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Dylan Haley
SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 27, 2011 at 9:52:01 pm

I do tons of editing from our shows that we shoot with a NewTek Tricaster HD model. I've always used my macbook dual core with 4gb ram and 7200rpm hard drive and FCP 6. I've produced and edited tons of video content over the years with this set-up, and still do.

So, last week I added another machine to my studio to help speed things up. I paid a little over $3,800.00 to get an imac quad-core i7, 16gb of RAM, 256 SSD for my Apps plus a 2TB hard drive. My apps are on the SSD and I write to the 2TB hard drive. I can honestly say I see no noticeable difference with render times and/or encoding. I was told Apps would launch instantly on an SSD, but again, no noticeable difference opening up FCP. I'm not upset, as the machine is beautiful, but I think I may have drunk the ssd, ram, i7 cool aid.

Wondering if anyone else who does this work has found this to be the same. I feel like I would have the same performance with a bottom of the line imac. Where am I suppose to see this increased performance?

Cheers guys!

~Dylan Haley


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 27, 2011 at 10:29:41 pm

I'm finding just the opposite with an SSD in a 17" MBP.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

Current DVD:
http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX - Cinema Displays I have a 22" that I paid 4k for still working. G4 with Kona SD card, and SCSI card.


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Rafael Amador
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 28, 2011 at 2:46:25 am

What I found year after year is that after installing systems are a real mess.
Run Diskwarrior.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Dylan Haley
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 28, 2011 at 6:54:42 am

Jerry, do you set up fcp scratch disks to write to your ssd or another hard drive? I was told to not write to the ssd, only to keep your apps on there.

Thanks again for your time.

~Dylan Haley


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:19:35 pm

You should always keep media files on dedicated media drives. The faster the better, and keep all apps on that startup disk. In FCP 7, the project files should also be kept on the startup disk.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

Current DVD:
http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX - Cinema Displays I have a 22" that I paid 4k for still working. G4 with Kona SD card, and SCSI card.


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Cris McConkey
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Feb 2, 2013 at 2:21:03 pm

Jerry, How much a differences does it really make to have the project files on the boot drive? Why is there a difference with FCP7?


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Feb 2, 2013 at 4:14:39 pm

In FCP 1-7, the idea here is to keep the media drives set aside to just play the media files, and let the startup disk only pay attention to the apps, and project files.

It's different in FCP X. project and event files should reside on a dedicated media drive. It's because they contain the media files, imported, and rendered.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

Current DVD:
http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX - Cinema Displays I have a 22" that I paid 4k for still working. G4 with Kona SD card, and SCSI card.


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Rob Ainscough
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 28, 2011 at 3:47:33 am

Render times don't seem to be tied to HD performance in FCP7. I've noticed the same, SSD, software RAID, standard HD all produce (within 2%) the same render time.

Applications will load a little faster, but nothing that significant. But as far as render times, no difference regardless of where I set the scratch disk. Maybe I haven't done a render larger enough to exceed 2GB limit of FCP7 32bit address space?

Cinema4D can render pretty fast on my same MacPro and utilizes 4 cores, FCP7 sequence renders only use 1 core. Qmaster only works with compressor which doesn't help FCP7 sequences.


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:37:51 am

Render times are totally dependent on what you're rendering. If it's an fx plug class filter it will use the GPU. If it's not that, then it uses the CPU. Not much use of the drives at all.

Apps load about 3 times faster here on an SSD, and the MBP will boot in about 15-20 seconds after the chime. Large project files in FCP 7 open a lot faster if they're kept on that SSD. Any disk intensive task is about 3 times faster, but CPU, GPU tasks are dependent on just how fast your graphics card is or your CPU.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

Current DVD:
http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX - Cinema Displays I have a 22" that I paid 4k for still working. G4 with Kona SD card, and SCSI card.


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Dylan Haley
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:39:18 am

Thanks Rob. I'm coming to the same conclusion. Compressor is where it probably shines, I guess I was just hoping for something more dramatic. My shows are around 30gb a piece when I start editing and I'm finding the time to be comparable. I think I did drink the SSD cool aid. This machine was expensive and seems to perform like my macbook pro, but hey, at least the design is sexy;-)

Thanks again guys.

~Dylan Haley


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Rafael Amador
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 28, 2011 at 6:08:23 am

Hi Dylan,
The iMac 17 quad is the faster computer ever have ran FC.
From a Core2Duo/4GbRAM to an i7 quand-core/16GbRAM you should see a HUGE vamp in performance in FC.
Also with a SSD HD every system application should open much faster.
Again, optimize your system.
If your system is crap, FC won't run fast whatever the computer the money you spend in computers.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Dylan Haley
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 28, 2011 at 6:59:05 am

Thanks Rafael,

Do you set your scratch disks to the SSD or to another HD? I was told to just run my apps off the SSD but to write/set my scratch disks to another hard drive.

Thanks again for your time.

