What's the take on the new 690 cards?
will the extra gpu make a big improvement over a single 680 when it comes to our use?
Jeff you are the man!
I am starting from scratch so this informations is exactly what I need. I think the expansion box is the way to go but which one do you recommend. And which raid storage works best with 4k red files at the best price point. I'm looking at the Eizo CG275W as a color monitor and a panasonic plasma as my viewing monitor. Along with the Mac Pro and the cards you mentioned I think I'm well on my way until the next wave of new tech comes out.
The 690 looks interesting. Even though it's a dual-GPU design, the card can actually run as two independent GPUs (as in two 680's in SLI mode), or it can be recognized as a single GPU. This differs from the design of the GTX 590, which always appeared as dual GTX 580's.
The new Kepler GPU design nVidia has gone with is a radical shift away from the previous Fermi architecture. We have a lot more [smaller, less powerful] cores. In most of the benchmarks out there, the integer performance for CUDA compute is about 10% better on the stock 680 than it is on the stock 580. FP32 is about 1/3 as fast on the new 680 vs. the 580. And FP64 is 1/24th as fast on the 680 vs. the 580. So, the new Kepler cards may or may not be a good choice, depending on what you will do most on your system.
nVidia is working on new Quadro and Tesla products based on the Kepler architecture, but they have hinted at the new pro cards being spec'd quite differently from the Geforce GTX series Kepler cards. No real info out there at the moment other than wild speculation. And even with that, there's not much..
As for your monitors, the CG275W is a fine monitor, but I wouldn't choose it for a grade 1 display. For that, I would try to use the plasma monitor you mentioned and get it properly calibrated. Preliminary reports of the new Panasonic VT50 series look really good and they are shipping the 65" model now, I believe the 50" or 54" is also shipping or will within the next week or two. If the timing on these doesn't work, look back to the older VT25 series if you can find one. The VT30 model that the VT50 replaces has a "feature" where the display will dynamically adjust brightness in relation to how much total voltage is being pumped to the screen. It's a flawed design that you can't turn off.
With the Mac Pro, you will want to install quite a bit of RAM going forward with 64bit apps and doing R3D workflow.
Lots of options out there for RAID storage. The more you look at all those options, the more they all look the same... because, in the end, most of them are. Walk the show floor at NAB and it seems that every other booth has RAID cabinets and storage options and while they all have a few different design tweaks or their own look, they're all still built around the same RAID modules from ATTO, Symbios, and LSI (installed in their cabinets). You connect them via eSATA, but usually via mini-SAS connectors to the proper RAID or other host controller in your system... ATTO, ARECA, LSI, HighPoint, etc...
I feel the same way about RAID storage that I do about computers/workstations. If I'm going to spend the money to buy a pre-assembled solution, there needs to be value there in terms of support, good warranty coverage, excellent build quality, etc.. Otherwise, I may as well buy all the parts and put them together myself. Which is usually what ends up happening in order to get what I want. If you want the more expensive solution, but with excellent support, take a look at MAXX DIGITAL -- their EVO2K and EVO4K products are great. For less expensive products where you'll be on your own in most cases if you need support and warranty coverage (most hard drives have 3 to 5 year warranties from the manufacturers), there are options out there like the Sans-Digital SAS enclosures. $550 for an empty box with SAS backplane and power supply. Connect them to an ATTO R680 controller and throw in a bunch of matched hard drives and off you go. If you want something in-between, there are a lot of options on the "small" end of things. The G-Tech G-Speed ES Pro units are real nice. You can connect two of those to a controller like the ATTO R680 and with 8x 3TB HDDs in RAID-5, you end up with 18TB of usable space that runs at 800MB/s or better.
Once again, RAID storage becomes a question of how much time you have to fiddle with it, your budget, needs for capacity and speed, etc...
