Asking for Help

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tibor2
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Joined: Oct 20 2001

Would somebody help me to put together a Supa-Dupa Dual Processor based Editing System uti;ysing Canopus DVStorm and Premier 6. Please recommend the necessary components

Thank you
Tibor

Bomag
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Joined: Aug 15 2000

After pratting about with a Asus A7M266-D, my stable and fast machine is based on a MSI K7D Master. So my suggestions for a stable system (but not one which will definitely work with the Canopus), based on my experience .

1. A K7D Master (-L; optional LAN version). Difficult to find at present, try scan.co.uk (got mine on Monday for £195). You may have read that XP athlons work dual mode. Some do but some don't (my 2000+ cpus did not). MP chips are guarenteed to work in SMP mode and are 'unlocked' I paid £243 for each of my 1900+ MPs but they run very nicely at 2000+ speeds so it worked out costing roughly the same.

2. A beefy power supply. I have a 350W for the MB and a 230w for the drives. If you doen load the MB manual you will get a list of individual ratings for 12v, 5v, 3.3v and +5VSB. A big case would not go amiss. I have a Juno P6 full tower case and the 2 PSU, 2HD, 3CD\DVD, 2 80mm CPU fans and a full ATX size MB make threading cables and maintaining air flow a challange.

3. Decent RAM. I have 512MB of TwinMos PC2700 (aka PC333) which works OK (from Komplett). Some makes of normal unbuffered PC2100 have problems. If you want to use more than 2 ram slots you must use registered RAM which is about £160 for 512MB.

4. A HD Raid setup (IDE or SCSI). Look for a 66Mhz PCI card. I have a Promise Fastrack TX2 with 2x80GB IBM GXP120 deskstars. Read/write speeds are 70-85 MB/s with burst speeds of 150MB/s. The 66Mhz bus really helps and with 2 CPUs copying data from DVD/CD on the on-board IDE is much quicker.
Some people have found problems with Promise 66Mhz PCI Raid cards (mine is ok on the K7D), the Highpoint 66Mhz card may be a better bet for IDE.

5. The K7D and Asus on-board sound is fairly naff, so consider another sound card. The only problem is that with only 5 PCI slots (2x66Mhz/64bit 3x33Mhz/32bit) and having no on-board USB (a USB 2.0 card is supplied with both the the Asus and Msi MBs 1.1 with the Tyan Tiger MPX) you will quickly run out of PCI slots (the Tyan board has an extra 33Mhz slot and optional LAN so this could be an option). You will have to decide what function must be PCI cards and what could be pluged into the USB 2 card.

6. Premiere 6.0 seems stable and transitions are rendered noticeably faster than with a Athlon 1.26 Ghz (Sofware codec). TMPGenc is now bearable. A 30 second clip is now encoded in 72 seconds rather than over 4 mins with the Athlon 1.26Ghz.

Please note that if you use a hardware codec for both Premiere 6.0 and MPG2 encoding (my knowledge of the different canopus cards is sketchy!) then you will gain very little from a dual CPU system (i.e. you can play a game on one CPU while the other deals with the hardware codec process).

col
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Joined: Jun 12 1999

Bomag give good advice but for the Storm you need some advice more specific.

One thing I can tell you is that the Gigabyte GA7DXR MOBO will run the Storm

The MOBO has onboard sound and raid/extra IDE channels

Buy one with the latest f8 BIOS and a 2000XP processor

It is worth buying the XP for the sheer procesing power required with the latest Storm transitions.

col

tibor2
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Joined: Oct 20 2001

A big thank you for both BOMAG and COL for the invaluable advice. Now I am more confident to go ahead, since I am a comitted user of Canopus reliable systems.
Bomag made me worried about not be able to use the DUAL system for hardware CODEC. If it,s tru I am better off using a Pentium 4 based system.

Regards

Tibor

Bomag
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Joined: Aug 15 2000

Its not that you cannot use a Dual CPU board with a hardware codec its just that you will not see as great a speed increase by upgrading as you would if you used a SMP aware software codec (or SMP applications).

From what Col said the Storm still loads the CPU with some rendering tasks. A dual system will provide a speed benifit over a single CPU system.

I have found that the speed increase in rendering in Prem 6.0 useful but the greatest benifit to me is saving of time using TMPG plus the ability to write a DVD-RW or CD-RW and still have a second, free, CPU to carry on using the computer as normal. As this last benifit also applied to other tasks and is not dependent on SMP software.

Given the cost of highend P4s and that they have only a marginal advantage over AthlonXPs/MPs a dual athlon setup is about the same cost as an 2.2AGHZ Rambus P4 setup and will be a much smoother system to use.

