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Old July 14th, 2011, 03:04 PM   #1
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FCPX and 1st Gen Mac Pro 2006 question.

Hey all I have a question. I'm trying to see if I can get at least another year out of my 1st Generation 20006 Mac Pro, before upgrading. So I recently upgraded some components to try to maximize what I have.

I am running both FCS 3 and FCPX, Motion 5, Compressor 4 on it.

This is my system configuration
2006 Mac Pro
2.66 (2x) Dual Core processor
Snow Leopard 10.6.8
16 GB of RAM
ATI Randeon HD 5570 GFX card (Open CL)
6.5 TB of onboard storage 500GB main drive, 6TB storage work drives Western Digital Caviar Black

Now here's the issue. When working with native AVCHD files from Sony NX5U camera (re-wrapped in .mov codec via ClipWrap), FCPX doesn't run that smoothly.
Now I know that working in a highly compressed AVCHD codec isn't efficient. But one of the main points of FCPX was that it could handle AVCHD files without transcoding (which I'm trying to avoid in my workflow).

The funny thing is that while working with media from the Ripple Training, which are AVCHD, the files seem to run alright. SO I can't figure out if it's FCPX or the NX5U's files that might be the issue.

I'm waiting for the demo CDs for Adobe Premiere Production suite to see how this runs on my system.

I've been working in FCS3 for a couple of years now, and while it works fine, I am getting sick of having to transcode all of my footage into an intermediate codec before I edit.

What I don't know is if there is something I should be configuring on the Mac Side of things to make my system run smoother within FCXP and the ATI Radeon HD 5770 GFX card.

I thought that I read somewhere that while all of the Intel macs were 64bit capable, that the first dual core (not core duo) processors were 32 bit and not 64 bit, which could explain the problem. I am running a 64 bit OS in Snow Leopard and have 14 GB of RAM, so this isn't the issue.

Any suggestions would be helpful.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 05:43 PM   #2
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Re: FCPX and 1st Gen Mac Pro 2006 question.

Michael, your experience with PPro CS5 and AVCHD files on this setup will most likely be very poor. I have 3.0 GHz Dual Xeons in MacPro 1,1, and while it is possible to edit XDCAM EX, AVCHD performance is quite poor.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 04:15 PM   #3
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Re: FCPX and 1st Gen Mac Pro 2006 question.

You can replace the processors to quad core clovertown processors to get more life out of your Mac pro. I did mine awhile back (sold it later) and saw a big difference. Of course only if you find a good deal and your skills can do it. Not real hard. Biggest pain was the long hex wrench to get past the tall heat sinks.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 08:40 AM   #4
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Re: FCPX and 1st Gen Mac Pro 2006 question.

Michael, try editing the original AVCHD files without the Clipwrap re-wrap. I can edit AVCHD on an old MacBook Pro without issue. You have to pay the piper with the final render, but the editing is fine. Of course, you need the original card folder structure to do it.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 08:55 AM   #5
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Re: FCPX and 1st Gen Mac Pro 2006 question.

[quote]Michael, try editing the original AVCHD files without the Clipwrap re-wrap. I can edit AVCHD on an old MacBook Pro without issue. You have to pay the piper with the final render, but the editing is fine. Of course, you need the original card folder structure to do it. [/qoute]

Chuck, I didn't think that FCPX could work with native .mt2 files from my Sony camera. I thought that they had to be re-wrapped in a QT codec to be worked with natively. Isn't this correct?

The weird thing is that they files seem to play better on my 2009 2.53 MacBook Pro which isn't even quad core like my MacPro.

The biggest issue seemed to be working with synced compound clips, as the two layers of video really seem to be choking my processor. Strange in that the h.264 clips from the Ripple Training course seem to run pretty smoothly.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 11:06 PM   #6
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Re: FCPX and 1st Gen Mac Pro 2006 question.

Unless the Sony is doing something non-standard, you should be able to "import from camera" and click the from archive button at the bottom left of the import screen and have your thumbnails pop up instantly.

You can't edit individual .mt2 files - you have to import from the card or an archive of the card with all the folders intact.

You can start editing immediately, even though it's working away in the background to make it ProRes. Depending on how fast you edit, you may have to wait when you're done to have it finish rendering. It's kind of smoke and mirrors, but it's really fast to start editing AVCHD in FCPX.

Just don't mix formats on the timeline with AVCHD or it will crash.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 07:25 AM   #7
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Re: FCPX and 1st Gen Mac Pro 2006 question.

Thanks again for the info.
However I think I'm miscommunicating something.
I'm aware of importing to prores, however I wanted to work in native avchd, not transcended prores. Also for my taste prores422 is overkill, and I would have rather been able to trascode and edit to prores. I am still able to do so via other apps, but it would have been nice for Apple to include project as an option for encoding.
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