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FCPX performance, XAVC and my ever running fan

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Mark Morache
FCPX performance, XAVC and my ever running fan
on Feb 20, 2017 at 4:18:21 am

I'm curious about the performance of my MBP and my XAVC footage.

I've spent thousands of hours editing xdcam 35 footage, using all sorts of layers and effects and my MPB (late 2013 Retnia 2.6 GHz i7 with 16gb ram) gets a little warm, but the fans don't usually kick in, unless I start doing a lot of rendering or exporting.

I now own a Sony PXW-FS5, and I'm shooting 1080 XAVC-L footage, and simply playing clips in the browser starts heating my MBP and getting the fans to kick in.

I understand XAVC-L requires some processing power, but I'm really not interested in transcoding everything to ProRes. Lots of time and disc space required for that.

What I find curious is how when I play one of my clips in Quicktime, activity monitor indicates QT is using about 6-10% CPU. That makes me think that playing these clips isn't a big problem for my mac. However when I play a clip in my browser, my CPU jumps up to about 200% CPU.

Can anyone explain why it requires so much more CPU in FCP? Right now I'm doing simple assembly, without a lot of simultaneous streams. My render bar is clear since I have raw clips in my timeline right now - not even any color correction - and just hitting play starts making my fan kick in.

Maybe I shouldn't worry. That's what fans are supposed to do. However I didn't expect such my 50mpbs XAVC clips to require so much more processing than my XDCAM 35mpbs clips.

Selecting better performance over better quality doesn't seem to make a difference.

Maybe there's something else going on. I've had more freezes and crashes of FCPX, and maybe I should do a clean install?

Thanks

---------

Mark Morache
Evening Magazine, Seattle, WA




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Noah Kadner
Re: FCPX performance, XAVC and my ever running fan
on Feb 20, 2017 at 4:28:46 am

Lots of decoding math required for those. If you want no fans- convert them to ProRes first.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops
XinTwo - FCPX Training


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Mark Morache
Re: FCPX performance, XAVC and my ever running fan
on Feb 20, 2017 at 5:03:19 am

Thanks Noah.

I'm still curious about why QT plays the files with little or no effort.

QT plays my xavc-l footage with about the same effort as it plays xdcam.

In FCPX I stacked three xdcam clips, gave them each a crop and the three streams only got my cpu up to about 150%. Still less than a single XAVC-L.

Anyone else using XAVC-L on a MBP??

And if I'm going to transcode everything anyway, I think I'd just as soon create proxies so I can delete them later, and archive the smaller original files. Meanwhile I'm going to push through using the original files and keep an eye on my cpu heat.

---------

Mark Morache
Evening Magazine, Seattle, WA




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Joe Marler
Re: FCPX performance, XAVC and my ever running fan
on Feb 20, 2017 at 1:16:13 pm

[Mark Morache] "I'm curious about the performance of my MBP and my XAVC footage...I now own a Sony PXW-FS5, and I'm shooting 1080 XAVC-L footage, and simply playing clips in the browser starts heating my MBP and getting the fans to kick in....when I play one of my clips in Quicktime, activity monitor indicates QT is using about 6-10% CPU. That makes me think that playing these clips isn't a big problem for my mac. However when I play a clip in my browser, my CPU jumps up to about 200% CPU....Can anyone explain why it requires so much more CPU in FCP?...My render bar is clear since I have raw clips in my timeline right now - not even any color correction - and just hitting play starts making my fan kick in....Maybe there's something else going on. I've had more freezes and crashes of FCPX, and maybe I should do a clean install?"

I played some 50 mbps XAVC-L 1080p test material on my 2015 MBP using both Quicktime and FCPX 10.3.2, and it plays OK with low CPU utilization on both. This was a native camera file and imported to the library without proxy or optimized media, and playback monitor set to full screen and "Better Quality".

I also tried removing the MXF file from the folder tree and importing with "leave files in place" -- same result: plays good on FCPX without high CPU.

If you wanted to ensure we're using the same files, you could download one of these and try it. I used the HD Log version: http://zsyst.com/sony-4k-camera-page/sony-fs5-sample-footage/

The only time I've seen high CPU consumption just playing back an AVC/H264 file is on Premiere.


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Mark Morache
Re: FCPX performance, XAVC and my ever running fan
on Feb 20, 2017 at 3:15:21 pm

Thanks Joe. I downloaded your clip. I feel like I'm getting the same results. Your clip played with a slightly lower cpu than mine because your clip is 24p and mine is 30.

I did a clean install of FCP, and I feel like my clips are playing a bit better now, but they're still up around 150% CPU, compared with 8-12% when playing directly in QT. Activity monitor showed my cpu running about 130% with your clip in the browser, and 8-12% in quicktime.

I downloaded one of your 4k clips. They ran the cpu up to about 250%

If you're getting lower CPU usage on your MBP, I wonder if the processor or the video card has changed significantly since I got my mac. Is your cpu about the same when playing your clip in FCP vs QT? Just curious.

Thanks again for the feedback.

Mark



My mac:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013)
2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB
Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

---------

Mark Morache
Evening Magazine, Seattle, WA




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