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Old December 8th, 2004, 01:34 PM   #1
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How Much RAM Is Enough?

I'm currently in the middle of editing a large project (about 7 hours worth of final footage) using Final Cut Pro 4.

The project requires extensive color correction, and Final Cut is closing on me 3 or 4 times a day without warning while I'm doing that color correction.

I suspect it is a RAM issue. I currently have 1.5 Gigs fully dedicated to Final Cut on a Dual G5. I'm thinking that I'm going to need more RAM not only for color correction, but for final rendering.

Is RAM in fact the problem, and if so, can anybody suggest how much I need for a project this size?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Ken Steven
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Old December 8th, 2004, 02:10 PM   #2
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Hm. Is all 7 hours of the footage in one project and one sequence? Then you might be having memory issues... even though OSX should be using Virtual Memory to take up the slack, that's a lot of video to be editing in one timeline.... you should try splitting it up into separate sequences to help split up the load. Turn off waveforms, and all other timeline overlays to help save one some processing too.

Last I checked, a single application in OS 10.3 could only have 2GB of memory... so going any higher wouldn't help. They may have patched that limitation in 10.3.x though...
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Old December 8th, 2004, 02:41 PM   #3
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Thanks Mark.

The 7 hours is actually spit into 24 different sequences, so any given sequence is only an average of 18 minutes long. I've already turned off anything non-essential, and I'm still experiencing the problem.

I'll check into the maximum RAM per application issue that you raised before I run out and buy any more. I'm still using OSX 10.2 ... that might also be part of the problem, but I don't dare upgrade to 10.3 in the middle of this project.

Ken
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Old December 8th, 2004, 03:09 PM   #4
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If the limit IS 2GB per application until OS 10.4, then upping it to 2.5GB of total RAM would probably help a little bit, but if you have the latest version of 10.2.x and of FCP 4.x then I would be surprised with your division of the project into smaller sequences that you are having this problem.

Anyone else in a similar setup with a similar problem?
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Old December 8th, 2004, 03:44 PM   #5
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I only have half the RAM you have (and also only 1.25 gig processor) and it doesn't happen to me. So I don't think it's RAM. Sometimes it help to reboot the computer when it starts acting up..
I use my computer for lots of things and when it's been on and alot of different applications have been open I find the comp works smoother when in FCP if a reboot has been made..
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Old December 9th, 2004, 03:48 PM   #6
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I use a g4 1.33 ghz 12" powerbook, with 512 mb of ram. It works wonders for me most of the time, having over an hour of footage in each project (yet not sequence). the quitting has happened to me sometimes and to friends of mine who also run g5's like yourself. i believe that i heard it is a bug and there is nothing that you can do about it until it updates. so therefore getting more RAM wont do you much good, if you do decide to buy ram however buy it from crucial.com; crucial.com sells ram for about half the price that the apple store does, and its completely legit. hope i helped slightly.
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Old December 10th, 2004, 04:01 AM   #7
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Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, and Motion actually all are able to recognize up to 4gb of Ram.
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Old December 10th, 2004, 06:40 AM   #8
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Mark, Alfred, Zander and Alan ... thanks for your input.

Compared to everything else we have to buy these days, RAM is fairly inexpensive, so I think I'll add an extra Gig and see if this helps. I'll report back at the end of next week and let everybody know.

It could very well be that RAM is NOT the issue, and that these pesky program quits are just a glitch with either Final Cut or the G5.

Thanks again.

Ken
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Old December 10th, 2004, 09:38 AM   #9
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Hey Alan, I couldn't find that reference anywhere... I remember reading about the 2GB limitation in some tech doc for OS 10.x... could you point me to where you read that? (I hate finding tech docs on Apple's site, the organization of the site is awful)
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Old December 10th, 2004, 11:15 AM   #10
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Re: How Much RAM Is Enough?

<<<-- Originally posted by Ken Steven : I'm currently in the middle of editing a large project (about 7 hours worth of final footage) using Final Cut Pro 4.

The project requires extensive color correction, and Final Cut is closing on me 3 or 4 times a day without warning while I'm doing that color correction.

I suspect it is a RAM issue. I currently have 1.5 Gigs fully dedicated to Final Cut on a Dual G5. I'm thinking that I'm going to need more RAM not only for color correction, but for final rendering.

Is RAM in fact the problem, and if so, can anybody suggest how much I need for a project this size?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Ken Steven -->>>That seems to be a lot of times of it quitting on you, make sure you have autosave on or just save frequently. But anyways, the only times i can remember FCP4 quitting on me is when I got into system settings. I rock a dual 1.8 G5 with 1.5GB of memory (crucial.com).
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Old December 11th, 2004, 02:57 AM   #11
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no idea if its documented anywhere, but I went to Cupertino for Final Cut certification and thats what our trainers said
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Old December 14th, 2004, 03:48 AM   #12
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Ken
I had a similer ex (though not as long a piece). Anyway upshot was it slowly emerged that it always qiute when either, rendering, save, or playing any clip taked from 1 particular master clip... Though this was not obviouse at first. and it took a good while for me to realise as I had a number of "renamed independent clips" in different sequences, but all coming from an old capture of a scene.

Finally I worked it out... I had a very slight problem with the "drive directory left over from an optimizeation done on the drive a month before. It meant that effectivelly one frame was corrupt, missing or damaged so when ever FCp had to reread that file for that original frame rather that a render file it "unexpectedly quit".
I deleted the clip from harddrive, ran diskwarrior, then recaptured just that one clip from tape. The problem for me was gone! what a relief that was to.

Not saying this is your problem but just exampling one of the many "hidden" causes we miss sometimes.
I run a G4 667hz with a gig of ram (slow and painful)... and a 17inch 1.5ghz powerbook with a gig ram too (sweet and smooth!) and generally have few ram issues.
But, except for my exturnal media and render drives, I have everything turned off or disconnected when doing any FCP work, don't know if helps but feels like it does...

I know that recapture is not always an option, and identifing the culprite would not be easy either but worth just trying to identify what FCP was doing to what at the time of quiting may lead to the answer to your problem.

Good Luck
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Old December 14th, 2004, 04:22 AM   #13
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Incidentaly Does anyone use "FCP Rescue"

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/video/fcprescue.html

I haven't used it yet but thought I'd mention it, for those that may oneday find the need.
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Old December 20th, 2004, 04:26 PM   #14
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Nigel, thanks for the input. It makes perfect sense that this would cause the problem now that you mention it ... I just never thought of it. If the problem pops up again, this is the first thing I will check.

So far, however, I am keeping my fingers crossed that the problem is solved. I installed an extra GIG of RAM bringing my total up to 2.5 and at the same time I upgraded to system 10.5 from 10.2 ... the machine runs MUCH faster now. My understanding is that I wasn't getting maximum benefit of my dual processor with the older operating system. I also updated to FCP 4.5 ... so we won't know for sure which of these was the fix ... but I appear to be better off now than before, which is all that matters.

Thanks to all again for your help.

Ken
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Old December 21st, 2004, 04:18 AM   #15
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"at the same time I upgraded to system 10.5 from 10.2" Holy smokes you must be really well connected.. Is it nice? =)

Seriously though, good you fixed the problem!
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