20 Replies Latest reply on Apr 27, 2011 10:35 AM by educ8inokc

    Sluggish, stops while playing...

    AdvanceHD Level 1

      I'm a little frustrated with CS5 (and the same with CS4 before that)...I was so excited to see the Mercury Playback Engine in action! Perfect... or so I thought...


      I have spent the cash on the FX4800, beefed up the raid HDD (8x500 GB= 4 TB with speeds tested at 275MB/s read/316MB/s write). yet... It is nearly impossible to edit with!


      When I try to play the timeline (DVCPro HD 1080) it stops a few seconds along. and if there's a transistion at all it won't even go there... If I work in 720 I experience a similar thing except the timeline might play a few more seconds. Even in DV I run into problems similar to the above, the timeline might play all the way thru but if there's a transition it may stop.


      Even with the timeline rendered I experience these problems (rendering seems to crash the program pretty much everytime as well, both pre and post Win 7)


      So my system is:

      Dell T7400 with 2 x Xeon 3GHz proc.

      12 GB RAM

      4 TB HDD(8x500 GB)

      Quadro FX4800

      Blackmagic Extreme HD i/o

      HighPoint RocketRaid 2314

      Windows 7 64bit (I just went up from Vista 64 thinking windows 7 might improve the problem but it has not - I did a clean install too)


      It's driving me crazy. BTW I also have Avid Media Composer and, using the same media located in the same folder from the same hard drive, I don't have these issues at all - and there's no hardware assist from Avid either.  I do prefer much of the workflow that Adobe has but the performance so far is no where near as advertised (Mercury what? The whole reason I spent the thousands to get to this point)


      Anyway, if there are any suggestions/thoughts/tips/whatever that could improve my editing experience




        • 1. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
          shooternz Level 6

          The fact that you are having issues with DV is an indicator that something is seriously wrong in your

          system or setup.


          CS4 /CS5 easily manages DV,thru to DVCProHD


          The FX4800 and MPE should rip thru the material as if it aint even there.  (I am running 4K Red, mxf, DSLR footage, avi, mov, tga  seq without issue.  DV is a walk in the park)


          You need to get your entire system looked at.  It isnt the Ppro application.

          • 2. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
            the_wine_snob Level 9



            I agree with Craig. You should not have such behavior. Perhaps this ARTICLE can offer some tips?


            Good luck,




            BTW, exactly how do you have your HDD's set up and allocated for the workload? The more details, the better.

            • 3. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
              Harm Millaard Level 7
              beefed up the raid HDD (8x500 GB= 4 TB with speeds tested at 275MB/s read/316MB/s write).


              These numbers are highly disappointing. Of course the Highpoint controller, which is essentially a software controller, does not help, but this is far less than would be expected, unless you have opted for raid1 or raid10. What test did you use? HDTach?


              You may be helped with a separate boot disk for OS & programs and the raid for your projects and media.

              • 4. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                AdvanceHD Level 1

                Thanks for the responses.  Here's some more info that I see now would have been helpful:


                The RAID HDD's is just for projects, video, audio, etc. I have two internal sata for OS and Programs. so the drives are separate.  I have set the RAID as RAID 5 to obtain some redundancy in case of drive failure. I know that it could be faster with RAID 0.


                The tests I ran were the Blackmagic Disk Tests and the AJA disk tests (I don't have an AJA card but wanted the comparison, which were different but close to the same results).  I will try another test.


                Also, when I installed Windows 7 I started from scratch so that everything would be clean, fresh, etc...


                Thanks again for your comments, I really appreciate your time in responding. If you have any other suggestion, hints or thoughts I'd love to hear them.




                • 5. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  Paul, if you use HDTach to measure performance, I would expect figures around 450+, not in the 280 - 300 ballpark. If HDTach confirms these rather low figures, there have to be background processes that mess things up. Think about sidebar, indexing, compression, anti- whatever, and things like that.

                  • 6. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                    the_wine_snob Level 9



                    If Harm is correct on the programs/Processes stealing some of your speed, this ARTICLE might offer some tips.


                    Good luck,



                    • 7. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                      AdvanceHD Level 1

                      Thanks Harm, I will run those tests later today.


                      Thanks Hunt, I have that page now bookmarked and will go through those in depth.


                      Thanks Again!


                      • 8. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                        Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                        We had a similar issue on one of the systems I built.  Premiere CS5 was sluggish and crashing.  The reason had nothing to do with Premiere.  It turns out that a couple of the drives had MFT issues.  One of the drives was totally corrupted.  The source of the problem is, the guys that use this computer never do any maintenance on it.


                        Try going to "Computer", right click your drives one by one and go to "Properties" "Tools" "Error-checking" and click "Check Now".  For your drives other than your System "C", you can check, "Automatically fix file system errors".  Your "C" drive will require a restart.

                        • 9. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                          AdvanceHD Level 1

                          Thanks again for all who replied... I think I figured my situation out... the sequences I was using were Blackmagic Sequences. when I copy the entire timeline to a stock Premiere sequence (with the same settings, like DVCProHD) I have no problems... so it seems that the blackmagic decklink hd extreme card does not play nice with the Mercury Playback Engine.  In my research I read that others were having similar problems with the AJA cards as well... The biggest drawback was watching the video on an external hdmi monitor, in that you needed the blackmagic decklink sequence to do that.


