[AG-TECH] New hardware specification for AG 2.0?

Jon Johansson jon.johansson at ualberta.ca
Tue Feb 18 16:44:57 CST 2003


We have finally got some money to buy hardware for an AG Room
and I am now wondering whether the Access Grid Hardware Specification
is going to change for AG 2.0. I know that several groups have 
got nodes working with 2 computers (one for display and control, and 
the other for both audio and video capture), is this going to become
the new specification? This question is motivated by my interest in
buying pieces, installing software and, as much as possible, having
it work through the change from AG1 to AG2.

We are considering the following hardware: 

   Display computer:	dual Xeon - 1 GB Ram
                        Matrox G450 Dual Head AGP Graphics Adapter
                        Matrox G200 Quad PCI Graphics Adapter
   Video Cap computer:	dual Xeon - 1 GB Ram
                        Hauppauge video capture adapters x4
   Audio Cap computer:	single Xeon - 512 MB Ram
                        Creative Ensoniq AudioPCI Audio Adapter x4
   Control computer:	single Xeon - 512 MB Ram

All computers have Ethernet and ATI RAGE XL 8MB video on the motherboards
and IDE drives. 

I am particularly interested in audio and video capture cards with multiple
inputs, are there any that people are finding usable? These seem to be 
necessary if you are going to reduce the number of PCI slots available
by reducing the number of computers.
The CPU usage on the capture computers must depend on how much processing
is done in the capture cards, are there multi-input capture cards that
will leave little for the CPU to do in terms of encoding?

Are there alternatives to the Matrox graphics cards that are cheaper/

The AG specification gives a price for the Matrox G450 Dual Head AGP 
Graphics Adapter of $200. When I go to the Matrox website the G450 cards
seem to be PCI now and the prices are $600US for the dual head and $800 US
for the quad head. Matrox doesn't seem to be selling the AGP cards anymore.
Are these PCI cards acceptable for driving the displays? 
Are there alternative AGP graphics cards that would be suitable?

Thank you,
Jon Johansson.

Jon I Johansson             *  Research Computing Support
jon.johansson at ualberta.ca   *  Computing and Network Services
Tel.: (780) 492-9304        *  University of Alberta
Fax.: (780) 492-1729        *  Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA

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