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What is the Best CPU for Video Editing (2019)

Written on November 27, 2019 by Matt Bach


Your CPU is one of the most important parts in your workstation, but picking which CPU to use can be an overwhelming task with literally hundreds of options to choose from. Should you use Intel or AMD? How much does the core count matter? Will an expensive CPU be worth the cost? Even for those that enjoy keeping up on the latest technology it can be daunting, which is why so many of our customers love that they can simply talk to our consultants about what they are doing, and we take care of figuring out what the best choice is for their unique workflow.

With the launch of the Intel Core X-10000 series and AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen processors, we now know how the latest and greatest CPUs from both brands perform in the real world. We already have several articles for these new CPUs that examine how they perform in video editing applications like Premiere Pro, After Effects, and DaVinci Resolve. However, these articles tend to dive pretty deep into the details which can make them a bit overwhelming for many readers.

In this post, we want to keep things less tech-heavy for those that do not have either the time or interest to closely following PC hardware. Being able to choose the right CPU is something that should be possible for anyone, no matter how much time they have invested in keeping up with the latest tech.

What is the best CPU for video editing in 2019?

Currently, there are four main processor families that you should consider for a video editing workstation:

  • Intel Core 9th Gen (up to 8 cores, $499 max MSRP)
  • Intel Core X-series (up to 18 cores, $979 max MSRP)
  • AMD Ryzen (up to 16 cores, $749 max MSRP)
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper (up to 32 cores, $1,999 max MSRP)

While your overall budget is typically going to limit the number of CPU models you may be considering, since many of these product lines have overlapping price points you are still often left with a number of options to choose from. In addition, more expensive does not always mean faster, and in many cases, a more expensive CPU can result in worse performance.

In order to help you pick the right CPU, we will be going over some of our benchmark results to give you an idea of the relative performance between each of the latest CPU options. Then, in our Conclusion, we will discuss our recommendation for which CPU models to use for different workflows and budgets.

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What does the CPU (processor) do?

In the theme of making this post approachable to everyone, we first wanted to have a brief discussion about what the CPU does - particularly in video editing applications. In a nutshell, the CPU (or processor) is the most critical component when it comes to performance. Some applications like DaVinci Resolve can very effectively utilize the GPU (video card) to accelerate a number of tasks, but even then the CPU is still being used to at least some degree. In other applications like Premiere Pro and After Effects, the GPU is used to a limited degree, but unless you load up on effects that specifically use the GPU, your CPU is going to be much more important overall.

Within a CPU, there are several factors that determine how fast it is, but it can be simplified into two main specifications: core count and core frequency (speed). If you want this broken down into layman terms, we have a terrific video that explains them using a car analogy:

However, in addition to just the number of cores and frequency, there are a ton of other factors that affect the real-world performance of a processor. The amount of cache (similar to short-term memory) and even just the general architecture can make a huge difference when it comes to how the CPU actually performs. This is why it is especially inaccurate to use core count and frequency to compare between Intel and AMD CPUs - they are simply too different for a comparison like that to work.

In addition, there are some specifications like the number of PCIe lanes (which determines how many video cards you can use) that can be important for high-end workstations using DaVinci Resolve.

So, if pure specs are not a reliable way to pick a CPU, what is? Honestly, that is why we spend the amount of time we do testing a plethora of processors in a range of applications. We have tried many different methods over the years, and in the end, actual performance benchmarks are the only reliable and accurate way we have found to determine how a specific CPU will compare to others.

Premiere Pro CPU Performance

A lot is going on in our performance charts below, so before getting into it we wanted to provide a key regarding the color scheme we used.

  • Light blue = Intel consumer CPUs (9th Gen)
  • Dark blue = Intel HEDT CPUs (X-10000 Series)
  • Light red = AMD consumer CPUs (Ryzen 3rd Gen)
  • Dark red = AMD HEDT CPUs (Threadripper 3rd Gen)

Full benchmark and test data available in our post:
Premiere Pro CPU performance: Intel Core X-10000 vs AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen

Premiere Pro is a very complex application, so there is a lot to consider when deciding which CPU to use. For the best possible performance, AMD has the edge over Intel with the AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen CPUs currently beating the fastest Intel Core X-series CPU by a very healthy 20%. However, the Threadripper 3960X and 3970X are fairly expensive with an MSRP of $1,399 and $1,999 respectively, and for anything in the sub-$1000 range the Intel Core X-10000 series and Intel Core 9th Gen processors match or beat the AMD Ryzen CPUs in terms of overall performance

If we dive into the details a bit more and separate live playback from export performance, things change just a little bit. For live playback, there is a pretty hard line where getting a more powerful or expensive CPU will no longer significantly increases playback FPS. If you scroll to the second chart above, you can see that the Intel Core i9 10920X, 10940X, 10980XE, as well as the AMD Threadripper 3960X and 3970X all perform about the same. What this means is that if live playback is your primary concern (which for many people it is), the Intel Core X-series or Intel Core 9th Gen are going to give you the best performance for your dollar. Just keep in mind that once you get to the Intel Core i9 10920X, you will likely not notice much of a benefit from a more expensive CPU.

For those that want to reduce their export/transcoding times, there is a larger variation between the various CPU models. For this, the AMD Threadripper 3960X and 3970X are absolute king and should be able to complete an export in about 3/4 the time of an Intel Core i9 10980XE. In other words, for every hour an export takes with the fastest Intel CPU available, one of the AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen CPUs should be able to shave off about 15 minutes.

If your budget doesn't allow for an AMD Threadripper CPU, there is not a huge difference between the latest Intel and AMD CPUs from a price-to-performance standpoint. There are some slight variations, but when comparing similarly priced models the performance difference when exporting is typically minimal.

