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Adobe Premiere Pro - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Performance

Written on September 17, 2020 by Matt Bach

TL;DR: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 performance in Premiere Pro

While the average editor likely won't notice much of a performance gain with the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 video card, in certain situations it can provide a healthy boost to performance. In an ideal situation where you are using multiple GPU-accelerated effects, you are looking at a 10% increase in performance compared to the more expensive RTX 2080 Ti, or a 20-40% increase in performance compared to the RTX 2080, 2070, and 2060 SUPER cards.


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

If you want to see the full specs for the new GeForce RTX 3070, 3080, and 3090 cards, we recommend checking out NVIDIAs 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.

Since only the RTX 3080 is fully launched at this point (the 3090 is set to launch on Sept 24th, and the 3070 sometime in October), we, unfortunately, will only be able to examine the 3080 at this time. However, we are very interested in how the RTX 3070 and 3090 will perform, and when we are able to test those cards, we will post follow-up articles 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 3080. 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.

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.

Looking at the Overall Standard Score, the new RTX 3080 does top the charts, but it effectively scores the same as the Titan RTX, 2080Ti, and dual RTX 2080 Ti. Considering that it is less expensive than any of those options (often significantly so), this is still a big win for the RTX 3080, but it is likely not going to be worth an upgrade if you already have one of these cards.

Even compared to the RTX 2080 SUPER, the 3080 is only about 5% faster overall, which is right on the edge of 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 do not heavily load the GPU. 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 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 RTX 3080 is a bit larger, 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%. It is 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 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.

In this test, the RTX 3080 takes the largest performance lead yet, beating the RTX 2080 SUPER by a solid 20%, the RTX 2080 Ti by 10%, and the dual RTX 2080 Ti configuration by 5%. And if you are considering upgrading from one of the mid-range RTX 20-series cards, the performance gain can be quite significant with more than a 40% increase in performance compared to the RTX 2060 SUPER.

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 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 perform in Premiere Pro?

While the average editor likely won't notice much of a performance gain with the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 video card, in certain situations it can provide a healthy boost to performance. In an ideal situation where you are using multiple GPU-accelerated effects, you are looking at a 10% increase in performance compared to the more expensive RTX 2080 Ti, or a 20-40% increase in performance compared to the RTX 2080, 2070, and 2060 SUPER cards.

Due to the recent addition of GPU hardware encoding, exporting to H.264 is another area that now can benefit (albeit to a lesser degree) from a more powerful video card. Here, the RTX 3080 is around 6-18% faster than the RTX 20-series GPUs we tested, and 50% or more faster than an AMD Radeon GPU or an older GTX 1080 Ti.

Overall, this makes the RTX 3080 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. It may not be a "must-have" for all editors, but given that it handily outperforms the RTX 2080 Ti at a $500 lower price tag, it is a great sign for the direction NVIDIA is going. The upcoming RTX 3070 will likely be especially attractive for many editors when it launches 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 GPU, as well as with different CPUs and other hardware.

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

Could you post detail results on the 3080 processing 8k .r3d files at 30 fps and 8k r3d files at 60fps in premier as well... Thanks for the awesome review.

Posted on 2020-09-17 18:55:27

We usually skip the extended tests for GPU reviews since there rarely is much to learn from those extra tests in regards to GPU performance. Even RED 8K tends to be CPU bound unless you have a fairly low-end GPU, and running all of them would increase the time it takes for us to run our Premiere Pro benchmarks by over five times. At some point I want to trim down the extended tests to make it faster to run, but pretty much everything we run in that test is important to someone.
Still, should probably just bite the bullet and drop all the 23.976FPS tests or something. I know that (or 24/30) is what most people edit, but most of the systems we test are so robust these days that it just isn't a challenge in most cases.

Posted on 2020-09-17 19:14:10
Jakub Badełek

Hi Matt, thank you for another bunch of tests, great job! have you considered a quick test of differences in PCIe generations? Currently Intel does not support Gen 4, while AMD does and RTX3000 as well. It would be cool to see if it bring any benefits. Gamernexus (for sure you know them) found that in some applications it may bring visible benfits: https://www.youtube.com/wat...

Posted on 2020-09-19 05:10:52

We've done some testing, but in these kinds of applications, the CPU makes a MUCH bigger impact than PCI-E speed ever will. So while there may be a difference between PCI-E 3.0 and 4.0, getting the right CPU regardless of PCI-E generation is going to make a bigger difference overall.

