I just built my dad a new pc and wanted to test out Premiere Pro CS4 as I will also be upgrading my pc in the next year. I wanted to find out what kind of hardware could efficiently run PPcs4 with out blowing the budget.
Cpu - 17 2500k @ 4ghz
Ram - Gskill 4gb 1600mhz ripjaws 2x2gb (2.9gb due to running Windows XP 32 bit)
Video - Intel HD 3000 onboard Graphics (Please note Premiere pro CS4 does not utilize dedicated graphics)
HDD - Samsung f3 Spinpoint 7200rpm drive
So I installed the master collection cs4 and launched premiere pro.
Copied my H.624 1080p 24fps footage from my Nikon 550d to the hard drive.
Launched mpeg streamclip and converted the files to much lighter quicktime format for editing. (suggested conversion settings for my camera and cs4)
Launched Premiere Pro CS4. Created a new sequence and imported some of the converted footage.
Copied the footage to my timeline and hit spacebar (play)
Video played flawlessly for roughly two seconds then the picture would freeze but the audio would keep playing. (a very common problem)
So I started thinking maybe 2.9gb of ram will just not cut it. So I opened windows task manager and clicked on the performance tab to find that I had about 1.2gb of ram free just having PPcs4 open.
While monitoring the available ram I hit play once again to see my ram drop to 800mb free and then the video would freeze. OK FAIR ENOUGH... Looks like I am running out of ram.
I thought I would run a test.... just to make sure it was my ram. The plan being open as many programs as possible to use up all my ram. Then try to play the video again and see if I would get any smooth play back what so ever.
So I opened up around 6 adobe programs from the master collection while monitoring the Task Manager only to realise that every time I would open another program the ram would drop to almost nothing and then I would see my pagefile increase and all of a sudden I would have some more available ram again (in that order).
The more programs I opened the more my pagefile would increase!!!!!
Ok so I see what is happening here... For anyone who does not know what a pagefile is...well it works the same as your ram does except it stores the information on the hard disk instead of in the ram itself. Slower access speeds but the same principal.
Ok well time to test this out... I open up Premiere Pro being the 7th program open at this stage.. copy my media to the timeline and hit play.
Well didn't I get a surprise... the footage played flawlessly!!!! I referred to task manager to see I had next to 0 ram available and my pagefile was constantly increasing.
So what I understand from all this is that....
When I only have PP open and I hit play on the timeline my ram is running out and then it hits a brick wall and say's.. ok I'm all out now I have to switch to the pagefile and this is when the freeze occurs... If I leave it playing (with a frozen frame) after a while I will get a bit of a stutter and the vision will play but only for a split second... (this is when the pc is freeing up ram after having switched to the pagefile and trys to switch back to the ram) FREEZE!!!!
If I deplete all of my ram by opening up a zillion programs the pc say's.... Ok I obviously do not have any where near enough ram to play this stuff instead I am going to use PAGEFILE ONLY which in fact plays back great!!!! (Because of my fast HDD)
Now this is as far as I have got...
My question is....... Is there a setting where you can choose at what point does your ram switch to the pagefile OR even better is there a setting where you can choose premiere pro to use pagefile only!
If I could some how just say to Premiere Pro... I know my ram is low so how about we just use the pagefile and get the job done then I would be sorted!
I understand this is not the ideal sollution... (the obvious sollution is 64 bit operating system and double the ram) but it would mean that if a pc had a fast enough hard drive (Samsung f3 spinpoint 7200rpm for example) and limmited ram the program could still function as intended under a 32 bit operating system.
Anyway leave your thoughts and if you know how to enable the page file only for premiere pro please let me know!!!!