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Rob_Ainscough

Experience with AMD 3960X and Adobe Pr/Ae?

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I'm looking to upgrade my development PC that uses Visual Studio, SQL Server, P3D, XP11, MSFS, Adobe Pr/Ae/Ps, AutoDesk 3DSMax, Mixcraft 9 Pro Studio, MS Office suite.

My existing 7900X is beginning to show it's age, it's a good CPU, very solid and reliable but when it comes to Adobe Pr and working with proxies and final renders, it's showing it's age.

AMD 3960X

Asus Prime TRX40 PRO

Not worried about game/sim performance but am concerned about Adobe Pr/Ae performance (this are big time consumers for my workflow).  I don't mind working with Adobe Proxies, but the conversion can be time consuming on large recorded files over 20-80GB.

Experiences welcome, even better if it's Adobe Pr experience.

Cheers, Rob.

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Posted (edited)

Speedy RAM and lots of it is critical for fast performance on large Premiere projects, useful if you do a lot in After Effects too of course. 32 Gb minimum, much more if you can get it, 128 Gb is probably the optimum. If you have that, you may not have to depend on proxy files so much (possibly).

RAM is far more important than anything else with Adobe software because the bottleneck for loading, processing for preview playback and rendering with Adobe stuff, is its ability to shift stuff it is calculating out of the way of the processors so that they can work on more stuff. This means that the bus speed too, and how it works with the motherboard is something to be careful with as well when creating a suitable dedicated NLE system. Needless to say, with all that data shunting around, a fast drive (preferably SSD) is useful and since these can be pricey, it's not a bad idea to have one dedicated as a 'current project drive' as that speeds up rendering a lot. When something is rendered and you're done, you can shift stuff to cheaper magnetic drives if you like or store it online in a cloud drive.

 A threadripper CPU will definitely help with Premiere, but things work differently for After Effects than they do for Premiere Pro, so it won't speed up everything. Premiere Pro is able to use multiple CPU cores (it can make good use of up to 8 cores, after that you won't see any benefit with more), but base clock speed of a single core is more important for After Effects. This is true for GPUs too, and After Effects can work much faster with two GPUs so long as there is enough memory available to shift things around.

Make sure your preferences for the application are up to date too. This is because most Adobe programs set preferences at the point of installation by analysing your system and assigning a suitable guess at the preferences based on what it finds from a hardware point of view, but it does always err on the side of caution to avoid system crashes and give you quite a lot of spare headroom which you may not actually need, so it is worth checking this. Moreover, if you subsequently update your system with better specs, the software doesn't always update the hardware priorities in the preferences to best serve the upgrade you made (GPU drivers and BIOS can affect this too). Also be aware that for most Adobe applications, the preferences work in two ways: If you set the preferences with no project open, that becomes the default application preference which is applied to any new project, but if you set the preferences with a project open, that only becomes the project preference, so any new project you create will revert to the application preference. This is why people sometimes find projects struggling to render.

So if you are planning a computer upgrade, or more than one upgrade type, the thing to pay attention to is which you use more, Premiere or After Effects, because whilst some upgrade priorities will suit both, some will suit one application more than the other. Many people use the older method of creating After Effects sequences and then rendering those, then using these rendered files in their Premiere projects, although for quite a while Premiere and After Effects have been capable of linking up to use a combined workflow, so if you use that method instead it might change things a bit in terms of what is the best way to upgrade things.

So, here goes for the important bit...

If you use Premiere far more than After Effects, the priority for upgrading your system should be: More RAM, then a faster GPU, then a faster drive (preferably SSD), then a faster CPU.

If on the other hand you do more in After Effects than Premiere, then the priority for upgrading should be: More RAM, then a faster drive (preferably SSD), then a faster GPU (preferably more than one), then a faster CPU.

So, contrary to what most people think, the CPU is in fact the last thing you should look at when upgrading for creating a fast NLE workstation. It matters of course, but other things matter more. It's RAM which is the biggie, with an SSD and a decent GPU being equal in second place for their priority, depending on whether AE or PP is your main application as to which one you'd favour.

Since Photoshop is basically the still image version of After Effects, you can pretty much apply what I've said here about After Effects to Photoshop in terms of what is the best hardware upgrade for it.

All of this is true whether you are talking about a Mac or a PC although if you have the choice and are on a Mac, Final Cut Pro X does render much more quickly than Premier Pro, although personally because I prefer PCs (more bang for your buck and easier to upgrade), I use Premiere Pro and After Effects.

If you are wondering how I know all this stuff incidentally, and whether I actually do know what I'm talking about, I was a beta tester for Adobe in the past, I've trained their stuff for years, both freelance and as the lead trainer for the largest media pro app training company in Europe, and I am an Adobe ACA, ACE and ACI on most Adobe software packages. I've also worked for Adobe doing demos at places such as the BBC and I've trained at pretty much every graphics, design and video/TV production company there is in the UK, as well as many worldwide organisations including Viacom, Al Jazeera, the BBC, ITV, plus a load of film production companies, as well as some well known movie directors, so I do know what I'm on about with all this malarkey.

Edited by Chock

Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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1 hour ago, Chock said:

Speedy RAM and lots of it is critical for fast performance on large Premiere projects

That's what I used to think also, so I add 128GB RAM several months ago, made absolutely no difference in editing performance.  The ONLY thing that has helped so far in editing performance is downgrading to Proxies 720p or smaller.  Out of the 128GB of RAM the most I've seen Adobe Pr use is 16GB (and I do have it set to use more RAM).

Drives are high speed M.2's

GPU is so so, an older Titan X (Pascal) but I do have Pr set to use it, only time that seems to make any difference is in real-time transitions and FX.

After CC 2017, Pr editing performance tanked with my MP4 files using nVidia's compression.

I certainly appreciate your input and all your suggestions are valid, they just didn't make any difference to my editing performance.  It seems Pr is VERY dependent on what type of compression was used and I have no idea why it will not use more than about 16GB RAM (my projects and source file sizes are large)?

So this is why I'm back to "hardware", and specifically CPU as it seems the solution to creating proxies will complete faster with more cores ... so my hope is going from 10c/20t to 24c/48t at about the same CPU frequency will results in 50% reduction is proxy conversion time and final render time.  But as far as editing sequences, it seems proxies are the only solution.  Adobe does make it relatively easy to work with them, and turn them On/Off quickly while editing ... it's just a time consumer to produce proxies.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Cheers, Rob.

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Well, if you have already addressed the issues I suggested, then yes, the other hardware is a thing to look at.

Some of this will depend on what format your files are in and what format you are exporting them to as well. Have you tried converting your MP4 files to MPEG 2? You can do this without loss and it does undeniably speed up rendering from Premiere Pro when you do that because Premiere Pro is a lot happier with that format.


Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Yeah, I've tried a few different formats ... MOV container seems to work best ... but that's another "conversion" step, so if I'm gonna convert may as well stick with Proxies.  I even tried setting up a RAM Driver for caching Pr files, didn't make a difference.

Do you know if there is some "specific" GPU that Pr likes that can accelerate the editing process?

Cheers, Rob.

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Some useful info here. Of course with new hardware coming out all the time, things like this are pretty much dated the moment you type them, but the gist of it should help with a decision:

https://www.pugetsystems.com/recommended/Recommended-Systems-for-Adobe-Premiere-Pro-143/Hardware-Recommendations

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Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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8 hours ago, Chock said:

Some useful info here.

Very useful, thank you!  AMD 3960X with nVidia GPU it is (3970X isn't worth the extra $$$ for the performance difference and 32/64 seems to run into bus saturation limits).

Cheers, Rob.

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