                          So if someone has one oif these cards it may do them well to edit in a stock sequence and once done, if you need to send to tape then copy paste.

                          • 10. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                            AdvanceHD Level 1

                            So while it seems like I figured the issue out, here's the workaround to export your MPE timeline to tape:


                            I can work like a crazy man with MPE (using a PREMIERE sequence) and it works stunningly well!  many layers, very little rendering and there's no stalling or dropped frames. I love it!


                            But.. I then need to send it out to tape... so Decklink doesn't like what I've edited (on a DECKLINK sequence - I copy and paste from the premiere seq to the decklink seq) and it barely plays a frame or two.


                            If I export the entire sequence as a QT File (uncompressed) then bring it back in, it will play out the entire sequence. If I need to make any changes I need to export then re-import it again. A huge time waster if you ask me. So Adobe/Blackmagic/AJA/Matrox, etc need to fix this sooner than later.


                            If only there was some Magic in the BlackMagic card...

                            • 11. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                              Geoff Vane Level 1

                              On my system, quicktime seriously decreases stability and overal performance.

                              I did not believe it, until I removed QT.

                              • 12. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...

                                Here is the base issue


                                Please note: Dell workstations are not supported for use with Blackmagic Design capture cards.




                                Have 2 Dell T7500 Workstations using BlackMagic Decklink HD Extreme cards.  They worked....sort of, until I had a motherboard toast on me.  Card will not work at all now, evidently some changes in the new MB hardware.


                                Looking for alternate solutions myself...replacing the worksations is not an option right now.  New i/o cards may be.... possibly an AJA.

                                • 13. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                                  AdvanceHD Level 1

                                  Well, that is very interesting information... 1 Blackmagic Decklink Extreme HD card for sale! Works...well...


                                  Is there any info on AJA cards and Dell workstations. I've got way too much invested in my workstation to change for a lousy 1k card.

                                  • 14. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                                    educ8inokc Level 1

                                    Don't know yet.  Will post findings here.

                                    • 15. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                                      educ8inokc Level 1



                                      Looks promising.  At least the Dell T7400 and T7500 are listed specifically as supported systems.  Looks like on the 7400 it is going to depend on your other hardware and slot usage, but at least it is not definitely NOT supported like the BlackMagic decklink cards.


                                      Pretty sure that this is what we will try as a solution.  Will post results if/when I get a card and test.

                                      • 16. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                                        AdvanceHD Level 1

                                        And I will do likewise if I go down this road as well (very likely given the details above)



                                        • 17. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                                          Geoff Vane Level 1

                                          I doubt if any card works well with CS5.


                                          It's best to have an Adobe PC without any video signal card.


                                          1. Use a capture/playout PC to capture and view the images, preferably also without using any Adobe software.

                                          2. Then do your stuff on the Adobe PC.

                                          3. Transfer the mixdown of the video to your capture/playout PC, check the field order and print to tape (without Adobe) or deliver the file.


                                          For now, Matrox MXO2 is also unusable with CS5. Boris FX makes things even worse.

                                          My PC is extremely powerfull, so that can't be it, but it's very unstable.

                                          Manufacturers of cards and Adobe don't work hard enough to combine their products and they just blame eachother.

                                          It used to be quite nice semi-pro stuff for editing but forget that with any video hardware for the time being; it dropped to amateur level.

                                          I'm done trying to fix it or waiting for solutions; I just issue warnings for other users and buyers now.

                                          • 18. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                                            AdvanceHD Level 1

                                            Yes, likely true...


                                            What I have been doing is exporting a Uncompressed Quicktime and then reloading that into Premiere and exporting to tape from that... still the BM card may stop anywhere within that timeline while exporting to tape so it is very frustrating to have to babysit the process.


                                            I also have an Avid that I can export the QT file to tape however the process for HD (without spending 10k on their 'box') is still difficult as I then have to use firewire to the deck, assuming it has that option.

                                            • 19. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                                              educ8inokc Level 1

                                              ok here's my story (and I'm sticking to it).


                                              Ordering the Kona 3G card w/ breakout box.  Definitely going to be more expensive than the Blackmagic card, but if it works, hey.  BM card was ~ $995, AJA Kona3G w/ breakout box will run about $2200.  Will also have to change Graphics card to one supported by both the motherboard and Kona card...in my case it will be an Nvidia Quadro FX 1800 for an additional ~$400.  So it's going to run me about $2600 to "fix" the BlackMagic card by eliminating it.  Still cheaper than replacing the workstation, but should a nice editing station when finished.


                                              Will post an update once hardware arrives and is installed and in use.

                                              • 20. Re: Sluggish, stops while playing...
                                                educ8inokc Level 1

                                                OK, promised to get back...sorry it took so long. (adventures with Dell and 3 warrantied motherboards, but thats another story )


                                                Short story, the proposed solution works.  This workstation is finally performing like we thought it was capable of the whole time.  No more freezes and crashes.  No more dropped frames during simple timeline playback.  Encoding time has decreased dramatically.  Also upgraded to CS5 during the process (The Kona card is CS5 and up only).  The Nvidia Quadro FX 1800 performs great and adds some GPU performance.  Wish I could have afforded a card with more GPU but this is nice.


                                                Very satisfied now with the Kona/Nvidia/Dell configuration.