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Old October 7th, 2009, 02:34 PM
Panther30 Panther30 is offline
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PE7 Low On System Memory message

I'm currently editing two hours of .MTS footage from a Canon Vixia HFS10 down to one hour. The project setting is AVCHD, 1080i on Windows XP with standard DVD burner.

All the raw footage in the project is rendered. But after only a few cuts, a title card and a dissolve, I get the message saying LOW ON SYSTEM MEMORY. PROCEED WITH CAUTION. A couple of tasks later, the program locks up and/or shuts down. I have to CONTROL-ALT-DELETE to get out of it. It's happened every time I try to work on it.

Is this because the project is too big? I'm pretty sure my dual core 1.5 TB hard drive has all the necessary upgrades for this type of work.

I recently edited a different 45 minute project down to 25 without this problem. A possible connection: my computer crashed a day or so after that project was completed. My tech took the computer, had to disconnect my second, smaller internal back-up drive. It was interfering with the system start up.

That said, the computer's working fine now. But maybe there's been a memory allocation issue created since the crash that now conflicts with my latest PE7 project.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Panther30; October 7th, 2009 at 02:48 PM. Reason: adding pertinent info
Old October 7th, 2009, 04:59 PM
ATR ATR is offline
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From the low memory messages that you are getting, your present computer environment appears not to have adequate resources for the large (very resource demanding) AVCHD project that you described. Just how much installed RAM does this system have…2, 3, or 4 GB installed RAM? You did not say whether your system is 32 or 64 bit, but, even with 64 bit, Premiere Elements is running in its 32 bit compatibility mode. In this situation, the maximum utilization RAM = 4 GB (addressing down from 4).

Check out the memory situation while Premiere Elements is running with the Window Task Manager Performance.

Also check out the following links to make sure that your computer is optimized for whatever level of resources that you have.


Look into the “3 GB/Switch” and its how to details and determine if this can be applied to your computer. For Windows XP, it looks like it is possible, but you cannot use the BCDEdit that works in Vista.

To be continued…

Old October 7th, 2009, 11:58 PM
Panther30 Panther30 is offline
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Low on system memory

Thanks for the quick response. Couldn't appreciate it more. Here's what I've got:
Intel(R) Core (TM) 2 CPU
E7400@ 2.80 GHz
2.80 GHz, 2.99 GB of RAM
The system is 32 bit

While PE7 is running, the Window Task Manager says the CPU usage is 0-1% and the PF usage is 1.59 GB.

I went to the Microsoft Support site you forwarded and it walked me through all the settings I can adjust. However, all their suggested setting changes have already been made in the computer.

I looked into the /3GB switch you had mentioned. I saw some references to how this switch affects performance. Any truth in that? I also pulled up the following info:

The /3GB switch allocates 3 GB of virtual address space to an application that uses IMAGE_FILE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE in the process header. This switch allows applications to address 1 GB of additional virtual address space above 2 GB.


I've printed out the "intimidating" instructions on how to do it, but I'd like to be sure it's the right move before proceeding. Based on the info I've provided, are there other possible options to improve performance with this large PE7 project? And, finally, is there an approach you'd recommend over another?

Thanks again for your time.

Last edited by Panther30; October 8th, 2009 at 12:06 AM. Reason: adjust notification
Old October 9th, 2009, 10:33 AM
ATR ATR is offline
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Now that I know that you have about 3 GB RAM installed, hold off on the /3GB switch idea. The references that I have seen cited users with 4 GB installed and wanted to allocate 3 GB instead of 2 GB to the resource demanding application. If you up the installed RAM to 4 GB, then you might give it a look.

For now, check out the following links. The first is intended for you to compare your computer environment with the suggested system requirements for editing HD video. The second is intended for you to think about with regard to going a less computer resource demanding HD workflow.

How do I “proxy edit:” a high-definition project?


What are the system requirements for version 7?


Old October 9th, 2009, 12:21 PM
ATR ATR is offline
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Just a clarification on the /3GB Switch...I suggested that you hold off on that for now...
The references that I have seen cited users with 4 GB installed and wanted to allocate 3 GB instead of 2 GB to the resource demanding application. If you up the installed RAM to 4 GB, then you might give it a look.
I reason that I suggested the hold on that was because you had not tried 4 GB of installed RAM and checked out performance. The /3GB Switch is related to virtual memory space allocation, not physical RAM. So, in the example given above, it might have be clearer if I had written

"users with 4 GB installed RAM and wanted to allocate 3 GB instead of 2 GB to the 4 GB virtual space (so, 3 GB allocated to the program and 1 GB to the operating system instead of 2 GB allocated to the program and 2 GB to the operating system).

