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Config advice

Hi there !
I’m asking you devvvveloppers a lil’ advice about a config…
I’m seriously considering using vvvv for an installation (after some extensive testing)
and i’m planning to change my setup from multiple OSX-based laptops
(reference here: http://www.exyzt.org/images/eme3/EME3-agbar.jpg )
to one unique boosted PC.
For this i’m considering a big CPU / with Raid HD , plus 3 quadro FX 1400.
My goal is a 5screen multi display install (5x 800/600) driven by this computer.

Of course, right now i don’t have this setup. My question is, would you recommend this setup
(3 gfx cards, with each dual screen capable) - with the multi display node - , and do you think i’ll be able to have 5 fullscreen outputs, plus one for controlling the patch.

In theory this sounds possible, but i would like to have your expert’s opinion.
Thanks in advance.

i’m building such a machine right now…based on gigabyte’s quad royal mainboard which provides 4 pci-x 16x slots for recent high end cards.

elektromeier already owns such a system. as i’m still buying components i’d be very interested about his machine setup…down to the case and fan’s :)

so would u plz publish the details of your machine, elektromeier :)

we are currently quite happy with our system for spin. i posted the details in the april 13th entry.

what will your pc do? play videos? 5 different videos on the 5 outputs? in that case you might get troubles with harddisk…not sure if a raidsystem can play 5 large videostreams…

if you really only need 800x600 you could consider using only 2 graphiccards and those matrox dualhead2go splitters (not sure though if they work with 1600x600). then one card could do 3200x600 spanmode for four outputs and one additional card for the 5th output plus one monitor for the patches…

depending on your planned output this could be a smooth setup. and what is the reason for using quadroFX1400ers?

the PC will play video in the background
320/240 x5= 1600/240, this will be the size of the video (minimum), or bitwise, 2048/256 ,
or even 2048/512 with some funky pixel aspect ratio,
PhotoJpeg encoded, then upsampled by the gfx card.

I would like ONE file automatically split into the 5 screens,
and 3d realtime element in the foreground (the metamesh stuff)

the output should be a big screen , a sketch is here:
http://exyzt.org/video/3ELEPHANT0-H264.MOV

i would get a config from Dell (our usual hardware dealer), and they propose quadroFX1400 cards, that are not so expensive after all…

so the options are:
-3 gfx cards
-2 gfx cards + 2 dualhead2go

right ?

I would like ONE file automatically split into the 5 screens,
concerning the ONE file.

as soon as you use 2 graphiccards you’ll have to play 2 videos. or play the same video twice (which is not so cool performancewise…then better split the video manually and play one part on each card).

matrox also has those tripplehead2go options. it sounds a bit strange but how about one graphiccard with one trippleheades2go on each of its heads. this way you get 6 outputs from one card with 1024x768 each. but it is all one large horizontal spanmode. so you can play one large video…hmm…but maybe a fullscreenresolution of 1024x768 x6 is not possible…sorry. got carried away…

so yes. 2 cards is probably the minimum. 3 cards would mean you have to play 3 videos, which could pose a problem for the harddisks then…

and isnt the quadro-line always more expensive than the geforce line…only because for the quadro line you get certified drivers for autocad, 3dstudio…

mmmm, i see
so i’ll probably stick to a 2gfx card option,
and reduce to a 4screen setup, with 2 dualhead2go on one card,
and the other card for monitoring.
So that everything is much simpler… one big video file on one card… 4 outputs…
this would give a… 4096/768 resolution… do you think this is possible ?
(if not, then i guess i’ll have to split my file in two parts)

and yeah, quadroFX are for CAD, but i also happen to make a living out of CAD, where certified drivers do count, in a way…

Thank you very much for your help

still waiting for elektromeier’s setup :)

just a last question,
do you think 512 gfx ram is worth and would help (for a 4096/768 output) ?
this would lead to a geforce 7900 GTX

mm…hard to tell.

i doubt that you can really playback a 4096x768 videofile smooth. but i am quite sure that in your large setup one wouldn’t see the difference to a scaled 2048x768 or even 2048x384 file which sound more plausible to playback smooth from a really fast harddisk. but still i wouldn’t guarantee this.

if i do the math correctly then a 32bit doublebuffered backbuffer of 4096x768 takes up roughly:
4096x768x32*2 = 201326592 ~ 200mb.

then you want another doublebuffered 24bit videotexture of that size = ~150mb. that wouldn’t fit in 256mb of videomemory.

even the smaller videotexture would then only fit in 512mb. plus you probably want some other textures and 3dmodels loaded in graphikkards ram…

so if nobody objects my math i would recommend at least one 512mb card. the monitoring card could probably be a cheaper one.

i guess you have to divide by 8 … 1 byte = 8 bit …

hehe. ja. sounds plausible. so it would be ~200mbit ~25mb?!

jo: (4096 * 768 * 32 * 2) / (8 * 1024 * 1024) = 24 mb

depending on your content you might like to work with depth buffers (so add some more memory for your front depth and one for your back depth buffer)

okay… this change a lot of things…
to be honnest, i was considering using again my apple hardware
a G5 stuffed with pci-express cards running modul8 from my friends GarageCube,
that does the job in a “transparent” way (you just have to feed it with a, say, 1960*240 movie file
and it cuts it automatically, even if you have 4 gfx cards - no need to have 4 files… - )

Anyhow, this sounds now “secure”, i’ll go testing with V4 next week, i can buy 100/150 euros cards and give it a go…
be sure i’ll let you know

Franzi, you could also try this setup out for me and let me know if it works. I presume it should be a piece of cake for you:

  • use one big NVIDA card (7800GT or better)
  • do not use an ATI card because you might die from brain tumors trying to configure the span mode.
  • one head delivers 1600x600, the other 2400x600
  • one head connected to a dualhead2go, the other to a triplehead2go (those should be available end of this month)
  • set to span mode, you’d have one desktop, then play back one video file. 2048x600 is actually less than an HD video in terms of megapixels. That should be easy as long as you stick to one of the HD codecs (WMV mostly).

sounds like a safe solution to me… once Matrox brings the TH2Go to market… But note that they only do 60Hz. 50 Hz Video will look choppy.

one head delivers 1600x600, the other 2400x600

from what i have tested (on nvidia cards and i am quite sure this is also valid for other cards) , that will not work. you can only do spanmode when both heads delivers the same resolution.