14 Replies Latest reply on Feb 14, 2012 3:33 PM by Stephen_Spider

    Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help

    MichaelMarkham Level 1

      Hi, I am a photographer and video editor. I built my computer about 15 months ago to work with CS5 and the Mecury Playback Engine. In the past few months it has been slowing down at an alarming rate. Over the holidays I created a video montage of pictures from my brother's wedding and Premiere kept stopping with an error that read something like 'Open GL driver failed' adding something about 'lack of memory'. I had to switch to software mode and avoid playing the timeline (to avoid rendering each photo, there were well over 100) so I could finish it in time. And now a project I am getting paid for will no longer play back smoothly. I get about 1 second of smooth video before it starts jumping and freezing all together. The audio continues but the picture does not. Here's what I have.


      Intel Core i7 950 (quad core) 3.07GHz

      12.0 GB Ram

      Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1 fully updated

      Nvidia GTX 470 w/ 1280 MB GDDR5

           current driver. 285.62

      C: 60GB SSD for system and programs 4.64GB free

      E: 300GB 10000 rpm 16MB cache VeliciRaptor Drive for Project files preview files/scratch disks and such 134GB free

      G: 1TB 7200 rpm 32MB cache Barracuda Drive for Assets 158GB Free

      I have 2 other drives but they are not used in this workflow.


      Page file = 36859MB automatically managed on drives C:, E:, and G:

      My Power Usage plan is set to High Performance.


      I am editing in Premiere Pro CS5.5.2 (003 (MC: 258762))


      The programs I have running in the background are: Realtek HD Audio Manager, NVIDIA Settings, Zone Alarm (security), Dropbox 1.1.45, Spyder3Utility, and as of today Spybot.


      The Project is a short 10-12 min Documentary type video. It's mostly interview footage with various B-roll interspersed. The main timeline I use is 4 video and 4 audio layers. The fourth layer in both is turned off to holding stuff. There is not much in them. Layer 1 is pieces of another timeline. That timeline consists of 2 layers of interview footage from 2 angles with a third audio track from the zoom recorder all synced and color corrected. I adjust opacity here to pick which camera angle to use, but cut this timeline together in my main timeline to minimize sync problems and added color correction steps.  In the main timeline, video layers 2 and 3 are B-roll. audio layers 2 and 3 include one short sound effect and a few pieces of music. Some of the music has been slowed or sped up to fit the timing needed. Premiere quickly renders that sound when I start up the project or make changes to those files in the timeline.


      All audio is either MP3 or WAV files.


      Most of the video is Canon DSLR footage (5D mkII, 7D, and 60D I believe). All 1920x1080 30p (a couple 24p by accident) there are some Jpegs, TIFFs, and one PNG file. Many of the pictures are housed in sub timelines with 2 layers. one with a moving picture and the other with a Gaussian blurred version in the background to fill the frame. There are some timelapeses that are of various sizes but nothing smaller than full HD. 2 are MP4 videos and the rest are quicktime.


      All my timelines are preset for DSLR footage at 1920x1080 30fps.


      Almost the entirety of my timeline has the little yellow line over it indicating that we should be hardware rendering this footage.


      A few things about how I have worked with this computer. I built it for CS5. When I first started using it, it was brilliant. Lately The whole computer has slowed, a lot. last week I uninstalled some extraneous programs and tweaked somethings. Most everything on the computer is now running back up to snuff. Premiere is not. It is too the point that I cannot edit and a new edit of the project is due this Friday. When I first started using this computer I got some noise from the GPU and CPU fans when I would load up a heavy duty project. That made sense it was making the computer work. Now I get almost no noise from either fan and the thing runs like crap when I am editing. This doesn't make sense to me. Has something changed with an update of Premiere that changes the way it leverages the hardware, cause I doesn't seem to be doing that at all. Or might I have unknowingly flipped a switch somewhere that changed that leverage. In the Project Settings the Video Rendering and Playback is still set to Mercury Playback Engine GPU Accelerated. On the same line I have noticed much less fan noise when rendering with Media Encoder. I can't say I've seen a huge hit in performance there, but it doesn't seem to be taxing the GPU like it used to.


