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FCP 7.0.3 dropping frames : video card?

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Alan LangdonFCP 7.0.3 dropping frames : video card?
by on May 2, 2012 at 2:54:51 pm

System: 2011 MacMini 2,5 GHZ Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, OS X Lion 10.7.3, FCP 7.0.3
Video card: AMD Radeon HD 6630M - 256 mb VRAM
Project size: 46 mb

I recently purchased the above mentioned MacMini (previously had used a 2010 MacMini and a MacBook Pro 2.2 GHZ intel Dual Core 4GB RAM... never noticed this issue back then). I don't know if the problem I will describe is due to the new MacMini's video card, it's my hunch though because I tried opening the same footage on a 27" iMac with almost same specs and the problem disappeared.

When watching 720p footage (Apple Intermediate Codec) full-frame on the main monitor, I am getting dropped frames every so many seconds. FCP does not accuse dropped frames nor does it stutter the audio or slowdown playback speed, it just goes, say, 15-20 fps for a second and then back to normal 30 fps until it happens again in 5-10 seconds. While it does not affect the overall playback, it gets on my nerves and in a way is not a true view of what I have, since the footage should play smoothly at 30 fps.

I notice this in any length of sequences: short (15 min) and long (6 hours), and in all of them the timeline is conformed to native footage (Apple Pro Res 720p30), which has no effects applied.

This happens no matter which video output I use: HDMI or mini-display port, using one single monitor which is an LG HDFULL 1920x1080 LED monitor.

Since this did not happen whenI imported the footage into a project on a similar iMac, I am thinking the MacMini video card just isn't enough perhaps?


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Jerry HofmannRe: FCP 7.0.3 dropping frames : video card?
by on May 2, 2012 at 3:41:49 pm

What are you using as a scratch disk? How full is it? I've only seen FCP on a mini running the top of the line box, so could be that the computer isn't up to it... It runs OK on an i7 Server model I know.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

Current DVD:
http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX - Cinema Displays I have a 22" that I paid 4k for still working. G4 with Kona SD card, and SCSI card.


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Alan LangdonRe: FCP 7.0.3 dropping frames : video card?
by on May 2, 2012 at 4:15:40 pm

The scratch disk is a Lacie 1 TB 7200 rpm external drive, connected via FW800. It has about 150 GB free. Initially the footage was on the internal drive of the MacMini, but then I presumed the internal drive must be 5400 rpm and less reliable, so I swapped everything over into the external Lacie, but still the same issue. When I bring the footage into the iMac (mentioned before), it runs smoothly with the footage still on the Lacie external drive.

The funny thing is I never noticed this when I was using my previous 2010 MacMini with less ram (4 gb) or even my MacBook Pro 2008 (4 gb ram, 2.2 ghz) ...but then in both cases the monitor was not 1080p, but something less, like 1680x1200 or something. So the new 1080p resolution / monitor is also an element, possibly, that the video board is not handling well?

I was thinking of getting the server model and ended up not, good to know it runs well FCP. My experience is that FCP runs pretty well almost on any mac from 2009 and up, especially when not talking about 1080p footage.



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Jerry HofmannRe: FCP 7.0.3 dropping frames : video card?
by on May 3, 2012 at 4:06:38 pm

Most always, the problem with dropping frames stems from drives not being able to keep up. Have you tested the speed of that drive? Needs to be pretty fast. Over 60mb/s read for sure.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

Current DVD:
http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX - Cinema Displays I have a 22" that I paid 4k for still working. G4 with Kona SD card, and SCSI card.


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