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Old October 14th, 2012, 09:03 AM   #16
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

I work with FW800 on road with my laptop and it's indistinguishable from eSATA when working with ProRes, MPEG2HD or AVCHD. When I work on projects that are stored on external drives that move from office to office, I always use FW800 and never have an issue. Once again, unless you are editing Multi camera shoots with more than 4 cameras or are working with uncompressed video, FW800 is fine.

All the eSATA drives I have also have FW800 so if you have similar drives the switch should be invisible.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 11:35 AM   #17
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

Firewire 800 would generally work. Actually Thunderbolt doesn't give a great speed advantage over Firewire 800 for a single drive (non RAID). The bottleneck is generally the drive itself. I mention USB3 because Firewire drives are scarce and USB3 drives may even be less expensive. At some point you may need to replace your drives and you'll face the problem by having Firewire ports rather than USB3 ports. That may force you into yet another laptop purchase. At least with the latest MBPs is that you can go Thunderbolt to Firewire for legacy and it has USB3 for a less expensive future.

Dave, my concern is that in the desire to save money you'll actually end up spending more, a lot more, in the very near future. Firewire drives are almost gone as well as eSata. USB3 drives are very inexpensive. There's nothing wrong with buying a Thunderbolt to DVI monitor. I understand the need to keep legacy technology going but the focus on buying to support that without the ability to buy current and less expensive technology means that in as little as a year, you'll have to buy yet another laptop. When buying I recommend buying for the future with means for backwards compatibility

If you can't afford to do this, you definitely need to raise your rates. A very fundamental part of any business model has to include room for maintenance and replacement of gear. Generally you need to consider replacing computers and most peripherals in a 24 to 36 month period give or take.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 01:15 PM   #18
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

Also, having the fastest drives isn't a big of a deal as it was a few years ago when everything was printed to tape. Going to HDCamSR is a big deal. These days everything is rendered to files so a blip here and there during playback while editing isn't a problem. Of course if the client is watching, it might be an issue but all I do is replay the area with the blip and it's never there.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 01:55 PM   #19
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

That's why I think USB3 is a big step forward over Firewire 800. They're much faster, yet very easy to find at very low prices.

Thunderbolt comes into play when you need a very fast RAID and/or pass through for daisy chaining.
RAID can have value if you're doing multicam. Imagine having 9 AVCHD files or H.264 files from GoPro or DSLR. Even if you transcoded to ProRes, a RAID might help there.

Thunderbolt pass through is important if you need it for Video I/O, External Monitor, RAID, adding PCIe.

For basic editing on system without a lot of peripherals, USB3 would probably be fine though.

This device from Belkin (now pushed back to early 2013) should keep you backward compatible with everything.

Includes eSata, Firewire, Ethernet, USB3, has Thunderbolt pass through.
Thunderbolt Express Dock | Belkin USA Site

That's why I think a base level MBP (doesn't have to be Retina) with one Thunderbolt port, might be enough to keep you going for a few years.
The main difference between 2011 and 2012 is this year's model has USB3. You might get a good price on a 2011 (sans USB3) as some may be for sale by people upgrading to Retina. Alas the Belkin dock won't be availble until next year though. It was pushed back from the already passed September delivery date.

Matrox will have this dock for less money but it doesn't have pass through. It does have HDMI or DVI out for monitoring.
http://www.matrox.com/docking_station/en/ds1/
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Old October 17th, 2012, 10:25 AM   #20
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

Thanks again guys. You've both given me much food for thought.

Craig - your point about USB 3.0 is interesting ... I didn't know people were using it for editing (thought I'd read something about not being reliable for sustained data transfer at high speeds). Guess that happens when you're living in Guatemala ...
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Old October 18th, 2012, 11:14 PM   #21
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

USB2 is a problem given the nature of port communication. It's not just speed but the ability to managed sustained throughput. That's not an issue (at least not a big issue) with USB3. One of the bit BIG differences though between USB3 and Thunderbolt is not so much the data rate but the management of the throughput. That's part of the reason of the difference in cable prices. There's a chip in the Thunderbolt input that manages things that's not part of USB3. But USB3 is fast enough that it's not an issue that it is in USB2.

I'm oversimplifying this but I do want to call to attention that its just about speed but "intelligently" managed throughput.

This might help explaining about USB3.
USB 3.0 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old October 24th, 2012, 08:14 AM   #22
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

Just to answer a few random points that have come up in this thread.

I have a 17" 2008 MacBook Pro 4,1 with 2.6GHz CPU. I upgraded to 6GB (4GB+2GB) RAM a long time ago & it makes a big difference to performance especially as I am usually running Windows virtual machine. The other upgrade that made an even bigger difference to performance was to upgrade the original 7200rpm hard disk to a 256GB Crucial Solid State Disk. SSDs & RAM are cheaper than when I did my upgrades so it should only cost around $200 for both RAM & SSD.

