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Computer Horsepower For Rbg

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For five years, I've run my LOR sequences on a (at the time) cheap $500 Intel Celeron laptop running Vista with 1Gig of RAM. All of my sequences were at most 4MB in size. It would take about a second to load a 4-minute song utilizing 200 channels.

Now I'm tinkering with RGB pixels. I've got plans for a 16x32 grid (512 pixels, 1536 channels). I'm creating the animations in LightShow Pro, exporting them to S2, loading them with LOR, cut and pasting them into a special track that was configured with the LSP exported order, yada, yada, yada, and I am saving the LOR file and trying to play it on xlights with the RGB channels mapped to an E681 controller.

With one test file, I had my original 200-channel sequence taking up 2.4MB. I added a minute of video on the matrix and it is now 94MB! The load time on my i7 desktop machine (with 16GB of RAM) is about 4 seconds. The Celeron coughs blood and dies.

BTW, I'm not playing directly with LSP because I've had all kinds of stability issues with the program and I'm happy just getting it to export my transitions into S2 format for now.

So, I'm curious as to what people are using to run their massive-channel RGB shows. I've ordered up a new desktop machine. i7 2600K with 16GB. This will be faster than my 1st-gen i7 machine. I'm just wondering if I double the number of channels again next year, whether this will be sufficient using xlights or do I need to plan on some other software solution.


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I'm running about 1700 pixels (5000 channels) with LOR using DMX this year. They are certainly not used near their potential, mainly just fades between various colors, etc. I have them connected to the PC with 10 Enttec Pro DMX adapters. So far things seem to be going well. My sequences are in the 40-60MB range.

They have been running fine with a Dual Core E5300, windows 7 32bit, and 4GB of RAM.

The show player loads them lightning quick (compared to S2) because of compressed sequences. The Sequencer takes forever to load/save of course.


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Ive upgraded my PC to a i7 3.4ghz 16gb system running LSP and about 5000 channels, the main reason for this was more to improve sequencing as working with 5000 channels at a time was a bit slow on my old 3ghz dual core. With most software the demands become more as features and usage increase so by adding your video to a 1536 channel grid would add demand, what will also add to the demand is how many timing marks you are using, so if you created a video and are trying to get 50ms refresh rate then that is 1200 timing marks over 1526 channels so that equates to 1843200 individual effects that need to be stored into memory and processed, so its no wonder why close timing marks and 1000s of channels greatly add to the load

Edited by ɟɐsʇǝppʎ

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Thanks, guys,

I'll first try 100ms refresh and see how that goes. I could go with 200ms if needed (16x32 isn't exactly high-def, so frame rate doesn't need to be spectacular either :) ).

Really,really wish LOR would get E1.31 in S3 so I can take advantage of the player speed.

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I've got a similarly sized show to dave in terms of pixels, but I'm using 2,250 - 2,800 timing marks per song. LSP died when trying to export those files to LOR. Ultimately I chopped my show up into 30 second clips, exported to LOR (which created 200 MB files of 30 seconds of sequence), did some script processing on them, converted to xlights format, and combined everything back together. It's painful, but it's doable.

I will be posting a complete workflow for how I did it this year. Unless the software improves dramatically in 2012, I'll be using the same workflow for next year!

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