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final cut pro x is killing my macbook pro!

58070 Views 75 Replies Latest reply: Nov 21, 2013 5:47 PM by FCPXLL RSS
  • Whiteshirt Calculating status...
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    Jan 7, 2012 1:45 PM (in response to Tom Wolsky)

    I've been trying H264, ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 HQ.  ProRes has the poorest resolution but drops the fewest frames (or so it seems).  Tom, if you recall the thread I started about FCP "hiccuping" when I export (, I am beginning to think this may be part of the problem.  Question - if frames are being dropped (a lot of them) during export, might that affect how the movie plays back, like what is seen in the movie I linked to in my thread?  Seems reasonable.


    The drive is the standard 256GB flash drive.  I have stopped background rendering in FCP and have deleted all unused render files, and this seems to have helped (maybe), but still having some issues.

  • boudwah Calculating status...
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    Jan 13, 2012 12:28 PM (in response to Johnny Sharman)

    TURN OFF BACKGROUND RENDERING!!! My memory leak/cpu temp problems dissapeared once I did this. Here's a few other things that I've done.

    1. transcode and optimize media

    2. create proxy media (both options appear when transcoding on import or by right clicking on media files)

    3. Use proxy media for playback.

    4. Edit

    5. Switch back to Use original or optimized media for playback

    6. Render

    7. Share>Export>Use current settings


    This solved the temp problem, memory leak, and the WORST OF ALL, the endlessly stuttering frame problem.


    Good Luck.

  • Claude Lyneis Calculating status...
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    Jan 14, 2012 9:55 AM (in response to boudwah)

    That looks like a good approach.  I have done some of those, but not all in that sequence.  I will try it on the next project.  I am losing hope that Apple is going to address these problems in a fundamental way.  I saw on their app website that FCPX is second highest grossing software for them.  Probably selling alot of 16 GB RAM iMacs as well.

  • innocentius Level 4 Level 4 (1,365 points)
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    Jan 14, 2012 10:19 AM (in response to boudwah)

    Good suggestions. Turn background render of and of course export with current settings and let Compressor do the job. For some reason with my Mac Pro 1,1 and always use high quality playback without ant problems. If this buggy software were designed to run smoothly no one should need to follow those recommendations. I think there is some horrible failure in the construction of this software and I doubt that Apple will be able to correct those issues.

  • boudwah Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 14, 2012 11:31 AM (in response to Johnny Sharman)

    Ok so I've reduded the work-flow fixes to this: turning off auto-render. I use "use original or optimized media" on playback with no problems but some lag if I get click-happy.


    I have a mini server 2.0 ghz i7.  On ANYTHING slower I would transcode to optimized media.  Upon rendering you will use up all your ram. Fcpx will not let this ram go.


    Workflow: Render off. Edit. Select similar environment/camera shots and "lift from primary storyline". "Create Compoud Clip". Apply effects to compound clips (really just CrumplePop Shrinkray and Color). Change my mind a thousand times. Render. "purge" in terminal. "Share>Export>Use Currrent Settings. No compressor needed.


    Using proxy media means photoshop files end up wonky, maybe also some motion generators. I use motion, photoshop, and illustrator files exported as psd. in my vids (guitar lessons) so I select the preference "use original or optimized media". Optimizing doesn't make a difference that i can tell just yet. I use 1080 footage from a cmos sensor handy cam thing and 720 files from a T1i. Despite the fact that the hslr footage is 30p and the t1 is 29.97, and the rez is different, I'm able to view all footage without rendering in the timeline. Achem...storyline. So storyline ****** me off untill I noticed something. FC support for nesting...FCPX... no nesting. However, put all instances of shots from the different cameras or different environments on secondary story lines. Do not use primary storyline. If you do, "lift from primary storyline". Then "create compound clip" BEFORE adding effets. Then you will be able to adjust color and whatnot for all instances of that clip or media or anything you want all at once. This is similar to "nesting" in FCS7.


    If you want an example, go to: or search for Back In Black Peachtree City Music Lessons on youtube to see what I've been able to come up with. That vid has clips from the HSLR and the T1i. If anyone wants a tut on what I'm doing with FCPX, leave a comment on that vid and I'll see what I can do. I have the tools but maybe not the time.


    Again my specs: 2.0ghz i7 mac mini server ((best deal in the iStore)), dual 500gb drives, 8g 1333mghz ddr3 ram, HD 3000 graphics chipset 512 virtual ram. You shouldn't need anything better to run fcpx without headache, I'm thinking my core duo iMac would run it using optimized media in the workflow if my GPU supprted fcpx. But it doesn't. Thank you Microsoft OSX 10.7.2


    GOOD LUCK. I know this: FCPX is...not...finished. However, for the price, it's not so bad. It does not do what we all thought it would based on apple's marketing. Clear your brain, accept that your 3 hundie is gone forever, and create a workflow that will get the job done. Adobe still confiscates your computer, and all other options requre another zero on the price.