Thunderbolt is a great option if you want to upgrade an iMac with a SSD as these systems are very difficult to perform an internal upgrade.

Both my wife & I have a Sonnet Allegro USB3 card in our Mac Pros & edit using FCP X &/or Premiere Pro on bare drives sitting in a dual disk dock. The disk performance tested with the Aja or Black Magic tool is comparable to internal SATA disks i.e. around 100MB/s R/W Using a similar FW800 dock the sustained disk R/W rate is around 70MB/s which is still usable unlike USB2 which is down around 20-30MB/s.

I have both USB3 & eSATA ExpressCards that I can use in my MBP but don't see such good performance with USB3 as I do in the Mac Pro. I don't know whether this is a limitation of the ExpressCard slot, the drivers or the cards themselves but it's no better than a FW800 drive connected to the same MBP.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 12:04 PM   #23
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

This is from last year but it's FCPX performance compared on various Macs
Final Cut Pro X on three different Macs

Personally I would not use a Mini unless you're just a hobbyist. Given how much the GPU is used, that GPU is going to be a major slow down. Doubly so if you use Motion (which actually is used for much of the FX in FCPX).
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Old October 24th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #24
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

On USB3. It really needs to be on the motherboard to be best utilized. Intel only started doing that recently. It's one reason why Blackmagic Shuttle has been a disappointment. Only certified for one MSI laptop and works on a few other Lenovo models (recently probably due to the motherboard) and not at all on Macs.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 12:12 AM   #25
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

When I am editing it seems slow to me as well. I import my h.264 .mov files from DSLR into FCPX and i always use "optimized media" which transcodes to prores422.

After that, if i add color grading all is ok, if i add magic bullet mojo or looks on top of that it is kinda choppy and i have to render.

Is it not supposed to support openCL? I have a core i7920 @ 3.80 ghz, 15 GB DDR3 @ 1.7 ghz, and a nVidia Fermi 480 GTX running all new CUDA drivers AND it shows openCL 1.2 from august 2012 installed.

I run luxmark and get 1175 for the SALA test, my 8800GT got 111 on the SALA test.

So my GPU is smoking fast. What is going on with FCPX?
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Old October 29th, 2012, 11:27 AM   #26
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

I may be wrong but I was always under the impression that as a plugin Magic Bullet is very slow no matter what NLE it is used with and always never can you expect realtime playback without rendering. There is a lot going on with that plugin that makes it a system hog. Not a bad thing just that it is a rather complex plugin. Some NLE's such as Vegas or Premiere which can playback at 1/4 quality may be able to playback a bit better but that is because there is so much less for the system to deal with at that quality level.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #27
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

Many third party filters either stack several different filter functions into one filter which all have to be rendered or they are not using the GPU efficiently for various reasons. The Neat Video filter is a good example of a filter that is using several processes and takes a long time to render. The results are great but it's not good for jobs that have to be exported the same day.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 04:27 AM   #28
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey Benoit View Post
When I am editing it seems slow to me as well. I import my h.264 .mov files from DSLR into FCPX and i always use "optimized media" which transcodes to prores422.

After that, if i add color grading all is ok, if i add magic bullet mojo or looks on top of that it is kinda choppy and i have to render.

Is it not supposed to support openCL? I have a core i7920 @ 3.80 ghz, 15 GB DDR3 @ 1.7 ghz, and a nVidia Fermi 480 GTX running all new CUDA drivers AND it shows openCL 1.2 from august 2012 installed.

I run luxmark and get 1175 for the SALA test, my 8800GT got 111 on the SALA test.

So my GPU is smoking fast. What is going on with FCPX?
Are you running a Hackintosh? I don't believe that FCP X uses CUDA at all but does benefit from OpenCL acceleration but you need to be running OS X 10.7 or 10.8 (Lion or Mountain Lion) to take advantage of this.

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, 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. I have a sneaking suspicion that FCP X is optimised to run on the iMac.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 06:02 PM   #29
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

Which video card are you using? The stock MacPro video cards that came with 2008 or 2009 MacPros are not very responsive to FCPX.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 11:15 PM   #30
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Re: FCPX Slow - upgrading RAM to 6 GB worth it on old MBP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
Are you running a Hackintosh? I don't believe that FCP X uses CUDA at all but does benefit from OpenCL acceleration but you need to be running OS X 10.7 or 10.8 (Lion or Mountain Lion) to take advantage of this.

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, 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. I have a sneaking suspicion that FCP X is optimised to run on the iMac.
It really wants 16GB of RAM. I think that's part of the issue. I have 16 on a 2009 Mac Pro and its reasonably fast - only chugs during imports.
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