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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
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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.

Introduction

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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Puget Systems offers a range of workstations that are tailor-made for your unique workflow. Our goal is to provide the most effective and reliable system possible so you can concentrate on your work and not worry about your computer.

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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
CPU

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
CPU

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
RAM 96GB DDR4 ECC 64GB 2666MHz DDR4 ECC
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 workstations that are tailor-made for your unique workflow. Our goal is to provide the most effective and reliable system possible so you can concentrate on your work and not worry about your computer.

Configure a System!

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
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?

https://uploads.disquscdn.c...

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
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
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
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
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
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
Leonardo Silva Coutinho

Go for AMD and pick an nvme 4.0 pcie

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