Poor playback/preview performance - how much better can I make it?

Contributor ,
Mar 17, 2021 Mar 17, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Please help me set my expectations.  Last year I bought a new PC - a Lenovo P520 Thinkstation with an Intel Xeon W-2255 CPU, 64G RAM, 1 TB SSD and a Quadro RTX-4000 video card.   And I've been disappointed in the preview/playback performance while editing.   It stutters badly and many times it seems to only show maybe every 5th or 8th frame!  (the audio seems unaffected)

 

I'm only editing 1080p, not 4K.   But I do lots of slo-mo where I shoot at 60 fps or 120 fps and then playback with the Speed/Duration set to playback at 24 fps.   That's actually not what seems to kill performance the worst.  I also usually have some video effects layers - brightness/contrast, color-correction (HLS), and maybe some stylize attribute -  typically no more than 3 or 4 attributes per clip - but adding those on brings it to its knees.    The other big killer is Neat Video noise reduction - that chokes the daylights out of it.

 

I'm already using GPU Acceleration (CUDA).   I've tried reducing the playback resolution to 1/2 but that only helps a little and doesn't look as sharp.   1/4 looks awful so I'm not going there.

 

What are my options here?  Some people have suggested a separate dedicated SSD scratch disk.   How big a difference will that make?   More RAM?  Are there tools to figure out where the bottleneck is?   If I was willing to throw lots of money at this, would it be possible to buy a PC from a mainstream maker that wouldn't have this problem?   I want to start editing 4K but with this much trouble at 1080p that looks like a long shot.

Thanks in advance.

 

TOPICS
Editing, Hardware or GPU, Performance

Views

201

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines

correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Adobe Employee , Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021
Hi Peter, Sorry for the performance issues. Unfortunately, the most important component for video editing is the CPU, especially when considering the format you seem to be working with H.264.Xeon processors are not very good for video editing H.264 since Quick Sync is not available for decoding and encoding the footage. Quick Sync is vital for decoding and encoding H.264. The GPU can also work for this too, but just not as well. If you want better performance right now, set up the transcode at i...

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate
Enthusiast ,
Mar 17, 2021 Mar 17, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

1) What is the color of the timeline render bar, red or yellow? It's expected to have many dropped frames for any 'red part' of the timeline. To get maximum performance follow these tips : Order of filters/effects and drop in CUDA-rend... - Adobe Support Community - 10510537

2) Regarding slo-mo, I recommend to use this workflow: STOP Interpreting Your Footage for Slow Motion in Premiere Pro! - YouTube

3) Regarding NeatVideo, it's also sensitive to the order of effects: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VT6BK15wAA

Also, I suggest you to try this denoiser, it's very fast: Free Video Denoiser. How to reduce video noise, remove grain, HQ noise reduction, tutorial - YouTube

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Enthusiast ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

@peternelson .. and a few more things to try:

4) Try Preferences > Audio Hardware > Default Input => select "No Input"

5) Reset workspace: Window > Workspaces > Reset to saved layout
6) Try on/off "Mercury Transmit" option (Preferences > Playback > Enable Mercury Transmit)
7) Make sure that NVidia G-Sync/ AMD Freesync is off in driver control panel
8) Make sure you are using NVidia 'Studio' driver and not 'Game ready' one

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Contributor ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thanks!   I'll try these and report on my results!  If they make a significant difference I'll marke this as the correct answer, but it may take a few days to get back on this.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

More RAM will not help. That being said if you are editing H.264 some variations of H.264 can bring a 24 core CPU to it's knees. The new Intel six core consumer CPU should support more variations of h.264 and play it back with ease. The Apple M1 chip already does this.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

What is de codec of your footage?

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Contributor ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

What is de codec of your footage?

 

I have a whole bunch of different cameras I use - two Nikon 800-series DSLRs; a Z7 (and next month a new Z6 II!), a GoPro, a cellphone, and a Canon XA-20.   In addition to that I also sometimes shoot with an Atomos Ninja, taking 10-bit output through a LUT.   So the sw that generates the files are all over the map.     So I don't want to try to optimize for a specific one.   The footage in the video I'm editing at the moment was from a mix of D810 shot at 60 fps and Z7 shot at 120 fps; some of it was .mp4 files and some of it was .mov files.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Employee ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Peter,

I think that with this computer, you actually do want to optimize for a specific filetype. I would shoot for any smart rendering codec, personally.

