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It won't help to run it on 64-bit Vista, since it's still a 32-bit program -- but many PC users are finding it necessary to use a quad core processor to edit these very heavy, very highly compressed files.
Short of that, you have some options.
1) Use a program that converts AVCHD to more traditional hi-def video, as recommended in the FAQs at the top of this forum.
2) Use Robert's hack for creating a proxy editing environment. In proxy editing, you work with a lower resolution work print, then render the actual video when you're done. Also from the FAQs
3) And this is probably something to in addition to either of the above, make sure you've optimized Vista to squeeze all the juice from your system.
Also, be sure to go to Windows Update (don't trust it the automatically update) and download every available update. Also make sure you've got the latest Quicktime. (More problems are caused by outdated Quicktime than you can imagine!)
And give your computer a good going over and defragmenting on a regular basis! I do the following weekly, and more four year old computer runs better than the day I got it! (My new 2.66 dual-core Vista machine also runs flawlessly!)
Beyond that, I don't know enough about your set-up (like if you're using more than one hard drive) to know what else to recommend. But know going into it that you're working with some very challenging video files, so you want to make sure your tools are sharp and clean.
Steve, Thank you for your reply and suggestions. It sounds like we are using similar processors & OS. (Dual Core, 2.66, Vista32 & 4GB RAM. It seems like all my crashes are predicated by the message that I am running seriously low on memory. I'm glad you clarified the fact that I won't see any advantage in running a 32 bit program on a 64 bit OS. I wondered about that :).
I'll go to the links you gave me and give those things a try. I do realize that AVCHD is some very intensive stuff. I started out with over 1 hour of video, and got it edited down to about 24 minutes before I started running out of memory and things started crashing. weird! Thanks again for your help. I'll let you know how it works out. Kent
Also, as you work, watch for red lines appearing along the top of your timeline, indicating the need to render. When this happens, press Enter and let the program render these areas (the red line will turn green). This will relieve the program from constantly having to "soft render" these areas and will free up some memory.
Hey Kent, I am interested to know abt your findings. Please provide the updates if the performance improved after doing what steve suggested.
As always, Steve's suggestions were very helpful. Most helpful was when I disabled many of the 'decorative features' in Vista...such as desktop appearance, mouse/icon movement, etc. I also reassigned memory (in Vista) as Steve suggested in the messages above. I don't have a beautiful desktop anymore, but who cares!....I do have PE7 running without crashing. I definately think that the most common factor that is crashing PE7 on peoples computer is the fact that they are trying to process AVCHx video with a computer that simply isn't up to the task. Right on the PE7 box, Adobe states that you should have at least a Dual-Core processor, running at 3MHz+, and that you should have 3GB of memory. Unfortunately, most computers with Dual Core processors have no more than a total of 4GB of memory. Take 2GB away for the computer, and you're only left with 2GB. Steve's fix (for reallocating memory in Vista) seems to work and should definately be used by anyone who is running Vista with a total of 4GB or less. By the way, AVCHx video comes in two varieties: the High Def variety (AVCHD), or the Standard Def variety (AVCH.264). Even though there are two varieties, they BOTH are extremely data intensive formats and they both take a very young and healty computer to edit them. For people who simply don't have the computer power and don't want to spend $1000+ for a new computer, Steve also recommends using software that will convert AVCHx video to a more universal video format (such as .avi or .wmv). Then, after the video is converted, it can be imported into PE7 and processed with less difficulty. Believe me, when Adobe or any software manufacturer stated minimum hardware requirement for their product, it is definately something to read and pay attention to. And, if you're just on the fine line of meeting the requirements, it will be most likely that you will encounter problems. I've looked at forum for Sony Vegas and Pinnacle software, and the complaints and problems are nearly identical. Bottom line is: Good video requires a 'GOOD COMPUTER!' Good Luck. Kent