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Adobe Premiere Pro CC Multi Core Performance

Written on August 27, 2015 by Matt Bach
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Introduction

When designing a computer there are literally thousands of different hardware components to choose from and each one will have an impact on the overall performance of your system in some shape or form. Depending on the software you will be using, however, some components will simply be more important than others. In the case of Adobe Premiere Pro CC, one of the most critical hardware components that will help with the performance of your system is the CPU. The question is: how do you know which CPU will give you the best performance?

Before even attempting to answer this question, it is important to understand the two most basic CPU specifications:

  1. The frequency is essentially how many operations a single CPU core can complete in a second (how fast it is).
  2. The number of cores is how many physical cores there are within a CPU (how many operations it can run simultaneously).

This doesn't take into account the differences between CPU architectures, but in an ideal world a CPU that has the same frequency but twice the number of cores would be exactly twice as fast. Unfortunately, making software utilize multiple cores (and do so effectively) is difficult in most situations and almost impossible in others. Add in the fact that higher core count CPUs tend to have lower operating frequencies and it becomes even more difficult to ensure that you are choosing the best possible CPU for your software.

In this article, we want to find out how well Premiere Pro can utilize multiple cores - also known as multi-threading - to help determine what type of CPU (either one with a high frequency or a high core count) will give you the best possible performance. Since exporting videos and generating previews are the two major tasks that users tend to wait on when using Premiere Pro, those are what we will be focusing on in this article. If you want to skip over our individual benchmark results and simply view our conclusions, feel free to jump ahead to the conclusion section.

Test Setup

For our test system, we used the following hardware:

Since we want to determine how many CPU cores Premiere Pro can effectively utilize, we used a pair of Xeon E5 2687W CPUs to give us 20 physical CPU cores with which to test. To try to avoid other components being a bottleneck, we used two GTX Titan X video cards and a fast Samsung 850 Pro SSD as our export drive. 

To determine exactly how good Premiere Pro is at using multiple CPU cores, we are going to benchmark Premiere with different numbers of cores made available to the software by setting the affinity in Windows. This way we can accurately benchmark Premiere Pro with anywhere from a single core to the full twenty cores possible with this setup. 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, set the CPU affinity, load the relevant timeline, export the timeline with the appropriate settings or generate previews, close Premiere Pro to clear any data from the system RAM, then loop while making more and more cores available.

To analyze the data, we will be presenting our results in terms of how long it took each action to complete with X number of cores compared to how long it took to complete with just a single core. From these results, we will then use Amdahl's Law to estimate the parallel efficiency for the action. 100% is perfect efficiency where a high core count CPU is ideal, but as the efficiency drops lower and lower having a high frequency CPU becomes more and more important. For more information on Amdahl's Law and how it works we recommend reading our Estimating CPU Performance using Amdahl's Law article.

The timelines we will be using are based on the PPMB6 benchmark for Premiere Pro. In our testing, the "simple" timeline is what is used in that benchmark to measure MPEG-2 performance although we did lengthen that timeline in order to make it take longer to export. Similarly, the H.264 timeline is what we will be calling our "complex" timeline. For our 4K testing, we simply replaced all the footage with 4K clips  while maintaining the same number of individual video files.

For our export settings, we used the following:

Export Settings
1080p MPEG-2 Format: "MPEG2-DVD"
Preset: "NTSC 23.976 Widescreen High Quality"
"Maximum Render Quality" on
1080p H.264 Format: "H.264 Blu-ray"
Preset: "HD1080i 29.97"
"Maximum Render Quality" on
4K H.264 Format: "H.264"
Preset: "Youtube 4K - 29.97"
"Maximum Render Quality" on

Exporting 1080p MPEG-2

MPEG-2 may not be used as widely as H.264 anymore, but since it is still used at times we wanted to include it in our testing. 

In the graph above, the lines with dots are the actual speedup we recorded in our testing. The solid lines shows the calculated efficiency we arrived at by using Amdahl's Law on the results. What is interesting is that for all of our testing in Premiere Pro we saw a very distinct point (marked as a green line) where the parallel efficiency makes a drastic change for the worse. 

In the case of exporting a simple 1080p video to MPEG-2 we saw a parallel efficiency of about 90% - but only when using up to 4 cores. After that, the efficiency dropped off to only 35% which really means that there is absolutely no benefit to having more than 4-5 cores when exporting a simple 1080p timeline to MPEG-2. However, switching to a more complex timeline improved the efficiency quite a bit. For that we saw a parallel efficiency of 96% up to 8 cores, then another steep drop to only 25% after that. So for a complex 1080 timeline being exported to MPEG-2 you will see a decent benefit in having up to 8 cores but there is essentially no benefit to having any more CPU cores than that.

Exporting 1080p H.264

Exporting to H.264 was much better in terms of parallel efficiency than exporting to MPEG-2, but we still saw a point where there was a huge drop in performance improvement.

For a simple timeline, Premiere Pro was about 98% efficient all the way up to 10 cores, but it completely flat lined after that. The complex timeline was a bit worse at only 92% efficient but it saw the same flat line after 10 cores. In fact, if anything performance actually got worse as we got into the higher core counts on the complex timeline.

One thing we want to point out is that while we saw the performance drop off at 10 cores, it is more likely that it is actually because we started to use the second CPU rather than the actual core count. We've seen the same complete lack of performance increase with dual CPUs in a number of other software packages so it is not at all uncommon for this to happen.

Exporting 4K to 1080p H.264

Down-sampling from 4K to 1080p is something we specifically wanted to test to see how well Premiere Pro is able to utilize multiple CPU cores when both applying effects and resizing the video at the same time.

Unlike our 1080p H.264 results, this time the complex timeline is more efficient at 99% while the simple timeline is a bit lower at 93%. Both timelines hit a change in efficiency right after 6 cores with the simple timeline going down to 65% and the complex timeline going down to 50%.

65% is one of the higher "second wind" parallel efficiencies we saw in our testing, but even that is really not very good. It is enough that using an 8 or 10 core CPU may be faster than a 6 core CPU as long as the CPU frequencies are similar, but it likely won't be by much.

Exporting 4K H.264

4K video has four times the number of pixels as 1080p video so we expected Premiere Pro to be able to effectively utilize more CPU cores when encoding 4K video. Unfortunately, our results were actually the opposite of what we expected.

At lower core counts, the simple timeline was 92% efficient and the complex timeline was 97% efficient. However, both dropped off to only 40% efficient after only 5 CPU cores. At first we thought that either the video card or storage drive was becoming a bottleneck but going down to only a single GTX Titan X and changing the storage drive to either a slower WD RE 6TB or a faster Intel 750 NVMe 1.2TB did not result in any change to the export times. It is possible that we are being limited by the RAM speed or something within the chipset, but no matter what the end result is that if you are encoding 4K H.264 video in Premiere Pro you will only effectively be able to use 5-6 CPU cores.

Generating Previews

While encoding may be what most users end up waiting on the most, generating previews is usually going to be a close second. To see how well Premiere Pro uses multiple CPU cores when generating previews, we left Premiere on the default format of "I-Frame Only MPEG" and timed how long it took to generate previews for our timelines:

For 1080p video, our simple timeline was too basic to have a need for previews so we do not have any multi-core results for that timeline. For the complex timeline, however, we saw a 96% efficiency up to 4 cores, and a 65% efficiency after that. 

Generating previews for our 4K timelines was easily the most multi-core efficient task we tested in Premiere Pro. For both the simple and complex timeline we saw a great 98% parallel efficiency at lower core counts. It dropped off after either 6 or 7 cores, but even then the simple timeline managed to maintained a decent 80% efficiency. The complex timeline dropped off to only about 65% but even that is better than what we saw on most of the encoding tests.

Conclusion

We are going to be honest - the results of our testing did not at all line up with what we expected. If you look around the web for high-end Premiere Pro workstations you will find that the majority of them are based around dual Xeon motherboards and CPUs. Similarly, if you search for "how many cores does Premiere use" you will find forum thread after forum thread saying "as many as you can give it!". That is somewhat true - Windows reported all the CPU cores as being under 90+% load - but our testing showed that Premiere Pro was not able to effectively use all of those cores.

