Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 12:00 PM (in response to rachaelcude)
This is my pet checklist for questions regarding FCP X performance - you may have already addressed some of the items but it's worth checking.
Make sure you're using the latest version of the application - FCP X 10.0.5 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 run it with Lion 10.7.5.
First, check that you have at least 20% free space on your system drive.
For smooth playback without dropping frames, make sure 'Better Performance' is selected in the FCP X Preferences - Playback Tab.
If you have not already done so, move your Projects and Events to a fast (Firewire 800 or faster) external HD. Make sure the drive's formatted OS Extended (journalling's not required for video). You should always keep at least 20% free space on the Hard Drives that your Media, Projects and Events are on.
Check the spec of your Mac against the system requirements:
Check the spec of your graphics card. If it's listed here, it's not suitable:
If you are getting crashes, there is some conflict on the OS. Create a new (admin) user account on your system and use FCP X from there - if it runs a lot better, there's a conflict and a clean install would be recommended.
Keep projects to 20 mins or less. If you have a long project, work on 20 min sections then paste these into a final project for export.
If you ever experience dropped frames, I strongly recommend you use ProRes 422 Proxy - it edits and plays back like silk because the files are small but lightly compressed (not much packing and unpacking to do) - but remember to select 'Original or Optimised Media' (FCP X Preferences > Playback) just before you export your movie, otherwise it will be exported at low resolution.
If you have plenty of processor power, for the ultimate editing experience, create Optimised Media - most camera native files are highly compressed and need a great deal of processor power to play back - particularly if you add titles, filters or effects. ProRes 422 takes up much more hard drive space but is very lightly compressed. It edits and plays back superbly.
Hide Audio Waveforms at all times when you don't need them (both in Browser and Storyline / Timeline). They take up a lot of processor power. (Use the switch icon at the bottom-right of your timeline to select a format without waveforms if you don't need them at the moment, then switch back when you do).
Create folders in the Project and Events libraries and put any projects you are not working on currently, in those folders. This will help a lot. There's a great application for this, called Event Manager X - for the tiny cost it's an invaluable application.
Unless you cannot edit and playback without it, turn off Background Rendering in Preferences (under Playback) - this will help general performance and you can always render when you need to by selecting the clip (or clips) and pressing Ctrl+R.
The biggest single improvement I saw in performance was when I upgraded the RAM from 8 GB to 16.
Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 12:10 PM (in response to andynick)
Appreciate that and have done every single one of those either on my own or with multiple IT specialists and not one has worked at all. This computer is totally up to specs in every aspect and only used for FCPX which has not worked in a fast manner ever. I dont know, maybe one day I can scrounge up the $100 to talk to Apple Support on the phone because they will not help me otherwise. And so, in my chair I sit watching the beach ball getting 10 seconds of editing done every 5 hours. Lord help me.
Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 12:47 PM (in response to rachaelcude)
What you describe is not normal. Many experienced users find FCPX to be exceptionally fast. And while I'm still trying to get comfortable with the new workflow and terminology, it is far faster and more responsive for me than FCP7 ever was.
In addition to andynick's excellent suggestions, check out #7 -10 on this list. (It's obviously a little dated but the steps are still valid.)
The only time I ever had problems similar to yours was a short time when I found FCPX wasn't releasing memory. Permissions repair cured that. Worth looking at Activity Monitor to see what's going on.
Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 12:53 PM (in response to Russ H)
I bought the computer this year from apple. added 16gb. and the program is so slow that the sound doesn't even scrub anyway so I desperately need the waveforms. It sure would be great to post a video of what my FCPX does in 10 minutes of editing to portray how badly it needs work. But no, the media button doesn't work on this forum.
Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 1:03 PM (in response to rachaelcude)
Using an external didn't work at all. We even recently deleted the software and re installed it and I think things are worse. My project are usually 20 minutes long but as soon as I begin I'm already having problems so this software is the only problem with my computer and it's really taking it's toll on my career and job that I need this software for.
Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 1:06 PM (in response to rachaelcude)
No video required. It's not that I don't believe you're stuck in some sort of editing Purgatory; I'm saying something is screwed up because it's not normal. As I indicated, the only time I ever had a similar experience, it was due to a memory leak. Of curse, that doesn't mean it's your problem…only something to check.
BTW, what kind of material are you working on?
Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 1:12 PM (in response to Russ H)
I'm editing environmental health and safety videos for a college department for internal staff online training. So just some naration, some pictures, some ken burns, and plentry of short video clips as well. I outsource for most technical problem to make certain that they are done correctly. Have you ever paid the $99 service fee for any FCPX problems?
Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 1:15 PM (in response to rachaelcude)
Wow. This didn't solve my question but I guess you can't take it back after you accidentally entered it without knowing.....ughhhhhhhhhh
Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 1:22 PM (in response to rachaelcude)
No. Never paid. The professional boards and Creative Cow are the best place to get help.
Anyhow I should have been more clear when I asked about your material. I meant video and audio format.
Just to point out…you marked your question as solved – which was presumably inadvertent.
Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 2:28 PM (in response to andynick)
might wanna add check fonts to that list. Bad/corrupt fonts will kill FCPX (but usually for bad fonts it will start the beach ball of death and then crash into the Report dialog.)
Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 2:38 PM (in response to rachaelcude)
Check the number of video tracks and/or audio tracks ... also make sure all the media files are linked. When I started adding more than about 20 video tracks, FCPX would come to a crawl ... it wasn't memory either. FCPX limits 99 video tracks ... but at 30 tracks FCPX was to slow to be viable.
Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 3:13 PM (in response to Rob A.)
FCPX limits 99 video tracks
Where did you hear that? It depends what's on the 30 tracks and whether you have waveforms and filmstrips open.
Currently Being ModeratedSep 10, 2012 6:02 PM (in response to rachaelcude)
One more thing (sorry):do you have MacKeeper – or something like it – on your system?