Last night’s MoChat on performance included appearances by both Adobe and Fusion IO. The chat stayed civil with on flame wars on Mac vs PC. A few key points were mainly agreed upon for getting better performance out of your machine:

  • Upgrade your RAM
  • Add an SSD at least as a boot drive
  • If you can afford it, a FusionIO card is ridiculously fast
  • Yes, thunderbolt is just 800MB/s, but for those of us on “budget” home systems, it’s leaps and bounds better than anything we’ve affordably had before
  • External SSDs came up, but no one seemed to have any first-hand experience with them

Transcript

Welcome to #MoChat everyone. Tonight we’re talking making the most out of your hardware.8:00 PM Aug 21st, 2012

All our computers are different, but there’s always things we can each do to speed them up. #mochat8:00 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Hi everyone, just want to let you know I’ll be responding for . I am the Director of Visual Computing at Fusion-io #mochat8:01 PM Aug 21st, 2012

So item No. 1: who’s installed an SSD? #MoChat8:01 PM Aug 21st, 2012

my hardware might as well be a trex fossil #MoChat8:01 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Welcome, Vince. #mochat8:02 PM Aug 21st, 2012

That is an awesome title! #mochat8:02 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I am also the product manager for ioFX, nice to see it finally hatch 😉 #mochat8:03 PM Aug 21st, 2012

based on your title i want to get on one knee and kiss your rings #mochat8:03 PM Aug 21st, 2012

after seeing the fusion IO stuff at siggraph, i may not get an ssd at all #mochat8:03 PM Aug 21st, 2012

We’ve got lots of resources for making video software faster here: http://t.co/cz92kmzN Most principles apply to all video tools. #mochat8:03 PM Aug 21st, 2012

: I plan on having one on my next computer I’m saving for, hopefully by end of year” #mochat8:03 PM Aug 21st, 2012

So what will Fusion IO do for those of us running AE or C4D? #mochat8:04 PM Aug 21st, 2012

#mochat how’s the speed? working well?8:04 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I think an SSD boot drive is now a given but SSD raids are still not very common. (reliability and cost most likely) #mochat8:05 PM Aug 21st, 2012

On the 3D side IO is mostly important for particle solutions or point cache loads. Interactivity is mostly GPU bound. #mochat8:06 PM Aug 21st, 2012

for AE it’s pretty awesome, Adobe optimized CS6 with a new Global Performance Cache which got ioFX tuned in CS6 #mochat8:06 PM Aug 21st, 2012

#mochat speed is incredible. Read writes went up by 9x and 6x I opted for a crucial 500mb8:07 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Indeed. The ioFX device is great for the global performance cache in After Effects CS6. #mochat8:07 PM Aug 21st, 2012

To increase performance in video products you have to figure out what is making it slow. #mochat8:08 PM Aug 21st, 2012

the workstation needs to be balanced, CPU, GPU and Storage all need to be matched. If one component is off they are all clamped #mochat8:09 PM Aug 21st, 2012

#mochat errp my bad gb. 🙂 plus I took out the DVD drive and left the original 500gb hd in its place.8:09 PM Aug 21st, 2012

That’s what I did in my MBP. #mochat8:10 PM Aug 21st, 2012

CPU… check, with quad socket 8 core monsters, CPU is usually not your bottleneck (in software interactivity) #mochat8:10 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Agreed. Here’s a video about data flow and bottlenecks in performance for video applications: http://t.co/nsm8Egcb #mochat8:11 PM Aug 21st, 2012

GPU, check, with Kepler nVidia GPUs with 3000 cuda cores, Maximus workstation with a tesla etc… lots of GPU power #mochat8:11 PM Aug 21st, 2012

#mochat it had been almost a yes since I actually used the DVD drive. I don’t miss it. Works fine moar storage FTW8:12 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Storage on the other hand is a huge bottelneck. Even a bunch of SSDs in a raid result in ms of latency. #mochat8:12 PM Aug 21st, 2012

optical drives are so 90’s man… #mochat8:12 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Storage performance is not only about bandwidth (MB/s) it’s also about latency (how fast the drive responds to requests). #mochat8:13 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I feel like Disk IO is always a bottleneck in anything working with larger files. #mochat8:13 PM Aug 21st, 2012

it usually is. And it’s not just read/write speed but how fast does the drive feed the CPU/GPU with the requested data… #mochat8:14 PM Aug 21st, 2012

my desktop/workstation is a paper weight now. how do i build a machine that will do the work on a budget? #mochat8:14 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Disk I/O is often a bottleneck even when the files aren’t large, if you’re working with a compositor (many files). #mochat8:15 PM Aug 21st, 2012

an SSD is around 1ms, add a few in a raid and this goes up… an ioFX is 0.06ms so when you have a 50 layer comp it can add up. #mochat8:15 PM Aug 21st, 2012

what parts are the most compressible? #mochat8:15 PM Aug 21st, 2012

True. I especially noticed that once I started working with image sequences more. #mochat8:15 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Lastly, the software has to be tuned to make use of it. Speedgrade for instance has a slider that goes form 1 to 6 threads. #mochat8:16 PM Aug 21st, 2012

