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willlane
04-28-2004, 10:14 PM
Anyone using dual opterons?

sbrandt
05-02-2004, 03:35 AM
I second the question.

Dark Knight
05-10-2004, 08:54 PM
I've tried in on dual Opterons, but when I tried to capture and/or stream, Vision would show exactly the first frame, then lock VT up completely.

sbrandt
05-10-2004, 09:58 PM
That's useful information!!!

What Motherboard?
Which ChipSet?
What VideoCard?
Which PowerSupply?
What Hard Drives?


Thanks!!!

Dark Knight
05-10-2004, 10:39 PM
Sorry about the lack of information in the previous post... baby fell off a chair :(

Anyway:

Motherboard: Tyan 2885
Chipset: AMD 8111 I/O Hypertransport
AMD 8131 PCI-X Tunnel
AMD 8151 AGP Tunnel
Video: Gainward GeForce MX4000
PSU: Antec 550w EPS
Hard drives: Western Digital 40gb (OS)
4x WD 74gig Raptors (2xRAID0 arrays)

I tried the Toaster card in every PCI slot on the board, tried several software installs, and ended up trying it on two separate motherboards. Nothing seemed to get it working for me.

sbrandt
05-11-2004, 12:30 AM
First class gear all the way 'round.
Doesn't bode well for AMD/VT systems in general I'd venture.

Thanks for the run-down. I'll take it as a strong "omen" to continue to lean towards Xeon/SuperMicro.

I'd love to hear Jenison and Cross' thoughts on AMD/64 possibilities. ...Especially Andrew's.

Ivan
05-11-2004, 02:24 AM
You will like the Xeon/Supermicro combo. All of the machines I've built have had this and they are as trouble free as I have seen. I helped a dealer once try to troubleshoot an AMD and it got to the point that we decided that if someone wanted to buy a system from him and have any kind of service or assurance that it would be trouble free they would have to buy Intel. The problem was so bad that the machine would not even post if the VT card was installed. If the VT card was removed it booted fine.

For my $.05 I would stay with the recomended Intel, and that is coming from someone who has a high tollerance for crap going wrong. If you have a lower tollerance or really need to get stuff out it is worth the extra cost to not have to trouble shoot every little thing.

Ivan

sbrandt
05-11-2004, 03:08 AM
IVAN,

I'd be very interested in Andrew Cross' comments on the 64bit AMDs and his take on the current chipsets that are available for the motherboards they use. They SEEM to have everything the toaster could want, including SSE2 opcodes. I'd like to know if the 64bit AMD has a future with VT or if it's the current batch of motherboards that need the adjustments. He probably knows better that anyone if there's a chipset available or in development for AMD64 motherboards that could haul the freight.


(The first board I ever tried to use with the VT was a TYAN S2462 K7Thunder. I had exactly the same problem with the VTcard refusing to post too. I was trying to use the VT in a 64 bit 66MHz slot. It worked ok in the 33MHz slots though. I think the voltage was wrong too. The 66MHz slots I think have less voltage than the 33MHz slots.)

sbrandt
05-11-2004, 03:22 AM
ION5 just placed a VERY intersting post in this forum called "Intel cancels developmentof 64bit processors".

I used to think it would be "nice" if Cross, et al would produce code for both Intel and AMD.

NOW... I think, if they DON'T start coding for AMD they're feekin' stupid. The OPTERON and 64FXs and 64FX53s are going to eat Intel alive.

I would have been thrilled to see that happen awhile back, but now I'm a VT owner and I REALLY want NewTek to code for AMD since it looks like Intel is (after a lot of expensive publicity and vapor-ware) going to puke again.

djlithium
05-25-2004, 06:17 PM
I have built two full blown Dual Opteron 24X Tyan 2885 based systems and stuffed the VT3 in them and it works brilliantly.
Your frame lock up problem is probably from an incorrect setting for PCI Latency in the mobo bios.

AMD Dual Opterons is the way of the future for VT3/4. Even running in 32 bit mode, it seems to be a hell of a lot snappier than a dual 2.6 xeon box. I couldn't really explain it, but everything I was able to do on an intel system I could do faster on a dual opteron box. It really shreaded through rendering stuff.

sbrandt
05-25-2004, 07:04 PM
That's some great news Li.
I take it you've run more that the Editor.
You've done more that one layer and/or switching?

Thanks for breaking trail.

djlithium
05-26-2004, 02:07 AM
Yes, at least 5 layers mixed (only using 160 drives...) before the BG rendering needs to kick in, and these are not short clips. When I am mixing motion control type stuff, I am working with shots at least 60 seconds long if not more keyed and in somecases speed ramped.

Plus I will then turn around and record a mixed PGM Out pass with the previous layers mixed in playing back in VT edit doing a 50-50 mix between the two and recording a main in feed so I have the raw material for stacking after the first playback to the director of the rough mixed pass.

