Matrox MXO2 MAX with Adobe CS5 and Avid MC5

There are some great discussions going on at the Avid User Community Forums about the MXO2 Mini and the what if anyhting the MAX technology can do for Avid editors. I'm going to share some of that here with you. For the full discussion, follow this link.

Just to clarify: the max would work fine with MC5, just without H.264 acceleration?

Correct. If you purchase the Mini with Max, it will function exactly like a standard mini with MC5. The MAX technology just gets ignored.

When you use other software such as Toast, Compressor or FCP you will get the benefit of the Max. If and when Matrox adds support for Sorenson, you may get some back door hooks through squeeze into your Avid for MAX.

Down the road when the full SDK is made available by Avid, you may see additional benefits from MAX with MC, but that is treading in speculative waters.

If you have it in your budget and you deliver content in H.264 it is worth your hard earned cash to step up to the MXO2 Mini w/ MAX.


Wayne Andrews the Matrox MXO2 Product Manager clarifies:


Max technology is available in Compressor, and Episode however it is not used inside Toast. The files created in Compressor for Blu Ray are compatible with Toast without the need for re-encoding. So you encode in Compressor with Max and the resulting file can be authored in Toast without re-encoding.

On the Mac, only Apple Compressor has the ability to use MAX for Blu Ray files. Episode does not use MAX for Blu Ray.

MAX is seen by the MAC O/S as a codec, so any application that "exposes" codecs will see MAX. FCP, AE, even QTP 7.x can encode using MAX. Those apps can only encode to .mov

Matrox has worked with Apple and Telestream to deliver H.264 files faster than realtime.

Matrox is completely integrated inside Apple Compressor for .mov (iPhone, Web, etc..) and .264 (Blu-Ray)

Telestream Episode can only export .mov files using MAX

Apple Compressor and Telestream Episode really make MAX shine.

Supported authoring applications for Blu Ray on the Mac are Toast, Adobe Encore and Compressor 3.5

On the PC Adobe Media Encoder (to encode), and Encore (CS5 - to encode and author) can use MAX to create Blu Ray files

Adobe Media Encoder, on the PC, can also produce .m4v (H.264) files for iPhone, Web etc...using MAX



I'm coming in a bit late on this thread, so forgive me if I'm covering something that's already been answered.

I'm not sure where anyone is getting the notion that the Mini with Adobe CS5 is equivalent to CS5 with a CUDA-enabled NVIDIA card. Wayne can correct me if I've missed something here, but I've run both the Mini with FCP and CS5 with an NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 (CUDA-enabled, qualified) card.

Adobe and NVIDIA have been very clear with me about what Mercury Playback engine is and isn't. First off Adobe defines their Mercury Playback Engine as equal parts 64-bit code, multi-core functions, tweaked code and CUDA hardware acceleration. You actually get plenty of Mercury benefits without any of the qualified cards, because Adobe has incorporated emulation via OpenGL. As an example, I can run native, raw, 4K REDCODE files in Premiere Pro CS5 on a 4K timeline at 1/2 resolution using my stock GeForce 120 card.

Specifically, CUDA is hardware acceleration using parallel on-board GPU processing (only certain cards) of about 30 effects, (scaling and specific effects filters) that have been re-coded for hardware acceleration, like the Ultra keyer. If you have one of the 5 or 6 qualified cards, hardware acceleration kicks in for real-time playback in Premiere Pro CS5 and it also kicks in for accelerated rendering.

AFAIK, there are no parallel multi-core chips inside the Mini - at least not in the CUDA sense. It's an I/O unit with built-in scaling for up/down/cross-conversions. If you have the optional MAX version, there's an extra hardware processor for accelerated encoding of H264. There's also a separate Matrox utility that can be used to playback video streams (like H264 web files) as a video signal through its output spigots.

So, I'm not sure how any of this equates to CUDA-like performance with either Premiere Pro CS5 or potentially Avid MC5. Wayne, am I wrong on any of this?

