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DaVinci Resolve Testing Configuration

COW Blogs : walter biscardi's Blog : DaVinci Resolve Testing Configuration
It’s Labor Day weekend here in the US so I’m taking advantage of the 3 day weekend to set up and start testing the beta version of DaVinci Resolve 7.0 for Mac. Contrary to some of the information that’s out there, you do NOT require two nVidia graphics cards to run Resolve on a Mac Pro. It is recommended, but not required. Here’s the configuration I’m testing on:

Mac Pro Quad Core 2.93 Intel Xeon (2009 model)

16GB RAM

BlackMagic HD Extreme 3D video card

nVidia Quadro FX 4800 graphics card

ATTO R380 SAS/SATA controller

Small Tree PEG1 Ethernet Controller

Dell 24″ primary computer monitor

Viewsonic 22″ secondary computer monitor

Flanders Scientific 2450W reference monitor

Tangent Wave Control Surface

So as you can see, I’m running with only one graphics card, the Quadro 4800. I don’t have room for the second card because of the Small Tree PEG1 card in there. That’s to support our ethernet SAN. The on-board ethernet controllers do not properly support Jumbo Frames forcing us to use the PEG1.

Speaking to BlackMagic about this situation, I was informed that I would be giving up some realtime functionality by going with the one card, but all of the functionality of Resolve will be available. I have no problem at all accepting that I’m giving up a little realtime functionality to take advantage of everything else that Resolve offers for color enhancement.

So everything is installed and operating. More tomorrow on playing with Resolve!


Posted by: walter biscardi on Sep 5, 2010 at 2:46:00 pmComments (9) DaVinci Resolve, Color Enhancement

Comments

@DaVinci Resolve Testing Configuration
by Luke Maslen
Hi Walter,

I read with interest that you displaced a graphics card because you needed to install an ethernet card to support jumbo frames when connecting to your SAN. I can also see you've done a lot of homework on jumbo frames and various Mac models. The latest Mac Pro model specifically lists support for jumbo frames and there is a jumbo frames option in the ethernet preferences inside the System Preferences on a mid-2010 Mac Pro.

Obviously Resolve gains a huge realtime boost by having both recommended graphics cards installed. So if you happen to get a chance to test with a mid-2010 Mac Pro, I'd be very interested to learn if the built-in ethernet happily supports jumbo frames with your SAN or whether you still have to use an ethernet card which supports jumbo frames. Thank you for your very interesting posts as it's excellent to read about using Resolve from someone with a great knowledge of Apple Color.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design
Re: DaVinci Resolve Testing Configuration
by walter biscardi
Did some more research today and my original information is correct. Ultimately the Linux version will provide much more realtime than the Mac will be able to deliver, at least at this time.

Base Mac with 2 GPUs and a Red Rocket will give you a significant realtime performance boost, at an additional cost in the $7,000 range. And even there you will be limited in the amount of Nodes, the type of effects / corrections you're doing in the Nodes, the format you're working in etc... Those will have a heavy impact on just how much true realtime you're able to get.

And this business model makes sense. Why would a $999 product be allowed to have absolutely the same configuration as the much more expensive version? It operates the same, the features are more or less the same, but the more you spend, the more power and realtime you get. It's a smart business model. Open up Resolve for anyone with $999 and for those who need serious horsepower, you can step up to a honkin' Linux solution.

So there is no misinformation whatsoever in my first statement that started this entire thread. Even with the 2 GPUs, you cannot say "ALL realtime functionality." That's simply not the facts as the machines stand today.

You're still limited by the processing power of the Mac, the GPUs, the number of Nodes, what the Nodes are doing and the format you're using. If you cross over any of those thresholds, you lose realtime functionality on the Mac. Putting up apples to apples, Mac to Linux, identical setups, you simply cannot have "All Realtime, All the Time." Blackmagic makes that very clear and they are also very clear that if you want "All Realtime, All the Time," you will require a fully loaded Linux system. I've done the research, talked to some of the folks who originally created Resolve and other colorists to get this information.

