Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

For almost a month I have been fighting FCPX trying to discover why I was getting a stuttering timeline and almost handed in the towel when I happened across a thread on Creative Cow talking about this very problem.

I seems to be the CUDA card that causes the problem, I had inserted an Nvidia Quadro FX4800 card about a month ago in order to engage the Mercury engine in Premiere ProCS6.

Unfortunately this very same card has caused FCPX to produce a stuttering timeline which is cured by re installing my ATI 5800 graphics card.

It seems like both Premiere and FCPX are now poles apart with separate drivers needed for the Matrox MX02 and specific graphics cards needed for the NLEs themselves.

I was almost convinced that Premiere was my chosen NLE… till I tried to recall a project yesterday when it stopped three quarters into the data recall and never continued. This put me off Premiere big time so my only choice has to be FCPX.

Fortunately I do have some working experience with FCPX and I am getting to like it especially all the plug-ins that Premiere is now lacking.

Update : I am now using Black Magic’s Intensity Pro card which stops me having to fart around with the Matrox MX02 heap of mince… for £130 I now get full 720 50p monitoring in sync and live ingest from any HDMI camcorder via Media Express…fantastic.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

5 thoughts on “Finally nailed the stuttering FCPX timeline problem (Updated)

  1. I know that you appear to be a MAC user but for the cost of your graphics card you could get a powerful PC and Edius 6.5 that I assure you is faster and more capable in editing almost any camera file native faster than CS6 and doesn’t need a powerful graphics card. I have CS6 Production Suite for all the other applications so am well aware of Premiere capabilities. My primary editor is Edius and then Vegas as I am PC based. My PC WIN7 is an i7 Sandy Bridge with 16G RAM GTX560 graphics card and with Edius I can edit 4 track native AVCHD multicam realtime. With Edius using the Quicksync encoding of the processor I can also encode for Bluray AVC h264 in about 1/2 realtime too from the timeline. Edius will also happily edit Prores and mov files too.

    Ron Evans

  2. Wondering what your results were… do you feel there was a big performance increase from switching, other than the stuttering going away of course? I’m having similar issues with my quadro 4000 and was hoping switching to an ATI might help.

  3. It is interesting that you have gradually been converted to FCPX, having initially been so sceptical. In the light of inconsistencies such you write about above, it surely makes sense to stick to one NLE and develop expert skills, workarounds and work flow.
    When I assessed the initial release of the application it brought my Mac to its knees and proved unworkable, so I reckon its come a long way since then, although I still don’t like the idea of having to install additional hardware to facilitate communication with my Matrox box.

  4. I commend you for your honesty. And you may find that the next FCPX update confirms your decision! 🙂

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