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Activity Forums Blackmagic Design major crashes after new esata card, conflict?

  • major crashes after new esata card, conflict?

    Posted by Hamish Boyd on July 14, 2008 at 6:04 am

    I might well be up the wrong path here but hear me out….

    I have a macpro 2 x 2.66 Dual core Xeon
    Blackmagic HD extreme with latest drivers
    3gigs memory

    Have just installed an esata card to accommodate raid box.

    Raid is running fine, media copies to drive fine, plays quicktime fine.

    I go to render in After effects to the RAID drive, (via new esata card)
    We get major crashes, kernal panics about a minute into the render.

    Now, could there be a way that an esata card in slot 2 is conflicting with my blackmagic card in slot 4 as After effects is using the BM card to display video and also esata card to render to RAID?

    a long shot I know. But any vague advice as to why such dramatic crashes all of a sudden would be much appreciated.

    Oh and also, it renders absolutely fine to any other drive. Just not via ESATA
    And I can’t even open up Final Cut (6.0.3) if the raid is on. It freezes during start up
    I know this is probably not the right forum, but I’m just working through a bunch of potential conflicts.

    Matt Mcgregor replied 15 years, 3 months ago 5 Members · 15 Replies
  • 15 Replies
  • Kristian Lam

    July 15, 2008 at 3:54 am

    Hi Hamish,

    You can try uninstalling the Blackmagic drivers and see if the same thing is happening.


    Kristian Lam
    Blackmagic Design

  • Hamish Boyd

    July 15, 2008 at 6:11 am

    Hi Kristian,
    thanks for posting.

    I unistalled the BM drivers and attempted the render again. It did render for longer (about 3min instead of 1-2min) but same crash eventuated. (force restart)

    So does that all but rule out any conflict with the BM card?


  • Luke Maslen

    July 15, 2008 at 6:34 am

    Hi Hamish,

    [hamish boyd] “So does that all but rule out any conflict with the BM card?”

    Correct. When the Blackmagic drivers are uninstalled, the card is not loaded by the computer at startup time as it lacks the firmware and drivers to do so. If you wanted to be absolutely sure, you could also remove the DeckLink card but it looks strongly as though the problem is with the eSATA card.

    If you find the problem still occurs after removing the DeckLink card, you could try the following and see if it helps.

    • Ensure you have downloaded and installed the latest drivers and/or firmware for your eSATA card.
    • Shut down your Mac Pro.
    • Reinstate the DeckLink card in slot 4.
    • Move the eSATA card to slot 3.
    • Start up the Mac Pro.
    • If the Expansion Slot Utility does not appear automatically at startup, go to Macintosh HD>System>Library>Core Services and open the Expansion Slot Utility.
    • Choose the second PCI Express profile, ie: x16 Lane Graphics Slot + Two x4 Lane and One x1 Lane Slots
    • Click the Save and Restart button.

    Upon restarting, test if your eSATA card is now behaving. If not, I would recommend contacting the manufacturer of the eSATA card.

    If the eSATA card is working well, reinstall the DeckLink drivers, restart the Mac and test if the eSATA card and the DeckLink card are behaving well together. Hopefully this will be the case and in which case the PCI Express bandwidth allocation was the key to the solution.


    Luke Maslen
    Blackmagic Design

  • Hamish Boyd

    July 15, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Thank you luke for taking the time to help.

    I followed your suggestion, moved card to slot 3. And assigned the second profile.
    It now shows slot 4 ‘running below maximum speed’ with blue x4 and a yellow x8 bar.
    Slot 3 has a x1 bar and says its running at maximum speed.

    I tried another render and it crashed again.

    Should I re-assign it back to profile 1? Is the performance of the BM card now effected with this new profile?

    See the weird thing is I can copy to the raid, and I can play quicktimes off it as well.

    I’m baffled.

  • Bob Zelin

    July 15, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    both your Blackmagic card and eSATA card must run at x4 speed. You CANNOT have anything running at x1 speed. Go into the Apple Expansion Slot Utility, and assign the slots, so that slot 2 is x1 (unused – no cards in this), slot 3 and 4 are BOTH x4 (for your blackmagic and eSATA card), and your internal graphics card is x16.

