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Processor and RAM not being fully utilised

by deanes02 / May 1, 2007 11:07 PM PDT

Hi, I have noticed that while video editing/rendering or performing any resource hungry task that my processor might only be up to 30% usage and 700MB of my 2GB of RAM is being used.

Why does my laptop not use all of the resources available to it to complete the task in a faster time?

Is there anything I can do to say "hey, you have more memory and a faster processor. Use it!"



OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation

System Manufacturer Dell Inc.
System Model Latitude D820
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 14 Stepping 8 GenuineIntel ~2161 Mhz
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 14 Stepping 8 GenuineIntel ~2161 Mhz

Total Physical Memory 2,048.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 1.23 GB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 3.85 GB

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That's a dual core so...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 1, 2007 11:14 PM PDT

You may have to ask the author of the software if they take advantage of the dual core and ram. However the system should be very nice and smooth compared to a single core CPU.


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Adobe premiere
by deanes02 / May 1, 2007 11:37 PM PDT

I use premiere - would it be fair to assume they would utilise the full amount of RAM and CPU?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 1, 2007 11:50 PM PDT
In reply to: Adobe premiere

There are many versions of that software that didn't use dual core. Besides there are many operations that would not tax the system.

Is there a hardware issue here to discuss?


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I forgot a BIGGY.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 2, 2007 1:55 AM PDT
In reply to: No.

On some laptops with the new C2D it may automatically curb or stifle one core to save battery power. Be sure to poke around all power settings to see if you have some power savings enabled that can be done without.


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Another thought or two...
by steve749 / May 2, 2007 1:42 AM PDT

Have you looked at the Power Options in the control panel to make sure that it isn't trying to save power while running? Also, have you checked the temperatures of the system to make sure it isn't overheating? Lastly, may it be that the video editing/rendering is work being done by the GPU instead of the CPU? Just a guess on my part but something to consider.


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by xFulcrumx / May 7, 2007 12:33 AM PDT

the editing/rendering is done by the cpu. the gpu only displays the results. but even still, you need a good vid card.

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by xFulcrumx / May 7, 2007 12:27 AM PDT

you say you have 2gigs but then state that you have
-----> Available Physical Memory 1.23 GB <-----. and that the program is using 700mb? so whats the problem? thats actually quite good and is right on the money.

30% cpu usage is also good -- Considering your running an OS and 20 or more background processes.

I'll simplfy this for you since no one else has - when you load windows --it takes up mem including all background processes. not to mention hidden stuff....so the fact that your program is using 700 of the 1.2 available is really good.

2)pagefile is horriably slow and really isnt used as a hotswap mem like Physical mem is. dont confuse that.

3)virtual mem - same thing pagefile and virtual same thing.

4)30% cpu usage. is that constant or variable?. I assume constant and even then thats not bad. if your program used 100% windows would lock up. part of the process have to be used for other windows needs.

5)most common mistake is - people dont optimise there computers for vid editing--- is there a real need to have Cursor shadows and icon effects that take up resources. what about txt effects and all the other stuff that can effect Cpu and mem usage.

6)most vid editing programs will let you pick a drive and even make a folder that can be used just for temp cache -virtual mem-. have you done this?. if so what did you set the cache for?.

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Am I missing somthing important?
by deanes02 / May 7, 2007 10:11 PM PDT
In reply to: well

You say that using 700MB and 30% CPU is quite good but I was wondering why the rendering of the video would not use say 80% and 1.8GB hence enabling my laptop to render the video faster.

Do you know why?

It make sense to me that the software should use all (or most) of the resources available to it in order to acheive its task faster - otherwise whats the point in having a high spec laptop for this kind of work?

Thanks, S

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In my case...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 7, 2007 10:19 PM PDT

The drive i/o was a bottleneck. I couldn't keep the cpu fed fast enough on one old setup.

Hope this helps,


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How would I know if that was the case with me?
by deanes02 / May 7, 2007 10:29 PM PDT
In reply to: In my case...

and also how could I remedy it?

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Try other software.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 7, 2007 10:36 PM PDT

There are better softwares out there. I wrote "There are many versions of that software that didn't use dual core" earlier but didn't get much of a reply on version or patches.


