Avid Pro Audio Community

Avid Pro Audio Community

How to Join & Post  •  Community Terms of Use  •  Help Us Help You

Knowledge Base Search  •  Community Search  •  Learn & Support


Avid Home Page

Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Pro Tools Hardware > Pro Tools HDX & HD Native Systems (Mac)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-13-2022, 01:01 PM
Skytouch Skytouch is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 120
Default OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 and Omni HD PCIe card?

Greetings, has anyone tried running a PTHD Omni PCIe card in the new OWC ThunderBay Flex 8? Avid does not list this as compatible, hopefully because the unit has not been officially tested yet. I'm preparing to install this with an Apple Silicon Mac this summer, probably Mac Studio Max.

Thanks,
Sky
__________________
(Opinions are my own, etc.)

Mac Pro 6-Core 3.33, 24 GB RAM, AVID HD Native, Omni I/O, Pro Tools Ultimate 2018.4, OSX 10.13.6.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-13-2022, 01:21 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 16,145
Default Re: OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 and Omni HD PCIe card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skytouch View Post
Greetings, has anyone tried running a PTHD Omni PCIe card in the new OWC ThunderBay Flex 8? Avid does not list this as compatible, hopefully because the unit has not been officially tested yet. I'm preparing to install this with an Apple Silicon Mac this summer, probably Mac Studio Max.

Thanks,
Sky
Be careful what you are buying that OWC box for. It's not got great PCIe lane switch support, it's' clearly got a switch to enable the PCIe card support but on the storage side it has only one of the M.2/U.2 slots having the full 4x PCIe 3 lane connectivity, the other three M.2/U.2 slots have only one lane of PCIe 3 connectivity, if you want to write to drives in those slots you will only get 1/4 the raw bandwidth, and with U.2 and latest M.2 drives can use up their PCIe3 lanes. If all you want is SATA SSD then hopefully this dock will work well for that. But no way I'd use OWC SoftRAID. Just use as JBOD.

But interesting to see, I just wish they had done a smaller, M.2 only box, or maybe M.2 and PCIe card, with full lane switching capability to support all the M.2 cards.

If you are trying to get high-end storage performance I'd much rather go with a Sonnet III dock with official Native Card support (yes I know some folks still report problems) and add M.2 drives on PCIe adapter cards in the two free slots. That avoids the drives with only at most one PCIe lane connection problem. I'm not sure that U.2 (2.5" version of M.2 typically with more enterprise focused performance, wear life and cost goals) makes sense for typical audio applications (and OWC seem to be targeting video workflows with that).

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 05-13-2022 at 03:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-14-2022, 01:35 PM
Skytouch Skytouch is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 120
Default Re: OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 and Omni HD PCIe card?

Great feedback Darryl thanks. I don't need top PCIe performance but really like the idea of a single chassis to house dual production drives (SSD), dual Backup drives (HDD) and my Avid PCIe card. Not having several small chassis with wall warts on the desktop is a goal. I really think one PCIe lane per drive will be enough for all this, so having one NVMEe that supports multilane is a bonus.

Having solid Avid Omni performance is most critical. Otherwise, it may be time to replace the Omni with a more modern Type-C native interface.

I had planned to install sample libs internally on my upcoming Mac Studio, but realize that storing other general data internally may simplify file management. I've never used the Users/Documents folder in MacOS for my data hierachy, but this time I may set this up within the Documents folder so that Time Machine and iCloud are better integrated. Then one NVMe in the external enclosure can be for sample libs and the other for scratch recording. I would probably put the samples on the multilane and keep the DAW drive single lane - just a 1GB to record onto like blank tape until I wear it out (if this is possible). because my sessions are typically <50 tracks I've not overloaded even my 2010 Mac Pro.

Regards,
Sky
__________________
(Opinions are my own, etc.)

Mac Pro 6-Core 3.33, 24 GB RAM, AVID HD Native, Omni I/O, Pro Tools Ultimate 2018.4, OSX 10.13.6.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-14-2022, 03:14 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 16,145
Default Re: OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 and Omni HD PCIe card?

Gotcha. Sounds like a plan. I just wanted you to know. This Flex 8 is interesting packaging. Sure looks like OWC has been talking to video customers.

