Final Cut Pro X on Older MBP

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by LouiTheFish, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. LouiTheFish macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2009
    Philadelphia, St. Louis, Los Angeles
    Hey guys,
    Thanks in advance for your response. I'm editing an enormous series of video right now that's on a timeline to get finished (one per week for the next month). It's been going fairly smoothly until now. Essentially I started with about 150GB of raw video shot on a Nikon D7000 at 1080p and 24 FPS. Obviously when FCPX was optimizing the media it started to take up way too much room so I bought an external hard drive (LaCie running off of FW800) and had FCPX reroute everything to there. Things seemed to be going smoothly until I revisited some older footage for inclusion in the project. I started to notice that not only the older stuff but the newer, already optimized footage, was extremely jerky on playback and I couldn't really use it as it was because of being unable to accurately place cuts and music.

    I tried making Proxy and Optimized media of everything again and it's literally been running for 12 hours straight untouched and has barely gotten past 14%. Here are my stats:

    2.4GhZ 2008 Unibody MBP
    8GB RAM, 500GB onboard drive with 150GB available.
    1TB LaCie & 2TB G-Tech both running via FW800 separately.

    Any ideas how to get this stuff to stop being so jerky and stop taking days to optimize? I can't spend another day waiting for it to wrap up and it's clear that today wasn't even enough. If you've got any tips to streamline this whole process that'd be great too, I'm pretty new to FCPX.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    I don't have a MBP, but I would guess that the hang-up is your FW I/O. Do you have a Thunderbolt port on this MBP? Can you get access to a Thunderbolt external device?

    If not, what about eSATA? That would still be much faster than your FW drives.
  3. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2005
    The firewire800 external hard drives should be okay, especially for optimized and proxy media. I don't think that is the issue.

    Are you sure all of the media is being stored on the external hard drives? I would double check and make sure there isn't any content on your internal hard drive.
  4. LouiTheFish thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2009
    Philadelphia, St. Louis, Los Angeles

    FW800 should be more than adequate. Thunderbolt didn't come until much later than the model I've listed, unfortunately.

    All media is stored on the drives. Literally everything related to FCPX except for the application and some framework stuff.

    I think the issue is the processor. The Core 2 Duo just isn't meant for this kind of work. Thanks for your replies.
  5. floh macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Sounds the same to me. I was editing in FCPX on a very similar system, and it got really slow at times. Creating the optimized media is expected to take a while though with such huge amounts.

    For simple editing, I did not find my Core 2 Duo CPU to be that much of a problem (more the memory, of which I had only 4GB...). But when things got more complicated, the software would slow down for two reasons:

    1. FCPX depends heavily on the GPU for some tasks (especially effects), and the graphics processor in older MBPs (or even newer notebooks) is not the strongest.

    2. FCPX starts to do things in the background. Especially when I was working with lots of material, thumbnails and waveform were created like crazy. Check if you have a lot of background tasks running: Press Cmd+9 to bring up the HUD about background tasks and see if you have a lot going on there. If so, you can cancel the things already running and even turn off background rendering altogether in the Preferences->Playback tab. While the background rendering is nice for powerful CPUs, it drove me crazy on my Core2Duo, because it took up a lot of my computing power.

    Maybe that helps. Sorry, I don't know a good solution to what you're describing.

    Oh, by the way: You are right, FW800 is not the problem. :)


    You can also try to find the problem by looking at your system usage. Of course, OSX has the built-in Activity Monitor, which will tell you how CPU, hard drive and memory is used. And I always have the MenuMeters running in the menu bar to show my CPU usage. For me, that is mostly important for my work, but it also helps me see if the CPU or the memory is the problem when my computer is slowing down during editing or other tasks.
  6. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    Turn off thumbnails and waveforms. Only switch them on when you really need them.
    When you talk about creating optimized media, did you switch on all the them analyze for whatever? That takes a lot of time. Especially, as them C2D were no racehorses.

Share This Page