Radeon 3870 with Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT? Analog video output with FCP?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TheStrudel, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #1
    Been thinking of adding a 3870 to my GeForce (Yeah, I thought it would be faster than the stock card when I got it as a BTO option :mad:) for faster pro app performance and potentially the use of three monitors if I decide to go that route. I'm curious if anybody's using these two cards already, and if they are, is it noisier that way? Is there a certain arrangement they should go in (in other words, which card goes on the bottom?) for the best airflow solution? Second, I figure few people actually use the analog output on the 3870, but if any of you do, and if any of you use Final Cut, can you use that analog output for color-accurate external video monitoring? It would be cheaper than buying a DV deck just to output through composite, and make the card's price completely justifiable, if that worked.
     
  2. Minocan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    I rented my camera and I gave the composite cable to the renters, but I'll buy a seperate cable and try it in the morning (it differs +9 hours here)
     
  3. TheStrudel thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #3
    Excellent. Have you done external video monitoring through a deck before, so you know what to expect it to look like?
     
  4. Minocan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    I used dv deck in college. At home I used my camera to send DV footage to my calibrated TV (same job as a deck really -convert from digital to analog-, used the composite cable), and when my camera was for rental, I used DVI-Video adapter (there was x 1900 xt then) . I did a test with all solutions, there was no difference. Now the new card can send up to 1080p, but I don't have a hdtv yet.
     
  5. Virtuoso macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #5
    Another option for analogue (and HDMI digital) video output is the Decklink Intensity Pro. If your primary focus is video (rather than gaming or 3D modelling) it might be worth investigating. I have one in my PC at the moment but I'm planning to move it across to the Mac instead.
     
  6. Minocan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    Bought a composite and and an s video cable :)

    In Final Cut on Audio / Video Settings I selected "Digital Desktop Preview Raw"

    and it worked :D you can adjust to 720p 50/60 hz with composite (just like DVI to video adapter), if you also use that you can connect 3 monitors at once ;)

    It is also good for Apple Color, you can look at any monitor for preview.

    But if you are really into this (I work on a seperate suite at work), the best bet would be a monitoring solution like Blackmagic or AJA.
     
  7. TheStrudel thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #7
    Both of you mention a separate monitoring solution, which does sound good, but it is more expensive than the Radeon which I was thinking of getting anyway. Do you use them regularly? I haven't (yet) been working on editing at that high a quality tier, as I've thus far topped out at editing in HDV or ProRes from an XH-A1 (super cheap operation). For that matter, would analog or HDMI capture yield better quality? I'm inclined to think that it wouldn't because compression has already been applied. I know using ProRes or Apple Intermediate codec makes editing easier, but in what ways are these monitoring solutions better?

    And wait, 720p with composite? I thought it only supported 480i...do you mean component? Composite and S-video are analog, and component can be digital.

    Also, anybody tried using both of those graphics cards at once?
     
  8. Virtuoso macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    With the Intensity Pro card, the benefit is that you can capture live from an HDMI camera direct to uncompressed HD on the Mac, bypassing the HDV compression completely. In other words, you aren't capturing from tape footage that you already shot - you're capturing at full quality direct to the hard drive. It's not very practical for typical shooting, but in a studio this is a godsend for low budget chroma key work. NB - if you want to do the full 1080p, you will need a 4 disk RAID to handle the data rate.

    You mention that you have an XH A1 - I have one too, but unfortunately it doesn't have HDMI, so with that camera you're stuck with outputting component if you want to do the technique above.

    Personally though I didn't get the card for capture - I just use it to preview video on a large HDMI LCD screen. You can preview from Final Cut, After Effects, Premiere and even Photoshop and some Windows 3D apps.
     
  9. Minocan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    Personally I'dont have a monitoring solution either, the performance hd 3870 does is enough for me at home. I work with prores codec at best.
     
  10. TheStrudel thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #10
    Is using it for monitoring on an HDMI screen any better, or just the convenience of the ports without adding another graphics card and DVI-HDMI cables?

    Also, yeah, the XH-A1 does only have component output. I am, however, hoping to buy RED Cinema's Scarlet (Lossless 3K for $3k!) later this year. That's going to have HDMI, though it probably wouldn't matter anyway if it can do all it claims. And yeah, a studio set-up would be nice, but if I'm topping out right now at using an XH-A1 that isn't mine, it's unlikely I'll be moving up to studio space anytime soon.

    Wouldn't I not need the 4-disk raid if I did a live capture to say, ProRes? I mean, I'm sure 1080p uncompressed looks amazing, but realistically...probably not all that helpful until Blu-ray goes totally mainstream. Aside from BDs, everything is going to be well under the visible quality that ProRes can convert out to. As an aside, do the compression artifacts commonly viewed on digital cable HDTV (I've seen FiOS) bother anybody else? I know I'm not the only one who sees it, and it's annoying. All the more so because a fast connection will let you watch 1080p just about at real time with no artifacts from Apple's website. And yes, I know that's because they're using H.264, codec of the future. Be nice to see that leveraged more...
     

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