How to upgrade the speed of my mid-2010 MAC Pro without updating the operating system?


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I’ve been editing a massive project for many years using Final Cut Pro 7, Mountain Lion OSX 10.8.5 on a mid-2010 MAC Pro, 2X2.4 GHz Quad Core Intel Xeon processor with 20 GB Ram. I know I cannot upgrade the operating system. While editing, I keep getting the message about dropped frames. I don’t understand how to fix this problem. Can I upgrade the speed of the disks without upgrading the operating system? What disks are they referring to? I appreciate any help as this is technically way over my head. Micki

MESSAGE:

RT Extreme dropped frames caused by slow disks:

Increase speed of the system and/or disk drives

Increase speed of disks

Decrease the number of RT layers

Limit the RT Bandwith in User Preferences

Decrease the number of real time layers
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello,

From my limited FCP knowledge, it is telling you that either the OS X System drive or the drive the scratch or media files are on are to slow for real-time rendering.

-Which brand/model/size are the hard drives installed?
-How much free space is left on them?
-How large is the project?
-Have you tried changing any of the settings it is recommending?
-Do you have a lot of RT Extreme effects in the project?
-Have you lowered the RT Extreme quality settings?

The only way to increase the speed of the drives is to replace them. You could make a Time Machine Backup, install an SSD, and restore the Time Machine backup. That would take care of the OS X drive. You could use SSDs to store the video files and as scratch disks as well.

C
 
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Thank you for responding. I’ve been working on this film for 25 years. “The Legacy” tells the story of three generations of an African American family trying to break the cycle of poverty, violence and prison. The early material was shot between 1993 and 2003. The story picks up again in 2010 with the grandchildren and follows them through high school. The last shoot was in 2018.

I have about 40 TB of material on 20 external G-Tech hard drives with USB connections. There’s plenty of free space left on each drive. I used a different hard drive for each shoot. I have rough cut most of the material on each drive. The MAC Pro has three internal 1 TB hard drives that I only use for back up. There is also an internal I TB Start Up Disk that has 160 GB available. Not sure what that is or if it can be upgraded. The only effects I’ve done are dissolves, text and, occasionally, slowing down the picture to cover something. I've also transferred material from one drive to another. Some of the timelines are complex, but not effects. I recently finished a 72 minute rough cut of the first story.

I don’t know how to change those settings. Everything I’ve edited used those settings. I don’t remember how it was initially set up. What happened if I change those settings now? I've been editing in Pro Res 422 which is what I was told to do when I started editing.

Because Final Cut stopped supporting FCP 7, I am screwed. If I upgrade beyond Mountain Lion OSX 10.8.5, my projects will not open. I have to finish this project on this computer with Mountain Lion.

My technical knowledge is limited. Where is the OSX system drive? Isn't that Mountain Lion? Would it help to upgrade the processor or the RAM in the computer? I’m not even sure that’s possible.

I panic every time the computer stops when I’m editing to tell me about dropped frames. Thanks so much for trying to help me! Micki
 

Cory Cooper

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Hi,

The startup drive is the drive that has Mac OS X Mountain Lion and Final Cut Pro on it. If that 1 TB drive only has 160 GB of free space, and FCP is using it as a scratch disk, then that may be contributing to the issue.

As I mentioned, I don't have much experience with FCP. In the FCP Preferences, it should show you what disks are being used as scratch disks: FCP 7: Understanding Scratch Disks.

Maybe some one in the Apple Communities > Final Cut Studio forums can give you a better, more accurate answer.

As always, I strongly suggest you have a backup of your data from all of the drives. I would hate for you to lose al the work you have done over the years.

Sorry I don't have a better answer for you,

C
 
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Mountain Lion OSX 10.8.5 on a mid-2010 MAC Pro
I know I cannot upgrade the operating system.

Micki, why do you think you can't upgrade the OS on your Mac? I have upgraded my 2009 Mac Pro 4,1 to run Mojave. It meant doing some hardware and software tinkering, but it's running all the latest Adobe Creative Cloud perfectly.

I'm not that technically proficient, but found a lot online on how to go about it. It is a common practice among Mac Pro Classic owners who don't want, or can't afford to buy a new machine. Of course, Apple don't support it (they would rather you buy a brand new Mac), but then, they don't support your current model anymore anyway.
 
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Hi,

The startup drive is the drive that has Mac OS X Mountain Lion and Final Cut Pro on it. If that 1 TB drive only has 160 GB of free space, and FCP is using it as a scratch disk, then that may be contributing to the issue.

As I mentioned, I don't have much experience with FCP. In the FCP Preferences, it should show you what disks are being used as scratch disks: FCP 7: Understanding Scratch Disks.

Maybe some one in the Apple Communities > Final Cut Studio forums can give you a better, more accurate answer.

As always, I strongly suggest you have a backup of your data from all of the drives. I would hate for you to lose al the work you have done over the years.

Sorry I don't have a better answer for you,

C
Hi Cory. I'm back again and appreciate your trying to help me. Inside my start up disk is the OS Mountain Lion 10.8.5 and 3-1TB internal hard drives. FCP 7.03 is not there. Since I only use those internal disks for backup, can I eject them before launching Final Cut Pro? Would that speed up the computer? (FYI, I have never used the start up disk as a scratch disk.) Thank you once again! Micki
 
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I’ve been editing a massive project for many years using Final Cut Pro 7, Mountain Lion OSX 10.8.5 on a mid-2010 MAC Pro, 2X2.4 GHz Quad Core Intel Xeon processor with 20 GB Ram. I know I cannot upgrade the operating system. While editing, I keep getting the message about dropped frames. I don’t understand how to fix this problem. Can I upgrade the speed of the disks without upgrading the operating system? What disks are they referring to? I appreciate any help as this is technically way over my head. Micki

MESSAGE:

RT Extreme dropped frames caused by slow disks:

Increase speed of the system and/or disk drives

Increase speed of disks

Decrease the number of RT layers

Limit the RT Bandwith in User Preferences

Decrease the number of real time layers
Micki, my suggestion is to add an SSD drive to the Mac. I have two OWC Accelsior S PCIe Adapter for 2.5" SATA III SSD Drives in my MacPro5,1 with Samsung 2.5" SSD drives. With the lower prices of SSD drives nowadays, you can do with just one card and drive. I installed a metal graphics card to upgrade to Mojave.

I’m now getting it ready to send to Apple for recycling after upgrading to a Mac mini (2018), which is up for trade-in or handoff once the M1 Pro (or Max) Mac mini hits the market. If you are within driving distance from me (in Mountain View, CA), it’s free for the taking.
 

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