That is my understanding of the /3 GB Switch.

Old October 10th, 2009, 02:10 AM
Panther30 Panther30 is offline
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Low on system memory

Thank you. I'll hold off on the /3GB switch for the time being. What I did do in the meantime is try the "proxy edit" you refered me to. However, at first and second attempt, it seems tailored for Premiere Elements 4. Following the steps, selecting the project preset for 1080i 30, then clicking on the new preset button, then save, then naming the custom preset. When I reach the "click SAVE AS DEFAULT" step, there's a problem. That choice does not exist. Just OK and CANCEL. When I click OK, I get the message, "The selected value is out of range. The value must be between 1 and 99." When I click my only option, OK, it sends me to a default timeline window that involves video and audio tracks. At that point, it seems I'm off the recommended path to continue the instructions.

The idea behind this "proxy edit" could quite possibly be the fix. But is this technique not suited for PE7?

Thanks again for troubleshooting with me.
Old October 10th, 2009, 04:52 PM
ATR ATR is offline
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Yes. It works the same for Premiere Elements 4 and 7. Just keep far away from it if you upgrade to Premiere Elements 8.


That proxy editing technique applies to both Premiere Elements 4 and 7. In the FAQ, Robert Johnston gives general comments and details for creating a proxy editing preset in Setup based on an existing project preset Essentially what he is doing is taking an existing project preset and changing values in the project preset document so that the preview resolution (from rendering the Timeline) is decreased.

He gives details with suggested value changes for modifying the HDV HDV 1080i project preset which would be characterized by 1440 x 1080 with the HD Anamorphic. Part 1 will be the step by step for that HDV HDV 1080i using his values. Part 2 will be some suggested value changes when applying this proxy editing technique to AVCHD Full HD 1080i which would be characterized by 1920 x 1080, square pixels.

Part 1.
1. Open Premiere Elements 4 and go to the Setup and follow the tree PAL HDV 1080i25 and highlight that. If you were doing this in Premiere Elements 7, you would go to Change Settings in the new project dialog. Then click on the New Preset Button at the bottom of the Setup area (v4) and of the Setup dialog in New Project Dialog (v7)..
2. A Custom Presets dialog should appear to which you just hit “Save”
3. A Preset Dialog appears where you fill in the Name of the new proxy editing preset and any description that you want to add. Click OK when finished.
4. You should now see included in the presets lineup a folder for “Custom” and, in the Custom Folder, your new proxy preset listed. Exit Premiere Elements 4 (7).

5. Navigate on the C: local drive to Documents & Settings/Owner/Application Data/Adobe/Premiere Elements 4 (7)/Settings/Custom. In the Custom Folder there you will find a file for the new proxy editing preset with a file extension of .prpreset.
6. Right click that file, select Open With, followed by WordPad.
7. As per Robert Johnston’s instructions, find “ObjectID\=6 and change
a. Pixel Aspect Ratio 1920,1080 to 480,360
b. Frame Size 1440,1080 to 360,270
Save and close out of there.

8. Open Premiere Elements 4 (7) and set your project preset in Setup (v4) or Setup Dialog in New Project Dialog (v7) to the new proxy editing preset. Click Save As Default.
9. Bring your HDV (1440 x 1080, HD Anamorphic) video into Premiere Elements Timeline and edit. With the Monitor set to “Fit”, it will do just that. You will not see any decrease in frame size. When you are finished editing the video, press the Enter Key of the computer main keyboard to Render the Timeline. When this rendering is complete, the displayed preview will have a decreased resolution. You can adjust the Edit Mode Monitor Magnification if necessary (right click Edit Mode Monitor, select Magnification, followed by selecting Magnification level).
You should have a green line over the rendered video.
10. Continue and when ready Share as indicated (in this case, probably Share/Personal Computer/MPEG/H.264 1440 x 1080i25 or MPEG-2 1440 x 1080i25.

