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[Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

CasparCG Server, Client and development

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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby didikunz » 09 Sep 2013, 09:43

The system, that you find here http://casparcg.com/wiki/CasparCG_Server#System_Recommendations is tested at SVT in 24/7 operation, so it sure works.

You can use any others manufactures system or build your own out of parts. I have good experiances with systems build out of Supermicro parts, but had to learn the hard way, that the support in Switzerland is very poor. They have no replacement parts in storage and you have to wait for weeks to get one.

So I would check, how the manufacture, that you choose is supported in your country, before buying.
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby markusnygard » 07 Apr 2014, 15:58

Hi
2 questions about the system rocommendations
- Has anyone tried to use Dell as servers
- Our IT-dealer say that OCZ Vertex3 has been discontinued so which SSD would be in recomended instead?

regards markus
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby mcdikki » 07 Apr 2014, 17:53

Im happy with using Samsung SSDs. The 840 EVO or 830 Series works quite well in my casparCG system.

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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby thanosmos » 29 Apr 2014, 08:54

I wanted to ask you is that if we need a pc for running caspar would it be better to have a quick processor rather than big memory? I mean with a ram of 8-16GB should we get a pc with a processor of 2.6 or 3+ GHz? I know the more the better but is there a sort of balance somewhere? Moreover, i've noticed that in the recommendations it says about 2 HDD's. Is there a specific reason for that?
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby markusnygard » 29 Apr 2014, 09:42

In my novice opinion its no biggie how much memory or which processor you have.
About the HDD:s the recomendations is 3 HDD, 1HDD for win7 and program and things like that, and 2 HDD (prefebly SSD) as raid0 where you have your mediafiles. Raid0 combines 2 HDD to 1 disk which means that when you play out a file it is as smaller risk of the mediafiles not to play out correctly. Th consept of having 1HDD for programs and 1HDD for media has been around for ages when using video, graphics or big files
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby thanosmos » 29 Apr 2014, 11:56

We want to broadcast a game with some graphics and videos. It will have 4 FT's, 3 mov's (2 crawls and 1 countdown clock) some png's that will come in with a slide or a mix and few mp3's. We also want the caspar server to be a "backup" for another show. Thus we will use 2 channels in the casparcg frontend 2.0.6. By default we will use just the first channel but in case of emergency we will have to broadcast in two different channels at the same time. The first channel will "run" through the IVGA and fed in our tricaster while the second will go through a video card to another (different) mixer.

1. Can this be done? I mean I guess while configuring the channels in the frontend there will not be "a conflict" in which channel transmits through what. In the first channel it will be assigned the IVGA and in the second the video card.
2. At this time we have a blackmagic multibridge pro. Will this card do the work we want? Has anyone tested it or has any experience with it?
3. We want to broadcast in SD PAL
4. The things I see in my PC monitor are in 60Hz. The broadcast will be at 50Hz. Will this be a problem? I mean is there a "loss" or a possibility of something to go wrong? How this "transition" is made? Do I need anything else "hardware - wise" ?
5. I've notice that when running caspar in a "good" pc it seems it doesn't use the hyperthreading. Is that correct?
6. What kind of a machine would you recommend? Processor / GB RAM / Video Card / Graphics card / HDD's
Keep in mind we are trying to be a "low budget story " :)

Looking forward for your answers

Thanos
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby poucedeleon » 16 May 2014, 02:23

I am new to CasparCG, so I have been reading as many post as possible. I am ready to purchase a server box, and you mentioned you used to buy HP Z400s. I have found a used HP Z400 XEON Quad-Core W3565 3.2MHz. The machine is not quite as beefy as the units you previously purchased, so I would like your opinion before I purchase, since it is a used machine. I will be using CasparCG to output graphics to my ATEM.
HP Z400 3.20MHz Xeon 12gb Ram
Nvidia Quadro 2000
Window 7 Professional 64bit
DeckLink HD Extreme 3D
DeckLink Mini Monitor
ATEM TVS
CasparCG, Caspar Media Playout
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby Jusdog » 06 Oct 2015, 20:22

So here's the deal.

