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Nvidia makes a “stupid” call with brilliant RapiHD

With the release of Adobe Creative Studio 4, Elemental Technologies finally launched their own RapiHD CUDA-accelerator for Premiere Pro.

RapiHD... only for Quadro CS... CX. Darn shame...

RapiHD... only for Quadro CS... CX. Darn shame...

As team of users of Sony 1080p and RED One (4K FTW!) camera, my guys expected that RapiHD will be a brilliant add-on to my configuration consisted out of two 4-core Intel Xeons@3 GHz, brilliant ASUS Skulltrail-lite motherboard and Nvidia Quadro FX 4600 SDI. SDI is a paramount when working with HD signal and RED camera, since it tremendously speeds up the workflow. I am first to admit that I am not exactly at home with video production per se, but I well know what to do to make things work, and make them work fast. And now, here comes RapiHD. I wrote about this plug-in couple of times on TG Daily, and saw the funny side of 32-bit limitation when it came to testing on Quadro FX 5800 on 32-bit OS (FX5800 has 4GB of RAM, thus performance sucked unless you would reg-hack the card down to 2GB or upgrade to 64-bit OS).

The CS4 launch came and went, and RapiHD site got the links to Quadro CX product web-page. So, what happened? Well, Nvidia has exclusive bundling deal for RapiHD and the company decided to bundle that pack exclusively with Quadro CX. I spoke with Elemental Technologies Sam Blackman and he told me that Adobe certified Nvidia Quadro CX and that is the preferred solution for Adobe CS4. Alarms went in my head like no tomorrow, since Quadro CSCX comes with quite an interesting set of specs. Of course, I reserve the right to be proven wrong if Quadro CX has some special juice inside. But I see a cut-down GT200 chip with 192 processors, 384-bit memory controller and 1.5 GB of video memory. In essence, we’re talking about this:

“Old” GTX260 GPU – 64-bit memory controller lane + higher density GDDR3 = Quadro CX.

So yes, compatibility with 32-bit OS is a given here, but shouldn’t you tell to video production industry – “please migrate to 64-bit, things are rosy there?” Everybody and his uncle know that Hollywood listened and now FX is better than ever (BTW, full-scale models in Battlestar Galactica are rendered on AMD Opteron machine with Quadro FX inside – no render machine mumbo jumbo – and that was made possible with a 64-bit OS and 16GB of memory). Guys, please, put RapiHD as an option or a bundle on SDI add-on card as well, since the most powerful and wanted solution for movie producers would be Quadro FX 5800 plus SDI add-on card. That’s my opinion – my two cents, of course.

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