    Brad Confer out.

  • JohnBarrett Calculating status...
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    Jan 14, 2012 12:58 PM (in response to boudwah)

    Brad....thanks for your in depth input on this issue. I'm curious about the Mac Mini server you are using for FCPX. Is it the current 2.0 GHz QUAD-core i7 with dual 500GB 7200 rpm drives?


    I love the Mac Mini because I can carry it from studio to studio and connect it to existing monitors. I've been wondering if the QUAD-core makes up for the slower 2GHz.

  • boudwah Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 14, 2012 2:52 PM (in response to JohnBarrett)

    John, yes and no. First, thank you for your acknowledgement. I have benefited so much from the generosity of the online community. I am truly grateful that I can give back. So... this is the best answer I can give:



    Now this is comparing cpu's for the purpose of audio editing in Logic Pro but I think that logic is a good indicator considering the relevant similarities tween audio and video. I can also tell you that these numbers are spot on. (I own a MacBook Pro 1ghz G4, Mini core duo 2.2, mini server 2.0 i7, and an iMac 2.8 duo extreme, in addition to 3 - 2.0ghz pwrPC duo G4 MacPro’s and these numbers are tested and true. (I own a business that requires such a collection)

    Logic does not bottleneck in RAM, it bottlenecks at cpu and at data transfer rates. GPU power is irrelevant. Processor speed, hd speed, and external drive speed are key for audio engineers. A 256mg solid state and a raid zero external firewire are the bomb for audio engineers. Let’s move on…

    Logic plugins are processor intensive. Yes, East West Samples and Studio drummer will eat your ram like cookie monster eats thin-mints on weed but…FCPX eats ram like a zombie at a petting zoo. Ok that image didn’t work. FCPX=ram consumption on an absolutely mind-boggling level. I have never, in 15 years of audio/video engineering seen a more gpu/ram hungry program. Never. iMacs and MacMini’s are two generations from being tolerable with 64bit video editing tech. Seriously. FCPX is minimum 2 generations early from a hardware standpoint. This is a new era for apple.

    Logic screams on my mini server. FCPX does not. Rendering in fcpx does not, based on my experience, take advantage of multiple cores to the extent that real-time-audio-effects-processing does. Downloading, uploading, and rendering seem to bottleneck at RAM. So, the iMac and the MacPro both offer higher ram possibilities, as does (I believe) the dual cpu spec’d minis.

    When rendering, virtual cores do nothing and my 8gb of ram is absolutely maxed. So, higher ghz processor, larger fsb, and more max ram should give better results with FCPX than does multiple cores.

    The plus side of a mini…I have one monitor at work and one at home. I also have an extra keyboard and mouse and I carry my mini like I would a laptop. Why didn’t I buy a laptop? Uh…duh…1,000$ difference in price! And I don’t move my cpu often. If you are only doing video, look into a the 21” imac upgraded with the 2.7 i7 and 16 gb ram from Crucial. Funk Apple’s overpriced Samsung ram. Buy an extra Logitech wireless keyboard and a magic mouse and the imac goes in a back seat or a trunk like butter.  Based on my experience, the 24"imac upgraded to 2.8 ghz i7 should smoke my mini. I would make that purchase if I wasn’t working mostly on audio. I have so many plugins and such that I really need the second drive for back-up and optimum hardware utilization for audio. And, the iMac can not beat my mini for my aplication. And...hdmi output. Hello netflix!

    1. Conclusion. MacMini Server…best mac deal available right now (sub 1grand). My assumption based on usage is that the 21”imac with i7 upgrade and maxed ram would be a less portable but much more powerful video machine. It also costs 1200.00 more than the mini server so there you go.


    Get the mini and buy a thousand dollars worth of lenses or mic preamps. Processing power is nothing without creativity.


    To see what I've done with my Cannon T1i and MacMini Server, check this out:

  • mkraft1 Calculating status...
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    Oct 31, 2012 7:16 AM (in response to Johnny Sharman)

    Wow, what does Apple actually do??  I bought my first Apple computer last year (MBP 2.3 / 8gb RAM) and have been completely dissatisfied with the video editing capability.


    FCPx is giving me all the issues spoken of in this thread as well.  When you import the video you can go with "proxy" and NOT do transcoding, but then you are just setting yourself up for failure with export to QT in h264.  That being said, if you do complete the transcoding during import it will process to APP pro res in the background, but if you have any significant amount of video you might as well come back a week later and hope that it hasnt crashed your MAC yet.


    I did one quick export just as a test which worked, but once you added audio (AND an Itunes FILE MIND YOU!) you get a horrible popping sound.