    This will resolve your issues.

    HOWEVER, you have not told us the brand name of your eSATA card. If you are using an excellent product from Cal Digit (like the Fasta 4e) or the Sonnet E4P, you will have no issues. If you have some $29 piece of crap eSATA card like the Addonics, you are screwed. NO CHEAP CRAP in your FCP system. Use professional products. Companies like Cal Digit, Sonnet, G-Tech, Dulce Systems, and others that advertise on these forums are wonderful, and all work well. Cheap crap from “internet discount sites” don’t work.

    Bob zelin

  • Hamish Boyd

    July 15, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Hi Bob,
    I come with cap in hand and toeing at the ground..(please sir… I want some more…advice)

    Looks like your onto something here. I have gone into the tech specs of the chip on the card (the chip is a Silicon Image SiI3132 PCI Express to Serial ATA Controller) Card is a Raidon.

    It comes up with this in the tech specs…

    “• Supports 1-lane 2.5 Gbit/s PCI Express”

    In expansion slot utility I don’t seem to be able to manually change the numbers, just choose one of the profiles. In any case, it says its running at maximum speed at 1x which makes sense from the tech specs.

    So a 4 lane chip is needed specifically for video rendering? Would that be right?

    (I digitised about 10min of footage at 10bit uncompressed SD last night. That was ok, no crash. But any exporting or rendering in applications to the raid crashed everything.)

    Thanks for your help, much appreciated.

  • Bob Zelin

    July 15, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    this is what you are going to do.
    You are going to take that card, and throw it in the garbage.
    You are going to purchase a Cal Digit Fasta 4e card or a Sonnet E4P card from any internet mail order company you like. You will plug the eSATA card into a x4 lane slot (and the Blackmagic card into a x4 lane slot also). You will plug in your existing SATA array into this new card (the card uses the Silicon Image 3124 chipset). Both of these cards support port multiplier chassis, as well as 4 single SATA drives. Make sure to DOWNLOAD the correct driver from either the Cal Digit or Sonnet website when you get the card (the cards will probably come with driver CD’s anyway).

    This will solve your problem.

    bob Zelin

  • Hamish Boyd

    July 16, 2008 at 12:00 am

    At the risk of being slapped around a bit more… 🙂

    do I have to get a four port Sata card? My RAID box has its own controller so I really only need the one esata port, 2 for an extra option.

    So would any of these be ok?

    Thanks again Bob. If you worked down here in Australia I’d get you around and give me the full Zelin make-over!

  • Bob Zelin

    July 16, 2008 at 12:14 am

    I have used the Lacie card – it is a piece of crap. I had a Lacie Bigest S2S array running on an AVID Media Composer Adrenaline, and it was slow. Because the client had already purchased the Lacie array, I simply substituted the Cal Digit Fasta 4e, and the increase in speed performance was dramatic.

    I have never used the Fasta 2e, but I am sure that it would work just fine. As a general rule, never buy Lacie products, and you will be ok. There are countless wonderful drive array products on the market, that you see advertised all over Creative Cow – unfortunatly Lacie is not one of them.

    Bob Zelin

  • Luke Maslen

    July 16, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Hi Hamish,

    Your DeckLink HD Extreme card is a x4 lane PCI Express card. This means you need a disk array which is connected to a HBA, such as an eSATA card, which is x4 lanes (or faster). If you have a x1 lane eSATA card, it will not have the capacity to keep up with the x4 lanes of data being sent to it by the DeckLink card. The RAM preview of After Effects requires faster bus speeds than Final Cut Pro and might explain why you are just seeing the problems in After Effects. While your eSATA card might not necessarily be a “cheap piece of junk”, it does appear to be too slow for working with uncompressed video, especially in HD. Bob’s recommendation for an eSATA card is doubtless a good one although I have not used it.


    Luke Maslen
    Blackmagic Design

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