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Does Jitter play with Crossfire and/or dual GPU cards?

February 27, 2011 | 3:45 pm

Dear Jitter gurus,

We’re putting together a permanent 5+ HD screen installation with Jitter. We’re mostly putting photos on videoplanes and manipulating them. Plan A was to use a new Mac Pro which we were lead to believe could accommodate 2 x ATI 5870s with power from the HD bays or external power, but this seems not possible (works great with a 5770). External power needs to be linked to the mother board (which is a bear to get at) and there’s not enough internal power. So we’re looking into some alternatives but are unsure of some specs, particularly if we go Alienware. Can Jitter take advantage of the dual GPUs of the ATI 5970 and/or Crossfire? Here’s what we’re considering:

Plan A: stay with the Mac Pro, take it apart to get at the motherboard (we’re musicians I warn you) and try to power a second ATI 5870 by some yet unknown means.

Plan B: get a CUBIX GPU-Xpander Desktop 2 or similar put one 5870 in that. Expensive, but we could have 2 x 5870s for the screens and run the control screen off an x8 slot with a 5770.

Plan C: go Alienware and stuff a PC with a couple of ATI 5970s. If, however, Jitter is not able to take advantage of Crossfire and/or dual GPU cards, this would only have the power of Plan B and be even more costly.

Any advice from those running any of the above much appreciated.

Christopher


February 27, 2011 | 10:34 pm

We have tried dual and triple GPU cards in the past, and as far as we could detect Jitter is not able to take advantage of it in a meaningful way.
Since Nvidia makes the fastest single GPU cards at the moment I would built a system with a Nvidia GPU.

If I understand your email you want to drive 5 HD screens with 1 computer?
For a 5 screen installation I would suggest to also use 5 computers. It might be slightly more expensive, but you’ll have way more CPU and GPU horsepower.

Best Lev


February 28, 2011 | 1:48 am

"For a 5 screen installation I would suggest to also use 5 computers. It might be slightly more expensive, but you’ll have way more CPU and GPU horsepower."

Or (perhaps) you can use two computers and a Matrox Triple Head To Go from the graphics card on each computer.


February 28, 2011 | 5:46 am

For some applications multiple computers would be great. But we also would like to take streaming video input, process that, and spread it over 5 screens. Passing video between machines, especially at HD, does not seem like a viable option.

One ATI 5870 card (w/ 3 outputs) and a Matrox Triple Head is an option for 5 screens, but then one card is doing all the work. We’d like to spread the work over 2 x 5870 cards, somehow, and have another dedicated for the control screen. Its a critical listening environment, and so far I’ve been impressed with how quiet the 5870 are. So we’ll likely stick with those.

christopher


February 28, 2011 | 5:53 pm

depending on what you are trying to do, you will have more or less success with running 5 displays from one computer (obviously).

the 5870 is a great card, but as you’ve discovered, only one can be installed in macpro.

for 5 HD outputs from a single computer, i would recommend running from two or three GPUs. not sure what the current options are for multiple gpus in a mac pro, but if you can get ahold of the Nvidias that they used to sell, you can install 4 in one machine, and each is capable of driving 2 displays.

then the task would be to split up your patch and run two or three instances of Max, one for each GPU. communication can happen over the local network using udpsend/receive. this way you maximize not only your gpu resources, but also the many cores of the cpu.


February 28, 2011 | 11:15 pm

Hello Christopher, in your first post you mentioned: "We’re mostly putting photos on videoplanes and manipulating them". When did the streaming video input enter the arena?…;-)

If you want 1 HD input and 5 HD outputs, don’t use the Macpro. The choice of cards is ridiculously limited and only Ati’s at the moment. Have a custom sandybridge PC built with three latest models Nvidia cards etc. This is the area where PC’s become interesting and useful.


March 1, 2011 | 2:05 pm

Point well taken, especially after finding (today) that you can’t even run 2 x ATI 5770s off of x16 slots in the new Mac Pro…a double wide card won’t fit in slot 4 (the only other x16 slot) and you can no longer reconfigure the PCIe slots.

Thanks,

Christopher



t
February 8, 2012 | 12:00 pm

"then the task would be to split up your patch and run two or three instances of Max, one for each GPU. communication can happen over the local network using udpsend/receive. this way you maximize not only your gpu resources, but also the many cores of the cpu."

I would really like to know how this can be done. Especially

1. How to run more than one instance of Max?
2. How to use more than one CPU core? (I’ve seen how to do this for MSP part in Max 6).

Thanks!


February 8, 2012 | 5:38 pm

I don’t use Jitter so this may not be possible or applicable but in vvvv I regularly get 6 outputs from one gpu in one machine using one Matrox Triple Head 2 Go on each head of a two head card.

For each head you then need one large (3x width) renderer (or whatever the Jitter terminology is for output viewer) which the TH2GO splits into three.

Successfully tested using many Nvidia cards from GTX260 to GTX580


February 9, 2012 | 2:10 am

i just built a small cheap quad output pc. http://i.imgur.com/kIrxh.jpg
it actually has 6+1 outputs.

Intel Core i5-2500K (T in my build, overclocked)
NSK1380 MicroATX Cube case, 250W power supply
2 x Radeon HD6450 GPU (45$)
GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 MotherBoard
60GB SSD, 500GB HD, 8GB ram
Windows7

also consider this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150574 but i dont know about mac, it should work, no?

as for alternative power source, if the ground is shared (any one of the black wires coming out of psu, mybe not even needed) then you can use a 2nd PSU for you other card. you will have to hack the 2nd PSU to turn on without a pc connected http://aphnetworks.com/lounge/turn_on_psu_without_motherboard_the_paperclip_trick


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