I quite frequently get warnings to the effect PE9 is critically low on system memory, sometimes within seconds of starting the program. At such times, it turns out that less than 2GB of memory is in use, and PE9 is using around 0.5GB, CPU usage is very low. On the face of it, system resources are far from critical, but PE9 gets into a panic and on one occasion froze completely. I have also had it running on once occasion for most of the day building a video more than an hour long, getting this warning only after about 6 hours (still using 0.5GB system memory, 2GB unused).
I have recently upgraded to PE9. This is running on a quad-core AMD 3.4GHz CPU (Phenom II 945) with 4GB memory, 2xHDDs, 2GB and 1.5GB. Swap file is entirely on the C: (system) drive, which has 100GB free space. Anti-virus software is Avira Antivir, which appears to have no way to turn it off short of uninstalling it. OS is Windows 7 Pro 64-bit. Indexing is limited to 2 folders on the data drive, one of them the source of the video footage being edited, and neither updated at the times when the problem occurs. The work area is not included in the list of indexed locations. The video file contents are not indexed by the indexing options.
The question: Can anyone suggest what's going on with the "critically low system memory" warnings?
As I say in my books, a lot depends on what kind of camcorder you're getting your video from and which project settings you're using.
If you are using photos as your source files, then there is a completely new set of considerations.
But, for video editing, the most common reason for running out of system memory is the need to render your timeline. If you see red lines above your clips, you need to press Enter and let the program render the segment. When the red lines are green, your system should run much more efficiently.
When you add first video to your timeline, are you seeing red lines above the clips? If so, then there is a mismatch between your project settings and your source video. If your video and your project settings are perfectly matched, there will be neither red no green lines above the clips on your timeline until you add effects or transitions to them.
Using the right project settings and rendering regularly is key to the efficient working of this program.
Steve, thanks for your response.
After posting my message, which I did after failing to find any similar posting, I found numerous similar postings (vagaries of search engines, or maybe just me entering bad search terms). I've found your answers, and those of other posters, to these postings, and I appreciate your patience in answering this one civilly! I have considered the BCDEDIT suggestion, but this doesn't seem to be relevant to 64-bit systems.
I'm still somewhat puzzled. I've learned about the rendering issue, and this can make a huge difference to preview quality and smoothness. However, I have had these problems with a project in which I was playing with text titles just to see what I could achieve, and having four still titles and one rolling title doesn't seem likely to stretch anything or result in the need to render. I've also had no problem when working with and hour and a quarter of video with transition effects and nothing at all rendered - smooth previews, no memory warnings. When I've had the warnings, the machine has been doing nothing else apart from running PE9, my email client (Thunderbird), virus checker and firewall. Since memory usage is under 2GB of 4GB installed, the swapfile shouldn't even be in use.
At first I had a terrible time with PE9, leaving me longing for the smoothness of PE2 which unfortunately won't work on Win7. Recently things have been a lot more stable since downloading an update, and things like render times are so very much better that I'm very pleased. Some interface options were easier before, e.g. font samples in titles, and the mid-grey colour scheme of PE9 is something I find repels my eye (and I have no visual problems; people with visual problems probably can't use the product), but other things are a great improvement.
I shall see if I can find a pattern to when I have memory issues; if nothing else, it will teach me what to avoid doing.
Footnote on interface design: Back in the early days of the PC, around the mid-80s, each new application one used had a completely different set of colours and key conventions. After much research, a standardised interface was adopted, which used standard colours which had been found to be easiest to use, and computers became much easier to use. In the last ten years, there has been a trend towards applications applying their own colour schemes and many of them not even abiding by standard conventions of keyboard use, Microsoft's "ribbon" being one the most appalling things ever inflicted on the human race - at least Adobe hasn't done that (if you decide to play with it, please keep the existing menu and make the dreadful "ribbon" one option, not the only option). Having to deal with erratic and idiosyncratic interfaces and colour schemes is not something I should have to endure twice in one lifetime! Is there some way to get Adobe products to use the standard Windows colours? I really find the grey colours unpleasant and the experience of using these products is something I have to work myself up to and face with with a mood of resignation. (Sorry - I realise I've switched topics. )
I encourage you to contact Adobe and let them know about the things you don't like about the product.
If enough people complain about things like the interface, they may well change it in the next generation.
