Latest post Wed, Jan 3 2018 5:08 PM by Terry Snyder. 4 replies.
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  • Tue, Jan 2 2018 10:21 PM

    Soup-up the Z800

    My Z800 still cuts HD like butter but is a bit sluggish when working on 4K.   Over the past couple of years, I upgraded the graphics card to a K4200, replaced my HDD boot drive with an SSD, and doubled my memory to 48 gigs.   I also added a USB 3.0 card in the back, since the motherboard only had USB 2's.  

    What else can I do to improve this workhorse's performance? 

    I'm considering adding an external RAID, but I understand the 800's mother board won't support Thunderbolt so I'm probably limited to a USB 3 RAID if I go that route.   Or should I replace the internal medial drives (HDD's) with SSD's?

    MC 8.6.1 with Symphony, Matrox MX02 Mini Max, Win 7 Pro, HP Z800 2x6-Core 3.2Ghz Xeon, 48GB ram, Quadro K4200, SanDisk Extreme 240GB SSD as system drive... [view my complete system specs]

    I have a fantastic editing assistant.  He stays by my side when I edit...doesn't talk too much...and thinks I'm a genius!    Check him out here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQVkYaaPO6g

  • Wed, Jan 3 2018 11:02 AM In reply to

    • Bruno M
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Feb 11 2010
    • London, UK
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    Re: Soup-up the Z800

    Whilst there's always things you can do to eek a bit more performance out of a Z800, the chipset is around 9 years old and it simply can't push the data around as fast as modern hardware. The Z800 motherboard has PCIe Gen 2 and Sata II, so are a generation behind modern motherboards, and essentially (in theory at least) half as fast.

    As far as hard drives are concerned, the SATA/SAS ports max out at 3Gb/s so I suspect installing dual SSDs are not going to give you the drive speeds you might expect from a striped SSD array. I'm betting you may get  similar speeds to a single SSD of around 285 MB/s. I'd forget USB 3 as far as fast RAID is concerned and consider your PCIe busses as your fastest interface. This means a hardware RAID card linked to an external RAID box is likely to give you better drive speeds.

    The question is, will this give you the extra performance increase that will give good 4K performance? The old saying about the weakest link holds true here. If the CPU/memory can't do the necessary decoding quickly enough then linked media will struggle to play, however fast the rest of the system is. My personal experience with the Z800 is that 4K may work OK with Avid-friendly media such as DNxHR, but will always struggle with any linked media that requires decoding/debayering.

    Modern systems with Core i9s, DDR4 memory and fast GPUs (like the GTX1080Ti) are so much faster, and it really comes to the point where you can't be productive enough (or competitive enough) in today's market with software that demands this level of power. Although Media Composer still runs OK with modest hardware, it's likely that during the coming year the new features promised will raise the hardware bar to the point that the poor old Z800 will simply not be able to cope.

    HP Z800,HP8600,HP8760WSonnetFusion RAID, Mediadock U320, Classic Nitris Mojo DXSymphony 5,6 & 8.5 JVC DTV1910 HD tube monitor, HP Dreamcolor, [view my complete system specs]
  • Wed, Jan 3 2018 2:10 PM In reply to

    • scocklin
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Maryland
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    Re: Soup-up the Z800

    I feel the same my Z800 is getting old but still runs well.  I’m running duel hex core X5690 Xeon processors, windows 10 pro and also 48GB of RAM, I have a Quadro K4000 and a GTX 780 for graphics cards.  The second GeForce card is used for Resolve and After Effects.  I’m still using an Avid MOJO DX to view my 1080 video, I also have a Black Magic Decklink SDI 4K for viewing video in Resolve and After Effects.

     

    I have a Samsung 500GB SSD as my C drive.   Some time ago I installed a RAID 5, 3-4TB drives inside my computer using the Intel SATA RAID controller, testing the raid with Crystal Disk I get 360 MB/s read and 90 MB/s write.  I use that RAID for my Avid media drive, assets, camera files essentially all my eggs in one basket on a RAID5!   I have 3 6TB external drives that are eSATA  using a Sonnet Tempo E4 as the interface.  I back the RAID 5 up after every session to the external drives using Acronis true image.  Media files are limited to something less than 6TB, assets and camera files are backed up to a different drive.  When I’m done with the project all the files get archived and put on the shelf. 

     

    I shoot most everything these days 4K for 1080 on an F5 camera Slog2, most of my work goes to web but I find the 4K footage looks better and is easy to CC in Resolve, I can later reframe or create camera zooms in Avid.

     

    My workflow is transcode the 4K files to DNxHD36, cut, export an AAF to Resolve, import AAF, link to source camera files, CC on a 1080 timeline and export Avid AAF same as source (4K) out.  In Avid my timeline is still set up to 1080 or sometimes 2K so reframing or adding zooms is easy.  If I need to deliver 4K I reset my format and add my graphics.

     

    I’m now seeing slowdowns in render times in After Effects, 1080 is not great but 4K takes forever.  

     

     

    HP Z800 2x 3.46GHz Hex Core X5690, 48GB Ram, Windows 10, Samsung SSD 850 Pro 512GB, Avid Mojo DX, Nvidia Quadro K4000, GTX 780, DeckLink SDI 4K, Avid... [view my complete system specs]
  • Wed, Jan 3 2018 2:12 PM In reply to

    • Lukas Boeck
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Fri, Jul 31 2015
    • Austria
    • Posts 401
    • Points 4,670

    Re: Soup-up the Z800

    what bruno said.

     

    i recon your problems are cpu related.

    maxing your cpus with the highest end parts for your system won't make much of a difference.

     

    ergo new PC.

     

     

    MC 8.4.4 Cusom bulid Supermicro X9SRL-F, 32 Gig Ram, 3ware 9750 6x6TB Seagate EC Drives, LSI 9207 + LTO-6, Mojo DX, Artist Color, Flanders CM240, GTX 1070... [view my complete system specs]
  • Wed, Jan 3 2018 5:08 PM In reply to

    Re: Soup-up the Z800

    Thanks for everyone's input.   I just invested in a new camera and some nice prime lenses, so if I can get another year out of the 800, that would help.   I heard the next generation Zxxx might be out this year...

    MC 8.6.1 with Symphony, Matrox MX02 Mini Max, Win 7 Pro, HP Z800 2x6-Core 3.2Ghz Xeon, 48GB ram, Quadro K4200, SanDisk Extreme 240GB SSD as system drive... [view my complete system specs]

    I have a fantastic editing assistant.  He stays by my side when I edit...doesn't talk too much...and thinks I'm a genius!    Check him out here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQVkYaaPO6g

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