The need to render is not a problem for me because I'll take that just to add a $999 Resolve in my toolbox. One GPU and all.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Re: DaVinci Resolve Testing Configuration
by walter biscardi
You know, I just read Blackmagic's own Resolve Page again. Even they say that if you want realtime processing of RED Raw files and more power than OS X can deliver, you need to switch to Linux.

Start with a single computer on Mac OS X for lower cost, then upgrade to Linux for extra power for high resolutions such as 2K or 4K, stereoscopic 3D feature films, or real time grading of raw RED files. It’s all possible with DaVinci because you can just add extra Linux computers and GPU cards via high speed InfiniBand connections. Only DaVinci Resolve scales up as your needs increase.

http://blackmagic-design.com/davinci/resolve/

Maybe I'm reading all of this wrong and being told all the wrong information, but this sounds like BMD is saying that the Linux version is more powerful with more realtime features than the Mac version. That would make complete business sense. Linux version costs more so it better deliver more performance than the Mac version.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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@walter biscardi
by jake blackstone
Walter.
You need to compare apple to apples. Both single GPU OSX and Linux systems are identical in real time performance. And by single GPU I really mean a standard dual GPU set up, recommended by BM- GT 120 and GTX 285 or FX 4800. If you're looking for a full resolution real time grading with R3D, just install Red Rocket and you're good to go, even on OSX. Resolve on a Mac is a real time device. Without the Red Rocket you'll get around 1/4 to 1/2 Good real time debayer, depending on the computer specs, but so is the Linux version with same specs. It is obvious, that you'd missed the whole point of the breakthrough, that Resolve on a Mac at $999 represents. It's a real time performance device. Just get both GPUs:-)
@jake blackstone
by Illya Laney
Either way, he won't get 2 GPU's because he's stated that Bascardi Creative won't run an unapproved configuration with FCP Studio installed. 2 GPU's with FCP and Color isn't an officially approved system and if he doesn't have them installed, he can't write to ProRes.

twitter.com/illyalaney
Motion Design, Color, Editing
SWGC Incorporated
Re: DaVinci Resolve Testing Configuration
by walter biscardi
So, please stop spreading incorrect information, as you keep making statements with no basis in fact.

Jake, I had one of the folks who was with Davinci when Resolve first started in my shop today doing some training with me. He runs a Linux version of Resolve in his own office in his day to day work.

If you want to start your own blog and post your own findings, by all means. I'm going with what I'm seeing in my own testing and what I'm learning from folks who have a lot of experience with this stuff.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Re: DaVinci Resolve Testing Configuration
by walter biscardi
Some real time functionality? How about ALL real time functionality? You may as well just stay with Color...

Ok, using that logic, you better not purchase the Mac version of Resolve. Pony up for the $25,000 version on Linux if you want all realtime. No matter what you do, the Mac won't have as much realtime power as the Linux side.

They're two different tools. My point of the configuration was that you don't require two graphics cards in order to run it on the Mac. So you're buying the Linux version, correct?

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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@walter biscardi
by jake blackstone
Again, I beg to differ. Single GPU R-100 on Linux, that was close to $200k a short while ago and a Mac version of today are exactly the same. There is no difference in real time performance whatsoever. How do I know, you may ask? Well, three weeks ago, I was in Blackmagic office to pick up my own copy of beta Resolve and with both systems side by side and I did the comparison test. But there actually is more to that story, but I can't talk about it.
So, please stop spreading incorrect information, as you keep making statements with no basis in fact.
+1
Re: DaVinci Resolve Testing Configuration
by jake blackstone
Some real time functionality? How about ALL real time functionality? You may as well just stay with Color...


Professional Video Editor, Producer, Creative Director, Director since 1990.

Credits include multiple Emmys, Tellys, Aurora and CableAce Awards.

Creative Director for Georgia-Pacific and GP Studios, Atlanta. Former Owner / Operator of Biscardi Creative Media. The show you knew us best for was "Good Eats" on the Food Network. I developed the HD Post workflow and we also created all the animations for the series.

Favorite pastime is cooking with pizza on the grill one of my specialties. Each Christmas Eve we serve the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Italian seafood meal with approx. 30 items on the menu.

If I wasn't in video production I would either own a restaurant or a movie theater.

 




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