After Effects CPU Performance

Full benchmark and test data available in our post:
After Effects CPU performance: Intel Core X-10000 vs AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen

After Effects is currently not great at utilizing a high number of CPU cores, so the difference between many of the most recent CPU models is relatively small. One thing to note is that this is a case where spending more money on a CPU can end up giving you worse performance. For example, the AMD Threadripper 3960X 24 Core is slightly faster than the 3970X 32 Core, and the Intel Core i9 10900X 10 Core and 10920X 12 Core are faster than the 10980XE 18 core by about 10%.

From an overall perspective, once you get up to about a $500 CPU (the Intel Core i9 9900K or AMD Ryzen 9 3900X), you will be within a few percent of the fastest performance you can currently achieve in After Effects. The more expensive AMD Ryzen 9 3950X or AMD Threadripper CPUs can be a hair faster than the Core i9 9900K or Ryzen 3900X, but for most users, it will be better to save that money and put it towards getting more RAM, a faster GPU, or faster storage.

For those that are on a tighter budget and can't afford a $500 CPU, The AMD Ryzen 7 CPUs should end up being slightly faster than their Intel Core i7 counterparts.

DaVinci Resolve Studio CPU Performance

Full benchmark and test data available in our post:
DaVinci Resolve Studio CPU performance: Intel Core X-10000 vs AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen

Many of the more demanding projects in DaVinci Resolve (noise reduction, multiple OpenFX, etc.) are more reliant on the power of your GPU than your CPU, but when doing basic grading or editing a more powerful CPU can give you a great boost in performance. Due to how much the benefits of a higher-end CPU diminish as you add effects, we are primarily going to talk about performance when doing relatively basic grades with just a handful of nodes.

Overall, you can break things down with two simple points:

  1. For CPUs that are $500 or less, the AMD Ryzen CPUs are best
  2. For CPUs that are more than $500, it is hard to make a bad choice since AMD and Intel are fairly even - the more money you spend, the better the performance you will typically get. The only exception to this is the Intel Core i9 10900X which is both slower and more expensive than the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X.

What processor should you use for a Video Editing workstation?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of nuances in video editing with your codec, resolution, and exact application all affecting what CPU is best. This makes our recommendations not nearly as straight-forward as our What is the Best CPU for Photography post since almost every single consumer/HEDT processor from Intel and AMD has a situation where they make sense. So instead of trying to give an overall "best", we will break things down into a couple of common scenarios and give you a range of options based on the MSRP price of each CPU model:

Recommended CPUs for Adobe video editing applications

For Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, the following CPUs are our recommendations depending on your budget:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 3800X ($399)
  • Intel Core i9 9900K ($499)
  • Intel Core i9 10920X ($689)
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3950X ($749)
  • Intel Core i9 10940X ($784)
  • Intel Core i9 10980XE ($979)
  • AMD Threadripper 3960X ($1,399)

With these models, you should pretty much always get better performance when spending more money. However, be aware that if your workflow involves a healthy amount of time in After Effects, you will not see much of a benefit from a CPU above the Intel Core i9 9900K. Even if your budget allows you to afford a more expensive CPU, you will typically be better off sticking with a Core i9 9900K and spending the savings on more RAM, a faster GPU, or faster storage as those will likely end up giving you more overall system performance.

Recommended CPUs for DaVinci Resolve

If your workflow contains a healthy amount of time in DaVinci Resolve (or is exclusively in DaVinci Resolve), our recommendation for the best CPU changes just a little bit since the AMD Ryzen processors take a significant lead over the Intel 9th Gen processors. For this, our recommendation for which CPU to use based on your budget is:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 3800X ($399)
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900X ($499)
  • Intel Core i9 10920X ($689)
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3950X ($749)
  • Intel Core i9 10940X ($784)
  • Intel Core i9 10980XE ($979)
  • AMD Threadripper 3960X ($1,399)
  • AMD Threadripper 3970X ($1,999)

Once again, you should always get better performance when spending more money with any of these processors. There are cases when the difference is fairly small, however, and since Resolve uses the GPU so heavily for OpenFX and noise reduction, you may consider a slightly less expensive CPU if it lets you upgrade your GPU or get multiple GPUs.

Overall, there are only a handful of CPU models from Intel and AMD where you can be confident that you will (typically) get more performance when you spend more money. In this case, the overall "best" CPUs for video editing are the Intel Core i9 10920X, 10940X, and 10980XE, as well as the AMD Threadripper 3960X. Even if you are unsure what is ideal for your workflow, as long as you have sufficient budget you can't go wrong with any of these four models.

Another factor to keep in mind is that Thunderbolt is fairly common in post-production workflows, and if you plan on using it, you should strongly consider using an Intel-based platform. This is because at the moment, there are no AMD platforms that have certified Thunderbolt support from Intel. Thunderbolt can be very finicky on PC, and there are only a handful of platforms (even among those that are fully certified) that we have found to be reliable across a wide range of devices. The AMD boards that are available with Thunderbolt may end up working just fine with your devices, but in general, we recommend sticking with a platform that is fully certified if Thunderbolt is important to you.

Hopefully, this post has helped you choose the right CPU for your video editing workstation. Keep in mind that even with these recommendations, the right CPU for you may be different depending on the combination of applications you use and exactly what you do in those applications. If at all possible, we recommend speaking with one of our technology consultants (425.458.0273 or sales@pugetsystems.com) if you are interested in purchasing a Puget Systems workstation as they can help you get the exact right system for both the work you do today, as well as what you hope to do in the future.

Looking for a Video Editing Workstation?

Puget Systems offers a range of poweful 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, Intel vs AMD, AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen, Intel X-10000, Premiere Pro, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve, Video Editing

Thanks for this...slightly confused by the conclusion though.

Why is the 10940x recommended over the 3950x in the $750-800 segment for Adobe Applications, when clearly as per your charts the 3950x is overall better.

