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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > PowerBook is too slow for iMovie

PowerBook is too slow for iMovie
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tripletaker
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Dec 5, 2005, 11:13 PM
 
I have a 50 GB 110 minute iMovie project I'm doing and it's too slow. I have the 1.67GHz processer with 1.5 GB of RAM and 128MB VRAM memory. The project was in my internal hard drive but it wouldn't fit anymore so I transferred it to my 320 GB external hard drive (through USB). That was so unbearable that I switched to a 120 GB external (using firewire 400) but after adding more stuff, it has become unbearable also. Unbearable meaning when I try to preview it only the sound works.

The only thing I could do was split the project into two and work on them separately. Are there any other alternatives for me? I would like to put them in one iMovie project. And is a PowerBook to slow for this? Should I have gotten a faster machine?
     
Jean-Loup
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Dec 6, 2005, 12:51 AM
 
I know people that have edited feature films on powerbooks..so it's not the hardware that can't handle it. I don't know if iMovie can handle that big a file though. The other thing I suspect is that you have way too little RAM. consider getting it up to 2 gigs of RAM and that should help.
     
mduell
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Dec 6, 2005, 01:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by Jean-Loup
I know people that have edited feature films on powerbooks..so it's not the hardware that can't handle it. I don't know if iMovie can handle that big a file though. The other thing I suspect is that you have way too little RAM. consider getting it up to 2 gigs of RAM and that should help.
I doubt moving from 1.5GB to 2GB is going to help editing a 50GB file.
     
Jean-Loup
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Dec 6, 2005, 09:31 AM
 
Ooops, didn't catch that.

Triple taker, can you specify what you mean by: ''...but after adding more stuff, it has become unbearable also.''? It may give someone here a clue as to what the problem might be.
     
harrisjamieh
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Dec 6, 2005, 01:00 PM
 
50GB for 2 hours of video?! Is it hi-deff of something - if so this may be causing slow downs, even if the reccomended specs for HD in imovie are lower than your powerbook.

I think the problem is the way imovie works: the entire file - capture, and editing sequence is saved in one file, whereas FCP etc saves a seperate sequence file, hence pros being able to use the specs of the powerbook to edit entire films, as the laptop only has to load up a 1mb~ sequence file and then the video files as and when needed.
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Macola
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Dec 6, 2005, 01:02 PM
 
Using iMovie on anything but a dual processor Mac is unbearable for me, so I guess it depends on your definition of "unbearable". I know that people edit movies on PowerBooks (and even iBooks) but for serious work, you will definitely want a dual (G4 or G5).
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Macola
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Dec 6, 2005, 01:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by harrisjamieh
I think the problem is the way imovie works: the entire file - capture, and editing sequence is saved in one file,
Not really...if you look at an iMovie project, you'll see that each clip is a separate file, as are transitions. That said, FCP does handle larger projects a lot more efficiently.
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SEkker
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Dec 6, 2005, 02:39 PM
 
You're really pushing your powerbook for this kind of project. Going to an external FW800 drive would help a little bit. Deleting unnecessary clips would also be worthwhile. It SHOULD work, albeit slowly, with a little trimming. I do all of my work on a 1 GHz PB17, but my movies are usually only about an hour long.

I agree with Macola, however -- this is exactly the kind of project that would have really benefitted from a mobile dual-core G4 processor.

My recommendation: short term, I'd look to 'borrow' a dual CPU (G4 or G5) desktop machine and use it for your editing station. You'll have infinite fast hard drive space. Long term, wait for the new Yonah (dual core CPU) machines and buy one when the software is x86 native enough to take advantage of the extra core in the CPU. Until then, all Apple laptops are just second class citizens when it comes to video editing.
     
Goldfinger
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Dec 6, 2005, 02:41 PM
 
Use Final Cut Pro (or Express) for big projects like that. iMovie is a dog.

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Goldfinger
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Dec 6, 2005, 02:41 PM
 
nm.
( Last edited by Goldfinger; Dec 6, 2005 at 02:53 PM. )

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tripletaker  (op)
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Dec 6, 2005, 03:30 PM
 
I have a lot of animation from AfterEffects in there that might be taking up tons of space.

Will it help if I just use one monitor versus two or does it not matter?

This is my first time using iMovie... and I've never used Final Cut before... but I guess after this project I'll be moving to Final Cut Express. I agree that for anything around 1 hour, iMovie is fast enough. Hopefully Final Cut Express can cut it. Thanks for the help. =]
     
kw14
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Dec 6, 2005, 03:50 PM
 
Working here with 512MB 1.25G Powerbook using FCE on projects that are edited under two hours to fit on a DVD. The time consuming parts appear to be when it has to render special effects like text and such. Otherwise, it seems bearable to me. Fast external scratch disk with ample room helps too. The internal drives are notebook drives and are too slow.
     
   
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