John Perkins
05-26-2004, 09:39 AM
I'm more than a little afraid of going AMD without some promise of continued support from NewTek.

I was one of those people who bought a great dual MP system only to have it obsoleted with VT3.

I know that time marches on and hardware gets old, but it seemed a little sudden and my hardware was definately not old or slow when the decision was made to no longer support AMD CPU's.

djlithium
06-11-2004, 05:14 PM
I think the decision to not support the AMD Athalon CPUs was completely motivated by NewTek's need to solve the problems with character generator by using certain tricks available to the coders with the SSE2 functions. Other than that, the VT3 works wonderfully on a pair of MP2000+ Althalons. It will ***** at you when you start up "processors that don't support such and such, blah blah" but it does work for everything else. It was a fast quick way to get the CG working to a stable state but it alienated several of my clients. I used to build dual xeon boxes all the time, but I lean towards the AMD systems because of the price and feature combinations available for motherboards on that end of the spectrum. The dual AMD Opteron 242 that I built last month works just f+cking fine with the VT3 card, software and even the CG. This is the 5th system I have built for toaster use based on the Opterons, the tyan board (2885s or whatever it is with the dual onboard SCSI320 controller matched with a nice PCI64 PNY GFX5200 video card) and 2GB of ECC Registered ram. No problems. I am pushing here at the studio to have our current xeon box gutted and transformed into a similar system.

It would be nice to see someone at NewTek at least say, yes or no and why or why not (and then I can check their work a few times to see if they are just saying that) and if according to NewTek the board/cpu combos are a go, then stamp a seal of approval on them and get on with it.
The AMD 64 and Opteron platform is not going away. They have beaten intel to the 64bit punch (but let us pay respect to the DEC Alpha CPUs.... 64bits 10 years ago!!) for the workstation market at a price that makes it feel like you are buying a gamers system. NewTek would be wise to embrace this, and section off a small portion of the development team to explore the CPU architecture fully and see what kinds of new tricks can be made possible along the way of retooling the current builds and development pipeline to incorporate the Xeon and AMD Opteron/AMD64 chips in tandum.

Yes?

tmon
06-11-2004, 05:32 PM
lith,

I think it is significant that you have shown that VT[x] can indeed run quite well on an AMD Opteron system. congrats and thanks for sharing this.

Also, it is huge that you report no probs with CG. Is that really true? I had thought that CG functionality was DEPENDENT upon SSE...

djlithium
06-11-2004, 07:23 PM
The opterons are SSE compliant as well as SSE2. Athalons are a different story. You can (if I remember correctly) open the CG up and make a page but its not as stable as it should be when working with it and the switcher.
But then again the last time I tried it on a Athalon the "save page" dialog was still screwed up.

Original1
06-20-2004, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by djlithium
This is the 5th system I have built for toaster use based on the Opterons, the tyan board (2885s or whatever it is with the dual onboard SCSI320 controller matched with a nice PCI64 PNY GFX5200 video card) and 2GB of ECC Registered ram. No problems. I am pushing here at the studio to have our current xeon box gutted and transformed into a similar system.

NewTek would be wise to embrace this, and section off a small portion of the development team to explore the CPU architecture fully and see what kinds of new tricks can be made possible along the way of retooling the current builds and development pipeline to incorporate the Xeon and AMD Opteron/AMD64 chips in tandum.

Yes?

Could you list your ideal specs for an Opteron system?

djlithium
06-24-2004, 05:19 PM
Ok here is a basic list for opteron systems to follow. building a nice VT3 machine is not really hard core here. People overblow the componentry issues. But in reality, almost any board out there now that is dual CPU equipped and has a decent chip set will work wonderfully.

Here goes.

Tyan http://www.tyan.com/products/html/thunderk8s.html
This board is fully functional and very happy with a VT3 card in it.
note the dual channel SCSI 320 controllers on board. Smoking for 1 video recording drive set and the other controller for cache only. Amazing things happen when you break it up like that.

another option is this board.

For most people this is complete overkill, but when things jump to 64bit XP and we have functional drivers... go to hell intel.
http://www.tyan.com/products/html/thunderk8qs.html

I recommend using Micron or Kingston Registered ECC 1 GB DDR chips for ram in this boards just because it makes sense to go that large all at once. they have to be ECC registered with this boards. You can't actually mix and match, it won't work. trust me we have tried.

note that these boards have a single old school PCI 32bit slot (for your VT3) and a few 32/64bit slots at 33/66mhz and at least one or more PCI-x 64bit 100/133mhz slots all on seperate busses. I personally recommend that the PCI 32 bit slot NOT be where you plug your VT3. Instead, drop it into the PC 33/66mhz buss slot, and then put your video card in the PCI-X slot at 100/133mhz. Save the 32bit slot for your firewire card. Keep it simple when putting these types of machines together.
you really only need 1 video card (disable onboard video - useless), your VT3 card, and a firewire card. thats it. throwing other cards into the mix on the buss will slow the faster cards down
Because this pair of Mobos have on-board sound, I recommend that you leave it enabled even if you are only using the VT3 for sound. You will eventually run into a situation when you need another sound ouput or recording device and the VT3 just doesn't cut it. For example, Premiere pro users will find the extra on-board sound is very handy since the VT3 card will not work with the premiere software. Other apps come in handy too that are usually better used with a seperate sound card.

