I've been using the Adobe Creative Suite for years and really love it. The last version I stuck to was CS5. Premiere Pro CS5 had no problems scrubbing my AVCHD footage (mts wrapper from GH2 cameras) and I wanted to upgrade to CS5.5 when this became available. Then a problem occured: although the project files (old and new) loaded a lot quicker than before, it was no longer possible to scrub through the footage. The lag was just incredible and I can see (and hear) my drives go mad as I try to scrub through the footage. I assume this is because certain things are no longer loaded at the opening of the project, but just when you look at the footage on a timeline.
I hoped the issue would have been fixed in CS6, but after a colleague kindly installed the software for a few days on my machine (spare licence he had, since been uninstalled), it is clear that it is still impossible to use. WHY?
I'm happy to upgrade some of my system to try and make this work, but I need to know what the problem. My current set-up is (no longer) cutting edge, but hardly bottom of the pile either. Any advice would be appreciated.
6 core AMD processor 3.6Ghz
8 GB of ram
Nvidia GT440 card (cuda enabled)
MTS files and project files are on a 2TB raid 0 (though windows 7, not dedicated card) (2 drives 1TB each 7200RPM sata 3)
Thanks for any help.
PS: I tried with and without cuda, moved the media cache to other drive, disabled sound whn scrubbing,... pretty much everything
Try the PPBM5 Benchmark to see how fast or slow your system is. The best AMD X6 system is around 3.5 times slower than a fast Intel system, but the worst X6 is more than 32 times slower. I have no idea how your system will run, so do the test first. That will give an indication of what you should do.
Thanks Harm. I've done the test and submitted the results. I'm now waiting the response. I check my CPU use while scrubbing in my projects and it doesn't exceed 26%. The hard drives on the other hand are going like mad. It is a raid system, so I didn't expect any issues, but maybe AVCHD can only be scrubbed on SSDs? If anyone knows or got that to solve the issue, please let me know.
I've seen them and will add them to the results page later today.
You end up around rank #630, somewhat as expected. Your disk score is quite acceptable and reflects your raid setup. However, your MPEG score is disappointing, but that may be attributed to only 8 GB memory and the relatively meager GT 440 card. However, in comparison with other Phenom II X6 systems, nothing really stands out.
Your dilemma to improve the scrubbing behaviour is twofold: You are hindered by the slowness of the Phenom II X6, and whatever you will upgrade, but keeping the AMD CPU will only marginally improve performance. If you really want to improve performance you need a completely new Intel based system, but that is costly, requiring a new CPU, mobo and memory.
Upgrading memory does not look attractive, since it will not really help performance and is not portable to a new Intel system.
The only things that can help IMO and that can be ported to a new system in the future are extra disks and a better video card. I would start with additional disks, see if that solves the scrubbing issues. If that still is not enough, you can consider upgrading the video card to a GTX 670 or even a GTX 560 Ti if your PSU can handle it.
Thanks for your suggestions. I've also got a Dell Studio 1747 (i7 Q720 8GB ram) laptop, but unfortunately it has a AMD card (cuda on opencl is only for Mac I think). I can try that one as well, but I'd guess it wouldn't make it better?
I don't think its only due to your system performance. The main problem is the way how Premiere handles AVCHD. Compared to Grass Valley Edius 6 (on a same system) the speed with scrubbing is almost as fast when scrubbing AVI DV footage in Premiere CS5.5 or CS6. I noticed Premiere CS6 improved AVCHD scrubbing just a little but has troubles editing long AVCHD files so i went back to CS5.5.
Actually i don't think that a better videocard will improve scrubbing with AVCHD. I have the GTX 560Ti but when i turn on the Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration i don't notice any increase speed in scrubbing in both CS5.5 and CS6.
I have to admit I didn't think my system was that much of an issue. As I said in the original post, the projects with AVCHD work perfectly in CS5. From CS5.5 onwards, the projects open faster (the loading media in the left bttom corner finished a lot quicker), but it seems to continiously need to use my drives while scrubbing. I was hoping there might be a preference somewhere to make it load the AVCHD footage in advance (like in CS5) but never found such a setting (I never thought they'd change such a lowlevel thing from CS5 to 5.5). Hence, I'm now leaning towards getting a SSD drive to see if that would make it work.
It would be great if anyone could let me know that they can scrub through AVCHD (mts from a GH2) footage without any issues. I don't care how high spec the set up is, I just need to know that there is a spec out there that will make it work. Otherwise Edius does become rather tempting....
