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Believe the issue is indeed my hard drive. I had our IT guy install a second drive on my computer. It's only an 80Gb, so I didn't transfer anything to it, we just formatted it. I went through my one project that was running horribly. Packed the project files to the new drive, and re-opened that project. Runs ten times better with actual project playback, as well as program navigation and functionality. I'm switching back and forth between the same project on my old drive, and on the new drive, and it's like night and day. This is a HUGE relief.

Now my next question is how do I go about actually solving my problem. This new drive isn't all that great still (ten year old drive) and is only 80Gb. I can see the same thing happening. I can probably afford to get a new drive, but what should I do? Would I be better off getting a high quality (maybe SSD?) but smaller capacity drive, and using it solely for my project materials (and then transferring the project elsewhere when done)? Or should I just get a new high capacity drive?
I'm not sure how to upload a raw file of my own.. but I tried to get a screen capture of some of my issues. The screen capture was a bit slow I guess so not perfect. But you can see my two different issues.. the freezing of the program, and the playback issues.

You can notice the program freezing when the buttons light up or don't light up when I try to click.
Then you can see how I tried the playback with and without the audio track enabled. At the end I did a short playback in movie mode with the audio disabled and you can notice the smooth playback.
Quote: have you opened Task Manager and see what programs or processes are using the high CPU? It may not be PD12 but some other program that is grabbing all of your CPU... (fingers crossed)

I wish. In the post right above yours, I mention that. I've been watching the task manager like a hawk. There isn't a single thing using a single percent of my processing power other than system idle and PD12. Even PD12 is only using about 10% on average, yet it is ungodly slow. It takes about 1-5 seconds to perform any function at times. I just don't understand. And again I'm talking about non-playback functions even here. So if it isn't my video card, and it isn't my processor, then what the heck?
And even more info.. today I was working on a bit more complex project. Constant constant program freezes. Nothing to do with playback. Simply trying to navigate menus and features within PD. brought up the cpu monitor while doing so and system idle hardly ever went below 90% cpu usage. My CPU isn't even beginning to NEAR stress point, yet PD continues to lock up and freeze. Eventually it locked up for about 5 minutes and then force closed. SO SICK OF THIS PROGRAM. I love it, it just refuses to run well! I would do a reinstall but I'm worried I'll lose all my custom titles, settings, etc.
Ok trying to drill this down further.

With all audio muted, playback with full HD setting is very smooth.

With the audio enabled on the video track, on LOW preview resolution, the playback stutters on every clip transition (when i say transition i mean clip to clip.. no transition effects).

With separate music track added, but video track's audio disabled, on full HD playback, again, playback is smooth.

What's more odd, is that the music track is at 48kHz 320kbps, and the audio for the video tracks are actually lower at 256Kbps.

So for some reason I'm having my main issues when my video's audio is enabled, but not if I have a separate audio track playing.

When you say 'freezing' do you mean in PD's preview window? If so, lower the preview quality to a lower setting.
If it's freezing while playing back through Windows Media Player, the DVD player, etc. then it looks like your bit rates are still too high and you need to tweak them down even more. Otherwise, there's still a bottleneck with your GPU (read on, Intel Quick Sync).

It's not just the preview window. It's the entire program freezes up. The timeline scrubber, the buttons. The whole program. I have never had a freeze during playback in any other program. Even if I put the playback quality on low, it plays exactly the same as if it's on full HD.

I've been doing some research while you were gone. Some Intel based systems have something called 'Intel Quick Sync Video' nowadays which is built in. It might not be turned on with yours. If you have that on your computer, try it instead of your graphics card. Check the back of your computer to see if you have a free monitor port and check your BIOS to see if the option is switched on. My setup is old and doesn't have it, but according to some forum users here, PD shows it as an Intel logo on the effects and works well. That might help your video and effects rendering. If it does, you can retire your GPU.

Unfortunately my CPU doesn't have this.

When you say 'it can't keep up' do you mean the video and audio are mismatched/out of sync (objects move but the sound is late/early) or is it choppy/stuttering?

