What's the limiting factor?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NinjahKitteh, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. NinjahKitteh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    #1
    Hello there everyone. I am starting to get pretty big into movie editing lately. I have a 2nd Tier (bigger HD and slightly better cpu) 13 inch MBP Early 2011. I was wondering, when I try to use any decent video editing software such as Final Cut Pro, my computer gets ready to kill itself and the software is barely useable. When I am using final cut, my cpu usage is about 20-30% and my free ram gets to about 15-30mb of ram free. I tend to have a lot of pageins. If I try to play games or edit video, my page-ins will easily reach 15GB. So I was wondering. Is ram the limiting factor here or would it be something else. I am not very bright with computers and dont know how things work with them. I would also like to point out that the closest thing to a graphics card that I have is Intel 3000 HD, which I admit, isnt as bad as I expected. Anyway, do you guys think that it is at all possible to run something like Final Cut on my Mac? What should my next step be in terms of upgrading be to make it run better? Is my 4gb of ram the limiting factor, or is it something more like the gpu? I have heard of the hier tier macs running Final Cut fine with only 4GB ram so I am worried that I may have wasted a ton of money if I am wanting to get into video editing some more.


    Thanks!
     
  2. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Page-ins aren't an issue. They occur when an application calls upon something stored within the RAM memory.

    Page Outs are often the problem, because that means that an application is looking for data that isn't stored within the RAM, but within the HDD. The data must then be copied from HDD to the RAM (which is orders of magnitude slower). If you have gigabytes of page-outs in a single session, then you definitely will benefit from upgrading your RAM.
     
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #3
    It's not the pageins that matter, it's the pageouts. Pageouts and the amount of swap used will be a start of indication where the limiting factor is.

    And remember when you alleviate one limiting factor, another will probably appear.

    And while you're considering the choice between upgrading memory and such versus buying a new Mac, go in to an Apple Store and look at video editing on various size screens to see if a larger screen might be better for you.

    Something to remember is that people have different concepts of time and what is fine when doing various activities on their computer that may not match with yours.
     
  4. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Coast, USA
    #4
    To the OP: if you follow this accurate thoughtful advice above, you can't go wrong. I couldn't have said it better myself :)
     
  5. NinjahKitteh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    #5
    Thanks for the info. I have a question for you, but first, for the page out thing. My page-outs are about 1GB right now, this is from 1 day of uptime but no heavy use. No video editing, just simply browsing the internet and watching movies. Now my second question is that, have anyone here ever seen someone be able to get FCP running well on a 13 inch MBP? I bought a 27 inch monitor exactly for the reason to have a bigger workspace, im just worried that I will go and upgrade the ram to 8gb, then it still wont make a big enough difference to make FCP usable. Any thoughts?

    As for the time thing, when I try to use FCP and run things like internet and other stuff at the same time, I usually get beach ball on FCP about every 30 seconds and the computer basically becomes unusable.
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #6
    What kind of footage do you use, is it properly transcoded upon import and on what device do you store that footage?

    Video Compression
    Why It Matters & How To Make The Most Of It


    As for the display issue, more RAM will help, as the Intel 3000 HD integrated graphics processor (IGP) will have double the video RAM, which helps driving a big resolution display.
    More RAM will also help you with your beachball issue, as that comes from the paging out (copying from RAM to HDD).

    And as 8 GB RAM cost less than 50 USD, it is quite cheap to do so. 16 GB can be had for less than 120 USD via Newegg too.

     
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #7
    It sounds like you are memory limited, however, swap used will help confirm that. You can use Activity Monitor to find out your current swap used. Do get it while you're using FCP since OS X will dynamically grow and shrink swap space as needed.
     
  8. NinjahKitteh thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    #8
    Thanks for all the info guys. I started up FCP to look into the codec stuff, unfourtunatly I just noticed a new issue. When using FCP, my CPU usage tends to be around 70% to about 150% (im assuming this means it is using both cores) I dont know exactly why, but my Intel i7 Dual Core 2.7 Ghz seems to show up that it has 4 cores and shows each core is around 25-50%. Could this mean that the CPU may actually be the limiting factor? My Page Outs do jump a lot though after opening FCP and starting to use it.

    Its important to note that this is final cut Pro X. I may need to switch to Final Cut Pro 7 as it seems a lot less resource intensive
     

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