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Premiere Pro CC 2015 and I have not had such a smooth existence. For some reason, Premiere will playback fine with no dropped frames, and then after about 10-15 seconds it starts dropping frames. This typically starts at the beginning of a new clip, and then continues to the next. This happens far less frequently when color correction isn't applied, such as MBL 12 (not gpu accelerated) or even Lumetri (gpu accelerated), however, on occasion it does still happen. I've checked my processes and the CPU, RAM, or VRAM are not saturated. Now the kicker is, all I have to do to stop the lag is to press space to stop playback, and again to start again.

System specs: i7 3930k, 32gb DDR3 1600, GTX 980ti 6GB VRAM, SSD for Premiere, HDD for cache files and media for the project

Files: ranging from ProRes, .mxf, DNXHD, .etc.

I figured it could be the following scenario:

  1. audio related? I've had a situation before where an audio effect (not applicable to this question) actually brought my timeline to a halt w.r.t. playback

  2. loading up different codecs on the same timeline (hence this happens at the start of a single clip and then bogs down the timeline)

  3. HDD isn't fast enough, replace with SSD

Has anyone experienced anything similar, and perhaps can help me find a solution?

  • Are you using multicamera clips? There was some sort of bug when using h264 multicamera clips some time ago. Only way I could resolve it at that moment (since there was no Bugfix yet) is transcode all the h264 to prores... Also make sure you have a recent nvidia driver, CUDA driver and the correct settings for "mercury transmit" or how the GPU acceleration part of Adobe is cryptically called. – Hans Meiser Mar 11 '16 at 16:41
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My experience is that people that complain about choppy playback have either outdated hardware, or are using very esoteric formats, and/or have a system with a lot of crap on it, that seriously gets in the way of editing. You are definitely not in the first category, I don't know the origin of your clips and the codec used, so you could be in the second category, but most likely you have a polluted system.

  • And there is a third category of users, those affected by one of the numerous bugs that every premiere version has. I stopped counting the times that something did not work with premiere and the only thing you could find was a thread on the Adobe Forum ending in users asking adobe to fix that bug. – Hans Meiser Mar 13 '16 at 11:32
  • @HansMeiser the issue was fixed with the update. – Alex Jan 6 '17 at 7:24
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Your media HDD could be the bottleneck, especially if pausing playback is giving it enough time to buffer.

after about 10-15 seconds it starts dropping frames

This is another sign of media buffering not keeping up with playback.

Try temporarily switch the media cache / scratch disk to the SSD and see if performance improves.

  • will do! i've upgraded to the 980ti and that seems to have improved things. i've got a spare ssd i use for my ninja that i will install and use for cache – Alex Mar 15 '16 at 12:05
  • Great! I'm very curious whether it works. – Gene Mar 16 '16 at 7:29
  • Premiere related. Was fixed with the update. – Alex Jan 6 '17 at 7:25

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