If you want to stay with a single CPU system go for a new AthlonXP 2100+ system.

[This message has been edited by Bomag (edited 14 March 2002).]

col
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Joined: Jun 12 1999

The use of a dual processor system will give you the best of all worlds

The only problem is that I am not sure if a dual AMD system is listed on the Canopus compatibility web page.

If you go to the Canopus web site you can log on to their own forum as a guest and see if anyone else has success with a dual AMD MOBO.

Its just a personal thing but I'd rather not have the PC running other tasks when I am editing.

col

tibor2
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Joined: Oct 20 2001

The Canopus "compatible motherboard list" does not give any aproved motherboard. I have tried in vane to ask advice from Canopus. BUT it puzzles me that when Canopus introduced the first RT system [Prior to Storm I fogat the name] THEY COULD ONLY PROVIDE REAL TIME IF THEY USED TWO PROCESSORS. I realized that time the fastest CPU was below Pentium III 700MHz and it worked! I have seen a working demo unit at an exhibition.
Because I got no response from Canopus that is the reason I tried this forum if anybody has a working system with Dual Processor.

Tbor

Michael Renn
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Joined: Aug 30 2000

Reference all the above, I beleive that Canopus use a dual Athlon system based on a Tyan m/b.
I have been using a Tyan Tiger (2462) motherboard, together with 2 x 1.2MP Athlons, and everything works fine.
If you get in touch with Max Black of Royston? they suplied most of my bits and pieces and are reasonable in price. There are other people who will supply cheaper, but Max Black will give you good advice. You may even get them to build your system for you, I know they do Canopus based systems.
Mike

Michael Renn
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Joined: Aug 30 2000

Sorry Url for the above is http://www.maxblack.co.uk/
Regards Mike

tibor2
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Joined: Oct 20 2001

Thank you Mike,
In the meantime I managed to get in to the Canopus discussion board and yes they use Tyan S2460 motherboard and different CPU's.
After reading Bomag's last summary I dont know now if I am better off with a P4 single MB. Like Col I never use the computer for any other task when I am editing. If the P4 system is better and "smother" [quoting Bomag] I am tempted to go for it.
But thanks for the advice Mike.

Bomag
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Joined: Aug 15 2000

Actually I said the dual Athlon would be better and 'smother'.

A decent high end P4 system with RDRAM would cost about the same as a dual Athlon setup. If the system was only running one process the the P4 system would be faster, however without running an application win2K has about 20 services running.

In a dual CPU system these services would be distibuted to the least loaded CPU. Therefore with a single threaded program one CPU would run the app and the other would effectively run the operating system.

Have you ever had the computer slow to a crall when the hour glass come up? With a dual CPU system this does not happen, the second CPU enables you to interact with the computer, hence the 'smother' comment.

tibor2
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Joined: Oct 20 2001

Sorry Bomag,
As soon as I posted the reply I realised the cookup I made. I did not have the hourglass but many times the "stopped rendering" error message driving me mad. CPU PIII 750Mhz.
What OS would you recommend?

Bomag
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Joined: Aug 15 2000

I use Win2K pro, however Win XP pro is also dual cpu aware (Win XP home is not).

I have used Win XP but prefer to stick with Win2K.

tibor2
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Joined: Oct 20 2001

The system is quite complete axcept I need and a final advice on which VideocardShould I buy. Bearing in mind I use it only for video editing,3D effects yes but not games. I would not like to pay for what I probably do not need. Please advise.

Bomag
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Joined: Aug 15 2000

Matrox G550 or ATI/Herclues Radeon 7500/8500

Eboda
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Joined: Sep 15 2001

Bomag,
How do you have both of your power supplies wired so that they both switch on and off together? Can the computer still control the power supplies, ie the computer turns off the power or do you need to switch it off your self?
Thanx

Pete

Bomag
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Joined: Aug 15 2000

You can alter the wiring of the second PSU or or buy a relay connector which will keep the two PSUs electrically separate.
www.overclockers.co.uk sells the relay and has a downloadable PDF file on how to do the wireing yourself

Eboda
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Joined: Sep 15 2001

Great, thanks for that Bomag, much appreciated.

Pete

tibor2
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Joined: Oct 20 2001

Bomag,
I am in the exciting state of haunting awailable components. You suggested "Promise TX 2000 66MHz" Raid controller.
Q1. Is it RAID 0 or Raid 1 Type.
Q.2 Since in RAID 0 the strip size is user defined what would be the best strip size for Video editing?
Q.3 If not RAID0 Type can you recommend one?
A dealer suggested: Promise IDE RAID controller-OEM is that OK?

