13 Replies Latest reply on Feb 22, 2018 1:22 PM by Martin Douglas

    CPU Spikes

    Martin Douglas Level 2

      Hi There

      I have been having a problem with my workstation and was wondering if anyone out there might have a solution.

      Basically every time I hit play on the timeline or in the source viewer I get a cpu spike of up to 100 percent, The video will freeze momentarily, glitch, drop a few frames and then start playing normally as the cpu drops back down to around 4%.

      If I pause/play on the same clip the cpu doesn't spike but if i move to another part of the timeline or another clip and press play it spikes again.

      The media is generally a mix of Avcintra, Prores. Max resolution 1080p, so nothing too demanding

      Also playback in general is not as fluid as I would a thought for such a system.

      For example if I playback the H.264test timeline from the PPBM7 project in full resolution it will drop about 200 frames on the first playback pass and then reduce to about 40 dropped frames on second pass in CC2014

      (Actually the second pass in CC2015 didn't drop any frames, so it sounds like Adobe have made some advancements in the MPE ).

      All the Hard drives speeds have tested fine with Blackmagic speed test.


      Sounds some sort of memory or caching problem but I am not sure.


      As you could imagine this problem is pretty annoying.

      Things I have tried so far that haven't fixed the problem:

      Changed mercury engine play back to software mode.

      Moved, Project, Media,Cache to different hard drives.

      Turned off Intel Speedstep in the bios.

      Played around with the paging file (tried system managed, recommended fixed size (at the moment it is 2GB fixed on C only.)

      The only extra hardware I have installed is a Intel RS25DB080 raid contoller in raid 6 and a Decklink Mini monitor


      Other than this problem, everything else seems fine and I have had no issues with the computer at all.

      I did noticed there was a Bios update but am not sure if is should update or not.



      Any help or suggesteions would be much appreciated.

      I have linked Speccy and Cpuz snapshots



      Thank you




        • 1. Re: CPU Spikes
          JEShort01 Level 4



          I agree, with that much RAM, CPU, and GPU firepower your system should be pretty snappy. I just checked playback of the PPBM7 H.264 test timeline on a single core e5-2687w v2 using CC 2015: first pass full resolution = 3 dropped frames, second pass = 0 dropped frames (all project files and Adobe "scratch" files are on a single USB 3.0 connected single SSD drive, media cache/cache DB on fast windows RAID 0 SSD array, 64GB RAM total with 12GB assigned to "other than PPro", single GTX Titan SuperClocked - similar to your 780 Ti).


          Sounds some sort of memory or caching problem but I am not sure - have you tried cache/scratch on the SSDs?

          As you could imagine this problem is pretty annoying - YES!

          Things I have tried so far that haven't fixed the problem:

          Changed mercury engine play back to software mode - definitely turn hardware GPU back on (your GTX 780 Ti is an excellent GPU)

          Moved, Project, Media,Cache to different hard drives - drives should all have indexing turned off and write-cache buffer flushing turned off for best performance

          Turned off Intel Speedstep in the bios - turn this back on and Make sure Windows "power plan" is set to high performance (I'm pretty sure that the latest version of Speccy reports the proper core speeds so monitor those at idle and during playback and renders to make sure your CPU is throttling up properly; I used to use some other performance monitoring tools prior to the v2 Xeons but many are not reporting the proper CPU speeds now with these newer Intel designs)

          Played around with the paging file (tried system managed, recommended fixed size (at the moment it is 2GB fixed on C only.) - if your C drive is a HD, try move the paging file to one of the SSDs

          The only extra hardware I have installed is a Intel RS25DB080 raid contoller in raid 6 and a Decklink Mini monitor - I don't know Intel RAID cards, but possibly there are some caching options that would help speed (i.e. write-caching)






          • 2. Re: CPU Spikes
            MarkWeiss Level 1

            This describes EXACTLY my problem here on a dual Xeon with Titan X and 128GB DDR4 ECC RAM and SSD drives throughout. I can SCRUB footage like it's DV, but hit Play and watch it play sound but no video for the first 3 seconds. It happens ONLY with MXF wrapped footage. HD or 4K--doesn't matter. MP4, XDCam EX, uncompressed 4K frames, no problems. But anything MXF, it's like Premiere needs time to spool up. With HD material, it periodically drops frames during playback. Better with 4K, but not perfect.


