I looked for the right place to post this and apologize if this is not it...
I've been using FCPX since one month after it came out AND YET I've never joined a forum. I am so grateful to the posters and admins here for making this community a reality. I want to add a photo and dive in all the way!
My first question and set up....
SET UP TO THE QUESTION....I just got a 2018 Mac Mini i7 with self installed 32 GB ram and 500 SSD. I previously used a OWC raid external via Thunderbolt 2 port on my old iMac. Even though I have Thunderbolt three on this machine the external is using an adapter and so I am getting lag on my first multi day large project. (Movae 10.14.5 and FCPX 10.4.6)
The PROBLEM... I've already started editing a couple of projects with in one event under one Library ON the EXTERNAL drive. BUT now I want to move or copy it all to the internal SSD - work on it there and then move back to external as needed.
#1 - is this a good idea to move current laggy but working data over to internal drive or potential mega problem?
#2- What is best practices for doing this swap so as to avoid losing the hours of CULLING and labeling of shots - plus avoiding the dreaded red "Missing Files" icon.
Thanks so much for any responses. I am so glad to have found you.
Ace_Wright wrote: ... 2018 Mac Mini i7 with self installed 32 GB ram and 500 SSD....Thunderbolt three on this machine the external is using an adapter and so I am getting lag on my first multi day large project. (Movae 10.14.5 and FCPX 10.4.6)......
Can you tell us what resolution, camera and codec. Is it single camera or multicam? If it is single-camera 4k H264 it is less likely an I/O issue. the I/O rate in that codec isn't that high. E.g, common 8-bit 4:2:0 4k H264 codecs from Sony and Panasonic consumer cameras are only about 12.5 megabytes per sec.
If the lag appears only when using effects in the timeline, it might be a CPU or GPU limitation. You can easily check for this. Right-click on the project icon and pick "Duplicate Project as Snapshot", then open that snapshot and strip all effects by doing CMD+A in the timeline to select all clips, then Edit>Remove Effects. If the lag is gone on the snapshot timeline, it is likely a CPU or GPU limitation and the solution might be getting an eGPU. However not all effects GPU-intensive and benefit of an eGPU can vary.
With FCPX there are two general I/O profiles: (1) large sequential reads from the media files (2) small random reads and writes to/from the library and cache files. It is possible to have plenty of I/O performance headroom for case #1 yet encounter a limitation for case #2. That is a limitation in I/O *issuance rate* vs I/O data rate.
It can be beneficial to put the library and cache files on an SSD separate from the media volume. Although opinions vary, the internal NVMe SSD in newer Macs can be fast enough to handle this plus system I/O. However a 1TB Samsung T5 is only about $180, so that is also an option.
If using a "lean library" where the media was imported using "leave files in place", this doesn't take much space yet may produce better performance for certain cases. In that situation you could just move the library in Finder. If cache is inside the library, you can easily re-locate that before moving the library by using Modify Settings in the Library Inspector. A dialog will ask "Do you want to move your render files". If you pick "Don't Include" the existing cache inside the library will be harmlessly truncated, making the library smaller and easier to move.
If 4k H264 (depending on the variant), this can be difficult to edit smoothly without proxies on most Macs. A possible solution for that is create proxies. Proxies reduce CPU, GPU and I/O loads since they are ProRes at 1/4 the pixel resolution. By default proxies are stored inside the library but you can define an external storage location using the Library Inspector as above, except in the dialog pick another location for Media. This does not relocate current media only defines a new location for future imported or generated media -- such as proxies. Proxies created after defining a new storage location will be placed in that folder, keeping the library compact.
Edit/add: After designating a new storage location via Library Inspector>Storage Settings>Modify Settings, only newly-generated proxies and newly-imported *managed* media will be placed there, not newly-imported media using "leave files in place". But if the library is consolidated, in that case all media (inc'l current in-place media) will be copied to the new storage location.
