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Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015.3 Pascal GPU Performance

Written on August 18, 2016 by Matt Bach


With new models of video cards being launched and updates to Premiere Pro being released on a constant basis, we spend a significant amount of time here at Puget Systems re-doing testing that is at times only a few months old. In fact, although our last Premiere Pro GPU article was published only about 2 months before this article, the release of Premiere Pro 2015.3 (10.4) as well as the new NVIDIA Titan X (Pascal version) video card meant that it is already time for us to re-run our benchmarks. Most software updates don't result in significant performance changes, but sometimes - especially in conjunction with other hardware or driver improvements - there can be a big enough change that we find the need to adjust what we recommend to our customers.

In this article we will be looking at the performance of Premiere Pro 2015.3 when exporting and generating previews with the latest Pascal video cards from NVIDIA. Specifically, we will be testing both single and dual GPU configurations of the GTX 1060 6GB, GTX 1070 8GB, GTX 1080 8GB, and the Titan X 12GB video cards. In addition, we will also be testing the previous generation GTX 980 Ti 6GB to see if there is any significant performance advantages to using the latest cards.

Test Setup

For our test system, we used the following hardware:

Premiere Pro can heavily utilize the CPU, although in our CPU-based testing we have found that there is only a relatively small benefit to using a workstation with dual Xeon CPUs. Because of this, we are simply going to test with a single configuration using an Intel Core i7 6950X CPU. While there are faster CPU configurations you could use depending on if you export to 1080p or 4K+ resolutions, this is still a great all-around CPU for Premiere Pro which makes it ideal for comparing different video cards.

The different video cards we will be testing are:

To help with consistency - and since the benchmarks we performed ran for several days - we programmed a custom script using AutoIt to start Premiere Pro, load the relevant project, time how long it takes to export the timeline with the appropriate settings or generate previews, close Premiere Pro to clear any data from the system RAM, then loop while changing the project file.

The files we will be testing with came from a variety of sources:

1080P H.264/CineForm
4K H.264/CineForm
Provided by: Jerry Berg
Barnacules Nerdgasm - YouTube
ProRes 4K Grant Petty
Blackmagic Design Forum (available for public download)
4K RED RAW Provided by: Mike Pecci
Director & Photographer
6K RED RAW Neumann Films
RED Dragon Test Shot (available for public download)

In order to make our testing as accurate as possible, we used relatively simple timelines for our testing. In the past, we've loaded on the accelerated effects to show the maximum difference between cards, but we found that this was not representative of real-world performance gains. Our test timelines consisted of:

  • 4-5 clips arranged in series to make a 60 second timeline
  • A basic transition (cross dissolve) was applied between each clip
  • Lumetri color correction effect applied to each clip
  • Vector-based logo graphic added to the bottom corner of the footage

Exporting to 1080p - Single GPU

While more and more people are starting to shoot in 4K and higher resolutions, 1080p is still by far the most common resolution to export to. Because of this, we thought we would start our testing by looking at how Premiere Pro is able to utilize a single GPU when exporting from a variety of resolutions and codecs to H.264 1080p:

Premiere Pro Pascal GPU Performance

Right off the bat, we are getting some very interesting results. In some instances (H.264 1080p, CineForm 1080p, and RED 4K) we saw essentially no difference between any of the cards we tested. Others (ProRes 4K) showed some minor differences, but they were only minor and not consistent  - the more powerful cards were sometimes slower than the less powerful cards.

However, there were three times where you would notice the difference with a more powerful video card. If you work with H.264 or CineForm 4K footage and export to 1080p, there is a definitely an increase in performance by using a GTX 1070, and a further increase by using a GTX 1080. While these two tests did not show a benefit to using a Titan X, Exporting RED 6K footage to 1080p did show a pretty significant decrease in export times when using a Titan X.

Exporting to 1080p - Dual GPU

Premiere Pro Pascal Dual Video Card
With two video cards, our results are quite a bit different than what we saw with a single GPU. This time, the only time we saw an advantage to using more power cards was when exporting RED 6K footage to H.264 1080p. Even then, even the GTX 1070 was able to match the GTX 1080 or Titan X.

What is really interesting here is that if you compare these results to the results from our single GPU test in the previous section, it becomes clear that we are definitely hitting some sort of bottleneck that is preventing the workstation from exporting any faster. In most cases, a single GTX 1080 is going to be faster than any dual GPU configuration (with the exception of RED 6K where you would need a Titan X to match the performance of two GTX 1070/1080 video cards). We are confident that we are not hitting a storage bottleneck (we tested with faster storage to make sure), but it is possible we are hitting a CPU bottleneck even though we are using one of the fastest CPUs currently available for Premiere Pro. No matter what is causing us to hit this performance wall, however, our testing indicates that with current hardware there is rarely a need for a dual GPU configuration if you are primarily concerned about performance when exporting to 1080p.

Exporting to 4K - Single GPU

Although 4K isn't as widespread as 1080p quite yet, more and more Premiere Pro users are either exporting to 4K or are considering exporting to 4K in the near future. Exporting to higher resolutions is more taxing on the system as a whole, so it will be interesting to see if the difference between each video card changes when exporting to 4K versus exporting to 1080p:

Premiere Pro Pascal 4K performance

With the export resolution turned up to 4K, we actually saw no difference between the different video card models when exporting any of the 4K footage (regardless of codec) to H.264 4K. However, we did see a big difference when we scaled the RED 6K footage down to 4K. What is interesting is that most of the performance gains we saw when exporting to 1080p in the previous two sections was when we started with higher resolution footage and downscaled to 1080p. While not conclusive, this does suggest that a more powerful video card is more likely to be beneficial if you export to a lower resolution than your source footage.

Exporting to 4K - Dual GPU

With two video cards, there isn't really much to discuss. Exporting RED 6K footage to H.264 4K was the only time we saw a difference in performance, but even then there was no reason to go to anything more powerful.

