If I had your problems, the first thing I would try is to disable your ant-virus and Matrox software.
Anti Virus was a bust, no change. Uninstalling Matrox utilities and drivers did improve the performance though. Hmm, now to figure out what's borked with Matrox as it's kind of essential in the system. Anyone run into this before?
Only Matrox users. Anything Matrox is best used for the purpose it was designed for, as a doorstop.
Check the Matrox forums.
There are some Matrox files that cause problems with Adobe programs.
Also, make sure you are running 5.5.2. There are fixes for 3rd party I/O vendors.
Well I'm running 5.5.2, that was my first try at fixing things. I've posted in the Matrox boards so hopefully I'll get an answer there. It's kind of frustrating; I can uninstall the Matrox software and Premiere works just fine, unfortunately I loose my IO, program monitor and the encoding accelleration I bought the thing for. Right now I seem to have IO, monitor and a 500lb anchor I'm dragging behind me performance wise.
I have Matrox AXIO running very well with PP CS5.5.2 so it is possible. Make sure you have the latest Matrox drivers.
Well, I'm getting there with Matrox support. The horribly slow response seems to largely be corrected by disabling surround sound in the encoder as detailed here:
"If you find that switching the export format in the Export Settings dialog
box sometimes takes a long time, such as when you switch from Microsoft
AVI to MPEG2-DVD, rename the SurCodeWrapper.vca file on your system
(for example, rename the file to SurCodeWrapper.vca.bak). This file is
usually installed by Adobe Premiere Pro in the following folders:
$ \Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CS5\MediaIO\codecs\
$ \Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Media Encoder CS5\MediaIO\codecs\
Be aware that after renaming the SurCodeWrapper.vca file, you won't be able
to export audio to SwCode Dolby Digital, but you will still be able to export
audio to Dolby. (Ref# 55279 and Adobe Ref# 2603943)".
Fortunately I don't have need for surround sound, I'm not really thrilled with having to eliminate it as an option though. I'm still having a few other issues; hopefully I'll get to the bottom of them as well. Oh, I found MAJOR problems with the latest Nvidia drivers causing complete corruption of the video screens. Rolling back to version 280.26 solved those issues.
I can uninstall the Matrox software and Premiere works just fine
That was my experience as well. Which is why we need a proper monitoring solution that does not require third party hardware or codecs. Please join in:
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The SurCode fix should provide immediate results with Media Encoder performance, as far as switching formats. I've not known the SurCode issue to actually slow down rendering though, there is something else going on there.
It's my suspicion that Matrox hardware perhaps does not get along with some hardware RAID controllers. We build a ton of workstations with Adobe and Matrox, and either use an external RAID solution like G-Tech for instance, or just a Windows RAID 0 stripeset, and have no issues, they just work.
Anti-virus is NOT recommended on any NLE machine, but if you must, I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials. Besides being FREE, it doesn't seem to bog the system like other apps do, and you can tell it not to check certain files and apps, so for instance you could turn off Premiere and .avi file checking to keep it from messing with the editing.
With Matrox, a few things to check. Right-click in Premiere Program monitor window and set Playback Resolution to FULL, same for Preview window. In Prefs, Player should be set to Matrox, not Adobe. I have a simple Core i7 -2600 machine with 8GB RAM and GTX 470, with CS5.5 and MXO2 Mini and it screams, so with your beefy hardware it should be flying!
Also, have you mesed with any Matrox checkboxes, like "Maximum Bit Depth" or 10-bit or anything? Defaults are usually the best, checking boxes can bring on the misery if you don't know what they are for.
Safe Harbor Computers
In addition, you might as well permanently disconnect any NLE-equipped PC from the Internet (and not even connect it at all even to update the programs): There are hundreds of trillions of malware floating around there which will completely destroy any unprotected PC enough (in as little as one picosecond) to require either a painful complete reinstall or spending an astronomical amount of money just for hardware replacement. In fact, you might as well not even connect any NLE-equipped PC to any network that has at least one of its clients connected directly to the Internet. And no hardware firewall on any router can block anywhere near enough malware to even minimize, let alone prevent, such destruction. Without that antivirus, it has happened to one of my systems more than several hundred times just within the past year.
And yes, uncontrolled, unrestricted malware infestation will destroy system performance even more than any antivirus program will.
A better solution would be to temporarily disable any running antivirus programs (such as auto-scans and auto-updates) and temporarily disconnecting the PC from the Internet or network while running an NLE.
Disconnecting from my LAN would be problematic in that several machines have files shared with the editor and vice versa... Lightwave for example is on a separate machine and most of my Photoshop stuff is on a third. All machines are clean and checked daily for infection... at about 3AM so it doesn't try while I'm working. If I suspect something I'll run Malwarebytes (in manual mode). So far in the last 10 years I've only had one virus get through on my personal machine and nothing has hit any of the business ones.
I do have a hardware firewall on the LAN and I don't let Avira AV scan files while I'm editing. I've used Avira free on my last 2 systems without any issues (one Avid Liquid and the other Premiere CS2). I certainly wouldn't trust Norton or McAffee to walk the dog, let alone protect a machine... too much bloatware.
Jeff, I'm not totally sure what issues I still have; I'll find out this week as I get started on a project though. (Fortunately no clients present so I've time to work out any lingering bugs... if I had to do it in front of clients I'd probably use the old machine.) I did notice that disabling the SurCode solved the load issue anyway... my project with roughly 200 hours of XDCAM footage in several Bins loads in ~45 seconds or so. Of course there's nothing yet on the timeline; that will probably slow things down some. Oh, I'm not using any of the "max bit depth" settings and wasn't at the time I rendered out those bluray disks. Maybe it's my imagination on the slowdown (once things actually opened) but it did take more than real time to encode a 45 minute bluray disk. This was before I disabled the SurCode; hopefully that solved the issue. Bottom line is that the system seems to function now, I'll know if anything else is out of whack as I actually start using the machine.
On RAID I simply do not trust RAID 0 for anything; I've lost days of work before due to a failure on a RAID 0 setup so I always use RAID 5 for safety. I assumed that the Intel card would work as I've used an earlier model in my old Avid Liquid system with no problem and it was faster than an E-Sata external. With 5 - 2TB drives for storage the odds of a RAID 0 failure don't seem appealing.
Also, keep in mind that RAID 5 requires the use of an expensive discrete hardware RAID card for best performance. This can increase the total cost of a 5-disk RAID 5 drive subsystem to at least $1,400 (if the typical RAID card costs $600 and the average 1TB hard drive costs $160 due to the short supply and the flooding in Thailand). Onboard Intel ICH SATA RAID controllers are seriously limited in both capacity and performance: In a typical system with a non-RAID OS drive and a SATA internal optical drive, you'd be limited to a maximum of only four hard drives outside of the requisites - and then, the real-world performance of such an array on the onboard ICH would be substantially slower than a single non-RAID drive due to the excessive latencies within the ICH RAID controller.
I have an Intel LSI MegaRaid SATA raid controller and 5 2TB drives in the machine; fortunately the drives were purchased before the flooding and subsequent price rise. I actually bought the components in early September and nailed the machine together... then we were on the road until around the first of November so I didn't get the chance to fully test everything until now.
Right now I wouldn't buy hard drives unless I had no choice; those drives have tripled in price since I bought them. Now if only my stock portfolio would do the same I'd be a happy camper