When I first started editing videos, I worked with 1K videos.
The PC I built was adequate to that task and was a considerable upgrade to my
off the shelf PC. When I built the PC, it was suggested that a graphics card
like the GTX 1050 was fine for those sorts of videos. Go Pro Studio worked OK but was prone to hang
Later, I decided to upgrade my camera to 4K so I would have
more pixels to work with when I zoomed in on more distant images. I knew that 4K editing would be a challenge
for the PC I built. It turned out that GoPro Studio was woefully inadequate so
switched to Premiere Pro CC. I hoped that working with Premiere wouldn’t be
that big a challenge but ran into issues almost immediately.
The 1st remedy I tried was to use proxies where I
could work on videos as if they were 1K and then process them as 4K. That introduced
another step into my editing which was prone to fail.
I had crashes with my PC with the newer versions of Premier
Pro CC so started looking for solutions. One of the 1st solutions I
tried was to drop my overclocking of my AMD 1600. That seemed to help a little,
but I still had crashes when running Premier Pro. I went to the MSI boards in
search of a suitable upgrade for my PC & ended up upgrading my power
supply. I also dropped overclocking my memory and dropped back to an older
version of Premier Pro.
At this juncture, I was mostly crashing when encoding for
YouTube. Digging deeper into the encoding process, I realized that it used my graphics
card for this task. Switching to software only helped since it took my relatively
weak graphics card out of the equation but was slow and would still
All the literature I reviewed said that the graphics card
had little to do with video editing with Premier Pro but encoding seemed to be
an exception. I upgraded my graphics card to a GTX 1070 and suddenly my
encoding problems disappeared. My
encoding now goes by without any hangs running with the much more powerful
I brought my overclocking back to my PC & memory but
found that Premier Pro would still crash on occasion with the CPU overclock. Memory
overclocking seems to be fine and my system runs much faster encoding with the
latest version of Premier Pro.
Bottom line is that you do need a powerful graphics card for
encoding 4K in Premier Pro. In addition, you may need an upgrade power supply
to run the graphics card.
Everyone wants a Cool Machine both literally & figuratively. We want the fastest and best machine and prefer not to pay too dearly for it. Consequently, we make compromises. How to Keep Your PC Cool?
AMD or Intel
Until recently, I had always built computers using Intel CPUs but I needed a fast machine to do video editing and AMD multiple processors were the best bang for the buck.
Once we decided on AMD, we had to decide on a specific processor. At the time our budget focused on the Ryzen 5 1600, so we had it narrowed down a bit. Even here we needed to decide between 1600 & 1600X. Most reviews showed the 1600 was the best deal & it included a cooler so we went that route thinking we probably wouldn’t overclock.
No cool machine is complete without cool memory so we opted
for 16GB Team T-Force Night Hawk DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) which was considered a bargain. We had not considered that the native speed for AMD was 2133 MHz so our 3000 MHz memory would need to be over clocked (OC)!
Over Clocking Memory
In theory, you can over clock memory a MSI board by selecting an A-XMP profile but keep in mind that the Ryzen supported MSI boards were very new at the time. After several BIOS upgrades and using special profiles (Try It!), I am finally able to achieve 2933 MHz on my memory.
Over Clocking CPU
At this point, we have already entered the realm of over clocking so we might as well over clock the CPU, right? Over clocking the memory didn’t seem to do any harm but overclocking CPUs that tend to run hot has it’s own risks.
We managed to get a decent over clock on the CPU by increasing the multiplier (CPU Ratio) to 37 which put our 3200 MHz processor at 3700 MHz. Even the auto configuration of the processor ran it at 3400 MHz so this was a modest over clock.
How Hot is Too Hot
Now that we had out cool machine running memory & CPU at modest
over clocks we wanted to make sure it was stable & not so hot that it would be damaged.
We had to raise the CPU core voltage for stability so this made things a little hotter than we would prefer.
Research showed that most folks were happy with temperatures within the 30C-45C range.
