We have taken a big leap and self-funded our first ever feature doc. We are long term users of FCPX but generally on short form edits. Most of the time, its super fast and easy to use however we have been having some serious issues with edit and playback speed. It takes about 30-40 minutes just to open a library.
All media is stored on a GTech XL (I can provide details if you need)
Copsy wrote: ...we have been having some serious issues with edit and playback speed. It takes about 30-40 minutes just to open a library. All media is stored on a GTech XL (I can provide details if you need)..iMac... 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7...64 GB... Radeon Pro 580 8 GB...Its really slowing us down and I'm considering an upgrade....
It shouldn't be that slow. I edited a large documentary on a similar machine and disk without major performance issues. It was 8,500 UHD 4k H264 clips in a single library. This included 220 camera hours, about 130 multi-camera interviews, occupying 20 terabytes. It never took more than about 20 seconds to open.
You cannot solve a problem of this magnitude with a faster machine. If the new machine was 3x faster in all metrics, it would still take 13 minutes to open the library.
What codecs and media types are in use? What version of FCPX? Are you running the Chrome browser or any browser based on Chrome such as Brave? Those mis-use the MacOS VideoToolBox framework and can cause unpredictable hangs, crashes and slowdowns.
Turn off background rendering in FCPX preferences, then delete all render files via File>Delete Generated Library Files>Delete Render Files>All. Then select the timeline clips with CMD+A and do a one-time render with CTRL+R. Repeat if needed.
Delete any optical flow, thumbnail and waveform files. Unfortunately there is no built-in command for this. You can open the library and (carefully) delete those manually or you can use Final Cut Library Manager which is a good inexpensive tool:
If you have an excessive number of project snapshots this can slow library opening. Internally, each snapshot duplicate is a separate SQLite project database. There is no hard limit but in general if you have more than about 20-30 it might get sluggish on opening.
If you have any HEVC material, on FCPX 10.4.7 and .8, certain versions might cause hangs, slowdowns or crashes. Identify any HEVC material and transcode to optimized media. If it hangs or crashes during the transcode, post that.
If you have any AVCHD media which was imported using "leave files in place" (typically .MTS files) this can cause a severe slowdown due to excessive small random IOs. In general be cautious about importing bare files "in place" from any tree-oriented media, and *never* do that for AVCHD. My preferences is externally re-wrapt that with EditReady2, then import with leave files in place. This combines all the tree-oriented metadata into the file, making import fast and safe. It does this via re-wrap not transcoding so there is no generational loss and it's very fast.
Playback speed should normally be fast, however this varies based on codec and effects. Certain H264 and 10-bit HEVC codecs are quite sluggish to decode. Also certain effects are very compute-intensive and if using background rendering it will continuously grind through those, slowing down everything. Use the above advice to manually control this process.
Do a sanity check on the disk performance. Run Blackmagic speed test and report the numbers. If a disk in a RAID system has failed, the performance can degrade drastically. As FCPX.guru said, verify you have at least 20% free disk space on all drives.[/b]
Hi, sorry for the slow reply. We had to check a few things to answer your questions. Thanks for the help so far:
So I've attached 2 pics.
Mac HD is where we have the actual library stored. We have also moved the cache here as I read that might help. We have fresh installed the iMac from a pen drive to give it a fresh start, clean and no unnecessary software.
All media is stored on the G-Speed-Raid 48TB and goes via thunderbolt (3 I think). We have proxies on here too and we are using proxies to edit with. We haven't tried optimised though.
The original media is RED Raw - so much larger than h264 files, but again - we're using proxies.
Background rendering is off
We tried moving the project into a brand new library. We basically started a new library and imported the media (it's linked not copied) and then moved the project in, It's not helped. When we moved the library we deleted all the render files so that they had to re-render
We haven't tried the thumbnail and waveform files yet. We could give that a go.
I'm not too sure what project snapshots are, could you advise where to find and check these?
I don't think we have any HEVC material. Unless Raw counts as that? We only shot on one camera.
No AVCHD thankfully but we have left all the footage in place, could that be an issue? It would effectively duplicate all the media if I copied to the library which would be a big chunk. The media is about 12TB in total. I will have a look at Divergent media though. I've not heard of it so will check it out.
We don't run any other software or internet browser while we edit, only if we need something online and then close it again.
Playback is not too bad, the bits we have done above have made the library open quicker (I think) but when you try to move any clips (edit) you have to wait, so editing is a nightmare. We noticed today after trying some things out that it tends to back up the library quite frequently and it takes a long time. Then by the time it's completed it wants to do it again so its a constant wait - could that have anything to do with it?
We wondered if an external 2TB SSD would help, if we moved the library and cache onto that? But the Mac HD is and SSD?
Thanks again, really appreciate the help. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of it.
Copsy wrote: ...Playback is not too bad, the bits we have done above have made the library open quicker (I think) but when you try to move any clips (edit) you have to wait, so editing is a nightmare. We noticed today after trying some things out that it tends to back up the library quite frequently and it takes a long time. Then by the time it's completed it wants to do it again so its a constant wait - could that have anything to do with it?
We wondered if an external 2TB SSD would help, if we moved the library and cache onto that? But the Mac HD is and SSD?....
What version of FCPX and MacOS are you running? There were some issues in previous versions that intermittently caused severe lag on certain timeline drag/drop operations. I think that was fixed or greatly reduced in the latest versions. In general you want to be on 10.4.8 -- there were significant performance improvements starting in 10.4.7 with Metal optimization. This can be on either Mojave or Catalina.
I don't think the previous "drag lag" problems were I/O related. IOW faster drives wouldn't help.
However -- having the cache and library on SSD is a good idea. Just make sure you have plenty of space because cache can grow quite large over time. Whether that's on the system SSD or external is controversial. The traditional view is don't put it on the system drive but that advice is based on the HDD era. Newer Mac SSDs are extremely fast and probably have the bandwidth to handle that. However putting it on an external USB-C SSD with at least 1,000 MB/sec capability wouldn't hurt.
Note: Make *certain* any external SSD is immune to thermal throttling under long-duration sustained load. Some of the most common SSDs like the Samsung T5 encounter this frequently. I have over 20 of those and they all do it.
Re having many project snapshots making it slow to open the library, you might manually create those by right-click and picking "Duplicate Project as Snapshot". All projects, whether snapshot or not, show up when you click on the top-most library-level "Projects" smart collection. You can click on that smart collection and determine how many total projects or snapshots you have. Each internally consists of an additional SQLite database file inside the library bundle, and after a certain undefined point (say 20-30 or 40) it will slow down FCPX when the library is opened.
Another possible cause of slow drag/drop is non-rendered effects. Select all clips in the timeline with CMD+A, render them with CTRL+R, then try it.
An alternate test is make a project snapshot, open that snapshot, select all clips with CMD+A then delete all effects on it with Edit>Delete Effects, then try the drag/drop.