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Premiere Pro CPU performance: Intel Core 10th Gen vs AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen

Written on May 20, 2020 by Matt Bach

TL;DR: Intel Core 10th Gen vs AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen for Premiere Pro

Even with the launch of Intel's new 10th Gen desktop processors, AMD continues to hold a slight performance lead in Premiere Pro with their 3rd Gen Ryzen line. The difference is often relatively minor, but AMD processors like the Ryzen 7 3800X and Ryzen 9 3900X are a small 5% better for live playback compared to the Intel Core i7 10700K and Core i9 10900K.

We did find that the Intel 10th Gen processors are faster when exporting to H.264, although this advantage is likely to be mitigated in the new 14.2 version of Premiere Pro which added GPU accelerated encoding of H.264 and HEVC.


Over the last few years, AMD has been making great strides with their Ryzen and Threadripper processors, often matching - or beating - the performance from similarly priced Intel options. In fact, for Premiere Pro, in particular, AMD has held a healthy performance advantage since the launch of the AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen processors and it is only the fact that we have found Thunderbolt to be much more stable on Intel platforms that is preventing us from solely offering AMD processors on our Premiere Pro Recommended Systems.

However, with the launch of Intel's new 10th Gen desktop processors, it is possible that Intel will be able to take a solid lead at the "consumer" level. There is little chance that these processors will be able to match the power of the (significantly) more expensive AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen processors, but they may be able to comfortably overtake the AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen CPUs.

Intel Core 10th Gen vs AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen for Adobe Premiere Pro

In this article, we will be examining the performance of the new Intel 10th Gen Core i9 10900K, i7 10700K, and i5 10600K in Premiere Pro compared to a range of CPUs including the AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen, Intel X-10000 Series, AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen, as well as the previous generation Intel 9th Gen processors. In addition, we will be including a 2019 Mac Pro and iMac Pro to act as additional reference points. If you are interested in how these processors compare in other applications, we also have other articles for After Effects, Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, and several other applications available on our article listing page.

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

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Test Setup

Listed below are the specifications of the systems we will be using for our testing:

Intel 10th Gen Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 10900K ($488)
Intel Core i7 10700K ($374)
Intel Core i5 10600K ($262)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z490 Vision D
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
(Set to 2666MHz for 10600K testing)
AMD Ryzen Test Platform

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X ($749)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X ($499)

CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Intel 9th Gen Test Platform

Intel Core i9 9900K ($488)
Intel Core i7 9700K ($374)

CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z390 Designare
RAM 4x DDR4-2666 16GB (64GB total)
AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen Test Platform
CPU AMD TR 3990X ($3,990)
AMD TR 3970X ($1,999)
AMD TR 3960X ($1,399)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3
Motherboard Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS PRO WIFI
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Intel X-10000 Series Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 10980XE ($979)
Intel Core i9 10940X ($784)
Intel Core i9 10920X ($689)
Intel Core i9 10900X ($590)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DX i4
Motherboard Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Shared PC Hardware/Software
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
Hard Drive Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (version 1909)
Mac Pro (2019) iMac Pro
CPU 28‑core Intel Xeon W 2.5GHz 14-core Intel Xeon W 2.5GHz
Video Card Radeon Pro Vega II Duo 2x32GB Radeon Pro Vega 64 16GB
Hard Drive 1TB SSD storage 1TB SSD
OS Mac OS X (10.15.4)
Current Price $19,599 $7,549

*All the latest drivers, OS updates, BIOS, and firmware applied as of March 30th, 2020

In order to see how each of these configurations performs in Premiere Pro, we will be using our PugetBench for Premiere Pro V0.9 benchmark and Premiere Pro 2020 (14.0.4). This benchmark version includes the ability to upload the results to our online database, so if you want to know how your own system compares, you can download and run the benchmark yourself. We do want to point out that the day prior to this article going live, Adobe released a new version of Premiere Pro (version 14.2) that will likely give you much different results than what we are reporting in this post. In this new version, Premiere Pro is able to leverage the GPU to greatly speed up exporting to H.264/HEVC. We have a post on how well this worked while the feature was still in beta if you want to read about it, and we have another round of testing planned that will include looking at how this feature may be impacted by different models of both CPU and GPU.

Another thing we want to note is that due to COVID-19 impacting access to our testing hardware and platforms, we are reusing the Intel X-series, AMD Threadripper, and Mac results from our previous Premiere Pro article: Premiere Pro performance: PC Workstation vs Mac Pro (2019). Reusing old results is actually extremely common for hardware reviews, although we normally re-do all our testing to see if newer BIOS, driver, Windows update, and application versions change the results. In this case, however, we are going to simply have to be OK with a bit of a mix of old and new results.

Lastly, we have found that the pre-launch motherboards we received from Gigabyte (and multiple other manufacturers) were not using Intel's specified power limits in their default BIOS settings. This isn't anything new, but now that Intel is being more aggressive about adding cores and pushing the frequency, this is resulting in much higher power draw (and heat) than you would expect from a 125W processor - often resulting in 100c temperatures after only a few seconds of load. Because of this, we decided to manually set the PL1 and PL2 power limits in the BIOS. We used a value of 125W for the PL1 setting on all three Intel 10th Gen CPUs we tested along with the following PL2 limits according to Intel's specifications:

  • Core i9 10900K: 250W
  • Core i7 10700K: 229W
  • Core i5 10600K: 182W

Setting these power limits made our Noctua NH-U12S more than enough to keep these CPUs properly cooled and helps match our philosophy here at Puget Systems of prioritizing stability and reliability over raw performance in our workstations.

