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Coming back after 3 years - need advices


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Good day!

 

I need to build 2 display machines with 6 output each. They will be able to act as a production unit as well as a display unit, they need to be beast. 3 years ago I built workstations for a client with an SSD drive and a 6 output ATI card, it worked very well, I was able to play 16 HD 40mbps mpeg2 files with no problem.

 

Considering we are 3 years later I was planning on dual m2 ssd raid0 or 3 sataIII SSD in raid, combined with an X99 i7 (8cores) and  DDR4 ram (whatever is needed, last I checked WO was still 32bits, 3 years ago). Now one of the issue I am having is the graphic card. I need a card that can drive 6 output and was wondering what was the go-to card for that, they seem rare nowadays. Also I guess WO still doesn't use the graphic card much and does most of the processing on the CPU but this might have also have changed so an old card could do the trick but I need beast so let's go with what's best.

 

Also input cards, I would like to have 3g HDSDI inputs (ideally 4:4:4) with minimal lag, ideally 2, or 2 DVI inputs, whatever has minimal lag between both. What would be the recommandations?

 

I remember having a list from Showsage on how to configure Windows properly, probably got updated, is it availlable here on the site? Maybe you guys post example builts, haven't found some on the site but can't hurt to ask :) .

 

One last thing: licensing is the same or it changed? (need a key to drive a display or to output QT movies or MIDI/DMX from the production unit), how much?

 

Thank you for considering my questions

regards

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I'll leave the 6-output gfx card and 3g HDSDI input cards to others, and mention here that the M.2 SSDs are the way to go instead of SATA3 SSDs. The read/write performance of M.2 SSDs overcomes the limits of SATA3 controllers, though being new, price is obviously higher per GB. But for a 'beast', that's the route I would take.

 

I just bought a Plextor M.2 PCIe Gen2 x2 128GB and installed it into my ASRock Z97 Extreme6 motherboard, and its Sequential Read speed is over 700Mb/s versus a SATA3 SSD's top 550Mb/s. The top end Samsung XP941, an M.2 x4 SSD supposedly has a sequential read speed of over 1,100Mb/s. To RAID it, you would need a motherboard that has two M.2 x4 slots. Haven't found one yet,  so presently one would need to put one piece in a M.2 x4 slot (mainly ASRock motherboards), the other on a PCIe x4 adapter. (Be aware that with Z97/LGA 1150 motherboards, occupying another PCIe 3.0 slot with a x4 card may well drop your main graphics card's lanes to x8 from x16 since the cpu has only 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. A X99/LGA 2011-3 or X79/LGA 2011's cpu has 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes, with the exception of the Haswell-E 5820 which has 28 PCIe 3.0 lanes, and therefore have ample PCIe 3.0 lanes for other add-on cards without affecting your main gfx card).

 

The Samsung XP941 is not cheap, and is only found in the Mac Pro Tower and the Sony VAIO Pro 13. However, ramcity.com.au seems to carry it, as does flexxmemory.co.uk

 

Thomas Leong

Edited by Thomas Leong
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We have been using the ATi FirePro 9100 for six outputs on over a dozen systems now and it works well.

 

As for those tempted to use the FirePro W600, beware, the GPU is a bit weak for WATCHOUT.

The W600 is targeted at home video applications, not so much for DirectX 3D accelerated apps.

If all you are doing is video playback and very little with tween tracks, no masking, no keying, etc.

you might get away with the W600. That implies you have control of the content and its programming.  ;)

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Thanks a lot for all the inputs!

Consider I don't want performance at the cost of stability. I will specify what I mean by beast: my goal is to be able to handle 24 1080p 60fps 40mbps mpeg2 files running at the same time with concurent live input(s) (1 or 2).

 

So, If I can pick your collective mind a bit more;

 

-How about the system, which is reccomended, win7 or 8.1?

-RAM, is Watchout still a 32 bit app and there is no point in fitting more than 4GB of RAM in a display computer? If it can take advantage of more, my maths tell be 2GB per core is more than enough but I read 12GB is not reccomended and pick 16GB instead to have an even number of memory modules, makes sense or am I forgetting something?

-Inputs, I plan on using BMD mini recorder cards as inputs, 2 if possible, are they good choice for 1080p 60 streams? Any recommandations?

