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Does AMD Threadripper Dynamic Local Mode improve video editing performance?

Written on November 5, 2018 by Matt Bach
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Introduction

AMD's Threadripper 2970WX and 2990WX are incredible CPUs with a staggering 24 and 32 cores respectively. However, in order to get to achieve this number of cores, these processors actually have four processor dies: two with direct access to the system RAM, and two that have to access the RAM by going through the other dies. The problem with this approach is that the system does not always prioritize the cores with direct memory access which can at times result in less than optimal performance.

AMD's solution to this is a new setting in the Ryzen Master software called "Local Dynamic Mode". You can read more about it is AMD's blog post Previewing Dynamic Local Mode for the AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper WX Series Processors, but the short of it is that this setting will attempt to prioritize the cores that have direct access to your system memory. This should increase performance in applications that cannot take full advantage of the high core counts of these CPUs, so we wanted to see exactly how well it works in video editing applications like Premiere Pro, After Effects, and DaVinci Resolve.

If you would like to skip over our test setup and raw benchmark results, feel free to jump right to the Conclusion section.

Test Setup & Methodology

Listed below are the two platforms we will be using in our testing:

Test Hardware    
Motherboard: Gigabyte X299 Designare EX MSI MEG X399 Creation
CPU: Intel Core i9 7960X 2.8GHz
(4.2/4.4GHz Turbo) 16 Core

Intel Core i9 7980XE 2.6GHz
(4.2/4.4GHz Turbo) 18 Core
AMD Threadripper 2990WX 3.0GHz
(4.2GHz Turbo) 32 Core

 
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12DX i4 Corsair Hydro Series H80i v2
RAM: 8x DDR4-2666 16GB
(128GB total)
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB
Hard Drive: Samsung 960 Pro 1TB M.2 PCI-E x4 NVMe SSD
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Software: Premiere Pro CC 2019 (ver. 13.0.0)
After Effects CC 2019 (ver. 16.0)
DaVinci Resolve Studio 15 (ver. 15.1.2.8)
Ryzen Master Utility (ver. 1.5)

We are primarily concerned with the performance of the AMD Threadripper 2990WX with Local Dynamic Mode both on and off, but we decided to also include the Intel Core i9 7960X and 7980XE. We are doing this since Intel tends to have the performance lead right now for video editing applications, and this way we will be able to see if any performance gain via Local Dynamic Mode is enough to make AMD Threadripper faster than the Intel X-series.

In the interest of keeping this article short, we are not going to list our test procedure here. Instead, you can view how and what we tested in one of our recent Premiere Pro, After Effects, and DaVinci Resolve articles.

Premiere Pro CC 2019 - Raw Benchmark Results

[Click Here] to skip ahead to Conclusion

After Effects CC 2019 - Raw Benchmark Results

[Click Here] to skip ahead to Conclusion

DaVinci Resolve Studio 15 - Raw Benchmark Results

[Click Here] to skip ahead to Conclusion

Does Dynamic Local Mode improve Premiere Pro, After Effects, and DaVinci Resolve performance?

In our testing, Dynamic Local Mode does appear to help a tiny bit in Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve, but the improvement is really within our margin of error. After Effects shows a larger improvement, but even there we only saw a 6.4% improvement which is not enough to allow the 2990WX to match the Core i9 7960X or 7980XE.

AMD Dynamic Local Mode benchmark for video editing Premiere Pro After Effects DaVinci Resolve
If you already have a Threadripper 2970WX or 2990WX, we don't see any reason not to enable Local Dynamic Mode - although all the Ryzen Master warnings about system damage, instability, etc. will be a bit disconcerting for some users. The performance gain for video editing is not much, but we didn't see any instances where it made performance worse like we did in our Does AMD Local Dynamic Mode improve photo editing performance? testing.

Overall, however, it doesn't look like this feature is going to alter any of our CPU recommendations. Outside of a few isolated cases (working with RED footage mostly), the Intel X-series are still going to give you better performance for your dollar in a video editing or color grading workstation.

 

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Tags: AMD, Threadripper, Dynamic Local Mode, Premiere Pro, 2990WX, 7960X, 7980XE