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When using the Video Editor mode of Blender 2.82 (I have not used other modes) I get 1-3 FPS max when previewing the video. My processor, GPU and RAM are all no where near maxed out: GPU is at 5%, processor at 30%, RAM around 3 GB out of 8 GB. I can run any game that I download, including heavy games like Assassin's Creedy Odyssey so while my computer has it's limitations, 3 FPS doesn't feel like the ceiling. When I actually render video (not just preview) I ALWAYS get 0.3s to render a frame, regardless of the changes made. There's also a huge lag when dragging videos along the timeline, the actual drag animation lags by up to 5 seconds sometimes.

What I've done:

  1. I've gone into Preferences and increased Sequencer Cache Limit to 8 GB, but the ram is still not fully utilized.
  2. I've set system to use OpenCL and use my AMD 5600 XT graphics card, and I've gone to Render Properties and set the Render Engine to Cycles with the supported feature set, GPU compute mode. I've changed tile sizes, experimenting with 1 tile / frame, and using auto tile size. I've used the Eevee render engine as well. All of these changes have absolutely no effect: I still get 1 frame per 0.3 s.
  3. I've installed the latest drivers for my graphics card.
  4. I've observed my GPU usage from AMD Radeon software: so I know my GPU is actually at 5%.

These are all of the suggestions I've seen, and none of them have done anything for me whatsoever. Obviously with free software you're going to experience problems but I don't think it should be unusable on a relatively expensive computer.

As an additional experiment, I've noticed that if I just load a video in on it's own, and do absolutely nothing to the video, I start with about 18 FPS for under a second and then drop to around 4 FPS for the rest of the preview. The bottom line is that's still way too few frames without anything being maxed out. What settings can I change to resolve this?

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  • $\begingroup$ The VSE does not use GPU(yet), so you'll need to render proxies to your files. Set up and render in the sidebar and select preview resolution in the preview sidebar. $\endgroup$
    – tintwotin
    May 18 '20 at 22:31
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In preview mode of the Video Sequence Editor open the properties panel by pressing N on the keyboard. Then check Prefetch frames under the view settings tab. You will see an orange line under track 1 of the sequencer growing until the video has been pre-loaded. Large clips may need more RAM allocated in settings as VSE fetches the video frame by frame.

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Blender is a great 3d app, but a lousy video editing one. The video editing section was designed long ago and has not grown to meet the needs of today's video editing. It doesn't use the capabilities of modern hardware (multicore CPUs or advanced GPUs), and has issues handling current video formats and frame rates. My advise is not to waste any more of your time trying to make it work, and use a different app. Blenders VSE does not have the capabilities and flexibility of most modern dedicated editing software.

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  • $\begingroup$ Still some changes have been made to VSE to make it more up-to-date $\endgroup$ May 27 '20 at 8:40
  • $\begingroup$ Long way to go still. Why suffer when there are more mature tools? Even the most basic editing programs are much more responsive than the VSE. It might not be worth updating.. Maybe it should follow the same fate as the game engine. $\endgroup$
    – no-can-do
    May 27 '20 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ Sure thing, large studios seldom use open source. Yet, for the editiing 99% of people does it's enough to make Blender the alternative to free online video editors. $\endgroup$ May 28 '20 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ 99% of those users can use tools that are better alternatives to blender, and are free as well. As I stated, blender is wonderful for what is good for. It is not great for every task. Video editing is one of the weakest features. In my opinion it is a disservice trying to convince new users otherwise. A system that has the resources to run blender should be able to do smooth playback and editing in other software. $\endgroup$
    – no-can-do
    Jun 4 '20 at 23:50

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