The more people who push over to this direction the more pressure NewTek is going to feel to support this processors fully throughout their product line. and they are going to have to do it anyway, since intel has thrown in the cards and has stated that they will be adopting the AMD architecture for their next generation 64bit CPUs (and thus the death of the itanium procs/ or as it has been said, unobtainium).

Just better to have them do it now vrs. later.

O the subject of filling this puppy up with other components... follow the rest of the standards.

Use SCSI for storage of video and not SATA like some people have suggested (hello gordon, stop selling hamster systems! I am tired of getting your customers support calls! Although I feel for them completely) and grab a good solid Nvidia based dual head monitor card with fat amounts of ram.
Enjoy.

Oh yeah, and when stepping into a system like this, go all the way. Check out the www.koolance.com site for the seriously cool cases.

Droooooool. Those are dead sexy with ripped panty hose,black lipstick and mucked up hair with knee high boots...

sorry, new girl friend this week. :p

Artvisions
07-16-2004, 10:49 PM
Does this all mean, the VT-3 (and VT-2) are compatible with the Operterons, Athlon 64 bit systems. Even a single 64 bit, 3200?

Does it depend on which mother board you use. I see the information for duals above.

wvp
07-17-2004, 09:55 AM
Worth noting is the survey Newtek is sending out regarging what kind of PC users are using (as well as hard drives).
Absent from the survey are any questions concerning "would you use..." or "Would you support a system that required ...."

djlithium
07-20-2004, 01:30 PM
Yes, you can use a single CPU Opteron or 64bit AMD CPU to run the VT3. It's not going to be as fast as a dual system of course, but there was nothing stopping people running a single P4 before and I have in the past when things got silly. Jef at Pizazz has a new box that makes a laptop p4 (single CPU of course) run a Vt3 with a SCSI controller wonderfully over a PCMCIA slot card buss. So anyone who tells you it can't be done in lying through their teeth. Just be warned that you will be taking a serious performance hit.

Arte
07-22-2004, 03:37 AM
Single Athlon 64 3200 here used primarily for very heavy Fusion compositing with SATA raid although we are using a network of machines to render composites.

It slows down with multiple layers and suffers drive wise as we wait for a new dual system to be shipped (Opteron with Tyan MB) but it is fully functional and has been used on location on numerous occasions for virtual studio work.

The slow downs are not CPU related, they are bus related which are the same for any 32 PCI system Athlon or Intel.

On the other hand as others have said, unless you know what you are doing, setting up such a system is best done by a dealer.

X

djlithium
07-22-2004, 04:31 AM
Yup. Dealers are good to know.
Of course having users who are at least willing to tweak a bit based on recommendations or over the phone are good. :)

I am in the process of building a Digital Fusion compositing box for a client, so that's cool that you are using a AMD64 for that kind of work. I was going to go dual Opterons for that machine, just trying to gauge which series is best for the dollars involved.
Interestingly enough, Eyeon has a working beta version of Digital Fusion Win64, and according to my sources it runs beautifully on the AMD boxes out there testing it.

Gee... wonder if we can get the same kind of thing happening with Lightwave and VT3???
Anyone remember LW on the DEC Alphas!!??
Now that was fun.

Artvisions
07-23-2004, 09:49 AM
I was told the dual Athlon 64's don't have any better bus, or bus separation. No 64 bit bus either, only 32 PCI slots.

Only dual Zeons have the 64bit slots (and apple), and separtion
of busses. (not sharing the 32 bit slot with 64bit slot)

djlithium
07-23-2004, 01:40 PM
Incorrect.
Every Dual Opteron box I have built features either 64bit PCI buss with a seperated 32bit PCI buss for legacy devices or straight across PCIX 64bit 66/100/133 for speeds.
The hard part after that is finding PCI video cards as many of these boards don't have AGP due to their server system target market designs. Fortunately PNY makes a wide selection of PCI nVidia cards including the quadro chipsets.
It's actually a problem trying to find motherboards with 32bit on them now from Tyan.

The Opterons have their own style of buss management which essentially removes the need for a northbridge chipset. This might be what "this person told you". Memory management is done more efficiently and thus the removal of the FSB metric. A lot of people get confused when trying to compare the systems to P4 or xeon boxes because there is no number that translates directly to compare them to.