However, if you again compare the single GPU results to the results in this section, you will notice that using two cards is rarely faster than using a single card. In fact, the only time it is faster is if you are using RED 6K footage. Even then, a single Titan X is as fast as any dual GPU configuration - even two Titan X's. Technically, two GTX 1070 cards would be cheaper than a single Titan X so there may be a cost reason to go with dual cards if you work with 6K+ footage, but at that resolution the additional VRAM on the Titan X is likely to be very useful. In addition, single GPU configurations tend to be more stable in the long term with fewer driver or software bugs popping up at random times.

Render Previews - Single GPU

Premiere Pro Preview Generation Pascal Titan X

Rendering previews is very interesting because - for whatever reason - the results are almost the opposite of what we saw when exporting to 1080p. This time, with the exception of ProRes 4K, the different video cards were all able to generate previews for the 4K and 6K footage at approximately the same speed. In fact, only the 1080p footage (both H.264 and CineForm) showed a benefit to using a higher end GPU.

Render Previews - Dual GPU

If you read the earlier sections, this is probably starting to look familiar. In a couple of instances there is a pretty big benefit to upgrading from two GTX 1060s to two GTX 1070s, but no benefit to using a GTX 1080 or Titan X. However, if you once again compare these results to the single GPU results in the previous section, it is clear that for generating previews there is rarely a need to use a dual GPU configuration. Two GTX 1070 are certainly cheaper than a single Titan X and gives nearly identical performance when working with 1080p footage, but the downsides to multi GPU configurations are very likely to outweigh the difference in cost for most users.


If there is one thing we learned in our testing, it is that the performance difference between the cards can change drastically depending on what source codec and resolution you use as well as what resolution you are exporting to. So if you tend to only work with one of the codecs we specifically tested, we highly recommend simply looking at those results and ignore everything else.

With that said, however, there are a few broad conclusions we can make based on our results:

  1. In most situations, there is no need to use a dual GPU configuration. In some situations, dual GPUs can be faster than a single card, but we found that a single higher-end card (typically a Titan X) was able to match any dual GPU configuration we tested. If you happen to work with the type of footage where we saw a benefit to multiple video cards and are on a tight budget, you may consider using two GTX 1070's over a single Titan X. However, at that price point you are likely to find the additional VRAM on the Titan X to be very useful. In addition, single GPU configurations tend to be more stable in the long term with fewer driver or software bugs popping up at random times. 
  2. When exporting, a faster GPU is more likely to give you a performance benefit if your source footage is a higher resolution than the export resolution. We saw a very distinct trend where the different model of video cards performed identically when the source and export resolution was the same. This doesn't mean you will always see a benefit from a faster GPU when you export to a lower resolution than your source footage, but in four of the six benchmarks we ran where this was the case, there was a very distinct performance advantage to using a higher-end video card.
  3. Generating previews saw the biggest variance between the different GPU models with 1080p footage. ProRes 4K also saw a benefit, but all the others (H.264 4K, CineForm 4K, RED 4K, and RED 6K) saw virtually no difference in the time it took to generate previews with the different video cards.

Keep in mind that the more GPU accelerated effects you use, the larger the difference between each of the models we tested should become - so if you tend to use a lot of the accelerated effects the GTX 1080 and Titan X should provide an even larger benefit than what we showed in this article.

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Tags: GTX, 1060, 1070, 1080, Titan X, Premiere, Performance

I find your articles on these subjects really useful as most review sites just concentrate on gaming performance. I would however be interested to know how the AMD cards stack up, especially the new rx480 which apparently has similar compute performance as the gtx 980. Also I'd be curious to see what difference they all make if using Davinci Resolve since that's becoming popular as a free alternative to Creative Cloud and Premiere Pro. I've also read that Resolve makes much greater use of the GPU than Premiere does, the differences on most the charts on this page demonstrate there isn't much between the cards in PP on the whole. Thanks again for benchmarking things that no one else is really covering.

Posted on 2016-08-21 14:49:23
Andy Hay

Another excellent article, thanks guys. How do the GTX's compare to the Quadro cards in terms of performance? I only ask as the Quadro cards have 10-bit colour output, something the GTX cards do not (AFAIK). Would rather buy a 10bit Quadro with 75% performance of a GTX than have to buy both!

Posted on 2016-08-23 15:50:25

Quadro cards are really built more for stability and longevity than speed, so comparing GeForce to Quadro just in terms of performance is a bit unfair. However, to give you an idea I would say that a Quadro M4000 is very roughly equivalent to a GTX 1060, a M5000 is probably close to a GTX 1070, and a M6000 close to a GTX 1080. That is very rough and may not be 100% accurate, but should give you a basic idea.

If you need 10-bit color, you are in a bit of a tough spot. You can get nearly the same performance out of Quadro as GeForce, but Quadro cards at the upper end of performance are significantly more expensive. One thing I have been meaning to look into is using something like a Decklink card to display in 10-bit, but using a GeForce card to do all the compute tasks. From what I've read that should get you a 10-bit display while not having to allocate so much of your budget for a Quadro card, but I haven't had the chance to actually try it.

Posted on 2016-08-25 21:19:29


Posted on 2016-11-28 20:45:07

You'll find this article interesting, I guess: https://www.dcinema.me/nvid...

Shows that you really don't need Quadro cards for 10-bit color output. Better is to get an inexpensive dedicated 10-bit video output card, from AJA or BlackMagic Design and connect your reference monitor to it.

Posted on 2016-11-28 20:44:03
Fabio Palma

Fantastic article. Comparison to the previous article, am I right than now there is no issue anymore with GTX1080 vs Red4K footage? There are tricks to handle Red 4K footage with GTX1080 ?

Posted on 2016-08-24 05:44:20

That is correct, RED footage works fine now on the GTX 1080 (and other Pascal) video cards. The only thing you need to do is to make sure you are using the 368.69 GeForce driver or newer. I think there was also a note in one of the last Premiere Pro patches about it being resolved even with older drivers, but I would still use a newer driver just to be safe.

Posted on 2016-08-25 21:23:59
Fabio Palma

Well....you, guys, are AMAZING

Posted on 2016-08-26 18:15:25

How is mac pro comparing to windows machines. Is there a big differt with the same cpu. Can you compare that???

