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Anyone add a CA-10 to a Core5 system for performance reasons?


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1 hour ago, cnicholson said:

It seems like C4 has a pretty efficient design and even a small controller would not face CPU pressure the vast majority of time.  It's just idling waiting for event driven requests and then dispatches those requests essentially immediately.   It's only for "batch" operations that you really notice the speed.

For the most part, this is correct.

The main differentiation between the CORE1 / 3 / 5 are the number of audio outputs, although with each output, more CPU is used for supporting independent streams on those outputs, so more CPU is required.  Of course, with larger form factor, we can also add more IR / RS232 / Contact/Relay, etc.

IMHO, CORE 3 and 5 are very similar in terms of what size system they'll support due to CPU / RAM.

That said, I think offering a controller for every situation is overkill personally, and I think 1/3/5/CA10 is not a bad lineup...

If I were a dealer, I would only install CORE5(s) / CA10 (if needed) all the way, because it simplifies inventory, makes for more straightforward rack mounting (full width), and limits having to worry about 'do we have enough X' (audio / IR / Serial / On-screens, etc.).  If it's overkill for some percentage of jobs, so be it.

RyanE

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1 hour ago, cnicholson said:

Agreed.  But, as a cynical capitalist, I suspect the real situation is that too much raw data would convince a lot of people that they should step DOWN to a cheaper product and not step UP to a more expensive one, which could be bad for business.   It seems like C4 has a pretty efficient design and even a small controller would not face CPU pressure the vast majority of time.  It's just idling waiting for event driven requests and then dispatches those requests essentially immediately.   It's only for "batch" operations that you really notice the speed.

CA10 seems like it is a niche product to begin with, but it would be ideal for me if they offered something (maybe call it a "Media-8" box) that did not run Director, but could be paired with a CA-series (no I/O or Media) box and offered more I/O and media performance/channels than the Core5 but at around the same price as a Core5.  But I don't expect them to further clutter the line-up just for edge cases.

 

I can't compare the Core5 and CA10, but, on our side, its generally fairly obvious when the system is underpowered. Often installers interpret it as remote composer being slow (or the customers internet), whereas it's actually because the controller isn't as fast as it should be.

 

Disregarding performance, CA10 is also good for customers who are willing to pay for added redundancy (and can avoid friday night phone calls), or customers who don't have easy access to a dealer. If its a multi-million dollar house (especially with controlled lighting), it would be silly for the customer not to be utilising a CA10 to improve the reliability of the system (with the right devices and network, its a huge benefit)

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I've gone from skeptic to convert.   CA-10 was spec'ed for me originally and I canceled it after Core5 was announced since no one could explain why I needed it.  I should have just gone for it.  

The absolute biggest difference is MQA audio quality.  The CA-10 seems to unfold the master file infinity ways and it's now like I am in the studio with the artists.  Kidding.  Kidding!  Sounds the same, but is snappier at starting streams and advancing songs (and adding zones).  And it's not like the Core5 was struggling before (maybe a bit tight on RAM?).  

On a serious note, in terms of redundancy, I imagine hardware failures are rare.  What would be really cool is if the Core5 (mostly twiddling its thumbs now) could serve as a true "hot spare" whereby it would takeover instantly (ish) based on like a 24 hour old backup in the event of any bricking of the CA-10 (due to hardware or software).  Probably non-trivial, but that's why the C4 engineers make the big bucks.  Make it happen! 😉

 

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3 hours ago, RyanE said:

I think Control4 trusts it's dealers with when to spec specific hardware.

Giving some kind of 'color' to it doesn't necessarily help, being every client and every dealer have different expectations of what works 'best', and every system is fairly unique.

Networking X # Touchscreens X 3rd party drivers X Lighting X Streaming Audio X  Remote Access X etc...

Change one requirement, the controller *may* merit an upgrade.

RyanE

I get it. But there has to be some way to offer some scenario based perf comparisons. That said I DID pick the C10 without much thought…

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5 hours ago, Andrew luecke said:

I can't compare the Core5 and CA10, but, on our side, its generally fairly obvious when the system is underpowered. Often installers interpret it as remote composer being slow (or the customers internet), whereas it's actually because the controller isn't as fast as it should be.

 

Disregarding performance, CA10 is also good for customers who are willing to pay for added redundancy (and can avoid friday night phone calls), or customers who don't have easy access to a dealer. If its a multi-million dollar house (especially with controlled lighting), it would be silly for the customer not to be utilising a CA10 to improve the reliability of the system (with the right devices and network, its a huge benefit)

Actually, I should actually add, drivers such as the ELK M1 V2 driver Explicitly detects if the unit is a Core/CA10, and optimises performance for it by doubling the connection speed. This improves recovery after a panel reboot / controller reboot. 

It's like a computer though, depends on the efficiency of the drivers you're going to run too.

Even recently, we've had huge performance gains in many of our drivers as an example (on most installs their not noticeable, but, it lets you push the boundaries a bit more if you're using a slow controller)

 

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  • 6 months later...
29 minutes ago, Topfox said:

Can you remove the rack ears from the CA-10? And do the network ports bridge so you are getting 2gb speed or are they truly fault tolerance only?

 

Thinking about picking one up. 

The ears can be removed if you want, the Ethernet ports are fault tolerant only. 

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