This article gives you a sense of the hardware specifications for Limecraft Edge 


Limecraft Edge is our signature processing tool for data handlers, DITs and edit assistants. It is responsible for the heavy lifting of audio-visual material, executing a range of more or less demanding tasks including audio sync, colour correction (processing LUTs), encoding of proxies and ingest. The objective is to prepare the material for editing, thereby automating as many steps as possible that would otherwise be manual.

Many users ask us what is the proper hardware to run Edge. The simple answer is: the more CPU power, the faster the processing. However, depending on the specific tasks that Edge needs to execute, you may require a different setup. This article roughly outlines the proportions.

Introduction

In general, Edge can be installed on Windows or on Apple OSx. Edge is freely available for download via Limecraft Flow, and to use it you'll need to get a valid license key via support@limecraft.com

As a rule of thumb, all common transcoding operations, like from ProRes to mp4 require 4 cores to run a single transcoding job in real time. Ingest operations, as far as restricted to the transfer of files, only require a proper network connection and don't substantially contribute to the CPU consumption. Memory usage is moderate.

More complicated input formats like image sequences (ARRIRAW or DPX), Sony SRMaster, XOCN or encrypted formats like RED will consume more and a graphics hardware accelerator is recommended to achieve maximum performance.

Some parallel operations, like modifying the frame rate or processing LUTs, will significantly increase the CPU consumption, so we need to take into account 2 cores on top for real-time processing. Other operations such as (de)multiplexing audio tracks, don't contribute to the CPU load.

Finally, when using checksum calculations before and after transfer jobs, we will take into account 2 cores per real-time job.

General requirements

In what follows, we assume you'll want to process material in real-time or faster. We therefore advise you to look for a solid workstation or server running Windows or Apple OS. The minimum number of CPU's or cores (3GHz or more) depends on the pipeline (see below), and we assume it can use at least 16GB of memory (ECC) and min 256 GB SSD drives for running the operating system and the application cache.

In case you have any questions about the sizing of Edge workstations depending on your specific requirements, please feel free to reach out using support@limecraft.com.

Hardware requirements per use case

Edge Personal Edition - in case Edge is used for backup, creating web proxies and transferring the material, it can run on a normal portable computer using the following minimum specifications.

  • Min 4 Core CPU
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD (for caching of transcoded versions)
  • Windows or Mac
  • USB 3/C or Thunderbolt for reading the source material

Edge Server Edition - in case Edge is used in post-production to process the backup and to create web and edit proxies (ProRes or DNx) in parallel, we recommend the following minimum specifications.

  • Min 8 Core CPU for transcoding
  • add two cores per complication (frame rate conversion, LUT's, MD5 hashing, watermarking,...)
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD (for caching of transcoded versions)
  • Windows or Mac
  • USB 3/C or Thunderbolt

Edge extra-large Edition - in case you want to use Edge for processing larger volumes, such as continuous drama (processing material coming from multiple studios in parallel) or reality shows (handling the output from a complex camera setup), we recommend to scale Edge accordingly.

  • Min 12+ Core CPU for transcoding
  • 32 GB RAM
  • 1 TB SSD (for caching of transcoded versions)
  • Windows or Mac
  • USB 3/C or Thunderbolt

When Edge is supposed to process RAW footage, we recommend adding a graphics accelerator

  • GPU (NVIDIA Geforce 900/1000-series,NVIDIA Quadro Mx000/Px000(with a minimum of 4GB RAM)