Need help finding FCPX bottleneck

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by kepardue, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. kepardue macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2006
    FCPX has become almost unusable. It takes 15-20 minutes sometimes to launch and 10 minutes to navigate between projects. I get a beach ball for a minute at a time sometimes between making edits. I need some help determining what the bottleneck is and figure out how to fix it.

    My company has 78 videos, between 25-40 minutes each in length. We make edits to them fairly frequently. Most of the video is SD but we're replacing it with HD as we can. I've been rebuilding them in FCPX, and am about 80% done. As far as I can tell, the problem could be:

    - The files are stored on a Drobo, about 85% full, connected via USB2. As soon as somebody releases an eSATA/Thunderbolt adapter I'm going to get it.

    - The project files are in HD. This means that I'm winding up having to re-render the SD video as I drag it into the timeline and scale it to match the 16:9 ratio.

    - I'm using original media, not proxy media. I was thinking that it'd be fruitless to have extra proxy media laying around, but as it stands I've got 2.4TB in render files.

    Any advice would be very, very appreciated.

    Edited to add: I'm working on a <6 month old 27" 3.1GHz i5 iMac with 16GB RAM.
  2. polyethyleneguy macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I would say it's the USB 2.0 interface that's slowing you down. Even if you have a fast RAID setup, when information is sent to the iMac, it all slows down to around 480Mbps (in most cases it doesn't even get close to that speed).
    FCPX makes things more difficult in the way it manages files. The program wants to render thumbnail clips and carry out other tasks in the background, which is all very HDD intensive.

    If your Drobo has FW800, that might be a little of an improvement while you wait for a thunderbolt solution.
  3. kepardue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2006
    Ah, dumb me, not sure why I didn't think to check to see if the Drobo had FW800. I ran and got a cable and hooked it up via FW. Unfortunately, it still seems to be crawling. I typed in a title and it's been spinning beach ball for the last 10 minutes. It's still active, but only using 2.6% processor. 125 threads and 7.92GB of RAM (11.78BG Virtual) right now, if any of those statistics would help clarify anything.
  4. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005

    I don't know if this would help, but I would shut all programs down and repair permissions then reboot.

    Then I would create a small project in FCX completely absent of your current one attached to the drobo. See if the speed issues happen in the new one.

    good luck!
  5. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    Experiment with internal drive

    I think it's the USB that's your bottleneck. Can you possibly copy your project to your internal drive to see what kind of performance you get from the system?
  6. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    The Drobo by itself is not the fastest. It is nice for backups, but not really recommended for editing.
    Do you have all your events and projects loaded up all the time? That's most likely your bottleneck (a known issue). Create a bunch of disk images and store your stuff in there. Only mount these images when they are really needed.
    There's a 5 dollar piece of software which helps you organize your events/projects.
  7. kepardue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2006
    I'd need far more space to copy my projects to the internal drive, unfortunately. It makes sense that it's the number of projects that I have (78). I guess I'm going to have to try to group them as best possible and turn them on/off when I need them. I switch between them pretty frequently so I need them fairly handy, but not at the expense of staring at a blank screen and going through two cups of coffee before it finally loads anything.

    I hope performance for large libraries is on Apple's agenda for a future release, this is driving me absolutely bonkers. Maybe some day there will be an 8TB Thunderbolt array in my budget.
  8. kepardue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2006
    I should also add that I have a Drobo S, not the older Drobo. Everything I've read says that it *should* be adequate for video editing.
  9. martinX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009
    From what I've read around the place, I'd say everything you have listed is your bottleneck.
    • USB2 (FW800 is better, but still limited)
    • 85% full system
    • 78 projects that are loaded each time
    • the Drobo itself
  10. kepardue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2006
    Well, some of those can be fixed. I'd rather not have to use a utility to move things around, but I'll get Event Manager X to unload the groups of projects that I don't need. I'll just have to close and reopen FCPX more than I'd like.

    I'll move to eSATA as soon as there's a Thunderbolt adapter available.

    I could probably drop a couple of 3TB drives in here (I have 5 2TB drives currently), that'd give me an extra TB to work with. I'd have to be able to justify that that'd fix my performance problem to get the fundage for it though.

    My last question is whether it would be worth the trade off to make proxy media for the ~57 hours of footage that I have. I know the proxy media would be about a third more storage space for the raw video, but would mean smaller render files in the projects themselves. It seems like a big tradeoff considering I'd have to switch back to original media and let it re-render before I export for web/DVD/etc. Not to mention I'd have to go through each of my projects and delete the render files, otherwise there's no way I'd have room for the proxy media.
  11. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Man hats off to you on surviving this long with that many projects and with the set-up you have :)

    If you got this far with your current set-up, then any Mac Pro with FW800 or higher is gonna be butter for you :)
  12. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2005
    I've only recently started using FCPX so maybe these suggestions won't be of any help or will trigger another idea by someone else.

    Could you separate the projects? Start a project on a different external HD to work on, then transfer it over to the drobo when you're done? Is there a reason you need that many projects opened at once?

    Also, you could look into keeping your media (unedited or original source files) on a different ext HD. I'm not sure all the details of your setup and files, but this would allow you to always have access to your media, then have another drive for your completed projects (Drobo), then a small drive for project you're working on?
  13. Mostofamonkey macrumors newbie


    Apr 28, 2006
    North Carolina
    If all else fails, and it is still running slow on a faster interface. You might think about re-installing final cut. If it still happens after that, archive and install of the OS could do it (seems less likely, but stranger things have worked).

    I recently had an issue with FCPX as well as Motion 5 going super slow. End resolution for me was an erase and install: everything works like a dream now.
  14. loungecorps macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en_US) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Hi, bad news. Fcp x has huge project bloat problems I have ecperienced with any project over 15min or multiple compound clips.

    The program is great except it just dies on medium to large projects.

    Im on a mac pro with raid that gets 500mb, 16gb ram. No excuse!

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