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Choppy Playback in Premiere Pro CC

Nov 3, 2015
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Hello, I have a question about choppy playback in Premiere Pro CC. First off, I am using the x5r exported in the DNG sequence. Here are the system specs:

Windows 10
i7- 5820k (6 cores) @ 4.2 ghz
64 GB ram
500 GB ssd Crucial BX100
4tb 7200rpm scratch drive
GTX 980 video Card

I have read about converting to another codec for smoother playback, but I am wondering if the choppy playback is due to hardware or software? I would rather fix a hardware issue than wait for trans coding prior to editing. Watching task Manager performance tab my CPU is pegged at 100% for about 3-5 seconds then drops to 12%. During this time Ram and HD are relatively underutilized (13-20%). I get near real time during that first 3-5 seconds then it pretty much sits on one frame until the end. Even just scrubbing through the video it doesn't show frames, just sits on one frame until i release and it catches up.

I guess my question is would this play in real time if there was different hardware? I have seen two suggestions for DNG sequences from RED users:
  • using a raid array (suggested at least 3 hard drives at raid 0)
  • multiple CPU setup
In my understanding, Adobe products currently only utilize 6 cores. So I am not sure how using a multiple CPU setup would work more efficiently than my current setup? A few setup recommendations were with 12-20 cores (xenon processors).

Is anyone able to play the files in real time? If so I would appreciate your feedback. Is this an issue with Adobe?

could transcode to ProRes or other more 'edit friendly' codec. Our PC system spec is similar except with dual video cards and an older Intel quad core. it will chug through 4K footage for sure... Prores 444 it will playback better. But on premiere the only thing I could suggest is transcode, you will get to the point of diminished returns soon by upgrading hardware imo..
The proxy editing suggestion above is a good idea as well, although premiere doesn't really like 4K H264's all that much more than the raws
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Reactions: bujaman
If I am understanding the video correctly, then you can set the proxy codec to something like DNxHD (windows) which edits easier than the H264? I just went with the gopro proxy setting when I was playing around with it. Point taken on the upgrading ROI.
DNxHD is an Avid codec, I am not sure how nicely it plays with Premiere but you could try it. Also if you have the option to transcode to MXF which I believe is native to media encoder without the need for an additional plugin, that would work too. MXF is a codec designed for proxy work. Most higher end cameras that output raw use an internal MXF codec for proxy editing which will play back nicely in edit suites...
It's a tricky game and one we struggle with all the time. Sure you could get your computer eventually to a point where it would play back 4K cinema DNGs in real time. Then go ahead and add a basic effect and that's all out the window.

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