I decided to share with you some tips and tricks that you just should know to make this powerful app working smooth, fast and fault free.
Just at beginning I would like to appolise for any mistakes in my english :)
This covers all versions since 3.1 up to 4.5 Colorproof XF and Fiery XF.
EFI XF is an advanced and powerful RIP but like every Windows or Mac app it depends on OS laws. SO whatever happens to your PC will infect XF as well. It also means that your PC configuration and OS type will affect XF speed and stability. So lets start from scratch....
1. PC setup
EFI XF theoretically should runs on every PC. But if you would like to make it really damn fast you should take care off few things:
- CPU should be multicore, every core will make separate RIPing process, Intel Core 2 Duo 2,5 Ghz will be enouth to make proofs on small Epsons like 4880. I would suggest i5 or i7 type CPUs.
Remember, every core enables another process line.
Best results can be acheived with Intel Xeons, so if you have large format printer I would suggest to invest on this.
- RAM should be fast, as fast as your motherboard can work with, 4 GB is minimum, 8 GB is recommended
- Motherboard just needs to take care of such equipment :) But still I would suggest to look for ones with SATA 3 support and fast RAM support. I found that boards designed for gamers work best and if your're going to have Xeon then you should look for some server type boards.
- HDDs should be 3 of them, 2 of them SATA 3, 7200rpm and 500GB at least, and one SSD for system and XF Server main files.
- Graphic card is actually important... Since 4.0 XF has Performance Option which uses CUDA technology designed by Nvidia to use GPU power for RIPing. Improvement is really big and it starts with cheap Geforce 8400GS cards. Best result can be achieved with Quadro cards. I suggest to check nvidia.com for CUDA support before you buy anything.
- OS Ic would suggest Windows 7 x64 Home Premium or better or if you mac then choice is yours :)
XP is not a good option... it doesn't support more than 2 separate processes. 32bit systems uses only around 3.2 GB RAM
I builded PC like this with total cost around 1500 EUR but you can built it with Dell as wel if you want.
Versions older than 4.0 should be isntalled on the faster HDD that you have, because its structure is unified in one folder. Since 4.0 main XF files are always installed in C:\Documents and settings or C:\ProgramData whatever what folder you choose on installation. I suggest to install it in default folder and after installation change job and process folder to different drives.
After installation I would suggest to stop automatic OS updates. It happened many times that some of those fixes killed Server process
!This is important! Antivirus and firewall softwares can smash your XF! I saw it many times, some of those apps are too good and delete XF_server.exe without any notification. Sometimes even if whole XF folders are added to exclusions those apps blocks XF anyway. For sure it is not recommended to use ESET NOD32, Kasperky is annoing with all those action taken confirmation (this can mess up your XF because it writes all the time in its files) Norton products work but it happened few times that after update connection between client and server can't be establised (then uninstall Norton and install again, selecting exclusions will not help)
Lets go deeply to XF files
As I mention since 4.0 main files are always on drive C: and the rest goes to the place you select at installation. Most important thing is Tickets folder which keeps all user, workflows and output devices settings as well as job informations. This folder can be found in c:\programdat\a\EFI\Server (win7 x64) and c:\documents and settings\all users\application data\efi (win xp). before 4.0 everything was in one folder in c:\program files\efi
In tickets folder look for sys0000.xml This file has all directions to XF folders, when you are using multi HDD configuation I suggest to go to this file and change jobs, process and preview folder to different drive than c: For 4.5 EFI made additional tool that allows to change those folders in more civilized way than messing with xml file. Look for it in system manager menus.
3. Work on RIP
Well.. this is all up to you :) I don't want suggest anything. Only thing that you should checkout is in Workflow/RIP resolution. You don't need to set it up for high quality all the time, if your device runs around 360dpi high quality will not change anything, it will just make XF slower.
4. XF rescue
XF can crash as any app. It can happen after sudden power loss, unsupported OS updates or aggresive security software. It is important to back it up when you have all set up and profiled. First of all start with internal backup tool in system manager / menu file / backup. This will keep all workflows and output devices together with profiles in one file. in most cases its all you need.
Sometimes XF backup doesn't help... It can get corrupted, don't know really why... but I suggest to make manual backups as well. First of all backup Tickets folder and Profiles folder from main Server folder in drive c: Then backup whole EFI Media Profiles folder which is installed in place which you pick up at the installation. Always do it after you set up everything.
Sometimes XF server would not start at all. XF control icon is red all the time and when you press XF server start nothing happens and the icon is still red it means that sys0000.xml is broken All you have to do is replace it with the one from manual backup.
Sometimes Client comes with error: "User name is invalid" Thats because of corruption in usr_0000.xml which keeps admin user data. Just replace it from manual backup.
Keeps those things in minds because sometimes complete reinstallation is not an option.
I've seen it few times that automatic backup and manual can have corrupted xmls. If so install XF as fresh installation and then configure again sys0000.xml and restore other files manually from manual backup.
This is quite basic things... but it make your XF run fast and stable but still be aware that it can blow up just day by day.
Sorry for more PC support.... Mac versions just have less issues :) and they work fine on most latest mac configurations.
If you still struggle with your PC you can invest on EFI XF ProServer which comes with legal key and lot of options, configuration has been checked for stability by the producer and its reeeeaaaaallllly fast! :) Almost as much fast as configuration that I recommend
If you have any questions don't hasitate to ask
Look out for my next thread regarding profiloing in XF!
And don't forget the say 'thanks'