Hardware requirements

Workstation recommendations - Nucoda and Phoenix - August  2019


Recommended for UHD and High frame rate up to 60p (storage dependent)

  • HP Z8 or HP Z840
  • Dell T7920
  • Supermicro


Recommended for HD including 1080 60p (storage dependent)

  • HP Z4 or Z840
  • Dell T7610 


Operating System

Windows 10 is now the recommended OS for Nucoda and Phoenix -
From 2017.1 testing is no longer done on Windows 7


Processors:

Intel Xeon multi-core, dual configuration - 


- If the bulk of the work is colour grading it’s better to accept less cores with higher speed
- If the bulk of the work is DVO based or Phoenix you should aim for as many cores at as high speed as you can afford where the number of cores have the highest weight of the two.


AMD Threadripper CPU's have not been tested - they do function but we have no data on performance


RAM

Minimum 32GB, recommended 64GB. RAM speed should be matched for chosen processor and motherboard.


Population of memory if you have dual processors

E5 V2 or V3  has 4 memory lanes per processor so if you want 32GB RAM it should be 8pcs of 4Gb to maximize performance aka one RAM module per lane.


Memory modules should be evenly distributed so that each memory channel has the same 

amount of RAM - please follow manufacturer guide


GPU


Quadro RTX 5000 / 6000 - UHD and high frame rate

Quadro P5000 / P6000 - 24gb - UHD and high frame rate


GeForce RTX

GTX 1080 - Not tested but in use with many customers


Please ensure that the PCI Slot that contains the GPU is set to work as a Gen 3 slot - to check this open the NVidia Control Panel and select System Information from the Help menu. Check the details under the BIOS heading


PCI slots** Min: 2x PCI-E x16, 2x PCI-E x8

GUI Monitors

Min 1920 x 1080 (dual GUI Recommended)
Large resolution monitor recommended for Phoenix
EIZO Monitors are highly recommended


System Drives

1 x SSD for Operating System disk recommended
1 x SSD for Project, Audio, Notes and Thumbnail -  Dual mirrored drives


PCI slots are dependant on motherboard configuration


GPU musl always run from a PCIe x16 - normally double wide (Gen-3 minimum)

Kona 4 Video I/O requires PCI-E x8 

Kona 5 Video I/O requires PCI-E x 8 with additional power

Red Rocket PCIe x8
Storage Card PCIe x8


 General Notes:


  • For DVO or Phoenix - dual 12 core machines or higher are recommended, all the DVO restoration tools are highly optimised and only process on the CPU, so high core count machines are crucial for highest possible performance.

  • Please ensure that GPU and Kona do NOT share a bus as it will affect performance

  • Kona 4 in x8 slot and storage cards in x8 slots at least. V-Sync disabled on the NVidia

  • Please ensure that GPU’s are in Gen 3 slots and the card is in Gen 3 mode.

  • Multiple GPU’s are currently not utilised by Nucoda - this may change in future.

  • WIndows 10 supported from 2017.1 - recommended

  • Custom workstation are in use at facilities - use good quality components if you want to take this route. We are unable to support these solutions beyond basic recommendations.

  • In the BIOS  turn off NUMA &  Hyper Threading - Ensure that PCI slots are not being forced to Gen 2

  • If you are installing anti-virus, please ensure that the media and project drives are NOT scanned as this will affect performance.

  • Gaming Nvidia GPUs should work but internally we only test with Quadro

  • It is recommended that the system ram should be twice the amount of GPU Frame buffer RAM

  • AMD GPU’s should work from 2017.1 but were not past of the test cycle

Video Hardware support


AJA Kona 4 and Kona 5

Driver included with installer


Blackmagic Design : Decklink - 2018.2 and newer

Nucoda and Phoenix now have support for the Blackmagic Design range of Decklink video cards. Decklink support is limited to monitoring only and does not allow for the ingest or playout of video using the device.

Nucoda was tested with the Decklink 12g Extreme 4K card with HDMI and also using the optional 4 Link SDI Adapter, the HD Mini Monitor was also tested.


The following cards will be recognised by the software but have not been teted


DeckLink Mini Monitor

DeckLink Mini Monitor 4K -> 6G
DeckLink Duo 2
DeckLink Quad 2

DeckLink SDI 4K -> 6G
DeckLink Studio 4K -> 6G
DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G -> 12G
DeckLink 8K Pro -> 12G
DeckLink 4K Extreme -> 6G
UltraStudio SDI
UltraStudio Mini
UltraStudio HD Mini
UltraStudio 4K -> 6G
UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3 -> 12G


Please download Desktop Video 10.13 driver from www.blackmagicdesign.com


Known Issues for Decklink

 
Can not be used for Dolby Vision with VANC

LTC timecode will only display on the image during playback.

Flashing HDMI output in UHD 50p and 60p


There is a list of BMD cards that can be manually edited by the user in case their card is not recognised.

c:\Nucoda\2019.x\Root\Presets\System\BMDDecklinkcards.txt

Please check this file for information on adding your own card.


Storage requirements

Required Bandwidth for playback:
 (V Res x Hor R x 4 x FPS / 1000000 = Data Rate) Test files are RGB 10 bit DPX


Storage is a complex question and there are many variables. SAN,  NAS Spinning Disk or SSD?

Many clients now opt for high speed local SSD cache storage for fast playback of UHD and 4K material in addition to fast storage for media storage.

For UHD EXR (Half) files more bandwidth is required.

This requirement for the storage bandwidth is the actual data rate, in reality the rate required from 

the storage should be at least 50% more than this, possibly more.


For the required rates, looking into local SSD caches is worthwhile, striped SSD sets can provide

sustained data rates with little problem, although rates for writing could be lower on these drives.


Drive speed and performance will deteriorate as they fill up and fragment.


In order to play back reliably at any data rate, the requirement for the drive is more than just to be able to sustain the required frame rate. In order to provide stable playback the frame buffers of the video card needs to be filled and maintained at a minimum level, for UHD and 4K, the buffer available is around 24 frames, this means the storage should be capable of at least 25 to 30 frames per second faster than the required playback rate.


After running the test, make sure to check the highest and lowest performance values during reading and writing, note that you may have sudden drops in performance, this is not uncommon, having a deep buffer will help mitigate any dropped frames due to these performance drops.


HD (1920 x 1080) - Min requirement - (* 1.5 for OpenEXR)

HD 1080 25p - 210 MB/s (Megabytes per Second)

HD 1080 60p - 500 MB/s 


2K (2096 x 1556) - Min requirement - (* 1.5 for OpenEXR)

2K Full 24p - 313 MB/s


4K (4096 x 3112) - Min requirement - (* 1.5 for OpenEXR)

4K Full 24p - 1223 MB/s


UHD (3680 x 2160) - Min requirement (* 1.5 for OpenEXR)

UHD 24p - 800 MB/s

UHD 25p - 833 MB/s

UHD 50p - 1667 MB/s

UHD 60p - 1990 MB/s


UHD DCIM (4096x2160) - Min requirement - (* 1.5 for OpenEXR)

24p - 850 MB/s

50p - 1769 MB/s

60p - 2123 MB/s



Please get in touch with support regarding support for SANs as you may need some performance tweaks on the SAN filesystem for optimal performance in Nucoda and Phoenix




In newer version of Nucoda and Phoenix you can render cache as compressed EXR and also as Apple Prores in 8 and 10 bit projects - it can be useful to save space. Remember to revert to uncompressed and remove compressed caches before exporting