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premiere pro 2.0
by deanes02 / May 7, 2007 10:54 PM PDT
In reply to: Try other software.

It says in the 'about premiere' bit that it has detected a multiprocessor - if that helps

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You paid dearly for that software.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 7, 2007 11:02 PM PDT
In reply to: premiere pro 2.0

What did they tell you?

As to the bottleneck, nothing much has been presented in your posts to nail it. HOWEVER there are some users that insist on REAL TIME viewing for the rendering process. This and other nuances can stifle rendering or other processes in DVD creation. There is also finite limits on DVD recording so we wouldn't expect to peg the CPU during those steps.


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Its in the GPU
by the_arkitek / January 2, 2008 1:51 PM PST

Your system is sharing the Physical RAM with the video GPU (Graphics Processor Unit). The amount of video ram available to the GPU is the disparity (the difference) between the physical amount installed and what the system can "see" (the amount shown on the "properties" dialog box when you right-click on "My Computer" - under the general tab).

You can boost this amount of "shared" RAM in the bios setup screen at startup. Note: this steals more RAM away from the system.

Also check (unsure about this) that you CPU isn't being throttled to stop over-heating (means it will slow the CPU down to stop overheating).

A really good video card can really impact on video editing performance, especially when there are a lot of effects on the canvas (preview) window.

But at the end of the day it does come down to numbers and making sure you have a good scratch disk, large CPU through-put (cache+GHz), BUS speed, all play a big part in rendering out the frames.

I would ditch the laptop if your serious about editing.

Best of luck!

John Grant

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I'll have to disagree.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 2, 2008 9:26 PM PST
In reply to: Its in the GPU

One of our best video editing stations uses lowly 4MB AGP video cards with a mobile version of an ATI video chip. This GPU is so slow that no games are ever played there but it is very fast on the video editing and DVD rendering.

This flies in the face of your advice.


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by the_arkitek / January 3, 2008 9:26 AM PST
In reply to: I'll have to disagree.

What editing suite are you using?

I'm only going on what we have experienced first hand here in the studio.


John Grant

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(NT) Adobe Premiere on that one.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 3, 2008 9:54 AM PST
In reply to: Ok
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by the_arkitek / January 3, 2008 10:12 AM PST

What version? What were the spec's for your machine? I am interested as I am always open to new ideas/situations.

John Grant

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It's the old Pentium D and
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 3, 2008 10:21 AM PST

Whatever the current 2007 release of Premiere was. It's a somewhat dedicated machine in the basement. One of the reasons for the pitiful card was to keep the gamers off the machine. It also saves on the Watts and didn't impact render speed.

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Performance maxed
by James Denison / January 3, 2008 2:47 AM PST

Start, Control Panel, System, Advanced Tab, Performance, Settings, Adjust for Best Performance. All those interesting visual effects like "fade" and "smoothing" etc can slow things down a bit. Look then to the advanced tab. The last DEP tab might help speed things up more if you turn it off, but not sure I'd try that. Last, the pagefile. Supposedly it only uses that after dynamic memory is maxed out, but with enough memory loaded you might give it try with the pagefile turned off. It's about the same as a swap file in win98se and by killing the swapfile and write behind caching and just using dynamic memory I speeded up my system, so might work the same for XP, but can't say for sure. Tweak it all here and there and see what happens.

Also the editing program/s you are using can have quite a bit of effect on the speed of processing.

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dang it, did it again!
by James Denison / January 3, 2008 2:50 AM PST
In reply to: Performance maxed

forgot to check the age of the thread. Why are these old threads being recycled today?

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It's the old Pentium D?
by the_arkitek / January 3, 2008 10:54 AM PST

unfortunately that's not possible.

SSE 2 is required for AP pro 2.

Also you are very unhelpful, stick to constructive arguements.

Too the dual-core laptop guy, the best method to get best results is trail and error.

Best of luck,

John Grant

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Like I said, The Basement.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 3, 2008 11:21 AM PST

I'll have to double check it tomorrow.

You seem a little riled. But it's false that the GPU has much impact here. I've only been at video "stuff" since the Amiga Toaster (and before that!)


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