11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 6, 2009 7:12 AM by the_wine_snob

    Premiere PRO CS4 really slow when playing back AVCHD

    Noahmx

      Hi,

       

      I'm trying to edit some AVCHD (full HD 1920x1080p) but the playback in Premiere PRO CS4 is really really slow. The quality is set to Draft and even resizing the window to 25% keeps it slow.

       

      So I decided to give it a try upgrading my computer. But... what should I upgrade to improve playback and edit my videos smoothly?

       

      I have this PC specifications

      - DualCore AMD Athlon 64X2 6000+ (3.0 GHz)

      - 2 GB RAM DDR2-800 (Kingston)

      - 1 TB WesternDigital 7200 rpm Hard Drive

      - nVidia GeForce 9800 GT (1 GB Ram)

       

      Any recommendations would be appreciated.

       

      Thanks

        • 1. Re: Premiere PRO CS4 really slow when playing back AVCHD
          the_wine_snob Level 9
          Any recommendations would be appreciated.

           

          I have two off the top:

           

          1.) Quad-core minimum. Dual Quads would be better still. Many feel that a Quad is the minimum CPU for that footage.

           

          2.) at least two more physical HDD's, allocated to do the best job. Harm Millard has a great ARTICLE on I/O sub-system setup for NLE work.

           

          Your editing experience WILL improve greatly with those two changes.

           

          Good luck,

           

          Hunt

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Premiere PRO CS4 really slow when playing back AVCHD
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            I would go even further, a single quad core is not enough for AVCHD material. There are numerous reports of users even with dual quad cores and 16 GB+ RAM that still experience non-fluid behaviour. AVCHD requires a beast of a PC for comfortable editing.

             

            If you have a very finely tuned and optimized PC, you may "get by" with only an overclocked i7, if the rest of your system measures up, meaning at least 6 GB RAM and at least 3 physical 7200 RPM disks but preferably more, in combination with good cooling and the rest.

            • 3. Re: Premiere PRO CS4 really slow when playing back AVCHD
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              I'm not editing AVCHD, so I can only recount experiences of others. Many have "gotten by" with fast single Quads. Do not recall any of those describing the experience as "edits like a hot knife thorugh warm butter," but they have gotten by. I do agree that the more CPU power one has (plus RAM and HDD's) the better the experience will be.

               

              I find it a bit of a shame that AVCHD is being used in so many "entry-level" cameras, as people are then faced with having to do a major upgrade to their editing computers, often costing 10x what the camera did, just to edit the material. It seems to be a good format/CODEC, when used on a blazingly fast machine, but at what cost? We've all seen the comments, "what do you mean I can't edit my AVCHD footage on my 386-SX?!?!?"

               

              Again, thank you for your I/O sub-system article. I've linked to it 4x today alone, in several fora!

               

              Hunt

              • 4. Re: Premiere PRO CS4 really slow when playing back AVCHD
                Noahmx Level 1

                Well, I had to do something quick and went to buy a Phenom II QuadCore 3.2 GHz (this was the fastest one available at the store), but I also had to buy a new AM3 motherboard and new RAM (4 GB DDR3) for it. Also got another HardDrive (WD 600 GB 7200 rpm).

                 

                I'll set all this up later today, hoping to make things a little better.

                 

                I need to admint that I made a huge mistake when I got the HD camera in my hands and I started shooting and watching it on a HDTV and it was nicely recorded. But oh surprise!, when I tried to watch it and edit it on my computer it was a nightmare.

                 

                Anyways, thanks for your recommendations and what a nice I/O sub-system article there, thanks for that

                 

                Cya.

                • 5. Re: Premiere PRO CS4 really slow when playing back AVCHD
                  the_wine_snob Level 9
                  I need to admint that I made a huge mistake when I got the HD camera in my hands and I started shooting and watching it on a HDTV and it was nicely recorded. But oh surprise!, when I tried to watch it and edit it on my computer it was a nightmare.

                   

                  Yes, that was what I was alluding to earlier on. It seems to be a good format, but requires an investment in gear to smoothly edit it. I almost feel that there should be a warning label on all cameras, that use it. At least it IS editable, unlike some other formats.