Benchmark Results

While our benchmark presents various scores based on the performance of each test, we also like to provide the individual results for you to examine. If there is a specific task that is a hindrance to your workflow, examining the raw results for that task is going to be much more applicable than the scores that our benchmark calculated.

Feel free to skip to the next sections for our analysis of these results to get a wider view of how each configuration performs in Premiere Pro.

Benchmark Analysis: Intel Core 10th Gen vs AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen

To start off our analysis of the Intel 10th Gen desktop processors, we are first going to look at the performance in Premiere Pro versus AMD's 3rd Gen Ryzen processors. This is likely to be what the majority of readers are going to be interested in, so we decided to pull these results out from the full slew of results that are in the next section.

The results are actually very interesting - more so than you may think at first glance. From an overall perspective, AMD takes the top performance spot with the Ryzen 9 3950X, although keep in mind that this CPU is more expensive than the Intel Core i9 10900K and is actually similar in price to the Intel Core i9 10940X.

Comparing the similarly priced models from Intel and AMD, the Intel Core i9 10900K is about 6% faster than the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X for exporting, while the 3900X is about 5% faster for live playback. This makes the overall score almost exactly the same, although we would give the edge to AMD here since live playback performance is typically more important than exporting for most users.

Looking at the Core i7 10700K, however, it is a solid 15% faster on average for exporting while the Ryzen 7 3800X only pulls ahead by about 3% for live playback.

One thing we want to point out is that the version of Premiere Pro we tested (14.0.4) utilizes Intel Quicksync to improve performance when exporting to H.264/HEVC which gives the Intel 10th Gen processors an advantage. If you were to go through the raw data and examine the export results individually, you would find that these Intel processors performed about 20% faster when exporting to H.264 compared to AMD, while the Ryzen CPUs were about 10% faster when exporting to ProRes 422HQ.

In the past, this would simply be a point for Intel since it is a feature in the application, but that argument likely got thrown out the window with the latest version of Premiere Pro that (of course) launched the day before this article was published. In this new 14.2 version, Adobe added GPU accelerated hardware encoding for H.264/HEVC which means that anyone with a discrete NVIDIA or AMD video card should be able to export to H.264 several times faster than what was possible even with Intel Quicksync. We have a new round of testing planned to see how this will affect overall performance with each of the CPUs we tested in this article but based on the testing we have already done, we suspect that it will level the playing field between Intel and AMD almost entirely when it comes to exporting to H.264 or HEVC.

How does Intel 10th Gen stack up overall?

Looking at how the Intel 10th Gen processors compare against a wider range of CPUs, there are a couple of key points we want to note:

First, compared to the previous 9th Gen processors, we are looking at about a 10% performance gain with the new 10th Gen models. While this may not seem life-changing, it is actually on the upper end of what we are used to seeing from Intel over the last several years.

Next, relative to the new Intel Core i9 10900K, the only Intel X-series processor that is going to be significantly faster is the Intel Core i9 10980XE - and only by about 10% overall. However, the Core i9 10980XE is a bit overshadowed by the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X which performs almost exactly the same while costing about $200 less. Still, if you need a feature like Thunderbolt that (in our experience) is more reliable on Intel platforms, the Core i9 10980XE can be a solid choice.

AMD's Threadripper 3rd Gen CPUs are really in a completely separate class since they cost anywhere from three to eight times more than the Core i9 10900K, but they are also quite a bit faster. It is a significant investment, but you can expect around a 20% improvement in live playback performance or a 60% improvement in export performance compared to the Core i9 10900K. Like we mentioned in the last section, however, this export performance may be less significant in the latest version of Premiere Pro due to the addition of GPU accelerated H.264/HEVC encoding which should take a large load of the CPU.

Lastly, compared to the Apple iMac Pro and Mac Pro systems we have available, the Intel Core i9 10900K configuration we tested performed about on par with the $20K Mac Pro, or about 14% faster than the $7.5K iMac Pro.

Is the Intel Core 10th Gen or AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen better for Premiere Pro?

Overall, we would give the edge to the AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen CPUs over the Intel 10th Gen desktop processors - although the difference is often relatively minor. AMD has slightly better live playback performance, and while Intel is slightly better when exporting to H.264, this lead is likely to diminish with the new 14.2 version of Premiere Pro that was released while we were in the midst of this testing.

In a vacuum, the AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen CPUs would be our recommendation over either the new Intel 10th Gen processors or Intel's X-series line, but we want to point out that there are reasons why you may still go with Intel when the performance difference is relatively small (such as with the Intel Core i9 10900K vs the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X). For us, the most common reason why we may push a customer towards an Intel platform is if they require Thunderbolt as we have found it to be significantly more reliable on Intel platforms at the moment.

In addition, keep in mind that the benchmark results in this article are strictly for Premiere Pro and that performance will vary widely in different applications. If your workflow includes other software packages (we have similar articles for After Effects, Photoshop, and Lightroom Classic), you need to consider how the system will perform in those applications as well. Be sure to check our list of Hardware Articles to keep up to date on how all of these software packages (and more) perform with the latest CPUs.

