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Adobe Premiere Pro - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 & 3090 Performance

Written on September 24, 2020 by Matt Bach
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TL;DR: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 & 3090 performance in Premiere Pro

While the average editor likely won't notice much of a performance gain with the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 or RTX 3090 video cards, for certain situations they can provide a healthy boost to performance. In an ideal situation where you are using multiple GPU-accelerated effects, the RTX 3080 10GB is around 10% faster than the more expensive RTX 2080 Ti, or 20-40% faster than the RTX 2080, 2070, and 2060 SUPER cards. The RTX 3090 24GB is even faster, beating the RTX 3080 by 10%, the RTX 2080 Ti by 21%, and 30-60% faster than the 20-series SUPER cards.

These new GPUs are also significantly faster than AMD's current offerings, with the RTX 3080 beating the AMD Radeon RX 5700XT and Vega 64 by around 75% and the RTX 3090 being almost 2x faster in our GPU Stress project.

Introduction

On September 1st, NVIDIA launched the new GeForce RTX 30 Series, touting major advancements in performance and efficiency. While gaming is almost always a major focus during these launches, professional applications like Premiere Pro should also see some significant improvements as well. Adobe has been adding more and more GPU-accelerated effects and features over the last few years, which has made the GPU an increasingly important component in editing workstations.

Premiere Pro GPU Performance Benchmark - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB & RTX 3090 24GB

If you want to see the full specs for the new GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 cards, we recommend checking out NVIDIA's page for the new 30 series cards. But at a glance, here are what we consider to be the most important specs:

VRAM CUDA Cores Boost Clock Power MSRP
RTX 2070S 8GB 2,560 1.77 GHz 215W $499
RTX 3070 8GB 5,888 1.70 GHz 220W $499
RTX 2080 Ti 11GB 4,352 1.55 GHz 250W $1,199
RTX 3080 10GB 8,704 1.71 GHz 320W $699
Titan RTX 24GB 4,608 1.77 GHz 280W $2,499
RTX 3090 24GB 10,496 1.73 GHz 350W $1,499

While specs rarely line up with real-world performance, it is a great sign that NVIDIA has doubled the number of CUDA cores compared to the comparable RTX 20 series cards with only a small drop in the boost clock. At the same time, the RTX 3080 and 3090 are also $500-1000 less expensive than the previous generation depending on which models you are comparing them to.

While it is a bit odd that the RTX 3080 has less VRAM than the 2080 Ti, all three of these new cards should all be capable of working with 4K timelines in Premiere Pro. The RTX 3080 and 3090 (with 10GB and 24GB of VRAM respectively) should also have no trouble with 8K timelines. However, keep in mind that the actual performance in those kinds of workflows depends more on the power of your CPU than anything else.

With the launch of the RTX 3090, we can update our previous Adobe Premiere Pro - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Performance article with results for the 3090, but since the RTX 3070 is not launching until sometime in October, we cannot include it at this time. However, we are very interested in how the RTX 3070 will perform, and when we are able to test that card, we will post another follow-up article with the results.

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Test Setup

Listed below is the specifications of the system we will be using for our testing:

*All the latest drivers, OS updates, BIOS, and firmware applied as of September 15th, 2020

To test each GPU, we will be using the fastest platform currently available for Premiere Pro - most notably the AMD Threadripper 3970X. Since Premiere Pro utilizes the CPU so heavily, this should minimize the impact of the processor and allow each GPU to perform at their fullest potential.

One thing we need to specifically point out is that we are using the latest beta build of Premiere Pro because the currently available production build (14.3.2) has a bug preventing it from properly processing R3D media with the RTX 30-series cards. This is a known issue, with the fix being implemented in the Premiere Pro beta. However, while one of the major features of the current beta is the addition of GPU-based H.264/HEVC decoding, we actually saw significantly lower performance with this feature enabled. This is likely due in part to how powerful of a CPU we are using, but we plan on investigating why hardware decoding is giving us worse performance in a future article. For now, we left hardware decoding disabled which, from what we can tell, results in nearly identical performance to Premiere Pro 14.3.2.

For the testing itself, we will be using the "Standard" preset of our PugetBench for Premiere Pro benchmark. This tests a number of different codec types (H.264, ProRes 422, and RED RAW), but also includes a dedicated "Heavy GPU Effects" test that is meant to put as much load on the GPU as possible while still staying within the realm of what someone might actually do in the real world.

If you wish to run our benchmark yourself, you can download the benchmark and compare your results to thousands of user-submitted results in our PugetBench database.

Raw Benchmark Results

While we are going to go through our analysis of the testing in the next section, we always like to provide the raw results for those that want to dig into the details. If there is a specific codec or export setting you tend to use in your workflow, examining the raw results for that task is going to be much more applicable than our more general analysis.

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Overall Premiere Pro Performance Analysis

In applications like Premiere Pro where the GPU is secondary to the CPU, many reviewers like to focus on extreme situations that heavily load the GPU. However, we first want to start off by looking at the overall performance we saw from our Premiere Pro benchmark with each GPU in order to show what most users would likely experience in their day-to-day work.

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Looking at the Overall Standard Score, the new RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 do top the charts, but they effectively score the same as the Titan RTX, 2080Ti, and dual RTX 2080 Ti. This is a pretty good result for the RTX 3080 considering that it is less expensive than any of those options (often significantly so), but the 3% performance gain from the RTX 3090 is going to be hard for anyone to justify.

