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Old July 5th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #16
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz (Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and FCS2 Working)

Cheers Vincent!

Just a quick update for others that may tread this route.

Spent all day loading and updating. I ended up at 10.6.8 (as the "Mac OSX Combined Utility" software update took me straight to that version from the 10.6.3 I loaded off the software disk). I was not expecting it to do that but, in the end I thought, what the heck, I might as well try it out. The worst case scenario would be I just wipe the HDD and start again.

Once I was satisfied I'd got the OS "plateaued" with all the very latest OSX, Java, Flash etc. updates etc., I then loaded FCS2 off all the discs. That was with FCP 6.0.1 and again, via a load of software updates, I got that to FCP 6.0.6 and all the other "Pro tools" updates etc. by mid-afternoon.

Then I installed QuickTime 7.6.6 (off the Snow Leopard disc) and made sure that worked as expected and set it as the default player etc.

So, feeling brave, I opened a 2 year old FCP document in a project I'd left on the RAID 0 discs. I had to do about 5 minutes of re-rendering of the timeline (some red bars) and then I tried exporting a 1080p QuickTime movie using my typical custom settings and.... SO FAR everything has been flawless!!!!!

I will say rendering is slow as molasses compared to Adobe CS 5.5.2 (I sometime forget just how dramatic a change that's been over the last 7-8 months - so much better!!!)

I'll do a bit testing with Final Cut projects and tasks the next few days and then, if all looks promising (no kernel panics, beach balls etc. etc.) I'll start loading Adobe CS 5.5.2 Production Premium and a few other Apps and test all that out.

Looks like a good start to my Phase 2 (get an OS capable of running a NVIDIA graphics card with CUDA support). If this carries on well then I'll be ordering that new graphics card sooner rather than later.

Right, hot evening, successful day, suns out (rare this year). I'm off to have a beer or two!
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Old July 6th, 2012, 10:49 AM   #17
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz - Snow Leopard and FCS2

Another update - Still looking good!

After another day of loading back software/watching progress bars/updating all the latest patches I've now got Adobe CS 5.5.2 running nicely (as judged by some recent projects I've just tried re-opening etc.). A few more brief tests on opening legacy FCP projects indicates everything is looking good with FCS2 too. I still need to do some tests on Compressor, DVDSP etc. through [but if they screw up I'm no so bothered as I now use Adobe for most of my encoding etc. anyway, as it's so much faster than the FCS2 equivalent applications]. If needed, I have FCS2 on my MBP which is still on Leopard and running just fine anyway.

I've also been pleased to find that a number of my other applications (lots of non-NLE stuff - like my website authoring software, direct CD printing software, various network printers and scanners etc.) all work just fine in Snow Leopard/were very easy to set-up again.

More NLE testing the next few days. Then, once I'm happy that "all is wonderful", I'll make a new back-up Disk Image and that'll go in the safe. Then if anything ever goes horribly wrong with my OS X set-up I can just go back to that within minutes.

Looks like I'll be ordering that NVIDIA card early next week then! Can't wait to further leverage the effects boost that will give me with CS 5.5.2. (which in truth is running very snappily already).

Once I've got that all working well, then I'll have reached my 3 year old Mac Pro updating goal. I should have a nice stable, even faster editing system, yet it'll still have all the legacy flexibility I need too. Then I can "lock it down" for another few years and get back to proper work!!!!

A few months down the road, about the only other thing I might consider would be to move up to CS 6, of course. However, I'm still reading about lots of worrying issues on the Adobe forum (and it seems to me that it is especially Mac users that are having problems). I'll not rush that next step - I'm sure Adobe will be working hard to fix the bugs and it'll all be sorted soon.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 07:56 AM   #18
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz (Snow Leopard and ATI 4870 Jerky HD Video Playback)

OK, now I've had a day or so testing I've come up against a big problem which has caused me to revert back to 10.5.8.

Despite the ONLY differences between both my boot disks being the OS X version (10.5.8 or 10.6.8), all other software being the same (and fully up to date in both cases), I'm experiencing jerky video playback in the viewer/canvas of CS 5.5.2 in 10.6.8, which is especially noticeable on any panning shots etc. However, the exact same clips give butter smooth playback in a CS 5.5.2 project running in 10.5.8. Both when set to Full Resolution (setting it lower has no benefit anyway).

