Matthew Bach (Puget Labs)

A quick look at GTX 1080 performance in Premiere Pro

Written on June 1, 2016 by Matthew Bach
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We now have a full article showing the performance in Premiere Pro of both the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 using single and dual configurations. We highly suggest reading that article as the results should be more accurate than what we showed in this blog post:

Updated article: GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 Premiere Pro Performance

The new GTX 1080 has been getting quite a bit of press recently with review after review being published online. Unfortunately for content creators (and other professionals), it is almost impossible to find any non-gaming benchmark results for this card. Games can often be a good indicator of general GPU performance, but it is never as good as actually testing a specific applications.

We just recent got in our first GTX 1080, and among the first applications we wanted to test was Premiere Pro. Before we get into our benchmark results, we wanted to point out one issue we came across with RED 4K/6K footage. With both the GTX 1080, a GTX Titan X, and a GTX 980 Ti, we were getting a black preview window and received an error if we tried to export our test project. After some research, trial, and error, we discovered that this problem is caused by the new CUDA 8 drivers. If we rolled back the video driver with the GTX Titan X and 980 Ti to 320.00 (which we believe is using CUDA 7), the issue was resolved. Unfortunately, there is only a single GTX 1080 driver available currently and it uses CUDA 8, so we were not able to test RED 4K or 6K footage.

NOTE 8/25/2016: The issue with RED footage has been fixed in the 368.39 NVIDIA GeForce driver. Please see the newr article linked at the start of this article for RED benchmark results for the new cards.


Even with this issue, however, we were still able to test a variety of 1080p and 4K footage using the H.264, CineForm, and ProRes codecs:

Exporting Video

Rendering Previews

Compared to the GTX Titan X and GTX 980 Ti, the GTX 1080 should be about ~7% faster on a Dual Xeon system and about ~3% faster on a Core i7 system in Premiere Pro.

This isn't huge or anything like that, but 7% faster for significantly less money, lower power draw, and less heat is actually a pretty impressive feat from NVIDIA. Is it worth upgrading from a GTX Titan X or GTX 980 Ti to a GTX 1080? Maybe, maybe not - it just depends on how much a 3-7% increase in performance is worth it for you.

This was just a quick test were able to run, but hopefully it helps answer the question of whether you should get a GTX 1080 for your Premiere Pro workstation.

If you are configuring a workstation for Premiere Pro, we have a number of articles regarding the hardware requirements for Premiere Pro that you may be interested in. If you prefer a summary, we also have a list of Hardware Recommendations for Premiere Pro based on the findings of these articles.

Premiere Pro CC 2015.4
Storage Optimization

How many drives should you use and how should you configure them?

NAB Webinar: Choosing the right hardware for your Premiere Pro Workstation
Comprehensive guide for what hardware to use in your workstation

Premiere Pro CC 2015.3
CPU Comparison

What CPU should you choose for your Premiere Pro workstation?

Premiere Pro CC 2015
Multi Core Performance

Does having more CPU cores give you more performance?

Premiere Pro CC 2015.3
Pascal GPU Performance

Will a more expensive video card improve performance in Premiere?

View All Articles

Includes older articles that may not be relevant for the latest hardware and software revisions 

Tags: Premiere Pro, GTX 1080
Geoff C. Bassett

Please do a comparison vs the 980 ti, a card on a equal cost level. Thank you for this test however, like you said, very little online about it's performance in media creation.

Posted on 2016-06-02 15:44:28
Sinbad Nimmanaranon

ผลออกมาสูสีกับตัวเก่า ไม่คุ้มแน่นอน

Posted on 2016-06-03 03:21:46
Jason Tyler

Awesome, thanks for doing this. I've been looking everywhere for benchmarks relevant to my workload and not gaming. THis is exactly what I was looking for. Do you plan on doing any benchmarks for the 1070 GTX when it comes out? I Think that card is going to be the sweet spot for price/performance and I'd love to see how it stacks up against the other GPUs.

Posted on 2016-06-04 07:39:16

Yea, when the 1070 is out we'll probably do a more full-blown article about the different gpu options for Premiere. Only thing we might wait for is the new version of Premiere if it looks like it will be releasing relatively soon

Posted on 2016-06-04 07:45:15
godisafairytale

For those of us still using a perpetual license CS6, does this suggest that only newer versions of Premiere will be able to work on the new Pascal GPUs? Or just that the new Premiere will work a bit better with them?

Posted on 2016-06-10 09:27:27

CS6 should work with these cards, but not out of the box. Unless they have changed it (which they very well may have since I last ran it), in CS6 there are only certain cards that would work with the Mercury Playback Engine and if you didn't have one of the cards on the list, you couldn't enable GPU acceleration. It only takes editing a text file to get any CUDA card to work (https://www.pointsinfocus.com/....

I wouldn't expect any problems if you have to do that work-around, but I also haven't tested it myself in CS6, so I can't guarantee anything.

Posted on 2016-06-10 17:30:44
godisafairytale

Thanks for the heads up. I was aware of that workaround. What I didn't realize until your article is the different versions of CUDA (version 8 for Pascal). Is this sort of like DirectX, which opens up a whole new range of features and expanded options with new versions, or more like CUDA either works or it doesn't? Do you know if CUDA 8 specifically allows, or perhaps accelerates certain effects, transitions, and titles which are unavailable on 7? It would be exciting to see, for example, greater floating point precision on some effects, or better HDR/deep color performance. I'd be eager to get on board, provided the stability and performance are solid.

Posted on 2016-06-11 01:22:17

Actually, when I first started this testing i was accidentally using an older driver for the Titan X that was still CUDA 7.5 . I re-ran the testing with the latest driver (with CUDA 8), but comparing the results I didn't see any difference. There may be performance enhancements to be had, but either the basic timelines I tested didn't take advantage of them or Premiere isn't yet coded to take advantage of them.

One thing I will note, however, is that the latest drivers with CUDA 8 do have a few bugs in them. The biggest I found is that RED RAW footage can't be played back - it just gives a black screen in the preview panel and gives an error if you try to export. It has already been confirmed as a driver issue and it looks like it should be fixed very soon, but good to know that if you are worried about stability CUDA 7.5 is the better choice.

Posted on 2016-06-11 18:12:48

Perfect! I've been looking for some render benchmarks and finally i found these here.
Would 2x 1080gtx in sli give a lot?
Sry4myBadEn

Posted on 2016-06-09 14:50:20
Nick Blaising

Am I right to assume you were using the older version of the Titan X without Pascal the new architecture? Either way you stated that the driver would be the older CUDA 7 version. So I believe it would be the older Titan X.

Posted on 2016-08-22 13:50:20
Fabio Palma

Hi Matthew, thanks for sharing!! I am a little bit confused on GTX1080 pp behaviour with Red 4K; in this article you say it's not yet ready due to the driver, but in the article Premiere Pro 2015.3 Pascal GPU Performance, you show benchmark result also for this combination

Posted on 2016-08-24 05:38:11

This "quick look" was published back on June 1st, when these GeForce 1080 cards were brand-new. The current NVIDIA driver at the time had a problem with RED video codecs. That has since been fixed, in a newer driver release, and in the newer Pascal GPU Performance article (just published this month) RED video was just fine.

Posted on 2016-08-24 05:45:32
Julio Cesar

I'm not getting any graphics acceleration at all with the GTX 1080 and the latest drivers, can't even handle MTS 1080p well...
Is there a fix or is it a CUDA 8 incompatibility?
Now I really regret buying the 1080, I've should just upgraded my CPU and RAM instead.

Posted on 2016-09-04 12:13:40