I would gladly communicate with Adobe about the product. Have you any idea how to achieve that? I have a hope that Adobe staff monitor the forum, and even had a vague hope that you were such a person! [You helped me some years ago with PE2 problems, and you're still helping people with PE9. If you're just an enthusiast, I commend your dedication to this forum and to helping others. And I thank you.]
Are there any specific steps that result in low memory warnings? Does the task manager tell you something about the memory usage while your operations are going on? What happens when your Organizer is empty but for one file that you are editing?
When you play the files back in say an external player like vlc, do you still see the memory overshoots? I have got this error on some flv files earlier and I try to stay away from them, but in your case, I am not sure if it really an issue with the files/operations. Are there any other applications running? Especially memory hogging ones?
Your inputs here could give us some clue...
I haven't had a chance yet to try to force the condition, but what Bill Hunt and Steve Grisetti have suggested might underlie it does gel with what I remember doing. I was basically playing around with a project, and dragged in files pretty much at random to apply effects and transitions with key frames controlling the effects, watching the behaviour over time to get an understanding of what happens. Those randomly-selected files were of varying formats, i.e. 4:3 frame sizes with 16:9 sizes and HD with DVD quality. Rendering the timeline would clear up the problem, which is what Steve and Bill suggested. My later, problem-free project had more than an hour of clips all in the same format (720i, as it happens).
I will still be mucking around with this again when I get a chance, but at this point it seems that mixing resolutions causes problems, not for any logical reason that I can see, but presumably this is violating an underlying assumption by the programmers. If it happens, it seems to be preceded by very jerky previews, and it clears up if you render the video you're trying to preview. So I suggest following the advice of Bill and Steve: if you must work with mixed video formats, render often and save often - the warning you get is deadly serious, and you could find that the program freezes and you lose everything since your last save (happened once to me). If I learn anything more when I play around again, I'll report back.
I didn't answer the question about other applications running. This was not an issue. I had problems when it was the only thing running, but when I've had the problem the machine has had less than 50% memory in use, i.e. 1.8GB of 4GB were used. The only memory hog was PE9! What it calls system memory is a bit of a mystery to me, since it's quite obviously not computer memory. But as I said before, it looks as though Steve and Bill have it right
For me, the issue is on hold until I get time to play some more.
I also to have memory issues. My computer is:
I use a Panasonic DMC-FZ28K still camera for my HD video's and stills
What project settings should I use? I get the red line in all my projects. No matter what project settings I use, I still get the red line, any suggestions? ...is there something i'm missing? After I render it works better, but still slow. I use my F: drive for the projects which has a lot of space.
The red line means that the affected segment of the video requires computation to display it, which means that performance is likely to be slower, although the amount of jerkiness depends on the machine's performance. You can render a portion of the video file using the sliders across the top to bound the region you want to see, which effectively means that you can render only the bit you want to see running smoothly in a reasonably short time.
Performance is also dependent on how fragmented your disk drives are - lots of fragmentation means heads bouncing all over the drive, and positioning the heads takes time. Check your disks for fragmentation and defrag if it's indicated.
The number of things running in the background can also affect performance, so check for things which start automatically, and get rid of anything which doesn't do anything useful. You can use Task Manager to see what's using the most memory and the most CPU at any given moment. The Performance tab also gives you access to the Resource Monitor, which shows you more information about what's using the disk drives, network, memory, CPU, etc. This may give you a clue as to performance hogs.
Given that you have 8GB of RAM, you shouldn't expect much memory swapping, but it depends on just how big your video files are. The most likely problems relate to disk reading/writing and fragmentation.
If your video files are in a compressed format, this can cause problems, since each frame must be decompressed in order to display it, which can use significant computational power. If you convert to DV-AVI this can cause a significant improvement, but note that this will take up a lot more disk space; on the other hand, you won't lose quality from repeated compression and decompression.
Does that help?
Along with the comments on Rendering, you might want to see this ARTICLE.
This ARTICLE goes into some things that can affect overall performance. It contains a lot of useful links, on tuning up one's OS and also the computer.
As far as partitioning of HDD's, and especially for video editing, this ARTICLE might be useful. I assume that the partitioning of Drive 0 is for a system restoration partition, and should not affect performance, but for other HDD's, might well contribute to issues.