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Premiere Pro CC 2018: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 & 2080 Ti Performance

Written on October 1, 2018 by Matt Bach


Like most of Adobe's popular applications, Premiere Pro CC utilizes the GPU to enhance performance for a number of tasks but it is often more important to get the right CPU than it is to get a faster GPU. NVIDIA's new RTX series cards have general performance increases like you would expect, but much of what makes these cards interesting are the addition of two new features: Tensor cores and RT cores.

What are Tensor Cores?

While already available on the more expensive Titan V GPU, the RTX line introduces tensor cores at a more reasonable price point. These tensor cores operate alongside the normal CUDA cores that traditionally do the heavy lifting, but are designed specifically for machine learning inference (running already created and trained machine learning models). While not utilized in Adobe applications today, these cores may be used in the future - especially as Adobe continues to develop their "Adobe Sensei" AI and machine learning technology.

What are RT Cores?

RT cores are brand new in this generation of graphics cards, and are specialized for a single type of operation: ray tracing. It is possible that Adobe may utilize these cores in After Effects or even Photoshop to some extent, but we feel it is unlikely they will be used much in Premiere Pro.

What makes these new RTX cards hard to review and test is the fact that Premiere Pro currently does not use either of these new types of cores. We can (and will) look at straight performance gains with the current version of Premiere Pro, but really what you are paying for is technology that might give you significant performance gains in the future.

If you would like to skip over our test setup and benchmark result/analysis sections, feel free to jump right to the Conclusion section.

Test Setup & Methodology

Listed below is the test platforms we will be using in our testing:

Test Hardware  
Motherboard: Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
CPU: Intel Core i9 7980XE 2.6GHz
(4.2/4.4GHz Turbo) 18 Core
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12DX i4
RAM: 8x DDR4-2666 16GB (128GB total)
Hard Drive: Samsung 960 Pro 1TB M.2 PCI-E x4 NVMe SSD
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Software: Premiere Pro CC 2018 (ver. 12.1.2)

To see how the new RTX cards perform in Premiere Pro, we tested it against a selection of cards from NVIDIA as well as AMD's Vega 64 GPU.

To thoroughly benchmark each processor, we used a range of codecs across 4K, 6K, and 8K resolutions:

Codec Resolution FPS Bitrate Clip Name Source
H.264 3840x2160 29.97 FPS 80 Mbps Transcoded from RED 4K clip
H.264 LongGOP 3840x2160 29.97 FPS 150 Mbps Provided by Neil Purcell - www.neilpurcell.com
DNxHR HQ 8-bit 3840x2160 29.97 FPS 870 Mbps Transcoded from RED 4K clip
ProRes 422 HQ 3840x2160 29.97 FPS 900 Mbps Transcoded from RED 4K clip
ProRes 4444 3840x2160 29.97 FPS 1,200 Mbps Transcoded from RED 4K clip
XAVC S 3840x2160 29.97 FPS 90 Mbps Provided by Samuel Neff - www.neffvisuals.com
RED (7:1) 4096x2304 29.97 FPS 300 Mbps A004_C186_011278_001 RED Sample R3D Files
CinemaDNG 4608x2592 24 FPS 1,900 Mbps Interior Office Blackmagic Design
[Direct Download]
RED (7:1) 6144x3077 23.976 FPS 840 Mbps S005_L001_0220LI_001 RED Sample R3D Files
RED (9:1) 8192x4320 25 FPS 1,000 Mbps B001_C096_0902AP_001 RED Sample R3D Files

Rather than just timing a simple export and calling it a day, we decided to create six different timelines for each codec that represent a variety of different type of workloads. For each of these timelines we tested both Live Playback performance in the program monitor as well as exporting via AME with the "H.264 - High Quality 2160p 4K" and "DNxHR HQ UHD" (matching media FPS) presets.

Lumetri Color

Heavy Transitions

Heavy Effects

4 Track Picture in Picture

4 Track MultiCam

4 Track Heavy Trimming

Live Playback - Raw Benchmark Results

[Click Here] to skip ahead to analysis section

Live Playback - Benchmark Analysis

Often, whether the media we test is RED or not makes a big impact on performance since RED footage uses the GPU for the debayering of the RAW footage. Since this was a pretty big factor, we decided to look at the results depending on whether we were using RED media or non-RED media.

The "Live Playback Score" shown in the chart above is a representation of the average performance we saw with each processor for this test. In essence, a score of "80" would mean that on average that CPU was able to play our timelines at 80% of the tested media's FPS. A perfect score would be "100" which would mean that the system did not drop any frames even with the most difficult codecs and timelines.