Looking for a Premiere Pro Workstation?

Puget Systems offers a range of powerful and reliable systems that are tailor-made for your unique workflow.

Configure a System!

Labs Consultation Service

Our Labs team is available to provide in-depth hardware recommendations based on your workflow.

Find Out More!
Tags: Intel 9th Gen, Intel X-series, AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen, Intel X-10000, Apple Mac Pro, Apple iMac Pro, AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen, Intel 10th Gen, i9 10900K, i7 10700K, i5 10600K, Premiere Pro
Avatar Vaffshammer

Something must be off, either in the table or in the test?
Surely the i9 10900K can't be slower than a i7 9700K in the multicam h.264 tests?


Posted on 2020-05-20 16:49:11

Once you get below around 5-10 FPS, I would really consider any of the results as "terrible and unusable". The problem is that at that low of a FPS, only a handful of frames are actually being rendered in our 30 sec test sequences, which means that even one or two frames difference can result in a pretty big shift in the average FPS for that test.

I've played around with setting a limit in the benchmark results where anything below a certain threshold gets flagged as a "0" result, but in the end it almost never changes the overall scores much at all so decided to just leave it as-is and report the actual numbers that came from that test.

Posted on 2020-05-20 18:33:42
Avatar Vaffshammer

But if you look at the Multicam half resolution and the Lumetri export numbers; the 10th generation is showing much worse results than the 9th? If the 9700K can keep up with the multicam half res, surely the 10900K should too?

Posted on 2020-05-21 23:15:17

Yea, that is odd, but it is what it is. It isn't unusual for there to be some little bugs like that pre-launch, so I wouldn't read too much into a single test like that. Considering that the export tests are also lower with 10th gen with that codec, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some issue with Intel Quicksync not getting utilized correctly for some reason.

Honestly, that is partly why we test so many things and look at averages across multiple tests. Much easier to get a feel for actual performance that way since single odd tests get smoothed out. This kind of thing is also one of the reasons we rarely worry about selling new products right at launch. We would rather hold off for a bit and let the kinks get worked out before we start selling it in our workstations.

Posted on 2020-05-22 00:54:47
Avatar Tom

This is really weird. It can't be that the 10th gen Intel CPU's only playback multicam half ress. at below 5 fps while all the 9th gen Intel CPU's manage realtime. Now for Intel 10th gen I can't really trust the test, I have no idea if I should buy an older 9900k or if a newer 10700k will be a better choice.
And I'm really looking forward to a test without the usage of QuickSync. Because as is said, we can now utilize our GPU's for rendering. So the real issue for me is Live Playback, and I can't find concluding info here.

Posted on 2020-10-06 09:04:46

The next round of testing will be when Zen 3 from AMD launches which shouldn't be too long now. For that testing, I am planning on using the full beta with GPU decoding since that is what things should look like very soon. With the extra time for drivers/BIOS bugs to get worked out, that should result in more accurate results for those CPUs. But of course, there is the chance that the new AMD CPUs will have something weird. Such is the way of launch-day testing.

Posted on 2020-10-06 16:52:09
Avatar abbottoklus

Hey Matt Bach, I'm on the fence about choosing either a 3700x or 3900x. With the benchmarks it seems like the 3900 gets basically about 15% better performance, so I don't think it's worth paying an extra 40-50% more for that amount of gain. But I'm just wondering how discernible that performance difference feels when you're in the midst of actually editing? Scrubbing the timeline, playing forward-reverse checking edits, adjusting effects on the fly, etc?

Posted on 2020-05-27 21:31:30

Matt can better speak to your performance question, but I would like to address something about price comparisons. If you look at the performance gain as just a function of the price of a single component, then almost no upgrades ever make sense... but it is also not really accurate, unless you are literally just buying that one part and you've already got the rest of the system up and running.

If you are doing a new build, then the better way to look at it is the price change of the whole system. So for example, if you are building a workstation that would cost $2,500 with the 3900X or $2,300 with a 3700X then you are looking at a ~8% price increase for a ~15% performance increase. When viewed that way, it seems like the extra investment would be well worth it :)

Posted on 2020-05-27 21:39:32
Avatar abbottoklus

haha true, good point. I'm doing a partial new build that will cost about $1500-1700. The vast majority of footage I work with is 1080 24p ProRes, sometimes 4K PR or BRAW. I'm also getting either an X570 or B550 board so in a couple years I'll upgrade to a 4000 series once their prices come down, so also balancing whether it's worth to spend the extra on a chip right now if I won't really notice a huge difference.

Posted on 2020-05-27 22:01:52

It is really hard to say whether you would notice the difference or not. Certainly if you had the two side-by-side you probably could, but without that it would be difficult. However, ~15% higher performance over the life of the system (or at least how long you use the CPU) can add up pretty quickly. If your export times for a project goes from 60 minutes to 50 minutes, is that a huge deal? May not every single time, but if it means catching a mistake in the export every once in a while before you finish the day versus discovering it the next day, that is a big deal.