Coolers – How to Keep Your PC Cool
We did a lot of research on possible cooling solutions.
There are huge solutions like the Noctua NH-D15 SE-AM4 assuming you have the room and budget for it.
The real question is whether or not the stock cooler is adequate. After all our search to keep our PC cool necessarily included keeping our PC was self-destructing.
Is Our PC Stable – Stress Testing
Putting aside for a moment our search for an adequate cooler, we decided to see how cool our PC was in terms of stability. Our thinking was the PC must be cool enough if it can pass stability/stress tests.
The most mentioned stress we found was Prime95 so we promptly ran the program. When we saw temperatures in the 80C range and a few rounding errors, we aborted the program and made some adjustments.
Prime95 Rounding Errors – DRAM Voltage
The rounding errors were related to memory. It turned out that our memory over clocking was not as cool as we thought. The memory voltage (DRAM) from the BIOS was being changed during boot.
We had noticed this before but figured the lower voltage was probably better on the wear & tear of our memory and likely reduced system heat. As it turned out, system or memory heat was never a concern but getting the DRAM voltage right was.
The best source of memory voltage is the label on the memory.
While the MSI BIOS Try It feature had been close in assigning the DRAM voltage (1.36 V), the MSI utility Command Center showed it had been changed drastically (.8 V) upon booting into Windows 10.
Changing the DRAM voltage in the BIOS from 1.36 V to the label value of 1.35 V fixed the issue. Now Command Center showed the same voltage as the BIOS & Prime95 had no errors!
CPU Core Voltage – Re-Addressed
As we found out with DRAM voltage, small adjustments can make a big
difference so we decided to lower or CPU core voltage from 1.4 V to 1.3875 V. 1.4 V is considered teh top threshold for most over clocks so dropping ever so slightly was helpful.
Back to Prime95
With our CPU Core & DRAM voltages lowered we decided to try Prime95 again & stuck out the tests watching out temps run a little lower than the previous run. Ultimately the temperature ran as high as 91 C by the end of the 30 minute torture test (Blended mode) of Prime 95.
This pretty much assured us that the stock cooler did an adequate job of cooling for our needs. We never intend to run Prime95 again so should never come anywhere near those temperatures.
We certainly think that our PC is cool in regards to over clocking the CPU & Memory. Our latest on User Benchmark shows our CPU “Performing way above expectations (87th percentile” and our memory ” Performing way above expectations (95th percentile)” so that’s not too shabby.
We managed to run Prime 95 for 30 minutes without errors under temperatures we don’t ever expect to see in our video editing so it’s stable enough.
Cooler Upgrade in the Future?
For now, we are happy with our stock cooler but will keep an eye on
the temperatures. 40 C no longer seems hot after running Prime95 torture tests.
If we do upgrade the cooler we will need something better than the stock cooler so maybe we opt for Noctua monster coolers.
If so, we will need to ensure that it is either compatible with AMD or that there is a bracket kit available. We also need to ensure that the cooler doesn’t interfere with our memory. We think our system board is can handle a big cooler but we definitely don’t want to be forced into running single stick of our memory.
In addition to the cost of the cooler, we may need to remove the mother board to install brackets which is another downside.
We wanted the fastest memory we could fit into our budget. Team DDR4-3000 was considered a bargain for the price so we decided we would give that a try.
Note that any memory speed above 2667 MHz is not officially supported by AMD and is considered over clocking (OC). Historically we have been wary of over clocking anything but it’s pretty common with AMD.
Additionally, you should use memory that is on their approved hardware. When our memory performed less than expected we tried more expensive memory that was on the list. That memory did no better than ours so we stuck with our original choice.
Through a series of BIOS updates we are currently getting 2933 MHz which is great but it hasn’t been easy.
Up until the latest BIOS update, the max we ever saw was 2800 MHz. We still can’t use MSI A-XMP but Try It works fine.
