7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 8, 2008 7:34 PM by (Craig_Zarmer)

    Adobe Premiere 4 Elements 4 performance issue

      I am a new user of Premiere 4 Elements and I completed my first project to get myself through the learning curve. However I experience a serious performance issue on my computer with this product. Sorry about the long post, I tried to give as complete info as possible. Thanks in advance for any advice on solving the issue.

      1. When I open my project, a progress bar stays for several minutes at the near-completed state before the application window opens. Then the window is still frozen for several more minutes (the Windows hourglass displays for about 4 to 5 minutes) before I can actually start using the program.

      2. When I task-switch (e.g. to edit a photo in another application, or to check in Windows Explorer where a file is that I want to open) task-switching is slow, and when I switch back to Premiere 4 Elements, the screen freezes again for several minutes (4 to 6 minutes) before I can continue working. Same happens after I used the option to add media from Hard Drive to the project.

      3. When I press the Play button, the sound sometimes plays while the video preview gets stuck on a single frame. When I wait a while, it seems like Premiere is busy updating the icons on the timeline, and after that, I can play the video again. Sometimes the screen freezes so I canot press the pause button, and the audio just continues playing for a minute or two.

      4. Last night I eventually got the project finished, and started rendering the project to a PAL DVD - quality MPEG. It was still rendering this morning, with the progress bar showing less than a third of progress. At last check it displayed an estimated 16 hours of predicted rendering time, and still increasing the time....

      5. In one week of use, I experienced one to five crashes per evening while using this product.

      My input files for the project are existing MPEG files that I loaded from the camera (with it's software) long before I purchased Adobe Premiere. (so I did not use Premiere's feature to import the video). This camera generates a new MPEG file each time you press the start/stop button. I can see hundreds of clips on the camera when I mount it as an external USB hard drive on Windows. I suspect the number of files has to do with my issues, so I need assistance on an improved workflow, given the source format I work with. In my test project the original footage consists of about 140 MPEG clips; about 15 photos sized to PAL DVD size (720 x 5xx), one imported DVD VOB file, and then a menu, a title or two, transition effects, and so on. The final project should render 30 minutes of video, but the original footage is about three times that duration. Can someone please suggest a workflow considering the possibility that I will have to deal with these hundreds of small clips?

      The software's box specifies a Pentium 4 and 512 Mb RAM, Direct-X compatibility and 4 Gb HDD space.
      My computer spec's are:
      Intel Core 2, 2.13 GHz,
      2 Gb DDR RAM,
      200Gb Serial ATA HDD, with:
      Premiere on partition C: with 25 Gb free,
      Project on partition D: with 40 Gb free.
      Very entry-level graphics card (purchased the PC with no thought of games or video).
      XP Home is installed.

      In Windows Task Manager I notice about One Million Page faults being generated for Adobe Premiere in the periods I mentioned above when Premiere gets stuck. Item 4 above was at 3.5 million page faults with about 25% progress indicated of the rendering process. Is this indicative that I need more RAM?

      I have read other posts on this forum that people advise users to have Premiere on one HDD, the swap file on another physical disc and the project on yet another. I can understand the logic, but I checked that my PC was well above the software specifications on the box before I purchased, and I am not so serious about making videos that I would want to upgrade to such a monster PC. Besides if the requirements are such, Adobe should have specified that on the box.
      Thanks, Willem
        • 1. Re: Adobe Premiere 4 Elements 4 performance issue
          Paul_LS Level 4
          "In my test project the original footage consists of about 140 MPEG clips"....

          Couple of points:
          - You need to work in smaller projects. Maybe make each project 20mins and then export each sub-project as DV-AVI (File>Export>Movie) and then bring these sub-projects into a master project where you can combine them and edit before final export/burning

          - Many folks have issues working with MPEG files. This is one reason your computer is responding slowly and why it takes a long time to load the project. Also when you load MPEG files they need to be conformed and peak files generated this also takes time, especially with so may files. If you can work with smaller projects successfully then you are probably OK, however if you still get issues you may need to convert your MPEGs to DV-AVI. As per this FAQ:

          - Regarding updating teh thumbnails on the timeline, if you click on the "frame" icon to the left of the timeline you can set it so that it justs shows a thumbnail at the beginning and end of each clip, or turn them off completely.

          - Regarding your photos, sounds like you have downsized them, which is good. Another thing that "bogs down" PE4 is oversized photos. try to keep the photo resolution below 1000x750
          • 2. Re: Adobe Premiere 4 Elements 4 performance issue
            Level 1
            Hi Paul

            Thanks for the feedback. I will try DV-AVI files and smaller projects in future.

