compare FCPX FCP7 MacPro

Alex Snelling has just published a free eBook that compares editing with Final Cut Pro 7 on an old Mac Pro to FCPX on a new Mac Pro. So when somebody says to you why should they use FCPX rather than Final Cut Pro X, you now have a whole book of answers and statistics to quote them.  

We are really pleased that Alex has taken the time to do these tests. We always knew the FCPX/New Mac Pro combination would be faster, now we have some hard facts and figures. We especially like the side-by-side waveform creation race movie which as readers will know, has disappointed us in previous versions of FCPX.

We will let Alex explain why he put the two systems head to head:


I am a huge advocate of Final Cut Pro X on my shiny new Mac Pro but I get paid for informed advice not evangelism, so when a major client asked me for reasons to upgrade, I realised I had nothing really solid to show them. We agreed I would make a detailed study of two systems; Final Cut Pro 7 on a Mac Pro tower (their current system) and Final Cut Pro X on a new Mac Pro.

When I finished the tests and presented the results to the client, I realised I had a lot of data that hadn’t ever been seen or presented in this way and really thought it would be of interest to a wider audience. So I produced an eBook with video (replacing client media with my own) and documenting my findings.

There’s some interesting stuff here and some is very surprising in terms of scale. When you consider that doing something twice as fast is really good, suddenly 8x speed (or much more) is really very impressive. For those of us who have already upgraded, this is like a short history lesson, for those who haven’t, then it is a gateway to the future.

The whole book is free to download here:

Comparing Final Cut Pro on a Mac Pro

There are six films in the book with side-by-side screen recordings comparing the two systems.

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There are also loads of charts to show the results, some of which are revealing to say the least.

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It should be an easy read for anyone with an interest in this subject and hopefully really useful to anyone in charge of post production planning, strategy or budgets, particularly if they are looking at the upgrade process and need to see something more tangible than benchmark scenarios.

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This process has taken me way way longer than I intended but the upside is that I am now an expert in iBooksAuthor as well as Final Cut Pro X! Hopefully editors will find the films fascinating - I know I did making them.


Alex Snelling 



Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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