- Oliver

First I want to clarify something for all that read this thread, what is being discussed here is the Matrox RT engine that is only found on the PC and only for Adobe PPro, and what follows is for CS5. At NAB we announced and demo it. We will ship in June and only hardware with the MAX option will have the Matrox RT engine, some of us here are calling the MAX. This Matrox RT engine has been in development since 1999, when we worked on the RT2000, and have ported to, RT2500, RT.X100, RT.X10, RT.X2, AXIO and now the MXO2 family with MAX. (Oh and this also applies to Axio and RTX users for CS5)

As you know we've been partners with Adobe for many years and have excellent engineering teams here, and they know Adobe, I would say in my own opinion, better than any other 3rd party hardware manufacture because of our proven Matrox RT engine track record and loyal customers.

Now with Adobe going 64-bit, and getting access to more RAM, GPU co-processing, we too we're able to get even more. We have spent many engineering cycles optimizing the Matrox RT engine to make optimal use of the CPU and Memroy. Since it now runs in native 64 bit, all operations processed by Matrox RT really scream.

The main benefits of the RT technology are to provide efficient workflows using our High Quality Intermediate Codec as well as provide full resolution, full quality, full frame rate previews - ON PROFESSIONAL MONITORS.

Here are the main components to Matrox RT:

-Multilayer compositor (mixer)

-Adobe Native file processing acceleration.

-Matrox MPEG-2 I frame Intermediate codec. This high quality codec is optimized for use with Matrox RT rendering engine

-Matrox CPU video effects optimized for use with the multi-layer rendering engine including :

primary color correction
proc amp controls
color match and color balance
input/output level control
RGB curves control
secondary color correction
chroma and luma keying
speed changes
track matte
SD clip upscaling in an HD timeline
HD clip downscaling in an SD timeline
move & scale
native Adobe Premiere Pro effects and transitions
Adobe Motion effect

The five operations that the GPU can accelerate for CS5 according to Nvidia are:

-Overlays and compositing
-Chroma/Luma Keying
-Color Correction
-Picture in Picture Effect
-H.264 encoding

4 of the 5 GPU features are a sub-set of the Matrox RT engine, above

With GPU enabled processing full quality full frame rate, the Matrox RT engine runs about as fast as a high end Cuda GPU.

With a system with no GPU accelerations (no cuda), well we run much faster than the Mercury engine software only

The Matrox RT engine can run in parallel with GPU acceleration. This means you can professionally monitor a timeline with any effect applied on any clip. However it is important to note that all of the speed of GPU acceleration can be experienced with Matrox RT without the need of a specific GPU. Additionally, our color corrector is more professional than Adobe's (with or without GPU effects), we have a number of other effects that run very efficiently whose Adobe counterpart (if it exist) are not GPU accelerated and we have a very good intermediate codec with our MPEG-2 frame codec.

And the 5th thing NVidia has listed above with their GPU acceleration, is our MAX technology!

To recap;

The Matrox RT engine can run on any system of any specification (respecting CS5's minimum system reqs).

High-performance, uncertified GPU's (ATI) don't need to be replaced

Additional tools and workflows provided with Matrox RT to benefit any user (with or without certified GPU)

Plus we can run on a laptop

Thanks Oliver, and this post is not directed at you, its a post that took me a while to do..

First, because I didn't think it belong here, and debated even posting a response, hey this is Avid not Adobe after all

But, I thought that we need to educate those that are following this thread, with the correct information

So I apologize to Avid if I stepped over the line, it was not my intention to discuss Adobe on the Avid forum, but took the chance to answer, what has been a very hard thing to get your head around.

Our marketing and PC product manager are currently trying to make sense of what I just wrote above and tell it in a way all can understand

So stay tuned to the Matrox website to get the real scoop in a professional way.....Phew...that was a mouth full

Cheers everyone !!


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