PugetBench for Premiere ProWritten on December 11, 2019 by Matt Bach
At Puget Systems, one of our primary goals is to provide fast and reliable workstations that are perfectly tailored to each customer's unique workflow. As a part of this, we publish an ongoing series of hardware articles for Premiere Pro - as well as numerous other software packages - in order to discover what hardware configurations are optimal for these specific applications.
However, while this ensures that we are selling the right hardware, it does not give our customers a great idea of how much faster a new workstation might be compared to their existing system. In addition, with the amount of hardware that is currently available, it is impossible for us to test everything on our own, so we want to provide tools for other hardware reviewers to perform real world benchmarking in professional applications like Premiere Pro.
To address both of these issues, we are making our Premiere Pro benchmark available for download so that anyone can can perform the same testing we do in our hardware articles. Even better, this benchmark is compatible with both Windows and Mac-based systems which allows for cross-platform performance comparisons.
Want to see how your system compares? PugetBench for Premiere Pro now uploads results to our Online Database!
Download PugetBench for Premiere Pro
Includes optional uploading of results, email support, automation, and logging.
Be sure to check out the full list of benchmarks we have available!
The main benchmark download includes all the files necessary to run the "Standard" preset (including the 59.94FPS H.264, ProRes 422, and RED media). If you wish to run the "Extended" preset, you will need to download the supplementary "Extended Test Media" from the link below:
- Adobe Premiere Pro 2020 (support for 2019 removed in version 0.86 BETA)
- 16GB of memory
- 4GB of GPU VRAM
- 100GB free space on your drive
- Compatible with both Windows 10 and MacOS
- Premiere Pro/OS language must be set to English
- Must be run from a local drive (no network attached storage)
Note that this benchmark is still in BETA. Plug-ins and customized preferences in particular may prevent the benchmark from running properly. If you run into any issues, we recommend resetting your preferences either by following Adobe's guide or by using our Adobe CC Preference Backup/Restore/Clear utility (Windows only).
How to run the benchmark
- Download and unzip the benchmark from the link above.
- Download a ZXP (Adobe plugin) installer and use it to install the plugin. We recommend using aescripts ZXP installer to install the .zxp file
- Launch Premiere Pro
- Open the "Benchmark_Project.prproj" project
- If you will be doing a Custom benchmark run, open the project that you want to test instead.
- Start the plugin from "Window->Extensions->PugetBench for Premiere Pro"
- Configure any settings you want to change (especially if you have a commercial license).
- Run the benchmark!
Note: If you want to run any of the extended tests, also download the "Extended Test Media" zip file and copy the "Extended Media" folder to the main benchmark folder. You should end up with both a "Standard Media" and "Extended Media" folder side by side in the main benchmark folder
While a there are no configuration options in Premiere Pro that need to be set, there are a few things you need to do before running the benchmark depending on your OS.
- Windows: make sure that the program window is in the upper-right quadrant of the Premiere Pro application. We need to use an external app that clicks in this are in order to change the playback resolution.
- MacOS: you need to go to "Security & Privacy" and add Premiere Pro to the Accessibility list. In addition, a few seconds or minutes after the benchmark starts, a popup will come up that asks you to allow Premiere Pro access System Events. Again, this is so that we can change the playback resolution (via the top menu bar).
When the benchmark is complete, it will give you an "Overall Score" and upload the results to to our online database (unless told not to with the commercial version). From the uploaded results, you can view the sub-scores and individual test results.
If you have any issues with the benchmark not properly running, first verify that your system meets the System Requirements and that the version of Premiere Pro you are using is supported. If there are no issues with your system or software, there are a number of troubleshooting steps you can try:
- Make sure you are following each step listed in the How to run the benchmark section
- Do not attempt to use the system while the benchmark is running. Defocusing the application window can break the benchmark in many situations.
- If you are on MacOS and have renamed your drive, the benchmark will not be able to get your system specs. The only work-around at the moment is to rename your drive back to "Macintosh HD", or you can continue to run the benchmark without it being able to pull specs.
- Clear the application preferences and reset them to default. by either using Adobe's guide or our Adobe CC Preference Backup/Restore/Clear utility (Windows only).
