High end hardware, but Premiere Pro cc still slow, what gives?

First off, I would like to mention that there is a photography category, but not a video editing category.

I have been getting into video editing a bit. I started doing timelapses to go along with my photography. But I am constantly having scrubbing stutters and freezes when using Adobe Premiere Pro CC. I have the paid subscription so I am getting updates. Here is my hardware specs. Also I should mention that I just reinstalled the OS recently. So I shouldn't have any weird windows things. All of the drivers are up to date and installed correctly.

PC Specs:

  • i7-5930k (not-overclocked...yet.)
  • Gigabyte Windforce GTX 980 (also not overclocked, I don't game anymore)
  • Kingston Hyper X Predator 256GB M.2. (where the video files are and scratchdisk)
  • Samsung 840 EVO 256GB (OS drive)
  • other HDDs that aren't in use here
  • MSI X99 XPower mobo

So basically I shouldn't be running into too much of a bottleneck anywhere. Is there any special settings I should do in Premiere? I hardly know anything about the program. I do, however know tons about Lightroom and Photoshop.

I'm going to ask a question:
How much ram do you have 8 gigs? 16 gigs? 32 gigs? 64 gigs?

The reason I ask is because this can affect the rate at which your videos render in adobe premiere pro.

Hardware canucks has a video that does explain this pretty well:

This could be the only thing that I could think of at the moment that would affect adobe premiere pro.

oops, forgot to mention that. I don't have a lot, 16GB of ADATA 2800MHZ DDR4 in a 4x4 config. But I've been watching task manager and it hasn't really been eating it all. Sometimes when I do very large stitches in photoshop it will fill it up and slow down. I do kinda plan on getting another kit of 16.

16GB should be okay. I have that and I haven't ran into problems with adobe premiere pro, yet. I do have an older version though. I can think of anything else that would affect the programs speed.

are you working with high res pictures or 4k footage? My GoPro footage works a little faster, because its 1080p 60fps. But My Timelapses are 4896x3264 images in a sequence. I've been playing with 200-300 images. It's still the same when I go and click on the video on the timeline and go up to sequence and render selection. It renders it, but it makes no difference.

Is Premiere installed on this drive too?

Can you check the playback method that is being used (Mercury Playback is what you want) because the GPU help a lot on that.

The footage you have, can you describe it? What is the codec, bitrate, resolution. Do it break more on the timelapse sequence or with the GoPro videos? Because Cineform (GoPro Studio format) is "one of the best "to use on Premiere so no problems should come from that zone.

BTW for output check NVENC render, believe me it will save you tons of render output time.

Nope. My footage is is at 1920x1080 at 24fps.

So I've googled to see if others have run into slow response from adobe preimere pro cc. It does look like it's a common problem.

I have another theory, that I can test when I get home from work. I'll let you know what my theory was after I test it and have results to show what happened. It'll probably be tomorrow mourning when I'll be able to post the results.

Everything is default as far as settings go in Premiere. I looked an Mercury was checked. And Looking at my RAM usage on this project it looks like it is actually using a ton of ram. 11.8GB/15.9GB. The current project is all GoPro footage. I have a GoPro Hero 4 Silver. The first shot is a nested 40minutes in 4k 15fps that I sped up to 6000%. at the time I then realized that I wanted 1080p 60fps and changed the camera settings after that. so all the rest of the footage is in 1080. In premiere I took the footage and changed the sequence settings to 1080 and changed the 4k gopro clip to 50% scale to fit and then nested it, because it was also split up into 11min sections. It all seems decently smooth now. But its also hard to tell since I'm TeamViewer'd in from work so there is a definite slight lag in everything. I won't know fully until im infront of my screen. Before the images I was using were Fuji X-T1 RAW images that I edited in LR and exported to a folder as .jpg. The whole folder being about 1-2GB. I'm not sure what codecs that produces when I import as a sequence. but the res. is 4896x3264. I started with that so the whole sequence settings were in that res. until the end when I exported as 4k UHD (3840x2160). The Exports were relatively fast. But my whole projects were only like 1min long.

Try using "render in to out" option in the sequence tab, premiere creates uncompressed preview files on the scratch disk when you use that option, so unless you add a new video to the timeline everything will playback in real time, even if you cut something.
You could also lower the playback resolution to 1/2 or 1/4 and it should play in real time without any problems.

I actually just figured that out about the playback thing. I set it to 1/4. It was on full. I don't really mind the lower res playback and that has greatly increased the performance there. I wondered what the in to out option was. It's exactly what I thought it was but haven't tried it yet. Thanks for the tips!

What you need to do is put these files in an intermediate format, such as prores or cineform. Even with high end hardware, your computer will struggle with raw files. Rendering these images is CPU based, and while openCl and cuda (mercury playback engine) based solutions help a lot in certain types of editing, don't expect to max out your GPU encoding raw images. The storage speed is the main factor here. Once you have the footage in an intermediate, it should scrub a lot smoother. I encode my timelapses into Cineform 444 and have seen much better results editing the footage.

You could also work with a proxy, which is a smaller, compressed version of the sequence. When ready to render, switch back to the raw files

My workflow as follows

  1. Import sequence into lightroom. Pick an interesting frame and do basic adjustments to exposure and white balance, while keeping the image flat. Save these adjustments to the first frame in the sequence

  2. Import sequence into after effects, which will read the metadata from the first frame and apply to the rest of the sequence. Render this out to Cineform 444 at native resolution. This goes into my timelapses archive

  3. When ready to edit, pull clips into premier pro and color correct, grade, and export. Always a much smoother experience than working with 4k+ image sequences.

Just my 2 cents. I got Cineform ages ago for $300, but I think it may even be free now. Prores is nice if you have the means to encode it. Also look into DNXhd

I'll have to look into that. I have completely forgotten about encoding to a different format. I've heard of Cineform before too. I'm not a huge Linus fan but they did do a video not too long ago about making their scrubbing times better by encoding first and I think they used Cineform. One question tho. What is the process for importing into after effects? is there a export to..after effects option?
Currently my PC is frozen because I've used too much memory in premiere pro. I'm waiting on it to hopefully finish thinking so that I can go and change the playback to software only so that I can free up memory.

You do not have to use After Effects to convert file formats you can just bring your raw footage into Adobe Media Encoder or you can download a third party app like MPEG Stream Clip to do your file conversion.

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Well I was just exporting with lightroom to .jpg to a folder on my m.2. scratchdisk.

Nice, will it still apply your metadata saves? I have been doing it in AE since before media encoder was around, thanks for the tip

To import to AE just go file-import and select the first image in the sequence. Make sure to check the image-sequence box. As long as your files are ordered sequentially, it should import and behave like a video file.

But if Thanatopsis's method works, it will be one step easier. Just make sure your Raw edits are applied to the exported file

I have not tried it with CC 2015 or newer but it did with CC original and I think it did with Creative Suite 6 but I am a little fuzzy that far back.

I mainly end up working with finalcut due to the nature of our office Adobe is my fall back as it does somethings FCP 7 does not due in terms of Closed Captioning and Blu Ray creation