Disk not fast enough for FCP X ProRes

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by laserbeam273, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. laserbeam273 macrumors 6502

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    I just had some pretty bad frame drops during playback when I first opened FCP X, and was told that my disk isn't fast enough. I was using my iMac - see sig - which has a caviar black. All files are on one drive though, is it time to split?

    What's the best cost-effective set up given my mac and that I'm working with 1080 ProRes files? I don't need heaps of capacity, 2 TB would be fine for a year.
     
  2. mBox macrumors 68020

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    #2
    Download Blackmagic Disk Speed Test from App Store.
    Check your speeds on the drives you are using.
    For field work we use an eSATA with G-Tech miniRAIDS.
    They can do close to 150MB/s.
    With FW800 close to 80MB/s.
    No where near the Mac Pro's with SAS and G-Tech RAIDS 300+MB/s but thats just crazy of course ;)
    Look into Thunderbolt if you have the options.
    For home I do a ton of Extreme Sports editing and the occasional corp freelance crap. For work I deal with higher 4k res stuff and no way I can afford to that at home :p
     
  3. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Cool I'll give that a run when I'm at home. Is the basic idea to have only the program on the internal drive, then all the videos and project files on a single separate external drive? TB looks way too expensive unfortunately, and how could I get eSATA to work with my iMac? And if I do FW800, RAID 0 won't make a significant difference right? Sorry for all the questions!
     
  4. BillMidwest macrumors newbie

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    Absolutely, yes. Use an external drive as a scratch drive for files and your Mac hard drive for the application(s). Much less stress on the Macs drive and faster, too.
     
  5. mBox macrumors 68020

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    This goes back to the age of DV and even prior ;)
     
  6. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    I ran the app, it's given me a speed of 110 MB/s for read and write with my internal HDD.

    Alright, hopefully I can set myself up with an external drive soon. How would this be:

    http://store.apple.com/au/product/T...-Studio-Edition-II?fnode=MTY1NDA0Nw&s=priceLH

    I'd configure it with RAID 0, and just use that as my only back-up. Will that:
    a) Be fast enough for what I'm doing
    b) Be a suitable back-up strategy (or should I get another drive? It's just hobby editing, not professional)
     
  7. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    Those WD Studio drives have Green Caviars built in. They are nice for backup, but not for HD video.
    Look for G-Tech or, if you dare, LaCie (they had some quality issues a couple of years ago, but the drives I bought since 2009 are ok).
    Make sure the drive makes 7200rpm.
     
  8. laserbeam273, Feb 9, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012

    laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Hmm.. I do like the reputation of its quietness though. My computer is in my bedroom so if I'm ever doing overnight processing it'll be a pain... but then again, I even found my 2.5" external to be too loud. Think I'll just need to time it better - process during the day when I'm not at home.

    So this one would be better?

    http://store.apple.com/au/product/TX906PA/A?fnode=MTY1NDA0Nw&s=priceLH

    How do I get the eSATA interface to link up to Thunderbolt? I'm guessing that'll be hundreds $$ extra for that set up, will FW800 be fine?

    EDIT: Seems to only support RAID 0, which would mean I still need to get a backup drive.
     
  9. mBox macrumors 68020

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    FW800 would be fine for now, but if Id wait for G-Techs Thunderbolt offerings. NAB is in April and Im pretty sure they will come out by then.
     
  10. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Alright, I'll try hang on. It'd be a shame to miss out on TB by only a few months!
     
  11. mBox macrumors 68020

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    Haha welcome to the world of technology :p
    We just ordered a dozen Mac Pros :(
    If new ones come out by next week Ill be pissed :p
     
  12. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    I know! But also HDD prices are bad at the moment, and I only get frame drops when I play just after loading FCP X, so I think I can cope. Are there new CPUs for MPs that Apple would consider a worthy upgrade? I'm keen to see how fast the next beast will be!
     
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    I think you are on the right track in wanting to remove any potential bottlenecks. I can only offer you some ideas here -

    I have read that FCP X unlike Pro can use additional memory beyond 4 gigs. For this, you may want to explore fully losing your iMac with as much RAM as you can.

    Also (not to sound like a plug here) have you explored modifications that OWC does for iMacs? You can get more than one drive put in your computer and stripe them, you can also potentially get 3 drives total so you can perhaps add SSD drives which is vastly superior in speed etc. Just check them out.

    For Thunderbolt - There are external RAID units that should behave as if they are "inside" of your system with no lag time to speak of. They sadly are expensive (for now). A somewhat sneakier approach would be to get Seagate's GoFLex Thunderbolt adaptor plus a Thunderbolt cable and then connect it to an eSATA based small RAID box that is far cheaper than the ones made specifically for Thundebolt.

    iMac --TB Cable - SeagateGoFLex TB adaptor --eSATA cable - eSATA RAID.

    The trickiest issue is how much do you want to spend to make the problem go away? For me, I would look at the latter option and read up on the GoFLex adaptor. Several people have posted elsewhere that this is a decent interim solution that avoids the expensive way of doing Thunderbolt. Cost for cable and adaptor 150 dollars. What you put on the end is your choice.

    OWC offerings are under 'iMac Turnkey" if you look it up on the net.

    Again - max your RAM. It will help quite a bit with your version of the software.
     
  14. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Thanks for the reply. I think that may be overdoing it though as all that would quickly add up to a grand, especially considering I'm in Australia with shipping and high prices and all. I do hope to one day use an SSD as my scratch disk, but I don't think it's time yet. I'd rather get my external storage solution set up, sit with that for a few projects, then if my scratch disk is proving to be a significant bottleneck I'll consider it. Of course it would be awesome though, man those SSDs are fast!

    Also not really having many page outs so I think 12 GB is sufficient. At the end of a big editing session usually it's all activated, but page outs are a few MB while the total memory used is many GBs. So I think it's fine for the time being.
     
  15. mBox macrumors 68020

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    64bit

    Stupid question but is everyone using their 64bit option on when using FCPX?
     
  16. laserbeam273 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Wasn't aware that there was an option, but yeah, according to activity monitor it's running 64-bit. The process is happy to run along many cores and use over 4 GB RAM, so again 64-bit.
     

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