro NVMe (not bootable) (10.12+) (1,500MB/s)
    Sonnet USB 3.0 PCI-e (4 x USB 3.0) (SON-USB3-4PME)
    2x 256GB Angelbird SSD wrk for Mac with TRIM
    4TB Desktop class hard drive (7200RPM)
    incl. shipping to EU / GB, excl. VAT
    incl. 3YEARS WARANTY
    €3,775.83 £3,283.33 $4,432.50

    The only worry I have for this setup, is the kind of outdated RAM Speed with 1066Mhz, But I guess the dual Xeon RAM share will help compensating this.



  • @fred said:

    Renting a PC for something like Isadora is kind of random, of course with any hardware you should keep a close eye one what you are using, I have no idea why your rented machine was crashing, but macs crash too with Isadora and this has been due to a lot of things, mostly fixed by point releases of Isadora. 

    To be clear, we don't talk about a random PC here! The System came from a media/event tech rental company and was a dedicated Watchout Display machine! Watchout and Resolume ran fine on it, even with the Decklink. The main Reason it wasn't a Mac, was the impossibility to find a reasonable 5,1 system for rent and not at least Apple, leaving us with the trashcan.
    I would have no doubt that a well tested windows machine (never change a running system) is the best bet for price/performance balance. But out of the Box, the limited components and well tested drivers, (Mainly the combination of CPU, RAM and Mainboard!!! ) in the mac world are the bit of higher safety!
    I already used MacPros 5,1 with Isadora (One even was a 4,1 with a GF120, extreeme slow, but rock solid! 😁) , so I know (not a 100% though) it works!

    But to get back to Base, this wasn't meant to be a Mac vs. Windows thread. Both worlds have there pitfalls and advances. God to talk about it though.

    Considering your majority answers preferring windows before Mac, do I have to worry you dropping OSX development in the future ❔😆







  • @fred said:

    ?Another aspect is the environment the machines will be working in. As there will be a lot of network connection with the audio environment, which work on MacBooks/MiniMacs mostly." I am not sure what you are saying, windows has more flexible and better notworking in my opinion, and will easliy send and receive any netowkr packet to/from a mac.

     I talk about native file sharing, and easy to configure network settings. I really can't agree about Windows being easy at this and even more telling about struggle with it! But I talk as well about small things like in-system midi over Ethernet, virtual audio in/outs config, etc.
    And in this special case an all in all homogenized Operating environment.



  • @dillthekraut said:

    do I have to worry you dropping OSX development in the future

    No, as a huge percentage of our user base is Mac. But I can tell you as a developer, the way Apple kills perfectly fine programming interfaces all the time is a massive pain in the you know what; it results in a tremendous amount of work for no substantially good reason, and rewriting code has means the potential to introduce new bugs that weren't there before. On the other hand, Microsoft never does that... stuff  written for Windows 3.1 _still_ runs on Windows 10!

    Anyway, I do suspect we'll be recommending PC machines for top-level professionals in the future, i.e., people that want to do 4K with lots of outputs. We're testing a machine now, as I indicated previously. 

    Best Wishes,
    Mark



  • @mark said:

    @dillthekraut said:
    do I have to worry you dropping OSX development in the future
     No. But I do suspect we'll be recommending PC machines for top-level professionals in the future. We're testing a machine now, as I indicated previously. 
    Best Wishes,
    Mark

     That's fine for me, and I'm really looking forward to it!
    Don't get me wrong, I don't prefer Mac in general, it is mainly this special case and the higher safety to have a solid running system without experimenting and testing in the first place. If you do the research and offering a complete system that is reliable, it would be the exact thing I'm asking for, whatever it is, windows or mac!

    But I'm still looking forward what Apple has to offer till end of the year!




  • @dillthekraut not a bad find. The PCI slots are full so if you want to use a capture card you lose either the nvme or the usb 3...The machines are nice, but yes old, the pathway between the CPU and GPU is old and much slower, the PCIe slots them selves are V2 (the 1080ti can use 2.0 slowed down but is equiped with pcie 3.0). The sata ports are also sata 3 not 6. It could be a nice machine, but you lose a lot with the 6 year old technology. 

