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Editing GH4 C4K (.mov) Final Cut Pro X 10.1.1 On a Mac Pro
  • Anyone else having trouble editing native GH4 C4K (.mov) in Final Cut Pro X (10.1.1). I have a Mac Pro Mid-2012 3.2x4, ATI5870, 16GB RAM, 7200RPM Drive and it stutters like hell Playing Back a 5 minute sequence with no effects... Even with Smoother Playback selected it just will not playback smooth even with nothing else open... I would love not to have fro transcode to ProRes if I don't have to...

  • 15 Replies sorted by
  • You may need a fast external drive for media and a better graphics card. It's standard in the post-production industry to NEVER use the system drive for media storage as it has to access operating system and media at the same time, slowing the system and making the drive work too hard.

  • Thanks for the suggestion, I will try it on another drive. I have 2 other 1TB 7200RPM 64MB drives in my Mac Pro's drive slots that I can move the media onto and see if it works any better. I think that would be faster than using an external FW800 drive no? You really think the 5870 isn't fast enough though because I've edited 5K REDCODE RAW 7:1 compression in FCP X before on this computer and even that plays back pretty smoothly.

  • If you have a thunderbolt connection I recommend one of these thunderbolt docks and a 6G SSD:

    Crazy fast.

  • I think you will need a RAID setup when using 2k with mechanical drivers. A Software Raid will be fine.

  • @chasehagen

    There are a number of different things that you can do to improve your editing experience. There are various way to approach this and this depends on how you want to do it.

    1. Easiest and cheapest way.
      Make sure you have a fast separate hard drive for editing preferably a hard drive that can sustain write speeds of at least 125 megabytes per second. I would highly recommend a 500GB SSD drive but you can get away with a regular hard drive as long as it can sustain the speeds mentioned above. Then import and transcode into ProRess creating a proxy file as well. When you are editing you can choose better performance rather than quality if your computer is still chocking.
    2. New Graphics Card/SSD hard drive
      The graphics card that you have is pretty old. Apple sucks in this way because quite often they sell older graphics cards that are at least one or two generations behind in comparison to the PC counterparts. This will help if you use Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere so one way or another you will benefit.

    That being said I have a 15" Retina MacBook Pro and I can edit the GH4 4K footage on my Retina Macbook Pro just fine as long as I transcode to ProRess and Proxy when importing footage and use a SSD or fast external hard drive when I edit. I also have a Mac Pro that I gave to my son because I can pretty much do everything that I need to on my 15" Macbook Pro. So I am pretty sure that if you transcode or buy a new card/ssd drive you will not have any problems editing with your Mac Pro.

    I know you mentioned that you don't want to transcode but really why not. Transcoding is probably the only way your computer will not choke on the 4K files and it will also make editing a lot smoother and faster.

  • @azo what is the best freeware software to transcode c4k in prores…thx

  • @chef

    I don't know I always use Final Cut ProX. You could try Free AVCHD to Mov from the app store. I have never had any problems ingesting into Final Cut Pro X even with the hacked GH2.

  • @chasehagen Before you upgrade your system, have you transcoded your media within FCPX? If not, right click on the clips and choose transcode media, then select "optimized" and possibly "proxy" if you want low res versions to edit which will work even faster. Once you do that, you should see improved performance gains even with your current gfx card.

    Last, regarding upgrading your current system, I would honestly consider selling the Mac Pro and getting either a new Mac Pro or a high end, fully decked out iMac. Some people are saying the 2013 Retina Macbook Pro is a better option than the iMac.

  • Do you think the latest 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display can handle GH4 files ? 4k ? Thanks

    2.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.7GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
    512GB PCIe-based Flash Storage
    Intel Iris Pro Graphics + AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB GDDR5 memory 
  • I just use optimized proxy media (on import) and then delete them when I am done (File->Delete Generate Event Files->Delete Optimized Media). Also I edit on a 512GB 6G SSD attached via thunderbolt ...

    I have a new 15inch MBP coming on thursday, I will let you know if it can handle 4k in FCPX ...

  • You are running FCPX vers. 10.1.1.. I suggest you update FCPX to vers. 1.2.1 which is the latest release.

  • I can confirm that a new 15inch MBP with a 2.5GHz i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM running an a 256GB SSD can smoothly play back 4k footage in FCPX ...

  • In terms of hardware upgrade, have a closer look here:

    Editing 4k requires at least four core intel CPU as well as certain disc speed via SSD. Also a good SSD will performe well with 4k. There is no need to swap to raid. Higher compressed footage might require more. Not the gh4 one. I also recommend to upgrade ram to 32 GB.

  • @grisnjam I thank you so much for this info !