Am I not utilizing the power of my mac pro? exports taking longgg! at DVinfo.net

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Old July 22nd, 2009, 02:29 AM   #1
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Am I not utilizing the power of my mac pro? exports taking longgg!

Hey there I just got my Mac Pro today and I thought I would see my exports go lightning fast however this is not the case

some background info

The footage is standard DV footage shot from a sony HVR V1U camera

my computer is a mac pro quad core 2.66 with
3 gigs of ram
640 GB hard drive and
ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB

I am running my footage off an 1 TB External Hard drive connected via USB

The file I wanted to export was 10 minutes, and I exported using quicktime conversion...use LAN/Intranet>..(I always using this setting when I want to upload the video to youtube)

This video took about 20 minutes to export...which is usually how long my NORMAL macbook to export files

so my question to you guys is, do I have any settings wrong in my final cut program, that I am not utilizing my full potential of my mac pro?

Thanks in advance!
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 02:51 AM   #2
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I see you posted this on the Apple discussions forum too, but since I'm logged-in here...

The bottleneck in your situation isn't the Mac Pro, it's your external drive. USB speeds are the same whether it's connected to a tower or laptop and the best possible speed you can expect from any USB-connected drive is less than 80Mbs - more likely around 60Mbs or worse depending on the actual chipset being used by the drive enclosure.

Without knowing your budget situation or your entire workflow there are two cost-effective options you should consider to speed up both exports and encoding/compression:

1. Put a couple HDD's in your MacPro and RAID them together, either mirrored or striped. This will drastically increase the IO speed of your data both during exports and encoding jobs. For this particular job the export time could have conceivably be cut in half - or more depending on how you configure the HDD's, and which HDD's you select. (there are dozens of threads about both RAID configurations and current HDD speeds - use the search feature).

2. Get an eSATA enclosure with 2 or more drives and really speed things up with an external RAID.

Basically, whichever method fits your budget you need to get your media and working files off that USB external; use it instead for project backups and other operations that don't require super-fast IO speeds.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 06:39 AM   #3
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Rishi
Further to Robert's excellent advice, you might also want to reassess your export method options. Have a read through Jon Chappell's advice here:
Using Compressor with multiple cores - Digital Rebellion Blog
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Old July 24th, 2009, 01:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
The bottleneck in your situation isn't the Mac Pro, it's your external drive. USB speeds are the same whether it's connected to a tower or laptop and the best possible speed you can expect from any USB-connected drive is less than 80Mbs - more likely around 60Mbs or worse depending on the actual chipset being used by the drive enclosure.
I don't think that's it. Do the math - 10 minutes of DV is 2.1Gb of data, at 30Mbs that would take just over a minute to read from the drive. Even if the drive can only sustain 15Mbs read/write we're talking about 5 minutes total and another 15 minutes of actual render/compression time.

Are you exporting directly from the FCP timeline? In my experience this is much slower (4-6x) than simply compressing a similar file in compressor, etc. I always export a high quality master (ProRes, etc) from the timeline first using File->export->quicktime movie and then run that through Compressor or MPEG Streamclip afterwards. Even with the two step process this is usually quicker, but especially so if you want to run multiple versions from the same master file.
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