I strongly recommend a good backup solution along with your storage. The HP LTO-5 desktop unit along with the ATTO SAS controllers and BRU-PE software has proven to be bullet-proof on the Mac platform. I highly recommend this. And with a proper means of backup / archival, and if you stick to a regular plan or strategy to manage it, you'll find you don't need as much online RAID storage. The main reason to go with 12TB or more in online storage becomes less a question of capacity, but more of performance. To get the MB/s speed up, it takes several hard drives. Current drives in the 2TB and 3TB capacities add up quick, you're at 12 or 16 TB before you know it. :) And that's a double-edged sword in some ways. Great to have the capacity and not worry about micro-managing your storage to keep space open. Bad because we can still usually find ways to fill it up and often with stuff we may not want to simply delete... Takes longer to backup and uses more backup media.
Thanks Jeff, I'm interested to hear what you find with the 680 vs 690. Every review out there seems to be tailored only to gaming so its hard to figure out how any of these translate to ME playback in premiere. I picked up a 680 myself for my new build, after doing the simple 'hack' it works great for me. Although I did upgrade from a 4 year old system with a radeon card.
Please post up your findings after you've done some tests!
"With the Mac Pro, you will want to install quite a bit of RAM going forward with 64bit apps and doing R3D workflow."
Jeff, the Mac Pro's, 4,1 version can take 96GB of RAM. Most applications say 8GB is fine. I was thinking about getting 32GB because the 4GB chips are the sweet spot at OWC, so how much ram are we talking for these apps?
24GB, 32GB, 64GB? I'd bet 96GB is just overkill.
I'm looking for some advice - I have a 2nd generation, early 2008 Mac Pro (8 core Xeon 5400 2 x 2.8 Ghz) that I'm looking to use for CS6 until such time Apple release a new Mac Pro or we switch over to PC.
What would be the best graphics card to add for CS 6 (currently I have a very old ATI RAdeon HD2600) and also is it worth adding additional RAM - I currently have 8 GB (4 x 2GB DIMM).
I'm also wondering if we'd see much gain in performance if we added a SSD for our primary drive or perhaps a WD Velociraptor?
Thanks Jeff, I appreciate all the help and advice you give to fellow RED user on the site.
For the '08 Mac Pro, 16GB would be a good amount for everything to just work. 32GB would be even better... By the time you're running anything that could max out the 32GB, it's going to be straining the system in other ways. '08 Mac Pro, or that generation of the Xeon platform, has a dual-channel memory controller. It performs best with all slots populated with the same type and capacity of modules. So, 8x2GB is ideal, 8x4GB is even better.
The Mc Pro 4,1 (2009) model is the same, but faster. The memory operates at 1066MHz up from 800MHz on the '08 tower. The '09 "Nehalem" Xeons also brought with them a triple-channel memory controller. So even though their are 8 DIMM slots in a dual processor '09 and '10 Mac Pro, you actually get the best performance when you run 3 pairs of memory modules or 6 total. You can populate all the sockets, but then the RAM actually drops back to dual-channel mode and your performance decreases. For the '09 "Nehalem" and '10 "Westmere", I would recommend 24GB as a good amount, but 48GB is much better and ideal. Given the 6 module sweet spot, the next jump would be to the OSX maximum of 96GB, but it is indeed overkill in most situations. Although, I would probably do the 96GB if I had a 2010 12-core Mac Pro and will be doing heavy R3D work.
As a frame of reference, I have one of my new 16-core (32 thread) E5 systems up and running and currently have 64GB installed in it. It's not enough for this system!!! To maximize all 32 threads for heavy rendering tasks in Modo / Maya, etc.. or to load up R3D footage and scrub back and forth, within the capabilities of this system, 64GB is cramped. I actually have more RAM on back-order for it -- total of 128GB for this system and that will help a lot. My inbound HP Z820 workstation will arrive with 64GB. I should've ordered it with the 128GB. Once the 16GB and 32GB modules arrive and drop in price I'm going straight to 256GB or even the 512GB maximum!!! It's amazing what you can do with a lot of RAM when the system and software are powerful enough to thrash through it...
In my 2009 Mac Pro here, I had 24GB installed in it, then pulled that and put 16GB in it to sell it... A couple sales fell through and everyone was wanting more RAM. So now I've upped it to 48GB as of late last night. Still for sale, but I also wouldn't mind keeping it. Great system overall... :)
I propose someone start a "Ask Jeff Kilgroe Anything" thread...
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