>windows 8 64bit and 4 Gb
Windows itself will use about half of your 4Gig... doesn't leave much for PreElements
Up your ram to 16Gig and see what happens
Elements is not even using the complete 4Gb. I wouldn't consider getting more Ram until Elements at least uses up 4 Gb.
As I said, Win 8 uses about half of your 4 gig... PreElements CAN'T use 4 gig, only what is left after Win 8 loads
With a 64-bit OS, 4GB is just enough RAM for the OS, with almost none leftover for programs. Twelve GB RAM is about the minimum to run a 64-bit OS and a program, or two, with 16GB being even better.
When one boots up their computer, the OS claims the RAM that it needs, and then every Program and Process, that get loaded at boot up get their share. With 4GB RAM, that leaves very little for programs that are then manually launched.
How many, and what Programs & Processes load on your computer at bootup? You can go to MSCONFIG and look at Services and Startup, to get an idea, plus you can use Task Manager to see how much RAM those Programs & Proecesses are claiming.
I am using my SSD disk w/ abou 19 Gb of free space as a scratch disk and the save destination, and a normal HD for the source files.
This could be part of the bottleneck. PrE will use CPU cycles and RAM, when it is not waiting for other sub-systems, such as your I/O. With the OS, the program, the Scratch Disks, the output files and very likely your Windows Virtual Memory Page File on the single SSD, while it is fast, it is being hammered with read/write requests, so PrE has to wait for those to be processed. I would think about adding another SSD, or HDD, for the Scratch Disks, and your output files, to spread the I/O load.
Also, with 19GB of free-space on your SSD, you are possibly bumping against the capacity, with the large working files, plus likely an expanding Virtual Memory Page File. I recommend 50 - 60GB of free-space, and if one is on a HDD (as opposed to an SSD), having that free-space defragmented constantly.