OK, so my Mac Pro is equipped with 8g RAM... how much will an upgrade to 32g RAM affect my overall performance within Final Cut Pro? It's a somewhat pricey upgrade and wanted to get the experts opinion on the value of a RAM upgrade like this.
I'm sure this question has been answered a bunch of times...but the short answer is-very little improvement. FCP doesn't need a lot of RAM, the only 2 things that it would directly affect is adding more still images and graphics on the timeline without rendering. By boasting your RAM it will give FCP more RAM for photos/stills. If you do that type of work, it could be a benefit.
The other benifit would be Motion-it eats up a lot of RAM, so the more you have the better. But if you're not doing a lot of Motion stuff, it's a lot of money to spend for little payback.
I do do a fair amount of Motion work. However I was hoping for increased performance within FCP when rendering plugin effects and other graphics within FCP. I had also assumed that render time would also come down but based on what you say. That would be incorrect?
If this is the case, how can you increase performance? This particular Mac Pro is a 2010 build.
That hardware and software can't do the extensive multi-threading that would take full advantage of the RAM. This is cited a a major reason Apple started on a clean sheet of paper with FCP-X, which is true multi-threaded and 64-bit. ALL the processors you have on board, and ALL the RAM, get put to work in that setup. WHich is why it can perform very fast. On the Gripping hand, you may not find FCP-X has all the features you need, compared to the old FCP-7. But this is not the place for that discussion.
Yes, sorry to say, not much will increase performance/render times EXPECT processors and drive speed. Since you can't get new processors, the only other options would be faster drives...not sure what you're using, but it might be worth a look. I did a little test on my own with some Western Digital 10k speed drives that I striped locally and saw about a 10-15% boast in render times. (but the bulk of rendering is processors)
I don't think you're going to find much help with plug-ins either. Unless the plug-in is written (coded) to use open GL from your graphics card, the plug-ins relies on the processors for all of the work. I have a handful of plug-in too on my VERY fast HP workstation, but the plug-ins still take a while to render.
A graphics card would be the only other thing to consider, but only if felt you could get your money's worth.
I'm currently upgrading to Glyph drives so hopefully that will help with the render times.
I have gotten a lot of conflicting opinions on the RAM upgrade... some say FCX WILL perform faster renders as it takes advantage of multithreading (Apples official response is that FCX makes good use of ALL available RAM.. the more you have the better off you are.) Some still say additional RAM will NOT help.
So at what point do you STOP upgrading RAM? 4g? 8? 16? If upgrading does not increase render times and overall performance with FCX, where do you stop?
just to clarify. FCP7 is a 32 bit application and as such can only utilise a limited amount of RAM. 4 Gigs is about as much as it can use. So increasing it to 8 or 16 etc i not going to have any real effect on FCP7. It may give your machine in general better performance but FCP7 alone will not benefit.
As others have said FCPX is a 64 bit App that can utilise all of your RAM so adding more will increase the performance. Many people have reported that FCPX works better the more RAM you throw at it. 16 GIGS would be a decent amount not sure there is too much advantage in exceeding 32 Gigs though and as you say its an expensive upgrade.
This holds true for all 32 and 64 bit applications. 32=limited ram use 64=capable of using all RAM.
I have an 8 core MAC PRO which has 12 gigs RAM and a new i7 MACBOOK PRO with 16 gigs ram. FCPX runs so much quicker on the laptop it is very noticeable.
As does Avid which is also a 64 bit Application. This is because they can utilise all the RAM and the hyper threading on the laptop.
FCP7 runs pretty much the same on both as it can't utilise the extra RAM and CPU features on the laptop.