- Ensure that your OS and Premiere Pro is set to English and that the path to the benchmark script does not have any special or non-English characters.
- The benchmark does not work over an unmapped network drive (I.E. //192.168.1.2/Benchmark/). Mapped drives should work, but we highly recommend having the benchmark on a local drive as storage performance can affect the results.
- Redownload the benchmark and use a unzipping tool like 7zip to unzip the files rather than the tool that is built into your OS.
- Uninstall and reinstall the benchmark plugin.
Lower than expected performance can be caused by a number of factors, but the most common are:
- Outdated BIOS/drivers/software
- Running background processes (Antivirus, Windows Updates, etc.)
- Windows power profile (High Performance is recommended for the best results)
- Adobe application settings are not correct (GPU acceleration not enabled, etc.)
If you continue to have issues, we recommend posting in the comment section below - ideally with a screenshot of the problem and a copy of any log files that are generated by the benchmark.
What is tested?
Our Premiere Pro benchmark looks at both live playback and export performance with a wide range of codecs at 4K and 8K resolutions as well as at 29.97 and 59.94 FPS. In addition, there are dedicated "Heavy GPU Effects" and "Heavy CPU Effects" sequences that are designed to individually stress the GPU and CPU beyond what a typical Premiere Pro user will do.
Our test media consists of the following resolutions and codecs:
|Test Media (29.97 & 59.94 FPS)|
|4K H.264 150mbps 10-bit (29.97FPS)||4K H.264 150mbps 8-bit (59.94FPS)|
|4K ProRes 422||4K ProRes 4444|
|4K RED||4K CinemaRaw Light|
Special Thanks to:
Chris Shreve (Christopher Shreve Media) for the 4K CinemaRaw Light clips from his Canon C200.
Neil Purcell (Lighting Cameraman / Camera Operator) for the 4K H.254 clips from his Panasonic GH5.
For each type of test media, we look at two test sequences:
- Lumetri Color - 3 clips in series with a Lumetri Color effect applied
- MultiCam - 12 clips across four tracks in a multicam sequence. Playback is tested in "Multi-Camera" display mode.
These tests are all used for live playback performance testing at Full and Half playback resolution. All except the MultiCam sequence are also used to test export performance using the "Youtube 2160p 4K Ultra HD" preset (H.264, 4K, 40mbps) as well as exporting to 4K ProRes 422HQ 8-bpc.
In addition, we have a "Heavy GPU Effects" sequence using:
- 3 ProRes 422 clips in series with a Cross Dissolve between each
- Advanced effects: Lumetri Color, Ultra Key, Sharpen, Gaussian Blur, Basic 3D, Directional Blur, and VR Digital Glitch.
- Extreme effects: Lumetri Color, Ultra Key, Sharpen, Gaussian Blur, Basic 3D, Directional Blur, VR Digital Glitch, and VR De-Noise.
- Export tests are only done to ProRes 422HQ.
and a "CPU Heavy Effects" sequence using:
- 3 ProRes 422 clips in series
- Advanced effects: Text layer with keyframed position and scale, and Lens Flare.
- Extreme Effects: Text layer with keyframed position and scale, Dust & Scratches, Noise, and Lens Flare.
Export tests are only done to ProRes 422HQ.
How does the scoring work?
The scoring system used in our benchmark is based on the performance relative to the FPS of the test media. If the media is 29.97FPS and the system plays it back at 29.97FPS, that results in a score of "100". Likewise, if it can only play back at half the FPS, the score would be "50". Scores for Live Playback cannot go above 100 (since you cannot play at faster than the media's FPS), although scores for Exporting can go well above 100 depending on the performance of the system.
The Live Playback and Export scores are all combined into the "Standard", and "Extended" Overall scores depending on the benchmark preset you chose.