If this is during playback, outside of PD, then it could be your sound/audio driver needs updating.
Video playback is much easier for a PC to handle than to make it, which is what you're trying to do.
Making video is more hardware intensive than playback because all the hard work has already been done.

If this is in PD, then check you're not using Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound (or similar) at a huge sample rate which your machine might be struggling with, in which case, yes the audio could be taking up the resources. First thing: check and update your audio drivers.

I mean audio will play 100% smooth while the rest of the program freezes as described before. Timeline scrubber will stop moving, video playback will stop, while audio plays normal. Then after a few seconds scrubber will jump and video will resume in sync momentarily before freezing again. Again, this is only in PD. I double checked and I'm using simple Stereo. Audio drivers were just updated as well.

When you first record the original bit of speech, recording quality should be at the maximum setting you can afford.

As for voiceover I'm not even concerned with this anymore. It's working fairly efficiently. Not great but compared to my other issues I haven't even noticed. I did notice I had the quality up a bit higher than necessary, so I'll still keep an eye to see if the lowered rate helps.
Quote: Yours is the model with DDR3 so it's got 12Gb/s bandwidth.

I know you've done this a million times already but before you get into panic mode:

1. Double triple check you haven't got any malware. Run malware bytes checker, it's free and very good.

2. Clean out your registry with something like CCleaner, you can also set it to get rid of temporary files from PD renders but you have to set this up manually once.

3. Defrag again.

4. Make sure *you're not* rendering to your Toshiba USB3 drive.

5. Disable all automatic updates.

6. Disconnect from the internet.

Once you've checked all this run this test:

First: Downsample (reduce) a 1 minute AVHCD video to an "Uncompressed AVI" using NTSC* SD quality, if it's 16:9 widescreen, you want these presets (if you live in the USA it's NTSC, otherwise use PAL):

For video:
-DV NTSC @ 29.97fps
-720 x 480 (pixel size 1.2121 for 16:9 wide screen)

For audio:
48kHz (48000) 16 bit audio

Next (and keep an eye on PD's performance when you do this):
1. Start a fresh project using the NTSC settings as before.
2. Re-import the Uncompressed AVI back to PD, adjust its width/height to accomodate frame if needed. (Should import fine by itself).
3. Run a voice over on it like you do for your projects.
4. Save.
5. Render it out like an H.264 using these settings:

NTSC 640x360 Progressive 29.97fps widescreen 16:9
Maximum bitrate should be 600.

When you're done get back to me and tell me how it went, and what the output is like.

NB: What you've done is reduce quality of things to test if your machine can handle the edits and there's a faint possibility you might run out of disk space.

edit: Overclocking only makes the motor and wheels spin faster. It doesn't widen the pipe where there could be bottle necks. With video editing there are two major common bottlenecks: how data travels between CPU and GPU, and how fast data travels between CPU and Hard Disk. Just bear in mind that AVHCD video is gargantuan in size. It packs so much data for the hi-definition, frame rate and frame sizes involved compared to old standard SD video. Using H.264 compression for output helps retain most of the quality even though you've downsampled the video.

Also, just some other thoughts, can you explain a bit about your office setup. Is this computer networked to a server, for example, does it have Microsoft Office installed and running some kind of 'synchronizing files' gimmick each time you shutdown/log-off/restart?

Ok.. so I've gone through all of that. As for your test.. everything runs perfect on single clips. It's only during transitions that the video freezes.

For my setup, I'm not sure what you mean by networked to a server.. I'm mapped to a few network drives. I don't have MS office on here.

One thing I've been paying attention to. It seems playback is dead smooth even on full HD preview with my track volumes muted. Once I add in audio it can't keep up. Currently I'm using my GPU obviously for video and then my onboard for audio. Is there anything that is maybe causing this? Or is it simply the fact that audio also takes up a lot of resources and slows things down?
Use power tools instead of manually stretching.
This is the card in particular:

I'd really be disappointed if the card was at fault. We specifically bought this for my computer. I don't think I'll be able to ask for another upgrade. But still, I didn't have this many problems in the beginning... I'm not saying the card isn't at fault but I don't think it could be completely.