With an ioFX you want 25 threads in Speedgrade. (Which can be done by editing a config file). #mochat8:16 PM Aug 21st, 2012

you need to figure out what aps you will run, what size files (HD or 4K stereoscopic) and balance out the components #mochat8:17 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Are there any products you currently have (or have planned) for laptop users? Is there much that can be done? #mochat8:18 PM Aug 21st, 2012

too many times I see 32 core machines with 3 GPUs and a 4 drive raid. It’s a waste of CPU/GPU if you can’t feed them #mochat8:18 PM Aug 21st, 2012

#mochat sorry not familiar with ioFX some one point me to a link plz.8:18 PM Aug 21st, 2012

are there any real world case studies/benchmarks done with ioFX vs different RAIDS & SSDs? #mochat8:19 PM Aug 21st, 2012

actually you can use thunderbolt PCIe chassis with an ioFX right now. You get half speed but it’s still over 700MB/s read #mochat8:19 PM Aug 21st, 2012

luckily, ive never been asked for 4k, but im sure that wont last forever lol #mochat8:19 PM Aug 21st, 2012

https://t.co/v87oGet3 #mochat8:19 PM Aug 21st, 2012

RT : Indeed. The ioFX device is great for the global performance cache in After Effects CS6. #mochat8:20 PM Aug 21st, 2012

a little old but this is an example. http://t.co/nJlcSmuI #mochat8:21 PM Aug 21st, 2012

The ioFX is just starting to ship and we have lots of client studies in the pipes. #mochat8:22 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I was just going to hire you our for 8k stereo 3D. Oh, and I don’t have any budget, but you’ll get credit! 😉 #mochat8:22 PM Aug 21st, 2012

video showing comparison ioFX to non ioFX machine?? #mochat8:22 PM Aug 21st, 2012

The unique part is that it’s native access nand so the access time is much faster than SSD / PCIe SSD. #mochat8:22 PM Aug 21st, 2012

hold on while i send you my contract. its a picture of the bricks i laid in my pants. #mochat8:23 PM Aug 21st, 2012

For a workstation on a budget, check out Videoguys DIY9 article. Not Xeons, but pretty darn powerful http://t.co/YzNvgmzs #mochat8:23 PM Aug 21st, 2012

By having no storage infrastructure (no Sata/SAS/etc) it scales linearly. So 2 cards gives you 3GB/s and 4 cards 6GB/s #mochat8:23 PM Aug 21st, 2012

#mochat wow I think I just fell in love. But wait is this a gfx card replacement? Or do I still need a whole other PCIe slot for that?8:23 PM Aug 21st, 2012

How will ioFX add to performance of Tesla K20? #mochat8:23 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Do you have any products that run in a SATAIII port, or is it all PCIe? #mochat8:23 PM Aug 21st, 2012

RT : Indeed. The ioFX device is great for the global performance cache in After Effects CS6. #mochat8:25 PM Aug 21st, 2012

here is an article on my workstation (gamer pc built in pelican case that can playback 4K uncompressed video) http://t.co/oOrOf3Zm #mochat8:25 PM Aug 21st, 2012

all PCIe. If you go through sata you fall into the Milliseconds of latency and defeat the purpose of having NAND #mochat8:26 PM Aug 21st, 2012

why isn’t ioFX PCIe 3.0? #mochat8:26 PM Aug 21st, 2012

late for #mochat. hope i didnt miss too much! #mochat8:26 PM Aug 21st, 2012

SWEET! RT : here is an article on my workstation that can playback 4K uncompressed video) http://t.co/DPmuxJhL #mochat8:27 PM Aug 21st, 2012

in the ability to feed it data and save the result. At Siggraph a single ioFX was feeding three K5000s at the nVidia booth #mochat8:27 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Just building a machine to handle my 8k stereo job I’m not paying him for. #mochat8:27 PM Aug 21st, 2012

