I'm working on a 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Mac Pro with 8 GB of RAM running 10.5.8 but seem to be having FCP stability/usability issues that my colleague with a much lesser system doesn't seem to be having. I had/have no idea why I've been experiencing these issues, but our schedules haven't allow for a whole lot of troubleshooting time up until right about now so I didn't have a chance to explore to find the problem.
What will happen is, after FCP opens, the first time I click on something the rolling beachball of sadness pops up and does it's business for, what I can only guess is three-to-five minutes. Then, when in the projects, I'll get random dropped frames and other instability problems. I've tried the trash prefs and repair permissions fix-alls but haven't experienced any improvement.
I had lost all hope. Until...
Last weekend we had a two-day shoot in which we needed to pull files off of an SxS card at the end of day 1 to make room for shooting day 2's footage. I opened FCP expecting the necessary beachballing which had been occurring the first time I clicked on something each time I opened FCP, and behold, it wasn't there.
The only difference in my setup was the fact that I wasn't connected to the internet.
Now, back at the office, I plug my ethernet cable back in and the beachballing is back. I haven't gotten the chance to dig in to a project that would cause my system extra problems, but I think the fact that the spinning-as-soon-as-I-click-on-something is gone is a good indicator that my FCP + my office network connection = Slow & Unstable FCP.
This sounds like a networking issue and not an FCP issue. Most of us edit happily all day long connected to the internet.
You need to check all the settings for your office network..and the hardware (routers, switches,etc.) Its probably beyond the scope of this forum to troubleshoot that.
One thing though...FCP checks the network for any running copies that have the same serial number (to prevent people that did not purchase the multi-license from using it on multiple computers). It might be related to this, if FCP cannot check the network properly due to a configuration issue.
I don't think you are, based on what you wrote...but also, make sure you are not trying to use an ordinary network drive as your scratch disk.