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Old May 30th, 2013, 08:59 AM   #1
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Speed question

Howdy all, I am a long time FCP editor, now bin testing out the new fcpx , BTW I cilm and edit weddings , most times 2 hrs footage cut down to 90mins in the end, the macpro tower I have is 2009' dual, 2.4 24gig ram, 4x 2 hdd , 2 gig graphics. Now after all that, I import my 1080p/50 pro res , all in fine for about 30mins, after I start to add more and more the machine hits the wall and fcpx slows right down, so you question is do I upgrade to 64gb ram ..?.?
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Old May 30th, 2013, 10:14 AM   #2
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Re: Speed question

I have a 2008 Mac Pro 2.8 8-core with 13gb RAM and Radeon 5870 video card (1 GB). I have an SSD boot drive and keep all Events/Projects on other internal media drives. I use Event Manager X to hide any Events/Projects not actively needed at the moment. The SSD helped some with the program getting sluggish on longer projects, but I still have some slowness when changing tools, switching from the transitions pane to the filters pane, etc. I'm not unhappy with render times though.

I considered the SSD and fast internal hard drives just stopgap measures to keep my now almost 5 1/2 year old Mac usable with X until the new Mac Pros are announced. Depending on the price/features, I'll either upgrade to one of the promised new Mac Pros or top line iMac later this year. Due to that I have not upgraded ram further. My feeling is that newer Macs with a faster system bus are better suited for FCPX than my aging Pro.

More ram might help in your case, but I'm not convinced. It might be worth a try, but I would definitely buy it from a source that would let you return it if the difference did not seem worth the cost.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 02:24 PM   #3
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Re: Speed question

RAM has nothing to do with the slow-down, you have plenty. What's more likely is that your video card is the original default card that came with the MacPro and it's not up to the task of working with FCPX. I had to upgrade mine and that sped up the way FCPX responds.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 02:48 PM   #4
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Re: Speed question

In the original post Robert says he has 2GB graphics, so I took that to mean he has a card with 2 gb of vram - that can't be the original card. If I'm misinterpreting that, yes, upgrade the card.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 03:01 PM   #5
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Re: Speed question

Huh, just saw this - Motion, not FCPX, but very interesting and very applicable:

Fast GPUs on older Mac Pro versus newer Mac Pro

Great info if you're considering upgrading an older Mac Pro vs. getting a newer model.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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Re: Speed question

Yes the video card is a NVIDIA Quadro 4000, about 3 months old.

PS, But today i was editing 80mins Wedding, heaps of effects and i was click on different tools and it was taking like 3 to 4 sec to change the tools, even loading the color board 3/4 secs to load up, but i can hear the hard drive searching or loading, well its doing something, maybe i should get a second 500gb SSD, as i have one already for the operating system. Well i will wait to see if apple come good with a new MACPRO Tower. Oh i hope so. And FCPX Gets a update with a Audio Mixer.
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Last edited by Robert Bale; May 30th, 2013 at 10:14 PM.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 04:56 AM   #7
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Re: Speed question

Something is probably amiss with your system. My system is a similar model of MacPro with 16gb RAM and a less hefty video card. I never have that happen with my system and I work with AVCHD and XDCAM without transcoding to ProRes. Almost every clip gets some sort of filter or color correction and I never have background rendering turned on. This should slow my system down more than what you have going.

If you hear the hard drive searching all the time then you should do a few checks of your computer's vitals. The free AJA System Test will tell you if the hard drive is running fast enough for your video files. Unless you have your video drive packed full, it should be. One important thing to check is the Activity Monitor in the Utilities folder. When your system slows down, see how the memory is allotted. I have an issue at times when Compressor makes a DVD, it will grab all the free memory and not let it go when finished even if I quit the program. Also web pages with Flash will grab memory in the background. If this is happening you can see the memory pie chart fill up with blue. FCPX likes a fair amount of memory free to use when needed and 24gb is a very good amount. Occasionally I will run the "purge" command in Terminal to clear up the memory. You must quit running FCPX before using purge or the program gets befuddled. You also might want to run a RAM test program, Apple includes one with the MacPro called the Apple Hardware Test which you might have on a bootable CD. TechTool has a set of memory tests if you have their program installed. Do a Google search for "memory test Mac" for other alternatives. Bad memory may not show itself in average computer use and the system might just treat a bad RAM chip as the end of the memory instead of giving an error message.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 07:07 AM   #8
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Re: Speed question

William, that's so much, I'll do a few tests.
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