            VLC Media Player, after setting up to use multiple threads, plays all flavors of footage from my Sony FS7 with no effort.. XAVC-L 59.94 2160P, smooth, no dropped frames, 6% CPU utilization. 4K 23.98P, 2% CPU.


            DaVinci Resolve can edit four camera angles of 4K with usable frame rates. Impossible to do in Premiere, unless you play the video by scrubbing. Scrubbing works smoothly and with no lag. Play is broken. It's like there's no clock reference for Premiere to time the playback.

            • 3. Re: CPU Spikes
              Martin Douglas Level 2

              You mentioning that it only happened with MXF footage made me think. So just for giggles I re-installed CS6 and played back some P2 AVCINTRA100 1080p footage and what do you know it played back fine.

              No 3 sec delay,CPU spike at all.

              Checking the performance tab in task manager I noticed that it was only using one processor for playback instead of the two in Premier Pro CC. So there seems to be some sort of dual processor optimization issue with the codec.

              Here"s me tearing my hair out thinking I had some hardware issue when it is was probably software driven all along.

              Anyway I will supply a bug report to Adobe and see what they say.

              Thanks Jim and Mark for your help.




              • 4. Re: CPU Spikes
                MarkWeiss Level 1

                Folks, I think I found a tuning that works. I changed two settings in the Debug Console, reachable by Control F12:


                PlayerMain.MaxOutstandingPendingAheadOfPlayback = 30   ---change to 2

                PlayerMain.MaxQueuedFrames = 300                   --change to 2


                For the first time, I'm getting through a 4K XAVC playback without dropping frames, and the startup was nearly instant.

                It seems that the default pending/queued frames values are too high out of the box. Perhaps these were for spinning hard drives, but no good if your drives are SSDs.


                I fiddled with these numbers a lot, mostly increasing them, thinking more was better. But tonight I got creative and tried setting to very low values and found I got faster startup and fewer dropped frames.


                Another thing that can affect startup is DisableSpeculativePrefetching = false   ---change to true and see if that also helps.


                Normally, I see 150~ frames dropped in 18 minutes play and 150 frames dropped at start of play. I just finished an 18 minute program playout with zero dropped frames. Has Adjustment Layer with sharpening and some color correction, too.

                • 5. Re: CPU Spikes
                  MarkWeiss Level 1

                  I note that Adobe does a memory flush when starting playback, and this causes a five second delay.


                  Playing a 4K timeline to the end, the memory in use climbs to the setting in Adobe preferences plus the OS usage.

                  When rewinding to beginning, a flush of memory occurs. If you try to play before the flush is complete, Adobe will not respond and when it does, it will drop 180 or so frames. Waiting for the memory flush to complete before starting play back avoids this.

                  • 6. Re: CPU Spikes
                    MarkWeiss Level 1

                    I was wondering why my old machine doesn't hesitate to start playback and was trying to eliminate all the reasons why the dual Xeon was different. Last night, the memory was what I focused on. My old machine has only 8GB. My new one, 128GB. Premiere was set to use 48GB. Hmmm.. so in conjunction with the tweaks I did in the Debug Console, I tried limiting Premiere to 7.9GB RAM. Lo and behold, in conjuction with limiting the number of cached frames/lookahead, the reduced memory footprint eliminated the 'slack'. Play starts are now nearly instant and no dropped frames.

                    I think it's the case of too much 'slack' in the app memory. More memory isn't always better. Think of a mile long tow rope, vs and 10' long tow rope, pulling a vehicle up a hill. Stopping and starting takes longer with the longer rope. So it appears to be the case with memory and the way Premiere uses RAM.