    Some hardware will work very well with hackintosh if you are that attached to the OS. Otherwise I can really recomend windows with a well thought out setup. I did a 32 nigh show with high stakes (4000 seats), using my machine. I was playing about 1tb of video per night mapped onto a big building and I had one glitch from Isadora once that was solved in a few seconds. I have done other jobs with it as well and never had a problem.

    If you ditch the NVME (also not running at full speed due to the pcie 2.0) so you can have a capture card at least you have usb 3.0 for file transfers, late file changes over USB 2 will be a drag. You could add another SSD for a raided playback drive.



  • @fred said:

    The PCI slots are full so if you want to use a capture card you lose either the nvme or the usb 3...The machines are nice, but yes old, the pathway between the CPU and GPU is old and much slower, the PCIe slots them selves are V2 (the 1080ti can use 2.0 slowed down but is equiped with pcie 3.0). The sata ports are also sata 3 not 6. It could be a nice machine, but you lose a lot with the 6 year old technology.

     I'm not shure about your counting. The macPro 5,1 does have 4 PCIe slots (Apple officially subtracts the 1st because of the pre installed GPU and only telling about 3 FREE PCIe slots)

    Slot 1 x16 for Graphics (If you are pointing to the dual Slot Profile, according to other users, there should still be enough space for a low profile NVMe adapter card.)
    Slot 2 x16 for NVMe up to 2GB/s theoreticaly (because of the x4 NVMe Card. PCIe x16 would do 8GB/s native)
    Slot 3 x4 4in/out capture card (or a second NVMe to double the Throughput to theoretical 4000MB/s)
    Slot 4 x4 4x USB 3 (2x USB 3.1 and even USB-C without Thunderbold is possible to)

    The PCIe 2.0 Bottleneck doesn't seem to be an issue in real world, as the GPUs today doesn't seem to use the full potential. I couldn't find comparable benchmarks, but this one shows at least that there is air between the 980 and 1080ti, so one could think the PCIe isn't the factor.
    http://barefeats.com/cmp_pasca...

    "Some hardware will work very well with hackintosh if you are that attached to the OS. "
    I'm not exactly attached to the OS, it's just one aspect. But the main is the hardware. I want a tested Hardware/ Software combination. That's what I'm really asking for here. If someone can tell me a exact combination of hardware, that is tested and reliable (By exact I mean the exact Mainboard / CPU etc.) I would consider buying it! The hackintosh is the exact opposite of this!

    Thank you for the hint with the NVMe Card. As it was placed in the x16 Lanes PCIe Slot, I thought it would be no problem, but I see now, that the card itself only does x4 and there is no other at the market by now. Still faster than on the 3Gb/s SATA Port (SATA III 375MB/s vs PCIe 2 x4 2000MB/s theoretical).Thus resulting in real 1500MB/s vs. 3000MB/s official theoretical max of th 960 EVO. But watching the speeds of todays Flash storage, I'm pretty sure x8 or x16 Adapters will come soon. One option already (pretty expensive though) would be this raid adapter http://www.highpoint-tech.com/.... Combined with 3 960 EVO would be up to 8000MB/s possible (If it works on Mac).



  • @dillthekraut

    I found a comparison for the GPU speeds: https://www.pugetsystems.com/l...
    PCIe 2.0 x16 = PCIe 3.0 x8



  • @dillthekraut nice detective work. It looks like you have some solid reasons to move on with the Mac Pro. As for the pcie, I was under the impression that with. Double wide card like the 1080ti you would lose a slot. If it still has room for the SSD then that is great (it it was bootable even better, I think there are some on the market that are.