To summarize our encoding results, here is the parallel efficiency we saw for each of our encoding tasks:

Encoding settings Parallel Efficiency
(higher is better - 100% is perfect)
1080p MPEG-2 (simple timeline) 90% (35% after 4 cores)
1080p MPEG-2 (complex timeline) 96% (25% after 8 cores)
1080p H.264 (simple timeline) 98% (0% after CPU1)
1080p H.264 (complex timeline) 92% (0% after CPU1)
4K to 1080p H.264 (simple timeline) 93% (65% after 6 cores)
4K to 1080p H.264 (complex timeline) 99% (50% after 6 cores)
4K H.264 (simple timeline) 92% (40% after 5 cores)
4K H.264 (complex timeline) 97% (40% after 5 cores)

To be fair, at lower core counts Premiere Pro ranges from being decent to excellent in terms of utilizing each CPU core. The problem is that at a certain point (as low as only 4-5 cores) the parallel efficiency drops off dramatically. Some encoding resolution and codecs were better than others (1080p H.264 was able to effectively use the entire first CPU) but in general we saw diminishing returns after ~8 CPU cores.

We hit similar efficiency "walls" while generating previews, although it was not quite as bad:

Preview Generation Parallel Efficiency
(higher is better - 100% is perfect)
1080p (complex timeline) 96% (63% after 4 cores)
4K (simple timeline) 98% (80% after 7 cores)
4K (complex timeline) 98% (65% after 6 cores)

Overall, generating previews was actually more efficient at utilizing higher core counts than encoding was. We still saw a drop off after anywhere from 4 to 7 cores, but even then the efficiency stayed above 60%. That isn't great but it does mean that a 8-10 Core CPUs and even dual CPU configurations would be worthwhile from a performance perspective.

Based on our results, we can make a few informed recommendations as to which CPUs will give you the best overall performance in Premiere Pro:

In many situations, the E5-1680 V3 is going to be a great choice for Premiere Pro. It is a bit pricey for a single CPU (over $2000) but it will actually outperform most dual Xeon configurations since it has a relatively high frequency and hits the 8 core sweet spot we saw in most of our tests. If you can't quite afford the E5-1680 V3 then the E5-1650 V3 (or a Core i7-5930K) will be the next fastest CPU and should be only about 10% slower. There is a CPU model between these two choices (the E5-1660 V3 or Core i7-5960X) but our calculations show that it would actually give lower performance than either of the single CPUs we are recommending.

If you need the absolute best performance in Premiere Pro then a pair of Xeon E5-2643 V3 CPUs is what you want. Due to the drop in efficiency at higher core counts they may only be ~5% faster than a single E5-1680 V3 in some situations, but in others (like exporting a simple 1080p H.264 timeline) they will be as much as 25% faster. An additional advantage to the 2x E5-2643 V3 CPUs is that the 12 physical cores will provide plenty of horsepower in case you want to use both Premiere Pro and other applications like After Effects at the same time. If you need even more cores, however, a pair of Intel Xeon E5-2667 V3 3.2GHz Eight Core CPUs will be about 5% slower than two E5-2643 V3 and a bit more expensive, but in exchange will have four more cores in total.

If you would like to see an estimate of the relative performance of CPUs we recommended for the tasks we specifically benchmarked, we set up a Google Doc that includes that information. In fact, you can actually edit the CPU information in this Doc to get an estimation of the performance of other CPUs if you would like:

If you want to edit the CPU models you will need to create a copy of the doc (go to File -> Make a Copy) but once you do that you can change the CPU model, core count, and frequency numbers in the blue cells to see an estimation of how each CPU will perform relative to each other. Keep in mind that this method of determining relative performance is based on Amdahl's Law and is not able to accurately compare CPUs of different architectures (so no comparing AMD CPUs to Intel CPUs!).

One thing we want to make very clear is that our testing is really only 100% accurate for the video files, effects, and settings we used in our timelines. Different effects, resolutions, and codecs are going to change how well Premiere Pro can utilize multiple CPU cores. If you want more accurate results for what you actually do in Premiere Pro, we recommend following our Estimating CPU Performance using Amdahls Law guide. It can be a time consuming process (even with automation the testing for this article took a solid week of machine time) but it is really the only way to know for sure what the parallel efficiency is for what you do in Premiere Pro. One caveat is that if your current system only has a small number of cores (below ~10 cores) you may not get up to a high enough core count to hit the same efficiency walls we saw in our testing.

If you know of something in Premiere Pro that actually can utilize high number of CPU cores effectively, we would love to hear about it in the comments below. We are constantly re-evaluating hardware and software so any suggestions as to what we should include in future testing is extremely welcome!

Tags: Adobe, Premiere Pro, Multi-threading
Kotlos Kotlos

Another great article!
I wonder whether overclocking the E5-1680v3 would make it faster than even the dual cpu setups.

Posted on 2015-10-12 03:58:54
John

Does more ram help ? I like to see if test with 16, 32, 64 GB performance
Also the video file - is it AVCHD file ? How about PRORES to H.264 (4K and 1080p) performance

Posted on 2015-12-15 06:47:55

RAM is kind of like hard drive space. If you need a certain amount, but don't have it available, it is a problem. At the same time, if you have more than you need it doesn't make anything faster. The main thing with RAM is to simply have enough. That can be a hard thing to judge ahead of time, but we recommend 16GB for light video editing, 32GB for 4K or complex 1080p timelines, or 64GB+ if you your timelines are extremely complex or at higher than 4K resolutions.

As for AVCHD, I don't believe these files are. We have to make some judgement calls on what we want to test (if we tested every codec and combination that would be never-ending!), so if you have something specific you always use I would recommend doing some testing on your current system. I wouldn't expect you to find anything drastically different from what we did in this article, but it may be different enough to change your decision on which CPU to buy. The process is a bit complicated looking at first, but once you actually get into it it becomes a lot more clear. We even have a guide for this type of testing: https://www.pugetsystems.co... . Definitely make sure you use the Google Doc we link to - it makes it much easier than working out the math on your own.

Posted on 2015-12-15 18:37:47
MOMO

Thank you for information, it's very interesting, my setup is as follows, 2 Xeon E5 2650 2ghz, 2ssd raid 1 for Windows 8.1 64 bit, 40 raid beehives, and gtx 680 gtx titan, and 64 gb Ram DDR 3, recently I made a multi cam project, and I found that my film starts s'saccader, not fluid, and it bothers me a lot, Quesque I should improve for a bit more performance, j 'hearts was 16 but I feel like I do not work on all Pro adobe premiere CC, only when you export a file, should I invest X 2 gtx titan? Or else, thank you for your advice, my greetings. M

Merci pour information, c'est très intéressant, ma
configuration est la suivante, 2 Xeon E5 2650 2ghz, 2ssd en raid 1, pour
windows 8.1 64 bit, raid 40 pour les ruches, gtx titan and gtx 680, et 64 gb de
Ram DDR 3, dernièrement j'ai fait un projet en multi came, et j'ai constaté que
mon film commence à s’saccader, pas fluide, et cela me dérange beaucoup, Quesque
je devrais améliorer pour avoir un peu plus de performance, j’ai 16 cœurs mais
j’ai l’impression ne travaille pas tous sur adobe première Pro CC, uniquement
quand on exporte un fichier, dois-je investir pour 2 gtx titan X ? Ou
autre chose, merci de votre conseils, mes salutations. M

Posted on 2015-12-22 08:30:09

Two questions - one is there a reason you didn't test by shutting off the GPUs in the MPE (in the project?) Also, would you be willing to give up that script for testing? I'd like to see if I can replicate these results.

Posted on 2016-04-11 10:42:10
Jan Riedel

I really would like to know how 2x i7-5820K on a dual CPU motherboard ( like ASUS Z10PE-D8 WS or just the ASUS Z10PA-D8) performes .
Because that would be a 12 core system for a really descent price!

Posted on 2016-04-15 16:26:44

Core i7 CPUs won't work in a dual CPU motherboard. You need an additional QPI link (electrical connection either between the CPU and the chipset or between two CPUs) that is only available in Xeon E5-2XXX (or higher end Xeons) CPUs.

