Does Changing Computer Priority to Real Time or High Benefit The Editing Process?

Does Changing Computer Priority to Real Time or High Benefit The Editing Process?

I am using Shotcut in Win 11.

I recently watched a video in which a suggestion was made (for Win 10) to change the computer’s priority for dealing with videos, in order to maximize resources for editing video.

The equivalent in Win 11 would be:

  1. Go To Task Manager
  2. Click Details
  3. Highlight the Video Editing Programme which is open (in this case, Shotcut.exe)
  4. Right-click
  5. Set Priority
  6. Change to Real Time or High (from Normal)

Is this of significant benefit when editing video (particularly with slower computers)?

I realize that using the ‘Proxy’ setting when editing (but not when rendering/exporting) is also something that can help make video playback smoother during the process of editing.

Thanks for any replies.

Probably not. If your computer’s performance is too low to run the Shotcut preview smoothly, then the first thing you should do is try to close all your other programs. If it still does not preview smoothly, and you set the priority higher, what would it have higher priority over? Everything else is closed. Maybe 5% of the CPU is being used for background tasks. I predict that Shotcut would still not preview smoothly, but also other things would be unresponsive (like click on the taskbar).

If you try it, we would be interested to know your results.

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Thanks, Brian.

My (new) laptop is (nominally) not that slow, so I was more interested in this as a theoretical question - just wanting to optimize things as much as possible.

The laptop seems OK for editing in Shotcut, although I was hoping its specs would have meant better performance (MSI R6E Intel i7-12700H, RTX3070, 1TB, 16GB).

I will do a test, and post the results here, if I find performance really disappointing.

Thanks again for your reply.

As far as I know there is no huge benefit setting the priority higher on both low end and high end systems.

I did a test with systems that have following specs:

“low end”:
i7 4770k @ stock
2x8GB DDR3 @ 1600mhz (stock)
nVidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB @ stock
Z motherboard (not OEM)
SATA SSD 1TB (videos)

“high end”:
i7 11700k @ stock
2x16GB DDR4 @ 3200mhz (stock)
nVidia GeForce RTX 2080-TI 11GB @ stock
Z motherboard (not OEM)
SATA SSD 1TB (videos)

The “low end” PC took rendering a video with a lot of filters (procceding “melt” as normal priority) about 15:23 mins, as Shotcut says.
The “low end” PC took rendering a video with a lot of filters (procceding “melt” as real time priority) about 15:01 mins, as Shotcut says.

Meanwhile the “high end” PC took rendering a video with a lot of filters (procceding “melt” as normal priority) about 3:21 mins, as Shotcut says.
The “high end” PC took rendering a video with a lot of filters (procceding “melt” as realtime priority) about 3:19 mins as Shotcut says.

On both systems the preview, whether the priority of the proccesses of Shotcut were set to normal, high or realtime were well above 24fps all over the time, which I think is the standard intger for previews in editing software.

But something I do not know about is the proxy option.
I have never heared of it before and as you mentioned it, I searched for it in the world wide web:

"Proxy editing is the process of creating and using low resolution videos and images in places of the original or optimized (Convert to Edit-friendly) files. This provides the advantage that your computer has less work to do in realtime while editing: decoding, scaling, and effects. This is, quite simply, because there are less pixels to compute. Then, when you are ready to export, it will use the original (or optimized) files for full quality.

Performance is optimal when the preview resolution matches the files it is working with. So, this feature is designed to work in conjunction with Preview Scaling . You can still use the proxy mode without Preview Scaling, however, in case something is not working absolutely correct with Preview Scaling." - Shotcut Documentation

If you are interested in having a better performance you can choose to render the video preview at lower resoulitons. To do that, go in Shotcut to “settings” → “preview scaling” and from there you can choose which resolution you would like to have your preview.
Also check, if your export settings are being set correctly when using the preview scaling option.
To do that, go to “export” → “advanced” and there make sure the “use preview scaling” option is disabled. If it was enabled, Shotcut would render at the preview resolution leading to worse visual quality.

Sorry for my bad english.

I hope I could help.

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Hi No_Names.

Many thanks for doing this test, and for responding like this.

I really appreciate it.

Those are quite significant differences in rendering times between the high end and low end systems, but it is notable that the priority settings do not make much difference.

Yes, video editing using Proxies has been quite common for quite a while, and that is the process I plan to use.

Thanks for noting that the ‘Preview Scaling’ setting will create the optimal result (in terms of a smooth editing process) when used in association with Proxy editing.

I had seen that in a video I watched on the subject, but it is important information for people to read here, I think.

Thanks again, and all the best.

Your English is very good :slight_smile:


Basically setting Shotcut’s priority to HIGH will have very little effect if there is not much else running on your computer.

Simple explanation:

Suppose you have a “go to the head of the line” card for the grocery store. You go to the store, fill your cart, go to the checkout counters, and find there’s no one in line. Does your card help you get checked out faster? Nope.

Priorities don’t affect processing speed, in that a higher priority process doesn’t get to run faster or even to use more CPU time… not if it’s the only thing that wants to use the CPU.

See the following webpage for a reasonable explanation:

windows - How do priorities work on task-manager and when should/n't I set this? - Super User.

Thanks very much, Elusien.

Thank you very much for the compliments.

Wish the best too.


Thanks very much.

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