8k and stereo? ugh. hope its otherwise light work! good luck! #mochat8:28 PM Aug 21st, 2012

the ioFX doesn’t come close to the limits of PCIe 2 (6GB/s) so no need for an expensive controller. works fine in gen3 slot #mochat8:28 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Ah great, so the GK110 is in the wild #mochat8:28 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I was going to throw in a few “It’s not really what I was looking for” comments and make him start over. #MoChat8:29 PM Aug 21st, 2012

it’s basically fast storage, looks like a hard-drive to the computer but performs at very low latency #mochat8:30 PM Aug 21st, 2012

obviously our fearless leader is sucking on some of ‘s left over stale o2 from siggraph #mochat8:30 PM Aug 21st, 2012

been working at a place that has the newest imacs with i7s and 16GB. today ordered 32gb and 240gb ssd. that should be better #mochat8:31 PM Aug 21st, 2012

coming soon, lots of big projects using us. Allows for stereo 4K playback uncompressed, saw 10x improvement with AE clients #mochat8:31 PM Aug 21st, 2012

RT : Ah great, so the GK110 is in the wild // K5000 is GK104. #mochat8:31 PM Aug 21st, 2012

i wonder for AE how much better ioFX is vs an SSD performance wise vs cost #mochat8:32 PM Aug 21st, 2012

The i7s really help out. Too bad you can’t do much about the GPU in the iMacs, though. #mochat8:32 PM Aug 21st, 2012

On to C4D, aside from some certain upcoming features of R14, how much will upgrading GPUs really help? #mochat8:33 PM Aug 21st, 2012

just get a new retina display mbp… ooooh wait… #mochat8:33 PM Aug 21st, 2012

but what is the improvement without ioFX, where do I find real world comparisons? Side by side comparisons? #mochat8:33 PM Aug 21st, 2012

love the video you posted. #mochat8:33 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Late to the party. #mochat8:33 PM Aug 21st, 2012

so my SATAIII slots 6gb/sec are slower than your pcie configuration? #mochat8:33 PM Aug 21st, 2012

what r u guys using for storage with the iMacs? Thunderbolt like Promise Pegasus or networked?? #mochat8:33 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I put an SSD in my laptop and then in my Mac Pro shortly after. It’s the best upgrade I’ve made in years. #mochat8:33 PM Aug 21st, 2012

for me, a lot lol #mochat8:33 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Ha. That’s why I went with a legacy ’12 MBP. Same machine, but with at least _some_ upgradability. #mochat8:34 PM Aug 21st, 2012

anything that makes AE faster I will buy. #mochat8:34 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I think ultimately it’s about having a balanced workstation. No point in having a 700HP engine if you have a bad transmission #mochat8:34 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Welcome Harry! Got the kids to bed already? #mochat8:34 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I can’t go back to platters for system drives. So spoiled by rebooting and getting back in place within 15 seconds. #mochat8:34 PM Aug 21st, 2012

correct 6 Gigabits/s (0.75 GB/s) versus 6 Gigabytes/s #mochat8:35 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I’ll have to go back and read up on the SSD suggestions. I think I need to go that route. #mochat8:36 PM Aug 21st, 2012

wow he made it! Welcome Harry. #mochat ok everyone go home now.8:36 PM Aug 21st, 2012

small install, just a couple machines w local storage for now #mochat8:36 PM Aug 21st, 2012

putting the kids to bed, ill be back…. #mochat8:36 PM Aug 21st, 2012

ioFX $2500 Tesla K20 $3500 Quadro K5000 $2500 – $10K on top of ram, ssd, etc., Really? Anything? #mochat8:37 PM Aug 21st, 2012

oh man, same here… hope i dont miss the rest 🙂 #mochat8:37 PM Aug 21st, 2012

wow ssd that fast? #mochat better check my couch cushions for change. 🙂8:37 PM Aug 21st, 2012

amazon has a special today 480gb ssd for 350! #mochat8:38 PM Aug 21st, 2012

yah, we grabbed those 240s. nice price #mochat8:39 PM Aug 21st, 2012

here is a good list of where it helps and where it doesn’t. http://t.co/zm30r2mL #mochat8:39 PM Aug 21st, 2012

wonder if next imacs will have decent nvidia cards in them… that would help too #mochat8:39 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Kinda wished I went bigger than 240 for my internal system drive. #mochat8:41 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Anyone in #mochat tonight actually have experience using #ioFX with AE?8:41 PM Aug 21st, 2012