~Dylan Haley


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Chris Tompkins
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:20:16 pm

Don't use your OS drive for scratch.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Rafael Amador
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:42:56 pm

[Dylan Haley] "Do you set your scratch disks to the SSD or to another HD? I was told to just run my apps off the SSD but to write/set my scratch disks to another hard drive. "
Sure, at least the media and renders always on another HD.

I've insisted in optimizing your System because after a perfect installing the (I mean the MacOS system), is very far from being in good conditions to works.
Two days ago I've erased and installed everything on a MBP i7.
After installing and updating SL I've ran DiskWarrior and shown "32% of the Items out of order".
I rebuilt directories and repaired permissions and got it with "0 items out of order".
Then I installed FCS3 (no contents) and after finishing I ran DW again.
That time shown "14% of items out of order".
With the system like that Is impossible that any application can run as should do.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Rob Ainscough
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 28, 2011 at 7:04:43 pm

Testing I've done with DiskWorrior has show zero benefit in terms of FCP7 performance. It's a handy tool to recover files but it doesn't do anything for FCP7??

Depends on the SATA controller, but typically you want to point the scratch disk to some other fast SATA drive, but in your case if you only have one SSD then I'm assuming it's the faster of your drives so I'd point the scratch disk to your SSD even if it's your main boot HD.

But test it out for yourself, easy enough to change the path of the scratch files. But I think you'll find it doesn't make much difference in terms of rendering in FCP7.

But just so ya know, the 3.4Ghz Intel i7 processors (in the iMac) do video encoding considerably faster than 2.93 Ghz MacPro Xeon processors. Things apple probably don't want you to know, 4 core i7 iMac will render a lot faster than a 12 core MacPro (in FCP sequence). If you run compressor and setup Qmaster then the 12 core will be faster, but in FCP the i7 processor is considerably faster in almost ALL cases (especially sequence rendering).

What you don't get with i7 is ECC memory ... but with current RAM technology, ECC is becoming less and less of an issue ... in fact pretty much just non-existant problem these days with DDR3.

Now toss in two Thunderbolt ports in the iMac and you have a very competent FCP base and lots of room to expand.

My hunch is the MacPro line will die and evolve into an iMacPro ... just makes sense IMHO.

Rob


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Dylan Haley
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 28, 2011 at 7:20:58 pm

Thanks for all the information guys. I appreciate your time.

~Dylan Haley


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Matt Campbell
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Apr 12, 2012 at 4:09:58 pm

Dylan, always use an external drive for media. Problem then is, if your external drive is optical, you won't see the performance boost that SSD provides. Your still then rendering to optical drives and relying on disk speed.

With Mac Pro's and MBP (17" model only via Express 34 slot), you can use eSata cards and connect external drives via eSata. This is, theoretically, as fast as your system drives internal connection (as far as optical drives are concerned) and can handle full 1080p HD ProRes files. Thunderbolt is even faster still, but more expensive. FW 800 will most likely be gone soon but adapters are available for Thunderbolt ports for legacy drives with FW and/or eSata.

Your iMac should be screaming fast for what your doing. I've seen people using Mac Book Airs to edit full HD and even 2k material. Now with help from a Red Rocket card, but still, a MB Air. That's insane. So I would take Rafael's advice and run Disk Warrior. Use FCP's Render Manager to remove old files, trash preferences and any other clean you can do to help. Also, with your external drive, stick to the 80-20 rule. Once your drive reaches 80% full, it will begin to slow down. Back things up and delete old jobs.

Hope this helps and sorry for the rambling. I this is 4 months old, but how did you make out with the iMac performance?

OS 10.6.7, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 4 gb ram and AJA IoHD


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Dylan Haley
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Apr 14, 2012 at 4:57:24 am

Hi Matt,

To answer your question, after going through several months of trying to get our multiple HD production shows off the tricaster(file sizes anywhere from 30-60GB) and on to cable, my solution, after several suggestions, was to buy an external recorder. I went with the Atomos Samurai. It records my shows and converts them to prores 422 on the fly. I then take the recorder home to my mac based studio and create DVD's for the clients right off the drive using FCP X. Now I'm seeing blazing fast edits and saving 4+ hours on authoring DVD's.

It was painful using FCP X after a decade of cutting on the legacy versions of FCP, however, after painfully going through the motions (and complaining on many blogs) I must admit I was wrong, and FCP X has made me a convert. Honestly, anything that can save me several hours of editing at this point, is worth its weight in gold.

Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it.

~Dylan


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Apr 14, 2012 at 5:17:13 am

That's a fact. FCP X is the fastest nle to cut with out there.

But you have to work it as it was designed to work. Which is efficient IMHO. BUt so foreign to track based editors. You get past it if you just do the training. Fast. It's faster to teach than FCP 7 was. That's for sure.

Well, it's fastest Until next week possilbly when the other three A's announce NLE goodies at NAB... Gotta love it.

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things. I ski. My Blog: http://blogs.creativecow.net/Jerry-Hofmann

Current DVD:
http://store.creativecow.net/p/81/jerry_hofmanns_final_cut_system_setup

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX - Cinema Displays I have a 22" that I paid 4k for still working. G4 with Kona SD card, and SCSI card.