Posted on 2019-11-28 08:32:54

Basically Puget system customers are pros who doesn't care about money usually they will go for Intel. Puget Systems or infact anyother OEMS has build contacts with Intel for Long so they won't take U turn and suddenly recommend AMD. So that only Puget implicitly recommended all the Intel processors even though they do very well know at any given price point AMD is better

Posted on 2019-11-28 09:40:08

I don't think that's the case. They will recommend the most reliable hardware as they provide the after sales support. In all honesty it seems like the 2 charts have been interchanged.

Posted on 2019-11-28 11:04:28

We definitely don't always recommend Intel over AMD - our Lightroom workstations are all Ryzen at this point, as well as one of our DaVinci Resolve systems. Not to mention some of the photogrammetry and CPU rendering where Threadripper is amazing. Once we get the new Threadripper platform fully qualified, even more systems will start popping up on our site. If you read through our recent articles, AMD comes out on top more often then not, and video editing is really one of the few places where the Intel 9th Gen or X-series CPUs can still have a solid lead over AMD in some situations. Even in this post we recommended 4 Intel/3 AMD CPUs for Adobe apps (after adding in the 3950X) and 3 intel/5 AMD CPUs for Resolve.

Now, it is true that if AMD and Intel are very close in terms of price and performance that we will lean towards Intel for our customers. A lot of that is simply the fact that we have a TON of experience with the Z390 and X299 platforms. We know their quirks and how to mitigate them, and have solid engineering contacts with both Intel and the motherboard manufacturers when issues come up. We don't have that with AMD quite yet, and that is something that can only be gained over time. Thunderbolt support that we know works is also a big factor since we have a significant number of customers who are moving from Mac to PC that need it.

As we get more sales and experience with AMD Ryzen and Threadripper, we may start shifting more of our systems where Intel and AMD are neck-in-neck over to AMD, but it is going to depend on whether or not any issues come up and how severe those issues are. Our customers are overwhelmingly not tinkerers or even all that interested in computer technology (which I suspect most of our article readers are), and they are more than willing to sacrifice a bit of performance in order to guarantee stability. It is the same reason we don't do overclocking really - a bit more performance in exchange for even the chance of a few more crashes a month/year/whatever simply isn't a good exchange for our customers.

Posted on 2019-11-28 16:55:06

You honestly could be fine with either the 3950X or 10940X in Premiere Pro and After Effects, but the reason we leaned more towards the 10940X was because live playback in Premiere Pro is ~7% better. On the other hand, the 3950X is better for RAM Preview in After Effects... We wanted to try to keep things relatively straight-forward and really boil things down to just a handful of models that we would recommend, but that may have been one place we were a bit too aggressive. I'll go ahead and toss the 3950X back in since there are definitely solid arguments for it.

In our own systems we'll probably go with the 10940X over the 3950X for most customers since the platform has Thunderbolt support that we know works and it is an established and stable platform that we have a ton of experience with, but from a pure performance standpoint I could see going with either model depending on exactly what you want to prioritize in your workflow.

Posted on 2019-11-28 16:38:43


10940X = 14nm ... more power consumptions, dead platform, more expensive platform .

On the other hand, 3950X is 7nm chip with better power consumtions, upgradable platform, cheaper platform.

Posted on 2019-12-03 06:49:08

Power consumption is definitely a place where AMD takes the lead, so it should be slightly less noisy under load with similar cooling. As far as the platform cost and longevity goes, I'm not personally convinced that that is a major factor for most users. Cost-wise, there are definitely some reallllyyy cheap motherboards for X570, but I would recommend against using any of the super inexpensive ones if you want your system to last and be stable. With either X570 or X299, I think around the $200-$250 range is where the boards start becoming high quality enough that I would want to use it in my personal system.

Platform longevity is a very interesting one since it is hard to predict the future. Threadripper X399 was supposed to be around for a long time, yet with the 3rd Gen Threadripper CPUs, they launched the new TRX4 platform that is not backwards compatible. X570 looks like it will be usable for at least one more generation of AMD Ryzen CPUs (and most likely two more generations), but beyond that, who knows? I know there are some people who upgrade to the newest CPU every generation, but from what I've seen, most people wait at least 2-4 generations before upgrading since that is typically how long it takes before you will see a significant performance increase by doing so. For those people, I don't think platform longevity is a big deal since it is unlikely that whatever CPU they get will be compatible with their existing motherboard.

However, the cool part is that there is that choice to make. If power consumption, cheap motherboards, and the ability to drop in the next 1-2 generations of CPUs is important to you, great! If it isn't, that is great too! Computer hardware right now is the least "one-size-fits-all" that I've ever seen in my nearly 20 years in the industry, which I think is awesome.

Posted on 2019-12-03 17:36:57
Dennis L Sørensen

In the Premiere Pro suite I think your overall bench results focus waaaay to much on export scores. Live playback should account for more than 50% in your overall score. More like 90% or something as it it mostly what we are using as editors. As professionels export in mainly something we do when we are finally done. Atleast I dont hope anyone is using 50% of their budgetted time in editing for export. And some even do it after hours and so speed is not that important.

I get why you have a bench for it, but the overall score chart should not reflect it 50/50.

Posted on 2019-11-28 10:37:26
Misha Engel

Yep, live playback is the most important for editors.

Posted on 2019-11-28 12:20:41

Yeah.. I'd dladly pay a slight premium for something that doesn;t stutter while scrubbing through the compressed codecs of today

Posted on 2019-11-28 14:27:21

Appreciate the feedback - that is definitely something we have considered. I think a 90/10 split is a bit extreme, but I could see doing around a 70/30 split. We started off with a 50/50 split when we started working on the benchmark to keep things simple, but I will be thinking about how best to "weight" the score as we get closer to Version 1.0.

I'm not 100% sure that we'll move from a 50/50, or just continue to (or possibly expand on) examine the live playback and export results separately in our articles. Any time you try to boil performance down to a single "score", it is impossible for it to be an accurate representation of performance for everyone, so looking at the two individually may be better than trying to properly weight the overall score. I have even thought about removing the overall score entirely, but part of making our benchmarks public is to make this sort of testing accessible to other hardware reviewers, and not having some sort of single overall single score probably wouldn't work too well.