-Case, I am looking to build a station that will be on the road, I need holders for the cards, a good ventillation system, filters. My last pick was a rosewill 4U rackmount case but it doesn't exist anymore.

 

-Bandwith-wise an SSD raid (samsung EVO) and the new X99 chipset with a 6 core i7 seems to be able to pull it off but my guess is you guys have a much better idea than me on what is possible or not.

 

I haven't programmed and even less built WO systems in 3 years so I feel insecure about buying a system using my previously acquired knowledge, I want to make sure it will work as flawlessly as possible, I have 2 weeks to build it so That's why I am asking all those nagging questions :)

 

Thanks for your understanding and help

regards

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Thanks a lot for all the inputs!

Consider I don't want performance at the cost of stability. I will specify what I mean by beast: my goal is to be able to handle 24 1080p 60fps 40mbps mpeg2 files running at the same time with concurent live input(s) (1 or 2).

 

I don't think one will be able to play 24 simultaneous 1080p 60fps 40mbps mpeg2-files off one machine, "beast" or not.

Your overhead then will be very slim, if any...

 

 

So, If I can pick your collective mind a bit more;

 

-How about the system, which is reccomended, win7 or 8.1?

 

Windows 7 64-bit.

 

 

-RAM, is Watchout still a 32 bit app and there is no point in fitting more than 4GB of RAM in a display computer? If it can take advantage of more, my maths tell be 2GB per core is more than enough but I read 12GB is not reccomended and pick 16GB instead to have an even number of memory modules, makes sense or am I forgetting something?

 

If X99 is to be used to full extent, it need 4 modules, I would use 16 GB (4x4GB) or more.

64-bit and more memory than 4 GB RAM is needed by capture cards etc

 

 

-Inputs, I plan on using BMD mini recorder cards as inputs, 2 if possible, are they good choice for 1080p 60 streams? 

 

No, because BMD mini recorder is a HDSDI card ie 1080i60 (1,5G), not 1080p60. For that a 3G-SDI card is required.

Preferably Datapath VisionSDI2: http://www.datapath.co.uk/products/video-capture-cards/vision-range/visionsdi2

 

 

Any recommandations?

 

-Case, I am looking to build a station that will be on the road, I need holders for the cards, a good ventillation system, filters. My last pick was a rosewill 4U rackmount case but it doesn't exist anymore.

 

Use a watercooling system, and there are many good 19"-chassies to choose from. 

 

 

-Bandwith-wise an SSD raid (samsung EVO) and the new X99 chipset with a 6 core i7 seems to be able to pull it off but my guess is you guys have a much better idea than me on what is possible or not.

 

You'll minimum need a X99 8-core system, i7-5960X, I believe.

 

 

I haven't programmed and even less built WO systems in 3 years so I feel insecure about buying a system using my previously acquired knowledge, I want to make sure it will work as flawlessly as possible, I have 2 weeks to build it so That's why I am asking all those nagging questions :)

 

Thanks for your understanding and help

regards

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Thanks again for those answers, will follow your advices.

 

Folow-up questions:

 

-Watercooling? For road use, I was under the impression watercooling kits were not very road worthy but I am probably wrong it seems, any model you are sure of?

 

-I am tempted to use the Samsung XP941 m2 x4 SSD card, bandwith is impressive (1.1GB/s) but it's new tech and it performs better under win 8.1. Am I better off with a Samsung EVO drive, a raid of EVO drive... ?

 

I know 24HD streams will be rough but it's the max possible situation, I doubt we will reach it, worse case we'll lower to 30fps or use 20mbps files I guess but bandwith-wise the system should handle it, happy to now know it doesn't mean it will :D

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Alright, found what I was looking for and since I looked a lot I will post the result, might be useful:

 

Concerning X99 chipset and the 8core i7, cooling is an issue. In a 4U rackmount case watercooling doesn't fit or awckwardly does. Air cooling is an issue as you can almost only use standing heat sink which are very tall. Long story short ; I found the Noctua NH-U9DXi4 which is 125mm tall and fits any 4U rackmount case AND is reccomended for X99. Very solid according to reviews.

 

I will post my appreciation of the unit once installed and tested.

 

Thanks again for all the help guys! Jonas, you're a saver.

 

regards

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