Clustering Macs

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by Macdude2010, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. Macdude2010 macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2010
    The Apple Store
    Hello all,
    I have 3 intel Macs that I want to cluster together to use for rendering in Final Cut X.
    The computers are as follows:
    #1 rMBP 15 2.8GHz i7(Quad), nVidia GeForce GT 650M
    #2 iMac 3.2GHz i5(Quad), nVidia GeForce GTX 675MX
    #3 rMBP 13 2.4 i5(Dual), Intel Iris

    Could someone please advise me on how to do this, I've been reading up on it, and of heard of using Xsan, but I would like advice on how to set this up, all I know is I want to use thunderbolt. I also am open to alternate suggestions.
  2. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2010
    There is no support for distributed rendering in FCPX itself. There is support for distributed encoding within Compressor, it is not well documented, but you can find instructions for setting it up in the Compressor help documentation.

    As far as an external solution, I think you were thinking of Xgrid, which Apple discontinued support for in 10.8. Regardless, xgrid was meant more for research and scientific applications and programs had to be written to take advantage of it. It wasn't as simple as linking 4 macs together and having a 16 core processing powerhouse.

    Xsan is for shared pooled storage (Storange Area Network) and doesn't impact available processing power to any one machine.
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    Correct on both counts, Xgrid was for computational enhancements however it didn't combine the workload, instead it just gave the workload to one powerful machine (Xserve or Mac Pro) and finished when it finished. Like you said, now discontinued.

    Xsan was (is) a metadata solution, and nothing more. Unfortunately.

    If you're after combining computations, I suggest another mechanism (of which there are many around).
  4. stefanski macrumors member


    Apr 11, 2004
    I have used compressor a few times on a "clustered" set up. It did work really well but I second the notion that it's not very well documented. Once you have it up and running, it delivers results but I had quite a few dramas albeit with the previous versions so I'd say it's worth a try.

    I remember having it running on a PowerMac, MacPro 3,1, 2 Mac mini and 2 laptops without flaw.

    checked my favourites and found this:
  5. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2010
    About 4 years ago I worked as an assistant instructor in a high school video production class. We had 4 quad core MacPros, one 8 core and two 24" core duo iMacs. I had qMaster tuned perfectly. We had a dedicated gigabit network just for moving media from workstation to workstation. The students would export their final projects each quarter to a network share on the instructors iMac, about 2 hours of 1080p video. I would queue up each file a Compressor job, set to output to an HD h.264, SD MPEG 4 and SD MPEG 2 for DVD all multi pass, high quality. I think I about passed out the first time I fired a job like that off and it finished in about 30 minutes.

    The trick with compressor and qMaster is that distributed encoding really only works well with videos in a .mov wrapper as the process relies on capabilities of QuickTime to efficiently divide the video into usable chunks. Once you realize that, it is a breeze. lol.

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