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Thread: CS4 performance in timeline preview

  1. #1

    Default CS4 performance in timeline preview

    Hi All,

    I have recently downloaded the CS4 Premiere Pro demo to see how performance stacks up against CS3, which I have been using for most of my edit work. I've read that CS4 under a 64 bit operating system is much more efficient and I was hoping to see some serious gains in render time on my system. I mainly make wedding videos on an extremely part time basis (that means four or five weddings a year).

    I have noticed that performance in CS4 when rendering timeline video and audio previews is fairly pants. CS3 is way faster. I am shooting with a single PD-170 so I'm strictly SD in all my post work.

    It's not so much the performance of CS4 while rendering that gets me. I would happily leave my PC running overnight to generate a full video render, but in particular it's the preview rendering. That is, when I add colour correction to a clip in the timeline and it turns red. To render an entire hour of previews would take my system something like 13 hours but with CS3 it only ever took around an hour at the most. Does anyone know why this is so?

    My system was built originally for games. My doctor told me it's best if I don't drink again, so I kind of went mad on retail therapy for a while. Of course, this colection of hardware is not nearly so expensive two years on:

    - aBit IP35 mainboard
    - Intel Q6600 Quad Core CPU (overclocked to 3.00GHz)
    - 4GB XMS2 RAM running at 800MHz
    - 500Gb SATA II system drive (Windows Vista 64 fully patched)
    - 500Gb SATA II primary video drive
    - 500Gb SATA II secondary video drive
    - nVidia GeForce 8800GT PCI-E VGA card
    - CS3 Premiere Pro (my normal edit package)
    - CS4 Premiere Pro (trying this out without putting the serial number in yet)

    My standard setup would be to alternate putting video projects on either of the two media drives and pointing the scratch disks of the project to the other media drive. In the case of my current wedding video project, I am running the project files and media from the primary media drive and pointing the scratch disks to the secondary media drive.

    I did a full clean install of Vista 64 after one of my drives died. So the system now has simply a fully patched Vista 64 install with the latest nVidia drivers (v190 or something like that). I also have a clean install of CS4 patched to v4.1.

    So my questions:

    1. How come it takes so much longer to render timeline previews in CS4 that it does in CS3? I can understand software progress but I can't see the massive increase in preview render time being down to this. I am not doing anything differently in CS4 that I didn't do in CS3. It's not like I have switched to editing HD.

    2. Is my hardware up to the job? It seemed to run CS3 quite happily and quickly, aside from several bugs I found which used to annoy me. Or, does CS4 suddenly require a Matrox or nVidia Quadro card that retail for probably twice what my PC cost me to build?

    3. Why does CS4 no longer preview my timeline at full resolution? That is, the programme window shows video more blurred than it did in CS3. CS3 would only ever resort to blurries when I asked something special of it that required a preview render. Without any colour correction or slow motion, it would play at full resolution and of course if it did need to render, it would do so at a most believable speed.



    Last edited by Andrew Prince; 08-31-2009 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Putting spaces in

  2. #2


    I have experienced the exact problem like yours, thats why I can suggest you to make a little change in your Editing Rig. You should change your current 8800GT graphics card with anyone newer than that (with atleast 512 MB on board), and with more (112 or higher) processor core for better responsiveness. If you want to be recommended by some other experienced system integrators, then you can select from ATi HD48xx cards also. All these are from the low cost solution side, you can even try the quadro cards for some extra performance boost. Best of luck.

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