Question:

Question: Proof FCPX 10.4.7 is slower than 10.4.6 and eGPU use worse

Here is proof that the latest update to FCPX is slower than the previous 10.4.6 on my Mac Book Pro with both rendering and playback and shows how the eGPU use is less utilised and slower than in 10.4.6.


My specs:

Macbook Pro 15 Inch Late 2016, 2.9Quad i7, 16GB ram, 2TB SSD, Catalina

eGPU: Radeon vii in Razor Core X


I ran exactly the same test on 10.4.6 and 10.4.7 both with and without eGPU connected

[Playback: 1st playback playing through same rendered & unrended clips

2nd playback down after the first run playing through same rendered & unrended again]


Render two clips from Canon 5DM4 4K:

(1) 10.4.6 without eGPU 3:10min [1st Playback both no lag, 2nd both small lag]

(2) 10.4.6 with eGPU 3:50min [1st both no lag, 2nd no lag]

(3) 10.4.7 with eGPU 4min [1st rendered smooth, un-ren. laggy, 2nd both laggy]

(4) 10.4.7 without eGPU 4min [both no lag, 2nd both laggy]


Render two clips from RED Raw R3d 5K:

(5) 10.4.6 without eGPU 2:55min [1st rendered smooth, un-ren. laggy, 2nd both laggy]

(6) 10.4.6 with eGPU 2:50min [1st rendered smooth, un-ren. laggy, 2nd rendered no lag, un-ren lag]

(7) 10.4.7 with eGPU 3:58min [1st both laggy, 2nd both laggy]

(8) 10.4.7 with eGPU 3:05min [1st rendered smooth, un-ren. laggy, 2nd both laggy]


Findings are clear that FCPX 10.4.6 is faster in both rendering and playback than 10.4.7 and its better WITHOUT an eGPU on both compressed and uncompressed video. The best setup overall was 10.4.6 and no eGPU.



Most interesting is (3) which happens to be the worst overall, which I had expected to be the best. A very powerful eGPU with the latest update of FCP 10.4.7. It doesn't even use the eGPU at all barely!!? I read on this 10.4.7 update how they were advertising improved eGPU use?


If wish this information was available before I bought Final Cut Pro X as I moved from Premiere Pro and bought the eGPU for this specific purpose. So hopefully this helps those considering buying an eGPU to use with their Macbook Pro and FCPX. Final Cut is faster and smoother in playback than Preimere Pro in both compressed video [Canon] and especially with RED footage. Just don't bother with an eGPU at this stage.


Would love for others input and ideas as I'm not much of a tech person, I just needed to know for myself if I had wasted all this money or not on an eGPU. For me the most important thing is playback and secondarily rendering. I don't really care for export as I can always do that overnight if needed. I wanted to be able to edit on MacBook Pro and just plug in eGPU when needed without buying a whole new system. I've read on these forums people saying that playback is more CPU than GPU but my main argument was that 10.4.6 was faster than the old one with playback, and now this proves it with my system.


Please let me know if I've got anything wrong or there or other ways I can speed playback up, or if there is going to be something done in the future to improve this. My guess is that 10.4.7 is built to be faster on the new Mac Pro etc and I'm sure it will be, this information is for those using current systems.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

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Oct 15, 2019 12:29 AM in response to andyfromnz In response to andyfromnz

You get no arguments from me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JErCE1Xtlog

I can get no better than about 5-6 frames per second whether the storyline is rendered or not. They both play about the same. In 10.2 - 10.4.6, after rendering that scene would play just fine. Plus — I have NEVER scene that black rectangle before!!


I've been running into a lot of trouble in some of my Motion projects as well. The interface is bogging down terribly... on unbelievably simple projects (that were butter smooth in 5.4.3).


I don't know where "they" are getting all of these benchmarks for the improvements in Metal I've been seeing, but I think it's a disaster, probably only optimized to pass the standard benchmarks while everything else is suffering. Or maybe you need at least 8 cores. I'm stuck with a 4 core. Or maybe more GPUs are listed as supporting Metal, but they really don't.


I thought I was doing well when I upgraded to Mojave 10.4.6 from High Sierra and was able to install FCPX and Motion - and everything seemed to update okay. Now I'm having to deal with all these slow downs. It's annoying.




Oct 15, 2019 12:29 AM

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Oct 15, 2019 4:55 AM in response to fox_m In response to fox_m

I can’t disagree as I don’t run an eGPU. I’ll give you my experience exporting the Bruce X project to H.254 on a 2016 TouchBar MBP 16 GB RAM and 4 GB VRAM. In 10.4.6 the export took 42 seconds. In 10.4.7 the export took 27 seconds. I can only put that down to the update’s performance with Metal.

Oct 15, 2019 4:55 AM

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Oct 15, 2019 7:48 AM in response to Tom Wolsky In response to Tom Wolsky

I don't have an eGPU either, and my tests with the BruceX benchmark agree with yours: 10.14.7 is significantly faster than 10.1.46 (about 52 seconds on 10.14.7 vs about 72 seconds on 10.14.6 on my 2014 MBP with GeForce 750m GPU).


I don't know if the problems Andy and Fox are experiencing are due to specific GPU or mac models, the particular external box, or some particular software combination, as the reports and tests that I can find on the web seem to indicate 10.14.7 to render and share faster than 10.14.6; and both seem to make decent use of the eGPU, even on machines where the built-in is already pretty great, like the iMac Pro.




