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Is it my Mac?

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Julian Bowman
Is it my Mac?
on Mar 20, 2013 at 10:53:47 am

hey. So I have been suing FCPX now within a large project with a tight deadline (paid) and have now gathered enough real world experience to be able to probe further about my mac, newer macs and FCPX.

I have a 2x2.26 quad core mac pro. I was running FCPX and it felt a bit sluggish in the response time from my doing actions, such as clicking on clips, jumping around the timeline, opening the filters tab, actioning changes to filters etc.

I wasn't getting the beach ball, but there was a definite delay in actioning something and it happening, to the point where I was getting ahead of myself with my actioning and having to wait for FCPX to play catch up. Something I never experienced in 7. Or even the limited test run of CS6 PP.

Basically I describe it as like running through sand as opposed to running on earth or tarmac. I can do it, but it hurts a lot more over a long distance.

After reading up I upgraded my ram to 32 gigs from 16 and bought a ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB and I cannot say i've noticed a blind bit of difference. FCPX still has this sluggish response time.

Is this because of my machine? Is this just the way FCPX is? If my machine with the current hardware is good enough then what else could it be?

I have read a lot on the new i7 iMacs and am trying to wrap my head around buying a sealed disposable mac as my editing machine and using my current mac as my home computer (I do use my current mac as both, so yes I may be creating issues but the Activity Monitor isn't suggesting I am).

I guess if I use an iMac as solely an editing station with external raid like drives (which poses other questions for another post) then I don't actually need more than the single internal HD or loads of additional firewire ports for all my crap to charge off, etc.

I do, though, have a Blue Ray burner I use to archive large self contained completed projects, which is not thunderbolt, so could I still hook that up to an iMac or is there some way of making my two macs (when i get a new one) of sharing data through a drag and drop method?

I am a one man band and make videos for the not for profit sector in the UK and have been doing so for 10 years. I do not need to share or play with others. I shoot on D60s at the moment and capture audio through my Zooms.

So, to make it easier these are my questions:

1) Is it my mac that is causing constant lag on FCPX and does the i7 iMac not have this lag?
2) Can I make my mac run FCPX better or is this my lot with that machine?
3) Is an i7 imac with 32g ram and the 1TB graphics card (heard of issues with the 2TB) suitable for a one man band using an iMac solely as a workstation for FCPX and Motion template manipulation, using external raid like hard drives?
4) Can I easily hook up my current mac and the iMac to transfer files between the two without using third party apps such as dropbox... as in can they share one external hard drive? Or do I need to get a portable and move it between the two.

I will probably hold off till the new Mac Pro is released (I'm guessing around June) in case it offers hugely improved performance for not a huge price increase, but it may be that for me the iMac i7 is still the more sensible choice, especially given I won't be getting rid of my current mac as it is still in great condition.

Many thanks if you have gotten through this long and winding post.

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