This is with 1080p50 28Mbps AVCHD (from TM900) and 1080p25 XCDAM 35Mbps VBR (EX3) raw footage on my internal RAID 0 (I've not tested 7D H.264 clips yet - it's still early days).

I've triple checked everything is the same in the projects (preferences, settings, render file locations, cleaned my media cache and re-rendered etc.) but it's always the same result. I can get everything to run beautifully and smooth with CS 5.5.2 in 10.5.8 (it's a real joy) but I get jerky playback in 10.6.8 (which is a real pain!)

This is with either OS version's HDD slotted directly into Bay 1 of the Mac Pro, i.e. not comparing them with one docked in the FW800 Icy Box dock by the way. I can boot from either easily with one HDD in the dock but wanted to eliminate any difference when analysing this.

So I'm now stumped!!!

I keep thinking it must be a setting I've overlooked but, like I said, I've triple checked and I can't work it out. I'll keep working on it for as long as I can. However, I certainly don't feel like spending a lot of dosh on a new NVIDIA Quadro 4000 PNY Graphics card that will only run in 10.6.8 or above until I understand why this is happening. My worst fear is that I spend that money and end up with a system that is worse to use than my existing butter smooth 10.5.8/ATI 4870 system! After all, the GPU acceleration from CUDA is not (as far as I understand it) going to affect HD video playback or indeed reduce final render times (as those are CPU dependent - but I'm no expert in all this). What it will do is use CUDA to render out effects on the timeline faster...(please correct me if I've miss-understood this). Generally, I'm pretty pleased with how fast my system works anyway with CS 5.5.2 under 10.5.8 - but we always want more don't we!

By the way, in case it might be important, the 10.6.8 OS version also has QuickTime 7.6.6 installed, as well as QTX of course (the QT7 is the optional download directly off the Apple OS X Snow Leopard disc). This was installed before I put CS 5.5.2 on the drive as I wanted the QuickTime Pro features that you get with FCS2 also installed.

Anyone got any ideas as to why this might be happening? I'm trawling all the Apple/Adobe etc. forums I can find and tried a few other things but so far have drawn a complete blank as to why the same hardware is giving me such a difference in performance between Leopard and Snow Leopard.
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Old July 9th, 2012, 03:05 PM   #19
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz Snow Leopard and ATI 4870 Problem

OK, I had another go at this today.

Completely wiped the Snow Leopard system I've been building/trouble shooting the last few days on that spare HDD and did a completely new fresh install of Snow Leopard 10.6.3, then updated everything to 10.6.8. and made sure there were no further updates needed (lots of restarts but got that done in about 90 minutes).

Then installed CS 5.5.1 Production Premium and updated that to 5.5.2 after another restart (about another hour).

I did not install anything else.

Opened a new Prem Pro AVCHD2 (1080p50) project and basically set everything thing up at the factory defaults. Imported some 1080p50 clips and rendered the timeline so it was all green bar at the top. Bad news. They still stutter/give choppy playback in the Program/Canvas Viewer on my second monitor.

I've got work to do so this evening I pulled the drive and swapped back in my superbly smooth running 10.5.8. All is well again. I've started a new project with those very same clips used for the test today and it's all performing perfect.

I've spent about 5 days at this so now I give up. It seems my 2.66Ghz 8-Core Nehalem Model 4.1 Mac Pro with ATI 4870 graphics card and 32GB of RAM cannot run as well under Snow Leopard as it can under Leopard. I have NO IDEA why not, which makes me feel well out of my comfort zone, but I can't risk £700 odd on a new CUDA graphics card with this unknown issue lurking. I'm very techie and a superb problem solver but I can't work this one out!

Ah well, apart from a £26 SL disc that's good money I've not wasted that can go towards a 5DMkIII/Sony A99/FS700/C300 (insert camera model of choice - depending upon how rich I feel when I eventually get round to buying another one!)

Heck for £700 odd I'm well on the way towards a razor fast Windows 7 PC that'll no doubt run Production Premium at lighting speed judging by how well my 2 year old Windows 7 Core i7 box (that sits next to my Mac Pro) runs Vegas Pro.

If anyone has any ideas as to what to try next to cure this choppy playback in 10.6.8 I'm all ears. Thanks!
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Old July 13th, 2012, 06:54 AM   #20
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz 8 Core Nehalem - 32GB RAM Upgrade Worth it?