Posted on 2016-09-08 09:44:37

That is actually something we've wanted to test for a while, but haven't had a good opportunity to do so. At some point, we'll probably just have to bite the bullet and buy the highest-end Mac Pro to test with.

I will say that I expect a Mac to be much slower per dollar and have a lower top end of performance. Macs are still using the Xeon V2 CPUs (I believe) which are two generation old now (which usually means about a 20-25% performance difference per clock), and the Radeon cards they use should be quite a bit slower and hotter than the newer Pascal cards we used in this article. So hardware-wise, I would expect a $8,000 Mac Pro to be slower than a $2,500 PC (not to mention what you could get out of a $8,000 PC!). The big question is how much the OS comes into play and that can't really be answered without directly comparing a Mac Pro to a PC workstation.

To keep things fair, we might wait until the next Mac Pro is released. The current one is pretty dated hardware-wise so while it would still be relevant to test with the current model, it really would be better for us to wait for a more fair comparison I think.

Posted on 2016-09-08 17:48:11
Ken from Japan

Thank you so much for very useful article as always. Can I ask one question? How did you connect video cards to motherboard? Was it SLI? or just connected to motherboard?(non SLI) I am wondering that SLI has some benefit for Premiere and After effects. Thanks.

Posted on 2016-09-12 11:28:38

The cards were not connected in SLI for our testing. The usefulness of SLI is almost exclusively limited to gaming, so pretty much any non-gaming task (including Premiere) doesn't need it. In fact, having SLI enabled can actually cause problems since the application is designed to use multiple cards individually.

Posted on 2016-09-12 16:24:24
Ken from Japan

I did not know that! Thank you for the quick response and nice information!!

Posted on 2016-09-19 11:06:42

Really useful article! Same question as a previous comment that doesn't seem to have been answered. I'd be very interested in seeing how the RX 470 and RX 480 compare to the GTX cards, especially a 1060, with OpenCL vs CUDA etc.

Posted on 2016-09-13 11:50:36

Our priorities for articles are a bit different than most review/testing sites on the web. At our core, Puget Systems is a workstation manufacturer so our articles have to prioritize testing the hardware and software that both our customers want, and what meets our quality standards. We think this information is extremely useful to the community at large, however, which is why we publish them freely rather than keeping the results to ourselves.

AMD vs NVIDIA is always a hot topic (which is good!), but while Radeon cards have improved greatly over the last few years in terms of hardware reliability, in our experience they are still not up to NVIDIA standards. On the drivers side, AMD is also getting better about releasing non-beta drivers a bit more regularly, but they are much slower than NVIDIA to address issues that are not gaming related. That might be fine if you use Premiere as a hobbyist or only semi-professionally, but for most of our customers a driver issue making their system not function correctly for even a short amount of time is a major problem.

We do list Radeon on a few of our systems, but at the moment you simply won't find them on our systems designed for Premiere Pro. If the only reason we didn't offer Radeon was due to performance, we would definitely test them in articles like this. But since it is more a question of overall reliability, we unfortunately have to prioritize our time testing and publishing articles that cover the hardware that we are currently offering to our customers.

Posted on 2016-09-13 17:42:34

Cool, that totally makes sense, there's some good info in your reply anyway, thanks!

Posted on 2016-09-13 21:13:28
Scott Crozier

It would be interesting to see this test done with a LUT / Lumetri applied to each clip. Basic encoding/decoding is done on the CPU for most codecs (except RED gpu debayer etc) in Premiere so that largely explains your level results. Scaling is done on the GPU as well so that's why the scaling tests are more evident. You probably aren't going to see a big difference until you apply some effects. Lumetri is probably the most used effect so it would be an interesting test. Also if you ran a program like GPU-z on the side as well I'd be curious to know what the GPU usage is in these scenarios. I know you probably don't have time for this but I think this test would be more enlightening if there were some effects applied.

Posted on 2016-09-20 23:42:14

I believe we did that. Here is the description of the testing we did, quoted from up in the article:

"4-5 clips arranged in series to make a 60 second timeline
A basic transition (cross dissolve) was applied between each clip
Lumetri color correction effect applied to each clip
Vector-based logo graphic added to the bottom corner of the footage"

Posted on 2016-09-20 23:46:30
Scott Crozier

Missed that list somehow. Weird. Would have expected a bit more ooomf out of the Titan X. I have a 1080 so I guess no real complaints out of me.

Posted on 2016-09-20 23:48:56

Edit: William beat me to the reply by a couple minutes, sorry for the double info!

Each of these tests actually did have a Lumetri Color Correction applied as well as a cross dissolve between the clips. This is mentioned in the Test Setup section, but looking back at the article, that isn't super obvious. Maybe I should have something on the charts as well pointing this out. Either way, rest assured that we did do our testing with some accelerated effects! We even considered trying to show more of a "maximum difference" in performance by loading up the clips with a ton of other accelerated effects, but we felt that doing so wouldn't be a very realistic benchmark for how people actually use Premiere Pro so we stuck with just color correction and basic transitions.

Logging the GPU usage is a great idea - I'll keep that in mind for next time. It might not mean much to our readers that aren't quite as hardware-savvy (there are actually a surprising number even for these benchmarking articles!), but that is something I could put in a collapsed section or something like that for those that are interested in those fine details. Thanks for the suggestion!

Posted on 2016-09-20 23:53:05
Scott Crozier

No problem! Thanks for doing these tests! Some very good info here. I'm considering upgrading my 4770k system to a 6xxx system and your articles on this site have been very beneficial!

Posted on 2016-09-20 23:58:01
Pal Pacher

Great and useful article as always. I am using PuSy workstation: dual Xeon E5-2680v3 2.5GHz with dual Quadro K5200, Win 10. I was wondering if replacing the Quadros with a single Pascal Titan X would significantly improve the performance of the system in Premier Pro CC using HD and 4K? thanks

Posted on 2016-09-23 05:47:01

That is a really hard comparison to make - two K5200s vs a single Titan X. Individually a K5200 is certainly quite a bit slower, but Premiere does a decent job with using multiple video cards... at least up until you hit the peak performance level. The question, then, is whether you are hitting that with the dual K5200s - and for 1080P and 4K I suspect you probably are. Since those video cards also have a healthy amount of RAM I don't think I would worry about upgrading them any time soon.