Oct 15, 2019 7:48 AM

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Oct 15, 2019 8:41 AM in response to andyfromnz In response to andyfromnz

10.4.7 is definitely slower for me too & something about the eGPU isn't working.


I'm on a 2018 6 core mac mini with an eGPU (Vega56 card) - before the update I could easily edit a 4 track multicam clip all with 160mbps footage, now even with 2 tracks it stutters & keeps dropping frames.


According to activity monitor the eGPU is never used & even with the eGPU selected in system preferences it's the built in Intel graphics doing all the work.


Oct 15, 2019 8:41 AM

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Oct 15, 2019 3:30 PM in response to Luis Sequeira1 In response to Luis Sequeira1

I haven't been really able to find any information that proves using an egpu is faster but also in comparison to 10.4.6. I'm interested mainly in how FCP was advertised as huge improvements with eGPU capabilities and so far there isn't much real world proof of that. Sure there are situations where you can get it to use the eGPU but it's not necessarily faster than without.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Aa9q5ToJ7w


There may be improvements with an iMac Pro but I was hoping with the new 10.4.7 and an eGPU I could get much better performance. And this stage I'm going to have to sell my eGPU as its useless. The opposite of what 10.4.7 advertised.

Oct 15, 2019 3:30 PM

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Oct 15, 2019 3:33 PM in response to Tom Wolsky In response to Tom Wolsky

Once again that's export. I get export has some improvements. I mentioned I'm interested in playback and rendering, as these effect editing speed and experience in real time. I'm not so worried about export times. I guess this post is more about how an eGPU is actually useless with FCP in terms of increased performance over an internal card.

Oct 15, 2019 3:33 PM

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Oct 15, 2019 4:15 PM in response to andyfromnz In response to andyfromnz

I happily upgraded to Catalina + 10.4.7 reading about how its great for eGPU but it's killed my FCPX, playback is all stutter, used to be smooth as butter in 4.6. Basically unusable. Though the geekbench shows my eGPU has gone from 126k score to 134K, too bad FCPX has screwed it up so bad with it...

Oct 15, 2019 4:15 PM

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Oct 15, 2019 11:38 PM in response to andyfromnz In response to andyfromnz

I am curious, and unfortunately not able to test this as I don't have an approved eGFX for my Akitio Node eGPU Box.


If you don't mind answering my questions.


Do you have a monitor connected to your eGPU? If so, have your set that monitor as your Primary Display?


Apple notes about setting up Primary Display is as follows if you not sure or have not set up the eGPU monitor as the Primary Monitor.


Set an external eGPU-connected display as the primary display

If you have an external display connected to your eGPU, you can choose it as the primary display for all apps. Since apps default to the GPU associated with the primary display, this option works with a variety of apps:

  1. Quit any open apps that you want the eGPU to accelerate on the primary display.
  2. Choose Apple () menu > System Preferences. Select Displays, then select the Arrangement tab.
  3. Drag the white menu bar to the box that represents the display that's attached to the eGPU. 
  4. Open the apps that you want to use with the eGPU.

If you disconnect the eGPU, your Mac defaults back to the internal graphics processors that drives the built-in display. When the eGPU is re-attached, it automatically sets the external display as the primary display.


If you have a monitor setup on your eGPU and have not set it up as the primary display, try setting up as Primary and do your test again.


Look forward to your response.


Looking forward to your setup.

Oct 15, 2019 11:38 PM

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Oct 16, 2019 12:06 AM in response to Cedric Robertson In response to Cedric Robertson


I’d be interested in knowing that too.

But of those that have posted on this forum here and in other threads, I’ve been asking similar questions without much of a response so far.

There is perhaps nothing to do in a case of MacBook Pro without an external display. But more than once there have been posts of people with a mac mini who never answer a simple question: is the display attached to the eGPU directly?


Oct 16, 2019 12:06 AM

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Oct 16, 2019 12:19 AM in response to Luis Sequeira1 In response to Luis Sequeira1

Yes using the eGPU for my primary display has worked - performance is back & all now functions as expected, however - this is working fine in Catalina & I can now move on!


However upgrading to Catalina was my 'last resort' & it luckily worked. Mojave never let me use my monitor through my eGPU as it would often fail to boot properly & cause crashes at random times, so until I updated to Catalina putting my monitor through my eGPU was not an option.


Also, in 10.4.6 you did not need the monitor to be plugged in to the eGPU, so this is a definite backwards step for FCPX.


(Must add Im using a Sonnet 550 box + Vega56, I feel sorry for the people with 570/580's who cant even boot up in Catalina!)

Oct 16, 2019 12:19 AM

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Oct 16, 2019 4:11 AM in response to coldsweat In response to coldsweat

Thanks for confirming as I have been offering this solution in quite a few threads and have had no response.


This is the graphic I posted to help explain for people what to do. The white bar indicates which monitor is set to the primary monitor.


Apple have also published that App developers can over ride the prefer eGPU tick box if available and not all Apps have that option in finder, so the solution is, set eGPU monitor as the Primary monitor and the App will default to it.


Thanks guys.



Oct 16, 2019 4:11 AM

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Oct 16, 2019 4:33 AM in response to Cedric Robertson In response to Cedric Robertson

Appreciate your response, but that only helps those with external monitors. You shouldn't have to run through a monitor to get use of your eGPU. It should work with both, so with an external monitor you plug directly to eGPU and without you plug directly to laptop, it should utilize both regardless.

Oct 16, 2019 4:33 AM

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User profile for user: andyfromnz

Question: Proof FCPX 10.4.7 is slower than 10.4.6 and eGPU use worse