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Yes, many, many people have trouble with OpenGL. I recommend leaving it off if you suspect that iy's causing problems. I only use OpenGL for the OpenGL - Interactive Fast Preview mode. It's a low-fidelity preview renderer even when it's working, so you don't miss much by turning it off.
Also, Avast has been implicated in some serious problems with Premiere Pro. Basically, the securty software is aggressively monitoring every write operation, so it introduces very large lags in some interactions. I don't recall anyone reporting the same problem in After Effects, but we had a big thread about this on the Premiere Pro forum recently. In general, it's a good idea to turn off software like this while you're working. Of course, that can leave your computer vulnerable if it's connected to the Internet at the same time, which is one reason that people don't leave their workstation connected to the Internet and instead use an accessory laptop or somesuch for things like email and browsing the web while working.
Thanks Todd. Very helpful info there.
I've been running with the network connection shut off, I empty the cache often, usually manually to get everything, and I replaced Avast with the Microsoft virus thing, which I turn off when in AE.
I'm still crashing, but not as much. I think it's a video card thing. I seem to notice that whenever something else is running, like Photoshop, my 3D software, Premiere, Illustrator, something that might want to cache an image on the GPU, it can crash. As if it's competing for resourses on the video card with the other programs. The real pisser is that none of my other software ever has this kind of issue; even other Adobe software. It's been driving me nuts for many years.
I've got an nvidia quadro fx 4800 with 1.5 GBs of video ram onboard, and my machine has 24 gigs of regular ram on the mb.