Tip #037: Fixing Dropped Frame Errors

… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Tip #037: Fixing Dropped Frame Errors

Larry Jordan – https://LarryJordan.com

Dropped frame errors generally mean hard disk or CPU problems.

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Tip #35 showed how to display the Dropped Frame Indicator. Green indicates that your system is fast enough to play the current media in real-time without dropping any frames, which causes stuttery or stopped playback.

However, when this glows yellow, you’ve got problems. Here’s what could be causing the issue:

Dropped frame errors are generally caused by one or more of these factors:

  • A hard disk that’s too slow to keep up with the video format you are editing
  • A boot disk with insufficient free space
  • A media disk (external drive) with insufficient free space
  • A hard disk that’s overly fragmented, or with confused disk directories
  • An effect that’s too complex for the CPU to calculate in real time
  • Insufficient RAM for the size of the project
  • A video format (such as HEVC) that’s too complex for the CPU to decode in real-time

Demanding more data from your storage than it is capable of delivering in real-time is the most frequent cause of dropped frames.

In general, try to maintain at least 20% free space on all storage devices. And, to make sure you aren’t running into problems, make sure the dropped frame indicator is turned on.

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3 replies
  1. Alan Nesbitt
    Alan Nesbitt says:

    Remember the long ago days waiting while disks had to be defragged for nearly anything to be done. Didn’t realise it could still be a problem. Enjoying and finding these tips so useful. Great idea.


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