Andy,

I just want to add my two cents. I won't second-guess you by going through everything you've done. Watch carefully for compatibility between the different software (OS X 10.6, Adobe CS6) and any non-OEM graphics card you put in. If reviving old projects is needed, then you should keep the old OS X, the old CS install, the old hard disk, the old graphics card, the old everything. You simply have no way to ensure your old projects will still work if you're going to upgrade hardware and software so liberally on Apple hardware. Apple is pretty narrow about what works with what so software companies make the same assumptions. If your clients are paying for it, then it's a legitimate business model.

And by the way, you describe 1080p50 as "nothing too taxing". ROFLMAO! I'm currently rendering a 10 minute 1080p50 Premiere project on my MacBook Pro and it's going to take 22 hours.

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Old July 13th, 2012, 07:33 AM   #21
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz 8 Core Nehalem - 32GB RAM Upgrade Worth it?

"I'm currently rendering a 10 minute 1080p50 Premiere project on my MacBook Pro and it's going to take 22 hours."

You are doing something wrong Richard, it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes. What settings are you using?
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Old July 13th, 2012, 11:12 PM   #22
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz 8 Core Nehalem - 32GB RAM Upgrade Worth it?

Vincent,

Applying colour correction to HD clips makes my MacBook Pro chug a fair bit. Applying the Warp stabilizer can slow it down considerably. Applying the Neat Video reduce noise plugin makes it ridiculously slow. Put all three together and my MBP becomes an unresponsive toaster oven. Still, at least this way I get to see the real world while it renders.

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Old July 14th, 2012, 03:20 AM   #23
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz 8 Core Nehalem - 32GB RAM Upgrade Worth it?

It sounds like you need a Mercury Playback Engine, nvidia cards offer this facility. My system (Win 7 PC 64 bit) flies, I can add Warp, Colour corrections and several other filters to 1080p footage and there is no bottle neck in the system even with .3 HD multi camera tracks on the timeline
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Old July 14th, 2012, 03:32 AM   #24
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz 8 Core Nehalem - 32GB RAM Upgrade Worth it?

I have the 13" MBP, which uses an on-CPU-die Intel HD 3000. It's hardly upgradeable.

Obviously to do video editing on Apple hardware you should be using a Mac Pro. But they're so expensive and Apple may not have much enthusiasm for keeping the line alive and competitive...

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Old July 14th, 2012, 03:59 AM   #25
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz 8 Core Nehalem - 32GB RAM Upgrade Worth it?

Your only option is then to "get to see the real world while it renders" or just employ the render process whilst you have your lunch etc.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 09:05 PM   #26
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz 8 Core Nehalem - 32GB RAM Upgrade Worth it?

Thanks! This has been exactly what I needed to know.
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Old July 17th, 2012, 03:27 AM   #27
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz 8 Core Nehalem - 32GB RAM Upgrade Worth it?

On the assumption that you're referring to all the info I posted in this thread, then I'm glad that the time I took to document it (in painstaking detail) at least helps someone out.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 12:46 AM   #28
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Re: Mac Pro - FCS2 and Mountain Lion Success

Sorry to drag up my old thread but I thought it was worth keeping all the info together in case anyone else needs to go down this path.

I have finally found a window in my schedule and have successfully updated my Mac Pro to Mountain Lion (10.8.4) and installed a second-hand NVIDIA GeForce 285 Mac graphics card (thanks to Nigel on here for selling me it) and I'm now running CS6 Production Premium (I'm not interested in the CC subscription model). I also have CS 5.5.2 installed AND Final Cut Studio 2 (with all the updates that got me to FCP 6.0.6).

I decided to go to the (current) latest OSX to keep the system as future proof as possible, at least for a while. I've been in "lock-down mode" with Leopard since 2009 so it was probably overdue that I upgraded. Thought hard about sticking with Snow Leopard on the Mac Pro but my recently acquired top spec retina MBP is on Mountain Lion and works beautifully with CS6, so I really wanted both units to be on the same OSX version. Also, the ability to easily view AVCHD clips on a Mac is useful (I always had to use VLC Player before).

I'm in the final stages of testing (after several days work on this!) but all looks good.... so far... before I "lock down" this system for another couple of years (or so). About the only software glitch I've found is with some old disc printing software from Canon - and that never worked totally correctly even with OSX 10.5.8 (Leopard) - works fine with my Windows 7 box!

