FCP, cores, RAM question


macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 1, 2009
How many cores and how much RAM can Final Cut Studio 3 use?




macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2008
RAM is capped at about 3 GB. I've seen it use a little less than 3 cores at the most, for Final Cut Pro. Motion, I haven't done that much testing with. Color, either, but I think they can both use more than Final Cut can.

Compressor can use as many cores as you have, and I regularly use all 8 of mine to shorten encoding times.


macrumors 68020
Apr 16, 2008
Phoenix, AZ
I depends on the Final Cut app. Final Cut Pro rarely uses more than 3GB of RAM, as TheStrudel has pointed out (it's still a 32-bit app). Some rendering tasks within FCP will bump CPU utilization across all CPUs in the mid 70s on my 8-core 2.8, but that's pretty rare.

Compressor will use all the CPU resources you allow it to use in QMaster.

Color and Motion rely heavily on GPU, but don't scale CPU usage very well. Incidentally, I really wish that Color was more multi-CPU aware for render-outs. It desperately needs that.

Frankly, this is a lot of the reason why I haven't really upgraded past 8GB of RAM in my machine. FCS simply doesn't use it. But the new After Effects CS5 is really starting to temp me to. That app LOVES RAM.


macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 1, 2009
thanks all.

so it sounds like 6 gigs of RAM would be plenty if I am only using one app at a time.

anyone have an opinion on how much benefit a station would gain from having an ssd as a boot/applications drive for editing in fcp?



macrumors member
May 20, 2010
You can use FC while rendering with Compressor in FCS3. You will feel the added power here, as weaker machines will give you some trouble when you try to edit HD while rendering.
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