Again, thanks for the feedback! It definitely helps to have outside opinions from professionals using these applications every day.

Posted on 2019-11-28 16:28:33

Thanks for all of your work Matt and team. Can't wait till you release the benchmark tools. I think it would be great if you anonymously gather the info from different systems with scores and all so you would be able to gather even better info for your own systems :-) And we as users will get to know how good our systems score. I believe it's fair.

Posted on 2019-12-06 11:19:52
Markus Freitag

Maybe you should do a little poll on this topic to get a more verified score for this. I personally would also tend to at least 80/20 for playback/rendering performance when judging the importance.

Posted on 2019-12-13 10:37:13

I am confused by the bench marks. I do mostly advertising work so render time isn't that big of a deal for me. Playback definitely is. How much of a boost do the beast Ryzen chips like the AMD Threadripper 3960X give for play back vs the lower end chips?

Posted on 2019-12-05 22:02:04

You want to look at just the "Live Playback" results for Premiere Pro: https://www.pugetsystems.co... or the "RAM Preview" results for After Effects: https://www.pugetsystems.co...

There isn't as much of a difference in performance with live playback with the more expensive/powerful CPUs. Exactly the right CPU depends on which app you use, but for Premiere Pro the Core i9 10920X is a great value for live playback, while for After Effects the Core i9 9900K or Ryzen 3900X are terrific.

Posted on 2019-12-05 22:45:30

I think it's critically important to consider certain multicore plugins in this analysis. Consider, for example, the common Neat noise reduction plugin. This plugin is extremely CPU intensive and also very well optimized for multiple cores. So someone who uses a lot of noise reduction with this common plugin will benefit immensely (potentially with hours of time savings for a single video) by choosing Threadripper over Intel. Other plugins to consider are things like proDAD Mercalli, which is a third-party alternative to Warp Stabilizer and optimized for multiple cores. Someone like myself who stabilizes with Mercalli and noise reduces with Neat will literally see a 1-hour video project get done in potentially a quarter of the time by going from Intel to the new 32-cord Threadripper.

Posted on 2019-11-28 20:33:55
Jason Osterday

This is indeed a critical piece worth evaluating and would be a great addition to future testing if possible. Neat, Red Giant Suite, Boris FX, Video Copilot, Frischluft, and Revision just to name a few.

Posted on 2019-12-02 17:45:07

Plugins are definitely something we want to start tackling in the future, but we want to get our benchmarks solid for the base applications first before moving on to that. We are still tweaking the code to make them more stable and reliable, not to mention tweaking how the scoring works. Once we get all that hammered out, we can start expanding our testing.

Neat is one we've actually included quite often in the past since they have their own stand-alone benchmark - we just didn't do it this time around due to time constraints. Most likely, the Red Giant and BorisFX suites will be the first ones we tackle since they are typically the most requested from our customers.

Posted on 2019-12-02 18:13:42
Dude Seriously

Why do the AMD fanboys come out in droves every time one of these articles gets posted? Intel=better clocks and IPC, Quicksync, and Thunderbolt. AMD=cores.

Seems like everyone points to the results where AMD performs better at while forgetting that the features Intel offers are a huge bonus. No dedicated h264/265 encoding/decoding, and no (reliable) high-speed external connectivity on AMD's platform. AMD has fixed most of the bugs that have plagued their platform until now, but are still working on boosting the right cores and delivering the performance they claim on the box. If you're not a winner in the silicon lottery you might be stuck with a CPU that runs at slower speeds than advertised. Ryzen is still too risky for me at this point to consider for my professional work. Maybe if they finally get these things ironed out by the next generation I'll consider their chips. Too big a risk for now.

Posted on 2019-11-29 18:48:57
Misha Engel

In case you have been living under a rock: AMD's Zen2 has a higher IPC than everything intel, intel has better clocks on the 9900ks, Intel's HEDT CPU's don't have Quicksync, the Thunderbolt 3 specification was released to the USB-IF on 4 March 2019, making it royalty-free and intel really shines in the security department https://www.tomshardware.com/features/intel-amd-most-secure-processors.
At the moment we have 4 AMD system and 80+ intel systems.

Posted on 2019-11-29 22:29:55
La Frite David Sauce Ketchup

intel = better clock
Amd = better ipc and core so , stop living in 2010

Shintel fanboy , stop saying stup*d false thing

Posted on 2019-12-01 19:35:17

To be honest, I personally don't even consider clock, cores, IPC, or anything else to even be useful as a spec anymore. They can be used as a rough comparison between two CPUs of the same product line, but if you change the generation or especially between Intel and AMD, there are just too many variables that they are rarely going to be completely accurate as a comparison point.

At this point, I truly believe that the only valid way to compare two CPUs is to benchmark them in the applications you use every day and see how they perform. There are often really weird results that cannot be easily explained through specs that only real world testing is going to find. A couple great examples:

1) In Lightroom Classic, the AMD Ryzen and Threadripper CPUs are almost stupid good compared to Intel for exporting and generating smart previews ( https://www.pugetsystems.co... ). We think this may have something to do with AVX2/AVX512 or cache behavior, but if you just looked at the main specs you would never be able to guess that this might happen.

2) In Metashape, the AMD Threadripper and Intel X-series are both pretty poor - the 9900K easily beats both of them. This isn't a problem with core scaling since the 3950X is faster than the 3900X, so there is something else in the Threadripper and X-series CPUs that makes them perform poorly in this application.

This is a large part of why we are so adamant about developing benchmarks for these kinds of applications. General and synthetic benchmarks have their place, but they are never going to be able to predict these oddball or nuanced results.

Posted on 2019-12-02 18:23:46

I think the 3rd gen AMD Ryzen was purpose built for Resolve 16 users. Other than Thunderbolt (which I know is a deal breaker for many), it fits like a glove in terms of video editing workflow.

