11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 1, 2009 4:51 PM by Steve Grisetti

    What are the true min spec's for PRE7


      I have been using PE7  with mixed results on my Sony 1.8 GH moble centrino laptop with 2 gig of memory running XP. When importing Jpeg video from a Sony flash memory camcorder the problem is centered around the low on memory issue. I seam to get this more frequent when editing in the native Jpeg format  (smaller file size) than if I convert to DVI( larger file size ) I'm not sure I get this. I am just doing standard def video for play back on a 42" plasma or 178" projection home theater. The footage looks great and the DVDs come out fine but the low memory problem gets to be a pain. I have considered moving to a mac as I'm just doing home videos in standard def  and would like to have the system be a lot more stable while doing the creative stuff (adding effects & teaking transitions ). The big reason I have not made the switch is I have been using Premiere for a long time and many versions and like being able to have many layers of video ( multiple tracks for effects and video layering ) and being able to pretty much do anything I can think of in ways of effects and transitions with graphics and effects layered over top of them. Sorry for the long winded description but my question is simple ( maybe ) what is the min spec for a laptop to produce standard def DVDs with respectable previews, stable operation and no low on memory errors. I would way rather stay with a PC and Premiere to produce my family videos as all the PC software I already own but would like to know how much of a laptop I would need to upgrade to to make PRE7 run clean. I know more is better but you can get a pretty respectable laptop for $700 and can easily spend up to $2000. Would like to be able to run PRE7 clean but would also like to be aimed more toward $700 than $2000.

        • 1. Re: What are the true min spec's for PRE7
          Bob_MI Level 1

          Sorry the native format of the camcorder is Mpeg not Jpeg

          • 2. Re: What are the true min spec's for PRE7
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            First, the "true minimum" goes far beyond just the specs. on the hardware. Much will depend on how "lean and mean" you computer is.


            I'd first look at the FAQ's for optimizing your OS. Next, go to Task Manager and click the Processes tab. My guess is that you have 60-80 Processes running. By weeding out the resource eating, and unnecessary Processes (down to about 20-30 max.), you'll see far better performance.


            When editing, Exit all AV, spyware sweepers and pop-up blockers. Do not multi-task, especially any Internet presence, as your defenses are down. I use EndItAll2 to then stop all other unnecessary Processes. Just reboot, once done editing, and all come back.


            Good luck,




            PS one of the biggest problems with a laptop is that they usually only have one HDD and it's called upon to do some major heavy lifting. My laptop has 3x 200GB SATA II 7200RPM HDD's. Now, the whole rig was US$5K, so that is not what you're talking about. Few laptops have more than one HDD. That is one of the biggest drawbacks. That single physical HDD will haunt you with any editing.

            • 3. Re: What are the true min spec's for PRE7
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Please give the full details on the MPEG files. Use G-Spot to give you those. You can write down the full specs in the G-Spot screen, or just do a screen-cap of that and attach it via the little "camera" icon in the middle of the editing screen's toolbar.


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: What are the true min spec's for PRE7
                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                Well, laptops are always their own challenge -- since they're built more portability than performance. But the FAQs to the right of this forum offer our recommended specs for Premiere Elements 7 -- which are about double Adobe's minimums.



                All but the cheapest off-the-shelf computers built in the last couple of years should be able to run it with no problems.


                The bigger challenge is your source files. Flash memory camcorders use their own special codecs for saving the video, and they can cause all kinds of problems for any video editing app.


                What camera model are you getting your video from? Once we figure out what format your camera stores its video in, we'll be able to recommend the best workflow for you.

                • 5. Re: What are the true min spec's for PRE7
                  Bob_MI Level 1

                  My camcorder is a Sony Handycam DCR-SX40. Even if I convert the Mpeg video to new DVI files using PRE7 then quite and restart PRE7  the system seens to lock up from time to time or I get the low memory errors. I kind of guessed that the real min requirements are much higher than Adobe posts as my current lower end but not bottom of the line Sony laptop ( about four years old ) is struggling to run PRE7. I have cut back on unneeded processes in task manager and with a lot of saves can produce a nice DVD but the truth is I'm too lazy these days to go to the computer room and sit at the desk top to make my videos, like to be able to hang out in the living room with my wife while I work on my video projects and it would be nice to work on home projects while traveling. I have come to the conclusion ( maybe wrong??) that I most  likely need to update my laptop, just want to be sure that I buy enough to run PRE7 stable  but not really looking for gaming machine just something that works well for PRE7.

                  • 6. Re: What are the true min spec's for PRE7
                    the_wine_snob Level 9
                    not really looking for gaming machine just something that works well for PRE7.


                    Actually, my laptop started life as a gaming machine from Sager. I adapted it to suit the needs of an NLE program, and easily run PrPro on it with up to 8 hours of Timeline.


                    I'm like you. I like to sit on the pool deck, with the laptop and a couple of Bulldogs at my feet, while I edit. When necessary, I transport the Project to the workstation upstairs, but the Bulldogs are not allowed in there.


                    Steve's advice is very good. I have observed that problems, of almost all sorts are related in this order:


                    1.) System

                    2.) Asset

                    3.) Project


                    Obviously, other elements can come in, but the vast majority of all issues have broken down this way.


                    Good luck,



                    • 7. Re: What are the true min spec's for PRE7
                      Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                      I'm not sure why you're converting your video files to DVIs, but that's counter-productive!


