iMovie takes 59 min to export a 44 min project on an 8 core Mac Pro. Is this right?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by krye, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. krye macrumors 68000

    krye

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    Aug 21, 2007
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    USA
    #1
    I just bought an 8 core Mac Pro. I imported a couple of videos from my HD camcorder into iMovie 08. Glued them together with some transitions and chose Share to Media Browser. I set it to Large and let 'er rip.

    The movie project is only 44:42 minutes long, but the "Preparing Project" pane says it'll take 59 minutes to complete! Is this right? I have a powerhouse of a Mac with 4 Gigs or RAM. iStat shows that I still have 2.17 Gigs of free memory. Why is this going to take so long? I thought this Mac would tear through this in no time flat. I'd hate to see how long it would take on my MacBook! At least I thought it would take advantage of all 4 Gigs of RAM I have.

    Is this as good as an 8 core Mac Pro gets? Please Advise.
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #2
    Digital video is compressed. HD video is compressed even more so. You don't state which format your video is in. However, when you edit the video, it must be in a frame-based format--probably Apple Intermediate. When you export it to the the media browser, it is recompressed. You cannot expect your computer to recompress your video in realtime.
     
  3. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    #3
    I've never done anything bigger than 15 mins in iMovie, like the previous post stated do expect time if it needs to be compressed and recompressed.

    But still I'm surprised iMovie could handle more than 20 minutes of footage...
     
  4. faustfire macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

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    #4
    ...and you comp is only gonna use the amount of ram it needs for any given project.
     
  5. NickFalk macrumors 6502

    NickFalk

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    Jun 9, 2004
    #5
    Does iMovie really benefit from 8 cores? I would imagine Apple not to stress with multithreading this app or to optimize their "hobby" programs for such high-end setups.
     
  6. krye thread starter macrumors 68000

    krye

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    #6
    It's 720 HD. I thought it was in DV when I dropped it in. Maybe not.
     
  7. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    #7
    That's why I was surprised it could run a 40 minute project...
     
  8. Artofilm macrumors 6502a

    Artofilm

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #8
    Okay, so let me get this straight....
    You bought yourself a Mac Pro, and you're still using iMOVIE?!?

    A computer is worth nothing without good software.
    Go get yourself at least FCE, you will notice speed increases and ease of use. Not to mention the crashing that iMovie does.
     
  9. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #9
    While it is running, could you start "Activity Monitor" and tell us how many cores it is using? Lots of software will not use all eight cores. But many people who use these machines will let it "prepare its project" for 59 minutes, and if that uses two cores, then they still have another six cores that can do other work.

    For example, it is quite possible that you could start another movie project of 44 minutes, and another one, and another one, and all four will be finished in the same 59 minutes.
     
  10. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

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    Jan 3, 2006
    #10
    I have noticed that on my Intel iMac CD, more RAM does not make much of a difference during export. iMovie HD (2006 version) did not utilize more than 700-800MB of RAM. I think it is limited by the processor, but now I don't remember whether it actually went above 100% CPU usage. I am pretty sure it was not 200%, as the computer stayed quite usable throughout the encoding process. In the end, my 720HD project took much longer than the 30 minutes or so of the actual project length, but I don't remember how long. I did not care too much, as I could do it overnight or just watch a movie while my computer was working on it.

    It would be nice if you could tell us how high CPU usage went up to through the Activity Monitor and how long it actually took for the export to finish. The initial guess of iMovie is not always accurate.
     
  11. Sayer macrumors 6502a

    Sayer

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    Austin, TX
    #11
    If you bought an 8-core Mac Pro and thought it would be four times faster than a dual core iMac, well, you were wrong.

    Thats like expecting an 8-cylinder engine being twice as fast as a four cylinder engine.

    There are many, many misconceptions about how computers and their software works. If you don't like how iMovie (a consumer-level video editing app) works, step up to Final Cut Express which is made for work above and beyond iMovie.

    In the end working with HD video is not going to be realtime or better without HD de/encoding boards stuck in the Mac Pro.
     
  12. eyecool macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #12
    My 8 core with 10GB ram took 40 minutes to export a 5 minutes 720p project last night. I did this over and over with different settings...

    In iStat, it should CPU and RAM usage was minimal. I was all over the web trying to find out if iMovie took advantage of 8 cores but found nothing.

    I ended up paying $30 for QT Pro. Using Quick Time I was able to export in to other formats and different sizes licketysplit. It can simultaneously export multiple files at the same time.

    I too cringed at thinking how long this would have taken on my mac book. I sure do appreciate the Mac Pro. I have so many apps open and not once did working with HD video slow my system down at all.

