10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 16, 2012 7:54 AM by BenB
kinsta Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hi, I'm trying to use Final Cut Pro on my MacBook Air.  (Not ideal, I know, but I got my laptop 2 months ago before I knew I'd be editing video.)  Over the past 2 days that I've been using Final Cut Pro, it's crashed on me 4 times doing "simple" stuff like adding text or transforming a picture.  Is my computer just not cut out for this program?  A guy at the Apple store thought it could be the fact that I'm working off a USB 2.0 external hard drive.  Before I go out an buy another hard drive, I wanted to get opinions of whether a usb 3.0 external drive would actually help my situation or if the problem is really more likely my processor/computer....thanks!

  • 1. Re: Final Cut Pro on MacBook Air with USB 2.0 external drive
    Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (106,220 points)

    USB2 isn't enough for video. USB3 will help, but I can't say whether it will help your system, which is vet marginal at best.

  • 2. Re: Final Cut Pro on MacBook Air with USB 2.0 external drive
    Luis Sequeira1 Level 5 Level 5 (5,625 points)

    It is hard to say, since it depends a lot on what version you have. The 2012 models have USB3 ports, the older ones don't; so for these there will be very little if any benefit in using a USB3 drive. Also, RAM and GPU are very important in order to get decent performance with FCP X. Anything less than 8GB is likely to underperform except for short simple edits - but if you are just creating a short project, adding a title or effect should not crash your application. There may be something else involved.

  • 3. Re: Final Cut Pro on MacBook Air with USB 2.0 external drive
    kinsta Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I believe I do have the 2012 model with a usb3 port.  so for this computer, do you think switching to a usb3 drive would help?  i have 4gb memory which i know is low...but i'm making 12 minute videos with some text and jpegs added on.  not a ton more going on....do you think my computer should be able to handle without crashing as often as it has?

  • 4. Re: Final Cut Pro on MacBook Air with USB 2.0 external drive
    James Cude Level 4 Level 4 (1,155 points)

    Or if your MBA has Thunderbolt- that'd be even better. A nice G-Raid Thunderbolt would make a big difference. Also trash your preferences if you're crashing.

  • 5. Re: Final Cut Pro on MacBook Air with USB 2.0 external drive
    Luis Sequeira1 Level 5 Level 5 (5,625 points)

    For that kind of project, it should work, even with only 4GB of RAM. Either way, it certainly should not crash. It is understandable to have had FCP X stall and beach ball under low memory conditions, and it is expected that playback may be choppy if the drive is slow, but still it should not crash. There may be some other problem involved.

  • 6. Re: Final Cut Pro on MacBook Air with USB 2.0 external drive
    Neil G Level 3 Level 3 (740 points)

    Please supply specs on the video format: HD, SD, camcorder, GoPro, iPhone, P&S camera, etc.

     

    USB 2.0 might be balky for some formats but should be sufficient thruput.  It shouldn't crash FCP X.

     

    Did you reformat the external drive for Mac OS X use?  Most come formatted Windows/MBR/FAT and should be both repartitioned for Mac and have journaled Mac file system.

  • 7. Re: Final Cut Pro on MacBook Air with USB 2.0 external drive
    kinsta Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    How do I go about "trashing" my preferences?

  • 8. Re: Final Cut Pro on MacBook Air with USB 2.0 external drive
    kinsta Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm recording the video from my Canon Rebel 2ti camera.  I didn't reformat the external drive for Mac os x use, but it's a Seagate hardrive that's supposed formatted for Mac "out of the box".  Do you still think I needed to do something other than just plug it in?  If so, how do I go about doing that?

  • 9. Re: Final Cut Pro on MacBook Air with USB 2.0 external drive
    Neil G Level 3 Level 3 (740 points)

    Seagate has a 'crossover' NTFS driver to be usable on MacOS X -- I haven't used it.  Maybe someone else can comment on it, especially with respect to large video files.  They also now sell some drives ready "out of the box".  I specifically reformat my disks for Mac anyway.  The "Disk Utility" program can set up and analyze drives.  Seagate has some support pages on their website describing how to format for Mac, too.

  • 10. Re: Final Cut Pro on MacBook Air with USB 2.0 external drive
    BenB Level 5 Level 5 (7,825 points)

    Yes, format that drive with Disk Utilites as Mac OS Extended Journaled.

     

    USB 2 can bottleneck enough to crash apps.

     

    USB 3 has not yet been proven to hold data "streams" enough for video, no real data on that yet.

     

    T'bolt is the way to go for sure.  I'm using an Elgato bus powered single SSD T'bolt drive on a 15" rMBP and it rocks.

     

    Also be sure to Optimize the H.264 files the Canon Rebel (2Ti) for use with a MacBook Air.  That Air barely has enough power to run most video editing formats, and H.264 is going to eat it alive.  Don't expect great things from a MBA and FCP X.

     

    4GB RAM is not nearly enough for FCP X.  Apple's specs are not real world.  You need at least 8, if not 12 or 16 for serious video editing.