Posted on 2016-04-15 16:32:11
Jan Riedel

Yeah, just noticed that. Thx!
I really don't think it's worth the money to buy dual CPU station (for me). Just at the point to pick single i7-5820K (i7-5960X is nealy 3-times the price).
in addition 32GB of fast RAM and a 512GB SAMSUNG SSD 950 Pro M.2 and my old GTX 780. Should be best price value. What do you think?
(my actual PC has a i7 870)

Posted on 2016-04-15 16:40:24
Jan Riedel

Addendum: The setup is for video edit (Premiere may also later with Avid )

Posted on 2016-04-15 16:49:08

The i7-5820K is a pretty decent choice, but you might consider the i7-5930K as well. It should give you about a 6% performance bump in Premiere for about a $300-400 increase in cost. 6% is actually a decent bump (almost cuts render and preview times by 1/10) but it all depends on it that performance gain is worth the cost to you or not.

Otherwise, the rest of your specs look pretty good. Premiere isn't crazy on RAM usage so 32GB should be plenty. I would say though that going with really high frequency or tight timings isn't likely to get you very much in terms of performance - maybe a half percent or less. On the other hand, whenever we've tried to use faster RAM we've run into significantly higher failure rates. I would recommend just using standard DDR4-2133 RAM with ~CL15 timings. Not much different in performance, but should be much safer and more reliable in the long term.

The M.2 drive might also not be necessary. It is great for launching Windows and programs nice and quick but you might want to go to a Standard SSD like a Samsung 850 EVO/Pro and move that part of your budget to getting an i7-5930K. We've looked at the time it takes to encode video in Premiere and there is actually no difference even between a modern platter drive and a M.2 drive: https://www.pugetsystems.co... . Launching stuff super fast is nice though, so it just depends on what area you want higher performance.

Posted on 2016-04-15 17:14:59
Jan Riedel

Hi matt, Thx again for that valuable information!
So, if I store my actuall footage on that m2 drive will not improve editing performance ? Rendering is another story, but I thought working performance will be increased with fast storage (is there no access to the footage while editing??) . If this speeds up application starting times only it's surely not really worth the money...

Posted on 2016-04-15 18:02:21

I know for a fact it at least wont improve scrubbing (prviewing) and rendering performance. There may be a performance boost when doing thing like importing files into Premiere but I haven't had a chance to test that. Even if it does I wouldn't expect it to be much.

Posted on 2016-04-15 18:06:15
Jan Riedel

Thx! Speeding up import is not a issue. I want to have smooth working, even with some filters applied. So better spend the money for the CPU...
Last two questions - don't want to bother you! :)
What do you think is the difference in performance between the i7-5930K and the i7-5960x ?
And there is an acutal offer for the 480GB CRUCIAL BX200 SSD - just 97 Euro on amazon. Thats less then half of the price for the 512GB SAMSUNG SSD 850 Pro... (and the gap between the 850 Pro and the M2 is just about 50 Euro). Any last comment on this? :)

Posted on 2016-04-15 18:25:53

i7-5960X should be about 7% faster than the 5930K for rendering and previewing, but for everything else in Premiere will actually be a hair slower. Most things beyond rendering and previewing only use one or two threads, so the higher frequency of the 5930K makes it a bit better for those tasks.

As for the Crucial, I don't have much experience with them. Their RAM is really good (we use it a lot) so I would imagine their SSDs are pretty good as well. We've just had an amazing experience with Samsung drives with incredibly low failure rates so I pretty much always recommend them when everything else is equal. In fact, we even published an article about Samsung SSDs recently: https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Posted on 2016-04-15 18:33:58
Jan Riedel

Thx a lot Matt. Your help is really appreciated!
Greetings from Germany to Washington :)

Posted on 2016-04-15 18:38:13
Chip Kariyawasam

Thank you both for this dialogue, it has really helped me. I’m going to take the plunge and try to build my first PC – specifically for video editing with Adobe Premiere Pro. I’ve been doing a lot of research but I’m keen to get your expert opinions.

CPU – I7 5820k or I7 5930k. I'm wondering whether the additional 22 PCIe Lanes in the 5930k actually improve performance to justify the $300 AUD extra.

GPU – What shoud I be looking for in a GPU in regard to video editing and premiere Pro. I won’t be gaming on this PC. Also will the SLI or Crossfire configurations help Adobe Premiere Pro run smoother?

Mobo – There seems to be a bunch of bells and whistles between manufacturers and models. For a video editing station what are the key components I should focus on when considering a motherboard?

SSD/M.2 – I’m thinking of having two drives here. One for the OS and the other to use as a scratch disk for files I’m currently editing in Premiere Pro. Any thoughts on SSD manufacturers (intel/Samsung seem to be the mainstays) or whether I should be looking at M.2 seriously.

HDD Storage – Keen to setup a string of drives (raid 0) to store finished and completed projects. Is there any downfall to the RADI 0 Setup?

Memory – Thinking 32gb as that’s where the budget tops out. Is ECC something I should consider? Any particular brands?

Any thoughts, opinions on what I should consider or think about before pulling the trigger and buying the components are welcome and appreciated!

Cheers,
Chip

Posted on 2016-05-04 03:04:03
Jan Riedel

Oh, just noticed there is no support for the i7 CPUs? Sad... :-(

Posted on 2016-04-15 16:32:34
System Agnostic

Did you use a single SSD for both the media and the render file?
I thought it is important to use two separate drives so the fairly large sequential reads and writes are on different drives (as opposed to splitting up the reads between different locations. Also, I would think that the speed of the read drive(s) would be more important than the write drive. The obvious reason - a scene may contain video from multiple media files simultaneously, but the write drive only has to keep up with the rendering - very unlikely to be a bottleneck.

Posted on 2016-04-18 19:06:46
Tony

Was hyper threading on for this test? Would it have been 40 cores instead of 20? How does hyper threading affect the efficiency especially in a dual socket system for rendering in premiere.

Posted on 2016-04-21 14:37:06

Hyperthreading was left on for all our testing - so when we tested 4 cores it was actually running 8 threads. We always check to see if there is a big difference with Hyperthreading on and with it off and in the case of Premiere it didn't make much of a difference. You might see a bit of a performance boost with lower core counts (~4 cores) simply because Hyperthreading helps manage all the different tasks running within the OS, but above that the performance should be pretty much identical.

It used to be that there were some applications that would see better performance with Hyperthreading off, but that is a much rarer occurrence these days. Both the hardware and most software is much better at utilizing the "virtual" threads from it so there really isn't much reason to worry about it anymore unless you have some odd outlier program that for whatever reason sees a performance hit with it on.

Posted on 2016-04-22 14:45:14
Bearmann

For a low budget build, how do you think an i7 6700K would compare to a i7 5820K (no overclock of either)? How do you think they would compare if you obtained an average overclock on each of them?

Posted on 2016-05-05 16:43:38

That's a hard question since the 6700K uses a much newer architecture than the 5820K. Taking the architecture out of the question, a 5820K should be about 15% faster than a 6700K if you just look at the number of cores and frequency. At the same time, in other programs (Solidworks is one we've done really extensive testing for: https://www.pugetsystems.co... we've found that Skylake-S is about 23% faster clock-per-clock than Haswell-E. So in reality, I think that 15% "on paper" difference will be completely negated and if anything a 6700K may actually be a hair faster in Premiere Pro than a 5820K.

I don't think the relative performance is going to change much with an overclock. A safe overclock for either CPU (I'm not talking some crazy 5.0GHz overclock that is going to crash your system once a day) is likely going to give about the same performance boost for both CPUs.

Between those two CPUs, I would go with the 6700K. The single core performance is much better (so all those random things you do in Premiere besides scrubbing or rendering will be a bit snappier) and the lower wattage of the CPU should make it quieter and easier to cool if you do overclock. The only downside to a 6700K is that it is already the top CPU for that socket. With a 5820K you could choose to upgrade in the future without changing anything else in your system, but if you want to upgrade from a 6700K you will need a new motherboard and CPU cooler in addition to the new CPU.

Posted on 2016-05-05 18:08:50
Bearmann

You brought out some interesting points and I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. Since most people will be using other programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. in addition to Premiere Pro, it seems like a further nudge toward the i7 6700K (though I realize that some functions in Lightroom particularly will benefit from the extra cores.) As a percentage of base frequency, though, I would have thought that the 5820K would be a better overclocker than the i7 6700K.