Would overclocking my GPU help?

edit: ok so it looks like from some research that overclocking this specific card wouldn't do much. I did more monitoring of my CPU and RAM performance while working on my project. I had the task manager on the side while working. It seems literally every time I click something in the program, my CPU jumps up to 50-100%.. often times 100%. Like clicking on anything. Even just a new spot on the time line. Or a new clip. Anything I click on and the CPU skyrockets. This is without video even playing. Just anything I try to click on in the program. This sure as hell seems like the programs fault to me. Right now I've got 6 things open while I'm typing this, and my CPU usage is sitting between 0-2%. If I go to YT and find some HD videos the highest it'll jump is 25% right when the screen loads, but during playback the usage is small. It just doesn't make sense to me that performing any action whatsoever in PD12 will cause the CPU to max out, but I can't reproduce this anywhere else.
I also noticed in my Catalyst control center that under video options, edge enhancement, denoise, dynamic contrast, and deinterlacing are all checked. Are these universal enhancements.. as in might they be affecting my PD video playback?
Found something that seemed to help a good bit. I packed my project files to the folder where my project was saved. Everything seemed to transition from clip to clip much more smooth. I wonder if my HD is just slow, and this packed the files next to each other rather than more scattered?
Quote: Have you fixed this yet CJC?

Reason I ask is because I just spotted that your Radeon is sharing RAM (4gb) with the system. Try disabling that so your PC has the full 8Gb to itself.

AVCHD video needs RAM.

I have not fixed it yet. Maybe a few improvements. I kind of stopped trying as I needed to get back to working. I ran a memory test and that came back good. How do I disable the sharing?
If I uninstalled, would I lose custom items such as titles, PiP's, and other stuff? Or are all created files stored and just the application itself is uninstalled? I have too many custom things I've created that I use in each project.

As for flakey memory.. I believe I have 4 sticks of 2Gb, so that's unlikely. I'm not sure how I'd be able to tell if it was the HD or power supply.

I made sure to disable all of those background services on startup. I've been meaning to do that.

Also it's called Aero I've always used it and never experienced an issue, or just never noticed it! Next time I start having issues, I'll switch it off and try to compare.
Quote: Hi CJC,
Just a few suggestions (you may or not be aware of)...

Make sure you're not setup to render/output to your external (usb) drives.
These haven't got the bandwidth to handle the data stream required for the job but you probably knew this already.

You don't mention what size video you're working on. Is this a 1hr 720x480 PAL/NTSC source or is it some flavour of HD?
What's the running time and what camera/equipment did your source come from? (certain AVHCD formats are glitchy - early versions especially, from early/mid 2000).

In Win7 you have a 'resource monitor'.
Load it up, click on the 'memory' tab, fire up PowerDirector and start a fresh temporary project with the same video source.
Run a voice over test on it without any filters/effects and see if you run into the same problem.
Watch the 'Physical Memory' in the Resource Monitor (up/down arrow on grey band to reveal) and keep an eye on your RAM.
If you're maxing out your RAM that could be why you're stuttering.

All of my videos are about 2-5 minutes in total length. The clips I use to comprise the finished productions are usually 10 seconds to 1 minute long and I chop these up. They are 1920x1080. AVCHD. I've used this same camera and file type for every video since the beginning. I've had less issues with choppy playback though. My issue is more so with program lag itself.

Also, I constantly monitor my RAM and it never goes about about 4-5 out of 8GB.

Quote: Quick questions
1) You have a new video driver. Did you update the program to the latest version?
2) How often do you get rid of junk and temporary files. Defrag. the storage hard drive; do not defrag your solod stated drive. You don;t need to, (go to and get free programs for those fixes).
3) What antivrus do you run. If you are not connected to the internet, you can turn it off or set it not to scan and files already on your hard drive.
4) You have 40 plus g of free space on your system drive, can you move some of the files onto your had drive?