  • Hi everybody,

    I would be interested to know, would I be benefiting from upgrading an older MacPro 5.1. It’s not as capable as DillTheKraut’s specs, but these are the specs of the machine I now have:
    MacPro (Mid 2010); 2.8 GHz Intel Xeon Quad Core W3530, 8 Mt L3 Cache; 16 Gt 1066MHz DDR3 ECC (that’s the max); 120Gt 2.5” SATA SSD - ATI Radeon HD 5770, 1Gt GDDR5.

    Would need a Thundebolt 2 (or 3) card to hook 2 real-time cameras, and I'm thinking at least changing the graphics card to Nvidia GTX 1080Ti 11GB.

    I’ve been working now with a MacPro (2013), 3.0GHz 8-Core Intel Xeon E5, RAM 64GB, Dual AMB FirePro D700, but it’s a bit limited in GPU processing (a project I’m planning seems too GPU intensive for it).

    So, comparing these, would I benefit from upgrading MacPro 5.1 in comparison to my MacPro (2013)?

    Thanks in advance!
    Lauri



  • @fred said:

    @dillthekraut nice detective work. It looks like you have some solid reasons to move on with the Mac Pro. As for the pcie, I was under the impression that with. Double wide card like the 1080ti you would lose a slot. If it still has room for the SSD then that is great (it it was bootable even better, I think there are some on the market that are.

     As Apple was a clever company once 😜, they already left space for dual slot Graphics between PCIe slots 1 and 2! (https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfr...)

    Booting seems to be possible with AHCI compatible SSDs, But those are mostly SATA drives and thus slower than NVMe (as I understood by know). It is possible to put a one Slot Raid Card with two regular Sata SSDs though and getting speeds up to about 800Mb/s.
    But my solution would be, 2x small SATA SSD in RAID 0 at regular HDD Slots just for OS and booting, still getting about 500Mb/s. (Tests show, that the Software speeds like OSX boot, Programm starting, etc, isn't really speeding up at a certain level of SSD speed anymore (it does again though with an even higher level, like 4x NVMe Raid 0). As the Machine is meant to be running and not restarting all the time, this isn't something I would care to much. The Data will be put to the PCIe NVMe, giving the speed for Video throughput (About 1500Mb/s).



  • Hello @lauri,

    Despite preferring a MacPro System in this thread, I would recommend it in special cases only. But for buying a complete new system, in the most cases I agree with the pro’s here and would go for a Windows PC!

    First of all, Thunderbolt is not possible in any case with the classic MacPro! The max. possible is 2x USB 3.1 second gen or 3x USB 3.1 first gen per PCIe slot.
    Are you using external Thunderbolt capture devices? I don’t know any native Thunderbolt cameras.

    I guess you want to use a system, based on what you already have, to save money? This isn’t wrong at all, especially as chances are good, that nearly all peaces you buy now can be used later, if you switch to a complete new system.

    In the most cases GPU and Storage speed are the limiting factors. Except you have complex patches with a lot of generators and / or java, etc. .
    Taken, you have the first case, I would try to get a better GPU (maybe at a store with a good return policy like Amazon.) and see if it helps. Considering Benchmarks and forum comments, there are better price/performance balances on other GPU cards than the 1080. Most say the 960 or 980 is sufficient or compare it with a 1060/1070. But there are other factors to consider, like numbers and types of outputs.

    If the new GPU clearly helps, you can go on with a second SSD and put those in RAID 0 Mode. Or even buy an NVMe PCIe adapter and a fast NVMe PCIe Card. Both can be helpful in later systems, but later is kind of expensive at the moment.

    If the GPU is not helping, you can get a refirbished X5680 XEON 3.33 GHz for 80€ or used even less. But be aware, that it isn’t straight forward to change it without damaging your system until you know what you are doing! And this probably won’t be something you will use in a later system.

    PS: Be aware, that NVidia does provide drivers for OSX for all of their newer GPUs, but they doesn't give you a boot screen until they are flashed with a special firmware! If you need the bootscreen (for setup / alternate boot drive) you need a specially flashed Card from http://www.macvidcards.com/i-w... . You find a list of options there as well.