I have read both the minimum system requirements and SVT's recommendations. I understand the minimum requirements are basically just to get the software to run, but the capabilities of the SVT setup are unclear to me. In practical terms it always boils down to this question: will the setup be capable of performing the tasks that I require? Buying the most powerful (and most expensive) hardware and just hoping it will be enough is both risky and wasteful.

I want to be able to do the following:

1) Play a video loop on a background layer
2) Play another video clip resized in a smaller frame on top of the background loop
3) Take a live video input (a camera in front of a chroma screen) and layer it on top of the above package using chroma key
4) Use one layer of animated TGs (I suppose this means Flash) on top
5) Record the program feed
6) Do everything in either 1080i or 1080p depending on customer needs

Let me tell you that of course I understand I could just play the two streams of video and the TG channel out separately and do the rest in the switcher and then record on a separate recorder. That would, however, be wasteful, unnecessarily complex and expensive, provided this can all be accomplished internally. Would something like the SVT setup be able to do this? If not, what do you think would be the bottleneck and how much more powerful hardware would I need to get to resolve the issue?

Conversely: in case my requirements result in performance issues and I need to do some things externally, is anybody able to tell me which specific parts on the list are the most resource intensive, ie. contribute the most to the problem? If it's the recording that will be the final nail in the coffin, for instance, I could use an external recorder and do everything else internally. If, on the other hand, the chroma key is the problem, I would need to use an external switcher, but wouldn't necessary need one with resizer functionality.

Can anyone offer their two cents?

Thank you very much!
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby didikunz » 06 Oct 2015, 22:03

With a similar configuration like SVT's recommendations (it does not need to be HP) you should be able to do #1 to #4 (with a good nVidia GPU) without problems. #5 could be a problem in 1080p, because it draws a lot of performance of the disk subsystem (SSD) and the CPU. They have already some load from the two clips for #1 and #2. So I would consider a external recorder, like one of the Atomos, because it is probably cheaper than having a disk-array and CPU that can sustain this high demand.
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby Jusdog » 07 Oct 2015, 13:22

Thank you very much for your reply! This is pretty good news for me.

In terms of performance the recommended SVT setup is not the highest end hardware that is currently available. It uses a lower clock speed Xeon processor, while it is on the other hand stated that it makes sense to favor higher clock speeds over the number of cores. Today I could easily buy a 4 core i7 with higher clock speeds (4 GHz plus) with the same price tag as the specified 6 core Xeon with lower clock speed.

Do you have any opinions / experiences on the matter of Xeon over i7 or vice versa? I'm not necessarily trying to assemble the cheapest possible setup, but rather to get the best performance for the same amount of money. The impression I get from reading the recommendations is that they would actually favor the i7 route even though SVT has gone with Xeon.

Also, I read on another thread that you are using a Shuttle PC for some ad hoc work. Would you mind telling which processor and GPU you have selected and what level of performance you are getting from that setup? How many channels are you playing out, how many layers can you have on each output etc?

I'm just looking to get a rough idea of the relationship between required hardware and system capabilities. I think this sort of information would be beneficial to others as well.

Thanks again!
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby didikunz » 07 Oct 2015, 13:56

The Shuttle is only capable of hosting one Decklink card, because it has only two slots and it uses one 16xPCIe for the GPU. To do compositing (DVE or chroma keying) a fast GPU is good. I use a Quadro 2000 for this. The box has a i7 CPU and has 8 GB RAM if I remember right. I have a RAID 1 of HDD's and a SSD for the video clips. I use it for single channel productions, when I don't want to carry my 19" box around.

This big box has two Decklink Extreme 4K for two channels of fill and key and one Decklink SDI for anything that does not use a key. It has a XEON with 12 or 16 GB of RAM and the rest is very similar to the small box. I never was able to layer that much, that any of the two has break down, but I did not try to. And i only work in 1080/50i not p. AFAIK there is not TV station in Switzerland producing in 1080/50p.