      Please help if you can. I don't have time in my life to start the computer over with a fresh install on windows. Thanks so much.



        • 1. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          First thing I'd recommend is turning off ZoneAlarm, Dropbox and Spybot.  If that doesn't help, also include Spyder3Utility.

          • 2. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
            MichaelMarkham Level 1

            I will try when I get home tonight. I hadn't done that yet because when I check the system performance in Task manager, only somem 6GB of my memory is being used by anything including premiere when I am runing video. But they could be sucking cycles on the processor. However I am doubtful of this being a solution. The ammount to which premiere has slowed is intense. I'll repost when I get home tonight.

            • 3. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Hello Michael,


              I still worry about that free-space on the SSD, being so low.


              I would spread the Virtual Memory (Page File) over the D:\ and E:\, and also remove the dynamic management, opting for a fixed Page File size.


              Plus Jim's comments too (do those sound familiar? ).


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
                Jim Curtis Level 3

                MichaelMarkhamPhotography wrote:


                C: 60GB SSD for system and programs 4.64GB free


                I'm a Mac guy, but this sounds like a puny-sized boot disk at 60GB.


                I've found that the Mac OS performs best when there's over 50GB free on the boot disk.  This is because the OS needs lots of drive space free for Virtual Memory.  Your computer slowly getting slower seems to me to suggest your disk filling up.  Is it possible to move all your apps to your E drive?

                • 5. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
                  the_wine_snob Level 9



                  It's not much different on the PC side of the street.


                  Now, if it were a HDD, and not an SSD, then performance would be taking a hit, when the fill-level reached about 70% of capacity, and then decline as the fill-level increases.


                  Other than programs and OS, I would try to not use the SSD for anything else, including the Windows Virtual Memory's Page File, though I have to freely admit that I am not an expert on SSD's.


                  Just some thoughts,



                  • 6. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
                    MichaelMarkham Level 1

                    So I've done everything you said. It's not helping. I moved my page files to E:\ and G:\ drives. my C:\ (which I only use for system and programs, and It's only 60GB cause that's what I could afford then) has 16 gb free now. I shut down everything I could and the only thing Premiere will play smoothly is a source video in the source monitor. Even the section of the Timeline that I forced rendered a preview file for doesn't play perfectly. It plays well, but It should play perfectly being a preview and it doesn't. I'm telling you I haven't heard my graphics card kick it up a notch in months. I feel like Premiere is no longer leveraging my GPU. What on earth would cause that? Should I try a fresh install of my Master Collection?  Thank you all for your help.



                    • 7. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
                      Stephen_Spider Level 3

                      "'Open GL driver failed' adding something about 'lack of memory'."


                      I see this happen when users are using a lot of hi rez photos.


                      You might adjust the image sizes in photoshop or other program to only as big as you need them and no more. Otherwise, you need a gpu with more memory.


                      For example, there is a lady doing a ken burns type project at our place. The system has a GTX 480 w/ 1.5 GB Memory. If She uses photos with motion that are over say 3200 X 4400 pixels, her project will crash from time to time, same "'Open GL driver failed' adding something about 'lack of memory" deal.

                      But, to be clear, the program runs MPE hardware totally smooth if the pics stay under Xxxx by 3000 pixels (neither W or H pixel count over 3000).


                      Win 7 64bit

                      CS 5.03

                      12 gb ram

                      core I7 980

                      1 TB  7200 rpm SATA system drive

                      2 TB raid 0 7200 rpm SATA media drive

                      • 8. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
                        Stephen_Spider Level 3

                        Also, G is too full. You don't want your media drive over 75% full.


                        Is this where you are housing your video? Not clear if you are using MPE Hardware on the current project.


                        How big is this project?