Personally, I think it is worth the ~$200 price increase and I would go for it 100% if I was a professional editor or filmmaker. If you need proxies with the 3700X, it is unlikely you would be able to get by without proxies even with the 3900X, but anything that makes Premiere Pro snappier and less likely to get in the way of your creative process is easily worth $200 IMO.

Posted on 2020-05-27 23:18:51
Avatar abbottoklus

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. Do you think I should wait a couple weeks to see if prices drop to compete with the new Intel line and with the B550 boards on the horizon? I don't keep up to date with PC parts so not sure if that would be the expectation, or if it's like GPUs where prices on older models have been going up.

Posted on 2020-05-28 00:21:23

Pricing is always super hard to guess at. I have seen some press saying that AMD already dropped pricing due to the 10th Gen launch (https://www.techpowerup.com... but AMD CPU prices seem to fluctuate more than Intel CPUs so it is hard to know if this is a real thing or just a normal ebb/flow. I personally use sites like camelcamelcamel.com to see if the current pricing looks good or not: https://camelcamelcamel.com...

Posted on 2020-05-28 19:17:58
Avatar abbottoklus

Ahh awesome, ok thanks again. Looks like that price drop hasn't hit Canada yet. Should be $575 equivalent but still sitting at $650, think I'll wait a bit and see what happens.

Posted on 2020-05-29 08:33:21

I´ll buy a new processor for my 5 year old computer.

Currently I have: I7 5820K - 32 Gb RAM - Nvidia 1070 - NVe 1 tB - 5x SSD HD for projects, data, cache.

I edit only XAVC-S H264 25 p 100 Mbit 4k video. Actually impossible to fluid edit without proxies, and even with proxies the system is quite slow, specially with complex projects, multiple cams, lumetri and effects applied. I don´t like proxies cause all the dinamic linked AE sequences are reverted to their original h264 footage, so the proxies are a bit limited with complex projects.

I want to upgrade the CPU to either an intel 9900K or 10700K or maybe (most expensive) 10900k. By the moment that will be the only upgrade. I use premiere 14.2

Will I experiment a significant improvement in live playback (the only thing i really want)? Do you recommend any other CPU (similar cost)? Or just keep the 5820k and wait till 11th generation?

Thanks in advance,

Posted on 2020-05-30 08:52:58
Avatar Leonardo Silva Coutinho

Go for AMD and pick an nvme 4.0 pcie

Posted on 2020-06-04 00:29:26
Avatar Damien

Has Intel ironed out the Z490 bugs? Seems like Gamers Nexus and others are finding performance deviations between chips and boards.. As Steve from Gamers Nexus said, we are at an interesting point where the Ryzen platform is actually more stable, mature and predictable, despite the Z490 largely being a Z390 with a few minor tweaks. I opted for the 3950X over the 10900k. I did wait for benchmarks tho.

Posted on 2020-06-11 04:38:01

We haven't had many Z490 bugs, but we also aren't selling them in our systems quite yet so we don't have a huge sample size. We spend a LOT of time qualifying the motherboards we carry, and while I believe we have settled on the Gigabyte Z490 Vision D for ATX, I don't think we have determined what board we will be using for mATX quite yet. We are super picky when it comes to boards - they not only need to be stable, but have exactly the right feature set as well.

Most of the performance variation that we saw was due to the motherboards setting the PL1 and PL2 voltages to defaults that didn't match the base recommendations by Intel. That is actually fine to do (as long as the board and cooling can handle it), but does mean you will get different performance with different boards. I believe we have decided to manually set these voltages to Intel's recommended specs, however, which means that we aren't seeing much variation between boards.

At a guess, I would bet that X570 is probably a bit more stable than Z490 at the moment, but that is just because Z490 is so new. With the current Z390 systems we sell, we have noticeably less problems than X570, so I imagine once the launch bugs get worked out that Z490 will end up being a bit more stable than X570 in the long run. New product lines are almost never stable at launch and it takes a month or two for things to shake out.

Posted on 2020-06-11 18:12:33
Avatar Damien

I haven't had any reliability issues with my X570 board. I think the X570 chipset itself is quite reliable. Surely there are particular RAM kits you stick to or avoid. I mean I have had to RMA a Z390 board for a build (not my personal system). Are there any particular boards you guys qualify for the AMD side of things? I know Gamers Nexus rates the Gigabyte ones quite highly.

In regards to Z490 not having bugs, I think it's more to do with particular motherboard vendors and stability in general. Gamers Nexus mentioned it in their thorough Comet Lake review.

Thank you for taking the time to reply by the way Matt.

Posted on 2020-06-11 20:49:50

Gigabyte tends to be one of our favorites, but a lot of what makes one brand good over another for us is the quality of our engineering contacts. No board or brand is flawless, so how quickly we can report a problem and get a resolution is almost more important to us then whether or not it had a problem in the first place (within reason, of course).

MSI is also pretty solid as well.

Posted on 2020-06-11 21:05:06
Avatar Damien

I quite like MSI, my laptop has been solid.. Although I am not a huge fan of their warranty terms. Here in AUS we don't really have anything like "right to repair" in USA. So I can't even put an SSD in or upgrade RAM without "voiding" my warranty, according to MSI, which is terrible, for a gaming laptop that is sold on the easy upgradability.

