Have any advice for a New System Build?

My plan is to hook up 1 LCD monitor for the vvvv patch and 3 projectors for one 3d renderer (side-by-side at 1024x768 each).

I’m wondering…

Does this sound like a good plan?

Is the best way to do this with a triple head to go?

Are these computers too powerful/not powerful enough/perfect?

Here are the two computers I’m looking at:



One comes with dual GTS 250 and the other with dual GTX 240. Is there really any difference between the two graphics cards when it comes to running vvvv?

Hello Hello,

the specs depend on what exactly you are planning to do.
If you want to do heavy gfx stuff, go for the better GPU.
If you like to playback HD video(s) go for the faster CPU.

concerning the GFX-Cards there is a typo, it isn´t “GTX 240” but “GT 240”.
Here you´ll find some benchmarks to compare the performance of both cards: http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-cards-charts-2009-high-quality/benchmarks,74.html


ah and using a TripleHead2Go is definitely the right choice.

It totally depends what you want to do with vvvv.

both those machines have i7 processors and then not so good graphic cards. The 240 is the weak side of the higher end cards. The 250 isn’t that much better. But both will run vvvv more than happy with trippleHead2go and do loads of cool stuff with it. It’s when using shaders like the SoftShadow or DOF that you’ll start to notice issues or very complex scenes with loads of xfiles/textures/antialising etc.

If you want to do really crazy crazy stuff with you’re GFX then get a nvidia 400 series. They rock and price/power is better than the 200 series. But with a good GFX card you’ll need a good processor whatever you’re doing really so i7 if you can afford it.

it’s not always that easy to get the most out of a great GFX card though so maybe if ya not fully into and well experienced with vvvv, just get something that runs it and then you’ll start to get a feel for what you’re power requirements are. Often the same scene will run on weak machine as it would on a powerful machine, you’d just have to lower the resolutions loads, and reduce spread counts.

but yeah I would say the processors in those machines you’ve linked to seem to be a bit over spec for the GFX cards they have with them. Generally better with vvvv to have high spec GFX and lower CPU.

Thanks for the replies! Right now I do a lot of stuff with video but I’d like to do more with graphics. So I guess I need a machine that’s good all-around.

Would this rig be better or is the processor too weak now?..


This article introduces the AMD Phenom II X6 processors and the benchmarks compare them with Intels Core i7 CPUs:


reading the article, i would go for a i7 quad core because vvvv is a single thread application and will run only on one core. so clockspeed is still really important here. the other cores will help to decode videos or run other stuff besides vvvv. but having 5 free cores seems a bit much…

you can decode video on the GPU too so video isn’t just a CPU ting. I decode all my video on the GPU. read http://vvvv.org/documentation/faq-codecs

Well it might be a bit off-topic but I am kind of a fan of ffdshow tryouts for video-playback as it allows for multi-threaded decoding. So more CPU cores (should at least in theory and as far as my experience goes) result in a larger quantity of videos being played back without performance-issues.

Does video-decoding on the GPU influence performance of other stuff like shaders?
This interview on Resolumes GPU-powered DXV codec suggests otherwise, but what is your experience?

Do the plugins generally run in different threads than the vvvv core or do only special plugins like Particles (Spreads) take advantage of multi-core CPUs?

plugins have to handle threading on their own. the evaluate method of a plugin is called from the vvvv thread and has to return to it in order to keep the graph in sync.


On my current setup I have 2 video textures at the same time (@720p). They appear to use both cores of my Intel Core 2 Duo. So if I want to have 6 video textures running at the same time a six-core system doesn’t seem like overkill, right?


I started off decoding video via GPU but it was too limited and too slow. The amount of video memory + RAM required to decode just 100 frames of 720p video is ridiculous. The best solution I have found is to use a normal video texture and use a dedicated SSD drive for each video texture.


I’ve never noticed any performance decrease in shaders because of decoding video on the GPU. I’ve never really done any testing of this though, no need because I’ve always been happy. One example patch I had running in a club once; 3 x 1024x768, geometry corrected, soft edge blended, 4 layers of DVD quality MPEG-2 decoding on GPU, 1000 x fairly simple phong shaded xFiles using spreads, quite a few passes through various pixel shaders (mainly Blend.fx and blur) = 40-50fps.

multi-threaded decoding sounds like a good idea though if you have un-used cores. I’ll give it a go for sure one day.


What video card where you using when you’ve seen issues?
Dedicated SSD drive for each video texture? seems extreme. DVD quality is max 9.8 Mbit/s and 720 around double that, a SATAII drive can do 3000 Mbit/s so should easily handle a good few layers of video. I appreciate seek time needs to be included in any calculation and will have the biggest effect on this. I’ve seen no problem with 4 layers, maybe beyond this get another SATA drive.

thats right, if you need so many videos…


Thinkpad T60p with ATI Mobility FireGL V5200. This card makes me never want to buy ATI again, BTW, because it causes constant BSOD (well-known ati2dvag problem) and vertical refresh tearing (despite “wait for vertical refresh” being enabled in CCC).

I have a lot of 20-200 frame video clips encoded with Indeo codec (key frame every frame etc) @ 720p. The clips get loaded in randomly, two are running at any given time. One problem with using the GPU was that loading the clip into texture memory caused a slight delay which happened every time a new clip was loaded.

You might be right that SSD is not so much faster than SATA for reading video but at only $85 for a 32gb drive it’s a no-brainer. And my laptop is getting hot enough another SATA drive might just fry it. Regardless of SATA or SSD, having separate drives makes a big difference because reading two videos simultaneously from the same drive is a huge slow down. (As far as I know there’s no way to background-read the compressed video file into RAM first.)

Can anyone tell me the best way to hook up a monitor and three projectors to a rig with a GTX 470? The specs list VGA, DVI, and HDMI ports separately from the video card and then two DVI ports on the video card. Nvidia’s website lists 2 dvi ports and one hdmi port for the card…

Could I hook up a VGA monitor to one of the ports and 3 projectors via DVI or HDMI using a TH2Go ?.. My concern with HDMI to projector is converting the signal from DVI… My concern with DVI to projector is the approximately 75 ft of distance from the PC to the projector.


You can use those DVI cables which are built to support long distance.
It can supports up to 80 ft.
Then you can use TH2Go.



@slaves, those cables only support resolutions up to 1600 x 1200 @ 60Hz at 25 meters and even that seems not to be really guaranteed.

I think a DVI Booster could help.

@Bjoern, true I wanted to link the 25m version, which allows 1024 x 768 @60hz.

Then with a TripleHead you can have 3 x 1024x768 @60hz.

The 20m supports 1280x1024 @ 60hz

And for sure i did not test yet !


The 470 has 2 DVI ports and a HDMI. Both DVI ports can go to VGA via a DVI>VGA converter.

You can connect a TH2g to one DVI port and a monitor to another port to get ya 3 screen and a control screen.

not used the HDMI port.


Yes shure, but if I didn´t misunderstand there is still the 75ft/23 meter distance between the computer and the beamers. DVI only guarantees 5 meters without “signal degradation”, so I think there is a need to somehow boost the signal or use some sort of extender.



You could of course do it also like this, hence have less bandwidth (1024*768@60Hz per cable) and try passive cables like the ones DigitalSlaves proposed.



def go

yeah long runs are a bit of a nightmare with DVI so I’ve heard. Often done using fibre channel stuff but that so expensive. I’ve done 20m DVI with amazing quality cable (£120+)

never used DVI repeaters but the logic is good.

Why not go VGA and you’ll be fine. Just get really really good quality cables and/or expensive signal amplifiers.