I normally work in a broadcast environment, were the vision mixer is used for chroma key or DVE stuff, so I have not that much experience with this kind of stuff.
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby Jusdog » 07 Oct 2015, 14:34

Thanks again!

I work mainly in broadcast TV too, so all keying, DME, DVE etc. is done in the vision mixer and the standard is 1080i. What I'm trying to do is to create a standalone box that could be used in specific, clearly formulated, simple productions that don't necessarily need all the typical production infrastructure. That's also why I added 1080p as a requirement, as it is useful when we step outside the broadcast TV - even when we are talking about the same TV company's own VOD or stream site.

Thank you for your information about your own setup. I found it very helpful. I assume the read speeds of your disks are the biggest bottleneck if you want to just play multiple video clips simultaneously without any intensive processing, perhaps it taxes the CPU a bit too. Running Flash probably uses a fair amount of the CPU resources and they only use one core each. GPU resources are probably allocated to compositing as you said. I don't really know what specific role the amount of RAM plays in this, except that it is used pretty much for everything and it's always good to have enough...

Just one more question really, if you don't mind. I understood you are running both the server and client on the same computer, at least occasionally. Do you find that it takes up GPU resources or are you possibly using the integrated graphics card on your Shuttle to do that? Integrated graphics adapters might tax the CPU, so I don't really know which makes more sense, to tax the CPU or the GPU. I guess it really depends on the specifics of the production and how complex the show is...

Thanks again for your most helpful answers!
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby didikunz » 07 Oct 2015, 15:26

I have no internal GPU on either board. So I use the nVidia for the GUI. My clients are writen in VB.NET and that does not use much of the GPU resources, as it is not a fancy design. You need to switch of the Aero theme stuff in Windows anyway, when you want to run Caspar with Flash templates, so that does not get into way much. I tend to have open a lot of stuff like Photoshop and Flash etc. at least when I am developing and never noticed any bottlenecks. Here helps the added RAM that Win 7 64 gives you. On the old machine under 32 bit Windows I noticed some difficulties.
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby carmacoma » 17 Oct 2015, 00:45

Hi all,

Hope you don't mind, but I'm jumping on your thread, rather than starting a new one asking similar questions.

@didikunz, in your experience with your two different boxes, do you notice any difference between having a Xeon CPU vs a Core i7? I realise there are many other differences between the two, but I'm trying to get an idea if there is any reason to go for Xeon over Core i7, with everything else being equal.

Thanks!
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby didikunz » 17 Oct 2015, 00:51

carmacoma wrote:...but I'm trying to get an idea if there is any reason to go for Xeon over Core i7, with everything else being equal.


I do not see much difference, BUT my systems are very different and I did not pushed them to their limits yet.
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby blur494 » 15 Dec 2015, 00:31

A quick note (Im not sure if this is the place to put it) We almost exclusively use the flash producer and recently found the server to prefer multiple lanes of Ram over 1 lane of higher performance ram. For example: running 2x 4gb 1600 cards is better than 1x 8gb 2400 card. To the point of the latter being unusable.
EDIT:
The reason I bring this up is to be placed in the recomendations for server building. As of now there is no requirement over 8gb
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby sidey » 01 Aug 2016, 11:41

can I run casparcg on windows server 2012, 2008?????????????????
on a Dell PowerEdge R730 Server with like 4 to 5 Decklink quad cards?
any suggestion for this please?
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby didikunz » 01 Aug 2016, 11:47

There are problems reported on Dell hardware together with Decklink cards. So you would need to try it out. It seams to be a problem with some BIOSes. Some Dell machines run fine, while others do not run reliably.
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby CG Developer » 16 Oct 2016, 17:50

Hi,

Thinking about buying a new workstation for CasparCG. Just a quick check for version 2.1 - is it still true that CPU clock speed is more of a priority than CPU core count?

Many thanks
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Re: [Sticky] CasparCG 2.0 - System recommendations

Postby didikunz » 16 Oct 2016, 19:44

It depends what you want to do. If you use Flash templates a lot, then this is still true, as the flash player is single threaded. If you use HTML template, then this should not be a problem.
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