More information is needed, but in the end your system is pretty weak in the scheme of typical hardware being used for Premiere Pro, a $500 upgrade budget may not be enough to really make an 8-cam multi-cam project snappy.
What is your media?
What version of Premiere Pro are you using?
Sorry, PP version is current CC.
Media is from mostly a variety of Panasonic GH-[1,2,3] cameras and an Olympus E-M5 camera; I think an actual video camera in there as well, Panasonic I think. .MTS files and .MOV files, is what I'm seeing.
"Snappy" would be nice. Updating in just a few seconds to show still previews of each camera at a particular timeline point would be darned useful, if not actually nice :-). I'm accomplishing *some* almost useful editing having to practically memorize what each camera is doing second by second, doing a very very super rough cut, and refining the heck out of it, but the fact that it's a pain to check on what any given camera is doing at a particular point is a pain.
I can reduce by two or three (for the current song, at least) the number of cameras in the multicam. I've been playing with that a bit, and that *does* seem to help a bit, though not enough to be less than acutely painful. And when I mess with the multicam it doesn't seem to exactly work right afterwards; I don't really know how drastically I'm allowed to alter it after creating it (deleting entire video tracks? Just video-muting, whatever it's called when you put the slash across the eye icon?).
Running resmon and also watching physical disk lights, I can see that most of the time when it's taking forever it's not accessing the disk, or is not reading *much* from the disk. It's nowhere near short of memory (sitting at 37% of physical memory used currently). So -- what *is* the bottleneck? How can I narrow it down more? I guess swapping in a gutsier graphics card is the only thing left short of complete replacement of the guts. So, how far do I have to go up the graphics card food chain to be confident that it *isn't* the bottleneck in this system? I do at least have a PCI Express X16 slot that the graphics card is in.
There are or may be several bottlenecks.
CPU lacks hyper-threading, may lack SSE4+ extensions, may have a low clock speed (depending on the model).
Memory is limited and slow, compared to today's standards.
The GT 630 is slow, has few CUDA cores, a very low memory bandwidth and may suffer from DDR3 memory (depending on the model).
The disk setup is pretty weak with a single raid0 volume of two HDD's.
The laptop you tried it on with essentially the same problems has the same limitations.
CPU may lack hyper-threading and has a low clock speed.
Memory is very low, 8 GB is not enough for multicam work.
Only a slow USB3 external for media.
No CUDA acceleration.
Getting a better video card will not help at all. For multicam work it is not used. The only solution I see is a new system and that means far more than $ 500.
I agree with CC_Merchant, your system is not even close to what you would need for an 8x Multicam to be usable, much less snappy.
You still didn't mention your media, but rather the cameras that you are using. Most can be set to record at various pixel densities and frame rate. In any case, your source media is likely mostly HD and highly compressed.
What is required for what you are doing? CPU, CPU, and more CPU. You can actually get a rough feel for how many times the hardware horsepower would be required for your needs by using the Multicam playback mode and monitoring Task Manager and Resource Manager and:
- keep turning cameras off until you get the performance level that you feel you need as a minimum (see the helpful Multicam video at: Adobe Premiere Pro Help | Multi-camera editing workflow if you don't know how to do this)
- monitor CPU, GPU, RAM etc.
- play with different playback resolutions
- monitor lost frames when doing a playback on the multicam "source" window (the lost frame counter in the playback window in multicam seems to only count the lost frames for the selected angle playback)
Finally, you were very clear about being cash strapped at this time now and you have a project to complete. You may find that by converting your media a proxy that is much less compressed you underpowered rig may behave more responsively.
What you really need would be a fast 6 or 8 core Intel CPU with hyperthreading and 24GB or more of RAM. Possibly you could find a good deal on a used x58 motherboard, RAM, and CPU for around $500 from someone that is or has upgraded their system to a Haswell-E CPU, RAM and motherboard.
What would I see monitoring cpu and ram use? My current monitoring (using resmon) shows it's only using one CPU for multicam playback (never gets over 25% on a quad-core system), and it's using 30-50% of RAM (16MB installed). This leads me to think that more cores and more RAM won't help at all.
I can get faster cores -- but not much; my current system is 2.67GHz, and you can't really get anything faster than 4GHz even with a lot of money. Should it be using multiple cores? Is there some way I could have it messed up to stop it from using multiple cores? (Other things, including Photoshop, use multiple cores successfully. Heck, other parts of Premiere do; but I never see it go over 25% when trying to play a multicam set.)
I have managed to demonstrate that it plays okay with a 2-camera multicam set (I figured I'd start at the low and, to make sure *something* works :-)).
Only one core is being utilized for multicam playback! That's not cool! Are you using any third party filters (i.e. Red Giant plug-ins, etc.) and any/all of your clips? That is one scenario that shows up in the hardware forum from time to time when someone is wondering why their system is so slow. Adobe's ability to use all kinds of system resources is great, but if there is anything in the workflow chain that does not support MPE (Mercury Playback Engine), then performance tanks VERY quickly.
I don't know anything about the PluralEyes application that you are using, but it is from Red Giant and maybe it is doing something to the clips themselves aside from aligning them in the Premiere Pro project.
You should open a new Premiere Pro project, load a set of 8 files (different angles I would presume from a shoot) and see if you can't load your CPU either fully or just about fully 100% for all cores when you play it back. You don't need to do any clip sync'ing for the test.
Finally, when you state "multicam playback", can you confirm that you mean doing the playback in a way that you see all eight camera angles playing back together?
No filters in place, no third-party plugins installed at all.
PluralEyes runs as a separate app, and produces an xml file that Premiere can import (it's actually a final-cut pro thing it produces, but one that Premiere can import). I know it doesn't change the media files themselves because my partner sent me just the xml file (which is very small, doesn't contain copies of anything) which I dropped into the directory, then imported into the project, and it pointed at my local copies of the media files. (It's a sound-based sync app that's great for when you shoot multiple cameras at a real-time event and want to sync them all to a master sound track -- like for a concert video to pick an example at random, that being what I'm working on.)
Ouch, good point about my not needing to *sync* to test multicam playback. Stupid me! So buried in the actual goal that I forget ways to make the tests much easier sometimes.
Yes, I mean particularly playback with the multicam icon checked in the playback screen, where it shows all the cams in little boxes on the left of the window and the selected one in a bigger box on the right.
Running over to test this big multicam on my partner's computer, which is more recent. We're not sure it actually works well there, either, but it'll be interesting to know.
I just ran a test with a 8x multicam AVCHD project (1920x1080x29.97) in your behalf. Here's how I set in up, and here's what I measured during an un-rendered (real time) playback:
- On my 8-core cpu, loading was about 46% (indicates with a FAST 4-core CPU, you might just be OK
- I limited Adobe CC 2014 to only use 12GB of RAM (approximating the performance with your 16GB system)
- GPU was pretty much idle
- Disk reads ~ 23 MB/s; disk writes ~1.5 MB/s (not too much disk activity here really, your SSDs sound fine)
- Playback was perfect with zero lost frames (playback resolution = full); scrubbing was usable, but somewhat sluggish (at full playback resolution and limited to 12GB of RAM); When I bumped RAM available to Premiere up to 32GB, scrubbing was perfect (snappy) even with playback resolution set to full
Bottom line, you may actually be able to do a sub-$500 upgrade that would really help your current system. What motherboard do you have now?