Posted on 2020-06-11 22:17:57
Avatar Jamie Grant

Hello. realisticly is the 10980xe worth the extra 200 compared to the 10940x. i assume the points difference between both cpu's when it comes to live playback in real time is less the 2 or 3% improvement or difference. since i do alot of after effects work render times dont matter to me but tracking and ram preview times do. having a look, their isnt much performance different between the two cpu's. would like to know if its worth the extra cash to get the 10980xe or to go with the 10940x. Im upgrading from a 7900x. Thanks

Posted on 2020-06-16 20:14:16

Those tasks don't take advantage of higher core counts, so most of the X-10000 series CPUs will perform about the same. However, keep in mind that the new Intel Core i9 10900K is going to be faster than either the 10940X or 10980XE for those - and at a much lower cost. Unless your workflow includes tasks that will be able to utilize the higher core count, RAM capacity, or PCI-E lane count of the X-series, you may want to go with a Core i9 10900K instead.

Posted on 2020-06-16 21:19:57
Avatar Hardy

My 2 cents:
There’s no mentioning so I assume you guys tested the i9 9900K or i9 10900K at stock. It’s unlikely that people purchasing these CPU would run them at stock (they’re meant to be overclocked).

I was just wondering how much can it close the performance gap if you guys were to test the 9900k and 10900k at 5.0Ghz and 5.2Ghz all core overclock respectively.

Posted on 2020-06-22 01:30:21

Yep, we keep everything at stock since that is what we use in our workstations. Our customers overwhelming care about stability and reliability over any small performance gains that may be found with overclocking. Getting an extra 5-10% performance doesn't mean much if it makes the system even a tiny bit more susceptible to application crashes or blue screens.

But of course, If you want to overclock your system, go for it! We simply have to prioritize what is most relevant for our customers in our testing. Our to-do list of what we want to test is already a mile long (and getting longer every day), so we don't often have the opportunity to test things that don't directly impact our customers.

If you have any hardware reviewers you follow that do overclock testing, you might suggest to them to request a press license for our benchmarks and include them in their testing: https://www.pugetsystems.co... . We can't cover everything ourselves (overclocking is one area, laptops and lower-end hardware is another), which is why we are making our benchmarks available to the public.

Posted on 2020-06-22 18:05:06
Avatar Michael

Hardware Accelerated encoding Isn't supported on AMD Processors so i don't see how it can come out on top.
I have a Ryzen Threadripper 3970X, RTX 2080 Ti, 128GB of ram and the premiere playback is terrible.

For example - MPEG Movie - Video Codec Type: MP4/MOV H.264 4:2:0 - Wont play smoothly at all once an effect is applied, nor will it render on the timeline to watch it back smoothly. This becomes most apparent if the file is reversed.

Some PRO RES files and most MXF files work well and play through like normal, HEVC,H.264,H.265 files all have the issue of not playing back smoothly once effects are applied especially if the shot is reversed.

Is there something i'm missing here that you're doing as when i have 5 clips back to back all from different camera's and i can literally see encoding in task manager jump from CPU to GPU for files it supports and files it does not.

Posted on 2020-06-24 20:02:42

I think you have some things mixed up - especially with the changes in version 14.2. Premiere Pro can now use the GPU for hardware encoding of H.264/5, so for exporting there shouldn't be an advantage for either Intel or AMD anymore - it just comes down to which can handle everything outside of the encoding itself. We have an article on this at https://www.pugetsystems.co... .

However, I think what you are talking about isn't encoding, but rather decoding since that is what will influence live playback. For that, Premiere Pro still only uses Intel Quicksync to accelerate H.264/5 decoding so Intel CPUs with Quicksync do have an advantage over AMD for live playback and (to a lesser extent) exporting of H.264/5 media. But, by it's very nature H.264/5 is always going to be really difficult to edit with. It may be great as a deliverable since it is very small for the quality you get, but depending on the bitrate and resolution of the media, there is often no way to get around either transcoding it to something like ProRes or using proxies. There are a number of great articles out there that explain why H.264 is so hard to edit, but here is one we wrote a year or so ago: https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Posted on 2020-06-24 20:21:20
Avatar Michael

Thanks for getting back to me.

Yes I’m on about live playback on the timeline, it seems that MXF files and ProRes files work and play without a hitch when on the timeline.

Other files though like MPEG H.264/H.265 literally won’t play.

I imported a huge 20GB drone shot and put it next to a 412mb MPEG H.264 clip and the ProRes shot played perfectly live on the timeline without any dropped frames or stutters. The H.264 Clip literally plays a single frame and then just freezes.

I never had this issue with my Intel Core i9-7920X Pre-Binned 4.7GHz (Sky Lake)
Literally the only thing I’ve changed is my motherboard and CPU.
Files would play perfectly and I didn’t have any issues with any codecs whatsoever.

I also experience this issue when I go to export media. I tried to export the two clips mentioned above (h.264 and ProRes) and found that the render export sped through the first clip as expected using the GPU according to task manager, but as it got to the h.264 clip the time went up by 5 minutes and all system strain was pulled onto the CPU. The GPU then sat pretty much doing nothing while the last clip exported, with all strain put onto the cpu. It seems I’m being affected much more than yourselves by this issue?

Posted on 2020-06-24 23:11:44
Avatar Michael

Please could you try and reverse a few clips on the timeline that are different codecs, especially h.264/ h.265 Mpeg and then try to play them back and let me know if you get a similar problem.