Posted on 2016-09-28 20:14:36
Pal Pacher

thanks a lot, this is what I suspected

Posted on 2016-09-29 02:44:26
david smith

Interesting article - but it would have been interesting to see a CPU only render time on each graph - to show the advantage of GPU rendering in each scenario.

Posted on 2016-09-28 09:59:12

Hey David, there are a couple reasons why we typically don't test CPU-only performance on things that can utilize the GPU as well. The first is that we have limited time, and testing CPU-only would just about double our testing time since CPU-only should be somewhere around 6-10 times slower for the timelines we use. That wouldn't be too bad in and of itself, but we already have a huge laundry list of testing we want to do - both for Premiere and other applications - and knowing how much slower not using a GPU would be simply isn't very high on that list.

At our core, Puget Systems is a workstation manufacturer so our articles have to prioritize testing the hardware that we would actually sell to our customers. The performance gain you get in Premiere Pro by using a GPU is so large that we would pretty much never sell a Premiere Pro workstation without one. So while it might be interesting to know how slow CPU-only would be, it really isn't all that directly useful for us. Even though we prioritize testing that we feel is most important to ensuring we are selling the right hardware to our customers, we've always felt that our testing is extremely useful to the community at large - which is why we publish them freely rather than keeping the results to ourselves. Unfortunately, that does mean some topics (like CPU-only performance) we likely won't be testing any time soon.

Posted on 2016-09-28 18:31:08

Is it possible to do a test with different disks setup configuration in the test hardware, considering to the current one disk which is used for the OS project file, Media File, Media Cache, Export ... I think it's a bottleneck. Therefore, all results are equal, with very little variations. The test system does not allow the full potential of graphics card. That's why we get the similar time value with 6k exports in 4K and 1080p from same card. And of course much greater mutual disproportion, especially at higher resolutions. I think I would had a more reasonable results with at least 3 disk configuration: 1 OS, 2-Project Files and Media Cache, 3-Media Files.

Posted on 2016-10-06 10:32:15

I'm actually right in the middle of doing a bunch of testing on storage options for Premiere Pro. I'm only about half way done with the testing, and it is going to take another week or so to finish. In addition to exporting and rendering previews, I decided to add importing, conforming audio, generating peak files, and testing how many simultaneous video streams can be played back live so it is taking about a full 8 hour day to complete a round of testing for each storage configuration.

One thing I can tell you from the data I have already, however, is that for what we tested in this article (exporting and rendering previews) a single SSD is more than fast enough to not be a significant bottleneck. These actions are simply CPU/GPU limited at the moment so storage speed is not a significant factor. The only time I'm seeing lower performance is if you have the projects, media, cache, and scratch all on a platter drive - and that only results in about a 10-15% hit to performance. Multiple SATA SSDs with the projects, media, cache, and scratch spread around and even NVMe drives (which are about 5x faster than SATA SSDs for read and 3x faster for write) show no difference compared to having everything on a single SATA SSD.

The times when spreading out the different files across multiple drives helps the most looks to be when importing, conforming audio, and generating peak files. I'm still not done with all the testing, but at the moment it looks like the ideal storage configuration is a primary drive with just the OS and Premiere Pro installation, a fast secondary drive for your projects and source media, and a fast tertiary drive for your media cache and scratch. I'm not sure if you would see a benefit with a NVMe or RAID for those second and third drives quite yet but it looks like there might be a small benefit. Again, this will only help with Importing, conforming audio, and generating peak files. For exporting and rendering it doesn't appear to really matter as long as your projects, media, cache, and scratch are on some sort of SSD (even all just on your primary drive)

Posted on 2016-10-06 19:05:25

I agree that single SSD is more than fast enough to not be a significant bottleneck. But only for HD. For 4K RED RAW and 6K RED RAW I think is botlleneck for sure. And those 1080 and Titan X cards are "screaming" for that kind of task. Anyway, great article! Enormous work and effort as always. Two thumbs up!

Posted on 2016-10-07 08:40:11

I'm actually looking at the following resolutions and codecs:

1080p: H.264, ProRes 422, ProRes 4444, DNX HQ
4K: H.264, ProRes 422HQ, ProRes 4444, DNxHR HQ, RED RAW

At the moment, I have only tested exporting to 1080p/4K H.264 but I might go back and add DNxHR HQ. That won't affect rendering previews or any results from this article, but it is possible that with the larger filesizes and bitrate of DNxHR HQ we might start to see a difference in different storage configurations when exporting.

Glad you find these articles helpful! Hopefully I'll have all the testing done for the storage analysis late next week, although it might slip into the next week if I do decide to add DNxHR HQ exporting.

Posted on 2016-10-08 02:37:50

I believe that the difference be very noticeable with 4k and 6k RAW material reading from faster disk. Thank you for your dedication and effort. You're doing a great job!

Posted on 2016-10-08 12:38:27
Gregory Bickford

Wow. I can't tell you what a great service you're providing to indie filmmakers who build their own systems. Thank you so much. About the Pascal GPUs... The 1080 and Titan X seem pretty close, but with the advent of 8K material (I'm soon to be an Epic-W owner) how much more effective will the Titan X be? Will it's 12GB vram help more with Premiere previews, and put it clearly above the 1080? And what if we have more than one video layer in the timeline? Would there then be a significant advantage to the TitanX? Thanks again!

Posted on 2016-10-21 05:07:12
João Marco

Did you do some tests with old cards...? I've a gtx660 and I'd like to know how much would I win with a 1060 aquisition... Thanks in advance...
Excelent work, by the way!

Posted on 2016-11-06 17:16:45

I'm sorry, but we started this testing well after the GTX 600 series. Even if we had tested back then, Adobe's software has had several major revisions since then and any tests done that far apart wouldn't have directly comparable results.

