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FCP 7 performance troubleshooting - thread count.

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Doug Dillaman
FCP 7 performance troubleshooting - thread count.
on Sep 19, 2012 at 11:26:00 pm

So this is an odd one.

We have two iMacs with FCP 7.0.2 installed, both on 10.6.8. We've been using the gruntier one (2.8 GHz Intel Core i5, 4 GB 1333 MHz RAM) for editing.

Recently we've been having major performance issues when scrolling timelines with picture lagging, freezing, no picture coming up, just a green image.

After doing a set of standard troubleshooting things (free up disc space, delete cache files, trash preferences, copy sequences into new projects, check different projects), we decided to test head to head against the other iMac (2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 1067 MHz), and found we couldn't replicate the problem on the slower machine.

The main piece of objective data that we've found is in the Activity Monitor. Looking at the thread count on the problematic machine, scrolling a couple sequences increases the open thread count to 70+ quickly, and they tend not to recede. (Once the thread count gets above 100 is where things really start freaking out.) On the working machine, it's impossible to get the open thread count above 40 with the same behavior, and the thread count recedes quickly.

Has anyone seen this, and does anyone have any suggestions for things I might look at? The only other difference between the two machines is that the bad one has a couple plugins installed (Magic Bullet and Neat Video) but that doesn't seem like this should account for this sort of behavior.

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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP 7 performance troubleshooting - thread count.
on Sep 20, 2012 at 2:13:57 am

A bit of deeper maintenance: Repairing Permissions and rebuilding HD directories (DiskWarrior).

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Thomas Morter-Laing
Re: FCP 7 performance troubleshooting - thread count.
on Sep 20, 2012 at 8:14:36 am

Also you mention you're on 7.0.2- the latest is 7.0.3, I think there were some performance fixes in that update. Also what OS are you running? Although it doesn't effect FCP necessarily, it sort of does (background processes and the like), which is why Snow Leopard as a minimum is pretty much a must IMO.

Tom Morter-Laing
Twitter- @TomTheEditor
Editor, Certified Apple Product Proffessional, 2010
Equipment (not for 'bragging', but in case it's relevant to future posts :D): Canon 7D, with Rode NTG2.
iMac 27" intel i7 3.4GHz, 12GB RAM, ATI HD 6970M [2GB GDDR5], 2x G-Tech G-RAID (0) 2TB over Thunderbolt via Sonnet Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt adapter and Tempo™ SATA ExpressCard/34. Elgato Turbo H264HD.

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