There are a few interesting data points, but it mostly boils down to the AMD Vega 64 and the NVIDIA Titan cards under-performing with RED footage, but otherwise the cards performing very similarly. All the GPUs we tested (including the new RTX cards) were close to identical for non-RED footage, and even with RED media the RTX cards were only slightly faster than the current GTX cards.

AME Export - Raw Benchmark Results

[Click Here] to skip ahead to analysis section

AME Export - Benchmark Analysis

Exporting through Adobe Media Encoder gives us a bit larger of a difference delta the cards we tested compared to Live Playback. Here we saw a small, but consistent, increase in performance with both RED and non-RED footage as you go up the NVIDIA GPU stack. Neither the RTX 2080 or 2080 Ti quite catch up to the more expensive Titan V, but both ended up being a tiny bit faster than the Titan Xp.

We are really talking about a ~5-10% difference in performance between the RTX 2080 Ti and the GTX 1070, however, so you likely won't notice a massive difference between any of the NVIDIA cards we tested unless you are doing exports that take several hours to complete.

Are the RTX video cards good for Premiere Pro?

The new RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti cards are certainly not bad for Premiere Pro, but the difference between any mid/high end NVIDIA GPU is going to be very minor. These cards are technically 1-2% faster than the GTX 1080 Ti, but you will likely not be able to tell the difference in Premiere Pro.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 & 2080 Ti Premiere Pro CC 2018 Benchmark

While not exciting for Premiere Pro right now, the real question is whether the RTX GPUs will be good for Premiere Pro in the future. The new tensor cores in particular could have significant performance advantages for some tasks, or they might never be used at all. It really comes down to whether or not the Premiere Pro developers are willing or able to make effectively use of these new features. Our guess is that they will eventually be leveraged in some way via Adobe Sensei, but whether it will happen in Premiere Pro CC 2019 or Premiere Pro CC 2030 is unknown at the moment.

Overall, the RTX cards are probably not worth using for their performance alone in Premiere Pro. However, but if you already need a high-end GPU for other applications (DaVinci Resolve, GPU-based rendering, etc.) we would highly recommend using one of these RTX cards if possible. The RTX 2080 does have less VRAM than the comparably priced GTX 1080 Ti (8GB vs 11GB) which is not ideal for 8K workflows, but the potential these cards offer is very hard to ignore.

If you are interested in how the RTX cards perform in other applications, be sure to check out our recent Video Card articles as we have (or are working on) a number of other articles for the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti.

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Tags: Premiere Pro, GeForce, RTX, 2080, 2080 Ti, 1060, 1070, 1070 Ti, 1080, 1080Ti, Radeon, Vega
Håkon Broder Lund

Wish PP would take more advantage of the GPU to perform better. Good article.

One note. You list BRAW in your source material, but is not included in the testing. Understandable as from what I know BRAW is not supported by Adobe yet. Typo when copy paste from the Resolve article? (which I loved btw)

Posted on 2018-10-01 22:44:48

Thanks for catching that. BRAW is going to be added to our Premiere Pro testing eventually, but it isn't supported yet. I just forgot to remove that from the list when I wrote the article.

Posted on 2018-10-01 23:22:04
Dennis L Sørensen

Looking forward to that!

You should really impliment dynamic score charts, where you could choose to check or uncheck which media you want to see. That could give a much better overview.
But I know that is probably not on your to-do-list as it probably wont make you any more money in the end :P Stil.. There are rather easy plugins out there to do this.

Anyways. Thanks for the tests.. Gonna build a new edit machine, but it is probably just gonna be a 1070 or something as there isnt really anything to get in terms of performance. The money is better spent elsewhere as I see it. Lets hope the new 9900K is good so that I can get my ITX setup going :-P

Posted on 2018-10-02 12:09:03

Several of the resolutions in the third chart are listed as 3940x2160. Is this correct?

Posted on 2018-10-03 14:25:00

Nope, that should be 3840x2160. Thanks for pointing that out!

Posted on 2018-10-03 18:16:34

I am starting to use Adobe Premiere for a73 4k videos and need s GPU. My system is i7 4770k non oc, 32gb Ram 1666 ddr3, old Nvidia gpu (1gb ram). OS is on ssd and have an SSD for cache. Should I invest in 1080ti 11gb or 1070ti 8gb and make a new build in couple of years? Many thanks ivan

Posted on 2018-10-05 05:38:53

With that CPU, you probably won't notice any difference between those two cards. You could probably even go down to a GTX 1060 without noticing much since you are almost certainly going to be CPU bottlenecked. If you are looking to future proof, I would go with the GTX 1070 Ti right now and save the cost difference so that you can apply it towards a higher-end CPU in a few years.

