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FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware

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Adam White
FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware
on Jan 12, 2014 at 9:01:12 pm

Have been getting used to FCPX for about 3 months now. In that time I have been working on 10.0.9.

I am eager to upgrade to the new version once I have a couple current projects all wrapped up, but am a bit concerned about how it will perform on my system - I've seen some reviews mentioning issues with older Macs.

I need to upgrade this year fairly soon anyway, but wondered if anyone could share experience if they have a comparable system that they have used 10.1 on. Specs are;

2.66ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
8GB 1067mhz DDR3 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 9400 256MB
Media is always stored on a FW800 HD.

I have noticed a few performance problems with the current version, which always stem from either the software trying to open up numerous projects and events (FCPX Event Manager has really helped with this, though, and I gather the new Library system should help too) or background rendering (I have taken to extending the amount of time before rendering starts, or sometimes even turning this off altogether until I'm done working).

Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!


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Nikolas Bäurle
Re: FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware
on Jan 12, 2014 at 10:27:45 pm

That graphic card of your's is much too slow to have any fun with X, I would recommend 1GB at least.
And depending on how old your FW800 is, that could also have something to do with it. And X is very slow with the Intel Core 2 Duo.

You should really upgrade.

"Always look on the bright side of life" - Monty Python



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Bret Williams
Re: FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware
on Jan 13, 2014 at 12:51:35 am

I'd assume that system isn't 64bit and can't run Mavericks and therefore not 10.1.


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Adam White
Re: FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware
on Jan 13, 2014 at 2:00:59 pm

According to the Apple Mavericks site, it can run on;
iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)

I'm running a early 2009 iMac…so I guess I should be fine?

Take the point that it's time to upgrade though…I was waiting on the new Mac Pro. Now it's here I think I might be better off with a well-spec'd iMac, however.


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Bret Williams
Re: FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware
on Jan 13, 2014 at 5:16:49 pm

That's crazy. My 2006 MacPro won't upgrade past Lion. I hear there's a hack, but it's already been relegated to the kids computer.


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Will Hodgson
Re: FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware
on Jan 13, 2014 at 6:26:01 pm

Hi Adam,

I have exactly the same laptop, core 2 duo, 8gigs of ram, and the 256mb graphics card.

I have updated to mavericks and FCPX 10.1

Not only does this new version work fine, but I have to report (and I am surprised by this) that FCPX 10.1 creates optimized media twice as fast as it use to.

FCPX 10.0.9 took 6 mins to create an optimized ProRes clip from an h264 mp4 file of about the same duration.

Mpeg Streamclip (the previous gold standard on my machine) took 5 mins to create a ProRes Quicktime.

But FCPX 10.1 has just achieved the same transcode of the same file in 3 mins!

So even on aging laptops like ours, there are dramatic gains to be had if you upgrade.

Plus Libraries are so much better to hold events and projects in!


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Adam White
Re: FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware
on Jan 14, 2014 at 4:26:35 pm

Hi Will,

Thanks so much for your detailed info on this. Very helpful.

A very pleasant surprise to hear your good experiences. Whilst I still need to look at upgrading sooner rather than later, it's good to know that I will be able to upgrade to the latest version without everything grinding to an unholy halt.

And like you…MPEG Streamclip is always my first port of call right now. It seems crazy to me that it has taken this long for paid software to overtake something that was free to download, on the hardware we use at least.

Are there any "gotchas" that you experienced I should be aware of, or just certain tasks that are still a drag on the system?


Thanks again!


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Will Hodgson
Re: FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware
on Jan 15, 2014 at 9:05:50 pm

Hi Adam,

There is nothing else that I know of as yet.

Although if you can do a clean install it is probably best.

Saying that though, I installed mavericks on top of mountain lion, no problem, then installed fcpx 10.1 ontop of 10.0.9

I say just go for it, and if you get problems, be prepared to re-install all that stuff clean.

Best,

Will


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Jack Zahran
Re: FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware
on Jan 13, 2014 at 8:34:29 pm

This weekend I upgraded a clients C2D based iMac to Mavericks (10.9.1) from Snow Leopard (10.6.8). Really smooth upgrade process, just make sure you install the Mavericks migration update for Snow Leopard by checking for the latest upgrades.

The system runs noticeably faster and of course the Kernel goes from 32bit to 64bit. With only Dropbox still stuck in the 32bit world. They're a stubborn bunch...


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Dave Gage
Re: FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware
on Jan 13, 2014 at 8:52:01 pm

[Jack Zahran] "This weekend I upgraded a clients C2D based iMac to Mavericks (10.9.1) from Snow Leopard (10.6.8). Really smooth upgrade process, just make sure you install the Mavericks migration update for Snow Leopard by checking for the latest upgrades."

Did you install on top of 10.6.8 or do a clean install of Mavericks and then use the the 10.6.8 Migration assistant to move over mail data, apps, etc? If you did a clean install, I would think that the 10.9.1 Migration Assistant would handle the move of the 10.6.8 data and apps.

Dave


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Jack Zahran
Re: FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware
on Jan 13, 2014 at 10:12:40 pm

I did it on top of 10.6.8, straight upgrade. The Maverick installer pointed out some Apps that would not work after the upgrade and asked if I wanted to continue. And then after the update, I checked the App folder for any additional Apps that the system superimposed a "?" over indicating it would not work.

It has the effect of cleaning out a lot of gruff. Which is nice. I usually then go into Activity viewer and turn on the "Kind" attribute in the process list, sorting by it. Go through all the remaining 32 bit apps and see if there are 64 bit upgrades to them or better alternatives. Again, mostly dropbox is the last remaining 32 bit app in most systems I deal with. I think if Apple introduced a hierarchal iCloud add on to the Finder, I would drop dropbox...


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Dave Gage
Re: FCP X 10.1 on Older Hardware
on Jan 14, 2014 at 4:51:09 am

Thanks for the info, it's helpful. Keep us posted on how it works out.

I was planing on doing a clean install since it's been so many years since the original Snow Leopard install, but I have heard that many at Macintouch have had good success installing on top of 10.6.8.

It's possible if you are not going to use FCPX, a clean install might not be necessary. But it seems that since many people here are having problems when not doing a clean install, it would make sense for me to take the extra time do the clean install. But, when I upgrade my wife's laptop (which I get stuck doing as "IT Guy"), I will most likely just install on top of 10.6.8 (and hope CS4 still works).


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