            Thanks also for the tip on the thumbnails - I'm glad to read there's such an option.
            • 3. Re: Adobe Premiere 4 Elements 4 performance issue
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Looking at your system specs., I see one major bottleneck - your I/O system. You have a partitioned HDD.

              This means that the heads on your HDD are being asked to be in several places at the same time. Partitioning is an element left over from a much earlier time in computing and should not be used nowadays, with very few exceptions. I will explain. You have a fixed number of platters and heads on a single HDD. Those heads are what access the data on the platters. In the case of PE, you are asking the heads to be:
              1.) reading the OS
              2.) reading Premiere (your program)
              3.) reading & writing the Windows Page File (Windows' Virtual Memory)
              4.) reading & writing your media Assets (depending on what you're doing)
              5.) reading & writing your Scratch Disk data
              6.) reading & writing data for any other Process that requires it

              The first step that I'd take would be to add another HDD, and do away with the partition on you Drive0. With two physical (not logical as you have) HDDs, the ideal setup would be:
              1.) OS and all programs on C:\
              2.) Project, Media and Scratch Disks on D:\

              Things would even better, though not to the %, that adding only one additional disk, if you added two. Ideal setup for 3 HDDs would be:
              1.) OS and all programs on C:\
              2.) Media and additional Assets on D:\
              3.) Project and Scratch Disks on E:\

              I've also found speed increases by having my Windows' Page File on a separate HDD, but that is overkill, really. Now, I've got 5 internals with 1.75TB of space, so it's easy for me to do this sort of thing.

              You have a 200GB SATA HDD (Drive0), and I'd keep that for your C:\ (no partition) and add another SATA in 500GB - 1TB range. If you have SATA II, make sure to go with a new HDD with the exact same connector (SATA, or SATA II). Most on-board controllers can handle 4x SATA channels, so it should not be a big deal.

              Most work will come from having to do a complete system backup of your Drive0 (your C:\ & D:\), as you'll need re-partition it. Another way around this would be to leave the C:\ & D:\ partitions, and just move all of your Media, Assets, Project and Scratch Disks to your new physical drive. Keep your D:\ partition, but use it only for storing maybe Audio Assets, that you use infrequently, and the like. Do not partition your new HDD (drive1).

              Note on load time: that will speed up somewhat, if you get another HDD, but PE does need time to read it's XML files, that tell it the location of all Assets, then go find them, and verify that they are correct. Only a bit of a speed up there. Almost everything else that you mention, regarding speed, will improve greatly.
              Others will have some more ideas, on ways to speed things up, and I'd consider them all, plus the addition of another fast, large physical HDD.

              BTW: great post. It is probably the most complete that I've seen in any of the Adobe forums. It's easy to read (good use of paragraphs) and contains all the data, that I could want. I'd hold this up as a model on how to ask a question on these boards.

              Good luck,


              [EDIT] To let you know, I actually have my Drive0 (500GB SATA II) partitioned (for another reason) and use it just like my second suggestion, re: re-partitioning. My "Movie Music," SFX and minor Assets are stored on my D:\, plus I have my Windows' Page File split over three drives. This after much experimentation. I'd not recommend this, unless you have a lot of extra time on your hands. Just keep it on C:\
              • 4. Re: Adobe Premiere 4 Elements 4 performance issue
                Level 1
                Hi Bill

                Thanks for your time to prepare this comprehensive explanation.
                I think between your advice and Paul's earlier post, I'll be sorted.

                Thanks again - this is a great forum.

                • 5. Re: Adobe Premiere 4 Elements 4 performance issue
                  I am experiencing all the same issues of the original poster. I have a brand new Dell 420 quad processor that easily exceeds system requirements.

                  First, I don't understand why, if conforming MPEG files is the issue, it should have to happen on every task switch. I can understand when you first add the media, or even each time you open the project, but why just because you switched to email and come back to Premiere Elements?

                  Second, in my case I'm trying to edit HDV. The files come in natively in MPEG format as captured by Premiere Elements. Is converting those to DV-AVI an option?

                  • 6. Re: Adobe Premiere 4 Elements 4 performance issue
                    Paul_LS Level 4
                    If your final export is to standard definition then a DV-AVI will give improved performance. You could downconvert in your camcorder and capture as DV-AVI.
                    • 7. Re: Adobe Premiere 4 Elements 4 performance issue
                      Level 1
                      Unfortunately, I plan multiple outputs, some HD and some not. So I really want to do the capture and edit in HD.

                      It just seems like a bug to take 5 minutes to re-examine things just because I switch windows. If I could just get that fixed, I think I'd be in business.