Apple releases major Final Cut Pro X update as macOS Catalina launches

Final Cut Pro on MacBook
Final Cut Pro on MacBook (Image credit: iMore)

Final Cut Pro MacBook Pro

Final Cut Pro MacBook Pro (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple on Monday released a major update for Final Cut Pro X.
  • The update introduces a new Metal engine for improved performance.
  • Users can also take advantage of macOS Catalina's new Sidecar feature.

Alongside the release of macOS Catalina, Apple on Monday introduced a new update for Final Cut Pro X. The update introduces a number of improvements, including the addition of a new Metal engine that Apple claims "delivers performance gains across a wide range of Mac systems."

With a new Metal-based engine, Apple says Final Cut Pro X users will notice improved playback and rendering, both of which should make editing video a quicker process. On the 15-inch MacBook Pro, for example, Apple said users will notice up to 20 faster performance.

The update was also tailored to Apple's upcoming Mac Pro redesign.

Final Cut Pro will leverage the enormous power of Mac Pro, offering support for multiple GPUs and up to 28 CPU cores. This means that rendering is up to 2.9 times faster and transcoding is up to 3.2 times faster than on the previous-generation 12-core Mac Pro. And Final Cut Pro utilizes the new Afterburner card for unparalleled performance when working with ProRes and ProRes RAW — the groundbreaking format from Apple that combines the image quality and flexibility of RAW video with the performance of ProRes. This allows editors to simultaneously play up to 16 streams of 4K ProRes 422 video or work in cutting-edge 8K resolution with support for up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video.

The update to Final Cut Pro X will also offer unprecedented support for the Pro Display XDR. According to Apple, Final Cut Pro users will be able to view, edit, grade, and deliver high dynamic range video with 1,000 nits of full screen sustained brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.

Other features available in the latest Final Cut Pro X update includes support for Sidecar, the ability to grade high dynamic range video with enhanced color mask and isolation tools, and the option to choose which internal or external GPU is used to accelerate graphics processing.

The Final Cut Pro X update is available today as a free update. If you don't already own Apple's video editing software, you can pick it up for $300.

Check out our review of macOS Catalina

Brandon Russell