Posted on 2016-05-06 14:22:29

Interesting. 6700k looking like the better option on a budget then

Posted on 2016-08-07 21:55:35
John Kristian Elektropop Aasen

This article and the comment section is some of the best I've read in a long time. Keep up the good work!

Posted on 2016-05-06 00:45:30
Chip Kariyawasam

What do you think about the new CPU's that are set to be released by intel - I7 6950x and alike? Should I hold off on buying a CPU until they come out?

Posted on 2016-05-06 04:53:11
IronMan

I just ran some tests on my new dual-Xeon E5 2670 system. Premiere Pro's behaviour is quite strange. When exporting a simple video without any titles, effects or transitions, my i7 3770K@4.233 Ghz is faster, and premiere uses just over 25% of CPU resources. But then I set the affinity manually in task manager, I tried using 2, 4, 8 cores, and It was a little better. And now, I created a shortcut to start Ppro and set the affinity to use *all* cores and tried rendering a real project with plenty of titles, transitions etc, and the 2 cpus are *fully* used and export takes 25 minutes instead of 54'17" on the i7@4.233 Ghz, and 42'40" with only 1 Xeon cpu assigned to PPro! Maybe setting the affinity manually forces Ppro to use all cores? This needs further investigation...

Posted on 2016-05-11 18:34:17
Dean Fritzel

How do you set affinity manually? Aren't all the cores assigned to be used by default?

Posted on 2016-06-21 14:58:24
IronMan

Well, by default, yes, I suppose all cores are to be used when launching Ppro, but I saw some weird results when doing some tests, as stated in my previous post. I tried rendering a 4K video, without any title/effect whatsoever, and the Dual Xeon was way faster than the i7 3770K (this might be different with a newer architecture CPU like Skylake and/or Haswell of course). Still, when exporting the 4K video, simply to reduce bitrate, the Xeon took 7'30" and the i7 12'15", so that's a lot faster, the video was just 7m44s, on a longer project, this saves some time.
Now, to set the affinity manually, you have to create a shortcut to lauch the application with a command line. This looks like this:

C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c start "Adobe Premiere Pro CC" /affinity FFFFFFFF "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015\Adobe Premiere Pro.exe"

This is my shortcut to use *all* cores (/affinity FFFFFFFF). How does it work? With 2 E5 2670 Xeons, you have 16 cores, plus 16 logical ones that amounts to a total of 32 CPUs. FFFFFFFF is hexadecimal, converted from binary. To activate *all* CPUs (logical AND physical), just enter an hexadecimal number of 32 1s: 11111111111111111111111111111111, convert it to hex, and that's it. CPU 1 is on the right, 2nd is next left and so on. So, theoretically, you might be able to activate any given CPU by toggling its relative position to 1, with the 16 first for CPU 0, and the 16 left for CPU 1.

For 4 CPUs (2 physical cores...) on CPU 0, that would mean 00000000000000000000000011111111, converted to hex, that's FFh, etc.

Hope my explanation was clear enough... There are videos on youtube and on other forums explaining this also.

Posted on 2016-06-21 15:28:57
Dean Fritzel

IronMan, Thanks so much for spelling it out for me. My current rig is a duel xeon E5-2697 v2 (24 real cores at 2.7 GHz, 48 when hyper-threaded) I'm updating my system at work and am debating on getting one of two different rigs. The first option is: Boxx i7 4.125 GHz 8 core and a 2 processor Xeon E5-2680 14 core 2.4GHz computer. (I render via 3DS MAX...which is the reason for the second computer) OR...The second option is: one computer with 2 Xeon E5-2699v4 2.2GHz 22 core (88 cores hyper-threaded)

There are a lot of single core processes in MAX. I'm not sure if there are in Premier. I'm really torn on which solution to consider.

Posted on 2016-06-21 15:40:47
IronMan

Well, I wish I had to make such a choice... ;-) Though, with 2 E5 2670s for $130, I can hardly complain!
If 3DS Max is your main task, you'll definitely be better off with the dual E5-2699s, those CPUs will just fly through rendering, and 3DS is heavily multitasked. Now, to be fair, I suspect the last updates in Premiere pro greatly improved rendering on multi CPU rigs. When rendering on my 4 cores i7 (Ivy bridge 3770K@4.2 Ghz), CPUs are all fully used to 100%, when rendering the same video on the Xeons, *all* CPUs are used also, not to 100%, but fairly high too, and it is faster than the i7, which I would not call slow. So, IMHO, your best option would be with the dual 2699s V4, great for 3DS, and still more than enough horsepower for Premiere Pro, even though you can never get enough of it for rendering. The main problem is with premiere pro, as it is a tradeoff between freq. in GHZ/number of cores. Premiere tends to prefer higher frequency to more cores, you have to find you "sweet spot" for each application...

Posted on 2016-06-21 16:56:00
Dean Fritzel

Thanks again for responding. ya, its a nice place to be in...shopping for a new machine. :)

Posted on 2016-06-21 20:11:43

Hey Dean, just caught this thread a minute ago so I thought I would throw in my thoughts.

For 3ds Max, you are right that most of it is single threaded so a higher operating frequency on the CPU is most important. In fact, for basic 3d modeling and animation work, something like a Core i7 6700K (4 core, 4.0-4.2GHz) will give you the best performance. If you are doing heavy rendering (which it sounds like you are), the best CPU choice is going to depend on what rendering engine you use. Since you only mentioned CPUs, I'm going to assume you are using a CPU-based rendering engine like Mental Ray which is very good at using a high number of CPU cores (If you are using a GPU-based rendering engine like Iray, let me know since that has a completely different hardware requirement). In that case, the 2x E5-2699 V4 you mentioned is easily the absolute best in terms of performance. That CPU also has a maximum single-core Turbo Boost of 3.6GHz, so while it won't be the fastest for modeling/animation, it should still be decent. Just as an FYI, the pair of E5-2680 V4 CPUs you also mentioned would be about 17% slower for rendering - so if you went the dual machine route that is what you would be looking at performance-wise.

For Premiere, however, neither the E5-2699 V4 or 2680 V4 are a very good choice. Even with the update launched today, it doesn't look like they added much in the way of hardware performance enhancements. So based on our testing in this article and the updated one we published recently (https://www.pugetsystems.co..., the best CPU choice is actually a pair of Xeon E5-2643 V4 CPUs. They should be somewhere around 15-20% faster than either a pair of E5-2680 V4 or E5-2699 V4. Premiere simply isn't that great at utilizing a high number of CPU cores, so you really need to prioritize having a faster all-core Turbo Boost frequency. Just as a reference, right now a Core i7 6850K is one of the best single CPUs for Premiere when exporting to 1080p and is only ~2-5% slower than a pair of 2643 V4 CPUs (so easily faster than dual E5-2680 V4 or E5-2699 V4). For 4K exporting, a Core i7 6950X is best and is ~10% slower than a pair of E5-2643 V4 CPUs (again, faster than dual E5-2680V4 or E5-2699V4)

Personally, I would recommend the two system route if you need the best performance possible. A pair of E5-2680 V4 are great for rendering, although the single-core performance is a bit low is it isn't the best for 3d modeling and definitely is not good for Premiere. For the second system, I would say a Core i7 6850 (if you export to 1080p) or a Core i7 6950X (if you export to 4K) should be great for Premiere as well as very good at 3d modeling and animation work in 3ds Max.

To give you some system configuration options, if you went the dual system route this is the system I would recommend for Premiere: https://www.pugetsystems.co... (changing the CPU based on your export resolution) and something like this for 3ds Max: http://puget.systems/go/144307 . RAM, GPU, and storage options need to be tweaked of course.

Let me know if you need clarification on anything!

Posted on 2016-06-21 17:55:14
Dean Fritzel

Matt, Thanks for your input as well!

You're correct. The rendering I do is always CPU based with Mental Ray. I havnt gotten into GPU rendering yet, and probably won't for at least a few years. In fact, 3DS MAX work is probably about 80-90% of my work load, so little by little I'm building a render farm at work. (Ive been given permission to budget a new dual xeon workstation every 2 years. My old workstation goes to my coworker, and his enters the render farm)

When I proposed the 2 computer solution, I was trying to get the best of both worlds. The i7 would have been used for my main workstation...MAX, and Adobe suite. Come render time, I would tap into the second computer(Xeon workstation) and use that in parrallel with the i7 box for rendering. In that scenario, I would love to replace the i7 with a pair of Xeon e5-2643v4 but we do have a budget limit. :) I mean :( ...and I wouldnt be able to afford another duel Xeon box to put into the "render farm". Decisions, decisions.

