How To Use Activity Monitor [video]

[This is an excerpt from a recent on-line video webinar: “Simple Tricks & Pithy Tips for Apple Final Cut Pro X” which is available as a download in our store, or as part of our Video Training Library.]


It is easy to get caught up in all the amazing technology contained inside Final Cut Pro X. But, sometimes, its the simple things that drive us the most nuts. In this webinar, we take a step back to discover those tricks and tips that can make editing faster and more fun; then show you specifically how they work.

Areas we look at include:

In this short video excerpt, Larry Jordan shows how to use Activity Monitor to measure Macintosh system performance and spot problems.

How To Use The Activity Monitor

TRT: 6:55 — MPEG-4 HD movie

Our website offers lots more video training in our store.

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5 Responses to How To Use Activity Monitor [video]

  1. seth says:

    Thanks for the is great tip! And…. perfect timing. My Retina 5K iMac (late 2014, 4GHz i7, 32GB Memory) has been very sluggish of late with FCPX 10.2.3 and Yosemite 10.5.5. Checked the activity monitor as you suggested and under the Memory settings I found: Physical-32GB/Used 27.8GB/Cache 2.25GB/Swap 512KB. Memory used included 25.19GB for Apps/2.05GB Wired/635.9MB Compressed.

    FCPX was using 13.36GB and Kernel Task 1.72GB. Everything else much smaller.

    According to your guidelines, these numbers are not good. Suggestions on where to start the clean-up? As always, thanks for all you do.

    • Larry says:


      The best place to start is with a Safe Boot. Read this article for more tips:


      • seth says:

        Thanks Larry. The Safe Boot brought all of the memory settings to right where you said they should be. Fantastic!

        One other reading that I noticed is in regard to the disk speed. Data read/sec appears between 7-30MB/sec when playing back a single stream of HD with titles from my OWC 12TB raid set up for Raid 5. You suggested that this speed should be 70MB/sec or higher. Suggestions on how to increase this speed? Thanks again.

        • Larry says:


          Not to worry.

          Activity Monitor shows you the bandwidth you are currently using. 30 MB/sec is totally normal and not a problem.

          My reference to 70 MB is when you use a tool like AJA System Test, or Blackmagic Design Speed Test to measure the potential speed of your storage. There, you want at least 70 MB/sec.

          You should be fine.


  2. Seth says:

    Thanks again Larry for all the insight. Looking forward to watching the entire FCPX Tips webinar for more great info.

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