I am also interested in using the Mobile Rocket with my MBP as well. I just pre-ordered the Sonnet thunderbolt>ExpressCard/34 adapter too and Im wondering how this set up would work using once of the new iMacs? I own two of them and those would be great to bring on set and transcode through the mobile rocket....
So the question is: what would be faster...
1) MacBook Pro with Mobile Rocket going through ExpressCard/34
2) iMac ( intel i7) going though Thunderbolt to ExpressCard/34 adapter into the Mobile Rocket
makes sense 1/2 res is still pretty good especially coming from a Laptop. I'm on the fence of getting a mobile rocket or waiting a million years for a ThunderBolt enclosure. Has anyone used the Magma ExpressBox1, it's around $200 cheaper than the Mobile Rocket. Granted it's not designed for the Rocket but I'm just curious.
ExpressCard/34 is gonna be your bottleneck not ThunderBolt but then again we'd have to run some benchmarks see what's actually faster. May also depend what each ExpressCard/34 reader is rated at.
Also be interesting to see if an SSD would make a difference I think it would.
The guys at MAXX Digital are great guys. Products are solid and they will support you. They have been great supporters of the RED community in general. So, when looking at solutions for mobile RR stations it comes down to what you need right now vs what you will need months down the road. TB is very new. Has huge potential. But will require some extensive testing as well when it does arrive. So, to deal with the here and now you have a few options. I'm going to focus only on Mac solutions. There are others out there and they are good too.
Mac Pro with at least one Red Rocket
Pros: Smooth playback and fast transcode times at Full Res. Can have internal RAID setup.
Cons: You need to be able to transport it and that adds bulk, hence limits portability. Usually requires a cart. Best setups are ones that have the Mac Pro integrated into a cart and can be wheeled on set, ready to go. That requires a vehicle that can handle a cart like that.
Mobile Rocket with Laptop
Pros: Small form factor. Laptop sits on top. Easy to get around. Playback at 1/2 Res is smooth. Transcodes are not as fast as Mac Pro but still pretty good for a mobile setup like this. As long as you factor that in and expectations are reasonable, a great solution. The version with the RAID inside is nice too for keeping an on-set backup.
Cons: Full quality playback not always as smooth. It's running in a 1X lane. Transcodes may not be fast enough to meet demands of job.
I think the Mobile Rocket is a great solution for those times when you don't have a full blown DIT cart, need to be extremely mobile, always on the move. It setups up quick, you can fit it all into a Pelican case, and is pretty good bang for the buck.
I think the Mac Pro setup is required for more demanding jobs which typically are going to have a full blown cart anyway.Even then, a Mobile Rocket may be a nice addition to the cart. Could be a secondary system used for playback or getting quick looks, etc while the Mac Pro system does the heavy lifting.
So, back to TB and what that means if you go with Mobile Rocket now. If there are jobs that you can get ROI on in the near future, the Mobile Rocket should be paid off pretty quickly. The Rocket card you'll end up putting in a TB device either from MAXX or another vendor down the road. So it all comes down to your business model, what you have coming up for gigs, and what kind of rates you get for your gear.
On a side note, it's fun working on a system that has multiple Rockets and watching Epic footage spit out at 40-50fps. That kind of speed comes at a price of course. :-)
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