Part 2.
This applies to Premiere Elements 7 since Premiere Elements 4 does not support AVCHD. For PAL AVCHD HD1080i25 (1440 x 1080, HD Anamorphic), it seems to follow that you could use the procedure and values above for PAL HDV HDV 1080i25. But, for PAL AVCHD Full HD1080i25, I might try the following:

1. Same as above…modify project preset PAL AVCHD Full 1080i25.
2. Proceed as above.
3. When you get to the new proxy editing preset document in WordPad

a. Pixel Aspect Ratio1920,1920, try change 1920,1920 to 360,360
b. Frame Size 1920,1080, try change 1920,1080 to 360,203.
Keep in mind that Part 2 is based on my experimenting and not Robert Johnston suggestions.

My overview of this proxy editing procedure is that is would benefit most the people who need to do a lot of rendering of the Timeline for HDV and/or AVCHD projects.

Check it out. If worse comes to worse, there is always highlighting the new proxy editing preset in Setup and hitting the Delete Button there.

Old October 12th, 2009, 01:43 AM
Panther30 Panther30 is offline
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Low on system memory

Okay, I did it. And yes, this new setting makes editing a project with PE7 noticibly less sluggish, which is great. But now the image I have on the playback screen are the size of a postage stamp at those settings. Even the images on the timeline itself are bigger. This size makes it next to impossible to see important expressions, moments in any detail or the accuracy of a transition.

For this Custom Preset, is there a dimension for Pixel Aspect Ratio and Frame Size that perhaps bridges the difference? Right now, I have the Pixel Aspect Ratio at 360, 360 and the Frame Size at 360, 203.

Call me crazy, but it feels like we're edging closer to the fix. Unless you tell me it's time for 4 MB of RAM, then, I guess we aren't...

Thank you once again. Your responses have been timely and extremely helpful.

Last edited by Panther30; October 12th, 2009 at 01:44 AM. Reason: fix typo
Old October 12th, 2009, 04:00 AM
cyberioten cyberioten is offline
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Hi Panther30,

I can tell you that PRE8 has excatly the same problem but it seems to happen only when I'm editing MTS-files (AVHCD). I have almost the same hardware setup (my cpu is less than yours - a quad core E6800)...

Could you try convert some of your files to another format (like quick time) but in the same high format (FULL HD) and try working with that and report back?

I have an open case with Adobe Support that the problems are connected to the AVCHD-format. Cause when I'm editing all other HD-formats I dont have problems.

Old October 12th, 2009, 10:15 AM
ATR ATR is offline
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What preset did you modify
a. PAL HDV HDV 1080i25 where the frame size is 1440 x 1080
b. PAL AVCHD Full HD 1080i25 where the frame size is 1920 x 1080

If you were using "a" 1440 x 1080 HD Anamorphic and following Robert Johnston numbers

Did you attempt to adjust the magnification of the Edit Mode Monitor to "Fit", 100%, 50%. He does say that you can modify his numbers for different size previews. So, it looks like Pixel Aspect Ratio 1920,1440 which he changes to 480,360 could be values that have a 4:3 ratio, such as 800,600. And, the Frame Size 1440,1080 which he changes to 360,270 could be values that have a 4:3 ratio, such as 600,450.
So, for starters, you could try a larger size preview, changing Pixel Aspect Ratio 1920,1440 to 800,600 and Frame size 1440,1080 to 600,450.
(Please note that there appears to be a misprint in the FAQ link. Robert Johnson cites an original "Pixel Aspect Ratio 1920,1080" whereas you actually see 1920,1440 in the WordPad document for the project preset.)

If you were using "b" 1920 x 1080 Square Pixels and following my "test" numbers and extrapolating from Robert Johnston's approach...

It looks like Pixel Aspect Ratio 1920,1920 (which equals 1) could be changed to values with that ratio. In my case I tried a changed from 1920,1920 to 360,360 which could have been 480,480.
And, it looks like the Frame Size 1920,1080 (ratio 1.7777) could be changed to values that have the 1.7777 ratio, such as 480, 270.
So, for starters, you could try a larger preview, changing the Pixel Aspect Ratio 1920,1920 to 480,480 and the Frame Size from 1920,1080 to 480,270.

Pay special attention to how you have your Edit Mode Monitor set.

Check it out and see if any of this works for you. Double check the values to make sure they are going in the right direction.


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