    And dont even get me staeted on iMovie - what a waste of a program.  It has all the capabilitites to be wonderful without any capability to actually be wonderful.


    Best part about all this is support help from Apple is ZERO....PERIOD.  No one in the stores knows jack.  Genius bar is a joke.  Nobody from Apple care can suggest anything but a new install and/or buy a new machine.  As for the forums, its just a compelte head-spin.  The thoughts are great, but everyone has a different one.


    Bottom line Apple -  you need to clearly test your own products and specificly state what is required to run them.  Your suggestions now and what your stores preach is far from accurate.  A MBP cannot run most, if any of these video editing programs when you want to do anything more then dump and export.  Someone should have told me to buy the $4k machine if I wanted to edit video.



  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,640 points)
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    Oct 31, 2012 7:21 AM (in response to mkraft1)

    What actually is your problem? You jumped into a thgread that's almost a year old.


    When you import the video you can go with "proxy" and NOT do transcoding,


    This doesn't make sense. Creating proxy files is a transcoding process.


    iTunes audio should not be used in a professional production appliction unless it's in the correct format. Most iTunes uaido is not. It needs ot be AIF 48k.


    But whatever.

  • mkraft1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 31, 2012 7:53 AM (in response to Tom Wolsky)

    This is my thing Tom - No one has ever explained that and many would actually deny that fact and therefore be entirely wrong.  And for the record, why would an iTunes file not work in an apple program?  I get that from a pro like yourself that it isnt the correct format, or most ideal for a professional project - I get that and thanks for sharing.  But shouldnt it still work?


    My apologies for how I worded the import piece are because I am a newb - enough said.  I took that from another thread where apparently someone else explained it wrong.


    My problem is this...


    Started making some very cool vids in iMovie and they couldnt export without crashing.  Apple tells me you need to redo entire project, then it will work.  It didnt.  A video editing friend tells me its cause they are .mov files and to use a program to convert to app pro res.  Well, I have hours of footage and that would take years.


    So after talking with a "Genius" he says just get FCPx and you can have it convert to apple pro res during import.  Sweet, problem solved.  Now I have projects that, "so far", have exported but with audio it produces a horrible popping sound.


    I am frustrated because I was lead to believe that the software would handle this for me.  I feel as if I need to go back to school just to learn of all the programs I need to convert everything into a manner that Apple can handle and export.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,640 points)
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    Oct 31, 2012 8:28 AM (in response to mkraft1)

    But shouldnt it still work?

    Not really. Compressed audio is very difficult to deal with when the processor has to handle it in a multimedia, multistream environment. iTunes plays music and movies, but it doesn't play multiple layers of video and multiple layers of audio simultaneously, which an editing application is designed to do. It wants high quality media both uaido and optimized video. It works much better that way. The heavy lifting is done by the drive and its throughout and not by the computer processor.


    I can't speak to the problem in iMovie.


    A video editing friend tells me its cause they are .mov files

    That doesn't seem right to me. I've worked quite a bit in iMovie with QuickTime files. The problem may be in the specs of the QT files.


    You can use iTunes to convert the audio to AIF or Linear PCM or you can use the batch function in MPEG Streamclip ot Compressor if you have it.

  • mkraft1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 31, 2012 8:39 AM (in response to Tom Wolsky)



    Your explantion is appreciated - thanks for your time.  I cant believe that no one at Apple in the past has informed me of what you just did :-)  ha, good stuff.



  • Lydia Robertson Calculating status...
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    Oct 31, 2012 9:01 AM (in response to mkraft1)

    Hi Tom,

    The normal Apple genius and people who support the Apple products are not professional editors and do not have the experience to answer Final Cut Pro questions.  Apple does provide professional Final Cut Pro help at the cost of some dollars that you have to pay every year.


    In the meantime, as a self-professed newbie, it would really be great for you to do some of the video tutorials that are available online. Take them from the very beginning and get up to speed that way.  The lessons there are very good and you will learn all those little things that help make Final Cut Pro 10 work.


    I particularly like those that come out of"creative cow". There are many on YouTube as well.


    One of the most comprehensive set of courses you can take are from There are very many courses out there that you can pay for at varying rates, is one of the best.


    Good luck and have fun!


    Sent from my iPhone

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,640 points)
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    Oct 31, 2012 9:12 AM (in response to Lydia Robertson)

    Hi Lydia,


    There are some online tutorials.



    It's pretty comprehensive training and includes updates for the major releases 10.0.3. I am just doing the 10.0.6 update now.


    I stand to profit from this message.

  • Lydia Robertson Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Oct 31, 2012 9:20 AM (in response to Tom Wolsky)

    Hi Tom, I was actually suggesting tutorials for the MKraft1.

    Good you have them too.



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