well with MBP retina using NVIDIA, i think we can expect a high end iMac with NVIDIA as well #mochat8:41 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I like the OWC ssds on paper but too much outa my price range I opted for this one. http://t.co/UoI9n0Og been happy with it. #mochat8:42 PM Aug 21st, 2012

getting an ssd is a great way to upgrade your system without spending a whole lot. #mochat8:42 PM Aug 21st, 2012

the price tag is high but not out of reach. #mochat8:42 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Which grfx card & mem/RAM specs do you recommend I upgrade to on my ’08 Mac Pro ? #mochat8:43 PM Aug 21st, 2012

the ioFX is aimed at 2K workflow and up, studios and freelancers doing imax work, maybe a little much for wedding videos 😉 #mochat8:43 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I’ve debated upgrading my 2011 MBP with an SSD drive. Seems to be a better upgrade than a whole new laptop at this point. #mochat8:43 PM Aug 21st, 2012

It may well be, but I’m a visual guy, I want to see the side by side comparison of just what the ioFX does. Video guys? #mochat8:44 PM Aug 21st, 2012

they do make a gtx680M. Would fit nicely in an iMac. #mochat8:44 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Yes, but you probably meant other than us. #mochat8:44 PM Aug 21st, 2012

ioFX has been used in their roadshow, at NAB and at IBC in sept so if you happen to be there you can give it a try #mochat8:44 PM Aug 21st, 2012

That was a low blow #mochat8:45 PM Aug 21st, 2012

i don’t think the quadro4000 will run on ur old Mac. Leaves you with the Quadro FX 4800 #mochat8:45 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Anyone using any external SSD drives yet? Recommendations? Curious if that would speed up workflow at all. #mochat8:45 PM Aug 21st, 2012

this would be great for my 3840×1080 videos. #mochat8:45 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I’d actually look at one of the 5X0 models over a 4X00. #mochat8:45 PM Aug 21st, 2012

SSD has made a world of difference. I have a 240GB boot on my laptop. Helps with cache in CS6 immensely. #mochat8:46 PM Aug 21st, 2012

We have about 15 minutes left of #MoChat!8:46 PM Aug 21st, 2012

ridding performance bottlenecks from a hardware standpoint is good but what about on the workflow end? how do you optimize? #mochat8:47 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Misread that. Are that many people using external SSD? #mochat8:47 PM Aug 21st, 2012

you can hack a GTX570 to run in a current Mac Pro, not sure about an ’08. http://t.co/kG44u2UJ #mochat8:48 PM Aug 21st, 2012

240 seems bare minimum to me. Think I’d rather do 500. #mochat8:48 PM Aug 21st, 2012

currently using only eSata external drive. may have to check out SSD however. #mochat8:49 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Many recommendations here are about workflow and software configuration for better performance: http://t.co/cz92kmzN #mochat8:49 PM Aug 21st, 2012

not insinuating anything 😉 actually, just getting bandwidth out of SSDs would require 4 drives, add a 5th for reliability #mochat8:49 PM Aug 21st, 2012

upgrading your bootdrive to SSD will give you a really nice boost. SSD prices have tumbled this summer #mochat8:49 PM Aug 21st, 2012

With careful backups/archiving, a NAS for music/movies, and an internal platter-based 750GB, I’ve made it work alright. #mochat8:50 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I saw was using one but I never got a reply on what he was using or how he liked it. #mochat8:50 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I’m surprised by how many people work at full resolution when just working on timing, etc. #mochat8:50 PM Aug 21st, 2012

With about 10 minutes left, what would you say the biggest bottleneck you face as a motion designer is. #mochat (clients don’t count.)8:51 PM Aug 21st, 2012

the SSD route would cost about the same and deliver much worse latency and dodgy reliability. #mochat8:51 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Why no side by side comparisons, numbers, render times, load times? #mochat8:51 PM Aug 21st, 2012

why proxy when your storage can play 4K uncompressed at 80fps 😉 #mochat8:51 PM Aug 21st, 2012

My own skills are my biggest bottleneck #mochat8:52 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Because your rendering software can’t? #mochat8:52 PM Aug 21st, 2012

For me it’s either disk i/o (media still runs off platters) or CPU. Those buckets don’t move fast enough! #mochat8:53 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Biggest bottleneck is a lack of fresh eyes, I find it very hard to look at my work objectively and improve it #mochat 8:53 PM Aug 21st, 2012

working on it, it should all be appearing here soon: http://t.co/f5n2TD4s #mochat8:53 PM Aug 21st, 2012

a couple Teslas and some good GPU rendering can solve that 😉 #mochat8:54 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Thanks, I’ll keep my antennae tuned to channel ioFX #mochat8:55 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Project complexity has gone up, resolution and quality requirements have gone up and delivery time has gone down. #mochat8:55 PM Aug 21st, 2012

