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Performance Expectations vs. Reality?

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Bill Vincent
Performance Expectations vs. Reality?
on Mar 6, 2010 at 3:34:40 am

I just received a brand new Mac Pro 2.26 Ghz dual-processor Quad Core (8-core) machine, coupled with a LaCie 4-big Quadra drive configured for RAID 5. The drive throughput is running consistently at 100 - 120 MB per second. All good so far. So, why is FCP dropping frames???

I'm using the AIC codec with footage converted to AIC from HDV 1080i/60. This footage averages 10MB per second. Yet just playing the footage on the timeline is dropping frames - no effects, no transitions, no nothing - just trying to play the footage! I don't get dropped frames reported during capture. Only on playback. I am running an external monitor to view, but even so - I just don't understand. If this machine can't do this, what kind of machine can? Is this an unreasonable expectation? I shudder to think of trying to play ProRes with uncompressed video.

What is worse is that I seem to get better overal FCP performance from my MacBook Pro than I do from this new machine. Any suggestions or comments?

Thanks in advance...

Bill


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Michael Gissing
Re: Performance Expectations vs. Reality?
on Mar 6, 2010 at 4:13:14 am


Not sure why you are using AIC. ProRes is much more friendly and a much better codec. Importantly what's your OS & version of FCS?

When I recently setup my 2.9 Nehalem Octo MacPro, SL & FCS3 with an internal 4TB RAID5, I also got a drop frame warning. However, I wasn't actually dropping any frames so I just turned the warning off and all was well again. Since then I have run 2K ProRes4444 files without any problem.

I think it may be a bug but are you actually seeing any drop frames? I suspect you aren't actually dropping frames but if you are there may be other aspects to the way your system is setup like how you installed and how you are connecting to your drives.



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Robb Harriss
Re: Performance Expectations vs. Reality?
on Mar 6, 2010 at 4:45:55 am

no problems here playing prores 422 hs 1080i off either the mac pro or the laptop (using an external firewire raid). Original footage HDCam

Non-linear: all the time and nothing but.


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Bill Vincent
Re: Performance Expectations vs. Reality?
on Mar 7, 2010 at 4:56:35 am

Thanks for the replies so far. I'm running 10.6.2 Snow Leopard with 6GB of RAM with 2 x 2.26 Quad Core Intel Xeon processors.

The reason I'm running AIC is because it supposedly is optimized for running HDV footage smoothly on FCP (Ironically!) I could try ProRes, I guess it can't hurt.

As to whether I'm actually dropping frames, I think it's possible, although I'm not noticing jerky playback.

I'll experiment more tomorrow, I've got a project waiting to be digitized so maybe I'll try ProRes, although I know the file size will be bigger.

Thanks...


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walter biscardi
Re: Performance Expectations vs. Reality?
on Mar 7, 2010 at 1:13:43 pm

[Bill Vincent] "The reason I'm running AIC is because it supposedly is optimized for running HDV footage smoothly on FCP (Ironically!) I could try ProRes, I guess it can't hurt."

AIC is an old codec that was first developed as an smoother way to work with HDV when it first came out for folks who had slower systems.

ProRes is the way to go today and your media array will easily work with that format.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
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Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" now in Post.

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David Roth Weiss
Re: Performance Expectations vs. Reality?
on Mar 7, 2010 at 7:41:32 pm

[Bill Vincent] "The reason I'm running AIC is because it supposedly is optimized for running HDV footage smoothly on FCP (Ironically!)"

It was optimized for that purpose about five years ago.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Bill Vincent
Re: Performance Expectations vs. Reality?
on Mar 8, 2010 at 2:54:58 am

Thanks for the help, guys. I didn't realize AIC was outdated as a good HDV workflow. Is there any recommendation on ProRes? Regular, HQ or LT? Thanks!

Bill


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walter biscardi
Re: Performance Expectations vs. Reality?
on Mar 8, 2010 at 2:55:40 am

For all workflows and frame sizes 1080 or smaller. Regular ProRes.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" now in Post.

Creative Cow Forum Host:
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Blog!

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Bill Vincent
Re: Performance Expectations vs. Reality?
on Mar 8, 2010 at 3:33:23 am

Excellent, thanks Walter!


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arc nevada
Re: Performance Expectations vs. Reality?
on Mar 8, 2010 at 6:21:28 am

I would like to think your system could edit 12 layers of native HDV with out any problems. Can it?


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Bill Vincent
Re: Performance Expectations vs. Reality?
on Mar 9, 2010 at 1:03:15 am

I'm now digitizing my first big project in ProRes422. I'll post again soon on how everything is going. Thanks again for the info on being outdated. I found the July 2009 ProRes whitepaper that basically explains the formats now. AIC did work on my MacBook Pro - I'd been using it with few issues. So, when I got this new system I never suspected it might be AIC. Hmm.


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