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FCP7 rendering only using 50% of CPU power

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Lucas Way
FCP7 rendering only using 50% of CPU power
on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:01:07 am

Hi, I'm just rendering some footage (in FCP7). Around 35 minutes, a mix of XDCAM 1080p25 and XDCAM422 1080i50 (I know, I know, trust me, if it were up to me I wouldn't be mixing 2 different formats in 1 timeline).

My issue is that when I look at my activity monitor my Macbook Pro (2011 edition, 15" 2.0ghz Quad core i7, 4GB RAM 720RPM drive, editing on the internal drive, again, I know, bad practice, had no option on this occasion) and it is only using around 50% of each of the 4 cores (and 30-40% of 4 virual cores?).

My question is why is FCP not using 90-100% of my machines potential power, I mean, it;s not exactly slow, but I;d like it to use every slice of power it has.


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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP7 rendering only using 50% of CPU power
on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:11:42 am

Unless you need to export to XDCAM, set your sequence codec to Prores.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Lucas Way
Re: FCP7 rendering only using 50% of CPU power
on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:41:38 am

I do need to export to XDCAM.

Any idea of the rendering not using all the CPU?


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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP7 rendering only using 50% of CPU power
on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:48:54 am

The LGOP structure of the XDCAM makes things much slower. Even if you just cut and export without any rendering, each cut must be "re-comformed" to MPEG-2. CPU may be of no much help in this case.
Whatever thing you need to render, will have the slow MPEG-2 compression on top.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Lucas Way
Re: FCP7 rendering only using 50% of CPU power
on Jul 26, 2011 at 1:10:59 am

I understand long-GOP formats are slower and take more processing power... isn't that more reason for FCP to use my entire CPU power?

I'm not complaining about it being slow, I'm asking why FCP is on't using half the potential power of my machine.


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Jason Lyons
Re: FCP7 rendering only using 50% of CPU power
on Jul 26, 2011 at 6:04:39 am

Your thinking is so rational! It would be nice to see those cores maxed out... But unfortunately FCP7 and XDCAM (Long GOP in general) are a bit like a dysfunctional old married couple, they dont get along so well. With XDCAM I find you have a couple of options, transcode to Prores, or in your case render everything to Prores, as Rafael suggested, and/or expect unstable results from normal editing procedures. Unstable results like unexplained and unexpected crashes when simply scrubbing through the timeline etc., FCP7 is just not built to edit Long GOP.

That's just my experience.

Unfortunately FCP 8 or 9 never happened, they went ahead and skipped to 10. It was long hoped for that better results would come FCP8, maybe re-writing FCP as 64-bit to use all the RAM present, all CPU power and GPU power to speed such things as dealing with Long GOP, but no such luck...


I have heard XDCAM and Sony Vegas play very well together.



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Lucas Way
Re: FCP7 rendering only using 50% of CPU power
on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:46:52 pm

I'm having no problems at all with crashing, slowing down etc... I'm having no issues whatsoever with the format or FCP.
I was just wondering why it wasn't using all my machines potential power.
I do work on some other stuff in prores, just not for this particular client. Will prores better use my machine to it's full power?

Sadly I don't have the time to transcode everything to prores for the edit, the rushes are 200+ gig as they are so it would take a hell of a long time to transcode, hence why I set log and transfer to import native as opposed to transcoding. It's a shame, but can't be helped.


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Matt Doe
Re: FCP7 rendering only using 50% of CPU power
on Jul 26, 2011 at 3:30:35 pm

No, FCP 7 is not a 64 bit app, thusly it will not address the full CPU power and RAM you have in your machine.

That is just the way it is.



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Jason Lyons
Re: FCP7 rendering only using 50% of CPU power
on Jul 26, 2011 at 4:03:41 pm

I was curious about the head to head performance of rendering the two on Quad-core Xeon 3Ghz Mac Pro. I put a 28 sec clip of XDCAM 1080 50i in a 60i timeline (trying to approximate your situation requiring a render) hit render, it took around 23 seconds and the All CPU's reported 70%. I transcoded the same clip to Prores HQ and it rendered in 17 seconds with all the CPUs reporting around 55%. Note the transcoded file was 561.8 MB, the original XDCAM 133.6 MB.

Yeah bummer about FCP7 and 32-bit hu?



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Lucas Way
Re: FCP7 rendering only using 50% of CPU power
on Jul 26, 2011 at 4:05:21 pm

I thought 64/32 bit only related to RAM limitations, not CPU.

You live and learn.

Thanks.


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Adam Smith
Re: FCP7 rendering only using 50% of CPU power
on Jul 28, 2011 at 10:03:42 pm

I think some codecs are more able to be split between processors (multi-threaded). When I work in FCP7 with ProRes and hit render I generally see all 8 of my processors crank up and work hard.

- - -
Video Photographer / Avid & Final Cut Editor


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