16 Replies Latest reply on Mar 9, 2013 2:53 PM by Joe in Pas

    Will adding memory help this system?

    Joe in Pas

      Hello all,

      I am experiencing choppy playback with HD video.  As I originally was working with DV, the system was adequate, however I have recently been trying to work with HDV and most recently H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding from a Nikon DSLR.  I realize the system is borderline at best for HD, but I would like to put off a serious upgrade.  Here is my system:

       

      Adobe Premiere

      Windows 7 Ultimate

       

      ASUS P6T Motherboard- LGA 1366 Intel X58

      Intel Core i7 -950 Bloomfield 3.06 Ghz processor

      6 GB Crucial Ballistix SDRAM  DDR3 1600  (3x2GB)

      3x  Western Digital Black 640 GB Hard drives, SATA 7200 rpm, 3.0GB/s

      1 drive is for OS and Programs,  2 drives are set up as RAID 0 for media  using onboard Intel controller.

      EVGA Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 graphics card

      Corsair TX series CMPSU TX-750  750 watt ATX power supply

      Cooler Master HAF 932 case

      Matrox MXO2 Mini for HDMI out to Samsung monitor and for analog capture

      2x HP 2311e LCD monitors

       

      I do very straightforward editing with simple effects like dissolves and fades.  I do basic titles and I am beginning to do color correcting.  I do not use After Effects or any other demanding software. 

      Will adding more memory eliminate the poor playback?  I can upgrade the memory to 24 GB, (which is the maximum on the motherboard) for about $170.  I would appreciate any opinions on this question.  I would hate to throw that money into the system if it doesn't have a good chance of solving the problems as that money would then be better spent as part of a major upgrade.

       

      Thank you very much

       

      Joe

        • 1. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
          Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Memory definitely will help, go for 24 GB if you can afford it.  Overclocking is your best and least expensive choice.  Third on the list would be a newer GPU

          • 2. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
            JEShort01 Level 4

            There is not much buzz for x58 systems now, but I suspect your current system can certainly serve your needs well for awhile with a few upgrades.

             

            Increasing RAM to 24GB for $170 would be an excellent move. Adding a good CPU cooler and bumping your CPU clock speed up to 3.8 will help a lot and is not really much of a risk at all.

             

            Regards,

             

            Jim

            • 3. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
              Alex - DV411 Level 2

              Run task manager (performance tab) alongside Premiere Pro and watch memory and CPU use.  If you are hitting the limits of memory use - then it's by far the most practical upgrade that will improve the system's performance.  If on the other hand memory limits aren't reached yet CPU runs at full steam, a memory upgrade is unlikely to do much.

               

              Bottom, before doing any upgrades, identify the bottleneck that needs attention.  Otherwise it may be a waste of money.

              • 4. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                Joe in Pas Level 1

                Alex,

                Excellent suggestion.  Task manager shows CPU at about 22%, and Physical memory at about 3.1 GB or about 50% as well. There is a button on the task manager screen which reveals more information on disk activity.  I'm not quite sure how to interpret it yet, but I think it's showing a great deal of activity on the system disk, but not too much on the RAID disk.  I know the scratch disks are all set to use the RAID disks for capture, video and audio preview etc.  I'm wondering if it's a configuration problem with Premiere and/ or the RAID setup.  I'll have to review the information here on those topics.  Thanks to all for your suggestions.  I'll report back as time permits.

                 

                Joe

                • 5. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                  Alex - DV411 Level 2

                  Task manager shows ... Physical memory at about 3.1 GB or about 50% as well.

                  I believe this is standard for CS4 given it's a 32-bit app with a 2GB limit for each process.  In other words you are likely hitting the memory limit but it's of a different kind, the one within the app itself.  Upgrading memory is unlikely to help.

                   

                  How's CPU usage on each core? (I suspect it's close to 100% on one, with close to zero on others.)

                   

                  The best thing I can think of is to install a trial version of CS6 (a 64-bit app taking advantage of all available memory) and see how it performs on one of your dSLR projects, and go from there.

                  • 6. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                    Upgrading to 24 GB only works if you have:

                     

                    • Windows 7-64 Pro or Ultimate or Windows 8 Pro (Home is limited to 16 GB)
                    • CS5 or higher

                     

                    Overclocking is free and rather easy. A good video card only helps with CS5+, but can be ported to a new system.

