Later on in the day (for those of us on the east of the puddle) we will see the availability of the latest macOS High Sierra. We all like upgrades, are there any things we should know first? (Slight hint-yes)
Let's start with the fairly obvious questions-
- Have you done a full backup? (having restored a Mac from a Time Machine backup recently it is a pretty amazing tool to use)
- Are you in the middle of a project?
- Have you got any old FCP7 projects that you need to use?
If the answer to the first one is no and/or either of the second two is a yes then don't.
Check your Time Machine backup is still working as it can be paused with a full backup disk. Or alternatively do a clone of your hard drive with Carbon copy Cloner or Chronosync.
The reports of High Sierra betas and FCPX have been good, but from our experience it is always the little drivers and extensions that you've forgotten about that don't get updated immediately. Think across the board from card reader drivers to plugins. Make a list of what is installed on your Mac and then tick off each one when you find it has High Sierra compatibility or if there is a new version for download.
It has been well publicised that Final Cut Pro 7 will not run on High Sierra. Make sure that you have saved the XMLs out of any project you need. You can then use those through SendToX (was original called 7toX) to get the timelines into Final Cut Pro X.
Do you have a Fusion Drive on your Mac? Not applicable with SSD MacBook Pros or MacBooks, but if you are running an iMac then you might be in for more pain as the Beta versions did not support Fusion Drives with the new APFS (filesystem)
HDD? forget it!
Details on how to handle High Sierra with a Fusion Drive (from the Beta Test notes.)
It is always good practice to have a copy of the previous OS handy. Today we downloaded a copy of Sierra from the Mac App Store to file away on a hard disk. More than once we have had to go begging to see if anybody has had a copy of an old OS, so download while you can. (5GB) The El Capitan version is no longer on there.
If you are trying to upgrade from El Capitan or even Yosemite, it's not a one click operation, you will have to jump through sequential updates.
So with all the necessary warnings and caveats out of the way, what can we expect from High Sierra?
1) AFPS is a faster new 64bit file system that is designed to work with SSDs
2) HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265) This will give a 40% file size reduction for the same equality video. As FCPX uses a lot of the macOS itself, it would be a fair bet to say that the next version just might support H.265 import and export.
3) Metal 2 A new technology for the GPU. Although some FCPX plugins have already been written to use Metal 1, this has the capacity for faster rendering times and support for external GPUs. No word on FCPX, but rather frustratingly, Resolve has been the poster boy.
4) VR It is no secret that VR will come to FCPX. Not only was it explicitly mentioned at WWDC, it even says so on the Apple website!
For FCPX is there any great advantage on running High Sierra? We think probably not although the next version might make it a requirement.
Of course in true LP record compilation style, there is much much more. The curve editing in Photos looks good, but we are happier about the Photoshop integration. Less happy about the extended reader mode in safari.
Back to Final Cut Pro X and we would like your help in letting people know what works and what doesn't. We did exactly the same for Sierra and it brought a few surprises.
Please comment below, or better still you can go to our sticky MacOS High Sierra - What works and doesn't work? thread on the Forum.