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Rob Ainscough
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Apr 14, 2012 at 6:07:41 am

Jerry,

Just wait ... CS6 with the right GPUs will make FCPX seem it's living 10 years in the past ... especially Prelude. Sadly the Windows version appears to have the edge once again (hardware support and accelerated support).

I think what I like most about CS6 is how easy it is to customize the interface is and just how well it adapts to one's work flow.

Rob


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Jason Jenkins
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 28, 2011 at 6:58:42 pm

You need new software to really take advantage of the new hardware. FCPX will scream on that machine.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Rafael Amador
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 29, 2011 at 2:32:11 am

[Rob Ainscough] "Testing I've done with DiskWorrior has show zero benefit in terms of FCP7 performance. It's a handy tool to recover files but it doesn't do anything for FCP7??"
With all my respect, that is bull shit.
DW do not recover any file and improves everything.
I'm working with it since 2005 and is the only piece of software I carry every where i go with my laptop.
Just run the AJA System test in any HD before and after running DW and you will see if its speed up or not write/read times.
The rest is blah-blah.


[Jason Jenkins] "You need new software to really take advantage of the new hardware. FCPX will scream on that machine."
Yes. And in tree or four years he will be able to edit something with FCPX.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Rob Ainscough
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 29, 2011 at 5:51:50 am

Rafael,

Dial it back, no need for that language.

Maybe you are thinking of a different product, but this is the product I've used called "DiskWarrior" by Alsoft ... Link Here As you can see, it's primary purpose is to repair disk problems.

Perhaps if you could provide some real world tests of FCP7 sequence render times before and after you used "DW" and not some generic information that "it's faster". Note: we're talking about FCP7 sequence render times, not Export times, not Compressor times.

Rob


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Rafael Amador
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 29, 2011 at 12:27:31 pm

[Rob Ainscough] "Dial it back, no need for that language."
Sorry. I have no formal education in English s some time I may use unapropriated expressions.


[Rob Ainscough] "
Maybe you are thinking of a different product, but this is the product I've used called "DiskWarrior" by Alsoft ... Link Here As you can see, it's primary purpose is to repair disk problems."

Right, and the most usual disk problem are messed directories and wrong "File finders Info".
Basically fix bad files organization and small corruptions that avoid fast files retrieving which normally leads to slowing things down, but sometimes the applications can't fallow the proper path to files.
The website also says "recover files". Yes, can do that when the files have disappeared due to one of the problems mentioned before. Is not the kind of application able to recover deleted files or when the media fails (like DataRescue, File Salvage, etc).

[Rob Ainscough] "Perhaps if you could provide some real world tests of FCP7 sequence render times before and after you used "DW" and not some generic information that "it's faster". Note: we're talking about FCP7 sequence render times, not Export times, not Compressor times."
There is nothing to test when the system is working well. When FC is performing OK you won't see no difference in render time.
You use DW when applications start to make glitches or slow in normal processes, when FC sequences takes longer to open than they should, when your computer takes time to close down, etc.
Or better than to wait things like that to happen, you run DW on all your HDs to prevent those things to happen.

Rob, I live 500 miles away (and an international border to cross) from the nearest Apple service so is to me to keep my system in good shape, and I get it thanks to DW.
I bough a G5 in 2005 and I had a Kernell Panic every 5 minutes. I sent the computer to Singapore and back home (400$$ shipping) kept crashing. Somebody told me of DW and since then I haven't had no problems any more with any of the 4 Macs I have at home.
I'll keep saying that is the best investment in software I've ever done. 89 bucks paid 6 years ago (all the updates free till the last version) and a tone of peace of mind in exchange.
Diskwarrior or TechTools, that works the same.

And sorry again for my language.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Rob Ainscough
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 29, 2011 at 6:52:12 pm

Rafael,

I don't disagree it can help fix problems on a Mac ... it has helped out your G5 and I'm not saying DW is a bad product.

What I am saying and have tested with and without DW use, is that DW will NOT speed up FCP7 sequence renders -- the ONLY thing that seems to improve FCP7 sequence renders is a faster CPU (just one CPU since that's all FCP7 will use during a sequence render).

FCPX is a different product, it's listed as being able to use all available CPUs and even GPUs to help render sequences faster. Jerry said FCPX is 2X faster renders than FCP7 -- this has me puzzled for Jerry's 8 core setup ... I would have expected 6-7X faster, not 2X.

But either way, DW will not speed up FCP7 sequence renders.

Cheers, Rob.


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Rafael Amador
Re: SSD and FCP speed.
on Nov 30, 2011 at 4:21:20 am

[Rob Ainscough] "What I am saying and have tested with and without DW use, is that DW will NOT speed up FCP7 sequence renders -- the ONLY thing that seems to improve FCP7 sequence renders is a faster CPU (just one CPU since that's all FCP7 will use during a sequence render)."
That's clear.
DW neither other application can add power to a system
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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