8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 29, 2012 2:20 PM by cfg_2451

    What is causing Premiere Pro to run slowly?

    Malcolm_HB Level 1

      Hi, I am using Premiere Pro to make a small film but I am experiencing an annoying issue. I am using the software normally but then sometimes (seemingly randomly) the right hand playback window (I'm not sure what it is called) freezes on the current frame but the audio keeps playing; even moving the playhead doesn't work, that same frame is just stuck in the playback window. After a few minutes it rights itself but clearly this is an annoying issue. Maybe this is normal as I am working with 1080p footage but my PC is pretty powerful so it seemed strange to me. Incidentially, the playback resolution is set at 1/2.


      Upon examining my hard disk it appears that it is a WD Caviar Green which are apparently only 5400rpm. As the source files are quite large, it was my guess that this might be the cause but I wanted to ask before spending money on a better one just in case I am wrong.


      Thank you.


      Software: Premiere Pro CS6

      OS: Windows 7 Professional 64bit


      Footage: iPhone 4S camera footage - 1920x1080 / .MOV



        • 1. Re: What is causing Premiere Pro to run slowly?
          josephs51576386 Level 3

          Footage recorded from phones is generally using the h.264 codec which isn't a very good codec for editing purposes. So I'm going to assume that is what is going on here. Video from phones use extremely HEAVY compression. Video that's heavily compressed really strains your CPU.


          Although on another note to edit HD footage you should really have a raid array, with at least two 7200rpm HDD's in RAID-0 for all your footage.


          Also depending on what effects your using or if you're scaling anything you'll also want to consider a GPU upgrade if possible. Because you'd see great performance gains from purchasing something that can take full advantage of MPE GPU acceleration. I'd recommend purchasing at GTX 560 at the very least and honestly I'd recommend a GTX 570.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: What is causing Premiere Pro to run slowly?
            Steven L. Gotz Level 5

            Yes, it is entirely possible that you are maxing out your hard drive and 7200PRM might help. But maybe not. It might take a RAID0 as stated above.


            Even my RAID0 made up of two drives at 7200RPM can't handle RED footage. I tried it on a SSD, still not fast enough.

            • 3. Re: What is causing Premiere Pro to run slowly?
              Stephen_Spider Level 3

              The 5400rpm drive may or may not be an issue. I think that it might not be in this case because your footages bit stream wouldn't be very taxing unless you were rolling several angles at once. I think that it could the iPhone codec, which as CN25 stated, is very taxing to playback @ 1080p. And I have read that the iphone's codec can be irregular(an Apple trademark), so many people are transcoding to a more readily editable codec with the footage.


              Assuming that the drive is fast enough and the codec is fine, where I see your system bottlenecking is:

              1st- you need a decent GTX card for MPE hardware acceleration. The editing experience difference is like night and day with MPE hardware turned on.

              2nd- you should double your memory. 8GB is okay if that is the best you can do, however Premiere will take good advantage of added memory, boosting MPE performance.


              So right now I see that you have a rocket processor, sub par amount of memory, and a GPU out of spec for MPE hardware acceleration. You system is likely great for most computing needs, but it lacks the balance that helps Premiere really sing.


              Normally I would write that if you can't upgrade the system, convert the footage to a high bit rate MPEG2 format for editing. The processing required for smooth playback would drop tremendously. However your 5400 rpm drive comes into play there, and is more likely to be an issue with the higher bit rate files.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: What is causing Premiere Pro to run slowly?
                Stephen_Spider Level 3

                I just checked out your mobo. HP pavillion? Upgrading the GPU may have a form factor issue because that GTX card's size. Also, most off the shelf PCs won't have a power supply that is GTX ready.


                Are you using the MPE card hack to turn MPE hardware acceleration on?  It could give you some benefit, or make things flakey. Read about it here:


                • 5. Re: What is causing Premiere Pro to run slowly?
                  Malcolm_HB Level 1

                  Thank you, that is all very useful information. Yes, it is a HP Pavillion, it's a good PC but it can suddenly slow down at times so maybe that is the HDD to blame too, I don't know.


                  For Premiere, I could certainly double the memory if that would help. With the HDD and the GPU though, I would rather only spend money on one of those two really so which one would help more?


                  I will look into that MPE hack though and could you let me know which software would be good for transcoding and I will try that too. Thanks.




                  I also just noticed that the time it takes to load and save the project is suddenly really slow too. It has been loading the project for about 5 minutes but the Windows Resource Monitor shows no sign of Premiere actually doing anything. Is this normal?

                  • 6. Re: What is causing Premiere Pro to run slowly?
                    JEShort01 Level 4



                    Having one drive is by far the biggest bottleneck in your current system. You would probably be wise to add a 7200rpm 2 or 3TB drive to your system ASAP. In fact, having only a single drive in your system does not even meet Adobe's minumum standard specification.


                    Second, a 1GB+ GTX 460 or better video card would benefit timeline work and dramatically cut down the requirement for rendering. This could probably be considered optional if you don't mind waiting for rendering while working.


                    Thirdly, increased RAM, 8 to 16 would help you some, but likely mostly when you are outputting to DVD or Blu-ray. While you seem inclined to do this first, my suggestion would be to do this last. You can monitor your RAM usage while you are woking using the Task Manager tool and see how much you are actually using for your workflow. And, if you are not using 100% of your RAM now, this is not likely holding you back like the disk and video bottlenecks.






                    Moderator - seems like this one should be in the hardware forum

                    • 7. Re: What is causing Premiere Pro to run slowly?
                      Malcolm_HB Level 1

                      Thanks Jim, that is indeed very helpful. I will find myself a second HDD and look into the video card situation. You are right about the RAM too, it seems to never be maxed out.

                      • 8. Re: What is causing Premiere Pro to run slowly?
                        cfg_2451 Level 2

                        JEShort01 wrote:


                        Having one drive is by far the biggest bottleneck in your current system.


                        Yup. I actually recommed at least three physical spindles. One for OS and programs, one for source and project files, and one for rendering. During a render (say, Encore transcoding and making a DVD) all three disks get hit regularly.


                        Some people recommend a fourth disk just for paging (OS and Adobe) and cache files.


                        That would be the first thing I would do: add disks. Almost certainly the biggest bang for your buck. Second would be upgrade your video board. Third would be to add memory. So I second Jim's recommendations.