14 Replies Latest reply on Feb 3, 2010 2:27 PM by John Wykes

    Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow

    John Wykes Level 1

      Hello, I tried checking various places for this answer but could not find the answer, so apologies if this can be answered somewhere else.


      I use Premiere Pro CS3 (I have the suite).  When I start to work on a project, all is well.  When I get to about the fifteen minute or twenty minute mark in terms of footage that is on the time line (perhaps just one or two video tracks and then a title or two on tracks three and four), then Premiere behaves very sluggishly.  When opening the project, it takes a fairly long time (about two minutes) to open.  Playback always stutters, no matter what.  If I select "File" or "Edit" on the top bar, I might have to wait a few seconds, or longer, for the drop-down items to appear.  If I dare to do something like add color correction to a shot, or some other effect, Premiere is even more sluggish.  I used to use Premiere 6.1 for years and never had a problem -- even did a massive production with enormous number of SFX, green screen, etc...no problem.  My system smoked.  I have a great system now (see below).  Now I do a project in CS3 and am so very careful not to get near the 30 minute mark (otherwise very slow performance) and even then I feel very limited in terms of what I can dare do, lest CS3 crashes altogether. And sometimes it has.  "Premiere Pro had encountered problems and will now close..."   Any suggestions?


      Here is what I am working with:


      Pyro PCI card

      650W Power Supply

      Supermicro X7DAE Dual-Core Xeon Motherboard

      Dual Intel Xeon 5150 (10.64 GHz Total)

      4GB DDR2-667 FBDIMM RAM (4x1GB)

      ATI FireGL V3350 256MB PCIe Video Card

      Creative Labs AudigySE Sound Card

      80GB OS/Application Hard Drive

      1000GB SATA Internal Video RAID (2x500)

      Microsoft Windows XP Professional

      Adobe Production Suite CS3

        • 1. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
          John Wykes Level 1

          I should have added one more very important piece of information...I am working with ordinary DV, captured from miniDV tapes.  Stadard def, NTSC.

          • 2. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            Basically there is nothing wrong with your system in terms of hardware. It should be able to handle all your footage easily. However, you are running XP, so please tell us when was the last time you did a fresh install of OS & programs? If more than 6 months ago, it may be very worthwhile to make a fresh install now. In the course of time one accumulates a lot of unwanted stuff, gets pollution and maybe even corruption, so a fresh install can do miracles. Just remember to deactivate CS3 before a fresh install.

            • 3. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
              John Wykes Level 1

              Fresh install was about a year or so ago.  Does one really need to do an OS fresh install every six months?

              • 4. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
                John Wykes Level 1

                I am also reading up on some of your basics that you listed elsewhere regarding setting up one's editing system.  For some reason I think recent projects have been using the OS drive as a scratch disk (preview files, etc...).  I would think making sure that my scratch disk is somewhere else other than the OS drive will help -- sorry this is morphing into a hardware issue on this forum, but I think this might be the answer for sure.

                • 5. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  There is no golden rule about when you should do a complete fresh install, but depending on the applications installed, the programs you use, the frequency of updates, the degree to which you do housekeeping tasks like cleaning your registry, defragging your disks, removing temp files etc. it may be wise to do a clean install at least once a year. Yeah, I know, it is bothersome and time consuming, but if you do not regularly run programs like CCleaner, 1ClickPCFix or PerfectSpeed, it is often a very good solution to clean up all the stuff you acquired in the past. Just out of curiosity, how much disk space did you regain the last time you used CCleaner? And when was the last time you defragged your disks? That should be done at least weekly, after a solid clean up and preferably even more frequent.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
                    Matt Petersen Level 3

                    I guess what Harm is saying is that if your hardware checks out, your footage is "typical", and no immediate solution is evident, then a re-install is often the fastest and most effective solution. If you have your OS on one drive and all your data on another, this process becomes pretty straightforward, even more so if you've "slipped" your copy of XP with all its updates. Why spend 6 hours troubleshooting and get a possible solution when you could spend 2 hours re-installing and get an almost guaranteed solution!


                    If you want to have a tinker before taking the plunge, there are a couple of things that I'd look at:


                    1) Virus Checker. Download MS's "Process Explorer" (overblown Task Manager) and see if anything is going nuts when you open a larger project


                    2) CS3 all patched up?


                    3) Hard disk cache setting. You say things go pear-shaped at about 30 minutes (about 6 gig in DV language) maybe there's an issue with your Windows Page File that is slowing things down. If you have a "hard" setting in there, change it back to automatic and see if you have any improvement. Also, where is it? across two disks? check you have enough room on your OS disk for the pagefile to work as it should.


                    4) Check the location of your Media Cache files. Think about trashing all the cache files for the project and see if that improves anything. Make sure that anything that Premiere will be accessing (the Media Cache Database, the cache files etc) is where it should be and not in some wierd place (like on a network share)


                    5) On the timeline, what display options do you have turned on? First frame/last frame? or "movie strip" view?


                    That's all I can think of for now... is the re-install looking more attractive??  ;-)



                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
                      John Wykes Level 1

                      Thanks Harm.  The last time I defragged was about two months ago -- at that time, as it always does, it said that I did not need to defrag, but I ignored it and defragged anyway.  I use C Cleaner but I can't remember how much space I recovered -- I just remember it went fairly rapidly.  I will certainly look to do a fresh install.

                      • 8. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
                        John Wykes Level 1

                        Hi Matt.  Wow, that's a lot to think about.  Yes, yes, yes, yes -- a fresh install IS looking more attractive!

                          I think I will do that -- I will have some time tomorrow.  Thank you for the advice.


                        • 9. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                          I would definitely have a look at PerfectDisk, which is a great defragger.

                          • 10. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
                            Karel Bata Level 1

                            So did it work?

                            • 11. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              I find the tips in this ARTICLE, when setting up my computer and especially for starting an editing session.


                              Hope that helps, and good luck,



                              • 12. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
                                John Wykes Level 1

                                Thanks everyone.

                                I hold about two or three positions so this is the first moment I have had since Sunday to sit down anywhere near my computer.  But I will certainly follow all the suggestions.  With the last two particular projects I worked on, I believe the scratch disks were on my OS drive and not my other drive, so I am assuming that this could have been most definitely the problem.  But I also plan to do a fresh install -- whenever I get a couple hours of time available, and it might be a while before that happens, given my crazy work situation.

                                • 13. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
                                  shooternz Level 6



                                  Clearing "temp" files regularly seems to be a good routine.


                                  I use the %temp% from the Explorer Search area method and delete everey single temp file folder except the current days ones.  I do this at least once a week.

                                  • 14. Re: Premiere Pro cs3 performance slow
                                    John Wykes Level 1

                                    I have followed all these excellent suggestions.  Had time today to really look long and hard at my computer.  A good deal of junk on there I did not need.  For the last two projects scratch disks were set for my OS drive and not my other RAID drive.  Done with those projects anyway, got rid of those, cleaned out all the junk, got rid of one or two programs I don't really need any more (one was Media Face for designing DVD inserts but I do that now with Illustrator, so got rid of that).  Made sure when I started my new Premiere Pro project that everything was going to the proper drive in terms of cache, previews, etc...  Now everything is zipping along very well.  My computer is happier now .  And so am I.  Thanks for all the suggestions.  So important for me (and for all of us, I guess) to remember the basics in terms of ongoing computer maintenance -- so good to have been given these reminders.  Thanks again.