I shoot with older Canon C100 Mark II - using C-Log and setting 1080p 24 Mbps in AVCHD (which I understand is a form of H.264) Single Camera 4:2:0
The Library is 522GB of several shots.
Now that I have answered this I am going to digest your reply some more. Let me also say the external is a OWC device running dual 7200 RPM drives BUT the output is via Thunderbolt 2 and running into a Apple brand adapter to a Thunderbolt 3 input on the mini.
Okay so now that I have read more let me add the following....
when importing I tell it to keep media in place. That media lives not the external 7200HD via TB2-TB3 adapter. I also try to always use proxies. Lastly, after importing, I let it set there and transcode (or whatever that process is called) before trying to edit.
ALSO - I was editing this with no lag at all, at first. Then as the project built to about 4 minutes and I came back the next day and began to work on it again. I was simply culling through clips in the browser on a a second screen when it started lagging. The effects were simple fades and some text on the time line but nothing complicated. BTW I had a similar issue with my 2011 iMac which was i7 and best GPU available at the time. When I went to the Mac Mini I was thinking I would avoid this.
Ace_Wright wrote: I shoot with older Canon C100 Mark II - using C-Log and setting 1080p 24 Mbps in AVCHD... That media lives not the external 7200HD via TB2-TB3 adapter. I also try to always use proxies.... I was editing this with no lag at all, at first. Then as the project built to about 4 minutes and I came back the next day and began to work on it again. I was simply culling through clips in the browser on a a second screen when it started lagging....
Here is one possibility: I will describe it; tell us if it seems to fit. There is a known performance issue if files are copied out of the AVCHD package using Finder and imported to FCPX using "leave files in place". Examination with the command-line performance utility Dtrace shows the I/O profile consists of many small random I/Os. FCPX may be dynamically re-wrapping each file upon each reference. This behavior is more apparent if the Event Browser is in filmstrip mode and manifests as very sluggish and continuous thumbnail generation, also in other ways.
The problem is so pronounced that even a small % of bare AVCHD files imported this way can "poison" the performance of the entire library, even though most of the files are not AVCHD. I haven't re-tested this in a while but that was the behavior on previous versions.
You may not see the problem immediately if the I/O system can issue small random I/Os at a high rate. Eventually however it will bog down like a freeway reaching max capacity and this can appear suddenly as load increases.
However you have apparently already imported the media that way. My recollection is creating optimized or proxy media would work around the problem. The only way to really fix it is re-importing the media the right way which could invalidate any edits since the filenames might be different or have conflicting attributes that precludes relink.
If you have created proxies for 100% of your media (not just the clips in the timeline) and are editing only in proxy mode, the slowness could be some other problem, such as running the Chrome browser.
There's a known issue whereby Chrome saturates the macOS VideoToolBox framework and partially locks out FCPX. This can manifest as sudden sluggish FCPX performance. To investigate this, shut down all Chrome instances and examine whether FCPX is still slow.
By "second screen" if you are using any hardware or drivers for this screen, state the details. There have been some previous reports of slowdowns if using multiple screens. It is often associated with display hardware/drivers but I don't remember the details.
Re "The effects were simple fades and some text on the time line but nothing complicated", that should be OK on your Mac Mini, however it does not have a discrete GPU. You can duplicate the project by selecting it, right click and picking "Duplicate Project as Snapshot". Open that snapshot, select all clips via CMD+A in the timeline and strip all effects using Edit>Remove Effects. Then see if it's slow. If so it might be a GPU limitation.
AVCHD is "only" 1080 resolution so normally it's very fast if imported properly and if there are no compute-intensive effects.
I move AVCHD files from card to HD external. Then later in X I use the import button and import via the folder that way they are named. And I say leave files in place and optimize media and create proxies.
So let me ask this. I am considering getting new Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k. Will it NOT have such issues and therefore possibly be better for editing than AVCHD?