Version 0.92 BETA
- Moved to using node-wmi to gather system specs on Windows systems. This should be significantly faster and more reliable than the previous command line method
- Added GPU driver and motherboard BIOS to the system specs for Windows systems
- CLI utility now updates the Pr preferences so that workspaces are imported when opening a project (default behavior was changed in Pr 14.3.1)
- Misc bug fixes
Version 0.91 BETA
- Improved system spec gathering reliability
- System specs on MacOS now gather properly even if the system drive's name has been changed from the default "Macintosh HD"
Version 0.9 BETA (Major Update)
- Results are now uploaded to our online database. This is required for the free version, but opt-in if you have a commercial license.
- Removed the temporary .csv logging from the free version now that the full results can be viewed on our benchmark listing page.
- Complete plugin UI revamp. Added status bar/text, and improved the configuration options.
- Improved method used to gather system specs. This should break less often on unusual or older system configurations.
- License validation moved from the CLI utility to the plugin itself.
- Added the ability to do a "Custom" test which does the same tests as normal, only on whatever sequences are on the root-level of the currently opened project.
- Added ability to set the location for any disk-based tests (exporting).
- Added tooltips for the various settings that can now be configured.
- Status logs and configuration settings moved to "~Documents⧵PugetBench⧵Premiere Pro⧵TIMESTAMP" since we cannot log directly to the plugin folder.
- Dropped 8K H.265 tests. This test was simply too difficult for most systems and resulted in Premiere Pro hanging more often than not.
- Dropped ability to run tests in individual codecs. The intention is that the "Custom" test type will replace this.
- Improved CPU and GPU effects test. Added "Advanced" and "Extreme" tests to differentiate between what someone might be doing in their own projects versus a worst-case scenario. Also dropped exporting to H.264 for these tests since we want to focus on the system's performance for processing CPU and GPU effects
- Scoring has been adjusted based on the test changes. Due to this, the Overall Score will not be consistent with previous versions.
- General bug fixes and stability improvements.
Version 0.88 BETA
- Slight change in benchmark plugin folder name. Be sure to uninstall any existing "PugetBench for Premiere Pro" plugins before install the new 0.88 version.
- Fixed issue where the benchmark would not run due to a change in the API when using confirm boxes.
- Added "GPU Score" that is the average of the results from the "GPU Effects" tests.
Version 0.86 BETA
- Dropped the "Benchmark Results" score screen due to Premiere Pro 2020 breaking MGRT scripting functionality
- Adding back .csv log file support until we can get the "Benchmark Results" screen working
- No longer generating the test sequences on the fly - switching to pre-made projects for each test codec. This greatly increases the overall stability of the benchmark
- Due to using pre-made projects, Premiere Pro 2019 is no longer supported
- Improved system information gathering methods. This should make it much more reliable on MacOS
- Added option to continue the benchmark if the system information gathering does fail for any reason
- Miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements
Version 0.8 BETA
- Renamed benchmark to "PugetBench for Premiere Pro"
- Added support for Premiere Pro 2020
- Dropping the 29.97 FPS CPU and GPU effects tests. These are already somewhat artifical, so no reason to run them at both 29.97 and 59.94 FPS. This means that the Extended test scores will be slightly different than previous versions, but it shouldn't be by a huge amount
- There is now a "Benchmark Results" screen that comes up at the end of the benchmark that displays a bunch of useful information including: benchmark version, cores, results for each individual test, and system information like CPU, RAM, OS, GPU, and Premiere Pro version
- The benchmark also makes a PNG of the "Benchmark Results" screen for easy sharing
- Removed .csv log file support in the free edition (log files will be a feature in the commercial use version)
- Removed "start" .exe applications (automation will be a feature in the commercial use version)
- More code to ensure consistency between benchmark runs
- Miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements
Version 0.3 BETA
- Replaced H.264 media with footage straight from a Panasonic GH5 (Thanks Neil Purcell!)
- Replaced "Quick" preset with "Standard" preset. Changed tested media to 59.94FPS instead of 29.97FPS.
- This was done with the intention of having a benchmark preset that is geared towards measuring the overall performance of a system in as little time as possible.
- Separated media files into two groups: a "Standard" set and a "Full" set to make the download much more manageable for people just doing the Standard preset.
- Due to the change in the test media, the overall scores are not interchangeable with previous benchmark versions
Version 0.2 BETA
- First release.
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