This isn't a bad problem to be contemplating. In past years the decision was easier. Xeons all the way. IDK....time for a pro/con list I guess.

Posted on 2016-06-21 20:10:37
IronMan

Hi Dean, as far as my modest experience goes, enabling GPU in Premiere does speed things up a lot, especially when exporting with lots of effects, as they are (not all of them, I think) rendered on the GPU. Even with a relatively modest GPU like a Geforce GTX970, things are really faster. With a newer generation card, i.e a Nvidia Pascal architecture, I suppose performance is bound to increase even more for a (relative) bargain, though I'm waiting a little to buy a GTX 1070, after the prices go down a little. ;-)

Posted on 2016-06-22 12:49:39
3oosay

Hi IronMan,

I just finished building my dual E5-2680 rig, I was researching ways to improve render utilization for PPro, I tried to use your method. Affinity did set all the cores to PPro but utilization was still low, CPU utilization 20-50%..

I would really appreciate it if you have any input that would help me :)

Thanks!

Posted on 2016-08-23 01:25:22
IronMan

Hi, I need to do some more testing after Adobe updated Ppro again... Seems like it uses hardware more efficiently, but I'm not sure yet. I was on holiday, and haven't had opportunity to do serious tests yet.
But I put a MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X in my rig, so that's another changing factor to take into account: it's a *lot* faster than the 970. In BOINC, it crunches a working unit for Collatz conjecture in about 2 minutes. The same unit would take more than 10 hours on CPU only!

I'll return here if I find anything interesting.

BTW, I made a mistake in my previous post, 32 1s for 32 CPUs is binary, as you may have noted by yourself, not hexadecimal, of course.

I have made some tests with the shortcuts though, and you can effectively activate *any* given CPU, wether logical and/or physical using this technique. Use a programmer's calculator, that makes things much more simple (SixTeen Free is a very good one for android). This way you can activate bits with a single tap and see the result in hex instantly.

Posted on 2016-08-23 14:55:57
IronMan

Hi again, I did some tests, and I think with dual xeons like our rigs, which are not optimal for Ppro, there is a way to make things better. On my rig, I was able to make both CPU run at their max turbo freq. (more or less), by activating only 3 core/CPU. This way, Turbo boost is able to maintain 3.1/3.2 Ghz on each CPU, and with 6 core active, it's the best compromise I think.
The shortcut goes like this:

cmd.exe /c start "Premiere Pro CC2016" /affinity 7070707 "<path to="" premiere="" pro="" executable="">"

A simple movie without any title and/or effect seems to be the worst case scenario for premiere. Things are a *lot* better with complete projects and titles/effects. The cpus are use to better extent, and the GPU is also working a lor in this case. So it seems there is no ideal solution.
I'd try to use 6 cores for simple rendering, and all CPUs for final render with lots of effects, see what difference it makes.

Hope this helps a little... ;-)

Posted on 2016-08-28 18:06:16
3oosay

Thanks for your help I appreciate it.

Here is what I ended up doing after being extremely frustrated and disappointed with Ppro: I moved to a worse editing program called "powerdirector 14" it isn't anywhere near Ppro in editing experience, but I can render at literally 1/4 the time it would take me on Ppro. I don't use effects and my editing isn't that complex.

It takes me .7 of a second render a second of 1080p 60fps @50 mbps. On my dual xeon it takes 3-4 seconds to render the same thing on Ppro. My 3930K takes about 1.5 seconds to render the same thing on Ppro and about a second in PD14

Posted on 2016-08-30 23:46:20
IronMan

So it seems it's really more a software issue than a hardware one. PPro simply isn't capable of using the hardware to its full extent, which, IMHO is a pity...
Still, for people who can only have one rig, I think there is something to be explored as regards affinity. Getting a dual Xeon with high end model running at 3.8/4.0 Ghz and setting affinity to premiere with only 6 core might make things usable as it would mimick a 6 core single CPU with sames features and same clock frequency...

But since another software is able to render the same video in a fraction of the time taken by premiere shows it's more a software problem.

Posted on 2016-08-31 15:21:07
IronMan

Something I forgot to mention in my previous answer, is that powerdirector may be faster to render/export, but the final quality of the video may not be as good as with Ppro, especially if it uses CUDA encoding and/or Intel Quicksync (ok, Xeons and 3930K don't have integrated video...). With Ppro, you get a state of the art H264 codec that strictly complies to industry standards and so on. But if you can live with that, that's not a problem of course. But Ppro is a professionnal software for a reason I think.

Posted on 2016-08-31 18:28:21
3oosay

No arguing that it is a way superior software, for my needs however it isn't really efficient. I edit simple videos at 1080p 60fps, no effects and render them out, they are usually over 10 minutes long, I need to be able to produce as many videos as possible a day with my 2 PCs.
I tried to even contact Adobe, they had no solution for me. It took me 1 hour to learn how to use the new software and I produce the same quality videos as I did with Ppro, maybe there is a loss in quality but I haven't noticed it, and I do pay a lot of attention toward quality.

Do you think it could be my graphics card? I have a GTX 660 in both computers, Ppro is twice as fast in my 3930K as it is in the dual xeon

Posted on 2016-09-01 01:12:35
IronMan

I don't think this has something to do with your graphics card. As far as I know, the GPU is not used very much when rendering simple videos, it's mainly used when rendering lots of effects, titles and so on, but that's in Premiere Pro. Maybe Powerdirector uses CUDA to render videos, I don't know. In this case, it might explain why it's so much faster.
CUDA video rendering seems to be lower quality, this is why Premiere sticks to CPU rendering I think, and uses the GPU for everything else, like 3D etc. But anyway, if you found a good solution, that's ok I guess.

Posted on 2016-09-01 06:14:41
ProPhoto Stl

Hi,

can somebody help me figure out the best upgrade path please?

Here is what I currently have:
ASUS P9X79 PRO LGA 2011 Intel X79
Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 6-Core 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W BX80619i73930K Desktop Processor
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7970
32GB RAM

but it's not enough to render some sequences in Adobe Premiere Pro.

So, what I figured out is that the bottlenecks are my GPU (no CUDA and questionable OpenCL support) and my CPU.
I am planning on upgrading the GPU to EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN Z, but I need your advice about CPU.
Should I consider one of the Xeon processors?
My understanding is that I should be able to install any Xeon E5 series up to version 2 (but not version 3 and up) on my motherboard.
Some of them can be found used at pretty good price points, so the only question is if I will really see any real life improvement in Adobe Premiere Pro, or other Adobe CC applications.

From what I read what really counts is the number of cores, so my current CPU has 6 of them, but with Xeon I could go up to 12, or higher without replacing my motherboard. The clock frequency of the Xeon cores are much lower though than for my i7-3930K, so I am not sure if this makes any sense.

Your advice will be appreciated. Thanks!

Posted on 2016-05-20 03:34:52

I would start with the video card and see what that gets you before you worry about the CPU. I would also be hesitant to go with the Titan Z, though: it is an older model, and a bit odd. It has two GPUs on a single card, with pretty massive power requirements because of that. It also has its RAM split between the two GPUs, with 6GB each. That isn't a bad amount, mind you, but unless you've found some amazing deal on that card I would go for something less costly. The GeForce GTX 970, 980, 980 Ti, or Titan X are all great options, depending on your budget, or you could wait and see if the new 1070 and 1080 coming out in the next few weeks do well in Premiere (I have to reason to think they won't, but it might be good to make sure).

Posted on 2016-05-20 03:56:02
ProPhoto Stl

I am sorry, it was a mistype: I ordered Titan X and not "Z". Thank you for your advice though!

Posted on 2016-05-20 12:22:25
ProPhoto Stl

2 more questions if you don't mind:
1. Do I need any extra cooling for Titan X, or the build in fan will be sufficient?
2. If I decide to upgrade the CPU to one of the Xeons can I reuse my CPU fan.
Here is the model I have:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/pr...

