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  • FCP w/Kona 3 dropping frames

     Tim Langston updated 16 years ago 4 Members · 8 Posts
  • ken hon

    April 21, 2006 at 8:08 am


    We have a Mac 2.5 Quad with a Kona 3 card and a 8 drive 3.6 TB SATA array (raid 0 in OSX) that just started dropping frames today. My wife was working with an HDV project about 1 hour 15 min long that she digitized last week, edited with straight cuts and laid back to HDV tape to send to a client. Today she opened the project and it will no longer playback without stopping. It plays for about 1-2 seconds and up pops the warning about frames dropping during playback.

    I downloaded the Kona drive test utility and it gives R-W numbers just over 200 MB/sec on the SATA array, which should be plenty fast to play back the HDV sequence (which had already been rendered and conformed).

    Next, I tried loading the 8 bit HD sequence that came with FCP. When we got the system, this sequence played fine. Now it too drops frames. I have searched through preferences and video settings and can’t find any settings that have an effect on this problem. I also trashed the FCP preferences, but that too made no difference. We are both new to FCP and the Mac, so are we doing something obviously wrong? Any ideas would be gladly welcomed.



  • David Battistella

    April 21, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    Is there something going on in the background on the network?


    Peace and Love 🙂

  • ken hon

    April 22, 2006 at 12:38 am

    Hi David,

    We disconnected the network and did get a very slight improvement from about 2 seconds of playback to 4 seconds of playback. We also created a project on a second SATA hard drive that is housed internally (not the main hard drive) and are still experiencing the problem. Thanks for the idea though. I guess this is one way to learn more about Macs….



  • Jeremy Garchow

    April 22, 2006 at 5:27 am

    Make sure that your capture/render folders are set to the array (scratch disks) in the preferences. Also, make sure all of your settings match for your media, timeline, and FCP output. Using FCP easy setups is a good place to start. How full is the array? Have you tried an audio mixdown?

  • ken hon

    April 23, 2006 at 7:39 pm

    Thanks for the ideas Jeremy. I spent all Saturday trying to figure this out and without any luck. We used the easy setups to create our HDV project and it worked fine last week. This week nothing playsback. The SATA Raid is nearly empty as the whole system is new (about 10% full). We have checked the scratch settings on the array. We made a very simple 1 clip test project and even deleted all the audio but no change. I’ve turned off the network and we have no other programs running. The system monitor doesn’t show unusal background disk or processor activity. I even unloaded all of the FCP and Kona programs and receipts etc (did a complete uninstall) and reinstalled them all fresh and we still get the same problem. The system will only play about 1-2 seconds of a clip and then we get the dropped frames message.
    I am beginning to think that there is some sort of hardware problem somewhere but I can’t identify it. The RAM seems ok. After reinstalling FCP and getting the latest OSX version, the SATA array performance went up to about 250 MB/sec. I am suspicious of the SATA card as the array doesn’t get recognized on the original bootup. You have to warm reboot for the system to see it. Still it tests out ok and we even moved the project to a secondary SATA internal drive and we have the same problem. I had a Dell 2405 connected as a secondary monitor, but disconnected it. I guess the next step is to remove all the cards but the video card and start from scratch. Maybe I should even wipe the disk and reinstall everything?

    Any other ideas would be gratefully accepted.



  • Jeremy Garchow

    April 24, 2006 at 2:06 am

    Before a wipe and install, I would pull your capture card and see what running HDV is like. Even before that, I’d put media on another array, the internal drive or a firewire drive and see what happens then. I know you have double checked, but you have to make sure all of your settings are in order. You mentioned that you are new to FCP and I find that with most people that are new to FCP, the settings are what people get tripped up the most. I know that you captured the HDV, but did you capture over firewire? After you captured from firewire, did you switch to the Kona HDV easy setup? Hit control-q to bring up a list of easy setups, if you don’t see a bunch, make sure you check the ‘select all’ box and choose from the long list there.


  • ken hon

    April 24, 2006 at 4:12 am

    Thanks Jeremy, I’ll give those things a try. I also keep thinking that it’s some sort of brain lock on our part, but darned if I can find it! It would be nice if it was just beginners stupidity, we’ll see. Thanks again for your replies.



  • Tim Langston

    April 24, 2006 at 8:08 pm

    What SATA Card are you using? My SATA Raid takes a minute or two after booting up to pop on the desktop.

    Also, I get dropped frames after a big project if I don’t use diskwarrior to defrag the Raid, but seeing that you only have 10% of the Raid used….hmmm.


    Tim Langston
    Cryin’ Out Loud Productions
    Fort Wayne, IN

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