                        • 9. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
                          MichaelMarkham Level 1

                          Yes I am using MPE Hardware on the current project. I realized the correction with the picture sizes on the project for my brother's wedding, but too late to have time to resize everything. Now that I am learning more about the problem those seem to be seperate issues (the open GL problem and what is happening with my current project.)


                          Here's some new information. 2 weeks ago. on teh 10th. The client for this current project sat with me and we discussed and edited the project together. Premiere and this project ran fine. there were some hicups on the huge timelapes files, (but that is to be expected since they are so large and I don't have a raid set up for my source disk.) and when there were more complex fades/layers/effects the playback would skip a bit, easily solved by puasing the video for a second and then continuing. Nothing that terribly intterupted the flow of work.


                          Since then, I have installed in this order: Nvidia driver update (This was when I was having trouble with my brother's project), acrobat x update, some PC Tune up software (cause the rest of my system was not working terribly well), Google talk plugin, Flash player 11 64bit, uninstalled and reinstalled my zone alarm firewall (this was after the problem with Premiere presented itself), And Spybot Search and Destroy.


                          I handn't touched this project since the last time the client sat with me, so I'm thinking it was the pc tune up software that may have broken some adobe registry entries. it backed up my older registy to I'll try and resore that and report back.



                          • 10. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
                            Jim Curtis Level 3

                            I see nobody has suggested you delete your preferences.  I do that whenever any app, not just Pr, starts acting strangely.  I think with Pr on Windows you launch with the shift key held down.  If that's wrong, somebody please correct me.  I use a program on Mac called Preference Manager to keep good copies of preferences, because they get corrupted so easily on FCP especially, and also Ae.




                            Here's another general rule I employ, when Pr (or any NLE) starts behaving badly.  It could be you have some corrupt media, which will cause your app to hang or quit, which you haven't described, but I suppose it could just bog things down.


                            Load a totally different project with totally different media.  Does Pr work fine now?  If so, your problem project may be corrupted, or it may contain corrupt media.


                            Make four copies of your sequence.  Delete all but the first 1/4 of your sequence in the first copy.  Now, does Pr work better?  If so, great!  You've just determined the issue is in the last 3/4 of your sequence. 


                            Now, delete the first quarter, and last half from the second copy.  And so on.  Repeat this until you've found the section that causes your problem.  Then subdivide that section until you've isolated the problem footage.  Remove or replace that footage item with a non-corrupt version.  Or, learn to live without it, or try transcoding it to another format, etc.




                            You also mentioned that you're using Nested Sequences, right?  These have been a problem for me in a few projects, mostly with exporting, but worth a shot maybe:  Render out the nested sequences to a lightly or uncompressed codec, and replace the nested sequences with the rendered file. 


                            This is a long shot, but hey, you've got to start using the process of elimination to get to the root of your problem.




                            If Pr works lousy no matter what project or footage you load, that suggests there's something wrong with the install of Pr, or some other OS, virus, hardware or driver related issue.




                            I'm throwing a lot of ideas out there, and here are some more: 


                            Open your Task Manager, and rig it so you can see the CPU performance.  Are your meters clipping, or running at full bore?  If so, your CPU may be having trouble keeping up with all the Long-GOP decoding you have going on.


                            Transcode your MP3 to WAV, and replace in the Timeline. 


                            Transcode your Long-GOP material to an intraframe codec, and replace.  A lot of Windows users use Cineform.


                            I'm fixating on your remark that when you started, things were "brilliant," but have since bogged down.  That's why I was thinking VM, and also I can see how your continuously adding elements to the Sequence are slowly causing more challenges for the CPU and GPU.


                            I'm looking forward to your fixing this, and letting us know how you did it.