Literally the only time
It struggles with these file types is if I reverse them.

Posted on 2020-06-25 00:59:41

Yes, reversing H.264 is going to be even worse. H.264 is not a series of independent frames like and intraframe codec like ProRes or DNx, but is essentially only recording the changes between each frame. This is hard enough when you are going in order, but if you are going in reverse, Premiere Pro has to essentially decode a whole bunch of frames in order to display the last one in the series. Then do it all again to display the previous one, and so on.

If you do a lot of reversing of H.264 footage, you are 100% going to have to either transode or use proxies.

Posted on 2020-06-25 16:42:00
Avatar Michael

I understand it will play poorly, but what i'm saying is it literally will not play at all nor will it render it on the timeline at all.

If i put just that clip on the timeline and then move the work area bar over the top of the clip and then click render work area, the render pop up window shows but nothing ever happens. I've left it like this for over 1 hour for a 412MB clip.....still nothing.

On my mac book pro it plays any file i chuck at it forwards and backwards without a problem.

on an Intel system, again it plays any file forwards/backwards without a problem.

There's a difference between being really choppy and having to trans code to allow you to play back the clip smoothly rather than literally not playing at all and not rendering at all.

Posted on 2020-06-25 20:28:59

Ah, gotcha. Yea, if it never plays at all that sounds like an issue with your system. Could be anything though - corrupt install of Premiere Pro, corrupt preferences, issue with the OS install, memory issues (running beyond the CPU specs, bad sticks, etc), or a number of other factors. Definitely contact support of wherever your system is from, or start eliminating factors one-by-one if you built it yourself.

Posted on 2020-06-25 20:35:46

Could somebody explain where it says "we have found Thunderbolt to be much more stable on Intel platforms that is preventing us from solely offering AMD processors on our Premiere Pro Recommended Systems." Because I'm looking at a Thunderbolt 3 workflow in my system and need to know how this can affect me. I have an external RAID to connect via Thunderbolt through motherboard I/O and while I don't edit in Premiere from this external drive, I do plan to edit in Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator, and other applications from it. What do I need to know?

Posted on 2020-06-25 06:00:05

As a part of our motherboard qualifications, we spend quite a bit of time testing Thunderbolt with a range of Thunderbolt devices. It isn't uncommon to have problems with devices not showing up, not properly hot-plugging, or randomly disappearing. How common it is seems to be almost random, but definitely is influenced by the chipset and motherboard manufacturer. Right now, the only combination that meets our standards are Gigabyte motherboards using Z390, Z490, or X299 chipsets.

That doesn't mean an AMD platform with Thunderbolt wouldn't work fine for you with the Thunderbolt devices you own, just that (in our experience) you are at a higher risk of seeing issues. Since we sell systems to a wide range of users who could be using almost any Thunderbolt device that exists, we have to take the safe route and try to ensure compatibility and stability with as many devices as possible.

If you are set on trying to use Thunderbolt on AMD (or even Intel on non-Gigabyte boards), I would just recommend that you have a good return policy from wherever you purchase the parts or system from so that if you have problems, you can return it.

Posted on 2020-06-25 16:46:56

Thanks Matt! I've got a new ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe II X299 Motherboard and I plan to pair it with my current Intel Core i9-7900X Skylake-X 10-Core 3.3 GHz processor that I chose based off a Puget System recommendation from a couple years ago. Along with my external thunderbolt 3 RAID, do you happen to have any idea if this hardware is going to perform well for me? Should I upgrade CPU again? I'm really hoping to dial in my hardware here and get something that's going to give me awesome playback time in Premiere Pro and obviously perform well overall.

Posted on 2020-06-27 04:52:52

If you already have the CPU, I would stick with it and try it out for a while. You are almost always going to be CPU limited in Premiere Pro, so upgrading the CPU will give you a benefit, but the performance might be just fine for you with the 7900X. Just for a rough idea, I went through some of our public benchmark results and came up with these rough benchmark results:

7900X - 590
10900X - 760
10980XE - 850

This isn't perfect since the GPUs were often different, but enough to give you an idea. So upgrading to a higher CPU would definitely give you more performance - up to around 40% or so. And that looks like it applies for both live playback and exporting.

Posted on 2020-07-06 22:37:54

Any update with your new round of testing after the 14.2 update was released?

I have an i7 5820k processor and just purchased a new RTX 2070 Super - looking to upgrade my CPU/MoBo in order to enable hardware acceleration, but I'm stuck between the 10900k and 3950x... any insight or recommendations now that the new update is released?

The Intel processor would be quite a bit cheaper to implement, but everything I'm reading about the 3950x has me drooling, so I'm very unsure at the moment.


Posted on 2020-06-26 06:12:23

We haven't yet, but there are plenty of results in our public database: https://www.pugetsystems.co... . To see the 3950X results, just change the "System Specs" filter.

Looks like on average with Pr 14.2, the 3950X scores 842 while the 10900K scores 823. That is only a 2% difference overall, so probably nothing you would ever notice. For live playback both have an average of 75, but for exporting the 3950X has a small lead (95 vs 90). You can dive more into the results if you want, but it actually looks like the two CPUs have actually gotten closer with Premiere Pro 14.2.