Posted on 2020-02-14 20:38:28
Jyotirmay Shuvo

So should i replaced 9th to 10th Gen or there is just slightly improvements? Currently i am using 9940X with 64GB Ram and RTX 2080 GPU. I am mainly doing Video Editing and Some After Effects works.

Posted on 2019-12-03 02:56:52

Our Intel X-1000 series vs AMD Thereadripper articles include results from the previous generation, so I would check those out for direct comparisons. My phone won't let me copy/paste links for some reason right now, but links to the Premiere Pro and After Effects articles are in the intro of this post.

Most likely though, you won't find upgrading worth it. It is only going to be a few percent faster in most situations which likely isn't worth the cost.

Posted on 2019-12-03 03:20:26


Thanks so much for this article and also an older article (Premiere Pro CC 2019 CPU Roundup: Intel vs AMD vs Mac). I noticed you responded to comments so I wanted to ask one of my own. I am building an 8k premiere pro workflow PC now and I can't really seem to find too many reliable benchmarks besides yours.

With the 3950x unavailable, I looked to threadripper and according to last year's article, the 2950x seems to outpace the 24 core 2970wx but falls behind in the 32 core range. Since I haven't seen a refresh for this article either (Premiere Pro CC 2017 NVIDIA Quadro (Pascal) Performance) I was wondering if you might be able to take a look at my build list?


It seems like the advantages for 16gb of vram are just starting to scale in 8k benchmarks published which is why I went for the rtx 5k instead of 4k. Also, do you think it is worth it to step up to the 2970wx at current pricing? Or would you recommend moving to the 32core cpu and going for the rtx 4000 instead?

If you might be able to offer some advice on the rtx 4000/5000 as well as the 2950x/2970wx/2990wx that would be really appreciated. I am trying to be around that $4500 price point here. I had considered a 3900x build but the advantages of pcie 4.0 nvme don't really outweigh all the extra pcie lanes for 10g lan, thunderbolt, etc for me.

Thanks SO much and really appreciate your articles. Seriously the only consistent benchmarks I can find for 4k/6k/8k without buying all the parts and testing myself.

Posted on 2019-12-03 20:06:57

Also, Matt Bach if you might be able to clear up the difference between these two cards I would really appreciate it! So would my wallet.



Posted on 2019-12-03 20:50:05

No idea - they are both RTX 5000, but the one has some weird Dell branding stuff. You would have to ask Dell what the difference is.

Posted on 2019-12-03 20:53:19

Thanks so much for the reply Matt Bach. Will hop on the phone with them now!

Any thought on the two builds above in my previous comment? Not sure if you had any expert advice or a chance to look at the two builds :D

Kinda just deciding between rtx 4000 or 5000 in combination with threadripper 16/24/32 but not sure where the sweet spot is.

Thanks again!

Posted on 2019-12-03 20:58:16

If I were you James I would buy a ready system from Puget. The name of the company is weird btw.

Posted on 2019-12-06 11:24:04

Would love to get everyones thoughts. This is my current build.

i7 5820k
Asus Strix 2080ti
64gb Crucial DDR 4 2400 DIMM
Asus Rampage V Extreme ATX2011E
Crucial SSD 960 gb M500
Corsair AX1200I Digital ATX PSU

I know my CPU is old but I have been waiting for the mythical intel 7nm chips to come out but it doesn't look like that's happening. Based on these benchmarks it seems for intel the 9900KS is the best buy for the dollar for Premire/AFX. However the AMD Threadripper 3960X seems to be enough of a jump in Premiere to justify the extra money. Plus I have been meaning to use Resolve more....But overall I thought AMD doesn't work well with Adobe products. Or does that not apply anymore?

Also in general how much better performance will I see going from the 5820K to one of the newer CPUs? In After Effects will I not see that big of a boost?

Posted on 2019-12-05 22:00:05

The big thing with AMD and Adobe was that many Adobe apps are relatively lightly threaded which was where AMD was weakest. Now that AMD has pretty much overcome that limitation, AMD can be a terrific choice.

As for how much performance you will see, I would run our benchmarks on your system and compare the results directly. The list of our benchmarks that are currently available is at: https://www.pugetsystems.co...[]=Benchmark . You are even using the same GPU we typically use in our testing, so the results should be pretty close from a CPU vs CPU perspective. The Premiere Pro benchmark we currently have up for download is slightly different, but if you just run the "Standard" test that hasn't changed. Honestly, even if you run the "Full" version it is probably only going to be a few percent different than the version we used in our latest articles.

One thing to remember about the 3960X in Premiere Pro is that most of the performance gain is from exporting - live playback really isn't that much better than some of the less expensive CPUs, so if you don't mind slightly longer export times, you may save the money and spend it on more/faster storage, a new monitor, or something else that will overall give you a better experience.

Posted on 2019-12-05 22:27:40

Wow. Thanks so much for that. I was considering the 1,400 Ryzen and you may have just saved me almost a grand.

I always thought rendering was mostly GPU based with CUDA support and the CPU was for playback. Either way rendering out is not that big of a deal since I do mostly short form work . I have also been meaning to use DaVinci for Color Grading. Does that also apply to Resolve? Does the better processor only speed up the renders? I imagine so since it's mostly GPU based right? Since I have a 2080ti I should be good. I also imagine adding a second 2080ti would do way more for Davinci than a processor. If playback is the same and it looks like performance is the same in AFX than it would probably be better to do a mid range CPU. I always figured i t was better to not spend more than 5k on a setup because I have noticed that on my "gaming" PCs I get about the same performance as I do on 15-20K rigs at post houses. I always thought it's best to just upgrade every few years.

I do have a couple more questions. You tested the i9 9900K or the 9900KS? With the enhanced KS would you say it would out perform the Ryzen 3900X? Would out of those two would you recommend? Just to be clear Adobe is totally optimized and cleared for Ryzen?I remember when they first came out people were having issues. Also do you know if there are any good motherboards that have a true Thunderbolt 3 connection for really fast drives? One that is as fast you would find on an Imac Pro?

