iMovie SLOW, not using CPU

Discussion in 'Apple Desktop Hardware/Software' started by espresso, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. espresso

    espresso Member

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    I have a few video files that I want to stitch together. When you import a file, iMovie "optimizes" the file before you can do anything with it. This takes around 20mins+ per file depending on how long it is. Wondering why it takes so long I opened up Activity Monitor to see that iMovie is using barely more than 1/4 of the available CPU time. Disappointing, as I have 4x 2GHz cores in total, leaving just under 3 cores in total doing sweet f/a.

    I don't know a lot about software, but is there anything I can do to get iMovie using more of the resources available on my machine? I'm doing this all on an old Mac Pro 1.1:

    2x 2Ghz Xeon Dual Core (upgrading to 2x 2.33Ghz QC once they arrive)
    4GB Ram (adding 8GB once it arrives)
    7300GT 256MB
    120GB SSD plus a couple of old 750GB HDD

    Also, Is there any way of seeing how much a program is using a GPU in the same way you can see it using the CPU?

    EDIT - I found atMonitor that shows usage for CPU, RAM, GPU, ETH and disks...
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  2. Paronga

    Paronga Member

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    the HDD might be a bottle neck depending on how big the files are?

    i don't do much movie stuff, but i'm not 100% sure if the import movie is multithreaded. do you have the latest ilife package?
     
  3. Hyram

    Hyram Member

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    iMovie's "optimising" proces is conversion to DV-stream format, as that's the only format it understands internally. Being a non-Pro app, the conversion process is single-thread.
     
  4. OP
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    espresso

    espresso Member

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    I'm using a SATAIII SSD (running at 3G negotiated speed) so it's not the HDD. I'm guessing iLife '11 is the latest?

    Ahh, so the only way for me to get more speed out of it would be to swap out the CPUs... Or get some other software that can splice video files together.

    I don't want to pay through the nose for this sort of software as I'm not splicing files together for commercial use. I've looked around for some video editing software but it seems prices generally start at or above $200. Does anyone know of a software package for Mac that I can use to splice video files together? Preferably something multi-threaded I guess...
     
  5. Sipheren

    Sipheren Member

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    I use Adobe Premier, works very well.
     
  6. Paronga

    Paronga Member

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    wow, yeh i just did a test for an mpeg file.

    on my mac pro it was slow as a dog, barely using 1 core.

    perhaps file type plays a big role??

    i've done editing on there before, i guess i never really noticed :p
     
  7. OP
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    espresso

    espresso Member

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    I'll give Premier a bash and see how that goes... I really only want to stitch 2-3 files together per video, but there are around 13 left to go. If it takes 3-4 hours to "optimize" the video and then another 4-9 hours to finalise and export, it's going to take me through to next summer to get them all done unless I set up a fancy schedule or something... Even then it will practically take a whole week if not more.
     
  8. Hyram

    Hyram Member

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    If they're plain AVIs, Virtualdub in a VM'd Windows will do it in a microfraction of the time.
     
  9. Paronga

    Paronga Member

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    what file type are they?

    I've used QuickTime 7 pro to put my files intoquicktime intermediate format (or something like that) when I've made time lapses. and that worked really well.

    but when I tried to import a rip of a tv show from DVD it was lame and slow.

    might be worth getting final cut x?

    it'll scream on your quad cores :)
     
  10. OP
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    espresso

    espresso Member

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    Mostly old TV rips and VHS tape rips. Most of them are in an AVI container, but there are a few here and there in other formats. So far my process has been to convert them into .MP4 in Handbrake first because iMovie wouldn't see the AVI files.

    QC's arrived during the week, just need enough spare time to swap them out now.

    I'll try VirtualDub as well, I'm sure I still have a Windows disc in a drawer somewhere... I did d/l a trial of Premier Elements 10, just haven't given it a burl yet.
     
  11. OP
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    espresso

    espresso Member

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    Premier was screaming along on my 2x dual cores. I reckon I'll go with that... If only I could swap out my CPUs already!!

    EDIT: Seems I was a little hasty. Importing files is very quick, rendering work area is also relatively fast. Exporting however seems slow... Only maxing out 1 core... Is this normal? Sipheren, are you using Premier Elements or Pro and do you see the same thing?

    NVM... Seems that the export takes a bit to get going... absolutely screaming along like a banshee now!
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  12. Paronga

    Paronga Member

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    nice!

    yeh i think they work better as mp4s
    disappointing to hear consumer apps are single threaded.

    hope they update that as all their computers are super multithreaded now!!
     

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