    Oh, I used several different songs from iTunes in the iMovie I made, plus lots of transitions and titles... After showing the end results to family members (movie was about a new baby), the 40+ minutes to export the 5 minute .mov was well worth it. So is the MP!
     
  13. krye thread starter macrumors 68000

    krye

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    USA
    #13
    After dropping almost $5000 on the machine and the 30" Cinema Display, I don't have anymore cash left for software. So I'll make do with what I have until I can afford FCE. (Sob, sniff)
     
  14. phiberglass macrumors 6502a

    phiberglass

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    #14
    There's TONS of places where you can get a BIG discount on FCP :p
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #15
    Kind of a wate of $5, I'd say. Would have been better off buying the 24" iMac and software and poceting the change. The ONLY reason to own a computer is to run software
     
  16. Artofilm macrumors 6502a

    Artofilm

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    #16
    There's no point of having a good computer if you can't afford the software.
    Its kinda like buying a Farrari with bald tires...You ain't going anywhere!
     
  17. AnalyzeThis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    #17
    Consider yourself a lucky one!

    59 minutes to complete! Well many of us already forgot what it was to encode MPEG-2 on 800MHZ - about 4x time. HD H.264 throws us right back to stone age we used to be 5 years ago. If you are using multi-pass low bit rate compression in H.264 - it could take an eternity to complete. It would take 2-3 hours to encode 3 minutes of 720P on average. FCP has Compressor and QMaster (a clustering solution for Compressor and Shake). It takes 4 Macs to render 30 minutes 720P/60 movie suitable for burning HD content to SD-DVD running for 6-7 hours: one (1 mac-mini) serving as a source movie and destination storage. The rest (3: 2 x iMacs an 1 x MBP) are crunching segments of the movie with local Compressor instances. Only Compressor w/QMaster could fully utilize all CPUs and other machines on the subnet and capable of splitting source into segments for processing.
    It seems H.264 dwarfs most current CPU. MP should be able to speed things up to some reasonable degree.

    I am not sure why iMovie would take much of any time, unless you are trying to export in compressed format. If you export in Apple intermediate codec - it should be the same as FCE or FCP as it just renders the sequence.

    Encoding is a very time consuming process.

    Video editing is not hard: mac-mini (1.66/2GB) could do HD editing without much of a stress with FCE on Apple Intermediate HD format source.

    Good Luck!
     
  18. krye thread starter macrumors 68000

    krye

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    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    I grabbed a screen shot of Activity Monitor to show you what the cores are doing. As far as iStat, it says System 1%, user 20%. Other than Safari, I have no other apps open. I have 2.76 Gigs of free memory, 476M wired, and 723M active.

    The video coming off my HD camera are .mp4. So I guess it's going from compressed to uncompressed to compressed. That's what takes a while. Still, I guess an hour for 45 minutes of HD isn't so bad.
     

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  19. Steven1621 macrumors 6502a

    Steven1621

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    Apr 10, 2003
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    Connecticut
    #19
    I've experienced the same frustration with the Mac Pro (8 core; 4GB RAM) that I use at school. Even when using Final Cut Pro, it takes awhile to export or compress DV files despite minimal CPU and RAM usage. It's really annoying to have such a powerful machine that never really gets to stretch its legs.
     
  20. krye thread starter macrumors 68000

    krye

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    #20
    Well, affording the hardware is the hard part. The software is easy. I can get it as I go. Birthday, Christmas, etc. Don't forget, there's also the occasional "score" on eBay. So I'm not worried about it. This is a hobby to me. So I'll build up my arsenal of Pro apps as I go.
     
  21. Artofilm macrumors 6502a

    Artofilm

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #21
    The only real way to compress using the Mac Pro the best way, is to use Compressor.

    The built-in compressions in FCP & FCE are way too slow.

    This thread kinda has no point. You have answered your own question. You have iMovie, it won't run fast with that. You need a professional program to run with a professional computer.
     
  22. krye thread starter macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #22
    Now this is what I like to see....
    I made another movie in iMovie 06. It's 100 minutes of DV. Not HD, but videos of my kids recorded with my P&S Kodak. I put in a bunch of scene transitions and chapter markers. Then I sent it to iDVD. Did the works when it came to the menus and music, etc, etc. When I hit burn, it said it was going to take a little over 5 hours. I checked it about 3 hours later and it only had 13 mins to go. Activity monitor shows all 8 cores running solid. And the best part, only 25% CPU utilization. This thing IS a beast!
     

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