Also, what do you think of super fast ram? Is that more of a gaming thing? I have 64gigs 2,400 DDR4 ram and was thinking to just keep that. If I got faster ram and 128 gigs would I notice a big change? Would Adobe even use more and faster ram or is 64 plenty?

Posted on 2019-12-06 21:10:33
Grant Smucker

My current setup is:
AMD Threadripper 2970WX
ASrock X399 Taichi
EVGA Nvidia 2080 Ti

I have had nothing but problems with this setup. My macbook pro is working better. I am constantly getting BSOD and Premiere crashes a lot. I tried running the PugetBench and it crashed about halfway through. I've tried uninstalling drivers/adobe suite/etc. Everything short of a clean windows install. Do you think my graphics card could be bad? Or should I switch to a 9900K or something?

Posted on 2019-12-06 17:22:58

I believe we've seen instability on AMD chips when using high speed memory (beyond their official supported specs) - what speed is your RAM at currently?

I also have seen folks in our comments talk about instability if / when these CPUs get too hot - how is your cooling situation?

General stability issues could also be defective RAM modules, so you might consider running MemTest. And if all of that comes back clean, then I'd give a fresh Windows installation a shot as well.

Posted on 2019-12-09 18:08:36
junzhi2002 wong

Why puget does not use 3700X? 3700X and 3800X are basically same silicone design though
Thanks for the recommendation! 3900X seems like a good deal there for light to medium users.

Posted on 2019-12-09 16:20:03

Good question. Maybe they don't know that?
From GamersNexus: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X vs. 3700X Review: Don't Waste the Money

Posted on 2020-01-06 16:33:12

Sorry, I missed the original comment! You certainly can use the 3700X (or the 3600X for that matter) - it just comes down to budget at that point. Our customers almost never end up with a <$400 CPU simply due to the budgets they have available, which is why we didn't go down to the lower-end CPUs in this post.

If you want to see how the 3700X and 3600 perform in these applications, we have a slightly older (but still perfectly accurate) set of articles you can look at. Just search for the phrase "AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen, AMD Threadripper 2, Intel 9th Gen, Intel X-series" on our article listing page (or just click here https://www.pugetsystems.co... )

Posted on 2020-01-06 18:05:03

Not sure if I'd call 3700x lower-end, as we've stated, 3700x and 3800x are nearly identical CPUs (the main differences are the 8% higher base clockspeed and 2% higher boost clockspeed). Large budgets or not, I think 3700x should have been included... Otherwise a reader may come away believing they need a 3800x when it offers almost no performance benefit over 3700x. Had a look at that Premiere Pro CPU roundup article from July 2019, and 3700x/3800x do appear to perform identically, at least in one playback test.

3600 is a fine chip, but as you know, it's priced 41% lower than 3700x and has 6 cores instead of 8.


Posted on 2020-01-10 07:26:26
Neo Morpheus

Whats the best CPU for (insert function here) ?

Regardless that on every test, the AMD offerings are faster and cheaper, we at Puget recommend any Intel CPUs, because...rea$on$.....

What a joke....

Posted on 2019-12-11 15:07:39

Can you give me an example where we recommended Intel over AMD in this post when AMD is cheaper and faster for these applications? It's completely possible that we missed something, and we always appreciate specific feedback.

Posted on 2019-12-11 15:58:07
Neo Morpheus

From the post above:

Overall, there are only a handful of CPU models from Intel and AMD where
you can be confident that you will (typically) get more performance
when you spend more money. In this case, the overall "best" CPUs
for video editing are the Intel Core i9 10920X, 10940X, and 10980XE, as
well as the AMD Threadripper 3960X.

Not everyone that buys computers is tech savvy enough and observing the wording posted, will make them believe that the Intel CPU is better.

Posted on 2019-12-11 19:40:03

Just built up a 3970x-based system (CPU obtained from UK), and my initial tests cast so far tell me I made the right choice. I think I'd really be kicking myself if I had gone with Intel. Here are some learnings so far based on initial tests of my system (Gigabyte Designare; 128GB 3200MHz 14-14-14 RAM; 6TB NVME Raid 0 for files on Gigabyte M2 AIC; 3 additional NVMEs for project drive, media cache, programs; old 1080ti; ARECA Tbolt2 RAID drive for backup with T3 to T2 adapter, CPU 200Mhz overclock using AMD Master software). I am doing 4K (scaled up to 5K or 6K due to anamorphic lenses in many cases) H.264 150mbps 10-bit multicam with Lumetri color correction across the entire (VLOG) footage and several tracks of audio:

1) All my timeline frustrations are gone. Period. I can play back 3 simultaneous streams of 4K 150mbps 10-bit footage with Lumetri color correction across all of it at full resolution, with the high-quality play option selected. I can even play back fairly well at the first high-speed level, though at that point my GPU hits 100% and becomes a bottleneck (but not CPU). What's interesting here for me is that now my GPU is the bottleneck, not the CPU. Of course, it's possible I have dropped frame not perceptible to my eye--but, if so, well, they're not perceptible and don't impact my editing experience. (When doing multicam, every screen gets pretty small, and I don't use that view to a get a final sense of the motion; I have to switch to single cam and close to full screen for that anyway.)

2) Prior to setting up the NVME RAID for my media files, I was getting 1.1 - 1.2 gbps from my Thunderbolt 2 external RAID and using that as my primary media file drive on this new build. I had assumed since this speed greatly exceeded the bandwidth of my multicam footage the array would not be a bottleneck. I was wrong. While simple plays of the timeline had been fine, jumping around in the timeline had not been. So that's when I revised the build to include an NVME RAID on the PCIE card included with the board. I don't what's important in terms of timeline performance is a simple matter of FPS at any given location in the timeline. One also needs to consider transitions between locations in the timeline; this is where the NVME RAID helped a lot. The NVME RAID also made a night and day difference for fast-forwarding. One needs to consider how fast-forwarding pushes the bandwidth of one's media drive as well.

