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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
Nich0

Hi, there's a new Titan TRX GPU. Hope you'll get your hands on it for some tests. https://videocardz.com/pres...

Posted on 2018-12-07 07:15:37

We definitely will! I don't expect it to be useful for most video editing applications beyond DaVinci Resolve. In Premiere Pro, the only benefit is likely going to be the additional VRAM which may be helpful for people editing with 8K or higher media.

Posted on 2018-12-10 17:47:54
Jonathan Emms

Have you had a chance to compare AMD Dynamic Local Mode in Ryzen Master utilities against the version available from Coreprio? In particular the NUMA Dissociater? Performance issues seems to be a bug in the windows kernel/scheduler rather than a memory issue. More details here:
https://level1techs.com/art...
https://bitsum.com/portfoli...

This is a very new issue that's been discovered. Only about a week old or so.

Posted on 2019-01-11 04:01:21
Jonathan Emms

Wendell (one of the main persons to uncover this issue) said "The rumors of a memory bandwidth problem, even with 32 cores (at least in these instances), has been greatly exaggerated."
There's a discussion of the issue here https://forum.level1techs.c...

Posted on 2019-01-11 04:13:58

We are aware of it, and definitely keeping an eye on it as it develops. These kinds of third party fixes are usually the kinds of things we tend to shy away from implementing on our systems except in extreme situations. This might be one of those cases, but the fix is so bizarre and weird that I'm worried that there is something else going on behind the scenes that is the true cause of the issue.

Unfortunately, right now we don't have the bandwidth to test it on our normal suite of content creation benchmarks. There are simply too many high-priority projects going on at the moment that we need to get done first. We may be able to in a few weeks, which will also let it get a bit more fleshed out and allow AMD to respond or implement the fix in their Ryzen Master Software.

Posted on 2019-01-11 20:26:04
Jonathan Emms

Yeah it makes sense from your point of view wait until more info is available, if you provided that fix with your systems then I guess you'd also have to provide support on that for your customers. Also "fix" seems inconsistent and doesn't stick, something about restarting the process with the fix enabled resets and you have to re-apply the fix.

Posted on 2019-01-12 00:38:44