Skip navigation

How much RAM is enough for FCPX? Sheeze!

3356 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Mar 1, 2012 9:11 AM by innocentius RSS
Tony Reidsma Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 28, 2012 8:48 PM

I have a brand spank'n new top of the line maxed out 27" iMac that I love, but I swear, FCPX brings it to its knees in about 15 minutes of editing!!! What a pain in the ***!


I'm editing basic videos with not much for filters and such.

All footage is Transcoded to 4.2.2 with MPGStreamclip

All footage is 1080p and from the same Canon 7D's


Is there anything I can do to get FCPX to be less RAM hungry? This is so rediculous!





iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3), 16 GIG Ram
  • Graeme_H Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 29, 2012 3:16 PM (in response to Tony Reidsma)

    At the moment FCPX needs all the Ram in the world - just joking


    We asked for 64bit FCP and thats what we got a ram hungry app! guess we would all be complaining if FCPX didn't use all the Ram we threw at it!


    Memory handling is defiantly seems to be an issue either for FCPX and/or Lion in General.


    I have 24GB of Ram and after an hour of editing even all of that gets used up. it doesn't always cause a problem for me but when it does FCP becomes very sluggish and can crash.

    I tend to quit FCPX wait a few seconds and open it again when it feels sluggish.


    i tend to make sure Safari isn't running in the background

    I also only have the Events and Projects I'm currently working with available to FCPX and hide the rest to save on Ram. and do an occasional restart.


    For general system performance i tend to keep a lot of free space system disk- keeping Media and Projects separate Raid drives. Delete FCPX preferences when appropriate and do a safeboot when things slow down (maybe once a week) this tends to work for me.


    I also work often with a Macbook Air with just a paltry 4GB of ram, (editing proxy or full res off either a Promise or Lacie Thunderbolt Raid) which runs ok for general editing (of course the MBA is a poor performer for rendering/export and anything GPU related- it's not recommended for FCP) that 4GB of Ram goes almost instantly but i can still edit and do my work.


    Hopefully the memory handling will become much better- keeping enough Ram available for smooth use of the application whilst still using all that maxing-out ram that we buy- and not bringing our systems to their knees by using up all the ram completely.

  • andynick Level 5 Level 5 (4,840 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 12:08 AM (in response to Tony Reidsma)

    FCP X 10.0.3 runs very well on my 2009 MacPro 2 x 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 16 GB RAM and ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB.


    I find that hiding my project and events in temporary folders and keeping my project duration to 20 mins or less works wonders. FCP X is now very stable on my system.


    When I have long projects, I break them into 20 min or shorter sections and when all is done, create a 'master' project and paste the component parts into it for final tweaking and export. This (and hiding projects and events) has made a huge improvement to my workflow.



    Message was edited by: andynick (Added last paragraph).

  • innocentius Level 4 Level 4 (1,365 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 7:43 AM (in response to Tony Reidsma)

    I have a strange "problem", My Mac Pro 1,1 with 10 GB RAM. FCPX refuses to use more than 4-5 GB. I wish someone could explain this when so many are complaining that FCPX eats up all available RAM.

  • Graeme_H Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 8:08 AM (in response to innocentius)

    Hi innocentius

    are you running FCP X on Snow Leopard or Lion?



  • innocentius Level 4 Level 4 (1,365 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 8:34 AM (in response to Graeme_H)

    I am running Snow and I hesitate to upgrade.

  • Graeme_H Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 8:57 AM (in response to innocentius)

    From my limited understanding Snow Leopard's Ram usage/handling for for apps like FCPX does seem much more robust.


    I do like Lion but i am considering taking my MacPro back to SnowLeopard on my next install to double check if FCPX runs smoother in reality.


    but it will be 'swings and roundabouts' though e.g. Lion seems to have better graphics drivers for some RT playback tasks.


    Your system not using all the Ram is not necessarily anything to worry about. Your FCPX should take the Ram it needs. Depending how many Events and Projects you have Open (i.e. not hidden) it might not need all your 10GB. As you run bigger projects you should see the Ram usage go up in a sensible way.


    My usage of FCPX under Lion seems to point to the fact that takes more Ram than it needs causing instability (not a good thing). but i have read of users of FCPX under Lion who don't have this issue.


    So if your happy with your current performance and stability id stick where you are.

  • innocentius Level 4 Level 4 (1,365 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2012 9:11 AM (in response to Graeme_H)

    Maybe it is as Apple had intended, they said 4 GB Ram was enough, for my machine at least. So I stay were I am. I always keep one project available. And I guess that the fact, that I make short projects plays a role. I find FCP runs smoothly and it never crashes just a little slow rendering but I can live with that. But that is the only issue. My Mac Pro 1,1 was the first intel Mac Pro so I guess it is solid machine.



More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.