Thanks!

Posted on 2016-05-20 14:27:20

1) The Titan X has a really nice cooler, which should take care of itself as long as you have some airflow though your chassis. You'll also need the right set of power connections from your power supply, of course, but if you were running a Radeon 7970 before I think it may be the same power connectors as that used (but I can't remember for sure).

2) The CPU fan / heatsink compatibility depends on the motherboard, rather than the CPU. If you are keeping the same board and just swapping CPUs, you should be able to reuse your existing cooler without issue. You will need to clean off any thermal paste, of course, and apply new past on the new CPU.

Posted on 2016-05-20 16:43:29
ProPhoto Stl

I was looking at the following comparative benchmarks:
http://www.anandtech.com/be...
and it seems that I can get pretty limited gains from my i7 3930K after upgrading to E5-2697 v2.
I am not sure though how these benchmarks were constructed and what they measure exactly. Any comments?

Posted on 2016-05-20 16:42:07

What you can see there is that applications which thread very well - and so can gain from the doubled number of cores - see a healthy boost in performance. Applications which cannot use more than six cores, though, see a drop in performance because of the reduced per-core clock speed.

In our testing, around 6-8 cores is usually a sweet spot for Premiere... though there are some aspects of it which can scale further. I think if you upgraded you would see mixed performance results: some things would be a little faster, some a little slower, and some about the same (when the extra cores balanced out the lower clock speed). As I mentioned elsewhere, you should see a much bigger benefit from upgrading the video card - with no potential downsides I can think of - so I would start there and see what happens. You may find that performance reaches the point where you don't need to worry about the CPU anymore (until such time as you replace the whole system / move to a newer CPU platform).

Posted on 2016-05-20 16:47:25
ProPhoto Stl

Yeah, this makes perfect sense.
Somebody pointed out that I should wait for Nvidia GTX 1080 instead of buying Titan X right now. Titan has more CUDA cores, more memory and higher Memory Bus Width, but it still may be slower than GTX 1080, which will be also about $400 cheaper. What's your take?

Posted on 2016-05-20 16:51:27

I can't say for sure till we've been able to test the 1080 in Premiere, but based on its performance in other benchmarks that have been published (games, mostly, but a few professional applications too) I do expect it to be faster than the Titan X. The only advantage the Titan appears to have, to me, is the 12GB of video memory (50% more than the 1080 will have).

Posted on 2016-05-20 16:54:08
ProPhoto Stl

OK, so here is what I noticed when trying to use Titan X with my Premiere Pro rendering (multicam edit, sequence about 93 min long, color grading, many audio and video effects, titles, video exported to H264 in 1080p):
- Titan used more than 10GB out of 12GB available memory, but the GPU load never exceeded 47%,
- the rendering took almost 30 hours (yes, you read this right: thirty!), so I am not sure how long would it take with my old Radeon HD 7970, but from my early tries it was showing 48+ hours,
- Titan stayed pretty cool, with temp ranging 64-74C during rendering.

Now, I am pretty disappointed to be honest, not with Titan, but with how long it took to render my sequence and I am wondering what else can I improve in my configuration to get better results.
Do you believe I should try Xeon instead of i7 3930K? I can get a brand new E5-2697 v2 for about $1100, which is less than half of the retail price, so maybe this would help?

I will definitely appreciate some advice! Thanks!

PS. One more thing: should I keep Titan X, so replace it with GTX 1080 next week?
Keeping in mind that GTX 1080 has "only" 6GB of memory I am wondering if it's not going to be another bottleneck when rendering.

Posted on 2016-05-24 22:10:42

Hmm, I'm not really sure what to advise. More cores might help, but at the same time that is still three generation old technology. I'd hate to advise that you spend over a thousand dollars to only to find out that the performance gain was minimal.

As for the video card, it sounds like you might be better off keeping the Titan with its higher amount of video memory (given how much you said was being used during your render).

Out of curiosity, have you looked at other aspects of your build? RAM usage during rendering, for example, and drive performance?

Posted on 2016-05-24 23:38:04
ProPhoto Stl

RAM usage was steady around 50% only and I have 32GB 1600MHz. I have a PCI type of SSD, so the transfers are in the 1500-1700 MB/s range. I also used separate drive for the source files (Samsung EVO 850), so the read and write was to 2 separate drives.
I am really puzzled about where are the bottlenecks here, but certainly it's not Titan and not my drives.

SHould I try E5-2697 v2, or should I rather invest in a brand new motherboard and CPU?

Posted on 2016-05-25 00:28:17
ProPhoto Stl

Do you have any experience about Intel Core i7-5960X?
It would cost me less than E5-2697 v2 and it has faster frequency, so I assume the performance would be better, even though it has 8 cores.

Posted on 2016-05-25 00:46:03

We do have experience with that in Premiere Pro, and it does pretty well - but I don't have enough data on the older CPU you have now to say how much of an improvement you would see. It would require new RAM and a new motherboard as well, which adds to the cost.

Also, rumor has it that Intel is close to releasing the Core i7 6900-series processors... so if you decide to go for a current-generation chip, I'd wait and see what comes out in the next month or so.

Posted on 2016-05-25 00:54:48
ProPhoto Stl

How 5960X compares with E5-2697 v2?
Are you saying I should stick to what I have now and wait for i7 6900 series?

Posted on 2016-05-25 01:11:19

Yes - if you are considering moving up to a new processor I would advise waiting till the latest generation is available - since it is rumored to be not far off.

Posted on 2016-05-25 01:20:09
ProPhoto Stl

Are you planning on testing i7 6950X, which has just been announced? I am not sure when exactly will they start shipping it, but it looks like several websites posted its reviews today, so it may be pretty soon I guess. Would it in your opinion work well in Premiere Pro?

Posted on 2016-05-31 17:26:08

We are now listing that CPU as an option in our systems, and I'm sure we'll get some orders soon. I don't know how much testing we will be doing on it right away, though. It should perform well, as should the 8-core at 3.2GHz (i7 6900K, I believe).

Posted on 2016-05-31 18:00:08

Like William said, both the 6950X and 6900K should work pretty well. From what I've seen, these CPUs are about 15% faster per clock than the previous models. Likely not enough of a performance jump to warrant upgrading, but if you are already looking for a new system that is a free performance boost.

Between the two, I think the performance difference should actually be pretty minimal. I did some calculations based on the results from this article and since there is often a performance dropoff after 4-8 cores, the 6950X should only be about 1-2% faster than the 6900K. For Premiere, I think in most cases you would get higher performance by getting the 6900K, and putting the cost savings towards a higher end GPU, faster hard drive, or more system RAM.

Posted on 2016-05-31 19:05:02
ProPhoto Stl

Thanks Matt!
OK, so what would you do being in my shoes?
Here is what I currently have:
ASUS P9X79 PRO LGA 2011 Intel X79
Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 6-Core 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W BX80619i73930K Desktop Processor
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7970
32GB RAM

And I am pretty decided to go for GTX 1080 whenever ASUS models become available.
I tested Titan X and it definitely makes a big difference against my HD 7970.

So, now I am deliberating about CPU. I tested E5 2697 v2, which can be used with my existing motherboard, but honestly I wasn't able to notice any significant difference in rendering performance in PPro, and in Lightroom it was much slower than my 3930K @ 4.2GHz, even though Xeon was running at 3.6GHz.
So, it seems to me that the only reasonable upgrade path for me would be to go for LGA2011-3 and either 6950X, or 6900K.

What do you think?

Posted on 2016-05-31 19:39:33

I think you pretty much have it right on the money. The X79 platform is getting a bit old, and there isn't going to be any major performance advantages you will be able to get by upgrading the CPU (which you've already confirmed by testing a E5 2697 v2). Something like a E5-2687W v2 (8 core, 3.4-4.0GHz) is probably one of the few CPUs that would give you a small bump in performance - but it isn't going to be much.

Upgrading to a NVIDIA card for the CUDA support is definitely the first thing I would do. I haven't had a chance to benchmark a GTX 1080 in Premiere yet, but I suspect it will be faster than the Titan X so if you saw a jump in performance with that, you should see a similar or even better jump in performance with a GTX 1080. After that, I think you really are looking at a complete platform upgrade. You will need new motherboard, CPU, and RAM, however, so that is going to be a pretty major change. And unless you have upgraded your hard drive recently, you might also want to invest in a newer SSD like the Samsung 850 EVO/Pro drives since they are likely much faster than whatever drive you purchased with your system originally.

