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Old May 29th, 2004, 12:47 AM   #1
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Dual G5 Slow with Final Cut Pro HD

Hello everyone. I recently landed a position with a small video production company in my home town. One of the reasons I got the job was because I have experience with Macs and Final Cut. Although I use Final Cut Express, what I've learned using it seems to be enough to get me started in FCP.

The company that hired me has been using a Matrox DigiSuite/Premier setup and has decided to switch to the Mac/FCP HD setup. The switch has not been going well and today my boss said he was not sold on Apple yet. This really bothers me since I've had such a good experience swithing to the Mac from PC.

The edit bay he has put me at has a G5 2 gHz dp with 2 gigs of ram, 2 20" cinema displays, 2 internal hard drives, and FCP HD. I was expecting to be blown away but was not. At home I use an iBook 800 G3 with FCX and the work flow is much snappier, granted render times are obviously much slower.

I'm completely familiar with Mac OS X maintenance but want to know what to suggest to him to set up his G5 system to run the way it should. He also has a 17" iMac 1.25 ghz and I suggested he set up FCP on it as a backup and that it might even run better.

What can we do? He has a Medea Raid that he wants to take from the PC set up and add to the G5 when we are finished with the current job. I told him I thought the SATA drives in the G5 would be faster, just based on transfer specs. Is this correct?

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Old May 29th, 2004, 12:56 AM   #2
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Can you be more specific on the nature of the problems and the versions of the software, OS etc. you are using?
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Old May 29th, 2004, 01:01 AM   #3
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First off, congratulations on your new gig, Dave! It sounds like it will be fun...especially if you can get past this initial episode.

Of course it's impossible to target such an ephemeral problem as "it's too slow". Which set-up is deemed slow? Your dual 2G or your boss' iMac? Both?

I'll kick things off by asking a few more questions. Have you made sure that the FCP system prefs are set corrrectly regarding locations for capture, renders, etc.? Did you install the FCP software or did someone else? Have you tried clearing it off and reinstalling it? Anything else running in the background?
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Old May 29th, 2004, 01:04 AM   #4
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Hi Jeff.

Panther 10.3.3
FCP HD

I know there are two drives in it but haven't had time to check the specs. I think the boot drive is a 160 gig and the media drive is 250.

The problems we are having is that we have very little in terms of real time display. We have to render a lot of stuff out when changes are made.

Just moving a clip in the time line brings up a spinning beach ball for 3-5 seconds. Scrubbing through a clip is not smooth at all. General system responsive ness is slow, even when applying a filter in PhotoShop.
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Old May 29th, 2004, 01:13 AM   #5
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Hi Ken. Thanks for the props on getting the gig.

I've told him that I had a few thoughts on how to straighten things out but we have to get this job done first. I literaly was hired and working within an hour of meeting him. He over heard his wife talking to me when I called about any openings and Final Cut was mentioned. He grabbed the phone and asked if I could come over for a few hours and take a look at what he was doing.

Anyway, I checked his set up prefs and only having experience with FCX, I guess I'm only about 75% sure the set up is right. I did notice that he is capturing to the second internal drive and not the boot drive. The way I have FCX set up at home, I capture to a media drive, have that set as the scratch disc as well, and save Fianl Cut docs in a FCX folder in Documents on my boot drive.

I did not install the software, he installed it and has had it running about a month. The iMac is just being used as a general office machine right now, not an edit station.
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Old May 29th, 2004, 01:15 AM   #6
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Trash the FCP preferences and repair permissions. Then upgrade to 10.3.4 (combo) and repair permissions again. You should be good to go. Follow the links on how to trash the preferences.
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Old May 29th, 2004, 01:28 AM   #7
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How bad is the performance compared to your personal FCX system? Are you spending a great deal of time looking at a spinning wheel for most operations? FCP4 has never been slow on my dual 1G system. It keeps me busy, even when I have many clips, nested timelines, etc.
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Old May 29th, 2004, 01:36 AM   #8
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Check that your canvas is 100% or less? (anything >100% will slow things down a lot)

Check that all your clips' opacity is 100%.
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Old May 29th, 2004, 08:12 AM   #9
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Glen,

Canvas is at 75%, opacity is 100%. Opacity should not be an issue, especially on a G5 dual 2 gHz with 2 gigs of ram. I'm working on a movie at home on my G3 iBook 800 that has a number of tracks with opacities around 50% and at various composite modes.

I can't believe that canvas window size would be an issue on such a powerful machine as the G5, although it is on my iBook.
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Old May 29th, 2004, 08:24 AM   #10
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are you working with HD footage? Sounds like a reinstall... I'd guess those sata's are not slow drives so I'd think maybe your sequences are set up as something other than your source... what are you capturing, how and how does that compare to your sequence settings? Just a guess. More likely prefs and or setup...
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Old May 29th, 2004, 08:29 AM   #11
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sorry-- more specifically what's your capture source- deck, are you capturing through firewire or a card... that matrox you mentioned? Are you driving an external NTSC monitor- if so how? Is that Matrox still hooked up to this machine?
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Old May 29th, 2004, 08:31 AM   #12
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also how are you driving those 20"s that could be part of the refresh problem but not the beachball action
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Old May 29th, 2004, 09:07 PM   #13
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Josh,

Not working with HD stuff. I'll find the answer to the other set up questions Tus when I go back to work.
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