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Performance questions for FCP with RED footage

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Brandon Morris
Performance questions for FCP with RED footage
on Feb 23, 2012 at 2:40:00 pm

We have a 12-core 2011 Mac Pro with 64GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5770, and 4 7200 RPM hard drives.
We also have an 8-core 2008 Mac Pro with 8GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 2600, and 4 7200 RPM hard drives.
We use Red Scarlet & Epic footage with RedCine X Pro, FCP, Premiere, After Effects, and Davinci Resolve.

Does a Red Rocket card improve GPU performance for Visual FX with FCP, AE, PR, and Davinci?
I know it helps read 4k and transcode faster.
Would it be able to use the Mercury engine, Open GL, and Davinci CUDA with RR?
Or would it be necessary to buy a different graphics as well for working since PR and Resolve prefer Nvidia cards?

We use hard drive 1 for OS only, drives 2-3 for project files, drive 4 for rendering and cache files.
Would this work well? How would a RAID 0 drive work in a similar instance and how would that be setup correctly?

What are the best preference settings for FCP with above hardware?

Brandon Morris
Co-owner/Creative Director
http://www.fugostudios.com

RED Scarlet, Canon T2i, Panasonic HPX-170
Nikon Primes
Mac Pro 12-core 64GB RAM (2011)
Mac Pro 8-core 12GB RAM (2008)
Mac Pro 4-core 8GB RAM (2006)
13" Macbook Pro (Mid 09) 8GB RAM Lion


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Performance questions for FCP with RED footage
on Feb 23, 2012 at 6:24:35 pm

I know the question is for FCP, but you asked about Mercury and CUDA so it made me respond. Please disregard if this is too OT for you...

Premiere Pro and After Effects can sense when there is a Red Rocket card (or multiple) and will accelerate accordingly. This essentially allows a higher quality play out of the raw RED file.

Premiere Pro and AE also have a Source Settings control where you have a lot of Red Cine X directly in the Adobe application.

The Mercury Playback engine in Premiere Pro does allow for more real-time editing, specifically it helps when you're adding effects to RED clips where the GPU handles those effects instead of the CPU.

IF you were using Adobe products, definitely give it the computer that has all the memory - as a 64-bit app, it's essential.

Dennis - Adobe guy


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Performance questions for FCP with RED footage
on Feb 23, 2012 at 9:43:05 pm

He mentioned Mercury playback but he asked if he would have to change graphics cards, which are both ATI. Wouldn't he have to install nVidia cards for Mercury? Wouldn't it be cheaper to get new graphics cards than a Red Rocket? Though I don't think there would be any performance enhancement for FCP7...

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Michael Gissing
Re: Performance questions for FCP with RED footage
on Feb 23, 2012 at 10:23:22 pm

FCP can't handle RED natively in the timeline. Red Rocket will make a big difference with Adobe and da Vinci. FCP recommended graphics card is ATI for all the other software NVIDIA graphics cards are preferred.


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Performance questions for FCP with RED footage
on Feb 24, 2012 at 1:41:55 pm

[Lance Bachelder] "Wouldn't he have to install nVidia cards for Mercury?"

For CS5.5 you are absolutely correct. The Quadro 4000 is the way to go here.



[Lance Bachelder] "Wouldn't it be cheaper to get new graphics cards than a Red Rocket?"

Again, yes. The Red Rocket is not cheap, but what it offers is great.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Performance questions for FCP with RED footage
on Feb 25, 2012 at 12:06:49 am

I only mentioned the cheaper route because PPro supports Red files natively than Mercury would be easier than Red Rocket for Red users. Though I have never compared performance between GPU and Red Rocket...

It seems FCP7 and X for that matter are a tad behind in the Red editing world as PPro and Vegas both support 4k native Red editing...

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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