Posted on 2018-10-05 15:45:58

Thank you for your help. Going Zotak 1070ti 8gb. Will see how it works. Should I look for a CPU with more Cores in the future? Thanks

Posted on 2018-10-06 21:18:15

It depends on how far it is in the future since things are constantly changing. Best recommendation, come back and check out our articles (especially the Premiere Pro specific ones https://www.pugetsystems.co... ) when you are ready to do that upgrade and see what the latest performance testing shows.

Posted on 2018-10-08 01:43:57

Thanks Matt

Posted on 2018-10-08 06:00:08


Puget, can you please test Premiere Pro 13.0 on GeForce RTX cards & Core i9-9900K?

Posted on 2018-10-15 14:13:53

Yea, we will. We're at Adobe Max right now actually, so that will have to probably wait until next week after we get back. We already have all our testing results for the i9 9900K and will publish those on Oct 19th, but we will likely just do a followup article looking at a handful of CPUs and GPUs to see how much of a performance improvement (if any) there is with the new version of Premiere Pro (and After Effects, and Media Encoder, and Photoshop, and Lightroom...)

i9 9900K with a 2080 (maybe Ti?) will definitely be a part of that testing.

Posted on 2018-10-15 15:52:33
Zé Cotinha

You need to retake the test with the new Windows 10 1809 that has full support for the new line 2000 instructions.
And the latest drivers and would also be ideal to expect Adobe and Autodesk have released new updates to support the new technologies present in the 2000 Series.

These tests were unable to utilize the real power of Geforce's new generation.

Posted on 2018-11-18 14:08:55

We are almost constantly re-running our benchmarks as new hardware and software is released, so we will of course eventually redo this test with newer drivers and windows versions.

That said, looking through NVIDIA's update notes, the newer drivers are primarily about game optimizations and shouldn't affect performance in this kind of software. Windows 10 1809 might do a little, but we pretty much never move to a new version of Windows immediately - it usually takes them a month or two to work out the bugs, even on a re-release like this that originally came out in October.

Posted on 2018-11-18 16:20:14
Charlie Anderson

Interestingly enough, I have a razer blade laptop with a 1070 in it and it handles 8k video fine at 1/4. I have dual 2080ti cards in a 2700x / 32gb of ram and can’t seem to get any sort of real-time playback without dropped frames, even at 1/8 with the same footage playing off a USB-C SSD (same with the laptop, which works fine). Am I missing something here? I feel like the desktop should be way out performing a laptop, but it’s not even close.

Posted on 2018-12-21 16:11:14
Alan Goff

I have been on the phone and chat support with nvidia, adobe and Intel for HOURS over the last week, regarding the fact that premiere pro does not support cuda hardware processing when exporting media in premiere pro cc using the nvidia rtx 2080. I am running the new intel i9 7940 cpu with 32 gigs of ram and an asus 299 motherboard

Nowhere does any one tell you that the rtx 2080 is not compatible with premiere pro cuda hardware acceleration. (Can not do hardware cuda acceleration) even though it is selected in premiere

Instead when i did my research everyone who reviews the rtx2080 tells you how fast and fantastic it is when running premiere pro.

Plain and simply that is BS as the rtx2080 does not do cuda hardware acceleration with Premiere Pro.

Now I am caught holding the bag with a graphics card that is useless for premiere pro.

Nvidia said they would only give me an exchange if I purchased the card directly from them, to exchange for an nvidia 1080 ti.

MOST disappointing that I have had to go through all this crap only to find out that the newest and greatest rtx 2080 is a piece of crap with premiere pro. Had I have known that the rtx 2080 would not support mercury cuda hardware acceleration I would have obviously made another choice. This is a serious issue and hopefully Nvidia will take responsibility for what I deem to be misleading advertising. Somebody other than me the end user should take responsibility for deceptive advertising and replace this graphics card, and stop mentioning how great the rtx 2080 is with adpbe premiere pro cc !!!!

