A couple of observations:
With a 64-bit OS, the installed RAM is just enough to run the OS. Can you expand the RAM?
The 5400 RPM HDD's will not be very helpful for Video. 7200 RPM is highly recommended.
Now, have you updated your nVidia driver to the very latest, from the nVidia Web site? While doing that, I would also update the audio driver too.
This ARTICLE has a checklist for getting one's PrE to run the best. It then goes into some tuneup steps for the computer and the OS. Last, it has links to help troubleshoot issues.
You don't say what model of camcorder your video is coming from or if it is true AVCHD or only MP4, but that can make a huge difference. Also, a lot depends on how well matched your source video is to your project settings.
When you add your clips to your timeline, does a red line appear along the top of the timeline? If so, this is an indication that you're not using the correct project settings for your video.
Also, when you do add effects or transitions and you see red lines above your clips, press Enter to render the timeline. This will keep the program operating at peak performance.
Thank you both for your responses. I worked through Bill's list and found some outdated drivers and such. Still no change. :-\ My project setting is NTSC > DSLR > 1080p > DSLR 1080p24. I had the wrong settings at first but it automatically changed the project when added my first clip to the timeline. All my video was shot by a Canon DSLR and is 1920 x 1080 H.264 video in a .MOV container. The red line is not present when I add clips; only when I add effects, fades, etc. I tried making sure the timeline was always rendered when moving around as Steve suggested but no change.
Here's a screen capture showing my problem: http://youtu.be/y3z2Vgjlx1U?hd=1
Regarding Bill's observations: I would like more RAM but I don't have the budget for it right now. However, as you can see in the video, the amount of free RAM never dips below 1.3GB even with the screen reader running so I don't think my timeline problem is RAM related. Likewise, I agree that my 5400 RPM drive is not the best (I do notice it's a bit slow when importing and conforming video), however I have it attached via eSATA and CrystalDiskMark benchmarks it at about 140 MB/sec read and write, which is faster than my system drive (which comes in around 115 MB/sec). I feel like if the drive was causing this then the unrendered preview would be sluggish as well, but it runs great, as do all the other feautres I've used so far.
Any other ideas about what the problem might be. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
I agree with Bill. The slower drive could be the bottleneck.
The second drive is installed internally, right? If so, have you gone into your system BIOS to ensure that the drive is set up there as well as in your operating system? Setting your drive up correctly in your BIOS can double or even triple its performance.
Actually the second drive is in an external enclosure connected via external SATA. I'll take a look in the BIOS when I have a chance and see if there are any options for the eSATA port. If the drive really is the problem then I guess I'll just have to live with it as the external drive is already faster than my system drive as I mentioned before (and this is definately _not_ a good time to buy hard drives).
I'm a little more inclined to think that it's a weakness in PE because I've tried out 3 or 4 other editors on this same hardware and footage and their timelines were nice and snappy. I still like PE the best of the ones I tried so I think I'll stick with it. Thanks again for your time. Hopefully someone will come along who had the same exact problem.
The eSATA should not be an issue, though the RPM for the drive in that enclosure can be.
As for some NLE programs, working more quickly, some use intermediate CODEC's, where Adobe NLE's edit the footage natively. That can make a difference, but not sure if that is what is happening.
Good luck, and if PrE is not the right NLE for you, and for your footage, I would go with one that works best with that footage and your computer. That is one of the beauties of doing the trials.
I found the solution!! A poster on this thread: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4142480 suggested the following
If you go to Control Panel > System and Security > System and click "advanced system settings", In the advanced tab click the "Settings...." button in the performance section. Untick the last option "use visual styles".
It looks horrible, but premiere will now run smootly for you. (maybe)
And that totally solved the problem for me. The timeline is nice and snappy now. Not sure if PE or Microsoft is more to blame on this one.
Update: I tried turning of everything in the performance section and it improved the performance of the timeline even more. My Windows 7 UI is hideous but editing will be significantly more enjoyable now.
Incidentally, Bill, you have some great guides for how to prepare your computer to edit video, and it might be worth adding a section about disabling all the eye candy that the more recent versions of Windows come with if you don't mention this already. Even if only a few people have my specific problem, it takes one more thing out of the mix when someone's trying to troubleshoot PE. Just my $0.02.
That can definitely boost performance by directed power from aesthetics to your program, bulysses. But with an i7 processor, Windows 7 64-bit and 4 gigs of RAM, it shouldn't be necessary. (Maybe more RAM would help.) Turning off visual styles is usually only necessary on marginal computer systems -- not quad cores like yours!
I'd be much more inclined to find a bottleneck in that 5400 rpm hard drive. (7200 rpm is today's standard.)
But if the tweak works, it works. That's all that matters.
Yeah I agree it shouldn't make a difference on this machine and 7200 rpm is definately the way to go. However, I forgot to mention that I was able to upgrade to a 7200 RPM drive last week and it made no difference on the timeline issue. :-\ Oh well. Thanks again for your responses.
Im new here, regarding this sluggish subject with elements. How come I can run the trial version of Premier Pro and its fine But Elements is pointless jerky and slow. Is it not that Elements is buggy.
I would like to buy as its a lot cheaper than Pro, but it doe not seem very good. Do you this its just the trial version?
That's not an easy question to answer, paggy, without knowing what model of camcorder your video is coming from, what format and resolution the video is, which settings you're using in your Premiere Elements project, which operating system you're running, how fast your computer's processor is, etc.
Premiere Elements runs at least as efficiently as Premiere Pro when it's working with camcorder video and is properly configured.
About the only aspect of PrPro, as of CS 5, that really affects Timeline performance is the MPE (Mercury Playback Engine), that functions on two levels - a software level, and then at a hardware level, if one has a certified, CUDA-capable nVidia video card, with updated CUDA and video drivers. This ARTICLE goes into more detail on MPE.
Both Premiere programs will benefit greatly, if one tunes up their computer and their OS.
For the issues that you are having with PrE, you might want to see this ARTICLE, and if nothing helps, then look at the link, downthread, on "Got a Problem... ?" and list the info requested in that article.
Now, I have not tested the 64-bit version of both Premieres against each other, but would suspect that they are very similar. As PrPro has a bit larger footprint, and requires slightly more resources, I would give the nod (remember, without the tests) to PrE, but that is discounting any acceleration via MPE.