Bomag
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Joined: Aug 15 2000

All the Promise TX cards are RAID 0, 1 and 0+1. The TX2 and TX4 cards can cause problems with some dual boards (my TX2 did not like the Asus dual board but is OK in the MSI).

I would go for then TX2000, particularly if you may use ATA133 drives.

The reason why I use one of the TX series is that they will run at 66Mhz which means that they can be used in the 64bit/66mhz slots (the long ones) without slowing the slots down to 33mhz.

The OEM card you have been offered may be a 66Mhz card but I think it may be one of the old 33mhz only cards. An alternative 66Mhz card could be one of the Highpoint cards (carn't remember which one!).

Try Komplett.co.uk or Scan.co.uk for the promise cards

tibor2
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Joined: Oct 20 2001

Thank you Bomag.
Over and out

tibor2
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Joined: Oct 20 2001

Bomag now I am really in s..ugar.
I try to put my dream spec together most of it your suggestion, the others are necessity because the Canopus has limited choice of MOBO.
The problem is that I can not find a vendor who would supply MY CHOICE. They are pushing what they got.
Max Black recommend the Dual Athlon K7 Tyan Thunder S2640NG MOBO. Very limited choice but most of the Canopus users use Dual Athlon Tyan Tiger S2640. Must be REGISTERED memory, no overclocking.OK I could live with that.But it comes only with 300W PSU. Even Tyan says this is the minimum. I asked for a larger one then their alternative this expensive special PSU FK320-460W price almost 500£! Which was used with Tyan Thunder and abandoned 'cause of the price
500 US$

I asked for Promise FastTrack TX 2000 66MHz RAID card they push the OEM version and I cant find any reference on the web if that is 66MHZ.
I cant have the Matrox Ultra ATA/133 HDD. Which is upto-date.
If I except the recommended Ultra DMA EIDE HDD and the recommended RAID I cant use them in 100MHZ mode. So I already have a YESTERDAY [obsolete] model before I get it out of the shop.
Sound card is also a problem. They push the Sound Blaster Live and I read on the Canopus Forum Board that 'Avoid it at all costs! It cause MAJOR problem with sharing system resources.' What do you recommend instead?

If I search the WEB there are plenty offers in the US but very limited in the UK. I have tryed what you recommended scan.co.uk and others but no success. What do I have to do to find what I want?

A desperate Tibor

tibor2
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Joined: Oct 20 2001

Bomag
Just managed to get through to Komplett.co.uk I have find all what I wanted except the Tyan K7 MoBo. Any Idea?
They have a Midi Tower with 330W supply Will that be enough?
No AMD 1900+ is available, only 1800+ which is faster.
Only the Sound Card is an open question.
Would Sound Blaster Audigy DE be OK?

I feel human again

Regards

Tibor.

I want to close this message board but how can I ask you in the future for further help.
I am afraid it will e needed.

Bomag
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Joined: Aug 15 2000

Having looked at your profile I find that you are in Australia (some of my sisters in-laws live near Cairns!). For more local info on products/retailers I would look at the forums at www.overclockers.com.au

If you are going for a Tyan K7 Thunder or Tyan K7 Tiger (2460), then they only have 33Mhz/64bit PCI slots, so any RAID card will do. They also require registered memory.

The K7X Tiger (2466) has the later MPX chipset version. This has 66Mhz slots (also MPX chipsets can use non registered memory in the first two memory slots).

The K7 Thunder requires a special power supply, however the Tiger boards should run with a 330w supply, but if you are going for muliple HDD and CD/DVDs etc then I would go for a 400w PSU (In the UK they are about £50-£60).

The issue of ATA133 is a red hearing, it is mostly a marketing ploy of Maxtor. As the fastest IDE HDD can ony sustain a read speed of about 50Mb/s and is an ATA100 drive anyway the thought that ATA133 is 'better' is not consistently true.

I have an Audigy (which has a firewire port) and have no problems with it.

You can contact me direct on matthew.youell@virgin.net or:
matthew.youell@ntlworld.com

[This message has been edited by Bomag (edited 21 April 2002).]

Michael Renn
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Joined: Aug 30 2000

One thing you do need to be aware of is that your computer case will need to be slightly bigger than average in order to take the M/B whatever the make twin CPU ones are that bit wider and you may have problems with a standard case. Yes you will need to buy registered RAM but that should be no problem. The M/B I am using is the Tyan MP S2460 which works fine. I am using a 350 psu
I am running tree fans plus the two on the CPUs and have had no problems with overheating. In fact both my friend and self were suprised that even after long sesions of use the computer seems to be running no hotter than my old 600 Pentium 111.