                            • 11. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
                              MichaelMarkham Level 1

                              Jim Thanks so much for all the great suggestions. I tried several of them. I loaded a simple project with 2 assets in total. It ran ok but not great. And thing (change in opacity even) other than simply playing a single video in the timeline got choppy. I tried adding some effects (all which are gpu accelerated) and it got worse. I then went back to my main project and tried running it in software only mode. It was worse, but there's the thing, not much worse than in GPU accelerated mode. And in general Premiere is very unresponsive. I can't even scrub through sections of the timeline that have been force rendered. When I hit play, it takes at least 2 seconds to play. When I scrub it takes 2-3 seconds to catch up to where I've dropped the time indicator.


                              So It's not corrupt media, cause it acts like this no matter what.


                              I tried encoding the m4p sound files to wave. no help. I have a few GOP sections but they run a tiny bit better than the video sections currently so I dont' see a point in transcoding them.


                              Before this happend in the last 2 weeks the onlytime Premiere hiccupped was with large bit rate or large pixel video files. And I always figured that was because my HDD's weren't fast enough to keep up. I still believe that, cause this is a global problem as far as Premiere is concerned.


                              Is there a way to "repair" an install of the Master Collection? I think I should try that before I do a fresh install of windows and the whole shebang.


                              Jim, I am looking forward to fixing this as well.


                              I'll keep you updated. I welcome anymore ideas.




                              • 12. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
                                Islanders66 Level 1

                                C: 60GB SSD for system and programs 4.64GB free

                                E: 300GB 10000 rpm 16MB cache VeliciRaptor Drive for Project files preview files/scratch disks and such 134GB free

                                G: 1TB 7200 rpm 32MB cache Barracuda Drive for Assets 158GB Free



                                Is there a reason you preview files are on the the E: and not the G: ?


                                In the basic drive set up for 3 disk the preview in the scratch disk preferece should be on the G: which makes sense not to have it on the same drive as the project.



                                • 13. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
                                  MichaelMarkham Level 1

                                  Dear Jim, Stephen, Bill, and Islander,


                                  Thanks so much for all your help. Here was my solution. Though I never really discovered the problem.


                                  I couldn't make anything work, so I did a clean install of windows and all my programs. Lots of fun, but part of the reason I organized my computer the way I did with a small SSD as the root drive for windows and programs was to quickly be albe wipe and start over with minimal backup information mining off the drive I was wiping. So after reinstalling and updating most everything Premiere is running very good again. I say very good, not incredible. But I must admit that is a little prejudicial as my initial amazement at how well Premiere ran when I first built this computer must have been greatly influenced by how much better it was than my old rig.


                                  Premiere is now running up to snuff, especially with simpler projects. For the complex project I was working on it turns out that we had to go back to hacking apart the story and with so much raw editing to do, I turned off the color correction in my nested sequence which keeps it running nice and smooth. I can quickly turn it back on later after we get picture lock. But its nice to know that job is done.


                                  On a side note, while I was reinstalling windows I checked some settings in the bios and noticed that the CPU (intel core i7 950) was running at 90 degrees Celcius. Way to hot. apparently my stock heat sink had begun to fail. And I think, but I can't be sure, that may have been contributing to my slow in performance. So I have installed a new CoolMaster and took the opportunity of digging into the box to add 12 GB more ram.


                                  So I am back up and running and have been since a few days after the last flurry of posts. (I had some catching up to do). Thank you all so much for your help. I have one finaly question. I have done the windows re-install several times in my life and have gotten pretty good at getting the information that needs getting before I format to get programs up and running again afterward. I neglected in my haste to back up my preferences/presets in my Adobe Suite. Is there a quick or simple way to save/export your presets and setting in the Master Collection CS5.5 so when something like this happens I don't have to rebuild all the little things?




                                  • 14. Re: Premiere has slowed to a crawl. Please Help
                                    Stephen_Spider Level 3

                                    ".. I turned off the color correction in my nested sequence which keeps it running nice and smooth"


                                    I assume that you are using the fast or 3-way color corrector which are GPU accellerated. I never have playback issues with that. You can see my specs up in the thread. You may open task manager and look to see what is actually happening when you have playback issues.