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Nick Currey
Final Cut play back issue
on May 25, 2011 at 6:58:36 pm

Hi,
I have a video performance issue that I'm FINALLY trying to resolve.
 When Final Cut Studio3 came out I fnally upgraded from my trusty G5 to a MacPro (specs listed below).
When playing back video within Final Cut, after about 1/2 an hour I get a very annoying stuttering problem- it keeps time but the picture seems to be dropping frames. This is usually resolved by a full computer restart, but after a while it begins again.
I'm a video editor and I mostly use HDV and ProRes422, but it doesn't seem to be particular about what format is affected. It happens also just playing the video in QuickTime player outside of Final Cut, though perhaps a little less. I'm using the latest versions of everything and have installed the prokit updates etc.  Any video exported from this computer plays perfectly on other machines so it's really just a playback issue. 
You may wonder why I've not attended to this before - it's cos I usually use my bosses kit - a much earlier mac pro with lower general spec. His set-up does not have this problem.

Any suggestions as how to resolve this? 

Thanks.

MAC OS X 10.6.7
MacPro4,1
2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
6 GB 1066 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce GT 120


(OS 10.4.11 on a G5 with Final Cut Studio 2)


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Final Cut play back issue
on May 25, 2011 at 7:12:33 pm

You left out any mention of your media drive(s) and how you're feeding your video files to your computer. That's as important as anything to the overall performance of video playback on your FCP system. So, spill the beans and perhaps we can help you.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Nick Currey
Re: Final Cut play back issue
on May 26, 2011 at 9:03:09 am

Hi,
Ah yes, that's a good point.

My Mac drive is is:
Caviar Blue(?) 640GB
WDC WD6400AAKS-41H2B0
Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

I have 3 Internal media drives:
3 x Caviar Black(?) 1TB
WDC WD1001FALS-00J7B1
all Mac OS Extended

Then I use various external media drives, mostly Lacie D2 Quadra 1TB, all connected with Firewire 800.

My Mac drive is currently only half full and all internal media drives all have about 300GB free, so I don't think it's because everything is maxed out. The problem seems to happen if I use external or internal drives. And also, as I said before, the stuttering almost never appears immediately, it slowly starts to happen and can be temporarily fixed by a computer restart. Any ideas?

Cheers,
Nick

Final Cut Studio 3
MAC OS X 10.6.7
MacPro4,1
2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
6 GB 1066 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce GT 120


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Nick Currey
Re: Final Cut play back issue
on May 31, 2011 at 10:29:22 am

Hi,
I got no replies after David's good question. Even if no-one has 'the answer', might someone have a suggestion as to what I could try to resolve the issue?
Cheers,
Nick

Final Cut Studio 3
MAC OS X 10.6.7
MacPro4,1
2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
6 GB 1066 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce GT 120


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Final Cut play back issue
on May 31, 2011 at 3:37:44 pm

Okay Nick, I'm back on the case...

First, trash preferences.

Next, fix permissions on the system drive with Disk Utility.

Make certain all energy saving feature in System Preferences are set to Never.

Now, run the Disk read/write test from AJA System Test on all drives and write down the results. You may have a funky drive that's screwing up all others. Write back with the results.

It's very difficult to isolate the problem with all of your drives connected, as there are many variables to contend with just in the drives alone. I'm focusing there because that's the typical problem area for dropped frames, but we don't know, you may have another issue. But, we've got to get the hard drives checked out first.

BTW, like many others who run their systems with a whole bunch of different single drives, you are essentially driving a Ferrari, but you've put a Volkswagen engine under the hood. You should really consider striping your three 1Tb drives together in a RAID 0 config, and using your firewire drives (and others you might need to purchase) only as backup, if drive failure concerns you.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Nick Currey
Re: Final Cut play back issue
on May 31, 2011 at 4:20:16 pm

Hi,
Thanks for replying David.

I've already done the prefs and permissions several times, but will certainly do them again.
In Energy Saver I have the 'computer sleep' set to never - do I need the 'screen sleep' set to never too? I will if so.

Regarding the AJA System Test: I think this might only be for people with AJA hardware - I have none. It says on their download page: 'Note: the AJA System Test is provided as part of the system installation for all KONA cards and the Io HD—it is not a separate download.' Do you know of another option?

Striping the internals is certainly possible, but not just yet! I use the 3x1TB internal drives mainly for storage and to play media from for editing, and I back up anything important on externals. I've always assumed this was a fair compromise as I assume internal drives should always be pretty fast. I try to keep connected externals to a minimum and never have a usb drive connected at the same time, stuff like that.
But are you saying by not striping my internals they clash against each other or something? Or if I edit media from an external via firewire, might they be slowing it down in some way? As I said I do the exact same kind of thing on my bosses older system with no problems.

Keen to learn and thanks again.
Cheers,
Nick

Final Cut Studio 3
MAC OS X 10.6.7
MacPro4,1
2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
6 GB 1066 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce GT 120


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Final Cut play back issue
on May 31, 2011 at 4:39:39 pm

The AJA System Test is on this page for download by all: http://www.aja.com/products/software/

[Nick Currey] "are you saying by not striping my internals they clash against each other or something? Or if I edit media from an external via firewire, might they be slowing it down in some way? As I said I do the exact same kind of thing on my bosses older system with no problems. "

By not striping the three 1Tb together you're missing out on 3X the throughput. And, with all of those various hard drives connected your access times to various video files "may" be in fact be hampered. Lest I repeat, why buy a Ferrari at all if you're going to power it with a 50HP engine?

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Nick Currey
Re: Final Cut play back issue
on May 31, 2011 at 5:10:37 pm

Hi,
Ah, my mistake. Here are the results of the AJA tests - I used read/write of an 1920x1080 8-bit file:

640GB Mac Drive:
W 99.2 MB/s
R 100.6 MB/s

1TB Internal 1:
W 90.1 MB/s
R 90.6 MB/s

1TB Internal 2:
W 92.2 MB/s
R 92.9 MB/s

1TB Internal 3:
W 85.8 MB/s
R 86.2 MB/s

1TB External via FW800 (Lacie D2 Quadra):
W 65.3 MB/s
R 72.5 MB/s

2TB External via FW800 (G Raid):
W 64.4 MB/s
R 82.2 MB/s

Cheers,
Nick

Final Cut Studio 3
MAC OS X 10.6.7
MacPro4,1
2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
6 GB 1066 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce GT 120


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