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Activity Forums Blackmagic Design Decklink HD Extreme (PCIe) slows down FCP

  • Decklink HD Extreme (PCIe) slows down FCP

    Posted by Francois Stark on November 8, 2007 at 4:53 pm


    We have 8 seats of FCP, using a variety of AJA kona and decklink cards, on a sanmp San, and editing DV PAL and XDCAM 30mbit/s PAL timelines. FCP 5.1.4 on os X 10.4.10.

    Only our new Decklink HD Extreme (PCIe) system (G5 Dual 2.3GHz, PCIe, 4.5GB RAM) slows down FCP in this way: When the external video is on, as you edit it gradually slows down – scrubbing slows down, delay before playing grows, and even stepping through a timeline frame by frame – any cursor changes on the timeline slows down.

    However – open the same quicktime source file while FCP is still open, and in quicktime the file scrubs very fast. So – the problem is not with the SAN or the OS, it’s FCP or the Capture card. And since we have many other similar FCP systems on the same SAN with the same media and FCP version, it seems the culprit is the Decklink HD Extreme.

    After about two hours’ editing, it becomes unusably slow. We found the one thing that solves it is to disable and re-enable external video (Apple-F12). So now we resorted to doing this about every 20 minutes.

    We are still on Decklink software 6.0, and have downloaded 6.1. We have not installed it yet – would this help? Any ideas? How do we stop the decklink card from slowing down the system?

    It is an HD card running in SD resolution, but I have tried setting the HD up and down conversions to several combinations without luck. For now they are off. And I have a Decklink Extreme SD (PCI-X) card that does not exhibit the same problem.


    Lu Nelson replied 15 years, 7 months ago 5 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Justin Ferar

    November 8, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    This is pretty interesting. I have Intensity Pro on an 8 core with 8GB Ram and experience the slow down after 2 hours too.

    However, I haven’t actually tested FCP without the card so I can’t say whether it’s BM or FCP.

    I just quit FCP and open again and everything becomes snappy again so it hasn’t really been an issue. Just weird.


  • Francois Stark

    November 9, 2007 at 6:37 am

    Hi Justin

    Next time you experience the slowdown – just disable external video in FCP (Apple-F12) and check scrubbing speed. Then re-enable and see if it works for you.


  • Keith Koby

    November 9, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    You have a PCIe card in a G5 machine that has PCIx slots? Am I reading this wrong?

    Keith Koby
    Head of Post-Production Engineering
    Howard TV!/MOJO/Movies On Demand/iNDEMAND Pay-Per-View

  • Francois Stark

    November 9, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    Keith – No, sorry, it won’t fit! LOL!

    No, we have several G5 systems, some with PCI-e and some with PCI-X. The older PCI-X cards work fine, the newest PCI-e decklink hd-extreme not.


  • Justin Ferar

    November 10, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    That did the trick. Everything is snappy after releasing the card and then grabbing it again. Hmm.

  • Sebastian Hampl

    November 20, 2007 at 10:41 am

    Hi there,
    just want to let you know that there are several people here having similar problems mit FCP and Blackmagic Cards. Tried out all updates (QT, FCS, OS 10.4.11 and Leo). No luck. System is slowing down after two hours, and speeds up again if external video is switched off.

    There is someting wrong with the Decklink cards or software. Is there any chance that will be fixed by Blackmagic soon!

    All the best

    Cologne, Germany
    FCS2, MacPro 2,66 Quad, Decklink HD Extreme

  • Lu Nelson

    July 29, 2008 at 8:03 am

    Just want to add to the comment by Sebastian Hampl; though I have commented in the other threads regarding this too. I saw another question about this this morning so I am posting again because it makes me so angry.

    I have the exact same system configuration (Mac Pro Quad 2.66, FCS2, DLX HD PCIe), and the exact same problem with my Decklink card, and my machine has 8GB of RAM.

    Everything else I run on this system is perfectly fast; there is no other excuse for this problem. I am really fed up with the way Blackmagic keeps ignoring this issue and releasing new ‘updates’ to their software which seem to address only superficial compatibility with Quicktime updates etc.

    The long list of what these Decklink cards can do is worthless if they bring system to a grinding halt!

    Lu Nelson
    Berlin, Germany

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