Please answer while we look at your computer's other information.

Hi, and thanks.

I am running the newest 2420 build.

I just cleared out my temp files last week. I do not regularly do this as I'm unsure if it's safe or not, but I did just do it.

I defragged about 2 weeks ago. I do not have a solid state drive.

I run MS security essentials. This does not run during my work hours.

As for space.. any project I'm working on is on my system drive. My external hard drive I only use to transfer projects to after they're complete. Sorry if that appeared confusing having it plugged in!

I'm really starting to get frustrated trying to figure out what's going on here. I've been using this program for nearly 2 months now for my full time job. Initially, everything ran flawlessly. We made sure to build a computer that was more than up to spec. Then I started having issues with choppy playback, regardless of preview quality. The program started to freeze and crash once or twice per day. Any time I do voice overs, after I hit end record, the inserting audio dialog box won't disappear, even after the audio is inserted into the project. Today, I'm working on a project with a single video and one extra piece of audio.. and I feel like I'm working on a windows 95 computer with how sluggish it is (although the rest of my programs are running 100%). I tried inserting a blur fx. The preview window shows up black unless I play the clip (in which case it flickers). I've used this preview before with 0 issue.

I'll attach an old and new dxdiag.. IDK if you can see if anything changed. But it's becoming to be absurd how poorly this program operates. I love using it when it actually functions correctly, but it just doesn't. Half my time is spent sitting here waiting, or re-doing my work after I lose it when it crashes. I do absolutely nothing on this computer besides use this program and upload the videos to YouTube, so I don't see how anything could've changed on my computer.

Help?? I'd imagine my only option is to re-install the program, unless you guys see anything with my computer. Do I lose anything when uninstalling? Or is it pretty straightforward uninstall re-install?

I've gotta be missing something here. How do I change what video/image/track number is on top of which? It seems the default is 1 is furthest back, and then each track after is on top of the one before it. That's great and all, but I've got an image with a color board behind it. The way this is set up by default, that forces me to put my image on track 2 instead of 1. Now that screws up my transitions, and what I can't figure out at all, is I can't use fx on that picture because it only works on track 1.

What am I missing?
Getting off on the wrong track?

I think it is clear this is not a computer hardware issue seeing as this issue is isolated to 1 or 2 specific projects that I have recently begun. As I said I've done multiple other projects on this computer using the same exact file types with far more tracks and effects with little to no issue. Now I start a new project with 0 effects and it can not play.. but I go back to previous projects and it is perfect. I would have to think it is something that I possibly changed in settings, or clearing out temp files or cache of some sort?

I am unsure what temporary files are for so have not deleted them.

Every project and video I'm working on is the same file type, from the same camera. I don't have any issues playing this file type. Only in movie mode, on a few recent projects. I don't know if it's more likely a disk defrag issue with these files maybe saved oddly? But I'd think these clips should all be pre-loaded in the program so I wouldn't think that'd make sense either.
Ok, so unfortunately I need to start another topic. I didn't want to intrude too much on the below thread, and my issue is quite a bit different so wanted to start my own.

My issue is purely between the transition from clip to clip. If I play a clip in clip mode, it plays absolutely no problem on any quality. As soon as I try to play in movie mode, even on low quality, the video freezes and the program locks up for a few seconds (while the audio continues). This is in a brand new project with zero effects or editing aside from adding multiple clips in.

Previously, I've worked on a few more complicated projects for the past month or so with zero issues with high quality playback.. and now all of a sudden it won't play even on low quality. My projects consist of many many short 1-5 second clips put together, so needless to say it's made it impossible to do my work currently unless I'm doing clip by clip. If I bring up my performance graphs during a freeze up.. my computer isn't even doing anything, it's not like it's overloading or anything.

Does it have something to do with temp files building up? Or something? As I said I've had zero issues in the past.

I'm running i7, 8 Gb RAM, x64 win7, HD Radeon 5450 just updated. Quicktime up to date, windows up to date, etc.
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