Creative Communities of the World Forums

The peer to peer support community for media production professionals.

Forums Apple Final Cut Pro Legacy Need to keep old Mac Pro running-suggestions?

  • Need to keep old Mac Pro running-suggestions?

  • Bret Hampton

    September 27, 2017 at 11:16 pm


    I have an early Mac Pro 1.1 dual processor running FCP7. I mostly use it with Furnacecore Dirt Removal for film restoration. It’s pretty slow as it’s 32 bit, so wondering suggestions for inexpensive things I can do to speed this up at all.

    Mac Pro 1.1
    16g ram
    ATI Radeon HD5770
    The Foundry Furnacecore (dirt removal plug in)
    FCP 7 (last version)
    OS 10.6.8 (most recent I can run on this Mac)

    I could update to a newer Mac Pro to get 64 bit, can’t update Foundry software (they don’t support this version anymore and the replacement Nuke costs several thousand bucks)

  • Shane Ross

    September 27, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Sorry, nothing you can do. The only processor upgrades are for the 2009-2012 machines. And graphics cards don’t speed anything up. The only thing you can get is more RAM, but that doesn’t make too much of a dent.

    Little Frog Post
    Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def

  • Nick Meyers

    October 1, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    yeah i don’t think FCP will get any benefit from extra RAM – it can only access 4 gig i believe, and you have 16 already.

    I know that plug-in, it’s good, but very slow.
    our solution was to run it on a bunch of macs simultaneously.
    as it was a one-off job we had one machine with a license, and ran the others in demo mode.


  • Andreas Kiel

    October 2, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    [Nick]…our solution was to run it on a bunch of macs simultaneously.[/Nick]

    You can run multiple instances of FCP on the same machine as long you have several cores available.

    – Andrea


    “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
    become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
    also gaze into thee.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

  • Jimmy See

    October 5, 2017 at 8:38 am

    An SSD if you don’t have one already could give you a little boost launching FCP, and saving (if using the SSD to store the project file). If you can afford a large enough one, perhaps you could use it as a scratch drive while you work on a project and store your working media on there, that would increase the speed at which it could read the media which might offer some small improvements in some aspects of the process.

  • Jimmy See

    October 5, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Another thing you could try (though it’s pretty experimental and you’d want to test this thoroughly first), is looking for solutions other than Furnacecore that don’t cost as much as nuke. Then you can update the hardware which will likely be a useful investment anyway.

    If the work is mainly revolving around the film restoration then it sounds like you don’t have as much to consider as you would around choosing editing software for example, where you’d have to worry about wide support for the platform and the ability to collaborate and many other factors. It seems like you can be pretty free to learn how to do the specific tasks you need to achieve the result you want and then mostly repeat the same task, making learning the new software a less burdensome task.

    With that in mind, Natron is free and open source and makes particular note of it’s ability to leverage available system resources. It also relies on the OFX framework for its effects, along with Nuke and Resolve. The nice thing about that is that users develop OFX plugins for the community for free. As they’re OFX they often will work with on other OFX supporting software as well.

    I had trouble finding OFX film restoration plugins but I did find one some Engineering students put together for Natron. They did it as a thesis so I don’t know if they’ll ever develop it any more, and I also don’t know how good a job it does, but the thing is you can borrow a decent computer, install natron for free and use the plugin and test if it will achieve results as good as what you were using and with the improved speeds you’re hoping for. If it does this well enough, then it won’t matter if its ever updated.

    Link to forum post announcing the plugin below and below that the link to the github page for the plugin below that.

    I believe they did not make any binaries, so you’d have to compile it yourself, but that’s relatively easily done on a mac, just a bit frustrating when you’re not used to doing that, but you’d only ever have to do it once.

    I know this seems a bit out of left field, but the crux of it is, you can test it entirely for free, if it’s any good you won’t be chained to old hardware, the software it was written for specifically boasts particularly good optimisation for getting the best out of a powerful CPU and as it’s an OFX plugin there’s a chance it could work in other software like Resolve which is also free (for the ‘lite’ version).

  • Nick Meyers

    November 20, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    [Andreas Kiel] “You can run multiple instances of FCP on the same machine as long you have several cores available.”

    interesting… (and sorry to be coming back to this after so much time)
    i have an octocore Mac Pro tower. how may instance of FCP would that allow?
    and would i need to set it up in a special way?


  • Roger Poole

    November 24, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I have to agree with the comments by Shane and Nick. The original code for FCP was written a long time ago for PPC processors and although tweaked to run on Intel Mac’s it cannot take advantage of the more modern architecture. As such your nice ATi5770 isn’t really working to it’s full potential because FCP7 was never programmed to use GPU acceleration or rendering. Also as Nick says, being 32bit FCP can only access 4Gigs of ram, but in practice 2.6gigs regardless of how much ram is available.
    I’m curious about Andreas comment. FCP legacy has to my knowledge never been processor aware and can only utilize one processor or core, unlike Compressor which can be set to use as many cores that are available. It’s all water under the bridge now but it would be interesting if Andrea could elaborate on running several versions of FCP on the same Mac – just out of interest.
    Bret, I think it’s fair to say that most of us still love FCP legacy but it has become boxed in by the advances of hardware and operating systems. It still works a well in the correct environment as it did 10 years ago, but no better. If you are not content with that then a 64bit Mac and an NLE which can take advantage of the new hardware is the way to go. I still dive into FCP6 from time to time but mainly FCPX and Resolve these days. I suggest you get a later Mac and you’ll be able to run them all if you have a separate boot volume for FCP7.

Viewing 1 - 8 of 8 posts

Log in to reply.

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