Posted on 2016-11-07 04:40:43

I am using an AMD FX-8350 (Waiting for the new AMD CPUS) would I see any benefit between the 980TI and 1080 (or the TI to be released in a few months)? or is the 8350 too much of a bottleneck to notice any rendering/exporting gains between the cards? I use h.264 1080p and my videos are 10-30 min long with a bunch of cross dissolves in them. I will eventually be upgrading to 4k h.264 or 265 once I have the camera to shoot 4k.

Posted on 2016-11-13 22:45:36

Some excellent information on here, maybe I could get some advice. If I were to use three ssd's and two hdd's in my workstation how would I go about it to set this up for best results when editing with adobe premiere pro cc? I have two regular ssd's and one 750 series pcie ssd, the latter I would like to use as working media disk. The 1st ssd as bootdrive, the 2nd as a scratchdisk. Then I have two sata hdd's that I would like to use as a final export or save disk to be used in raid-1 (so mirrored) I am a complete noob is there something I should know? Motherboard used is an Asus X99 Deluxe II with a single Xeon E5 1650v4. The fast 750 series intel pcie ssd is 1.2tb and the bootdrive samsung ssd is 512Gb, the scratchdisk is a samsung ssd of 1tb. I will be using windows 10 home or pro edition and I have 64Gb of ECC Reg RAM. Any help on the best structure would be highly appreciated. Graphics card used will be the GTX 1080.

Posted on 2016-11-18 00:29:58

Hey Dave, storage configuration is something we get asked fairly regularly and I'm actually working on an article right now covering storage configurations in detail. Overall, your setup sounds pretty good except I would move the media cache onto your scratch drive as well. Just to cover everything, this is what I would generally recommend doing with a setup like yours:

OS & Software: Either the 512GB SSD or the Intel 750 1.2TB. Using the Intel 750 will make booting Windows and launching programs a bit faster but likely nothing mind-blowing

Projects & Source Media: Either the 1TB SSD or the Intel 750 1.2TB. The Intel 750 would let you import media ~20% faster than an SSD and is about 50% faster for generating peak files. Personally, I would use the Intel 750 here rather than using it as your OS drive, but nether way is really wrong - it just depends on where you want/need the difference in performance.

Media Cache & Scratch: Use the remaining SSD for the media cache and scratch files, but especially for the media cache. This makes a massive difference for importing (up to 6x faster import times). Having the scratch separate from your projects doesn't actually do anything for performance, but having it on this drive helps even things out a bit and makes it pretty easy to clear your media cache and scratch files whenever they start to get too big.

Export & Archive: Platter is fine here. Even a fairly slow platter drive (~125MB/s) isn't going to make more than a percent or two of difference when exporting compared to using an SSD. No need for RAID froma performance standpoint, but a RAID-1 (mirror) like you mentioned can be good for hardware redundancy. Just remember that RAID is not a backup solution! It protects against a single disk failure but does nothing if the controller fails, the RAID configuration gets corrupted, you get a virus/malware, or if you simply accidentally delete something.

Hopefully that helps you out. It sounds like you already had a pretty good idea of what would work well, but I definitely would move the media cache files off the primary drive (which is the default) if you can.

Posted on 2016-11-21 19:59:29

Thank you Matt, for you're elaborate answer. To be fair not only don't I have any experience building a pc nor do I have any experience shooting or editing video with adobe premiere, I just decided that's what I wanna do so I've got a pretty steep learning curve ahead:) after seeing the process of some of the computers been build at Puget Systems I am trying to emulate some of it into my first ever workstation. Since I cannot order a Puget Systems pc from Europe. (bummer)
I went out on a limb with choosing the ECC variant ram modules after reading on you're website (Puget Systems) that ECC RAM is unofficially supported on Asus X99 Deluxe II boards (combined with a Xeon processor) Is there something I need to do to make that work (in the bios settings) or will it just work? I have asked numerous people about it even Asus themselfs wouldn't or couldn't answer me if it would work, they can only go by the book. Anyway I decided to go for it. It's pretty exciting and a little scary since everything is so bloody expensive. After reading you're advice I changed my mind about the two big hdd's (2x 4Tb WD black) in raid-1, if the safety of loss is so low I better use them as two separate drives at least I then have a full 8Tb of extra memory. I think the idea is to export anything worthwhile outside of you're system asap anyway wright? Looking forward to you're article:)

Posted on 2016-11-22 12:54:30

Hey Dave, you don't really need ECC memory for Premiere Pro but we do use Reg ECC memory in order to allow our systems to use more then 64GB of RAM. Standard RAM and ECC will be limited to 64GB max on a X99 motherboard, but with REG ECC we can use up to 512GB because it includes some extra voltage regulation. So if you are only using 64GB of less, you can just use normal RAM, but if you are using more than 64GB (or think you might in the future), I would go ahead and use Reg ECC RAM instead. We tend to just go straight to Reg ECC because the pricing for us isn't much higher (although for you it may be more) and it allows more RAM to be added in the future.

There shouldn't be anything you need to do on the Asus X99 Deluxe II, but you also won't get any sort of confirmation that ECC is working. We've worked with our engineering contacts at Asus directly to make sure it does, but it isn't anything that is officially supported by Asus so I'm not surprised you can't find anyone at Asus who knows if it will work..

Posted on 2016-11-22 19:15:35

Thanks again Matt, finally I've found someone to answer me on some of this stuff. Well I can't go back with the ECC Ram modules because I already bought it (although it is still in it's packaging right now) I decided to go for ECC because I thought it is a bit more stable (self correcting memory) and when I checked specifications of other high end workstations like the HP Z series they seem to have it too. Now I understand that the reason is probably more due to the expansion possibility then the reliability maybe. I just hope when I put everything together it will work well that is all. I just wanted a solid and futureproof machine at least for a while to come. It will probably be overkill for me anyway (for a while) but I have serious intentions with this machine. Thanks again. (p.s. the pricing for the 64Gb kit was €350 online but many places sell it for up to €500)

Posted on 2016-11-22 19:43:33


Thanks for this informative article.

