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Watchout 5.5 System Hardware

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I am rebuilding and probably expanding our watchout hire stock.

 

I am interested on some thoughts...

 

AMD vs Intel

he AMD FX9590 seems to be a credible processor, 8 core and good price

The similar i7 3930 is only 6 core and more expensive

 

Is anybody running AMD processor based systems ?

 

 

I presume there is no benefit to dual processing xeons, as watchout is only a 32bit app and relies on processor for multithreading.

 

 

Is there any benefit to Firepro cards over high end radeon cards, with the 7990 costing about that of a mid range firepro but massively out performing it in benchmark tests, I welcome any thoughts on Radeon vs Firepro and is there anybody successfully running 4 heads or more on Nvidia cards

 

 

Has anybody tried the new Datapath Vision AV HD - 3 channel simultaneous capture, DVI, HDSDI and Composite ?

 

 

Regards

 

Paul...

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Don't know about the CPU.

But there is a huge benefit on the Firepro cards over the Radeons.

Only the firePro will allow you to use the S400 sync card.

I'm aware that not all aplication will need the S400, but being you a retal company you must be prepared for anything.

Even if you are using just one display engine you will need the S400 to sync all the outputs in that card.

I'm using all 6 output on the firepro w9000 to drive LED screens, and the only way to make it look like just one screen is to use the s400.

I use a lot of HD layers running in background and chose the one i need with a MIDI fader controlling Opacity.
With this setup the Radeon HD cards dont perform as well as the Firepro.

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... Only the firePro will allow you to use the S400 sync card. ...

 

Just to be clear, not all FirePro models are compatible with the s400 synch card, only some FirePro models,

and typically the higher end of the FirePro line. So when selecting a FirePro card,

be sure to choose a FirePro model that specifically states is is compatible with the s400.

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We're currently running AMD Phenom II X6 @ 3.2GHz for both our display machine and our production machine.  We have had no complaints with the performance and it was a big savings against the comprable Intel processors.  We also have an AMD FirePro V7900.  When I put this system together I was just learning about Watchout, but had been working with video cards for CAD for years and had a personal bias for workstation cards vs gaming cards, so I went with the FirePro.  I have re-debated this choice ever since I made the purchase.  We paid a very real premium to go with FirePro over Radeon.  The V7900 does support an S400 module, but we don't have one and we've had no problem playing back 4 XGA outputs across the card.  As I've learned more and more about Watchout and become more proficient with it I've come to understand, perhaps incorrectly, that the processors handles all of the video encoding/decoding, and the graphics cards processes 3D geometry as it relates to tween tracks.  For our specific case, crunching the video is the main task for our applications.  We do tend to do a fair amount of geometry correction, and I'm not clear to what extent the graphics card is involved with the 3D calculations there.  Perhaps if Jonas or Jim have time they could speak a bit to that end.

In any case, for our particular experience, AMD processors are completely analagous to Intel.  FirePro offers very real advanages over Radeon, but they aren't necessarily advanages that all Watchout shows can leverage.

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JG You are correct in your assumptions.

 

However,

All multi-output graphics cards, ATi Radeon or FirePro, or nVidia, do not provide perfectly

synchronized output. Each output has its own independent clock.

Granted WATCHOUT is writing to the outputs in synch,

but with the free running clocks, there will be variations.

The s400 synch module (and the nVidia equivalent) replace those clocks with 

synchronized clocks from the synch module.

As most of you know, the synch variation without the synch module is nominal.

You typically will not notice it with overlapped projection or mullioned flat panels.

It is when you have a 0 pixel separation between the display streams

or are feeding processors instead of displays that the variation begins to become noticeable.

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Jim, thanks for more clearly explaning sync variation.  In weighing Radeon options vs FirePro for future systems, is screen geometry processed on the CPU or by the video card? Are there other parts of the workflow besides 3D tweens that are offloaded to the GPU?  I suppose there's also a question, perhaps not objectively answerable, of how far do you need to go with 3D processing before you start stressing game orienteted consumer cards?

 

Jim

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Too further add back to this I have built a new i7 machine based on the new Haswell i7 4770k -  comparitively it benchmarks higher than the AMD's and a lot of the XEONS.

 

Asus do an amazing motherboard,with a tuff steel plate on the bottom which i think will be helpful when you are moving machines about to stop the flex in the rack cases

 

Graphics wise I have gone down the route of a 7970 with 6 outputs, capable of 4k res apparantly -  I have never needed to drive watchout into an LED display, but I do think this is something we are more likely to do in the future so I haven't ruled out the firepro and s400

 

I am just testing this machine now, and it seems pretty speedy...

 

paul...

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Dear Paul,

 

Could you provide details of your hardware build, specifically the motherboard you mention ?

 

Dear Jim / Jonas,

 

The current build details on the forum are from nearly a year ago. Some of those components are virtually impossible to find any more ! 

 

Is there a more recent "tested" build that you would like to share ?

 

Thanks

 

Suresh Madan

DynaMix Media

New Delhi, India

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Sure.

But it's still not any "approved" and tested builds, from us.

This is examples and ideas on where to start.

We are not doing any extensive research and testing here, this is enterily up to you and/or your hardware supplier, in your market.

I'll always suggest to use common sense here, there is only slow evolution going on at the moment, no revolutionary stuff around

the corner, that I can see. New model numbers, yes, but only slightly higher specs...

 

/jonas

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Hi to all, is there a perfomance issue if I use 2 pc to output 8 display. I am using it for dome projection of 14mx14m. the height is 7.2meters

the pc specification is

I7 4770K

AMD radeon HD 7990 

16GB ddr 3 ram

 

regards

wilmer

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Jim, thanks for more clearly explaning sync variation.  In weighing Radeon options vs FirePro for future systems, is screen geometry processed on the CPU or by the video card? 

 

Yes, geometry mostly adds to the video card (GPU) load.

 

Are there other parts of the workflow besides 3D tweens that are offloaded to the GPU?  I suppose there's also a question, perhaps not objectively answerable, of how far do you need to go with 3D processing before you start stressing game orienteted consumer cards?

Jim

 

Hard to quantify that, suffice is to say, with the higher end gaming GPUs, we have never seen it bump the threshold.

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Hi to all, is there a perfomance issue if I use 2 pc to output 8 display. I am using it for dome projection of 14mx14m. the height is 7.2meters

the pc specification is

I7 4770K

AMD radeon HD 7990 

16GB ddr 3 ram

 

regards

wilmer

 

Depends a lot on the movie pixel size, quantity and encoding.

Suffice is to say a quad-core gpu is very close or possibly past that threshold.

With a hi-speed SSD, it will likely need to be a best case scenario

to get four concurrent 1080p30 mpeg2 to run smoothly on that setup.

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