3. Thunderbolt is a non-issue with my CPU and board. It used to be a nightmare on my X99 system, but on my TRX40 is seamless. And that includes the fact that I'm using a T3 to T2 adapter.

4. Neatvideo behave oddly. I'm running the optimized setting based on their benchmark, but I notice that it doesn't utilized the full strength of each chosen core. At the same time, the GPU doesn't seem to be getting maxed. Neatbench 5 tells me I'm getting 52fps on their standard test, and I don't doubt it, but I question how well optimized their software is and am puzzling over why the power in my chosen cores and GPU isn't getting better tapped.

5. Warp Stabilizer is still torturous. It seems to use one core and almost no GPU. But Mercalli ProDad is in another universe now. It's using about 4 or 5 times the CPU as WS and also seems a lot more efficient, taking about 12 seconds to do what WS needs about 3 minutes to do. So this system is great for me, because I do too much stabilization to consider WS and have been happily using ProDad for a while now. Stabilizing huge clips and entire sequences is an option now--something I can do while getting coffee.

I'll likely experiment with a second GPU now. Since the GPU is my bottleneck for high-speed playbacks now, I'm curious to see how a second GPU, despite the prior wisdom about it not being relevant for Premiere Pro, could help. If I can scrub my footage at two high-speed playback levels beyond normal speed with dual GPUs, that would be great for how I like to work. I also want to see if it helps with the painful wait times of NeatVideo.

I love the objective benchmarks on this site, but I do think they don't account for many aspects of real-world usage. In my case, these include high-speed playback, jumping around big timelines, and using a multicore-optimized stabilizer plugin. Also, I think the advice on Thunderbolt is dated now. Thunderbolt works seamlessly on the Gibabyte Designare with the 3970x--at least with my 5 year-old Areca array. So I figured I'd share my experience.

Posted on 2019-12-12 01:53:16

Thought I posted already, but can't find my comment. My apologies if this is redundant.

Anyway, I just finished building a 3970x system on the Gigabyte TRX40 Designare board, and I feel confident the 3970x is the way to go for a high-end system--at least, for anyone with real-world usage similar to mine.

As you mention, exports are very fast on the 3970x. But that's not the only advantage vs the Intel CPUs. Timeline performance is better for certain real-world activities than your benchmarks show. While your benchmarks are a terrific, objective source of comparison and we should all be thankful for them, they leave some important things out of the picture.

First, I'm clearly using all cores with Neat Video's noise reduction plugin. If anything, I need more than 32 cores, not fewer. I'm confident the Intel chips would slow me down vs the 3970x. This is a HUGE part of the editing process for me and many other people. Neat Video increases by 10 or more times with 4K video.

Second, in my real-world usage, I'm not just positioning the playhead somewhere and pressing play. Rather, I'm jumping around the timeline and often fast-forwarding. When I fast-forward through my multicam H264 timeline, which consists of VLOG footage with LUTs applied to everything, and observe my computer's performance in task-manager, I can see that fast-forwarding demands more resources of both the CPU and GPU. With my overclocked 3970x topping 70% usage in Task Manager, I don't think the Intel CPUs would be able to keep up (though admitttedly I'm not doing a side-by-side test). As a side note, I'm completely maxing out my 1080ti in this activity as well, so my GPU is the bottleneck here. With a faster GPU, my CPU resource utilization would likely be higher. (This also raises questions about your GPU article. I think you need to test the GPUs with a 3970x system in order to see the differences among them on such a system.)

Third, many of the activities one does in Premiere (and other programs) can be continued while Media Encoder is exporting a scene separately. That's common in the editing world. So a person who's exporting something while working on something else will strain their system much more than your benchmarks show. While exporting in Media Encoder and doing other things, my 3970x utilization can hit 95%. So I'm essentially bottlenecked CPU-wise even with the 32 cores.

Finally, in other articles you dismiss Thunderbolt on AMD systems. That information is now dated--at least on Gigabyte's TRX40 Designare board. I am using Thunderbolt continuously on my system and have had not one single issue. The setup and implementation have both been seamless.

In summary, please keep up the important work on your Premiere benchmarks. But I urge caution in considering how they relate to real-world usage. You might also want to test your systems in ways that go beyond the benchmarks to better advise customers--especially when it comes to intensive usage.

Posted on 2019-12-14 21:27:05

Thanks, very helpful!
But i have one question.
In your configurator you suggest Noctua NH-U12S TR4-SP3 for cooling 3960x and 3970x (alongside with Corsair Hydro Series H80i v2 CPU Cooler, ofcourse.)
And i am trying to build a system for AE on 3960x, and don`t like an idea of water near 1000w+ PSU.
So i am interested.
Does Noctua handle good 3960x?
Thanks in advance, answer would be very helpful.

Posted on 2019-12-15 14:33:19

Thanks for nothing...

Posted on 2020-01-03 14:31:36

Sorry we missed your question! Yes, we have tested both the 3960X and 3970X with that Noctua cooler - and at stock speeds (no overclocking) it did a fine job of keeping them cool in the cases we use. I do think that having a chassis with good airflow is probably an important part of that, and making sure that you don't have a ton of other components dumping heat inside the system (like multi-fan video cards which vent their waste heat inside instead of out the back of the computer). Liquid-cooling gives you more headroom for cooling, certainly, but I've always preferred air cooling because it removes any risk for liquid leaks and removes a potential failure point (the pump).

Posted on 2020-01-03 17:10:54
Siraj Kumar

Hi Matt. Thanks for the article.