Again, check this link. If you read closely you will see that the 100mhz 64bit PCI-X slots are on their own seperated buss. http://www.tyan.com/products/html/thunderk8qs.html

sbrandt
07-23-2004, 03:56 PM
DJ
since you seem to be turning into the defacto AMD guru, I'd like to ask you this, ...Do you think the Toaster could take advantage of Quad processors on the K8QS S4880 board? Do you have any plans or any clients with plans to build one in the near-term future?

djlithium
07-23-2004, 08:57 PM
Like I said the Quad board is serious over kill. However because the VT3 software is multithreaded it should take advantage of 2 and 4 CPU combos. The cool thing about the opteron architecture is that it is designed to work SMP set ups effeciently from the get go especially when you step into the 800 and 900 series CPUs.

I don't have any clients looking to build anything like this at the moment. The only person that crazy is me and I might treat myself sometime in the fall but to be honest I am waiting to see what happens with PCI Express.

Arte
07-26-2004, 12:20 AM
Originally posted by Artvisions
I was told the dual Athlon 64's don't have any better bus, or bus separation. No 64 bit bus either, only 32 PCI slots.

Only dual Zeons have the 64bit slots (and apple), and separtion
of busses. (not sharing the 32 bit slot with 64bit slot)

I think you check the prices on some of those boards and then say that again...

X

djlithium
07-26-2004, 03:50 AM
It's worth every penny when you get units with the dual onboard 320 SCSI controller and SATA.

Remember a stand alone 320SCSI card can run up to 300 bucks or more US for dual channel and that is going to suck up a slot on the board.

Dillon
10-22-2004, 03:53 PM
Cool beans ...

I'm looking at upgrading my hardware. been working on a PIV 2.O ghz machine for the past couple years. Time to upgrade.

I looked at what you linked - a quad mobo is a bit much for me. Do you have any experience with a dual opteron mobo?

Have you had a chance to use VT4 on your setup?

I'm budgeting around 1500 to upgrade the mobo/processors. Keeping the drives (Ultra IDE) and getting a 3ware escalade controller. Drive speed isn't that important to me - however processer crunch/render times are.

I'm stuck between deciding on a dual 2.8Ghz Xeon or a dual opteron. But I have no personal experience with AMD procs.

Thanks for the time you've invested to share your experiences. Sounds pretty cool

Dillon

djlithium
10-22-2004, 04:36 PM
Cool beans ...

I'm looking at upgrading my hardware. been working on a PIV 2.O ghz machine for the past couple years. Time to upgrade.

I looked at what you linked - a quad mobo is a bit much for me. Do you have any experience with a dual opteron mobo?

Have you had a chance to use VT4 on your setup?

I'm budgeting around 1500 to upgrade the mobo/processors. Keeping the drives (Ultra IDE) and getting a 3ware escalade controller. Drive speed isn't that important to me - however processer crunch/render times are.

I'm stuck between deciding on a dual 2.8Ghz Xeon or a dual opteron. But I have no personal experience with AMD procs.

Thanks for the time you've invested to share your experiences. Sounds pretty cool

Dillon


Yes, I have built several machines around this motherboard and opteron 240 and 242 CPUs http://www.tyan.com/products/html/thunderk8spro.html
Check it out... the onboard dual channel SCSI 320 is the real meal deal here. Perfect for the VT3/4

Original1
10-24-2004, 01:41 AM
There was an article in the siggraph special edition of Keyframe entitled 500Mb Sustained transfer with fibre,where Dan Ablan talks about using an IBM intellistation which has 2 2.2Ghz processors in it. A sequence which was taking 10 minutes a frame on his Dell dual Xeon rendered in 3and a half mins instead.

That make not be a true like for like comparision but its impressive.

Original1
10-25-2004, 07:42 AM
I asked Dan about that system and here was his reply:

"I still have the A Pro and it's fast as hell. It's quite helping now on a job actually. 30 plus minutes a frame on my dual xeons are now 8 minutes a frame. Add that to 1000 frames and well.... you get the idea "

Any further Questions might be an idea to e-mail Dan Directly.

The Specs on the IBM Intellistaion look suspciuosly like the Tyan mobo in think its the Thunder 8 W with the 8X AGP slot

videoguy
10-25-2004, 09:26 AM
I just built a box for compositing in Digital Fusion its an amd 64 3200+ with 2 gigs of pc 3200 DDR an 80 gig seagate SATA system drive, 2 western digital 250gb SATAs raided gigabit lan and an nvidia 6660 video card, it plain kicks ***!!!! its just as fast as my dual 2.8xeon for composting. but it cost a whole lot less!!! Currently we are constructing a new studio (excavation started friday) a are gonna be building 3 more VT4s and adding an xstore system they will all be dual opterons, I plan on running standalone VTedit on my single amd 64 system as soon as newtek releases it