The interesting thing was getting FCS2 on my system - and yes, a further year on after this thread started, I STILL have corporate clients wanting re-edits/updates of old projects done in Final Cut! BTW, I never went to FCS3.

After much web trawling and a lot of conflicting information, one of the very few ways it can be done is as follows. Just Google search to get more detail. Obviously, just make sure to fully back up everything and make at least one bootable OSX HDD image/clone - and test it before you start...but you should already have that as an emergency back-up anyway.

1. Do a fresh install of Snow Leopard with the £26 Apple OSX disc - This was the last OSX version to have Rosetta.
2. Then install FCS2 from the discs, fully update the suite from Apple (Pro Apps Update 2008-5 which got me to FCP 6.0.5).
3. Then do another software update from Apple and you get to the "final" FCS2 suite versions (e.g. FCP 6.0.6).
[At this point I installed CS 5.5, updated to 5.5.2, again for proven functionality with any legacy projects plus I installed other software that I need/know works well with Snow Leopard from past testing].
4. Then, do an OSX upgrade (not fresh install) to Mountain Lion (no disc - has to be bought Apple store as a £14 download).
5. Then install CS6 and get the updates (not to CC!) and any other important software (DNxHD, VLC player etc.).
6. I then installed the GTX285 (see note below).
6. TEST...TEST...TEST!

Obviously, at each critical stage keep cloned hard discs of the full OS as an emergency back up. I ended up using the excellent Carbon Copy Cloner as I've discovered after much frustration that it's not possible (as far as I now know) to use Disk Utility for this once you've gone past Snow Leopard - I think because of the hidden recovery partition on Mountain Lion. Anyway, CCC does it all perfectly.

About the only thing I screwed up on was that I should have installed my GTX 285 before I loaded CS6 on - as I now have to manually set that card up for Mercury Playback, CUDA etc. (or re-install CS6 so it detects the card perhaps). That's today's work - again Google easily finds how to do that.

I have to say I'm already impressed with how much quieter this card is over my old Radeon ATI 4870 and things (even without final tweaking mentioned above) seem to zip along nicely in test edits - still think my mid-2013 rMBP is faster though! FCS2 is a slow as treacle - but it always was - at least it all seems to work (subject to further testing). As suggested, I have retained my original 10.5.8 OSX hard drive and the ATI 4870 (as the GTX 285 won't work in Leopard anyway, no drivers for that far back). If the worst comes to the worst, I can swap back to the 2009-2013 set-up in about half an hour for any FCP projects that get tricky. Hopefully, that won't be necessary though. I still have my mid-2008 MBP with Leopard and FCS2 on too, although that baby seems very slow now!

Hopefully, all bases are covered for a while.

I learnt a lot about Mac software these last few days - I hope sharing this will at least help someone that may need Apple FCS2 (or 3) on more recent Mac OSX versions such as Lion and Mountain Lion.
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; July 16th, 2013 at 01:52 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 10:50 AM   #29
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz 8 Core Nehalem - 32GB RAM Upgrade Worth it?

Hi Andy, how did you end up choosing the GTX285? I'm looking at options for upgrading a Mid 2010 Mac Pro. It seems the Quadro 4000 is also a popular choice, but not cheap.
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Old August 9th, 2013, 02:34 PM   #30
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Re: Mac Pro 2.66Ghz 8 Core Nehalem - 32GB RAM Upgrade Worth it?

Simple Vince.

A fellow film maker I know here in this part of England offered me it second-hand at an irresistable price. Really pleased I finally got it installed (at last) as I have been very busy recently/still am. The modest speed boost has been very welcome, even if its behind what the Quadro 4000 etc could deliver. In fact, as an aside, I just passed on a corporate filming job today (in Zurich but for a major regular international client of mine) to a good mate in London.

After all, its in a 4-year old Mac Pro so there is only so much money I will throw at an editing platform edging gradually towards the end of its hard life. Still hope I will get a couple of years out of the beast though, its served me fabulously well.

Mind you, the very new high spec retina MBP I also have is pretty damn fast, probably faster...and maybe in a year or two I can afford (and need) the potential speed of a new Mac Pro....so basically I am holding money back for that possible future purchase....time will tell!

My friend did have a second one for sale (...not sure if he still has but I will be seeing him on Monday).
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