I am looking to buy a new workstation right now.

Currently, I am thinking of the following setup:
- 1 dedicated GTX 1080 for rendering previews and accelerated effects (i.e. no monitor attached to card for display purposes)
- 1 extra GPU (built-in on CPU or separate) for display of GUI Adobe Video Apps on a 4k computer monitor
- 1 Blackmagic Design DeckLink Mini Monitor 4K for 10-bit full screen output of video to a separate 4k color calibrated reference monitor

Here are my questions:

1 - Will my system perform worse if you choose to connect 1 (or 2) 4k computer monitors to the GTX 1080 compared to using that card for computational power only?
2 - If I go for a dedicated GTX 1080 for computational purposes can I rely on a built-in GPU on an i7 CPU for my 4k display monitor or should I buy a separate video card and go for the non-GPU built-in CPUs like the 6900K?
3 - if a second GPU, should this be identical to the other card? On the Adobe hardware forum, I read that PPro only maximizes the weakest GPU available. Is that true or false?

Please advise.

Posted on 2016-11-28 20:35:45

Hello guys! Thank you for your work, it's awesome! I have a problem and I don't know how to deal with it, and I need your help... Until yesterday I used Radeon 7870 2GB in my rig (i5 3550, 16GB DDR3 ram). I bought new card - MSI GTX1060 6GB Armor OC, before changing card I made two tests:
- stabilize one 15s clip with wrap stabilizer, on radeon it took 1m20s to do it
- export 5min of my last wedding project to H.264 mp4 (max render quality on, max depth on), on radeon it took 7m45s to do it
After that I changed card to 1060, installed latest drivers and ran that tests again. Unfortunately, the results was exactly the same! You may think I have simple timeline with no gpu effects but no, I have very complex timeline, all of 5min of that wideo was color processed via Lumetri (gpu accelerated), there were levels used many times and preset changing technicolor cinestyle to canon style. Almost all of clips in that 5min footage was stabilized by wrap stabilizer (gpu accelerated). So when exporting my graphic card should be used and, because it is 1060 (much faster than 7870), I expect any changes in export/render previews time. But there is no any difference. Stabilizing 15s clip via wrap stabilizer - the same time 1m20s to do it. And that is big pain, because I spend a lot of time stabilizing and I need to shorten that process.

Is anything I can do with it? Any tests to made? I don't see any adventages, playback 4k is still crappy, playback 1080p with many effects applied on footage can still lag sometimes at 1/1 playback, export time is the same, even wrap stabilizing is exactly the same... What should I do?

Posted on 2016-12-14 11:16:44

PS. I'm watching gpu usage, GPU-Z is shows that gpucore clock rise up ony for few seconds after I start stabilizing (when I drop effect to a clip) but after few seconds it's dropping to 177MHz (from 1544MHz) and stay with that speed all time while stabilizing. GPU Load shows 1% all time. CPU usage is about 80% all time. While playback 1080p footage with some gpu-accelerated effects applied GPU load is about 15-20%, cpu load 25-40% all time.

Posted on 2016-12-14 13:07:35

Are you sure you have GPU acceleration enabled in Premiere Pro? When you changed your GPU, it might have defaulted to CPU only. Check in Project Settings - General and make sure the Video Rendering and Playback option is set to "Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (CUDA)". http://blogs.adobe.com/kevi...

This is a per-project setting, so you might need to re-set it on any existing projects. Anything new should have it enabled by default though.

If that isn't it, the only other thing I can think of is to make sure you are on the latest version of Premiere (I would suggest drivers as well, but it sounds like you have that covered). I've used the GTX 1060 in PP 2015 and 2017, but older than that I haven't tested.

Posted on 2016-12-14 18:34:35

I was using PP CC 2015.3. I have latest drivers for gtx1060 (376.19). Now I installed newest PP CC 2017 and make tests again and results was the same. I'm sure CUDA is enabled, this is how my project looks with cuda:


and when I turn cuda off:


On PPCC 2017 i have also CUDA on and results are the same. While stabilizing my GPU usage looks like that:


I need to speed up wrap stabilizing because this is the only thing I'm waiting for while making my project. Any other gpu accelerated effects are ready in real time, even while playback I can change what I want without frames drop at 1080p 1/1 playback. Wrap stabilizer needs some time to count and stabilize frames and it is about 4.5 frame/second so quite slow (1s of footage is stabilizing by 5.5s so I need almost 1 hour to stabilize 10min of footage). I thought changing card to 1060 will speed it up, but unfortunately did not.

Posted on 2016-12-15 09:29:02

Hey Adrian, I looked into this a little bit, and it sounds like doing the analyze portion of warp stabilizer is NOT accelerated, only actually applying the warp during playback/export (which from what I can see isn't very intensive so using a GPU simply frees up some CPU resources, but doesn't really make it much faster).

I think you may be running into one of a few things:
1) 16GB of RAM is pretty small for Premiere Pro so you RAM might be causing a bottleneck
2) With complex timelines, you may have enough non-accelerated effects that while a faster GPU is making the accelerated poprtion faster, it is small enough relative to the rest of the timeline that it is hard to measure.

If you want to be sure Premiere is using the GPU, I would recommend creating a very simple timeline with just a single clip and lumetri color correction applied. Then see if playback and exporting is better with the GPU enabled

Posted on 2016-12-15 19:47:14

I also found that a couple hours ago at adobe forum that analyzing (counting) frames (step 1) is not accelerated, only second step (applying wrap). While doing PMBB test I see that encode to h.264 is 50% faster on GTX1060 than on GTX765m in laptop, I'm sure CUDA is used in both machines because I encoded some footage on both with CUDA off and it was much longer to encode. I touhgt my timeline is complex enought (all clips have color correction via lumetri, levels and wrap stabilizer are used many times) to see difference between exporting on 7870 before and 1060 now, but it seems there is still not enought. I'm switching from i5 to i7 3770 today because I have one in my wifes pc, will see how it will work with faster processor. Unfortunately I have W7HP and I can't get more than 16gigs of ram. I will switch to windows 10 next month and then I'll install i7 6700k and 32/64GB ddr4 ram, so my rig will get some boost.

