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Max7 with Mac Pro with 6 vid outputs experiences ?

Jan 10 2017 | 2:39 pm

Hi there,
Does someone already used that totally expensive mac pro for a jitter rendering on its 6 video outputs ?

That’s pretty expensive but as the project requires a fucking amount of calculation power, hexacore could be targetted and that all-in-one solution "could be" the solution.

any experiences would be appreciated.

Jan 11 2017 | 3:21 am

Hi Julien

I’ve used the Mac Pros running jitter with 4 video outputs active, each running at 1920×1080. It worked very well, but the only trouble I had was that sometimes when you boot the machine up it seems to change the order of the video outputs so you have to switch them around. Be aware if it’s for a live situation that the thunderbolt connectors are notoriously flaky so you might want to consider building something to keep the connectors in place.



Jan 11 2017 | 5:36 am

Thanks a lot Tom.
I’d just hope 6x vp could be okay too. I could decrease the definition a bit too.
Thanks for the thunderbolt connectors tip. I’d probably need to use / thunderbolt -> hdmi ->->->->-> repeaters ->->-> vp / so I’d need to be very careful about that.

Jan 11 2017 | 6:16 am

Hello Julien,

Perhaps this configuration requires 4 active DVI adapters.

Dont know, if it is still the case with the actual machines …


Jan 11 2017 | 10:01 am

I’ve used 6 outputs @1080 plus the built-in HDMI output. You will dual-link thunderbolt to DVI adapters –

It worked fine.

Jan 11 2017 | 10:16 am

Hi Tom and Bill, thanks a lot for your answer.
I exactly need this solution. My only worry is about DVI vs HDMI.
That’s a big installation that requires long distance for wires.

Jan 11 2017 | 11:15 am

Hey Julien,

I would simply convert the output to SDI and back, if your projector/screen has no SDI input.
Then your SDI cable can be 100 meters ;-)


Jan 11 2017 | 1:44 pm

I would use 2 decklink quads with each 4 vids output and/or 4 inputs. The weird thing is that OS X doesn’t see them but when you open your software like Millumin, Modul8, Madmapper Max you should see them. The outputs are in SDI so you can run for at least 100M with good coax cables (i had a run at 140M). As you’re on SDI you won’t have as much resolution choice as you would have on VGA but full HD is ok.
With a MacPro late 2012 32 Go RAM and 2 good SSD inside you should run them but be careful if Photojpeg is not fast enough, HAP codec is sure (makes huge files and it’s no more a CPU problem but a GPU one).
If budget is a bottle neck you can do 1 Decklink quad + another video card with 3/4outputs.
If you have a MacPro trashcan ;-)) buy a sonnet for pci cards should run to.
And you should choose Videoprojector with SDI input or buy converters SDI to DVI,HDMI etc…

Jan 11 2017 | 2:30 pm

Do you specifically need to work with a Mac? You’re going to get much higher GPU performance from a PC with a Pascal card. It will be less expensive too.

You might consider a different approach depending on your needs — two Datapath FX4’s with SDI outputs. You can output a single raster via Displayport that can be up to 4K60 resolution, and then use the FX4’s to subsample the input image as needed for each projector. Convert from SDI to HDMI or DVI at the projector if needed.

A PC with a single GTX1080 will do the trick, and buy the FX4’s with the money you save.

Jan 11 2017 | 2:37 pm

You could also use these?

Jan 11 2017 | 2:41 pm

I’d need 6 outputs for my 6 videoprojectors.

Jan 11 2017 | 2:54 pm

Yes, that’s why I was suggesting two FX4 units.

Jan 11 2017 | 2:56 pm

Ok Jesse I got it.
Considering calculations I have to make (in "real-time"), simulating a fucking huge numerical model, I’d need a big (or more) CPU. I’d need to compose the PC etc. Any references can be useful. The (no) choice of Mac Pro was more about "all integrated and no additonal time" for setting it up and I know that’s not a real choice but something just looking like easier…

Jan 11 2017 | 3:33 pm

I hear you. I wish the Mac Pro had been updated more recently, it’s a fantastic machine but getting quite old by now.

Many people have reported good experiences with Boxx systems, although they are overpriced compared to build-your-own. Frankly there are so many options with Windows systems it requires you to be specific about your needs – do you want portability, rackmount, high core count, lots of storage, lots of i/o, etc?

You may be fine with a i7 quad-core windows laptop with an eGPU solution as the new processors are quite fast, but the thin models tend to be performance-throttled due to thermal concerns.

MSI just announced Kaby-Lake based laptops with Thunderbolt 3 – these can connect to external enclosures that would hold the desktop class GTX 1080. Akitio makes an enclosure, as does Sonnet. I’m a Razer fan but their eGPU enclosure is pricier, and their laptops are Skylake-only thus far. I’ve also used Alienware laptops with their graphics amplifier eGPU solution, works well but heavy/bulky.

Jan 11 2017 | 3:44 pm

I just purchased a Razer Blade Pro system which might work for you on its own – has a GTX 1080, which is throttled but performs comparably to a desktop GTX 1070. Hard to say if that would work for you, but I wanted a single portable system with expansion capability if I need it.

There are adapters for the built-in Thunderbolt3 output that allow two 4k60 Displayport outputs.

Jan 11 2017 | 4:13 pm

Thanks SO MUCH Jesses. I’ll chech this out asap.
Project proposition in progress…

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