Team – T-Force / Night Hawk 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory – THWD416G3000HC16CDC01
SSD M.2 Drive
These days you need a SSD drive for your operating system but there are many to choose from. The M.2 version is much faster so this is the route most take.
It’s a breeze installing software from a fast USB thumb drive to a M.2 drive. There were issues seeing the M.2 drive on boot but we sorted that out without too much difficulty.
More disturbing was issues with restart. There was almost zero chance that the PC would boot on a restart. We found that entering BIOS (delete) seemed to allow the system to find the drive. Even exiting (F10) with no changes was enough to get the system to boot.
This was not critical to our operations so we lived with this for months.
Recently we got a firmware update from MyDigitalSSD and the PC reboots without issue.
Our SSD drive
MyDigitalSSD – BPX 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive
Graphic Card – GPU
We opted for a GPU that was solid without being too pricey. We haven’t had any real issues with it other than downloading huge drivers for NVIDIA GeForce Experience. I am not sure we even need those since we don’t do any gaming.
The GPU works fine even running dissimilar monitors. Currently we are running a 4K 32″ monitor (Display Port) & a 1K 28″ monitor(HDMI).
EVGA – GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB ACX 2.0 Video Card
Is it Worth the Effort?
We are now able to edit videos without too many issues. GoPro Studio has been left behind for Premiere CC and we are editing 4K videos.
We definitely like the speed of our video editing PC but it has not been without some headaches and it cost around $900 in parts & Operating System (Windows 10 Home). That didn’t include the recently acquired 4K monitor which is another story in itself.
We have uploaded hundreds of videos to YouTube so we had high hopes for 4K Video Editing. Mostly we used our GoPro Session 4 to shoot the videos and were pretty pleased with the results. The newer Session 5 was reasonably priced so we decided to take the plunge with 4K videos.
Software & Hardware
Initially we used GoPro video software and a standard Windows 10 PC for 1080p (1K) video editing but had to upgrade the PC when videos became longer.
Look for an upcoming post on upgrading PCs for video editing.
GoPro Studio became problematic freezing up on long 1K (1080p) videos so we reluctantly migrated to Premiere CC. Premiere CC is an awesome program but very complex with a steep learning curve.
We did have issues with panning 1K videos. There was significant lag between the pan and the edit window.
Our upgraded PC was geared towards 1K video editing (1080p) but we figured we would give it a try before upgrading to faster PC that could handle 4K.
Research revealed that editing 4K videos in Premiere was not that much different than the 1K videos we were currently creating so we were hopeful.
GoPro Session 5
The GoPro Session 5 works as expected and does a few things better than its predecessor including seeing video while shooting. Switching the GoPro Session to 4K mode at 30 fps was straight forward.
We now have 2 Session cameras so we can fire up our secondary camera when the battery runs down.
For those that are not familiar with GoPro Session cameras, they are sealed units so changing the battery is not an option. The Session 5 will shoot videos while attached to a battery pack so that’s another option.
Our First Surprise
We tried editing the videos in Premiere & it didn’t seem that different from 1K editing.
Our 1st attempt to open a raw file (mp4) from the Session 5 only in something other a video editor. We could hear audio in Windows standard software but no video. VLC would show the video but it looked awful. Our problem was that our monitor didn’t support 4K so we upgraded once again. Truthfully, it was well past time for a new monitor.
We set up dual monitors using our old 1080p monitor as our secondary monitor. Interestingly it now will open 4K videos now that is tied to a primary video. It doesn’t look nearly as clear as our 4K monitor but it suffices for mundane tasks like email & web browsing.
Premiere CC 4K & Proxies
Editing 4K videos didn’t seem to be much worse than 1K but we figured we would make it as easy possible for our hardware with proxies. With proxies, we are effectively editing at 1K and publishing at 4K.
Proxies require an additional encoding step so it makes our work flow a bit slower but editing is much easier.
It still doesn’t fix our original problem with panning 1K video but that’s to be expected.
