The amount of memory to edit and play the timeline is not proportional to the length of your media.
Thaks, Bill. So you're saying when I import new clips into the project the memory load does not increase, but when I add portions of clips to the timeline it does. Right?
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Here is the best way for you to see your memory usage. CTRL-ALT-DEL to get to the Task Manager. In Task Manager open the Performance Tab. Go to the bottom and select Resource Manager. In Resource Manager select the Memory Tab and you can see how much memory you are using in real time and which processes are using it. Also watch for hard faults, this is when you run out of memory and the OS pages out to the page file (this is what you are trying to avoid as it slows down everything). Here is an example when running the new PPBM5 during MPEG2.DVD encoding (not your playing the timeline, but it was handy and shows zero paging). This my i7-980 at 4.2 GHz with 18 GB of RAM with a quite well tuned OS, I think that it was about 38 total processes running during this encode run directly from AME (Premiere was closed)