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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.

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