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Old Jul 29, 2003, 11:39 AM   #1
junior
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Unhappy G5 needs a PCI expantion unit or something

A lot has been said about the lack of expandibility of HD & CD Drives, but the biggest issue for me, and many others in the music industry is the amazing lack of PCI slots.
So many proffessionals/studios that I know are dissapointed with this issue.
Yes, it was great news for all of us when we heard the new G5s were out, but this is a serious issue for the music pros (since powermacs are generally made for pros in the visual and audio industry).
ProTools alone takes up 3 slots, so you're left with nothing else.
More and more, people I talk to are looking to get the now very reasonably priced G4 1.25, and that includes me.
But it upsets me because I'm desperate to get my hands on the G5. Oh well.
What do you guys think of this issue?
Do you think Apple might be bringing some kind of expansion unit?
I think I read somewhere that it was a possibility, although I'd much prefer it if they simply had more slots internally.
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 12:16 PM   #2
PixelFactory
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There is an option to expand the PCI slots by 6.

http://www.magma.com/pci/7slot6466/index.html

It's expensive but if you are using a high end ProTools workstation and need the extra slots at least you have an option.
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 12:19 PM   #3
rainman::|:|
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Why does Protools use 3 slots? I seriously don't know, I'm not familiar with it. But it seems like a total waste, one firewire connection should take care of that, aren't there external solutions?

You will not see an Apple expansion pack, nor will Apple add more slots. Sorry...

pnw
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 12:37 PM   #4
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 12:39 PM   #5
junior
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Quote:
Originally posted by paulwhannel
Why does Protools use 3 slots? I seriously don't know, I'm not familiar with it. But it seems like a total waste, one firewire connection should take care of that, aren't there external solutions?

You will not see an Apple expansion pack, nor will Apple add more slots. Sorry...

pnw
Well, ProTools uses a system called DSP which uses its own prossesors specifically for pluggins and effects. That takes up two slots, plus one slot for the main system.
I know what you mean about using firewire ports, which is indeed what a lot of people use, and Digidesign offers firewire systems for the consumer market, but 99% of proffesional studios won't compramise by getting Logic with a firewire interface when ProTools is still THE studio standard.
Apple should take note of that.


Quote:
There is an option to expand the PCI slots by 6.

http://www.magma.com/pci/7slot6466/index.html

It's expensive but if you are using a high end ProTools workstation and need the extra slots at least you have an option.
I know of MAGMA, I have a PCMCIA expansion unit for the powerbook, but I don't like the hub-style idea, where one PCI slot leads to seven others. I along with a lot of others, just wish Apple could have (and probably should have) considered the pro music industry more. But then again, they own Emagic who is competion to Digidesign, so maybe it was on purpose? You never know...
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 12:46 PM   #6
PixelFactory
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Quote:
Why does Protools use 3 slots? I seriously don't know, I'm not familiar with it. But it seems like a total waste, one firewire connection should take care of that, aren't there external solutions?
ProTools is a professional multi-track audio recording system. They do sell lower end firewire solutions but they lack the power of the pro system. At the high end it will push around 128 tracks at 192 kHz uncompressed with filters applied. That would completely choke the firewire bandwidth and teh CPU. They have add on cards that will help take the load off the CPU. The more tracks you want to push the more cards you buy.[B]
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 12:48 PM   #7
nuckinfutz
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They have considered the music industry

Quote:
I know of MAGMA, I have a PCMCIA expansion unit for the powerbook, but I don't like the hub-style idea, where one PCI slot leads to seven others. I along with a lot of others, just wish Apple could have (and probably should have) considered the pro music industry more. But then again, they own Emagic who is competion to Digidesign, so maybe it was on purpose? You never know...

The very fact that Protools TDM/HD systems utilize their own DSPs means Pro Studios don't need G5's. Pro Tools utilizes little Native Processing meaning it runs fine on lower end hardware.

Asking Apple to add more PCI slots to satiate not even %10 of their market is silly. The writing is on the wall. Pro Tools has roughly about another 5 years before Native Systems match it in speed.

The need for more than 3 PCI slots is dwindling by the day. TC Electronics Powercore now can be purchased in an External Firewire box. Many USB and FW based Audio Interfaces are available. The quicker we move from Internal Cards the better in the long run.
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 01:04 PM   #8
junior
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Re: They have considered the music industry

Quote:
Originally posted by nuckinfutz
The very fact that Protools TDM/HD systems utilize their own DSPs means Pro Studios don't need G5's. Pro Tools utilizes little Native Processing meaning it runs fine on lower end hardware.

Asking Apple to add more PCI slots to satiate not even %10 of their market is silly. The writing is on the wall. Pro Tools has roughly about another 5 years before Native Systems match it in speed.

The need for more than 3 PCI slots is dwindling by the day. TC Electronics Powercore now can be purchased in an External Firewire box. Many USB and FW based Audio Interfaces are available. The quicker we move from Internal Cards the better in the long run.


5 years is a long time nuckinfutz. In five years time, will Apple even be making the G5? Probably not.
In the meantime, for the next 5 years in your opinion, ProTools is going to remain the standard in studios, so the music industry SHOULD be considered. DSP chips run out of steam with lots of tracks and plugins, thus you start to use the CPU for realtime plugins. Therefore it is certainly nicer to have a faster computer even if you have DSP.
I don't know whether the music industry worldwide only holds less than 10% of powermac sales as you have boldy written, but to loose even 10% of the already not so good powermac market would not be very ideal for Apple now would it?
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 01:18 PM   #9
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Also, with Pro Tools systems, should one need more DSP power, one can simply buy more DSP processing PCI cards. By then however, most people who need that many PCI cards already have the Magma expansion chassis.

I wonder if the fact that they have PCI-X slots means expansion chassis' will be better, and have more bandwidtrh?
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 01:20 PM   #10
nuckinfutz
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Don't get me wrong I like protools. I wouldn't be suprised to see them consolidate like they always do.


Eventually I expect them to offer more power on two cards than what 3 offer today. Let's hope so. I don't like seeing people left out.
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Old Jul 29, 2003, 01:20 PM   #11
junior
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Quote:
Originally posted by WannabeSQ
Also, with Pro Tools systems, should one need more DSP power, one can simply buy more DSP processing PCI cards. By then however, most people who need that many PCI cards already have the Magma expansion chassis.

I wonder if the fact that they have PCI-X slots means expansion chassis' will be better, and have more bandwidtrh?

Great point! PCI-X may well work nicely.


Quote:
Don't get me wrong I like protools. I wouldn't be suprised to see them consolidate like they always do.


Eventually I expect them to offer more power on two cards than what 3 offer today. Let's hope so. I don't like seeing people left out.

Yeah, I was surprised they didn't release an ultra powerful chip with the HD system. Let's hope they release an even better chip next time round.

Last edited by junior; Jul 29, 2003 at 01:26 PM.
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