 

Mixing formats and using any Long GOP H.264 is going to be painful (especially from a Nikon camera). Transcode or create proxies is the only way to go for your setup, I'm afraid.

Keep in mind that after exporting your sequence, you can delete these files that are "all over the map" afterward. No harm, no foul.

 

Thanks,
Kevin

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
LEGEND ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

There are a couple of reasons why:

 

  • Your Intel CPU does not have QuickSync capability whatsoever. In fact, it is based on LGA 2066 that does not have integrated graphics at all (nor does that platform support an IGP at all). It is a version of the i9-10900X that we deemed to be a very poor value even when it became officially available.
  • Even though the Quadro RTX 4000 is of a resonably newer GPU architecture, NVDEC (not to be confused with NVENC or CUDA) in even the most powerful Nvidia GPUs still lags behind QuickSync in even the cheapest Intel IGP-equipped CPU for playback of AVC (H.264) material although NVDEC does a better job than QuickSync with the playback of HEVC (H.265) material. What's more, NVDEC's H.264 playback support is limited to 4:2:0 color space. 4:2:2 H.264 material cannot be decoded via NVDEC at all and therefore must be handled entirely in software-only mode (in the case of your system).

 

In other words, your Lenovo workstation isn't all that powerful, especially for the price that you paid for it.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Every time I read your responses I'm amazed at the level of technical understanding you have of computer hardware.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Enthusiast ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

@Graeme Bull Why you marked the topic as 'solved' ?  Should not we get confirmation from @peternelson  first?

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

The computer is underpowered. This is the solution to this particular problem. Confirmation isn't always required from users, especially if they are under the impression they bought a good computer and clearly they didn't and as such won't likely be able to confirm much of anything outside of that performance sucks and there is nothing they can do about it other than maybe a rebuild of the computer or a new one.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Enthusiast ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

@Graeme Bull  Xeon W-2255 CPU, 64G RAM, 1 TB SSD and a Quadro RTX-4000 video card is underpowered for 1080p editing ??  Sorry, but that's just ridiculous

 

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

It is for Premiere. Anyways, have a good day.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Employee ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Basil,

Here's my take: it's not necessarily underpowered for 1080p editing - it's underpowered for editing 1080p H.264. If the footage were any non-Long GOP codec, it's going to cut video just fine. 🙂

 

Randall indicates the GPU is not up to snuff or decoding and encoding H.264 adequately, so there's that, as well. I would definitely make sure that the GPU is functioning properly though, with fresh NVIDIA studio drivers.

 

Thanks,
Kevin

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Contributor ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Exactly.  This should not have been marked the correct answer.  Because the question was not "what's wrong with the current setup"; it was what can I do to improve it, and how much of an improvement can I expect?

 

The only person who should be allowed to mark something as the correct answer should be the original poster!

    

As I said earlier, I'm perfectly willing to build/buy a more powerful PC but I need to know what specific features or attributes would be needed to get a substantial improvement, and how much of an improvement I could expect.    To do that would probably require a way to see where the bottlenecks are,   The allegedly "correct" answer didn't address any of those.

 

I want to stick to the Intel Xeon line because it supports ECC which is required for other tasks this PC does, but if a higher Xeon processor has architecural features that would result in a dramatic speedup, I'm happy to pay for that.   What I don't want to do is pay thou$ands for a different CPU or motherboard only to get a 20-30% speeedup because of memory-bus bandwidth limits or SSD read-speed limits, or cache-conflict because the scratch disk uses the same SSD as the raw data files, etc, etc.   So I need to know where I'll get the biggest bang for the buck and how big a bang it will be.

 

And as Basil1891 points out, my current setup is not exactly chopped liver, so it's not unreasonable to expect better performance than we're getting.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Well Peter, you seem quite angry. Maybe rightfully so as you bought a computer that doesn't play well with the codecs you have chosen to edit in and the program you have chosen to do it with. Granted your setup isn't that bad obviously, but somebody pointed out what was wrong with it and posted what codecs you can edit with. What seems to be the issue at this point?

 

As for marking correct answers.... wow.. I guess if you spend enough time here you'd see that the vast majority of users never come back after getting a "correct answer" and it is up to us mods to make a decision based on our experience with the advice given. The solution was to change your computer or change codecs. The answer is correct.

