Mistika Ultima Configurations

Mistika Ultima is a turnkey all-in-one post production system 


As a difference to other Mistika products,  Mistika Ultima is provided as a turnkey solution including all the important aspects:  Software, hardware, storage, and high speed connections to collaborate with  other systems. It is global solution fully configured and pre-tested by SGO, and specifically for the client workflows. 

Mistika Ultima systems are designed for maximum performance when sharing realtime uncompressed formats between multipe systems.

Mistika Ultima sytems are designed to ingest camera raw formats and then serve all the content to VFX and other systems by using uncompressed standard formats at very high speeds (up to 128 Gb. S.A.N. connection per system), while also providing the backbone for conform, color gading, finishing and the creation of final deliveries within the same application. 

The traditional alternatively method by using compressed codecs for intermediate renders or for communication between different applications degrades the data on each compression generation, which is a noticeable problem in complex productions structured in multiple stages. Unfortunately this method is commonly used to save costs in solid state storage and other expensive devices like fibre channel switches typically needed when working with uncompressed formats.

As a difference, Mistika Ultima infrastructures solve the cost barrier by being able to use traditional magnetic drives (3.5" 7.2k rpm) providing the best cost per terabyte (by far), while still being able to support up to 8K 60p uncompressed playbacks thanks to advanced optimizations and native QOS priority for playbacks.  

In many cases high speed realtime connections can also be provided without the need for expensive fibre channel switches and other expensive proprietary hardware, thus eliminating the cost barrier to achieve top quality uncompressed, uncompromised, cost effective workflows.

These systems are built for the purpose, so they do not have predefined specifications:

1- First the client  provides a description of the workflow to accomplish, including camera formats to use, realtime needs, displays to use, storage size, etc.  (please send a description to your sales representative  or open a support ticket).  

2- Then our engineers will talk with the client to define the exact hardware and software specs to achieve the requirements of the project, and the client will receive an economical proposal  

As a result it is not possible to provide detailed hardware specs in advance, but these are the basic guidelines. 

Please note that the mentioned realtime capabilities of Mistika Ultima are only warranted for turnkey systems provided by SGO, including the Mistika workstation and the Mistika storage.

Mistika Ultima reference configurations

OS: CentOS 7.4 or CentOS 7.8 (needs to be installed with Mistika Installation iso)

Workstation:  Mistika workstations are the result of multiple collaborations with hardware manufacturers such as NVIDIA, Hp, Supermicro, Atto, Aja, Tangent, and other manufacturers for which SGO maintains direct contact with their engineering teams. This permits to maintain the integrity of the support chain with all component manufacturers and to offer future proof compatibility and maximum optimizations, as they are also the models used by our developers and support team

The exact specifications are built for the purpose of each client, but we can offer some generic guidelines:

All the Mistika processing is made in the GPU, but the decoding and encoding of media files may need intensive use of CPUs depending on the codec.  These are typical specifications that we use:


NVIDIA RTX A5000 - This GPU is considered the sweet spot in terms of performance / cost ratio for high end systems.  

NVIDIA RTX A6000 - Recommended for very complex timelines requiring a lot of memory.  It is a bit faster than A5000,  and provides double amount of memory 

2nd GPU: For background rendering and Mistika Totem function (both GPUs rendering the same clip). It does not need to be the same model as the first GPU, but they need to be supported by the same NVidia driver version. It also requires a high end power supply, and up to double amount of RAM to get full advantage of both GPUs.


Dual Xeon or Threadripper Pro:  Total 32 Cores / 64 Threads are  recommended for for scenes with multiple compressed layers or for single layer of  CPU intensive codecs like J2K / DCP,  XAVC, EXR compressed, etc .  Also recommended for dual GPU systems in general. 

Other options are possible depending on the workflow.


128 GB for complex multi-layer 4K workflows, or simple 8K scenes. 

256 GB are recommended for complex 8K and beyond 

Note that RAM requirements are very related with the number of cores and the number of frames that are processed in parallel.  In some cases, processing double number of frames in parallel may require double amount of RAM  


GUI Interface:  

Minimum: 1 monitor x 1920x1080.  Recommended: 2 monitors x 1920x1200 ( plus a reference display connected to the Aja board).

Note: 4K GUI monitors are also supported, although they are only recommended is special cases (these systems are designed to send the high resolution images to a external reference display, not to watch them in the GUI)

Video boards


Aja KONA 4: Up to 2 x 2K (2K Stereo3D)  or 1 x 4K / UHD 60p (YUV422 10bit and RGB444 10bit)

Aja KONA 5: Same as previous models, plus 4K Stereo3D (dual 12G) and 8K (quad 12G ):  Up to 8K 60p 10 bit uncompressed (8K realtime when used with specialised Mistika Storage only). 