I'd like to configure a system for editing 6k raw from bmpcc6k. The s/w is use would be davinci resolve, premiere pro, photoshop and lightroom. i am deciding if i should get the 3900x/3950x which is the max i can go, and also the best gpu for 6k video editing as well as 50 mb raw files in photoshop.. for gpu i m thinking about the 2080 super, but not sure if i should get the 2080 ti which would be the best.. as for the mobo, would the $200 msi gameedge or tuf x570 wifi be fine, as your basic recommendation starts with the gigabyte aorus ultra. Thanks

I am also having a hard time getting a 3950x. So would 3900x be just fine, which i could use for the gpu.. Thanks


Posted on 2019-12-18 23:30:58
John Cranman

There has been a lot of talk about the new Mac Pros. Have you guys done any Apples to Apples comparisons between your high end PC workstations and the new Mac Pros?

Posted on 2019-12-28 14:01:31

Not yet, but it is on the list. We don't really want to shell out $30K for a machine that we are just going to use for some benchmarks, so we are working with a good friend of ours to borrow their Mac Pro when they are done with their review/analysis.

Posted on 2020-01-02 18:56:40
Delbeaufilm Produktion

I would be interested, where the i9 7900x would be positioned on the chart. Do you recommend changing this CPU to another newer model from Intel or AMD? It's mostly for Premiere Pro 2020.

Posted on 2020-02-08 10:48:17

If that is the CPU you have, the best thing to do would be to run our benchmark yourself and compare the results. All of the benchmarks we have available for public download are listed at https://www.pugetsystems.co...[]=Benchmark

Posted on 2020-02-08 15:58:42
Delbeaufilm Produktion

Hi Matt!
First of all thanks for your really fast response! I did make a research and a lot of reading on your website before I ran the benchmark.
I have 2 PCs, one with a 9900k and another with a 7900x CPUs. I do not run RTX Cards in the systems, but the 7900x I pair with a GTX1080Ti and the 9900k runs with a GTX1070. Memory is 64GB in the x299 system and 32GB in the other one. I did a clean install of Windows 10 Home, newest Premiere Pro, newest drivers everywhere, exactly how you wrote the test should run. My results are around 20! points lower than the same CPUs in your chart with the 9900k (the 7900x is not on the chart, but I guess it should work at least as good as the 9900k). The 9900k should perform quiet well at live playback, but it doesn't in my case.
What could be the reason of such a difference in the benchmark results?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Posted on 2020-02-09 09:35:44

20 points is only a few percent, which isn't much at all and certainly not enough to worry about. Differences in motherboards can cause more than that, not to mention the changes in BIOS/drivers/Windows updates/etc.

Posted on 2020-02-09 16:00:17
Delbeaufilm Produktion

Thanks a lot!

Posted on 2020-02-10 09:06:17

For Resolve users, the obvious choice appears to be AMD 3950X for most workflows unless you have those edge cases they mentioned. Great article, I almost wasted my money pulling the trigger on a similarly priced i9, and since my workflow does not require any Thunderbolt, AMD 3950 + Nvidia 2080 Ti appears to be the de facto 4K video editing machine for most resolve users.

Posted on 2020-02-14 20:33:42

HOla existe una rendimiento importante entre m2 pci 3 vs pci 4 ? tendria que inveritir en un mother x570 y una momoria se justifica el gasto. utilizo After Efects y premiere

Posted on 2020-03-25 22:29:33

Hey Sergio - going off Google translate, but there should not be a very big difference between PCI-E 3.0 and 4.0 for NVMe storage. After Effects disc cache may benefit a little bit, but it is going to be very hard to tell the difference in the real world.

Posted on 2020-03-25 22:48:24

Thank you, genius, you are attentive. Another query. I'm between 3900x vs 3700x. my great interest is in the use of after effects. but i'm not interested in render speed.
Is there a big difference in performance in the usability of the program?

Posted on 2020-03-26 15:43:28

The 3900X should be able to preview your compositions at about 5-10% higher FPS (which usually translates to a 2-5 FPS difference). That isn't a huge difference, so whether it is worth it depends on your workflow and budget. I would recommend making sure you have plenty of RAM (at least 32GB if not 64GB) before going with the 3900X over the 3700X. For After Effects, RAM quantity should make a bigger difference in everyday performance than going from a 3700X to a 3900X.

Posted on 2020-03-26 16:10:45
Steven Cheak

I'm torn between the 3950x and the 10920x. While the 3950x performs significantly better in almost all of the benchmarks, it doesn't have as many PCIe lanes and the Thunderbolt motherboards for AMD are lacking. I found this, but the company could not confirm if it was certified by Intel (https://www.asrock.com/mb/A... and I don't know if I'm willing to risk it. My question is, realistically, how much performance loss will I get from going with the 10920x? I use Premeire and Resolve for cutting, Resolve for color, and AE for motion graphics. Am I being silly about the PCIe lanes and lack of Thunderbolt certification? Here is the mobo I would go with if I get the 10920x (https://www.gigabyte.com/us...

Posted on 2020-04-08 20:25:03

Thank you for writing this article. This really helped narrow down my search. I still do want to hear what you have to say about my requirements, though.

I'm guessing you work with people who have much larger budgets to work with, but I'm only hovering around 1K. I'd like to design and build a system that can handle 1080p and possibly 4K resolutions in DaVinci Resolve. I have gathered from the article that resolve is much more GPU optimized, but I don't know exactly where the balance should be. I've been hovering somewhere around an i7 8700K or a Ryzen 5 3600X with an RTX 2060. Is this a good price point for the parts, or should a different combination be better for a $1,000 build?

Posted on 2020-06-16 21:41:10

3600X with a RTX 2060 would be what I would go with in your situation.

Posted on 2020-06-17 18:21:54
ReturnoftheBrotha .

I finally found a 10920X and I stuck with Intel due to PCIE lanes, 4-channel RAM, the snappier memory controller and TR costs more to get into for the TR3. I paid $100 above MSRP, but no taxes, so I can't complain too much. I would have gotten the 10900X, but everything is out.

Posted on 2020-06-17 22:46:10