Posted on 2019-01-23 22:10:17

Premiere Pro most definitely does support the RTX series cards (including the RTX 2080) in at least CC 2018 and CC 2019 (haven't tried it on older versions, but it should work on those as well). We've done plenty of testing with it and have had no issues beyond a few minor driver hiccups on the very early driver versions. If it wasn't supported or otherwise wasn't using the CUDA Mercury Playback Engine, Premiere would fail over to "Software Only" mode which is dramatically slower. If that was the case, there is no way we would have seen the (albeit modest) performance gains with those cards over the GTX 1000 series models.

If you can select "Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (CUDA)" in the project settings, then Premiere should be using it correctly. One thing you could do just to verify is to make a project with a simple clip with a Lumetri Color preset on it. Then check playback performance in CUDA mode, and compare it to what you get in "Software Only" mode. If the performance is the same, then there is something weird going on. If performance is better, than Premiere is properly using your RTX 2080. One tip is to open the console (Ctrl-F12) which can give you the average displayed FPS after you start & stop playback in the timeline.

If you are still having issues, the main things to check are that you are using the latest video card driver and that Windows is fully up to date. You could also try updating the motherboard BIOS, although that is probably not as likely to be causing any issues.

Posted on 2019-01-23 22:29:58
Alan Goff

Just spoke to the technician at videohardware.com as well as nvidia tech support, where I ordered the complete video editing workstation. and Intel prior to that. Bottom line is that intel quick sync is the problem says all of the experts I have spoken with. When I go to render a 4k video file in h264 and press crtl-shift-esc to show the task manager (windows 10), the GPU will show 0% gpu usage and anywhere from 55 to 65 % cpu usage as it is rendering the file. VERY misleading as the GPU is supposed to help rendering video, so here is the 64 million dollar question. I have cuda hardware acceleration checked so why is premiere pro using 00% of the gpu when it renders at maximum quality . The only situations where premiere pro will make use of hardware acceleration is with lumetri settings like blur. When I render the same video file with blur the gpu renders at about 25%. When I render the same file without blur there is absolutely NO GPU usage. something is definitely wrong with this picture, and people like Adobe should fess up and get to work coding there software so that gpu works with h264 exports that do not have blur etc. What a waste of money investing in an expensive video editing system only to find that the gpu performance is non existent !!!

Posted on 2019-01-24 00:06:29
Alan Goff

With the above configuration (h264 output with lumetri blur, the premiere project master setting is confirmed that cuda Mercury acceleration is part of the premiere project, HOWEVER, when I go to export the video file to h264 with maximum render quality, the video export settings do not allow me to toggle between software only rendering and hardware acceleration rendering. I have even had nvida and adobe technicians do remote setup configurations of this computer so as to be sure all cpu and software settings are optimized

Posted on 2019-01-24 00:11:56

It sounds to me like everything is working properly, it just isn't what you expected. To start, you are correct that exporting to H.264 with "Hardware Acceleration" in Premiere Pro uses Intel Quicksync which is a feature on most Intel CPUs that have integrated graphics. I will note that your Core i9 7940 does not support Quicksync so "Hardware Accelerated" H.264 exporting is not a native option on your system. There is a version of H.264 acceleration that uses NVIDIA cards called NVENC, but that is not what Premiere Pro uses. There are plugins that allow for it if you want to go that route, but be aware that hardware accelerated encoding (either via Quicksync or NVENC) does result in a lower quality video. Sometimes it is dramatic, other times it is minimal - it depends on the bitrate and the nature of the video (mostly how much motion there is).

If you export or play most media codecs with no effects, your video card isn't going to be used much since that is 100% CPU-based in Premiere Pro. There are a few exceptions for things like RED RAW which uses the GPU for debayering, but other than that you won't see much GPU load for that kind of thing. What you get with a video card (whether it be via CUDA with NVIDIA or OpenCL with AMD/Intel) is much better performance anytime you use an effect that is GPU accelerated. You hit on a couple of the more popular ones like Lumetri Color and many Blurs. Adobe has a list you can go through here https://helpx.adobe.com/pre... or they are labeled in the Effects panel with this icon: https://helpx.adobe.com/con...

Just as a point of reference, we typically see anywhere from 10% (just Lumetri Color) to 40% (lots of accelerated effects) GPU load depending on the type of projects we are testing in Premiere Pro. Often times, it is really the GPUs VRAM that dictates what cards we sell to our customers rather than the raw performance. You can see right in this article's charts that a GTX 1070 is only about 5% slower than a RTX 2080 Ti, and most of that is actually from our tests using RED footage.

