I don't know how can this be happening, I built a $1500 computer just to edit videos and apparently I can't even edit 1080p properly...

Why is Premiere pro struggling with 60fps 1080p videos? Whenever I playback my video either with (full, 1/4 or 1/8) I get super choppy and laggy playback to the point where editing is unbearable (no effects applied).

My specs shouldn't be a problem even for 4K video.

Core i5 6600K (overclocked @4.4GHz)
Cooler Master hyper 212x
Kingston hyper fury X 2x4gb @2666MHz
MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X (overclocked)
WD blue 1TB
Samsung 850 evo 256Gb

I have installed all of my adobe programs on ssd. Also when I start to playback the video in PPro the cpu usage goes to 100%

P.S. Could it be because of the high video bitrate? (60-80mbs)?

3 Answers 3


What can cause lagging:

  1. Bottlenecks. If you rig is not balanced for a specific task, or has too little firepower in some areas then bottlenecks can occur.
  2. Software issues. Bad drivers, bloated system .etc. Also, premiere isn't the least buggy NLE.

First thing I would check is the system monitor, to see what exactly happens when playback occurs. Does the CPU usage skyrocket to 100%, does the RAM get fully saturated, does the disk get fully saturated? These are all valid questions that will help you find out where exactly the problem lies. If none of these areas are peaking or showing a sign of a struggle, then the problem must lie with the software. If they do show warning signs, then you should consider:

  • To balance your PC I would add 8gb of RAM and increase the CPU to one of the greater core count i7's (6800k, 6950). Ofc, this will mean changing your motherboard as well as these processors require a different socket type. Premiere doesn't really care how fast your processor is, it cares how many cores/virtual cores your processor has. Case in point, my friend has a new 4 core processor and I have an old LGA2011 (not 2011-2) 3930k; my computer runs Premiere faster and they are both reasonably similar PC's elsewise.
  • If you are not editing off of your SSD do that now! You need to be able to provide Premiere with a quick means of accessing video clips. It is recommended to have an SSD for OS and apps, an SSD for scratch disks and cache, and an SSD for working projects; only using spinning disk drives for archival or backup storage.

If the software is at fault:

  • Check to see if this happens in another NLE! Download a trial of Vegas Pro and see if the problem persists there. If it doesn't than somethings wrong with Premiere.
  • Clean install of drivers for GPU using Nvidia's driver cleaner software, and a clean install of Premiere.

Ideally you want to develop a troubleshooters mindset. You can probably post this quesiton on many forums until you are blue in the face. There are just too many variables that are difficult to diagnose by hunting and pecking at the keyboard. You need to just go through each possible aspect one by one, focusing on the easiest first: (1) work on SSD (2) check other NLE (3) clean install .. etc. Then you can get into addressing whether your computer can handle the footage. Based on my knowledge (which is limited with i5 processors) your computer should be at least able to play 1/2 quality 1080/60 without a hiccup, and 4k in 1/4 quality.

Side note: I have recently helped someone on a forum with similar specs except a 6700k and a 1080gtx, they were also having issues where the timeline would 'buffer' at the start of each clip on the timeline. Unfortunately we were never really able to narrow it down to any one specific thing. Many other users online have also reported laggy playback on official adobe forums, some of which do not even use newer (and possibly less supported) hardware.


Also I forgot to mention that the codec you use can make a world of difference. Often people with less than 6 cores find that their computer can't handle figuring out codecs that are compressed using for example XVAC using as their computer is left with the processing:

In an interframe codec, when a frame is pulled up, the person has to look at the frame before it, and after it and then decide how to unwrap it – before unwrapping it.

In this case, and for troubleshooting, it might be a good idea to convert to DNXHD an intraframe codec.

  • Whenever I playback a video in a timeline the cpu skyrockets to 100%. I may have to switch to sony vegas if PPro is such an unoptimized software...Also I may have to try to put my footage files on ssd and see what happens.
    – Giancarlo
    Jan 6, 2017 at 7:34
  • My footage contains NVENC H.264 codec
    – Giancarlo
    Jan 6, 2017 at 7:36
  • h.264 is a interframe codec. are you recording your computer screen? NVENC i thought was only used in screen recording software, not cameras. If that is the case, maybe you can record to an inter frame codec instead in the program. Else, you can convert to dnxhd with media encoder.
    – Alex
    Jan 6, 2017 at 7:38
  • 1
    I'm recording my gameplay with obs software. There's also another option for encoding which is x264
    – Giancarlo
    Jan 6, 2017 at 7:39
  • 1
    Haha its funny because originally when I was writing up my answer I was thinking that your computer is more geared towards gaming esp. with all the overclocks (premiere sometimes doesn't behave nicely with those). But yea x264 is still h.264 just a different wrapper. so still interframe. you could try downloading dnxhd codec pack from avid, install, restart and see if it shows up in your obs. if it does work, and you can record to it, expect much much larger file sizes.
    – Alex
    Jan 6, 2017 at 7:44

Usually this is due to too low data throughput on your data drive. Try to move your footage to the SSD, putting Premiere itself on an SSD only gives you the benefit of a fast launching program. If footage is lagging or skipping its either your PC can't decode the footage fast enough which is barley the case nowadays with a high-end PC or your hard drive can't keep up serving data fast enough because you may be working with high-resolution high-bitrate footage. A HDD is bottlenecked very fast in that case, especially when you skip around in your footage. A fast S-ATA SSD or even better a PCI-E/NVME SSD will give you the most performance benefits when working with many large footage files.

If your recorded game footage, you might have recorded with a lossless video codec which usually produce enormous video files. Transcoding that to a visually lossless intermediate format like MJPEG with a lower bitrate can also help.


I just upgraded from PP CC 2015.3 to PP CC 2017 and my perfectly smooth playback is now choppy and has lag on the same machine. About to downgrade.

  • 1
    This is not an answer to the question. Please don't post comments as answers. May 23, 2017 at 0:36
  • I don't know if I quite agree that it isn't an answer. It's a fairly minimal answer, but the poster is basically saying that it is a problem with this version of Premiere and to try the previous version.
    – AJ Henderson
    May 23, 2017 at 13:14
  • The way it is put now, this is more a comment on a personal experience, rather than a solution for the OP
    – mcont
    Jan 16, 2018 at 20:23

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