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Re: Why do users say FCP X is fast? Some new numbers.

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Oliver Peters
Re: Why do users say FCP X is fast? Some new numbers.
on Aug 14, 2015 at 9:49:46 pm

I decided to run a similar test on my laptop, but with a slightly different sequence set-up. My machine was bought early this year, so it's essentially the new hardware, except with the Nvidia card.

15" Retina MBP 16GB RAM 1TB SSD (MBP 11,3)
Iris + GT750M GPU
2.8 GHz i7

BMD Speed Test with a 5GB file wack is around 940 write / 860 read.

Mac 10.10.4
FCP X 10.2.1
PProCC 2015

All media and exports to the same internal SDD. My source clips were 1080p/23.98 ProResHQ in a 1080p/23.98 timeline. TRT 5 min. 5 sec. All clips were scaled up by 20% and had native color correction. Several titles with shadows and several 5-layer PIPs with scale and rotation on layer 2-5. Base layer clip in the PIP had a Gaussian blur. This was duplicated in both apps.

FCPX export to 1080p ProRes 1:48
PProCC with Open CL export to ProRes 5:41
PProCC with Open CL export to MXF 6:20
PProCC with Open CL export to ProRes via AME 6:05
PProCC with CUDA export to ProRes 3:45
PProCC with CUDA export to MXF 4:40
PProCC with CUDA export to ProRes via AME 5:55

The MXF and AME exports were done to test if these might be faster in an Adobe workflow since you aren't going through QuickTime and because AME is usually a faster renderer. The later doesn't appear to be true with a single file. Clearly FCPX is a faster render/exporter and that has nothing to do with H.264 optimization in this case.

As far as performance with X, I bought this machine for a large on-site corporate conference gig. I was cutting down 1-2 hour multicam recordings of presentations. 4 streams of ProRes from a single USB 3.0 drive. The operation was very fluid. I will attest to the fact that comparison to any older machine, like my 2009 MacPro tower is night and day, even though the tower now has an SSD. Large FCP X projects or long timelines and long source clips simply bog down the machine in the worst way when you are trying to rock & roll in the edit. You absolutely can't get good performance if you turn on waveforms or filmstrips in the timeline. The MBP shines in that regard.

Premiere Pro also works quite well, but CC2015 is a bit touchier in things like screen refreshes and seems to now suffer from the same quit/restart issues that have plagued FCP X. I work on two machines with Nvidia cards (counting this laptop and a client's) and I must say that overall the Mac works better with the AMDs. I have a Sapphire 7950 in the tower. The Nvidias just seem glitchier.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL

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