Thank you for help!

Posted on 2016-12-15 23:10:58

Hey Adrian, I know this is an old comment but I just wanted you to know that we added Warp Stabilize to our CPU testing for Premiere Pro. We just put out a new article about the new Intel CPUs that just came out and I thought you might be interested in the results: https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Interestingly, it looks like the analyze portion of warp stabilize doesn't scale well with multiple CPU cores. Normally we recommend the 6-10 core "High-End" Core i7 CPUs from Intel, but for this task the consumer quad core CPUs are actually significantly faster - about 30% faster in fact. Normally we don't recommend those CPUs since the platform is limited to 64GB of RAM and they are not as good for exporting and rendering previews, but if warp stabilize is your main pain point they actually work really well. If you haven't purchased your 6700K yet, you might want to consider going up to the new 7700K though. Purchased new it should be about the same price but will be ~10% faster.

Posted on 2017-01-16 19:33:17

PS. I did PMBB 10.3 test on PPCC 2015.4 on my desktop with gtx1060. I don't have R7870 anymore (i sold it before buying 1060) so for any comparision I made PMBB 10.3 test also on my alienware laptop with PPCC 2015.4.

Desktop: i5 3550, 16gigs of ddr3 ram (4x4GB), MSI GTX 1060 Armor OC 6GB, benchmark source files and export on HDD 7200rpm, OS and PP CC 2015.4 on SSD via SATAIII
Laptop: i7 4700HQ, 16gigs of ddr3 ram, GTX765m 2GB, bench files and export on HDD 5400rpm, OS and PP CC 2015.4 on SSD via mSATA

Stabilizing 15s 1080p footage from canon 6D (all-i) took the same amount of time on both machines - 1m20s.
Results from PMBB 10.3 for desktop:


and for laptop:


In laptop I have more powerful CPU than in desktop (laptop mobile i7 4700HQ vs desktop i5 3550) but slower GPU (GTX765m in laptop vs GTX1060 in desktop). So MPE Gain 9,6 on laptop vs 43,4 on desktop are reasonable, render h.264 time is also much better on desktop which is ok because of much better GPU. But why wrap stabilizer isn't faster on desktop than on laptop?

Posted on 2016-12-15 11:31:31

I'm extremely impressed with this ONLY review (as I couldn't find anything else online) that did an updated comparative review on how these cards work with production applications and not just games. I was just about to upgrade to get the Titan X Pascal cards and trade in my 980Ti's (that I just purchased), and saw this review and was very impressed on thorough this was, so THANK YOU !!! It would be great to see how it would work with Photoshop (renders with big files), but I'm sure that similar results would happen. Thanks again...

Posted on 2016-12-17 00:15:51

Hello guys!

I have one more little request to you. I'm thinking about changing my pc with i7 3770 to new one with i7 6700k, 5820k or 6800k to speed up wrap stabilizing and export time. If you have any of that processors in your PC please do that test:

- download a package with clip from 6D from here: http://www.adriankraska.pl/...
- there is 1 clip and 1 project file looks like that:

- switch MPE GPU acceleration on (by opencl or cuda) on project settings if it's not choosen by default
- stabilize by wrap stabilizer that 3 clip copies (first is not cutted, second is cutted 4 times, third is cutted 8 times), please do it three times, first time only first clip which is not cutted, next time select all 4 parts of second clip and stabilize it all at once, and next time select all 8 parts of third clip and stabilize it all at once
- count time from the moment you drop wrap stabilizer effect on each clip to moment when stabilization is done

Please write here that 3 times and write on what processor it was done. It will help me to decide if spending ~1500$ for cpu+mobo+ram+win10 is worth the money or I should wait for more powerful series of i7 compared to my i7 3770 that I have today.

Thank you a lot for helping!!!

Posted on 2016-12-18 01:44:15

I've read they have been some issues with the 1000 series cards and Adobe Premiere related to drivers and timeline rendering. Have you seen any such problems? Have the bugs been worked out with the GTX 1080?

Posted on 2016-12-23 00:03:05

The only issue I know of was an issue with RED footage when the 1000 series cards first came out. You would get a black screen in the preview window and an error if you tried to do a final render. That was just a driver bug and was fixed in about a week by NVIDIA though, so at this point as long as you are not using one of the first release drivers you should be fine.

Out of curiosity, do you recall any of the other reported issues? I don't know of any other confirmed issues, but we are always on the lookout for any possible issues.

Posted on 2016-12-23 00:38:50


No what you say sounds right. I wanted to substantiate this with multiple sources as it looks like I may have gotten some outdated/partially correct information.

Thanks for you speedy response time! I'll look you guys up when it's time for a full system upgrade. Your benchmark tests and write ups are extremely helpful. Cheers!

Posted on 2016-12-23 18:38:33

I have installed the ASUS GTX 1080 Strix and can confirm that it disables GPU accelerated rendering in Premiere 17.0.1. Here are two links that describe the issues I've been having:


Posted on 2016-12-29 22:58:48

Odd - we've definitely had it working here, though we don't use the STRIX version of the GTX 1080. Still, that shouldn't matter.

Have you installed new drivers for the video card? Did you completely remove the previous card's drivers? That is where I would start, I think.

Posted on 2016-12-29 23:08:42

Thanks for the quick reply William. I have the latest driver, v376.33 installed. I'm looking into manually "clean installing" the drivers from Nvidias website.

Posted on 2016-12-29 23:20:35

If the previous card was also a NVIDIA GeForce model, then during the driver installation there is an option to do a 'clean install'. That will remove any previous driver components.

If the other card was an AMD model, then you'd probably remove drivers through Programs and Features or something... I'm not 100% sure, as it has been a while since I used an AMD card.

Posted on 2016-12-29 23:22:23

This worked! For some reason I had to reboot the system and Premiere several times and then the option appeared. Thanks I've been struggling with this all day on forums. Glad it was a simple fix. Cheers!