Posted on 2019-01-24 00:37:38
Hugo V

Really helpful article, Im still seeking for some guidance because I plan on buying a new card very soon:

I'm a videographer, using mainly premiere pro. I have a NVIDIA Quadro 4000 (didn't buy it, my friend who works on 3D gave it to me about a year ago when he upgraded). It gets super hot, even watching youtube videos it'll get to 90C degrees and make all my fans super noisy. Even tho the rear side of my PC faces an open window. When exporting on premiere it gets to 98-100C and sometimes it shuts down if it reaches 102. Also i'ts given me endless errors that interrput the rendering process, its a nightmare. I recently clean all the dust and changed the thermal paste on the card but it hasn't really improved anything. By the way this happens on Premiere Pro 2015, on Premiere 2019 when I render it doesn't let me choose "hardware acceleration" so it doesn't overheat because I guess it's not even using it.

Thus I wanna buy a new card that first of all works well with premiere and that doesn't get ridiculously hot just watching youtube videos (and making my whole system super noisy), but I don't know if I'll benefit from some of these cards given my build (Intel Core i7 4790K, 32,0GB Dual-Channel DDR3). Please does someone have some help and recommendations? I'll be extremely grateful!

Posted on 2019-02-03 15:50:02

You really shouldn't have any thermal issues with any modern GPU. Your Quadro 4000 is pretty old, so it probably just had some internal issue that was preventing the fans from ramping up, or it was over-volting, or something like that. As long as you have halfway decent airflow through the chassis you shouldn't have a problem with any GPU you pick.

One thing to note, hardware acceleration in Premiere Pro uses Quicksync on Intel CPUs, not the GPU. Your 4790K does support it, but you have to have the integrated graphics enabled in the BIOS and the Intel graphics driver installed. Be aware that hardware accelerated rendering of H.264 is slightly lower quality and maxes out at around 60 mbps. If you try to set it higher, it completely ignores the bitrate and defaults down to something really low.

Posted on 2019-02-05 03:38:07
Hugo V

Thanks very much for the help! I was just rendering on PP2015 and it got shut down at 102 degrees. Now Im rendering it again on PP2019 using only software acceleration and its at 79 degrees. Apparently it's not working at all (GPU 0 - Intel Graphics 99% // GPU 1 Nvidia Quadro 0%.) It takes longer tho, I guess what's the point on having a card if PP is not taking advantage of it?

I think I'm getting the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060.

Posted on 2019-02-05 12:28:46
Jeremie The Quirky

Hi !
Thank you so much for your website, and all your test.
I am trying to find the best option to upgrade my GPU.
I am actually running a :
Asus x99
64 go ram
and a Gtx980 that I would like to upgrade.
What do you think to be the best move ? I hesitate between gtx 1080 ti and a rtx 2080.
Thank you for reading me.

Posted on 2019-02-17 17:16:45

The GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2080 are generally going to perform about the same in Premiere Pro. The 1080 Ti has more VRAM, however, so that could be a reason to go with it over the RTX 2080. However, there are some neat features on the RTX cards that could come into play in the future (Tensor and RT cores), so if you don't need that extra VRAM, it is probably better to future proof a bit and get the RTX card. Generally, I would say to go with the RTX 2080 if you work with 4K media, or the GTX 1080 Ti if you use 6k/8k media.

Posted on 2019-02-19 00:46:20
Jeremie The Quirky

Thank you Matt for your fast reply ! Like you said, I will go for a future proof, and take the RTX 2080.
Have a nice day ! And I keep reading your test :)

Posted on 2019-02-21 14:46:37

Currently using Ryzen 7 1700, 32gb ddr4 ripjaw, 3 ssd, gtx 970. Wanting to upgrade my gpu. Leaning towards rtx 2080 but would appreciate feedback before i purchase. Tired of choppy timeline during editing when effects or transitions are applied

Posted on 2019-06-24 15:39:23

Premiere Pro is much more CPU limited than GPU limited, so unless you are exclusively using GPU-accelerated effects and transitions, upgrading your GPU likely isn't going to prevent choppy playback unless it is right on the edge of being smooth.

Posted on 2019-06-24 16:55:56
Michael Schocker

Can you run the same tests with the newest version of Premiere?

Posted on 2020-06-03 11:24:47

Actually working on that right now. We were waiting for the 14.2 update of Premiere Pro that added GPU accelerated H.264/5 encoding.

We do have much newer articles than this already as well. https://www.pugetsystems.co... is the latest, and for the performance of GPU-accelerated effects I don't expect things to change much. It is really the H.264/5 encoding that will be different.

Posted on 2020-06-03 15:19:53