                   

                  what a nice I/O sub-system article there, thanks for that

                   

                  I agree, and that is why I try to tell Harm "thank you," whenever I can. He actually did three along the same lines. This was #1, IIRC, with a more generalized followup on the hardware beyond the I/O, and #3 was his setup details for 64-bit OS. All three are well worth reading. He put a lot of time, thought and effort into those. First thing that I did was publish links to each on several Video production fora.

                   

                  Good luck, and please let us know how your new rig handles the AVCHD material. Before you get too far into things, Harm's other two articles might be of use too.

                   

                  Hunt

                  • 6. Re: Premiere PRO CS4 really slow when playing back AVCHD
                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                    It seems to be a good format/CODEC, when used on a blazingly fast machine.

                     

                    It is a good format/CODEC, when all you do is watch it, which is what is was essentially designed for.  You can use the heel of your shoe to pound in a nail, but's it's much less effective at that task than the one the shoe is designed for - walking in.  Those who choose to pound nails with the heel of their shoe have lost the right to complain when their house comes tumbling down, I feel.

                    • 7. Re: Premiere PRO CS4 really slow when playing back AVCHD
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      So Jim, are you intimating that one cannot edit AVCHD, but only view it, should one have a monitor in the heel of their shoe, a la Get Smart?

                       

                      Now, I am not maintaining that it is an ideal format, but most (you may be an exception) seem to be able to edit it, provided that they do have a "blazingly fast computer." Is it that you are unable to do so? Heck, even uneducated amateurs using PrE seem to do just fine, so long as their machines are fast enough. Surely, a skilled, trained and educated professional could duplicate that performance, or am I missing something?

                       

                      Hunt

                      • 8. Re: Premiere PRO CS4 really slow when playing back AVCHD
                        Jim_Simon Level 8
                        are you intimating that one cannot edit AVCHD, but only view it

                         

                        No, of course not.  There are people editing AVCHD daily, I'm sure.  I'm saying that one should not try and edit it, that I-frame only media should be used where editing occurs.  And when one violates that idea and has issues, there's no one to blame but one's self.

                        • 9. Re: Premiere PRO CS4 really slow when playing back AVCHD
                          the_wine_snob Level 9
                          I'm saying that one should not try and edit it, that I-frame only media should be used where editing occurs.

                           

                          You will get no argument from me on I-frame being far better, especially for editing.

                           

                          Hunt

                           

                          BTW I was ducking, as soon as I hit the Reply to Post button!

                           

                           

                          • 10. Re: Premiere PRO CS4 really slow when playing back AVCHD
                            Noahmx Level 1

                            Well, after re-building my PC with the upgraded hardware, I can finally edit and playback my videos really smooth in PremierePRO CS4... so I'm happy now! hehe.

                             

                            So my system at the end is like this:

                             

                            - DualCore AMD Athlon 64X2 6000+ (3.0 GHz) >>> AMD QuadCore Phenom II X4 955 (3.2 GHz)

                            - 2 GB RAM DDR2-800 (Kingston) >>> 4 GB RAM DDR3-1333 (Kingston)

                            - 1 TB WesternDigital 7200 rpm Hard Drive >>> 1 TB WD 7200 rpm & 600 GB WD 7200 rpm hard drives

                            - nVidia GeForce 9800 GT (1 GB Ram)

                            - ASUS M2N-E Motherboard >>> GigaByte GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 Motherboard

                             

                            I was worried about my investing going to waste but I'm glad I can edit the videos now with no problems.

                             

                            Thanks all for the suggestions and info.

                             

                            Cya.

                            • 11. Re: Premiere PRO CS4 really slow when playing back AVCHD
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              Though your "worries" were greater than mine (hey, it was your money I was spending, right?), I'm glad to hear that things are much better.

                               

                              Because that format is so equipment intensive, one sometimes has to jump several levels to even see a positive result. All too often, people try to "sneak up" on equipment upgrades.

                               

                              Glad you saw the results and thanks for reporting.

                               

                              Now, I want you to upgrade your power supply and add liquid cooling... [just kidding, but the power supply is something to think about, especially if you add that third HDD - along with plenty of good fans.]

                               

                               

                               

                              Good luck,

                               

                              Hunt