Just as a side note on Lightroom, we have a similar article to this one up for that: https://www.pugetsystems.co... . For a lot of tasks, a higher core count doesn't actually help all that much which is why you saw a performance drop with the E5-2697 v2. Exporting images is really the one thing I would expect a 2697 v2 to actually be faster than your 3930K.

Posted on 2016-05-31 20:07:15
ProPhoto Stl

You are perfectly right.
I have 2 EVO 850 drives and another PCI REVO 3 SSD, so no drives upgrade would be needed I believe.
Now the only dilemma is to choose the right CPU. I was actually looking at 6850X, which has much better price/performance ratio than 6950X and potentially it can even beat 6950X in single thread applications like Lightroom.

In fact from your Lightroom charts it's pretty clear to me that the difference is really hard to notice in real life.
When testing E5 2697 v2 both importing and exporting the images seemed slower than with 3930K, but it wasn't any "scientific" test. At least there was no noticeable difference for sure.

Posted on 2016-05-31 20:20:10

I think the 6850K is a great choice. I'm doing a new round of CPU multi-threading testing in Premiere Pro right now including (with Cineform, RED and ProRes files), and it is looking like the CPU I would recommend is:

1080p footage - Core i7 6800K or 6850K (small difference in performance, about in line with the price difference)
4K footage - Core i7 6900K
6K+ footage - Core i7 6950X

My testing isn't complete yet, so I may change the recommendation for the 6K footage, but that is what it is looking like right now.

Posted on 2016-05-31 20:27:54
ProPhoto Stl

Yeah, this makes sense. I am looking for something for both worlds: great Lightroom performance, as well as really good PPro efficiency.
Of course 4K is the goal, so if I decide to upgrade I will definitely want to make the new system 4K ready, as a protection for my investment.
So, based on this information, which CPU would be the best compromise in your opinion? Would it be 6900K?

Posted on 2016-05-31 20:35:04

For a Premiere/Lightroom dual use system, probably the i7 6850K is the best in terms of balance. The 6900K should give a bit better Premiere Pro performance for 4K footage, but at the same time should be a bit worse for most Lightroom tasks. So I think it just depends on if you want equal performance in both applications (6950K) or want to favor Premiere Pro a bit (6900K).

Posted on 2016-05-31 20:41:24
ProPhoto Stl

I agree, but let's look at it also in terms of the cost/performance ratio. Is it only my impression that 6850X would be the best out of these three CPUs?

Posted on 2016-05-31 20:44:20

Cost/performance is always a hard thing to define. For CPUs (and most other hardware components), you generally get less performance for your dollar as you get more and more expensive. So in pretty much every case, the cheapest CPU is going to be the best "value". So between the 6850K and 6900K, the question is if a $400-500 price difference is worth what should be around a 10% difference in performance in Premiere (and likely only minimal - if any - difference in Lightroom). 10% isn't a small difference, but it also doesn't match the ~40% difference in price.

Posted on 2016-05-31 20:51:15
ProPhoto Stl

Yes, on the other hand I should probably go for 6950X to make my investment even more "future proof", because the system I am building should be good enough for at least 3-4 years.

Posted on 2016-05-31 20:54:22

Just FYI, I managed to get some Premiere Pro benchmarks of the GTX 1080 compared to a GTX Titan X today: https://www.pugetsystems.co... . Looks like about 3-7% faster than a GTX Titan depending on how much CPU power you have.

Posted on 2016-06-02 00:19:33
ProPhoto Stl

Letting alone it's at least $400 cheaper as well ;)

Posted on 2016-06-02 00:36:44
ProPhoto Stl

Matt, can you think of any PPro related situation when Titan X's 12GB of memory may be advantageous vs. 8GB of GTX 1080?

Posted on 2016-06-02 10:28:53

Anything up to 8K footage should be just fine with 8GB of VRAM. So if you work with 10K or something crazy, then you might need the 12GB. That's about it though.

Posted on 2016-06-02 16:59:51
ProPhoto Stl

Matt, this may be a stupid question, but does overclocking 1080 make any sense at all as far as increasing the performance in Adobe CC is concerned? I am just wondering which custom build should I go for and if it's clock speed would really matter in Adobe applications. Thanks!

Posted on 2016-06-16 22:37:23

I highly doubt it will make a noticeable difference. The difference between even the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 was on average only about 2-3% in our testing (https://www.pugetsystems.co... even though the GTX 1080 has something like 30% more theoretical performance. Video cards that are factory overclocked usually have around a 5-10% overclock applied, so I would guess an overclocked GTX 1080 might be 1% or so faster than a standard card in Premiere

So for Premiere, I would stick with the standard cards if you have the choice. They should be cooler, quieter, and more reliable over the long term which I personally feel is a bigger factor than a ~1% increase in performance. Honestly, if you really need the best performance I would use two GTX 1070s instead of an overclocked GTX 1080. It is a bit more expensive, but the performance difference would actually be significant (we saw up to 50% performance increase with dual GPUs when exporting to 1080p).

Posted on 2016-06-16 22:53:44
ProPhoto Stl

I am assuming the rumors about Titan 1080 are not exaggerated and we will see it probably by the end of this year, so maybe that would be a nice pretext to upgrade again and instead of 2 x1070 to have one card with similar, or even better performance.

Posted on 2016-06-16 22:57:05
ProPhoto Stl

Hi Matt, do you plan on testing i7-6950X any time soon? It's already available on Newegg :)

Posted on 2016-06-02 14:17:27
ProPhoto Stl

Your spreadsheet here:
https://docs.google.com/spr...
indicates that E5-2697 v2 would be faster than 5960X for both exporting and previews. Is that right?

Posted on 2016-05-25 01:15:36

Comparisons like the one on that spreadsheet only work when comparing products within a single generation. Comparing across generations also brings in differences in core tech, memory controllers, supported CPU extensions, and more.

Posted on 2016-05-25 01:19:33
ProPhoto Stl

By the way, have you seen this:
http://www.hardwarezone.com...
It's just a rumor, but it makes perfect sense, so we will probably see some kind of "Titan GTX" with 24GB memory by the end of this year.

Posted on 2016-05-25 00:47:31

I'm sure there will be some sort of more advanced GeForce 1000-series card in the future. There have been 4 models using the Titan moniker so far, with the Titan X being the latest - but as it is based on the 900-series technology it only makes sense for a newer one to come out in the next several months... and it will likely have more RAM, just as the 1080 has more than the 980.

Posted on 2016-05-25 00:53:23
ProPhoto Stl

Hi William,
do you know this website:
https://compubench.com/benc...

Please take a look at the comparison below.

Posted on 2016-05-26 16:20:55

I am not familiar with that website, sorry.

Posted on 2016-05-26 19:47:18
ProPhoto Stl

In fact I was expecting some comment on the benchmarks rather than that you don't recognize their website :)

Posted on 2016-05-26 22:56:15

Well, since the 1080 hasn't come out yet (it releases tomorrow) I am not sure where they are getting their data. Maybe they have a card for testing (we do!) but some of the numbers seem off. I would not expect it to be so far ahead of the Titan Xin Video Composition, for example... but then it actually looks to me more like the Titan X is not where it should be. It should be on par with the Quadro M6000. I'm also wondering what software they use for that testing anyway.

We haven't yet had a chance to test out the 1080 in Premiere Pro, but I am hopeful that it will be included in any future GPU round-ups we do.

Posted on 2016-05-26 23:25:37
ProPhoto Stl

Thanks! When do you expect to release the next "roundup"?

Posted on 2016-05-26 23:27:31

That, honestly, I have no idea. Our Labs folks (headed up by Matt, who did this article) would be better able to address such questions. Maybe we'll get lucky and he'll see this :)

Posted on 2016-05-26 23:29:56

Now the real question... 5820k or 6700k?