If you drag the CTI from say 20:00:15 to 35:41:17 in a second, there is no system that can fetch the data from disk fast enough to give you uninterrupted preview during that single second, that is not even possible with the simplest codec like DV. The disks are the main limiting factor, but the next one is the decoding for display from all long GOP formats and that is CPU related. For fast scrubbing you need a top notch disk I/O system and a very fast CPU.
Scrubbing the CTI along a timeline and the quality of the preview on the program monitor depend on the scrubbing speed and the main hardware components mentioned above.
I don't expect to scrub from 20:00:15 to 35:41:17 in a second. But going through some rushes and different takes, I do expect to be able to scrub through 10 minutes of footage in 20-30 seconds when I have a tight deadline. If all that fooatage is in 1 file, it seems fine. If we're talking about a lot of small files, it's a problem. As I said beore in CS5 this is no problem, from CS5.5 it's an issue.
The quality of the preview is not critical either, just a rough idea of what I've got is fine. I already tried lowering preview monitor quality, but it makes no difference.
Your results have been added. Turned out to be rank # 635 and more than 6 times slower than a fast Intel machine.
What you are describing is the typical behaviour when a number of files need to be accessed and the disks are just not fast enough. Keep in mind that your raid volume is only half duplex, so reading and writing cannot occur at the same time. Add the highly compressed material that needs to be unpacked for preview purposes with only limited memory available and you have good chances that Windows uses the pagefile, which further complicates that half duplex channel.
Thanks again for looking into this so much. I appreciate my current edit suite is not the fastest, but to be honest (expect from a few magic bullet shots), my render times are about as long as it takes to have a cup of tea. I love my tea breaks lol. Seriously though, faster renders are not really needed. It's just the scrubbing during editing.
Your description of the file access is exactly the issue. What I don't understand is why/how it was changed from the CS5 settings that never had a problem with it. Not even on my i7 laptop which doesn't even have raid. I assume that it does mean a SSD might solve my problems, so I'll probably invest in one of those. If only there was a preference setting (or even cuda-style hack) to make Premiere resort to its old way of handling files...
If you compare CS5, CS5.5 and CS6 very carefully, you can find proof that the caching algorithms used in the three versions differ significantly. While there were small improvements in CS5.5 over CS5, in a number of cases it was a step back. You can clearly see that in the MPEG2 benchmark results that almost tripled in CS5.5 over CS5.
In CS6 the caching algorithms were again changed, mostly to remove bugs and improve performance. Not all of these efforts were very successful, and maybe in your specific case you have stumbled on a weakness in the caching algorithms. I may come up with an idea to demonstrate the efficiency of the caching engine in CS5.5 and CS6. The crux is however to use the L key instead of the mouse to scrub at the same speed in both versions over the same length of the timeline and record the number of dropped frames.
Yep, I seem to have been on receiving end of the 'step back' rather than small improvements. I've seen some similar posts to mine (mainly on cs5.5) of people with the same issues. I'll try to find some time and open a project in CS5, 5.5 and 6 and to try to quantify the difference in performance. I'm a big beleiver in modular designs, I wish the caching engine was built in a way so I could just use the 5 engine instead of the 5.5 or 6. Oh well, can't win them all. After the test I'll probably get a SSD to check if that makes it work out.
Because AMD lacks support for the SSE4.1+ extensions.
The more cores, cache and the higher the clock speed, the better. Intel processors are preferred over AMD, that lack SSE 4.1+ support, which is heavily used during CPU intensive (read AVCHD, MPEG tasks), like exporting and encoding or decoding.
It is the choice of architecture that AMD made, that makes them nice for games, but not for video editing.
Thanks for the reply.
One of my computers is based on Phenom II hexa-core CPU, which supports instructions up to SSE 4a, and it works beautiful with Adobe. No noticable differences between the i7-950/12GBDDR3HyperX and X6-1090T/16GBDDR3ValueRAM.
I looked it up for you:
i7-950 at stock speed with 12 GB RAM versus Phenom II X6 at stock speed with 16 GB. Both running CS5.03
Intel: 76 + 127 + 84 + 7 = 294 seconds. Rank #286
AMD: 127 + 121 + 119 + 64 = 431 seconds. Rank #493
That is a huge performance difference.
If that is not noticeable, you have to be kidding.
Nice to see that i'm not the olny one with problem.
I really don't understand. Last configuration:
HP 8540W, 8Gb RAM, i5, Premiere pro 5 - working perfect
HP 8560W, 8Gb RAM, i7, Premiere pro 5.5., 6.0. - scrubbing is killing me.
So basically better laptop, same cameras (GH1 and GH2), not working