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Old December 5th, 2013, 05:54 AM   #1
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SLow FCPX - I mean really slow

Had FCPX since its launch and started to use it on commercial jobs about a year ago instead of FCP7. But I'm finding it so clunky and slow on both my MacBook Pro 17" and iMac 27" that I'm thinking of dumping it again. On the MBP the files are on a LaCie Quadra 2GB external drive using Firewire 800 and on the iMac its a 2GB partition on a 3GB internal drive.

It's just that when I get a few layers of clips in any length of production (but more so on the longer edits up to an hour long) the whole thing becomes like wading through mud.

Getting fed up of waiting.

I have the latest FCPX and am using MacOS 10.8.5 on both machines.

If anyone has any great ideas for releasing the blockage please by all means, let me know. Otherwise it's getting dumped.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 09:35 AM   #2
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Re: SLow FCPX - I mean really slow

How old are your iMac and MBP? How much RAM and VRAM? FCPX really works best with 16gb RAM or better and 1gb or better of VRAM.
Have you trashed prefs, run Disk Warrior or Disk Utility?
Most importantly, are you keeping hidden any Events and Projects not currently being edited?
Are both machines quad core?
Firewire 800 external is going to be a bit slow with hourlong projects with several layers. Sadly, it's not the state of the art anymore.
Are you making extensive use of Compound Clips? I've read that nesting those really causes slowdowns.

I just moved my 2008 8-core MacPro to other uses. It still rendered well, but the system buses were just too slow for an enjoyable experience with the FCPX interface. I replaced it with the top end iMac with fusion drive - works GREAT.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 11:16 AM   #3
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Re: SLow FCPX - I mean really slow

Try rendering the layered clips. That will fix the problem immediately.

What kind of clips are these? Optimized/ProRes or camera originals? Camera originals require more system resources due to the compression in the files. This will slow down playback as the computer attempts to decompress the files and apply whatever layering you have applied all at the same time. Are the clips left as is or color adjusted or have filters applied? This is more calculation added to the live mix. If you are doing effects heavy work optimizing the media is always the best way to go. More hard drive space but that's the trade off.

FireWire800 can handle about four streams of ProRes at the same time. Your iMac can do better than that.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 03:40 PM   #4
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Re: SLow FCPX - I mean really slow

Both late 2009 16 in the iMac, 8 in the MBP. 512 VRAM in both. i5 processors I don't use those compound clips much as they tend to crash things nicely.
I always transcode from the 5D3 and the C100 to ProRes (Not HQ just plain vanilla)
I do defrag the drives occasionally and check them in Disk Utilities too.

I have events and projects in hidden folders sometimes, but not always. It's even slower when not rendered and yes I have filters applied for colour correction.

I think my beef is that in previous versions of FCPX it certainly WAS faster. But now it's just a PITA and getting to be unusable in a commercial sense.
Well I have a couple of projects I'm jut about to use it on, so this is the make or break I think.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 03:54 PM   #5
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Re: SLow FCPX - I mean really slow

I assume you have the top end 4 core iMac...

But, four year old i5 cpus with average RAM and low VRAM - I can see why it's not so speedy. I can't explain why it used to seem faster, but I would also be surprised if any other current NLE would work any smoother though on the given hardware.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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Re: SLow FCPX - I mean really slow

I edited a three camera shoot on my 17 MBP with 8gb RAM and a second monitor attached the other day with AVCHD files straight from the cameras on a eSATA RAID and it behaved fine. The program will slow down if I use very high bandwidth AVCHD files from my GH3 camera but so will my MacPro.The MacBookPro has two video cards installed which normally will switch over to the high quality high power card when programs like FCPX are launched. However this can be turned off in the Energy Saving preferences in System Preferences. Check to see if the low energy video card isn't set to always on.

Rendered files should not slow down the computer at all as it's an easy playback task. This indicates that something else is happening outside of FCPX. Have you looked at the Activity Monitor program at all while running FCPX? You can see if the CPU is being used heavily or if the RAM memory is full. Check to see if any other program is hogging resources, Are your hard drives near full? That can slow things down.
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Old December 6th, 2013, 05:03 PM   #7
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Re: SLow FCPX - I mean really slow

I'll check those out William thanks.

I may also swap out the external for a new one. See if that makes any difference.
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