Creative Communities of the World Forums

The peer to peer support community for media production professionals.

Activity Forums Apple Final Cut Pro X Laptop battery power caned in FCPX

  • Laptop battery power caned in FCPX

    Posted by Rikki Blow on October 31, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    I’ve been editing 1080 50p footage from a Lumix GH4 for years without probs on a high spec 2016 MBP running Mojave and FCPX 10.4.10

    Recently upgraded my camera to GH5M2 and have been doing some shooting in 4k.

    Now that I come to edit, I’m finding two things. On mains power, the video playback can be a little jerky – workable but noticeable.

    But the big problem is that on battery power, just reviewing footage (ie not even adding any grading or getting into edits) I’m seeing my battery power drop very fast (like 10/15 minutes and laptop goes dead).

    The weird thing is that the laptop dies suddenly without warning even when the battery percentage is still 30-50%. And secondly, when I connect mains power and the unit sparks up, it tells me I may have 60% or more available.

    System profile tells me the battery health is normal, and for everything else I do on the laptop, I’m getting decent battery life, so I don’t think this is a battery failure.

    So, is this expected behaviour editing 4k on battery power, or should I be looking for some other cause?

    Patrick Donegan replied 2 years, 7 months ago 4 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • John Fishback

    October 31, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    First off, 4K has 4 times the data of 1080P. That may be causing your playback issues. As for your battery checkout this article on Apple Support about batteries.

  • Rikki Blow

    October 31, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Certainly the playback could be expected re 4k, fair enough, though I was hoping my laptop would handle at least a single 4k stream as it’s the 2.9GHz, has the Radeon Pro 460 graphics card and 16Gb memory.

    Battery wise, I’ve checked with activity monitor now, and can see that there is a massive drain going on during playback for a process called VTDecoderXPCService.

    Just playing back my file in FCPX atm I’m dropping battery down to 50% in a couple of minutes, but when I stop playback, the percentage recovers to around 90%, so it seems to be predictive rather than actual, and this at least explains why after laptop shut down, when I reconnect charger, the battery shows 60%.

    The article on battery power is all fairly syraightforward, and as mentioned before, my system profile is telling me it’s got a cycle count or 330 and health is normal.

  • Patrick Donegan

    November 1, 2021 at 9:10 am

    What happens when you go back and edit and export some of the old 1080 footage?

    Also – have you been keeping track of your battery with Coconut Battery?

  • Al Bergstein

    November 1, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    I recently bought an M1 MB Air and yes, FCP even drains it’s battery rather quickly (I cannot edit all day on battery,get about 4 hours or so at best). FCP does seem to be a power hog. Also, your MBPro I assume has a good graphic card in it, but even it it does, it’s going to have problems with 4k. I shoot with GH5s in 4k and it’s a lot more CPU intensive, as John pointed out. If you are moving to 4k and multicam, you probably should budget for one of the new M1s or M1 Pros that were just released.

  • John Fishback

    November 1, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    Another thought is if you’re not shooting in ProRes, consider transcoding to it. FCP is smoothest and fastest when using ProRes. Maybe do a test and see if that helps.

  • Rikki Blow

    November 1, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    Old 1080 footage runs fine – seems like the only change is the camera file format – what concerns me is that the change seems rather disproportionate.

    I haven’t come across ‘Coconut Battery’.

  • Rikki Blow

    November 1, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    With my 1080 footage, FCP was obviously a big drain on the battery, and four hours on an M1 sounds amazing!! I’d be looking at around a max of a couple of hours battery power when full on editing my 1080 footage with some grading and transitions and occasional other effects. But the jump to a few minutes on 4k is rather unexpected.

    I’ll try playing around with settings and see if I can get ProRes out of the camera – I was using the 4k 10bit 72M 25p setting which obviously compresses some – maybe that was a false economy.

  • Patrick Donegan

    November 2, 2021 at 3:06 am

    how about “new 1080 footage” so one can see the temp files that are created,


    Coconut Battery is awesome since I can keep data points. I usually run every month or so to track how hard the battery is being used.

    If I ran everyday on battery mode I would run the history function more often.

We use anonymous cookies to give you the best experience we can.
Our Privacy policy | GDPR Policy