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Need to keep old Mac Pro running-suggestions?

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Bret Hampton
Need to keep old Mac Pro running-suggestions?
on Sep 27, 2017 at 11:16:56 pm

Hi

I have an early Mac Pro 1.1 dual processor running FCP7. I mostly use it with Furnacecore Dirt Removal for film restoration. It's pretty slow as it's 32 bit, so wondering suggestions for inexpensive things I can do to speed this up at all.

Mac Pro 1.1
16g ram
ATI Radeon HD5770
The Foundry Furnacecore (dirt removal plug in)
FCP 7 (last version)
OS 10.6.8 (most recent I can run on this Mac)

I could update to a newer Mac Pro to get 64 bit, can't update Foundry software (they don't support this version anymore and the replacement Nuke costs several thousand bucks)


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Shane Ross
Re: Need to keep old Mac Pro running-suggestions?
on Sep 27, 2017 at 11:41:16 pm

Sorry, nothing you can do. The only processor upgrades are for the 2009-2012 machines. And graphics cards don't speed anything up. The only thing you can get is more RAM, but that doesn't make too much of a dent.

Shane
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Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Nick Meyers
Re: Need to keep old Mac Pro running-suggestions?
on Oct 1, 2017 at 12:59:49 pm

yeah i don't think FCP will get any benefit from extra RAM - it can only access 4 gig i believe, and you have 16 already.

I know that plug-in, it's good, but very slow.
our solution was to run it on a bunch of macs simultaneously.
as it was a one-off job we had one machine with a license, and ran the others in demo mode.


nick


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Need to keep old Mac Pro running-suggestions?
on Oct 2, 2017 at 7:42:43 pm

[Nick]...our solution was to run it on a bunch of macs simultaneously.[/Nick]

You can run multiple instances of FCP on the same machine as long you have several cores available.

- Andrea

Spherico
http://www.spherico.com/filmtools

"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


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Jimmy See
Re: Need to keep old Mac Pro running-suggestions?
on Oct 5, 2017 at 8:38:23 am

An SSD if you don't have one already could give you a little boost launching FCP, and saving (if using the SSD to store the project file). If you can afford a large enough one, perhaps you could use it as a scratch drive while you work on a project and store your working media on there, that would increase the speed at which it could read the media which might offer some small improvements in some aspects of the process.


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Jimmy See
Re: Need to keep old Mac Pro running-suggestions?
on Oct 5, 2017 at 9:04:37 am

Another thing you could try (though it's pretty experimental and you'd want to test this thoroughly first), is looking for solutions other than Furnacecore that don't cost as much as nuke. Then you can update the hardware which will likely be a useful investment anyway.

If the work is mainly revolving around the film restoration then it sounds like you don't have as much to consider as you would around choosing editing software for example, where you'd have to worry about wide support for the platform and the ability to collaborate and many other factors. It seems like you can be pretty free to learn how to do the specific tasks you need to achieve the result you want and then mostly repeat the same task, making learning the new software a less burdensome task.

With that in mind, Natron https://natron.fr/features/ is free and open source and makes particular note of it's ability to leverage available system resources. It also relies on the OFX framework for its effects, along with Nuke and Resolve. The nice thing about that is that users develop OFX plugins for the community for free. As they're OFX they often will work with on other OFX supporting software as well.

I had trouble finding OFX film restoration plugins but I did find one some Engineering students put together for Natron. They did it as a thesis so I don't know if they'll ever develop it any more, and I also don't know how good a job it does, but the thing is you can borrow a decent computer, install natron for free and use the plugin and test if it will achieve results as good as what you were using and with the improved speeds you're hoping for. If it does this well enough, then it won't matter if its ever updated.

Link to forum post announcing the plugin below and below that the link to the github page for the plugin below that.

https://forum.natron.fr/t/film-restoration-plugins-for-natron/1576
https://github.com/SebastianBugna/PARP

I believe they did not make any binaries, so you'd have to compile it yourself, but that's relatively easily done on a mac, just a bit frustrating when you're not used to doing that, but you'd only ever have to do it once.

I know this seems a bit out of left field, but the crux of it is, you can test it entirely for free, if it's any good you won't be chained to old hardware, the software it was written for specifically boasts particularly good optimisation for getting the best out of a powerful CPU and as it's an OFX plugin there's a chance it could work in other software like Resolve which is also free (for the 'lite' version).


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