Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Real Cost of FCPX

One of the great things about Final Cut Pro X is the price.

At 200 quid it's a quarter of the price of fCP7 or premiere and £2000 cheaper than the hilariously priced Avid Media Composer.

Unfortunately that 200 quid isn't the end of it.

Compressor - £35
Motion - £35


OpenCL compatible video card - £200

I have 2 machines I use for editing: A first gen Mac Pro [2007]. And the very cool, black, Intel Macbook [2008]. Why Apple never made a black anodised, Aluminium MacBook Pro I don't know.

These machines are pretty amazing and they both rock FCP7 real hard. Fuck ProRes, I was using the MacBook to edit H264 while on a tour bus on the Usher tour in 2011.

However, neither of them will run FCPX despite being very capable Intel Machines.

FCPX requires a video card that supports OpenCL. From what I can gather OpenCL allows the graphics card to be used for non graphics stuff.

There's a list of compatible video cards on the Apple website. I opted for the ATI Radeon 5770, which cost me £200 from ebay. This is a very good card that not only seemed to speed up my computer, but also made it quieter and cooler.

So that's £470 for FCPX.

Over twice the advertised price.

It doesn't stop there.

My MacPro has 6 gig of ram, which FCPX frequently gobbles up leaving me operating sluggishly if I am running any other programs.

More RAM - £200

So we're at £665, which is practically the price of FCP Studio. And I've still go to replace my laptop for £1500.

FCPX sounds cheap, but it's not.

Is it worth it? Yes.

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