: Within AE it’s the multi threading. Many renders fail or are slower with it turned on.” #mochat8:56 PM Aug 21st, 2012

ok Im curious now what are good SSD external options? #mochat8:56 PM Aug 21st, 2012

: clients dont count??! Oh man.” #mochat8:56 PM Aug 21st, 2012

good point…also soloing the couple of layers you’re working on untill you need to see all 200 layers #mochat8:56 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Had my first experience with someone offering some fantastic work. But pure spec. Offered to fly me out & put me up for 2 mos. #mochat8:56 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Multithreading in AE is still a black art. Remember you can only look at physical cores for # of instances. #mochat8:57 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Thunderbolt is the only decent external port and still it’s clamped at under 800MB/s #mochat8:57 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Not sure. I’d think that would mostly be limited by controller chips & interface. #mochat8:58 PM Aug 21st, 2012

But only if they won pitch. A month of work for free. Would have loved the chance to work on the project. Really cool. But free? #mochat8:58 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Keep in mind most of us are working on home machines and 800MB/s is still amazing for us. #mochat8:59 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Agreed. This page gives our best advice: http://t.co/HEUTc2WO … but you’re right. It’s a pain. #mochat8:59 PM Aug 21st, 2012

RT : Indeed. The ioFX device is great for the global performance cache in After Effects CS6. #mochat8:59 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Free is tough. Has to be for something you really believe in for that much work. #mochat8:59 PM Aug 21st, 2012

This whole field needs the marketing people behind GoPro! #mochat8:59 PM Aug 21st, 2012

I agree but unfortunately no TBlt on the work laptop. HP.. #hrmph! #mochat8:59 PM Aug 21st, 2012

playing with retina macbook pro with dual external ioFX in thunderbolt chassis. should get around 1.4GB/s… #mochat9:00 PM Aug 21st, 2012

wow, that’s really good. Been thinking about that lately. Install easy? #mochat9:00 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Well, we’re just about done with #MoChat. Any last minute (literally) advice to share?9:00 PM Aug 21st, 2012

RT : Have you tried the Promise Pegasus drives. Outstanding performance http://t.co/iVqu6Ezg #mochat9:00 PM Aug 21st, 2012

yeah GoPro is doing a superb job. Got a bunch myself… #mochat9:01 PM Aug 21st, 2012

i don’t care what you say, caps lock will always speed up my renders. #mochat9:01 PM Aug 21st, 2012

would have been a primo project. Def portfolio worthy. But I can’t justify a month of creative with no pay. #mochat9:01 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Will it fit in my backpack? I wants TSA portability as well 8) #mochat9:02 PM Aug 21st, 2012

RT : wow, thats really good. Install easy? not too hard. take your time and backup before you go #mochat9:02 PM Aug 21st, 2012

BG renderer definitely speeds up renders & my workflow #mochat9:02 PM Aug 21st, 2012

#oldSchoolAE RT : i dont care what you say, caps lock will always speed up my renders. #mochat9:02 PM Aug 21st, 2012

actually a client just added two ioFX as cache for his 4 Promise raids. Gets capacity from Promise and speed from ioFX #mochat9:03 PM Aug 21st, 2012

RT : Will it fit in my backpack? Promise J4 will hold 4 SSDs. Size of a Mac mini. Thunderbolt to go! #mochat9:03 PM Aug 21st, 2012

RT : BG renderer definitely speeds up renders & my workflow #mochat9:03 PM Aug 21st, 2012

That does it for tonight’s #MoChat. Thanks to and for stopping by and dropping some knowledge.9:04 PM Aug 21st, 2012

try this with an ioFX in it http://t.co/xj2CzP12 definitely TSA and shoulder friendly #mochat9:04 PM Aug 21st, 2012

Thanks for coming out everyone. Look for the transcript up tomorrow. And as always: go make something! (maybe faster after tonight) #MoChat9:04 PM Aug 21st, 2012

ioFX plus Pegasus RAIDS! SWEET! We just need an external T-bolt GPU solution for iMacs!! #mochat9:05 PM Aug 21st, 2012

thanks for the opportunity! #mochat9:05 PM Aug 21st, 2012