                      Flash memory camcorders can be a bear anyway. There are a number a liabilities with their video.


                      But, if you use Prizm to convert your video files to DV-AVIs, you should get excellent results with Premiere Elements. Here's how:


                      • 8. Re: What are the true min spec's for PRE7
                        Bob_MI Level 1
                        I converted the Mpeg just to see if my issue was due to the format my camera records in, but I get the same results in system stability with the DVI files, seems odd as the DVi files are much larger but maybe due to the compression of the Mpeg format it requires more computer resources ( dont know just a thought). I have been doing NLE on PC back from the days of the first release of Premiere on a 90 mhz pentium in 320 X 240 and worked my way through version 6. I have moved away from NLE in a corporate setting quite a while ago and now only do video at home as a hobby. I have been away from the computer hardware side of things for four or five years, the main reason I'm asking you folks as I know I have little experience with today's technology. As I get older I guess I'm just trying to pick my battles more wisely. I can imagine if all I wanted to do was make simple cuts only edits there must be a load of low cost applications that would function with out difficulty, but what fun would that be as creation is most the fun the bump is that the rest of the family can enjoy the finished product. I find it hard to  believe that the Apple folks can do very complex productions with out system restarts. I have checked out Steves link to recommended system spec's and am please to see that a Duo core processor can do HD that would leave me to believe that most middle of the road laptops should be fine for standard def projects as I don't mind paying for what I need just don't want to pay for overkill . I guess it all comes down to with each release of Premiere the Adobe folks pour  more effects & capability's in the the product so we continue to push consumer technology to the limits. I'm trying to do a reality check before my next hardware purchase so the question is with the complexity of NLE and the want to have a muli millon dollar editing facility in a carry around computer (was not really that long ago the post production facility was the only way to get all the effects we all take for granted) will I have to live with some system house keeping and a few crashes or can I expect to run mostly clean ( no crashes ) with a Core Duo 2.0 ghz system with four gig of memory. I really am very grateful for your feed back and think having a forum like this is invaluable as the feed back I get from this post will no doubt carry much weight in my next hardware purchase.


                        • 9. Re: What are the true min spec's for PRE7
                          the_wine_snob Level 9
                          will I have to live with some system house keeping and a few crashes or can I expect to run mostly clean ( no crashes ) with a Core Duo 2.0 ghz system with four gig of memory.


                          The biggest limitation that you will face is with your I/O sub-system, i.e. your HDD's. The rest should be fine.


                          What happens with most laptops is that they have one HDD. NLE work requires a lot of HDD access. When your OS (including the Page File) and the NLE needing to access the media files, plus the files that it writes to the Scratch Disks. All of this is happening at the same time, and something has to give. Something needs to come at the end of the line. If that happens to be the NLE, then it could well crash.


                          The first thing that I would do is clean out the Boot.ini and Startup w/ MSCONFIG to get rid of the "junk," that is not needed. Next, I'd turn off all AV, spyware sweepers and pop-up blockers. Last, I'd run a program like EndItAll2 to stop all other unnecessary Processes. Then, and only then, would I launch the NLE. During this time, I would refrain from anything involving the Internet, or my POP server, and would also not do things like use iTunes, etc. Remember, we shut down our AV and the other protective programs, plus programs like iTunes want to bring a lot of other applets along for the ride. The former exposes you to all sorts of problems (I do this, and I am behind a hardware firewall), the next just uses up resources. If you also want iTunes, buy an iPod to listen to, while editing.


                          Now, when I wanted a laptop to do editing, the first concern was for one that would allow me 3x SATA II HDD's. I managed to also get a Quad-core processor, and had to bargain to get a full 4GB of RAM and XP-Pro (the 4GB option was only available for Vista and I did not want that).


                          Now, on my laptop, editing to/from a FW-800 2TB external (so I can also take the Project to my workstation), I am editing an 8 hour epic in PrPro. While I do not use PE so much, I've done quite a few Projects, just for this forum. I've never had one crash and a few of those were over 2 hours of SD (DV-AVI Type II) footage. Never hiccuped, crashed, or even ran slow. I use PrPro most of the time, because it reminds me more of my cine days. PE4 (my version) is a bit too automated, and "prettied up," for this old guy. I'm also a control freak, and want to do everything pretty much by hand. I seldom like "big button" solutions, 'cause I want to do it frame by frame.


                          Also, I often have PrPro, PS, AI, Encore and a word processor open at the same time. With 3x HDD's and similar specs to yours (OK Quad vs Duo-core), I can do almost anything that I want. Still, without the bloatware and the other detritus.


                          Now, will PE7 work on your laptop w/ HD material? Much will depend on how clean your computer is, what the exact format of your HD footage and how patient you are with working with this.


                          Good luck,



                          • 10. Re: What are the true min spec's for PRE7

                            Thanks for the help, I ended up buying a quad core 2.3ghz desktop with six gig of memory, 7200 rpm sata drive and 512 meg video card running Vista Home Premium ($599)   PRE7 runs absolutely flawless, I have been running Premiere though countless versions with not enough system as this is absolutely great to work with now even the effects are smooth in the project window with out rendering the work area!!  I'm having more fun with Premier now than ever and did not even have to buy a Mac !!!

                            • 11. Re: What are the true min spec's for PRE7
                              Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                              Thanks for the great success story, Bob! Happy moviemaking!