 

That said, Kevin has done an even better job so I'm going to switch it to that 🙂 I hope it doesn't make you too angry anymore.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Contributor ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Yes, Kevin made specific suggestions for improvement whereas you just said, your setup is inadequate, too bad.   So Kevin did a good job, and with a helpful attitude.

 

Two things I still don't have are:

1. Expectations for how much better I could make it if I threw a lot of money at it.   Suppose I built a dedicated PC just for video editing with the fastest Quick-sync-capable CPUs on the market; fastest memory bus bandwidth, best GPU with the optimum driver, separate SSD for scratch disk; etc, etc - one of those computers so powerful that when you turn it on all the lights in the neighborhood go dim - how much better will it get?  Can I get a green render bar instead or red for the whole preview panel or will all those compute ponies just take it to yellow?

 

2.  As an engineer, I'm used to doing a systems analysis before trying to optimize a system.    My experience is mostly in network engineering where we have a whole host of tools (both software and hardware) to see where bottlenecks are before trying to tweak stuff.   So I was hoping to get some suggestions for tools and measurements to see where things are getting clogged up for Premiere Pro, to see where I'll get the biggest bang for the buck.  

 

A third thing I'm still unclear on is how much of the performance is system issues, and how much is due to arcane details of Premiere Pro that could change with the next update.    If I build an $9000 dedicated video editing PC and manage to triple the performance I don't want to come in the next morning after Creative Cloud push-feeds the next update and have that go away because it was all dependent on just one quirk in the previous version of Premiere Pro.  I want to focus on things that are less sensitive to Adobe changes.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

1. Well.. there is the search bar up top where you can evaluate what other people have asked probably hundreds of times by now and a plethora of answers have come back. Did you try that by chance?

 

2. I doubt this is place to find that. You may want to try Reddit, in the tech section perhaps that will have more resources on system diagnostics. This is a video editing forum.

 

3. We're all in that boat. Nobody really knows what the next update brings. It's like a pinata, you bang on it and see what comes out. Sometimes it's a bunch of candy, sometimes it's not... you'll see a lot of posts where it's not candy unfortunately. That's what this forum is here for though 🙂 Anyways, if you figure out this third one, post back and help all of us! I'll even pop in and mark it as correct 😉

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Employee ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you for the insight, Randall.

Kevin

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Peter,

Your sytem should edit most variations of H.264 just fine. It shoud also edit Pro Res, BRAW and R3D files just fine. Quick Sync is cool but it is not needed. Most people just don't opt for the odd variations of H.264 when usin Sony. Nikon, Canon and Panosoic Cameras.

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Employee ,
Mar 18, 2021 Mar 18, 2021

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi Peter,

Sorry for the performance issues. Unfortunately, the most important component for video editing is the CPU, especially when considering the format you seem to be working with H.264.

Xeon processors are not very good for video editing H.264 since Quick Sync is not available for decoding and encoding the footage. Quick Sync is vital for decoding and encoding H.264. The GPU can also work for this too, but just not as well. 

If you want better performance right now, set up the transcode at ingest option so that when you are editing, you will not be editing with H.264, you'll be editing a variant of ProRes or Cineform. Look on the bright side. With these new codecs, you can edit faster and export like lightning via smart rendering. You might actually prefer editing this way, I do. Let me know if you need help setting that up.

 

By the way, you can also create proxies to get the work done, but I like to transcode, so you can leverage your render files for your export, again, via Quick Sync.

Your native H.264 workflow is really unteneable with the setup you have as you considered the "other tasks" you were going to do before considering a true bottleneck for your editing tasks: processing H.264 files. I think a better way of approaching that would have been to build an editing computer that can also handle other tasks, not be optimized for the other tasks first. Unfortunately, you are finding that out a bit too late. Sorry about that.

 

That said, you may want to ensure that you have the latest studio drivers for your GPU, avoid the game ready drivers as they are not optimized for Premiere Pro. A great GPU that is functioning correctly does decode and encode H.264. Let's make sure that is functioning too by checking on your current driver version. What driver are you running?

Let us know how we can help you further with your GPU and any other setup.

 

Thanks,
Kevin

Likes

translate

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines