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Old June 22nd, 2012, 11:04 AM   #1
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FCP X - painfully slow on my Mac Pro

So - how does FCP X work for you people? It "works" here, but on my 8x3GhZ Mac Pro with 16 GB of RAM it's just slow (as in sluggish, with the occasional beach ball)... Everything (just about) takes quite a while...

I suppose my machine is just too old? What are you people using, and how does it work for you (speed-wise)?

This is 10.0.3 - has it improved in 10.0.4/5?
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Old June 22nd, 2012, 01:53 PM   #2
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Re: FCP X - painfully slow on my Mac Pro

You may need to upgrade your video card but first you should close all other programs to see if the sluggishness continues. If you are running Lion, avoid using programs in the full screen mode that was introduced in Lion (iPhoto, Safari, Mail, etc). Those can suck up video card resources.
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Old June 22nd, 2012, 09:15 PM   #3
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What about rendering time?

One thing that has an effect of speed is rendering. It seems like every few edits one has to do rendering. Some transitions and titles require more rendering time than others.

Both of my machines are relatively empty of extraneous files and applications. I've got an older MacBook White I use for emails and documents and I'm saving the Pro models for video editing so as not to clutter them up.

Basically, though, they seem to function okay. Both machines meet the bare minimum requirements for FCPX except I did upgrade the memory on the MacBook Pro because it was so cheap. For less than $50 there is a noticeable reduction in rendering time.

Currently I'm using the MacBook Pro the most because I can edit in the dining room rather than in the family spare room aka "the office." This is starting to change, though, as my videos are getting longer and more complicated and require disc burning. The disk burning will only be done on the Mac Pro.

Mac Pro
Model Number: A1186 1,1
Mac Pro/2.66QX/4x512/7300 GT/160/SD/BT
buss speed 1.33 Ghz
Memory: 4GB 667 Mhz DDR2 FB-DIMM (Note: memory upgrade is VERY expensive for this machine)
Video card upgrade: ATI Radeon HD 5770 $249
Geek Bench speed: ~5259 http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks (Zzzzzz, i.e., not very fast)

MacBook Pro
Model No: A1286
MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.53 5,1
Memory: 8GB DDR3 1066 MHz upgrade for $49.79
MBP 15.4/2.53/2X4GB/320/SD/512VRAM

I've been running 10.0.3 but just downloaded 10.0.5 yesterday and haven't had a chance to feel it out yet.
Both machines are running OS X 10.6.8 also downloaded yesterday.

Basically I think the processing time is okay. These are old machines and don't have anywhere the clock speed of the newer ones.

Last edited by John Nantz; June 22nd, 2012 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Add Geek Bench info
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Old June 22nd, 2012, 11:07 PM   #4
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Re: FCP X - painfully slow on my Mac Pro

Turn off background rendering, there's no real reason to have FCPX render everything while editing unless you absolutely need to see the effect or filter in full motion..

Since you have only 4gb of memory installed and it seems that for the time being you are not going to add to it, are you optimizing the footage when you import it into FCPX? Running raw HD footage files that are not in ProRes or other frame-based codecs will slow down your editing. Also, are you running the video files off of the same drive that your system is running from?
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Old June 23rd, 2012, 01:20 AM   #5
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Reply to W. Hohauser questions:

"Turn off background rendering, there's no real reason to have FCPX render everything while editing unless you absolutely need to see the effect or filter in full motion": Definitely true. But that would be a good suggestion for Henrik unless he also has it off.

This one's for me: "Since you have only 4gb of memory installed and it seems that for the time being you are not going to add to it,": Reply: That's for darn sure! Not at the current prices or unless I can find a good bargain somewhere. Actually, for my purpose, at least so far, 4gb is okay.

".... are you optimizing the footage when you import it into FCPX?": Reply: No, not yet. I'm using *.mov files from a JVC, 1440, and then just dealing with them after import. The workflows have quite a few steps in them. I've got a huge backlog of "Events" that I need to "get rid of" and currently I'm working on those that have the least amount of importance. Read "quick-and-dirty" editing. Unfortunately, I'm somewhat of a detail kind of person so even quick-and-dirty is hard for me. There is always that "just a little bit more." But I'm trying! I've got a wife cracking the whip for me to "get stuff done!" so unless you got one of those it might be hard to understand. She likes my work but just wants it faster. (the other stuff she wants slower ;)

"Also, are you running the video files off of the same drive that your system is running from?" Reply: Yes, I'm using the same drive. But I'm thinking about planning ahead for an easier workflow to move files from the MacBook Pro to the MacPro. Because of the database system it has to be total and complete; therefore, I have to be careful about what is included in my edits and where the files are stored.
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Old June 23rd, 2012, 09:56 AM   #6
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Re: FCP X - painfully slow on my Mac Pro

I work with JVC 1440 as well and while I have a robust, one year younger system compared to yours, sometimes I convert the footage, captured on an old FireStore, to ProRes using ClipWrap just to keep things moving along. How do you get that footage into the program?

Moving projects is easy and I do it frequently when I work on something at home as well as the office. A bus powered, pocket FireWire 800 drive works great for this.
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Old June 24th, 2012, 02:00 AM   #7
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Re: FCP X - painfully slow on my Mac Pro

10.0.5 will likely give you the best most stable performance.

