Professionals Successfully Push Mac Pro to Absurd Limits With 558-Day Video Timeline in Final Cut Pro

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FCPX Mac Pro stress test
After waiting for several years for Apple to release a new professional tower, the company finally released the new Mac Pro last year. With dual-GPUs and an innovative cooling system, the diminutive machine has impressed professional users.

FCP.co decided to test out Final Cut Pro X and their well-equipped 8-core Mac Pro to absurd limits. The site put 1600 connected clips into the GUI, and actually got the Mac Pro to play 50 'layers' of 4K video for a few seconds before it began dropping frames. It also made a 500,000 pixel wide project, useful perhaps for making (extremely wide) digital signage projects. Finally, the site successfully made a 558-day video time line -- roughly a year and a half.

We pushed FCPX and the Mac Pro to silly limits, of course nobody will make a year long or a 500,000 pixel wide timeline, but it's good to know the combination will go that far.

It seems that the real limitation is a hardware one, yes FCPX will do 16K, but you have to have the storage bandwidth to supply the huge number of pixels per second. When creating that huge timeline, we used the same clip over and over. Making the same timeline from different shorter clips wouldn't be as easy as we think very large numbers of clips within FCPX will slow the machine down.

Apple have however, built a combination that will be good for nearly all different media sized projects within the foreseeable future. The Mac Pro and FCPX handle 4K like SD, so 8K should be fine.


FCP.co notes that most of the limitations occur with the hardware, not artificial limitations with Final Cut Pro X itself.

Top Rated Comments

Nunyabinez Avatar
87 months ago

That's pretty good! All that power for the low price of at $7,000!


If paying $7000 for this kind of power is an issue for you then you definitely don't need that much power.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nunyabinez Avatar
87 months ago

Using industry current parts from other companies (intel) to build a relatively fast computer is innovation? Its not like Apple invented super fast parts that no one else has.
I guess its 'innovation' that they were able to cram those parts in a small cylander. But a year from now are you still gonna be oohhing and aahing over that black cylander?
Probably not. You wont even think or care about how it looks.


Did you think that Apple was going to build a machine with technology that didn't previously exist? Did you expect that it would have something other than an Intel CPU, or that it would have proprietary video cards?

What you described is exactly what innovation is for a company like Apple; to take existing technologies and integrate them in a creative way.

I don't know what your criteria are for being able to say that Apple innovated with the MP. Maybe you could enlighten us and tell us what would constitute an innovative MP for you.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeneralChang Avatar
87 months ago

The MacPro does't drive stock price iToys drive stock price and Google has taken the innovation mind-share in that domain.


What do stock prices have to do with it? Apple makes their billions by selling devices and computers, not by trading stock. Google makes their billions by selling ads. And it turns out Apple makes more billions than Google. So if you want money to be the deciding factor in who is more “innovative” then Apple wins anyways.

But seriously, money is the worst metric for determining innovation. They’re not related at all.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chirpie Avatar
87 months ago
I hereby ban all instances of the phrase "iMovie Pro" or "iMovie on Steroids."
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Freida Avatar
87 months ago

Money is the best metric of innovation as true innovation generates money.

you couldn't be more wrong. Bugatti is perfect example. They have built the Veyron just to proof the engineering excellence. Not to make money! In fact, that project lost money but the result is pure delight. If you think that metric for innovation is money then I don't think we will continue this discussion in a constructive manner as you are blatantly ignorant to what innovation is.
Btw, the inventor of a wheel didn't make money, yet the innovation is still used!
For crying out loud, does everything has to be about money for you to even move a finger?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michaelgtrusa Avatar
87 months ago
....And they said apple could not innovate.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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