Caveat: This is using public results, so it is always possible that more people with a 10900K are overclocking or something like that. My gut is telling me that the 10900K should actually be a bit slower than the public results are showing, but I don't have any current data to back that up.

Posted on 2020-06-26 16:37:17

Thank you for the detailed and informative response!

I'll definitely check out the public database, and I look forward to the updated round of testing utilizing the 14.2 update.

You guys are doing great work :)

Posted on 2020-06-27 15:24:59

I have another question regarding hardware acceleration within Premiere Pro:

The minimum hardware requirement to enable hardware acceleration is a 6th gen intel CPU or higher, and I currently have a 5th gen 5820k.

If I were to purchase a 6800k processor would that allow me to enable hardware acceleration, and would I see a drastic increase in encoding/decoding times with h.264? I realize encoding/decoding HEVC footage requires a 7th gen CPU or higher, but I don't work with HEVC often.

I currently have a 2070 Super GPU, but it's not being utilized because of my 5th gen Intel CPU. My plan is to purchase a used 6800k from a friend and use that CPU until new 4000 series AMD CPU's are (hopefully) released this fall.

Thanks for all your help!

Posted on 2020-06-27 19:00:46

The CPU requirement should only be for the Quicksync implementation of hardware accelerated H.264/5 encoding/decoding, so shouldn't apply for accelerated encoding if you have a supported video card. Or at least, it shouldn't unless Adobe decided to restrict it for no reason or there is a bug.

You do need a newer CPU for H.264/5 decoding, however, since that is still Quicksync only. But the 6800K won't work since it doesn't support Quicksync. That is only available on the "comsumer" line of Intel CPUs that have integrated graphics.

Posted on 2020-07-06 22:28:36
Avatar Luca

I'm considering buying a new PC for 4K video editing with the following setup:

PNY Quadro RTX 4000 - 8GB GDDR6

Intel I9-10980XE - 18 core 3 GHz (Turbo up to 4.6 GHz)


Corsair Vengeance 64 GB DDR4 C16

HD1 (System and software):
Samsung 970 EVO 500 GB

HD2 (Work drive):
Samsung 870 QVO 1 TB

Do you think this setup will be good enough for smooth 4K video editing in Premiere Pro, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve etc?

Would you make any adjustments to the components, if yes - why?

Posted on 2020-07-15 07:58:29

The biggest thing that will be holding you back is the Quadro RTX 4000. That is only on par with around a GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER in terms of performance, so unless the slightly higher reliability from Quadro is critical, I would get something like a 2080 SUPER instead (mostly for Resolve).

Otherwise, it looks great!

Posted on 2020-07-15 15:39:47
Avatar Luca

Thank you for replying, Matt! Will look into that! :-)

Posted on 2020-07-15 16:20:24
Avatar Nandaki

I see some recommendations being made to use a single SSD for projects, media, render/output and media cache - is that not a sub-optimal configuration?

Posted on 2020-09-02 05:19:22

It is better if you can have the media cache on a separate drive, but from our testing it doesn't make that much of a difference. SSDs are just so fast relative to the amount of data Resolve can spit out that it is rarely a bottleneck. Perhaps if you are doing something like a project with 4K ProRes 4444 media and no effects, and exporting to 4K ProRes 4444 (so minimal CPU/GPU processing and maximum disk read/write) it could make a difference, but in most workflows it shouldn't matter much.

The bigger reason to move the cache (and possibly render path) to another drive is for organization or drive longevity. Cache files tend to use up more of the limited writes solid state drives are capable of, so by moving it to another drive it keeps your projects and other non-temporary files safer from a drive failure. SSDs are incredibly reliable, however, so this is more of a "just in case" kind of thing or a "I need more space than one drive can give me, so why not".

Posted on 2020-09-02 15:45:20
Avatar Nandaki

Thank you Matt for your reply. I So in effect what you're saying from what I understand of your response is that even if you're using a single SSD for your projects/sourcemedia, cache, render/output, you playback/export performance will be good, but keeping cache on its own drive is just better for longevity of the SSD.
Does this also apply to other NLEs as well, say Premiere? I see that in your builds you offer the option for additional hard drives - which would seem unnecessary if you're using an SSD.

Posted on 2020-09-02 23:39:14

It should apply to pretty much any software that utilizes on-disk cache/scratch files. Those kinds of files tend to have a lot of read and writes, and while some applications will be better/worse than others, it is still a generally good idea no matter the application.

Storage is something that is often the most "fluid" part of our builds. People have different ways they want to organize their data, some have a NAS, others want everything on their local system, etc. We try to be as flexible as possible when it comes to drive configurations, and just provide guidance on the things that are going to make a big difference.

Posted on 2020-09-07 17:08:00
Avatar Andrew Bell

Being new to the PC world, I have to say I'm VERY overwhelmed with the amount of information on the web, along with the fear that spending upwards of $2k will still result in poor lag and/or live playback within Adobe Premier Pro's timeline. I say this because I recently edited multiple videos within premier pro on my 2014 macbook pro, and I can't emphasize enough the sheer frustration I had with playing clips back and scrubbing the timeline to see when I needed to add effects and so on. So the last thing I want is poor playback while editing my footage - especially when I will be doing a lot of video/photo editing with my Canon EOS R and GoPro Hero 8.