                    • 7. Re: CPU Spikes
                      JEShort01 Level 4



                      Do you ever feel like you are just talking to yourself on this thread!? There aren't that many dual Xeon PP 2015 users our there, but I'm one and I have been following and enjoying the content of your "blog" style posts here.


                      And now, for some related and possibly rather random comments...


                      • your post on Oct 4th inspired me to experiment with various settings and while my hardware performs MUCH better with different settings, I did learn a new trick to play back 4 Red 4.5k layers (4x PIP)  with zero lost frames for the first time ever! I'm using:

                                         PlayerMain.MaxOutstandingPendingAheadOfPlayback = 30   --- change to 22 (you suggested 2)

                                         PlayerMain.MaxQueuedFrames = 300 --  change to 22 (you suggested 2)


                      The real breakthrough was using 1 video card to drive my 4k monitor and 1 video card to support PPro CC 2015. I could never get zero lost frames with non-rendered playback when I had set both GTX Titan cards to support Premiere Pro.

                      • I have 64GB of RAM on my latest build and generally giving Adobe PPro 32GB seems to work well; memory that Adobe is not using is utilized, although probably not fully, by Windows drive caching
                      • I really wish experienced Adobe staff would jump in some of the deeper technical discussions to help the paying users to better understand how to make the software sing




                      • 8. Re: CPU Spikes
                        PantsParty1 Level 1

                        hi Mark I'm also running into this issue, but on my mac.  Just wondering if you know a way to edit PlayerMain.MaxOutstandingPendingAheadOfPlayback on a mac


                        many thanks!

                        • 9. Re: CPU Spikes
                          MarkWeiss Level 1

                          Jim, yes I do sometimes.. but Adobe is not the worst. Other forums actually HATE me. LOL.


                          Your mileage will vary. The settings I came up with work best with my specific machine. Feel free to experiment. My settings were the result of dozens of hours of trial runs and logging the number of dropped frames.


                          It seems counter-intuitive, but reducing the look ahead buffering actually improved performance for my hardware. Even more perplexing was that reducing the amount of RAM allocated to Adobe also helped! I got Premiere running in 10GB now, leaving 118GB to other applications. I think too much 'slack' was causing memory flushing at the end of play to take too long. Reducing the RAM to Premiere demonstrably improved rewind/replay performance.


                          Today I'm experimenting with MXFmaxreadaheadforCaptions (or similar--writing from memory here).. default is 5. Set to 1 and helps with that initial frame dropping at load and first play. If you don't use captions, minimizing this feature seems to improve performance.



                          I'm on Windows, so I don't know what the equivalent Mac keyboard command is or whether a Debug console exists in the Mac version. But on the PC it is Control F12. Maybe Command F12 on the Mac? Make sure you have your system backed up/imaged before you do these tweaks. You could break something beyond repair if you touch the wrong parameter.

                          • 10. Re: CPU Spikes
                            JEShort01 Level 4

                            For Premiere Pro CC 2018 the Ctrl-F12 key combination no longer brings up the panel to adjust the settings discussed in this thread.


                            How can a user do this now?


                            CTRL-ALT-F12 seems to bring up a very new and interesting diagnostic panel, but it is view only in nature.


                            And BTW, the CUDA diagnostics overlay data (for playback) still works and can be toggled on/off using CTRL-SHIFT-F11.





                            • 12. Re: CPU Spikes
                              JEShort01 Level 4



                              Thanks so much!


                              I had to select "Console / Debug Database View" and now I'm seeing the settings that I couldn't find (Using Ctrl+F12). The default "Console View" setting was selected before and that seems to blank out all of the items that I was expecting.



                              • 13. Re: CPU Spikes
                                Martin Douglas Level 2

                                Just a quick update.

                                I have had no issues with CPU spikes since Premiere Pro CC 2018 came out,

                                so haven't had to make any adjustments in the console as in previous versions.