8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 31, 2012 1:54 AM by k.ueckermann
k.ueckermann Level 1 (0 points)

Hey I am really struggling with using Final Cut Pro X and I suspect there is some software issue.


I am editing a one minute video clip, the video files are 1080 h264. I restart my computer and only open final cut. After 10 minutes of editing I cant barely navigate my computer anymore as it is going so slow, until eventually I have to force reboot my computer. I can scarcly export anything out of final cut, when I do my computer feels like its about to die and if it exports I seem to get broken frames and/or missing media.


I reinstalled my mac only about 2 months ago.


System specs.

Mac book pro.

13-inch, Late 2011

Processor  2.4 GHz Intel Core i5

Memory  4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3

Graphics  Intel HD Graphics 3000 384 MB



On my previous mac book pro (early 2010, 4 gm ram), running snow leopard and previous versions of final cut I was able to edit 3, 1 hour documentaries with very little problem, but now I cant even manage a one minute clip.


Not sure what to do. Here is a screen shot of my memory usage. Im getting massive swap memory and lots of inactive memory. It seems very strange. Especially after only 10 minutes running only final cut.


Final Cut.png

Final Cut Pro X, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Kappy Level 10 (265,883 points)

    FCP is only using 409 MBs of memory out of your 4 GBs. But whatever else you have open is using up virtually all the physical RAM you have. This is forcing the memory manager to page memory out to the disk-based VM file. That's a major reason for major slowdowns.


    You have 4 GBs of RAM. How many applications are you running concurrently? If you look at Page outs: you will note the positive number in parentheses. That means your computer is hitting the hard drive a lot because the memory demands are too high. If possible cut down on how many concurrent applications you run or put more RAM into the computer, if that's possible.


    About OS X Memory Management and Usage


    Using Activity Monitor to read System Memory & determine how much RAM is used

    Memory Management in Mac OS X

    Performance Guidelines- Memory Management in Mac OS X

    A detailed look at memory usage in OS X


    Understanding top output in the Terminal


    The amount of available RAM for applications is the sum of Free RAM and Inactive RAM. This will change as applications are opened and closed or change from active to inactive status. The Swap figure represents an estimate of the total amount of swap space required for VM if used, but does not necessarily indicate the actual size of the existing swap file. If you are really in need of more RAM that would be indicated by how frequently the system uses VM. If you open the Terminal and run the top command at the prompt you will find information reported on Pageins () and Pageouts (). Pageouts () is the important figure. If the value in the parentheses is 0 (zero) then OS X is not making instantaneous use of VM which means you have adequate physical RAM for the system with the applications you have loaded. If the figure in parentheses is running positive and your hard drive is constantly being used (thrashing) then you need more physical RAM.


    Adding RAM only makes it possible to run more programs concurrently.  It doesn't speed up the computer nor make games run faster.  What it can do is prevent the system from having to use disk-based VM when it runs out of RAM because you are trying to run too many applications concurrently or using applications that are extremely RAM dependent.  It will improve the performance of applications that run mostly in RAM or when loading programs.

  • k.ueckermann Level 1 (0 points)

    Yea thats why im confused, because I have no other open applications. All I do is restart my system, only open final cut, edit for 10 minutes and my computer just starts progressivly getting slower till completely frozen.

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,883 points)

    Well, I saw Safari in the list. Try changing the processor list to All instead of My.

  • k.ueckermann Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, will try that out, and see if I can see anything else come up. When it starts slowing down.

  • k.ueckermann Level 1 (0 points)

    But even if I had safari and final cut open, surely that shouldnt make me run into over a gig of swap in 10 minutes?

  • Kappy Level 10 (265,883 points)

    Well, you will have some hunting to do as to why, if it's not explained in AM.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 (115,505 points)

    Tell us about your project and its content. 4G is pretty marginal.

  • k.ueckermann Level 1 (0 points)

    Did some test and everything. Was because my footage was a bit higher bitrate then what I previously used. So hence causing the big lag. Atleast thats the only thing I could figure out. So ordered a RAM upgrade. Think that should solve a few problems. Thanks for the help.