AVoption|XL Requirements — Pro Tools|HD & HD Accel Requirements

With Pro Tools 6.1 & 6.2 for Windows XP Systems

Important Information:

  • AVoption|XL has unique compatibility requirements. If the information on this page appears to contradict information listed elsewhere in these Compatibility Documents, please adhere to the information listed on this page when configuring a system which includes AVoption|XL.

  • Pro Tools 6.3 for AVoption|V10 and all Pro Tools 6.4 and higher systems do not support AVoption|XL

  • For updated slot order information with the latest qualified configurations, refer to the AVoption|XL Guide in the Technical Document Library of the Support/Tech Support section of the website

  • For further compatibility information when used with Expanded Systems, see Supported Optional Expansion Chassis with Pro Tools 6.2 for Pro Tools|HD Systems for Windows XP in the Compatibility Documents.

Digidesign PCI Card and Hardware Supplied with System

  • Meridien Digital Media Board
  • Break Out Box with Analog Video I/O board installed

Digidesign Software Compatibility

  • Pro Tools 6.2 TDM software for Pro Tools|HD & Pro Tools|HD Accel systems on Windows XP
  • Pro Tools 6.1 TDM software for Pro Tools|HD systems on Windows XP
  • AVoption|XL Software (installer included on Pro Tools 6.1 and 6.2 installation CDs)
  • DigiTranslator 2.0 Included — More information on DigiTranslator

Required Hardware Components (not supplied)

  • Pro Tools|HD or Pro Tools|HD Accel system
  • SYNC I/O (firmware version 1.0.2 required)
  • For Video Storage: Only one SCSI card (described above) is required for both audio and video storage when 3:1 is the highest desired video quality, although Digidesign recommends a second SCSI card for optimum performance. When 2:1 or 1:1 (uncompressed) video resolutions are required, a second SCSI interface dedicated to video storage is required — namely, the ATTO ExpressPCI Ultra-3 LVD SCSI HBA card (EPCI-UL3D).

Optional Hardware

  • Serial Digital Interface - Optional interface that installs onto the Video I/O board installed in the Break Out Box. This interface gives AVoption|XL Serial Digital (SDI) input and output capabilities.

Optional Software

  • FilmFrame™ — Combined with AVoption|XL, FilmFrame supports import, editing and playback of 24P and 25P video clips created on Avid workstations. FilmFrame for Pro Tools 5.1.3 and Pro Tools 5.3.1 is included with new AVoption|XL purchases. Pro Tools 6.1 includes 24P/25P support in the application, and does not require a separate FilmFrame authorization.

Supported CPUs — Pro Tools|HD & HD Accel Systems

Click on above links for important information about each CPU.

*Discontinued. The Dell Precision Workstation 670 is currently undergoing qualification testing at Digidesign.
**Discontinued. Replaced by HP Workstation xw8000.

Hewlett-Packard HP Workstation xw8000

Digidesign has officially qualified two configurations of the the HP Workstation xw8000 for use with Pro Tools|HD and Pro Tools|HD Accel for both local use and with Avid Unity MediaNetwork. Qualified configurations are only available through Authorized Digidesign Dealers.

Some early models of the HP Workstation xw8000 manufactured before October 31st 2003 are incompatible with AVoption|XL, Pro Tools|HD and Pro Tools|HD Accel systems. To assure compatibility and to prevent possible damage to the Meridien card, be sure you are using a fully qualified HP xw8000 model that is purchased through an Authorized Digidesign Dealer.

System RAM Requirements

  • 512 MB minimum required
  • 1 GB (1024 MB) or higher highly recommended

1 GB or higher highly recommended for sessions with:

  • Large amounts of audio, large DSP engines, high edit density, or large DigiBase databases
  • Options like MachineControl and DigiTranslator 2.0

More RAM increases overall system and Pro Tools performance

Expansion Chassis (Optional)

Expansion chassis supported with the HP Workstation xw8000, Dell Precision 650, and IBM 6221 only

The Magma 7 slot 64-bit/33mhz rackmount chassis has been qualified by Digidesign with Pro Tools|HD and Pro Tools|HD Accel systems with the following computer models:

Click on the CPU links above for specific requirements and CPU slot order. Expansion chassis are not supported with the Compaq Evo Workstation W8000.

Drive Compatibility

  • Audio Drives: AVoption|XL can be configured with any audio drives qualified for use with Pro Tools|HD which can also pass an internal DMA test. Generally, when video drives and the Meridien Digital Media Board are on the same PCI bus it can pass an internal DMA test. Refer to the Pro Tools|HD v6.2 Hard Drive Minimum Requirements page for details on drives qualified for use with Pro Tools|HD.

  • Video Drives: Avid rS drives, iS Pro drives, iS Plus drives, Avid or DigiDrive MediaDock removable SCSI LVD drives, and DigiDrive standalone SCSI LVD drives are fully qualified.

  • About Firewire Drives: The Avid MediaDrive rS80 & DigiDrive FireWire 80 (as well as other Firewire drives) are not qualified for use with AVoption|XL. AVoption|XL require SCSI storage for recording and playback. However, you can use Firewire drives to back-up your video storage SCSI drives.

Maximum Performance Guidelines

Compatible Dual-Channel SCSI HBA card (see above)

Total System RAM: Minimum 512 MB, 1 GB or Higher Highly Recommended

Use one SCSI Channel for Pro Tools audio storage and the second SCSI channel for video storage. If Compression levels of 2:1 or 1:1 (uncompressed) is desired then a 2nd Compatible Dual-Channel LVD SCSI HBA card is required and video storage should be connected to this controller.

Additional Notes

AVoption|XL supports "plug and play" compatibility with many Avid systems. When "inheriting" a drive containing audio and video data from an Avid system, we recommend you connect this drive to the SCSI channel dedicated to video storage. There is no need to copy the audio data from such a drive to your dedicated audio drives, however we recommend that you not record any additional audio tracks onto this drive.

Virtually all the testing for AVoption|XL was done with a baseline of 48 tracks of 24- bit/48k audio and one stream of uncompressed video data (record and/or playback). These test configurations generally included one drive for every 16 tracks of audio. One way to achieve higher track counts is to dedicate more drives to the audio tracks.

On a supported configuration, you should be able to easily achieve this performance baseline, even with a high degree of edit density on each track. The higher the edit density, the more heavily taxed will be the storage subsystem.

You may find much better results than this baseline, since Digidesign's performance tests are designed to stress the storage subsystem more heavily than the average "real world" usage.

There are other possible steps that can be taken to maximize the performance of a Pro Tools system with AVoption|XL. For more information, refer to the AVoption|XL Guide in the Technical Document Library of the Support/Tech Support section of the website.

Digidesign Compatibility Documents Index