After countless nights of watching youtube after youtube video, and reading all kinds of blogs, I've narrowed the list of components for my first video editing PC build. It looks something like this:

- Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
- Motherboard: MSI Prestige X570 Creation Motherboard OR MSI Meg X570 Unify Motherboard
- GPU: NVIDIA - GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8GB
- Solid State: Sabrent 1TB Rocket NVMe 4.0 Gen4 PCIe M.2 Internal SSD
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 3200
- Power Supply: Corsair RMX Series, RM750x, 750 Watt
- CPU Cooler: Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT, 240mm Radiator, Dual 120mm PWM Fans,
- Case: Corsair Carbide Series 678C Low Noise Tempered Glass ATX Case

Do you feel that this build would be most beneficial for rendering footage, but most of all, eliminating lag while playing back clips on adobe premier pro? The last thing I want to do right now is spend a gob of money on a machine that will create the same headaches I've experienced with my macbook pro - especially when I still need to buy a decent monitor and a keyboard!! Also, I'm very confused about motherboard options and whether or not spending $400+ on a MB will really provide more value to my processor. Are there any recommendations you have for cheaper processors that will gain the same performance and do you think having a better GPU (than the one I originally chose) would provide more value for my editing experience?

I apologize for the short novel, I'm just trying to narrow down my decision before spending a ton of money on a brand new computer. I would greatly appreciate some feedback regarding the matter.

Posted on 2020-10-19 11:36:25

Hi, is it better to have i9 10900KF (without intel gpu inside) or i9 10900K for premiere pro ?

Posted on 2020-12-15 10:42:54

Definitely the 10900K (with iGPU) since it will give you Quick Sync support for hardware decoding. The latest versions of Premiere Pro can use the GPU for H.264/5 encoding/decoding, but the performance is about on par with Quick Sync in most cases. So, better to use Quick Sync for decoding if you can since it frees up the GPU to do other things. Also makes your exports slightly faster if you use Quick Sync for decoding and the GPU for encoding rather than using the GPU for both.

If you don't use H.264/5 media, however, then it wouldn't matter. But, I don't think anyone outside of Hollywood is able to escape from those codecs completely.

Posted on 2020-12-15 18:03:28

thank you Matt, anyway i opted for an amd 5950x, i forget intel a little to see what amd is doing. my last switch was for opteron and it was very good switch at this time.

Posted on 2020-12-15 18:30:32

The 5950X is super solid. Probably one of the best CPUs you can get right now unless you go up to Threadripper, and even then the 5950X is better for a bunch of tasks. Honestly, the 10900K is probably the only Intel CPU that makes sense for Premiere Pro right now, and even that is a tough call versus the Ryzen 5800X. Quick Sync is the only thing that puts it slightly ahead.

But at the price-point of the 5950X, nothing from Intel really comes close.

Posted on 2020-12-15 18:36:42
Avatar P Bansod

What are the units on all of your charts?
Frames per second ?
How do you measure these units of performance for any benchmark?

Posted on 2021-03-22 21:37:08

Units are all marked on the charts, but are generally a calculated score based on the FPS during live playback and rendering relative to the FPS of the source media. We did change how the scoring works in newer versions of our benchmark (PugetBench for Premiere Pro 0.95 and newer), however, to be based on performance relative to a reference system. Shouldn't change the relative results all that much, but helps keep extreme situations from swinging the overall results much and is good to know if you want to check out our more recent articles.

Be aware that this is a little bit old of an article at this point, and quite a bit has changed since this post. The big thing is that with the addition of GPU-based H.264/5 decoding/encoding that was added to Premiere Pro a bit ago - that removed one of the big advantages for Intel. Not to mention that the Intel Core and AMD Ryzen CPUs we tested in this article are a generation old at this point.

I recommend checking out our more recent article for more up to date information: https://www.pugetsystems.co... . Or, give it a week or so and we should have even more up-to-date testing when the Intel 11th Gen CPUs fully launch.

Posted on 2021-03-22 22:54:23
Avatar Moi Marin

Hi, i am between ryzen 9 3900x or i7 11700k for my new computer for editing video and effects. What do you recommend me?? Is still worth the 3900x in 2021 or is better pay a little more and get the 5900x??

Posted on 2021-08-28 06:28:26

Definitely check out our more recent articles that looked at all those CPUs: https://www.pugetsystems.co... and https://www.pugetsystems.co.... Technically that first article only has the 3900XT, not the 3900X, but they are effectively the same, so that shouldn't matter.

To summarize though, the 5900X should be about 5% faster than the 3900X overall, or somewhere around 15% faster than the 11700K. So for most people, AMD probably gives better bang for your buck, and the choice between the 5900X and 3900X will probably come down to what kind of pricing you can get for each CPU. There are arguments for going with Intel in order to be able to use Quick Sync for hardware decoding of H.264/5 media, although every "flavor" of those codecs that Premiere Pro has can be done on either the GPU or Quick Sync (https://www.pugetsystems.co.... If you are thinking of switching to DaVinci Resolve in the future, however, the 11th Gen CPUs with Quick Sync gets you hardware decoding for a bunch of other types of H.265 media (https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Posted on 2021-08-30 18:07:52