Posted on 2020-09-21 15:52:56
Jakub Badełek

Makes sense! thanks! :)

Posted on 2020-09-22 19:00:24

Any chance for Neat Video benchmarks? As interesting as all of these numbers are, they're effectively identical for nearly all use cases to the 2000 series. The difference in the 3080 and even the 2060 Super is only single digits in PugetBench, so the only reason I would upgrade my card is if there a substantial boost in Neat Video performance. Especially since for anybody that uses Neat Video daily it's pretty much *the* bottleneck that's holding everything else back, and any other performance improvements are just gravy.

Posted on 2020-09-21 05:19:55

"a single digit percentage" I should say.

Posted on 2020-09-21 05:22:07

We don't include plugins in our articles (yet), but we actually do run NeatBench in our production department during the benchmark/testing process, so I can pull some results.

Actually... nevermind. Looks like the new RTX 30-series cards aren't supported by the version of NeatBench we are using. There is a newer version, but my bet is that it will be at least a few weeks before these cards are supported.

Posted on 2020-09-21 16:11:45

Ah, that's too bad. Hopefully they add 30-series support as soon as they get their hands on the cards and I can bug you again for some quick numbers ;)

Thanks for looking into it though, I appreciate it!

Posted on 2020-09-21 22:34:38

Hey Matt, just a heads up, both Neat Video and NeatBench have been updated to 5.3.0 which includes support for "Ampere GPUs including GeForce RTX 3070 / 3080 / 3090 (Windows, Linux)".

Posted on 2020-09-26 04:25:01

Thanks for the heads up! I'll get our internal benchmarks updated.

I did run it real quick on the RTX 3080 and it gave a peak GPU only result of 54.3 frames/sec. We were running NeatBench 5.1 before, but with that version the RTX 2060 SUPER gets around 33 frames/sec while the 2080 ti gets ~42 frames/sec. I'm not sure if anything changed performance-wise between the two versions, but that works out to a 65% and 30% performance gain respectively.

Posted on 2020-09-28 16:22:20

> that works out to a 65% and 30% performance gain respectively.

I mean wow, that's darn impressive. And if the 3070 ends up equaling the 2080 Ti it becomes an excellent value proposition for video editors on a budget that use Neat Video.

Also, this makes me wonder even more how the new AMD cards will shake out by comparison. Thank you for these!

Posted on 2020-09-30 23:06:40

i have a ryzen 3900x with a 2060 super 8gb, and when i export an hour of 4k footage with effects it takes an hour if i get an rtx 3080 will that export time be cut in half from an hour to 30 minutes or no?

Posted on 2020-09-23 19:42:09

No, the RTX 3080 should export in at best about 85% of the time as a 2060 SUPER - assuming you are using GPU hardware encoding. So your hour export should drop down to about 51 minutes depending on your source codec, timeline, etc.

Posted on 2020-09-23 19:44:35

darn so the gains are that small?

Posted on 2020-09-23 19:48:32

Yea. Using GPU acceleration makes a big difference, but between the different GPUs the difference isn't all that large.

Posted on 2020-09-23 19:50:35

thank you for responding back i thought i would have to wait like a week or something what are the hours for asking questions?

Posted on 2020-09-23 19:51:36

No hours or anything, or even a guarantee of a response to be honest. I just get notifications via email whenever a comment comes on.

Posted on 2020-09-23 19:56:04

How come a dual 2080 Ti is slower vs single 2080 Yi?

Posted on 2020-09-25 23:49:25
Guilherme Montenegro

latency, i guess.

Posted on 2020-12-11 06:08:21

That kind of behavior actually isn't that unusual in applications that technically support multiple GPUs, but don't have the best implementation to due so. The "why" behind it is usually not something an end user can determine, however, since it depends on how the application is coded which isn't public information. As a best guess, it may have something to do with needing to duplicate all the VRAM data onto each card which adds some additional overhead, but only the Pr devs could say for sure.

Heck, it even happens at times in DaVinci Resolve which is known in the industry for how good it is at using multiple GPUs: https://www.pugetsystems.co... . Look at the Fusion results in particular: https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Posted on 2020-12-11 17:44:28