That said, some of us have been discovering the FCPX runs better on Thunderbolt Macs.

After doing some research it seems that FCPX takes advantage of Apple's Grand Central Dispatch which uses AVX built into Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors. There are no MacPros with Sandy Bridge processors.

See
Apple - Final Cut Pro X - All Features
Grand Central Dispatch
For even more speed, Final Cut Pro also uses the AVX capabilities of Intelís Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors.
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Old June 24th, 2012, 05:05 AM   #8
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Re: FCP X - painfully slow on my Mac Pro

Thank you for the replies! I'll try turning off background rendering, and I'll try some projects with optimized media. I have usually worked with my media natively.
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Old June 24th, 2012, 02:33 PM   #9
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Background Rendering

Henrik: turning off background rendering will definitely help. May not be THE solution, but it will definitely help. Because my computers are nearer the minimum required I will turn rendering on when I have a break or a slow spell. This will definitely help. Come back and let us know how it works.

Craig: re Thunderbolt. That really would be nice to have but I tend to be slow to keep up with newer technology due to cost considerations. There was a time when I would get the latest and greatest but that was back then. I still remember buying a 286-6 turboed to 12 with a 13" color (yup, 12, and color!) monitor for $2,700 US. Not any more though.
What you need to know about Thunderbolt | Macworld

William: The JVC is a GZ-MS130 that I picked up for $60 and it outputs *.mov directly so I don't need to convert anything. It's a cheap camera I bought just to get a spare battery and the charger. Handy for point-and-shoot (think: old Brownie camera). However, my other camera is the JVC HD7 and it outputs *.tod files and those I do use ClipWrap to convert to edit with FCPX - works really fast and easy, and FCPX imports it (based on memory) File>Import [select file name], hit Return. This is my good one and I use it with my JuicedLink Pre, Sennheiser and Rode mics, GlideCam, etc.

Henrik: "And one more thing....." I've noticed that rendering within titles and where there are added sound tracks can slow it down. This is especially true with the Curtain Title, probably because it is animated.

Last edited by John Nantz; June 24th, 2012 at 03:35 PM. Reason: "and one more thing..."
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Old June 24th, 2012, 09:34 PM   #10
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Re: FCP X - painfully slow on my Mac Pro

I have worked with a JVC HD7 as well as other JVC hard drive cameras that record tod files. ClipWrap dealt with those. My main cameras now are a JVC HD100 which records m2t files that need ClipWrap for FCPX (although I could capture the tapes but I use the FireStore which is set to capture raw files) and a Panasonic GH2 that records AVCHD that doesn't really need ClipWrap for FCPX.

Regarding the MacPro and Thunderbolt, I have a 17" MacBookPro at home and now that it's mentioned here, it certainly behaves better with FCPX in certain aspects despite have 4 cores vs the 8 cores on my 2009 MacPro. However rendering is not faster on the MacBookPro.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 09:54 AM   #11
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Re: FCP X - painfully slow on my Mac Pro

Mine is running kinda slow too.

i rendered a 16 second clip no effects it was a MTS file. it took 16 seconds to export. If i put magic bullet MOJO on it, then it takes like 3 minutes and 55 seconds.

I have a i7 920 @ 3.6 ghz, 15 gb DDR3 @ 1.7 ghz, and a nVidia GTX 480.

When i tested the 8800GT playback wasnt as good but exporting the 16 second file with MOJO on took 2 minutes flat!

Is it the card holding me back? How does the ATI 5870 do on the macs?
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Old October 29th, 2012, 01:57 PM   #12
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Re: FCP X - painfully slow on my Mac Pro

That's the card I have and it's been a real improvement since I replaced the stock card that came with my MacPro.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 05:52 AM   #13
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Re: FCP X - painfully slow on my Mac Pro

As I posted over in another thread I have a sneaking suspicion that FCP X is optimised to run on the iMac. So it will be best on the fastest i7 CPU & 32GB of RAM & the graphics card doesn't matter much as those in the iMac are only souped up laptop cards.

I have just started using FCP X on my 2008 octo-core 2.8GHz Mac Pro 3,1 running Mountain Lion. It has been upgraded with 12GB RAM, GTX285 graphic, 256GB SSD & 6TB RAID array & don't see the awesome speed that everyone else talks about. It's not rendering all the time like FCP 7 but there is still an awful lot chugging away in the background & it doesn't often seem to use more than one CPU. Premiere Pro CS6 is pretty fast in comparison & definitely does use all eight cores.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 05:54 AM   #14
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Re: FCP X - painfully slow on my Mac Pro

I seemed to have resolved my issue, its MOJO is just a slow ass plug! LOL

I used color, and noise, as well as apples film effect and rendered the 16 second clip and it only took 4 seconds!

Premiere pro CS6 with adobe noise, color, and effect took 7 times longer even with cuda.

It seems apple works well with its own built in features.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 07:47 AM   #15
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Re: FCP X - painfully slow on my Mac Pro

Performance Upgrades; FireWire USB SATA Storage; Memory, more at OWC Go there to upgrade your Mac memory. It is cheap and easy! I have 16g from them and I love it!
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