I'm not at my editing rig right now, but there's an option in the Preferences, can't remember if it's PrPro or Me, to pause Me during activity from PrPro. Check for that, and see how it's set.
PPro --> Preferences --> Playback --> "Pause Media Encoder queue during playback"
Thanks! This is definitely a box that was not checked, so that helps, but can you help me understand why when it isn't checked and I'm having playback problems my activity monitor shows so much idle resource?
Why it wasn't checked?
Poltergeists? I think it's checked by default.
...shows so much idle resource?
Specifically, what resource(s) would you expect to be busy, which are idle? Broadly Speaking™: Big annoying processes are not always limited by the same factors: Some are CPU-bound, some are storage-bound, some are RAM-bound.
Sure. I'm looking at CPU % specifically. Looks like the render I'm doing right now takes up 366% in the PProHeadless process and Premiere is at about 6%. With everything else going on in my computer it shows 76% idle. If I playback Premiere during the render it jumps to between 500% and 1000% and PProHeadless drops to 250%. That still leaves about 30% of the CPU idle according to activity monitor. I guess I'm just wondering why Adobe doesn't use that last 30%?
...I guess I'm just wondering why Adobe doesn't use that last 30%?
Output can often be storage-bound.
One Such Example™: Smart rendering a boring "cuts-only" (no effects) sequence with media from an XDCAM-50 MXF, back to XDCAM-50 MXF, with default transitions between clips. [This is a typical new production workflow.]
The only parts of the timeline which will require processing are the transitions; for the rest, PPro can copy compressed blocks of frames from the source to the destination, without troubling the CPU much.
In your case, it sounds like the sequence you're rendering IS pretty CPU-intensive. Part I don't understand; if PProHeadless is at 366%, how is your entire system's load still down around 24%?