Posted on 2016-08-07 21:46:56

I would recommend checking this out, an updated CPU comparison for Premiere Pro: https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Posted on 2016-10-12 16:20:04
Adrian

Hello! I have question about using two CPUs. You got 2x 10 core cpus in this test. I want to buy 2x 4core xeon now, and i'm wondering if performance will stop growing when premiere pro starts using second cpu? For example: does one i7 4 core 3.5GHz perform the same as 2x Xeon 4 core 3.5GHz because using dual cpu in PP CC does not adding any performance? Like it was in Exporting 1080p H.264 chart above? You said "One thing we want to point out is that while we saw the performance drop off at 10 cores, it is more likely that it is actually because we started to use the second CPU rather than the actual core count." Does it means that with 2x 4core xeon rig the export speed will not be faster than with 1x xeon 4core? Sorry for my english.

Posted on 2016-10-09 12:24:46
Adrian

PS. I will be using newest version of PP CC 2015 (.3 i think)

Posted on 2016-10-09 12:33:00

I wouldn't really recommend using dual Xeon, even a pair of dual cores. We did a direct CPU comparison for PP 2015.3 ( https://www.pugetsystems.co... ) and even though two 6 core Xeon E5-2643 V4 CPUs were supposed to be faster than a single 10 core i7-6950X CPU according to our parallel efficiency measurements, they were actually slower in all cases. As for one Xeon quad core versus two, I think you would find that in some cases there isn't a difference, but in others you likely would see a drop in performance with two CPUs.

If you are thinking about dual four core Xeons, the best CPU choice there would be a pair of Xeon E5-2637 V4 (4 core, 3.5GHz, 3.6-3.7GHz Turbo). However, on the single CPU side, the Core i7 6900K (8 core, 3.2GHz, 3.5-4.0GHz Turbo) is almost identical with only slightly lower all-core Turbo Boost frequency, but it has Turbo Boost Max 3.0 which allows one core to always run at 4.0GHz. Given that Turbo Boost Max functionality and the fact that it is a single CPU (which means no overhead from the CPUs talking to each other over the QPI bus), I don't think there is any chance the dual Xeon quad cores will be faster than the Core i7 6900K. Really hard to know the exact difference without specific testing, but my guess would be that the dual Xeon E5-2637 V4 would be somewhere around 5-15% slower. Plus, the single Core i7 would be about half the cost than a pair of Xeon E5 CPUs. There are of course cheaper Xeon E5 V4 CPUs you could pick, but all of those would have significantly lower operating frequencies which would make them even worse than a single Core i7 6900K.

Posted on 2016-10-10 17:02:59
Louis

Hi, very interesting. Following what you are saying, wouldn't be interesting using a Intel Xeon E5-1680 v4 (8 Core, 3.4-4.0GHz Turbo) instead dual Xeon E5-2637?

Posted on 2016-10-25 16:28:32

We haven't done any testing with the E5-1680 V4, but we have tested the Core i7 6900K in Premiere Pro. The E5-1680 V4 does have a slightly higher all-core Turbo of 3.6GHz compared to the i7 6900K's all-core Turbo of 3.5GHz, but other than that they are pretty much identical unless you need vPro. The biggest benefit to the i7 6900K is that it is significantly cheaper and is much, much more readily available (supply is consistently terrible for the E5-1680 V4).

Either the i7 6900K or E5-1680 V4 is a pretty nice CPU for Premiere Pro. You can get a bit higher performance (especially for higher than 4K projects) with a Core i7 6950X (10 core, 3.4-4.0 GHz), but on average it won't be more than ~5% faster than the i7 6900K. I know I linked the article in my last reply, but just in case you missed it we did a Premiere Pro CPU Comparison article that I think is a bit more relevant than this article is to this topic: https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Posted on 2016-10-25 18:13:32
Louis

Thansk for the answer. In fact, i have to make a workstation for Premiere Pro with Dell Pro computer, no other choice. Dell doesn't offer i7 6900k or 6950k in their workstations, you have to choose in Xeon family. Since E5 2600 family doesn't seem to bring big advantage on premiere pro, neither dual CPU, i thought about Xeon 1600 family, more expensive than i7, but again no other choice for me. But reading your tests, it seems that gamer computers are the best choice for Premiere Pro and AE, no ?

Posted on 2016-10-26 09:41:59

That's a tough situation to be in. Obviously my first piece of advice is to start working on your purchasing department or whoever else makes the decision to only use Dell, but I know that is often a long-term fight and sometimes there simply isn't anything you can do.

I'm not super familiar with Dell's product line, but in general a "gaming" system with a 6900K or 6950X is going to give you much higher performance for your dollar in Premiere Pro. Not only are the higher-end Xeons much more expensive than the equivalent Core i7 CPU, Dell and other bigger companies also tend to limit the video card options to only Quadro or FirePro on their workstation offerings. Quadro is perfectly fine for Premiere (Adobe tends to recommend it in fact), but a GeForce card is going to be much more affordable (3-6x cheaper) and generally faster than a Quadro card.

In your case, I would recommend one of their "gaming" systems unless you need more than 64GB of RAM (or really, really hate the look of their gaming systems). We generally recommend 64GB of RAM for people working with up to 4K footage, but if you work with 6K or especially complex timelines, you might be forced into paying a much higher cost just to get that extra RAM. I did a quick pricing comparison on Dell's site, and I came up with their workstations being almost exactly twice the cost of an equivalent performing "gaming" system. So you can buy one of their workstation with non-ideal components, or two of their gaming systems with much better components for Premiere Pro, but you won't be able to get more than 64GB of RAM.

Posted on 2016-10-26 19:31:30
Adrian

Thank you for your answer. I have budget to buy new PC with i7 6800k inside. The key thing for me is price/performance value, it doesn't matter if pc will be new, or used. So I can choose between theese options (new PC):
- single i7 6700k 4core 4.0GHz (10984pts in passmark)
- single i7 6800k 6core 3.4GHz (13675pts in passmark)
and used dells like that ones:
- dual Xeon X5675 2x 6core 3.0GHz = 12core 3.0GHz (12925pts in passmark, it is Dell T7500)
- single Xeon E5-2687W 8core 3.1GHz (14416pts in passmark, it is dell T5600 which allow me to add second E5-2687W for +500$ and get 16cores 3.1GHz ~25k pts!)

I know theese are old cpus, but still in power, and very, very cheap to buy in dell workstations after leasing returns. For example - for 1000$ I can buy Dell T7500 with almost the same processing power as i7 6800K where only i7 6800k + mobo + 8gigs of ram costs 1000$. T5600 is 1200$ in full quipped case with one year guaranty, when I spend 1700$ i have dual E5-2687W and 25k points, full pc with 6800k will cost ~1500$ and will be much slower.

Another key thing is what you mentioned - performance will not scale x2 when I use 2 cpus. But, paying 1700$ for dual E5's with 25k pts is still better than paying 1500$ for single 6800k even if dual E5's will have ~170% power of one E5 (30% performance loss due to QPI "talking").

And this is my point - I will buy used dual xeon rig, cheaper than new 6800k rig, but I want premiere pro to use that 2 cpus, not only one. In your chart after 10 cores performance was not increasing at all, PP CC was starting using second CPU in that moment. That is the reason of my question - when I have 2x 6core or 8core Xeons, will premiere use them both, or performance will be the same as with only one xeon 6-8core? I know it will not be 2x faster, as you said it can get some performance drop (QPI etc), but I want to know if there will be ANY difference, will PP CC performance will be better on 2x6c Xeon than 1x6c Xeon?

Posted on 2016-10-12 16:16:42

As Matt indicated in his response below, dual Xeons are not a good setup for Premiere at this time - specially if you are going to end up with older Xeons, running at lower per-core clock speeds. It seems counter-intuitive, but I would strongly recommend checking these other articles out to see why that is not a good idea:

https://www.pugetsystems.co...

https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Posted on 2016-10-12 16:22:12
Adrian

PS. One more thing - if I buy used xeon rig, I will buy one with fastest possible clock speed per core, 3.2GHz or above when 6core, 3.0Ghz and above when 8core. I know 30 slow cores will not do the job as good as 6-8 very fast cores.

Posted on 2016-10-12 16:24:15
bo

i am testing premiere2017 but my cpu can not used full.
Don't know why https://uploads.disquscdn.c...

Posted on 2017-03-07 10:56:00
Damian Toczek

I guess my 2x 2683 v3 are to much then :x

Posted on 2017-06-04 02:35:35