                     

                    Alex is correct that 32 bit applications like CS4 can not use more than around 3.3 GB max.

                    • 7. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                      Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Joe,

                       

                      Welcome to the forum

                       

                      Look at my everyday "workhorse" system in our Premiere Pro BenchMark PPBM5 scores.  It is a x58 system like yours listed as BillG and with Premiere CS5 it is 11th place.  When upgraded to CS6 it comes in at 67th place out of 1202 submitted results (CS6 has more overhead than CS5.5 which also is slightly slower than CS5 (Filter using Tabs at the top).  Still a very respectable two generation older system.

                      • 8. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                        Joe in Pas Level 1

                        Alex,

                        Of course, (I'll just pry my palm off my forehead now.)  I had forgotten that CS4 is a 32 bit  app.  The OS is in fact 64 bit, so I think your suggestion to try CS6 is probably the best place to start.  I suspect I may still need to add memory, but I now have a starting point.

                         

                        Thank you very much.

                         

                        Joe

                        • 9. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                          Joe in Pas Level 1

                          Harm,

                          Thanks for your suggestions.  My plan now is to try CS6 as Alex has suggested.  It makes no sense to add memory if the program can't use it.  I would like to try overclocking as well, so I'll report back as I make these  changes.

                           

                          Thanks for your help.

                           

                          Joe 

                          • 10. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                            Joe in Pas Level 1

                            Bill,

                            Thanks for your reply.  I'll take a look at your system.  It sounds like I may be able to get by with my current system for a while longer. 

                            I would like to mention how nice it is to get such great responses from you, Harm and Alex.  Thank you for your patience and for sharing your knowlege with me.

                             

                            Joe

                            • 11. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                              Joe in Pas Level 1

                              Alex, you were right on the money.  I installed the trial version of Premiere Pro CS6 and playback is beautiful.  I imagine I'll still need to do some tweaking, but I'm happy.  Although I'm not playing back particularly demanding clips, the task manager is showing 2.5 to 3.01 GB of memory in use, and overall CPU at less than 40%.  The individual CPU's in the Resource Monitor are mostly around 50%, and seem to be fairly balanced across the board.  I will need to install the Matrox software to enable playback through the MXO2 Mini, but for now things are good.  Thanks for all the help.

                               

                              Joe

                              • 12. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                                Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                Alex, you were right on the money.  I installed the trial version of Premiere Pro CS6 and playback is beautiful.

                                Thank you very much for letting me know Joe - glad it worked out for you.

                                • 13. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                                  JEShort01 Level 4

                                  Joe,

                                   

                                  I agree on principal with using task manager and other tools to monitor and analyze resources, but you need to realize too that with only 6GB of RAM this technique might play some games with you. I use CS5 and the preferences / memory set up page only allows me to allocate up to 3GB less than the total amount of RAM. So, for my 24GB system, Premiere can allocate up to 21GB. With only 6GB of RAM, you are only able to tap into a max of 3GB of RAM for use with Premiere Pro. You are noting that you are not needing all of your RAM, but it could be too that Premiere Pro may want more, but it could be limited to only 3GB on your current rig.

                                   


                                  Additionally, Win7 also utilizes RAM that is not allocated to specific programs or processes to help with disk caching. And, this disk cacheing seems to really help PPro performance, particularly renders.

                                   

                                  Regards,

                                   

                                  Jim

                                  • 14. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                                    Joe in Pas Level 1

                                    Jim,

                                     

                                    Thank you, that's useful information.  I was actually wondering why Task Manager was still showing about 3 GB of RAM in use.  I suspect as I delve further into editing the DSLR footage I will encounter some issues.  Clearly I will not be able to use CS4 to edit the DSLR stuff regardless of how much RAM I add, so at this point, the best place to spend money is on CS6.  I suspect that you are correct and that I will need to add additional RAM.  It appears though that I won't have to upgrade the rest of the system right away. 

                                     

                                    Joe

                                    • 15. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                                      Jim_Simon Level 9

                                      the preferences / memory set up page only allows me to allocate up to 3GB less than the total amount of RAM.

                                       

                                      That may be the default, but you should be able to lower it if necessary.  I can do down to 1.5 with 8GB installed.

                                      • 16. Re: Will adding memory help this system?
                                        Joe in Pas Level 1

                                        Jim, I agree.  I can allocate down to 1.5 as well with the 6 GB installed.