Posted on 2016-12-29 23:49:37

How do you use gtx 1070 with adobe premiere? i dont have the option to use the cuda render anymore, i have gtx1070 now.. how you set this up?

Posted on 2016-12-28 07:12:50

one thing these type of tests never show, though is how the cards compare with gpu-rendering effects. I'd love to know if the 8GB in the GTX1080 offers more real-time effects to be rendered, or close to realtime playback on effects-heavy clips. Or is the CPU of disk IO still the limiting factor?

Posted on 2017-01-15 11:27:12

It completely depends on what effects and how many effects you use at the same time. Our testing is done with just Lumetri color correction and cross dissolves between clips (both of which are accelerated by the GPU) as well as a basic vector logo overlay (not accelerated). In the past we've done testing with a bunch of accelerated effects added to the timeline, but we found that the results weren't all that meaningful because most Premiere users don't have timelines like that. We opted to go with just Lumetri and cross dissolve since that seems to be the most "average" real-world testing we could do.

If you have any suggestions for different types of timelines we should test (including which effects), definitely let us know. Most of our testing is based on feedback from our customers and readers so we are glad to hear any recommendations.

Posted on 2017-01-16 19:27:25

thanks matt, yes I appreciate its not possible to test every eventuality, and that different users will have different needs. I often have 3 or 4 lumetri effects on one clip, with several masked. (ie a grad mask at the top for sky, another for the ground, sometimes another mask on people, and an overall colour grad that includes sharpening). Thats the typical stuff but then I also use GPU accelerated dissolves from impact and red giant universe effects. The other non-standard problem I come up against is dropping 8k timelapse clips on a 1080 timeline, and adding lumetri effects to them. My current quandary is whether an 8gb gtx1080 (or a 12gb gtx1080ti in march!) will make playback smoother than my current 4gb gtx970. I suspect that for the large timelapses the amount of ram will help a bit, but that disk IO is probably more of a limiting factor. I was disappointed that the gtx970 did not seem to make much difference over my previous 2gb gtx 650, and I would really hate to drop $1500 on a gtx1080ti to find the same thing! And PS, I think the testing you do is great, methodical and wonderful to have it geared to specific software.

Posted on 2017-01-17 07:53:01
Adel Mandani

Thank you

Posted on 2017-01-16 01:05:46

Very useful article.

I would like your advice on choosing between GTX1060 6GB and GTX980 8GB in a 17 inch Clevo P775 laptop. I couldn't find a direct comparison between these two cards for Adobe Premiere CC and After Effects, but only for gaming where they seem to be on a par. I don't play games at all.

The GTX980 is about 185 Eur less than the GTX1060, so I would rather buy this one. Besides, GTX980 it has 8GB RAM vs 6 GB, 256bit memory interface width vs 192bit, memory bandwidth 224 GB/s vs 192 GB/s, 2048 CUDA vs 1280, but lower base clock speed.
The thing I would like to know is especially how much warmer GTX980 will be because of the higher TDP (165W vs 120W), as it will be used inside a laptop. Does anyone know if it' s worth it to buy the 980 over the 1060 for 185 Eur less?

Which one do you think will be better for 4K editing with Lumetri?

Posted on 2017-03-01 16:04:40

You have to be careful with laptop video cards, because often - especially in past generations - they would have the same model number as desktop cards but actually very different specs / performance. Mobile versions of video cards were usually lower power and slower, since they had to run off a battery and be cooled by much less airflow that would be available in a desktop.

Looking at just the desktop side, since that is all we have test data on, the GTX 1060 and 980 are about on par when it comes to performance - but the 1060 has 50% more video memory. It also runs cooler, since it uses less power, so that is the one I'd go for. But again, in a laptop this might not be the same case.

Posted on 2017-03-01 17:22:39

Thank you, William, for your quick answer. Sorry, I should have mentioned that the laptop hosts desktop components (processor and graphic card), so we are not talking about mobile versions of these two graphic cards.
And it is a GTX980 with 8 GB, which also is cheaper than the 6 GB GTX1060, has more CUDA cores, more memory bandwidth, more memory interface width but: it has a higher TDP! I don't know for sure, does the 45W of TDP difference make it hotter than the GTX1060 in real usage? On NVidia site it says max temp 98 degrees celsius for GTX980 vs 94 degrees for GTX1060.

Posted on 2017-03-01 18:39:38

Interesting - a desktop class GTX 980 but with more video RAM. That does make for a tough decision. I'd say if the system is going to be used plugged in most of the time, then I'd maybe go for the 980... but if you need to use it on the go, the 1060 definitely draws less power, so you should get longer battery life.

Posted on 2017-03-01 18:43:50

so the gpu has not a great impact on the performance

Posted on 2017-03-02 18:30:11

I wouldn't put it that way. Without a dedicated GPU, performance is *much* slower. I would say instead that once you reach a high-end GPU (like the GTX 1060) that the increase from an even faster card isn't tremendous, though in some situations it is bigger than in others. Dual GPUs are also rarely helpful in Premiere Pro, that is definitely an accurate take-away from this testing.

Posted on 2017-03-02 18:36:54

Have you ever tested RX 480 vs GTX 1060 in Premiere Pro and Photoshop? I'd love to see that due to CUDA in Adobe. Does it really make a difference?

Posted on 2017-03-16 18:08:23
Brenton Ekstrand

what codec do you have selected for generating previews, is it DNXHD? cineform? h.264?, i usually set it to either DNXHD or Cineform for the fastest render times.

Posted on 2018-03-19 19:55:36

We leave the preview settings on default, so "I-Frame Only MPEG". It would be interesting to compare render times versus Cineform or others, but one thing I do want to point out is that in our newer testing (like the Premiere Pro CC 2018 Titan V test: https://www.pugetsystems.co... ) we actually dropped rendering previews so we could expand our live playback and export testing to cover a much wider range of codecs. We were getting to the point that finishing each test run was taking more than a day so we simply had to cut something

Posted on 2018-03-20 16:44:16