I'd guess that solid Omni performance is typically going to be using the Sonnet expansion bays, if for no other reason that is what most folks are using. (yes with some reports of problems). But somebody has to try new stuff. Did you try to ask OWC if they are working on testing with HD Native cards? Or Avid? Hopefully Avid will keep testing compatibility here with vendors and new products since they are so needed in the customer base. I would hope Avid would try to be responsive here or as you are considering folks are just going to keep ditching Digilink because its too much of a PITA.

My own bias is to put session folders/audio on the internal boot drive. There is nothing faster that you can connect than that internal drive and at these speeds there is no reason not to put everything, sessions and samples, on one drive (or dual internal drives if you have a 8TB Studio) if they will fit. It can be worth paying that apple tax for the internal storage if you want max performance (which you might not of course) or just the peace of mind of not having external storage that might be less reliable. Cables that can be bumped etc. (thanks Apple for never bothering to make locking Thunderbolt cable, when Sonnet delivered a nice lock solution years ago).

Since you mention iCloud. I would *not* share your desktop with iCloud if using Pro Tools. And if you are housing backup drives in that chassis, please remove them (or some of them) after backing up so they are out of way of danger/theft/accidents after the backups are done.

I'm hoping storage/peripheral vendors pay attention to Apple Studio Thunderbolt NVMe expansion. Relatively compact 2 to 4 way M.2 chassis with well done cooling fan and a nice internal switch (which all are missing today) would be very nice, ideally make them stackable/usable with multiple thunderbolt 3/4 ports. The cost of the switch chips (cough, thank you !@#$% Broadcom) is scaring off some vendors, I think they are making a mistake and suspect customers will pay for well done/higher end NVMe storage expansion.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-16-2022, 01:48 PM
Skytouch Skytouch is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 120
Default Re: OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 and Omni HD PCIe card?

All good advice. iCloud will never have my desktop and I'm undecided about other aspects of the User folder. My original plan has been to put sample libs on the internal drive - likely 4TB because the premium for 8TB is too high. My data footprint will easily fit into 4TB with larger backups and archives moved elsewhere.

I'll likely not record internally however, due to accelerated wear-and-tear with constant writing. My model has been to treat recording drives like spools of blank tape - use it until EOL then replace it. If Mac Studio had one accessible NVMe slot, I would certainly record onto this knowing it can be swapped. With this said, Mac Studio SSDs are slotted so replacing should be pretty easy for a certified shop.

Thanks again,
Sky
__________________
(Opinions are my own, etc.)

Mac Pro 6-Core 3.33, 24 GB RAM, AVID HD Native, Omni I/O, Pro Tools Ultimate 2018.4, OSX 10.13.6.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-08-2022, 10:36 AM
budster budster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 274
Default Re: OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 and Omni HD PCIe card?

I saw that chassis at Namm last weekend. They will be sending me a unit to test with both HDX and HD native cards with a new Mac Studio machine. Let's see what happens.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-08-2022, 10:47 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 16,145
Default Re: OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 and Omni HD PCIe card?

Quote:
Originally Posted by budster View Post
I saw that chassis at Namm last weekend. They will be sending me a unit to test with both HDX and HD native cards with a new Mac Studio machine. Let's see what happens.
Did they provide a PCIe 2 version mode to support those cards? ... what Sonnet had to do to get them to work because of poor PCIe implementation by Avid. And if they did does enabling that switch all the other PCIe lanes used for storage down to slow PCIe 2 speeds like it does on the Sonnet chassis?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-10-2022, 07:24 AM
budster budster is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 274
Default Re: OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 and Omni HD PCIe card?

I do not know. I'll have hopefully some answers once I receive the unit.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FS: HD Omni and HD Native PCIe card manichouse Buy & Sell 4 11-04-2017 06:33 AM
AVID HDX PCIe Card + HD Omni interface Jamie Mac Buy & Sell 1 09-20-2016 04:09 PM
FS: HD Omni + PCIe Native Card RaySoul Buy & Sell 24 03-17-2015 08:13 PM
FS: Digidesign Accel PCIE card + flex cable tripstation Buy & Sell 4 11-06-2014 01:38 AM
Pro Tools Accel PCIe Card w/Flex Cable acmost Buy & Sell 11 07-27-2012 06:05 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:45 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited. Forum Hosted By: URLJet.com