Even compared to the RTX 2080 SUPER, the 3080 and 3090 are only about 5-8% faster overall, which is just beyond the margin of error for this test. However, if you are still using an old GTX 1080 Ti, the performance gain is close to 30% which should result in noticeably better performance for most users.

Keep in mind that the scores shown in the charts above include quite a few tests that are heavily CPU limited. Playing ProRes and H.264 footage (currently) does not utilize the GPU, and neither does exporting to ProRes, which easily covers more than half the tests. This is still a fairly good indication of what the average Premiere Pro user may experience overall, but we can dive into specific situations where a more powerful GPU should net you more significant performance gains.

Exporting to H.264 Analysis

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB & RTX 3090 24GB Premiere Pro GPU Encoding performance benchmark

The chart above is not an official part of our Premiere Pro benchmark at the moment but is a calculated score from the H.264 export tests. As we showed in our recent Premiere Pro 14.2 H.264/H.265 Hardware Encoding Performance article, the amount of speedup you can see by utilizing the recently added hardware encoding feature varies greatly depending on your source media and export settings. In this case, we are exporting 4K media to UHD H.264 40mbps, which, coincidentally, is where we saw the largest performance gains.

Here, the performance advantage of the new RTX 30-series cards is a bit larger, with both cards beating the RTX 2080 SUPER by 12%, the RTX 2080 Ti by 6%, and even edging out over the dual RTX 2080 Ti configuration by a small 3%. Once again, however, both the RTX 3080 and 3090 perform almost the same. They both are certainly much faster than the AMD Radeon GPUs or the older GTX 1080 Ti, but this is a feature that has a fairly dramatic soft cap to GPU performance so there is less to gain as you go up in raw GPU performance.

Heavy GPU Effects Analysis

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB & RTX 3090 24GB Premiere Pro GPU Effects benchmark performance

Our heavy GPU effects test looks at live playback and export performance with sequences that have a large number of GPU-accelerated effects including Lumetri Color, Ultra Key, Sharpen, Gaussian Blur, Basic 3D, Directional Blur, VR Digital Glitch, and VR De-Noise. Because it is designed to maximize the load on the GPU and minimize the load on the rest of the system, this should be close to the maximum possible performance difference you will ever experience between different GPUs in Premiere Pro.

Here, the RTX 3080 beats the RTX 2080 SUPER by a solid 20%, the RTX 2080 Ti by 10%, and even the dual RTX 2080 Ti configuration by 5%. The RTX 3090 was even faster, out-performing the new RTX 3080 by 10%, the RTX 2080 Ti by 21%, and the dual RTX 2080 Ti by 15%

Compared to the more modest GPUs we tested, the performance gains can be very significant. The RTX 3080 and 3090 were more than 40% and 60% faster than the RTX 2060 SUPER respectively, and the RTX 3090, in particular, was close to twice the performance of the AMD Radeon RX 5700XT and Vega 64.

Compared to the older GTX 1080 Ti, the results get a bit... odd. This is one of the first times we have run this exact test on the GTX 1080 Ti, and we were surprised to see how poorly that specific card performed. We verified this result with multiple cards, drivers, etc., but it is likely that one of the effects we are using simply does not run very well on the older GTX series cards. Because this is likely an artifact caused by a single effect, you probably won't actually see a nearly 5x increase in performance going from a GTX 1080 Ti to an RTX 3080 or 3090 unless you happen to be using one of these "problem" effects. But if you use a large number of GPU-based effects, at least a 2x increase in performance is not an unreasonable expectation.

How well does the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 & 3090 perform in Premiere Pro?

While the average editor likely won't notice much of a performance gain with the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 or RTX 3090 video cards, for certain situations they can provide a healthy boost to performance. In an ideal situation where you are using multiple GPU-accelerated effects, the RTX 3080 10GB is around 10% faster than the more expensive RTX 2080 Ti, or 20-40% faster than the RTX 2080, 2070, and 2060 SUPER cards. The RTX 3090 24GB is even faster, beating the RTX 3080 by 10%, the RTX 2080 Ti by 21%, and 30-60% faster than the 20-series SUPER cards.

These new GPUs are also significantly faster than AMD's current offerings, with the RTX 3080 beating the AMD Radeon RX 5700XT and Vega 64 by around 75% and the RTX 3090 being almost 2x faster in our GPU Stress project.

Overall, this makes the new RTX 3080 and 3090 an excellent option if you are configuring a new editing workstation, and can be a solid upgrade option depending on your workflow and what GPU you currently have. In general, the more GPU accelerated effects you use, the more of a benefit you will see with the more expensive RTX 3090 24GB card, but the extra VRAM also makes it a good idea if you want to work with 8K media. If you only work with 4K media, you may want to wait for the upcoming RTX 3070 which is slated to launch in October.

As always, keep in mind that these results are strictly for Premiere Pro. If you have performance concerns for other applications in your workflow, we highly recommend checking out our Hardware Articles (you can filter by "Video Card") for the latest information on how a range of applications perform with the new RTX 3080 and 3090 GPUs, as well as with different CPUs and other hardware.

Computer System

Premiere Pro Workstations

Puget Systems offers a range of powerful and reliable systems that are tailor-made for your unique workflow.

Configure a System!

Labs technician talking with customer

Labs Consultation Service

Our Labs team is available to provide in-depth hardware recommendations based on your workflow.

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Tags: Hardware Acceleration, hardware encoding, NVIDIA, NVIDIA vs AMD, AMD, Vega 64, Radeon RX 5700 XT, RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2070 SUPER, RTX 2080 SUPER, RTX 2080 Ti, Titan RTX, RTX 3080, RTX 3090
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