NAB Magma Thunderbolt Demo
We had a chance to test out this pre-release thunderbolt case a week before and during NAB. The 3 slot PCI-e Magma thunderbolt case works well in Windows 7 boot-camp or Mac OS X. Red rocket transcodes with a new Macbook Pro 17" are near real time (1:1) using about half or less of system processors, the same performance seen in a Mac Tower. In addition to the Red Rocket card we are running an LSI 9750-8e SAS controller to an external AIC RAID Box.
The Magma thunderbolt case has a large modular fan in front (with selectable case fan settings) and another power supply fan in the back, we started with a PCI-e mounted cooling fan in the 3rd slot for the Red Rocket card, just in case it ran a little hot, but we never noticed any heat issues with or without the extra cooling fan. The case has sixteen PCI-e lanes total, and runs a two (x8/x8) card or three (x8/x4/x4) card configuration. Transfers between a thunderbolt connected 6Gb/s SSD or PCI-e Flash Warp Drive and the Raid Box avg 380 to 410 MB/s. If the system is connected at maximum speeds, we are able to offload the Red SSD to the Raid Box around 200 MB/s and also maintain 1/2 debayer playback or transcode at full rate. We didn't notice any difference between running the Red Rocket card at x4 vs x8 lanes when we chose to run a third FireWire 800 PCI-e card in addition to the Red Rocket and raid controller.
This thunderbolt case would work equally well (max performance, such as real time transcodes) with a new iMac, but do not expect real time transcodes on a Macbook Air 13" or Mac Mini. Using full system processing power and resources you may get better than half speed performance, perhaps 15-18 fps transcodes, but you will not max out the capabilities of a Red Rocket card with an Air or Mini.