> Is it possible that RAM previewing while I'm using another app (e.g., Photoshop) is resulting in the frames being written to swap disk or elsewhere so that they're being re-read into RAM when I actually try to play it?
Yes. That is possible.
Be sure that you're reserving enough RAM for other applications.
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Disk caching is disabled in the AE Prefs, but...?
Normal system swap behavior. Your OS doesn't discriminate between different types of "memory" - virtual and physical is pretty much the same to it, but some apps liek AE are dependent on physical RAM. In your case you will probably have to restrain Photoshop quite a bit so it doesn't consume all your memory...
Thanks, that's what I figured.. Kind of strange that AE defines memory usage in terms of how much to "leave" for other apps, not how much to limit AE to.
> Kind of strange that AE defines memory usage in terms of how much to "leave" for other apps, not how much to limit AE to.
The thought is that you'd want to calculate how much other applications need and then leave the rest for After Effects.