A First Look at AMD’s Threadripper Pro in Lenovo’s ThinkStation P620

AMD’s Threadripper line of processors has been available for High-End Desktop users since August 2017.  They compete with Intel’s Core-X lineup, for users who want higher performance, quad channel memory, and more cores than gaming focused systems.  And during the last three years, numerous smaller vendors have sold Threadripper based desktop systems as “workstations” due to their high performance.  But in July, AMD announced their Threadripper PRO lineup, which brings a number of new professional features to the Threadripper lineup, making them more comparable, (but far more powerful and flexible) to Intel’s Xeon-W line of processors.  These new features include double the overall memory bandwidth at 8 channels, twice as many PCIe 4.0 lanes at 128, as well as a number of enterprise level security and system management features, branded AMD PRO Security.  Currently AMDs Threadripper PRO line of chips is only available in Lenovo workstations.
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Testing Dell’s Newest HDR1000 Monitor

Dell sent me their newest top-end HDR monitor to test out.  The UP3221Q is an HDR1000 certified 31.5 inch UHD display, with 1000 nits of Brightness, displaying images from HDMI, DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt inputs. It can display both HLG and HDR10 PQ content, and has a built in colorimeter for precise calibration.  The backlight is composed of over 2000 independently controllable mini-LEDs (or dimming zones) to control the brightness in different areas of the screen, allowing higher overall contrast.  This feature is what sets this five thousand dollar monitor apart from other lower budget HDR displays.  Its true 10bit IPS panel claims to cover 99.8% of the DCI-P3 spectrum, and 83% of the BT.2020 spectrum.
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KB Covers Overlays for the Loupedeck+ Console

It has been a year since I posted my in-depth review of the Loupedeck+ Console.  One of my main issues with the unit, was that it was too difficult to keep track of all of the functions it was capable of, in the various applications that it supported.  I had created paper overlays to label the functions for each application, and I shared that process in my review.  Since then, I have been working with the guys at KB Covers to create a more polished solution, with well labeled plastic overlays, that we can market to other users as well.  That product is finally available for purchase, and can be found here.
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Canon HDR Reference Displays

I was recently given the opportunity to review Canon’s DP-V3120 4K HDR display.  This model is a significant step up from the HP Z31x Dreamcolor and Dell UP3218K monitors I have tested in the past, and the five digit price tag reflects that difference.  At a list price of $32K, the 31″ display is not in everyone’s budget, but that is not more than a high end SDR reference monitor’s cost a few years ago.  It is the top end model in Canon’s line of HDR reference displays, but there are 24″ and 17″ options that offer many of the same features at a significantly lower price point.  It is a reference display, not a computer monitor, and while that distinction has been shrinking for awhile, with the common factor of HDMI connections, this unit’s features are a perfect illustration of the differences that remain.  I have used a computer monitor as a reference display many times, especially in the case of the original Dreamcolor on the set of Act of Valor, connected directly to the camera.  But a proper professional reference display has a number of features that computer monitors do not.
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Adobe MAX 2020

Mike McCarthy   October 20, 2020   No Comments on Adobe MAX 2020

Adobe MAX was held online this year, just like most other annual conferences have been in 2020.  It was also offered for free, a vast departure from previous years, but Adobe has tried to preserve as much of the experience as possible in the new online form.  The schedule is similar to past years, kicking off with a big keynote presentation of what Adobe’s product teams have been developing over the past year, hosted by Conan O’Brian.  Continue reading

NVidia GTC Fall 2020

I usually attend GTC in San Jose during the spring, and that was interrupted this year by Covid-19.  Instead, I watched a couple of sessions online, in what was most decidedly not a replacement for the real thing.  This fall, NVidia normally would have been putting on GTC Europe, but instead made it a global event, since it was online anyway.  As a global event, the sessions are scheduled at all hours, depending on where in the world the presenters or target audience are.  (Tagline: “Innovation never sleeps”)  Fortunately, the sessions that were scheduled at 2 or 3am were recorded, so I could watch them at more convenient times, albeit without being able to ask questions.
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Professional GPUs Announced at GTC

NVidia is hosting another online GTC conference this week, to coincide with the launch of their new professional Ampere generation GPUs. These are professional variants of the chips that are in the GeForce 30 series cards that were launched last month. They appear to enable the last few shaders on the GA102 chip, and at 48GB, have twice the memory of the GeForce 3090.
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NVidia Ampere for Creatives – GeForce 3090

NVidia is releasing an updated generation of GeForce video cards based on their new Ampere architecture. NVidia also shared a number of new software developments they have been working on. Some are available now, and others are coming soon. The first three cards in the GeForce RTX 30-Series are the 3070, 3080, and 3090. The cards have varying numbers and CUDA cores and amounts of video memory, but strongly outperform the cards they are replacing. They all support the PCIe 4.0 bus standard, for greater bandwidth to the host system. They also support HDMI 2.1 output, to drive displays at 8Kp60 with a single cable, and can encode and decode at 8K resolutions. I have had the opportunity to try out the new GeForce RTX 3090 in my system, and am excited by the potential that it brings to the table.
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Seeing HDR through the AJA Kona 5

AJA’s KONA 5 I/O card has been available for two years, and is the most recent in a long line of PCI expansion cards offering professional video interfaces for a variety of applications. While the card isn’t new, capabilities continue to be added to it through various software developments and firmware releases. The most recent of which is Adobe’s support of the KONA 5 as one of the few ways to monitor HDR content in Premiere Pro, over either SDI or HDMI. With this update, many Premiere editors are going to have the opportunity to edit and view HDR content directly from their timelines on HDR displays for the first time. This will require an understanding on various new technologies and settings to get the best results for HDR workflows, which I intend to cover as thoroughly as possible here, as I work my way through covering the KONA card’s options and settings.
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Premiere Pro editor’s guide to HDR workflows

The newest release of Premiere Pro 14.4 includes support for HDR editing.  Technically, HDR has been supported in Premiere Pro since 2015, but only if you were using OpenEXR frame sequences, and with other severe limitations.  This release finally includes a fully developed workflow for editing and finishing projects in HDR.  The most important piece of that puzzle, is that image processing is no longer only being computed in the Rec.709 color space.  Premiere correctly understands various color space formats, and can process them correctly.  The interpret footage dialog box now has a color management section, where users can choose between Rec.601, Rec.709, Rec.2020, Rec.2100 HLG, and Rec.2100 PQ, and there is an option to assign input LUTs to source footage as well.
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