Final Cut Slow on Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by reillypainting, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. reillypainting macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2014
    Hello - I work for a company that recently bought a Mac Pro to mainly edit videos. As I have began editing on it, it has gotten progressively slow. To the point where it has trouble playing back simple edits. I am not great with computer specs and such, but I believe it should be running much more efficiently than it is currently.

    Attached is what I am operating with.

    I have tried turning off background render and quite a few other suggestions as far as speeding up the process.

    I will note that I am importing libraries, events and all media to an external. It is a LaCie Dual Thunderbolt 2. I have gone through 2 firewire connections and now it is connected via USB and has been fine other than speed. It has been slow regardless. Is something with transferring to the external the issue? I am lost. Thanks.

    Attached Files:

  2. joecool99 Suspended


    Aug 20, 2008
    do PRAM + SMC reset. aslo check drive with disk utility for errors.
  3. d4rkc4sm macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2011
    cant help you there as im editing hd footage on an early 2008 mac pro with 14 gb of ram. i edit smoothly and it is not slow. faster than fcp 7. new mp must be screaming beasts.

    are you editing footage that's been converted to prores? that's a faster way to work. look into editing proxy versions.

    i edit with the info and effects window hidden. they can slow down edits.

    usually a fresh reboot makes things run fast until about a couple hours later, then it slows down. lots of hd thrashing. i think 32 gb is recommended when working with hd footage.
  4. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Well, I'm not sure if it's the root issue, but a LaCie Dual Thunderbolt 2 with spinning drives won't be terribly fast, definitely slower than the internal storage. A lot of that depends on what kind of media you're using though.

    I'm not sure why you're talking about Firewire and USB connections with a Thunderbolt drive as well. Just plug it in with Thunderbolt. I don't know if that should make a huge difference, but if you haven't plugged in the drive with a USB 3.0 cable that might not be the best, and there are enough Thunderbolt ports on the thing you might as well use Thunderbolt.

    What kind of footage are you editing? How much is there? It could just be that if you're working from the external drive you'll need something faster. The internal drive is about twice as fast as the LaCie, so maybe try pulling a project to the internal drive and see if your problems go away.
  5. dopeman macrumors regular

    Oct 10, 2014
  6. ekwipt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2008
    I'm guessing this is for FCPX? I think head over to
    And ask the same question.

    I'm not really using FCPX but you may want to think of running your projects (is that library and events) to your internal drive or a separate smaller Thunderbolt drive, possible running on the 2nd Thunderbolt port (are these things on the same bus)

    And run your footage to be ingested on your big LaCie drive, this way the LaCie is basically just outputting footage and your project drive can talk both ways
  7. rueyloon macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2013
    I do video for a living

    Previously we had a 2010 Mac Pro Octo 3.33 which was too slow for a project that we are doing so we bought a 2013 Hex 3.5. The nMP is about 15 to 25% faster.

    So I estimate your computer's to be between our old and new computer.

    1) don't turn off background render. Sometimes you just need to sit back and take a 1 minute break and let it render. It will subsequently speed up your work flow

    2) run your media files off the internal SSD if possible, else run it off an external SSD.

    3) run a program like istats and monitor your memory usage. Some projects that we edit (especially long edits over 30 minutes) fills up all the available memory. Your computer will run slowly once memory is filled.

    4) last edit in proxy mode, take that 30 mins to convert your files to proxy mode and it will give you sanity when editing.
  8. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2010
    I agree that your memory may be a limiting factor on a larger project. Not sure how long your videos are, but 12 GB can be used up fairly quickly. Check your memory usage and 'pressure' using the 'Activity Monitor' or something like iStat.
  9. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    Your low end Mac Pro should be fine for video editing. The upcoming Will Smith movie "Focus" was edited in FCP X, mostly on iMacs and MacBooks, not Mac Pros.

    Run the BlackMagic disk speed test on your LaCie hard drive. If it's connected via USB, maybe it's somehow only working at USB 2.0 rates, which is a lot slower. In general you want to use the Thunderbolt connection.

    12GB isn't a lot for video editing but it should be enough for modest projects.

    I have run basic FCP X performance tests on a similar nMP vs my top-spec iMac. The nMP is a little faster for some things, the iMac is faster for H.264 export. They are both capable machines for video editing, and you shouldn't see major performance problems.

    That said some codecs are highly compressed (e.g, GoPro) so in those few cases transcoding to optimized media might help. However in general FCP X works very well on native media without optimization.
  10. N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816


    Dec 15, 2012
    +1 I recently edit 40+ minutes of near 4K footage that was all in h.264. Despite working off the internal drive it could be choppy at times.
    While working with ProRes 422 off of my LaCie 2Big Thunderbolt is butter smooth, even without needing to render any effects.

    I can easily run out of my 32GB of RAM as well with projects like that and start paging.

    For the OP I would increase the system RAM, check the Lacie Drive's speed to make sure that's not the bottle neck, and optimise the media if it's not in ProRes already.

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