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Old May 2nd, 2006, 02:06 PM   #1
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Final Cut pro Slow down

I have a suped-up G4 running a RocketRAID PCI card. Three Hard drives are RAIDed in a stripped RAID 0 array. Disk tests get me close to 170megabytes/sec. That puts me solidly into HD Uncompressed 8 bit territory. Test videos I've used playback through Quicktime at full frame-rate and Activity monitor shows stable reading performace at the 90megabytes/sec that 8 bit runs at. BUT, when I take that same movie file and bring it into Final Cut Studio the same video will not playback without stuttering. This happens in playing from either the timeline with correct settings or in the canvas window. Anybody know what gives?
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 02:33 PM   #2
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Nathan, your bottleneck might not be the disk performance, but CPU/GPU display performance. Is FCP giving you alerts that frames were dropped during playback? If not, it's possible that the display is just lagging behind, but disk performance is indeed adequate. What GPU is installed in your G4?

But at whatever speed, the G4 system architecture (particularly the system bus) is severely limited when compared to G5s. Grabbing yourself a used dual 2.0 GHz G5 should put you afloat...

HTH,

Ron
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 04:13 PM   #3
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Just a wild guess... there is a bug which persists in all version of FCP.... if you set the canvas window scale to 100% then things slow down for some reason. Use the dropdown menu to set the canvas for "fit in window" and these problems go away.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 09:00 PM   #4
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Thanks for all the help

Thanks, I was aware of the 100% scaling problem so I know that's not it. I think I have to agree it must be the GPU/CPU and G4 in general, but it does illustrate that Final Cut clogs things up a bit because using just quicktime I get full playback no problem. I have a Dual 1.8 gigadesign upgrade inside with maxed out ram and an overclocked radeon 9800. I'd say that's pretty much as fast as you can make a G4 and it would seem that Final Cut pro requires to much video card speed/throughput (only a 4X video card slot.)
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Troutman
Thanks, I was aware of the 100% scaling problem so I know that's not it. I think I have to agree it must be the GPU/CPU and G4 in general, but it does illustrate that Final Cut clogs things up a bit because using just quicktime I get full playback no problem. I have a Dual 1.8 gigadesign upgrade inside with maxed out ram and an overclocked radeon 9800. I'd say that's pretty much as fast as you can make a G4 and it would seem that Final Cut pro requires to much video card speed/throughput (only a 4X video card slot.)
I believe FCP makes more use of the GPU bus than just using QT player would.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:49 AM   #6
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So, I just found out that I can make everything work as long as I keep the video file in the correct 1440 X 1080 of HDV. Compressor was getting rid of the HD 1440 pixel and turning the file into 1920 X 1080 with a square pixel. Final cut pro also does this when you export. This is what you want to happen and is not a glitch or a mistake. It ensure that your finished file is standard 1080i, but it makes the file larger and the data rate higher even though it's not really any better. Now you can see why HDV uses 1440 with a rectangular pixel: it uses less space and lowers the data rate. As long as I converted and specifically told compressor to keep the 1440 with a HDV pixel it lowers the data rate enough to allow me to playback 10 bit uncompressed in final cut pro on a G4! Yes!!
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Old May 5th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Troutman
As long as I converted and specifically told compressor to keep the 1440 with a HDV pixel it lowers the data rate enough to allow me to playback 10 bit uncompressed in final cut pro on a G4! Yes!!
Cool! Thanks for posting this follow-up! Good to know...
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Old September 8th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #8
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So which Graphics/Video card should I buy for my G4 using FCPS2?

I don't mean to steal this post but my questions are indeed related to the G4. I only have 2Gb of ram and also need to upgrade my G4's video card and have more available disk space for video storage. I need to be up and running by this Tuesday.

What I now have;

Machine Name: Power Mac G4
Machine Model: Power Mac 3,6
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 3.3
Number of CPU: 2
CPU Speed: 1.42 Ghz
L2 Cache per CPU: 256kb
L3 Cache per CPU: 2Mb
Memory: 2 Gb
Bus speed: 1.67 Mhz
Boot-Rom Version: 4.6.0F1

Factory Standard Video Card (not sure which, does not show model)
OS X v10.4.6 Tiger
Final Cut Pro Studio 2
Canon XH A1 HD Video Camera

Here is what I need recommendations for:

Should I sell my G4 and get a G5?

If the G4 is OK at the 1.42 speed, which video card should I get?

How much ram on the video card is ideal?

Which Firewire External Drive (for video-storage) to use?

Memory Module Size and Brand (insuring compatability).

...BTW, money is not an issue...


Thank you all for your replies!

PS: I'm mostly a Windows/PC user and know little about the Apple platform...
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Old September 8th, 2007, 09:41 PM   #9
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Hi Armando.

This page on the Apple website:

http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/specs.html

gives the minimum specs for running Final Cut Studio.

This is a useful page because it also gives "Application-Specific Requirements" such as, "Capturing HD resolution video using the ProRes 422 format requires a Mac Pro with an Intel Xeon processor or a G5 Quad computer and a qualified third-party capture card."

So the exact recommendations for your system would depend on what sort of capturing and editing you wish to do.

If you only want to work in SD then G4 is fine, for example.

Hopefully that webpage will familiarize you with the different uses and possibilities of FCS 2 and then you can plan your system accordingly.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 01:30 AM   #10
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Nathan,

More than likely it's due to the fact that you're using an e-SATA drive setup rather than SCSI or fibre. I've made many posts about the reasons why e-SATA has never been certified by Apple, AJA or BM for uncompressed HD workflows, but the nutshell version is the inherent lack of on-board controller cache to keep I/O speeds constant. Use the search feature and look up my other posts about the comparisons between e-SATA and other external array solutions and you'll find out why things are stuttering on you.
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