FCP and a Quad PowerMac

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Mr. Anderson, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #1
    So I have this nice new Quad PowerMac with 8 gigs of RAM and I'm doing a little simple video conversion and its taking much longer than I would have expected to export the damn thing. I look at the activity monitor and FCP is only using max 110% of a total 400% of the CPU power.

    What gives? Anyone know if I've got to set something up for it to run faster?

    D
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    Just out of curiosity what conversion are you doing?

    Also, FCP might not be to take advantage of all 4 cores. Even though it's not transcoding as fast as you'd like, having the extra horse power should mean your PM won't get bogged down as quickly. So, for example, while it's transcoding that footage you should be able to still work in other programs and not feel a slow down. Unlike my Quicksilver where if I need to encode something I have to walk away until it's finished 'cause the encoding takes up so much of my CPU power.


    Lethal
     
  3. rendezvouscp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    Long Beach, California
    #3
    Using the Terminal, you can change the priority of the apps you're running (this might speed things up). I really wish I could remember what the command is, but I believe it starts with an "r" and I know it takes a number value (-20 to 20 I think) as an argument; from what I can remember, it sounds like a woman's name too.

    I know that's not much help, but hopefully someone with a decent level of familiarity will remember what I'm talking about.
    -Chasen
     
  4. TheMonarch macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #4
    I forgot how to do it, but there's a way to change program priorities on Macs too, maybe if you make it a higher priority, OSX will make it use more CPU time.

    Its not as simple as in the PC though, maybe someone can show us how...
     
  5. evil_santa macrumors 6502a

    evil_santa

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #5
    Up until about a year a go I was using a G3 400mhz at work for encoding QT files, it took about 1hr of render time per min of video, it to go have a cup of tea, walk around the block, look at the apple website at those nice shiny g5, err well we couldn't do that on the G3 at the same time as it made the encoding even slower...
     
  6. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #6
    QT encoding seems to be a bit better - and its niced now so that you can run multiple windows at the same time. I was doing a .wmv conversion and that was the issue - the flip4mac plugin isn't too speedy - I'm going to try it on my old G4 and see what happens.

    Lightwave pegs all the processors at 100%, which is nice, especially when you can monitor the thing and see the results. Seeing a lot of black in activity monitor with FCP was a bit disconcerting.

    And the flip4mac conversion is crappy in Quicktime as well - see below...

    D
     

    Attached Files:

  7. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    mi
    #7
    Someone in the distributed rendering thread just mentioned that FCP isn't multi-threaded (if memory serves), so you won't see a speed increase with 4 cores available. OTOH, most of the other pro-apps are, so you should see a speed up with them...
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    THis isabout exactly what I'd expect. The transcoding operation is single threaded and runs on one of the four CPUs leaving the other three un-used.

    In oder to fully utilize a quad core computer you need to find four CPU intensive tasks. The advantage of a multicore system is tham compressing or transcoding video does not slow down you other work. Yu can play iTunes, conpress video and edit video all at once and they al go full speed.

    to make an automotive analogy, a fleet of pickup trucks is not the same as one dump truck The quad core machine is like the fleet of pickup trucks.

    That said, Apple _could_ have written the software to be "multi threaded" in fact they did. The user interface is one thread, disk access is another and so on but vdeo transcoding is 'another" but not "some others".
     
  9. pdpfilms macrumors 68020

    pdpfilms

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    Vermontana
    #9
    I uderstand your truck fleet analogy, it makes good sense. But because of these four cores, should't it be relatively easy to render and edit simultaneously in FCP? or is it single-threaded in the fact that it won't even allow multiple processes even though they might run on independant cores?
     

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