URGENT: isn't this a ram issue? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 1st, 2005, 11:09 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 436
URGENT: isn't this a ram issue?

Hello all -

Well I'm assistant editor for a super16mm feature being cut in FCP HD. We're just about done digitizing and loading dailies but the computer we're working on is getting sluggish: not very responsive when extending clips or roll edits, like it takes a second+ for where we move the mouse to change the clip durations.

Our machine is a G5 dual 1.8 working off of a fast 300 gig Maxtor 7200 rpm firewire 400 drive but we only have 512 megs of RAM! I figured this would be an issue but money is tight with the budget so the buying of more memory has been delayed a bit. Is this simply a ram issue and are there any temporary fixes while we wait for the extra gig to arrive from Crucial? And yes, I understand FCP min. req. is 512 megs of ram, rec. is 1 gig, this is simply the setup we have to work with. I trash prefs and repair permissions daily. We're about to break up the project into 3 different smaller projects for each act to hopefully relieve some system stress. Thanks everyone!
Bryan Roberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 1st, 2005, 11:54 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Healdsburg, California
Posts: 1,138
The reality is that there may be numrous factors adding to the cause of the sluggishness you are feeling. I would venture to say that RAM is your #1 issue. The reality is that the 512 mb is not only the minimum needed for what you are doing (give or take, really) but is really the minimum just for the purpose of smooth and healthy OS X at all. You can operate the OS on much less, but it is not nearly as responsive, so your 512 is doing okay there, however, throwing the FCP on top of that is going to really task you, especially in your longer and more involved segments. I suspect when you break down your project into shorter segments as you suggested you will notice a small amount of relief, but as you already know, I think the RAM is your main culprit.

Secondly, make sure you are working with a sizable enough scratch disk. Theoretically, it is preferred to keep open as much as 15% of your drive for OS X to swap its data cleanly and efficiently. If you are squeezing that, you will also notice some problems.

For the sake of simplicity, the nature of RAM is that it is juggling the current data your are attempting to process, so when you are working with larger files, you are trying to process more and more data through a small RAM window. The delay in interactivity is somewhat expected in context of your situation.

Hope this helps.
-Jon
__________________
"Are we to go on record, sir, with our assertion that the 'pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers' are, in point of fact', magically delicious?"
- Walter Hollarhan before the House Subcommittee on Integrity in Advertising - May, 1974
Jonathan Jones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 1st, 2005, 12:33 PM   #3
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,542
One way to figure out if you have enough RAM is to run the Activity Monitor program in the utilities folder. Click on the System Memory button and have a look at page ins/outs. This will be in the format xxxx/yyy. The number to watch is the yyy (page outs). The larger that is the more likely that you need more RAM. I can't remember the specifics, but I think yyy should be no larger than about 10% of xxx. If you're seeing a number as large as 50% then you definitely need more RAM.

512MB seems very small for a G5 system running FCP personally. I would want a minimum of 1GB, preferably more....
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 1st, 2005, 02:09 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: McLean, VA United States
Posts: 749
You might also want to kick off the activity monitor to see how busy the processors are when various things are going on or not. If there is lots of CPU activity when FCP isn't doing much then something else is hogging the processors. Open the terminal window and run "top" to see what these are. Then "kill -9 pid" to kill anything which shouldn't be running (pid = process id number).
A. J. deLange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 1st, 2005, 05:09 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Welland ON
Posts: 515
You could also try setting your processor performance to highest if you haven't already, it's located under energy saver in system preferences.
__________________
"We've done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."
Nate Schmidt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 1st, 2005, 05:49 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 436
Thanks so much guys, I'll try all these!
Bryan Roberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 1st, 2005, 10:07 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 796
Something else I do is remove all items from the startup menu as well as having nothing running in the task bar at the top of the screen. No clock, no volume indicator, no display icon.
__________________
Dave Perry Cinematographer LLC
Director of Photography Editor Digital Film Production 540.915.2752 daveperry.net
Dave Perry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2005, 01:07 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: San Marcos, CALIFORNIA
Posts: 103
just out of curiousity how much was that gig of ram.
Kevin Calumpit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2005, 01:12 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 796
$117 at OWC.
__________________
Dave Perry Cinematographer LLC
Director of Photography Editor Digital Film Production 540.915.2752 daveperry.net
Dave Perry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2005, 01:59 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 436
We were going to order from crucial but it was getting fairly urgent so we purchased a gig this morning in a kit specifically for the G5 from PNY at compusa for $149.99. Not bad at all.
Bryan Roberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2005, 02:29 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 436
HELP!

I installed the ram this morning but FCP is STILL acting slow, it still takes a few seconds for the roll tools or just to extend video or audio with the mouse (the sequences are only a few minutes long each, they're broken down into scenes or scene chunks, only one seq open at a time)! The system lists itself as having 1.25 gigs of ram. The rest of the system seems to have benefited from the upgrade except our actual editing, however other tasks in FCP are much snappier like moving folders and selecting multiple folders with a mouse drag box select, everything is faster except extending and roll editing (even dropping in a dragging clips is fast)!. We now have 1.25 gigs of ram (the 512 we had installed previously was in 4 128 meg chips so we had to trade out 2 chips). I ran the activity monitor and there's nothing else taking up CPU or memory substantial. Our boot drive has 25% free space and my external FW drive has 140 gigs free still (it's a 300 gig drive). The playback quality is set to Medium, RT set to Safe, we're working in a 23.98 environment from reverse telecinied clips in CT just as a note. Our structure right now is just a folder for each scene with the shots inside of their respective folders, I counted and right now we have 60 folders with 57 for scenes, one for SFX, one for sequences, and one for source files. What else can I check?

Just as a note, I installed the memory this way based on the apple install manual pdf:

4 slots total, removed the 128 meg chips from the top slot and the bottom slot leaving the middle two with the 128 meg chips still installed. Then put the 512 meg chips in slot 1 and 4. Should I have the largest chips in the middle slots?
Bryan Roberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2005, 07:25 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 436
Ok, so here's the update. I guess 60 folders is just too much to have in FCP, but the problem was there when we had 50, so I guess 50 is too many as well. We did some test projects: first I broke all our scene folders into broader folders numbered 1-6 in the same project but that didn't help. Then we put around 20 - 25 scenes in seperate projects and the system is back to normal, so it seems that FCP doesn't like to have a ton of folders or perhaps the media list was too great with that many dailies for files. I'm not sure, it could be the dual 1.8 wasn't enough to handle all we threw at it (dual 1.8's are getting a bit older now, not to mention it's one of the first run setups with only 4gigs max ram so I think they had less cache or fsb?). Anyways, everything else in our project was snappy and fast with great playback, our drag and drop was very fast, scrubbing etc. but just very slow to shorten or lengthen clips and roll edits so again, just a lesson about number of folders or media per project you can have running, I guess a good lesson to anyone about to undertake a long form show.
Bryan Roberts is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:17 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network