YouTube & Our Second Surprise
We were anxious to see our 4K videos on YouTube and checked as soon as processing was done. The available quality was a mere 360 p so we feared something was amiss in our Premiere setup so started reviewing the mp4s we were uploading. Everything seemed in order and a little research showed that 4K could take a bit longer to show up as YouTube has to generate videos for every resolution.
Eventually our videos did show up as 4K but you still need a 4K monitor to see them.
4K worth the extra trouble?
Our main goal with 4K was to have extra resolution, hoping zoom and panning would be clearer. The jury is still out on that since we haven’t processed enough videos to make a definitive decision.
We still have our Session 4 so we could shoot the same scenes with 1K & 4K for a one to one comparison. However the Session 5 only shoots 30 fps (frames per second) at 4K while the Session 4 shoots 60 fps at 1K so maybe it’s not a foregone conclusion that Session 5 video will be better. I could always slow down the Session 4 to 30 fps but our goal was to have better videos than the Session 4 provided.
Perhaps the fps only applies to changing the motion of the video. If
that’s the case, we won’t see many changes since we rarely adjust video speed.
Without a doubt the files are much larger so we have to make accommodations in cloud storage.
The proxy files are also large but we don’t store those permanently since they can be regenerated. We did the same with huge GoPro Studio AVIs.
Typically we look for malware slowing down a computer but there are other issues that can have a big impact on performance.
SpeedUp My Computer by Cleaning Files
cCleaner is a useful tool to speed up your computer even if malware is not present. It optimizes your computer and removes unnecessary files and registry entries.
It’s sometimes useful to run this before your anti-virus scan since it will remove lots of temporary files which won’t have to be scanned.
Is your computer running slow? As it gets older it collects unused files and settings which take up hard drive space making it slower and slower. CCleaner cleans up these files and makes it faster instantly.
SpeedUp My Computer by Upgrading Hardware
Overworked hardware can also be an issue where an older computer
got upgraded to the latest Operating System. In this scenario, you should consider upgrading memory, hard drive and or processor (CPU) depending on cost and the
In this scenario, you should consider upgrading memory, hard drive and or CPU depending on cost and the resource you need.
In general, a memory upgrade is useful. If you have very little space moving files to an external drive and/DVDs might be the answer.
If you are trying to get the last bit of speed out of your old computer consider a new CPU.
SpeedUp My Computer by Removing Malware
Usually, I can scan a client’s computer with a remote connection like TeamViewer.
On occasion, that’s not possible so the client has to bring the computer in or I have to go to the client’s site. Site visits are the most expensive for the client since they typically incur travel charges and higher hourly fees.
Either way, we generally start out with a MalwareBytes scan. This can be problematic if the computer cannot access the web.
Local Computer Scan Without Access to the Web
If we come to the client then we have the software on removable media or have the means to download same.
We bring the anti-virus software to the disabled computer and kick off a scan.
Remote Computer Scan Without Access to the Web
In the case of a remote computer, we need the client to copy the software on removable media and insert into the slow one or need access to another computer on their network.
The former solution requires some technological skills and removable media. The latter assumes that some shares are accessible via their network.
Assuming we get the anti-virus software installed on the slow computer, we can begin our scan.
Occasionally, AdwCleaner may flag legitimate software so be careful what you allow it to remove. You can restore quarantined software as long as AdwCleaner is not removed so it’s best to leave it on the computer.
I like to Google the malware found and find put which anti-virus scans are required. A typical sequence for us is to use the following.
Bleeping Computer is my favorite site for finding anti-virus solutions and downloads.
SpeedUp My Computer by Stopping Windows Search Service
Any number of programs want to use Windows search including Windows Explorer, Cortana and Outlook so you should be prepared to see prompts from these programs when you turn off Windows Search.
You can usually find services by clicking Start and typing “Services” in
the search bar. Click on the Services program.
Scroll down until you find Windows Search and stop the service. Switch the Startup type to disabled.