Note: The KONA 5  8K requires special firmware and additional hardware/software options. Currently the KONA 5 boards are only supported when provided by SGO on Mistika Ultima turnkey systems. 

Kona5 also supports 8K capture and playout from/to Panasonic 8K VTRs.

Support RGB444 10bit modes up to 4K.

Support YUV422 10bit modes  up to 8K 60p, also 4K stereo3D dual link.

Supported color panels:

Tangent CP200  (legacy panels, but still supported) 

Tangent Ripple2, Wave and Wave2  (recommended for laptops)

Tangent Elements (recommended by default, compact desktop solution)

Tangent Arc (Recommended for high end dedicated color grading suites)

Precision panel (Recommended for high end dedicated color grading suites) 

Mistika-Storage (main reference models and their performance with uncompressed formats):  

Mistika-Storage-12. 12 disks 3.5" raid6 protected:  Realtime uncompressed formats:   UHD 60p 10bit, 4K DPX 444 10 bit 24p.  

Mistika-Storage-24. 24 disks 3.5" raid6 protected:  Realtime uncompressed formats:  2 x 4K 24p , UHD 60p

Mistika-Storage-36 36 disks 3.5" raid6 protected: 4K Tiff16 24p (DCDM), EXR 16bit uncompressed 24p. 2 x 4K 24p, 2 x UHD 60p, the 4K streams can be shared between 2 systems.

Mistika-Storage-48 48 disks 3.5" raid6 protected: 8K 60p 10b uncompressed, or 3 x 4K streams

Mistika-Storage-96  96 disks 3.5" raid6 protected:   Ultimate performance for 8K 60p 10b, or to share several 4K uncompressed streams  between  several systems.

Mistika-NVMe:  NVMe storage ( up to 16 NVMe drives with external front panel access) . Support all realtime uncompressed formats up to 8K 60p 10b uncompressed. Recommended for portable systems or standalone systems not needing a lot of storage space, and also for workflows requiring instant ingest and delivery. For example, the extreme speed of these drives permit to insert an NVMe drive and work directly with its content in realtime without the need for an ingest process, and same about production deliveries such as sending and receiving footage to VFX houses.

Note: The above realtime performance numbers are only warranted in Mistika storage units provided by SGO.  Mistika storage is extremely fine tuned for Mistika software, and in general it has demonstrated to provide more than double performance for this application than other storage manufacturers, even when using identical storage hardware.

Note: In general Mistika-Storage can be shared with the above speeds between multiple systems, as long as the number of disks is multiplied by the number of systems. There are also high speed connectivity options as per next point.

Realtime filesystems and connectivity options

XFS: For standalone systems, up to 4K 60p. 

SGO OEM SN6 SAN: For SAN storage shared  between different systems, up to UHD stereo and  8K 60p realtime performance with Mistika uncompressed  files.  

Connectivity options:  This is an important aspect to consider. The extreme speeds of Mistika-Storage combined with the QOS option and wide range of connectivity options makes Mistika-Storage the ideal central storage for the whole production.  Or it can start as a small local storage for a standalone system and then evolve into a dedicated NAS / SAN infrastructure over the time. 

For standalone systems, the storage is connected  in DAS mode (Direct Attached Storage) to the Mistika workstation, which can also  share it  trough NFS and Samba with other linux, windows, and mac systems (2 x10Gb ports are normally provided by default).  

Next stage is to add a dedicated Mistika Storage Server and move the previous DAS storage to it. In this way the storage availability does not depend on the Mistika workstation anymore (or only as a failover option)  and it  permits to add high speed connections for more systems.  The Mistika Storage Server can provide the following high speed connections, mainly for realtime purposes:

Mistika Storage server connections:

- Fibre channel 32G: Up to 8K 60p 10b uncompressed (requires 3x32G ports). Supported Clients: Windows, Linux . Supports up to 128Gb per system (4x32G). 

- 10 Gb ethernet: Up to 2K Stereo3D uncompressed.  4K / 8K compressed formats. Supported Clients: Windows, Mac, Linux

- Optional: Mistika-Storage QOS:  To prioritize access to realtime systems over non realtime connections. This option permits to prioritize Mistika systems while they are doing playbacks and instantly release reserved bandwidth when no more playbacks are happening. This permits to avoid the expensive need for over-provisioning storage bandwidth.