Extremely underwhelming Performance on Mac Pro 2019

Contributor ,
Jan 02, 2020

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Hey guys,

 

so I got my new 16 Core, Vega II Mac Pro and was super excited for the huge performance gains that I was expecting to see for my daily work with Premiere... until I did some tests to see the actual speed and to compare it with Apple Compressor.

To call the results underwhelming is even some sort of understatement.

 

I took four different kinds of footage and just wanted to see how quickly media encoder could transcode them to ProRes 422 HQ.

 

ProRes 422 4k Clip: Media Encoder: 14:03 min /// Compressor: 01:15 min

ProRes 422 2k Clip: Media Encoder: 00:08 min /// Compressor: 00:25 min

Sony 4k MXF Clip: Media Encoder: 05:06 min /// Compressor: 00:57 min

GoPro 4k Clip: Media Encoder: 08:58 min /// Compressor: 01:32 min

 

Seriously how is this even possible? I was monitoring the CPU usage and Media encoder used maybe 30% of the power available, while Compressor maxed it out completely, as it should be!

 

Maybe it's because the Adobe suite isn't optimized yet, but given my past experience, I have very little hope for that to change, EVER. 

Besides these actual speed comparisons, don't even get me started about the laggy UI within Premiere's timeline in comparison the FCP X. 

I was hoping this problem would go away with the 32gb VRAM, but no, it just got a littttttle bit better, but is still pretty darn annoying.

I'm using a Dell 5k Display.

 

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2 Correct Answers

Adobe Community Professional , Feb 06, 2020
MyerPj Adobe Community Professional , Feb 06, 2020
I suggest going over to UserVoice and upvoting some of the performance based messages. The Adobe engineers keep a record of those postings. Here's one with the most votes already, you can also use the search button bottom right to find other useful topics to upvote: https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911233-premiere-pro/suggestions/33849256-making-better-use-of-the-hardware-gpu-for-playbac   If you find a good thread, or of last choice you create a new one (consider just replying to an exi...

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Participant , Jan 02, 2020
WithersDigital Participant , Jan 02, 2020
Are you using Premiere Pro 2020? If so, can you test encoding times in 2019? Are you using any encoding settings like "Max bit depth" in Premiere? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 02, 2020

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Curious: did you get the Afterburner card as well? I know it's supposed to improve read speed on ProRes files, though I'm not sure if it helps with encoding. Though I don't think it's supported in Premiere yet either...

 

JVK

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chfilm AUTHOR
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Jan 02, 2020

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No, I didnt get the Afterburner YET, because I don't understand if it can also help with encoding, as you said yourself, it's a bit mysterious as of now.

I have an appointment at the local Apple Store tomorrow though where they will let me test out the Afterburner card. Their machine is identical to mine, but with the afterburner and the Vega II DUO instead of my single.

 

Here are my results so far. Absolutely depressing about Adobe's performance. I don't know how it's possible. So far I always thought that media encoder was actually doing an OK job, but I haven't played with compressor in ages. 

 

Bildschirmfoto 2020-01-02 um 18.56.01.png

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Participant ,
Jan 02, 2020

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Are you using Premiere Pro 2020? If so, can you test encoding times in 2019? Are you using any encoding settings like "Max bit depth" in Premiere? 

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chfilm AUTHOR
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Jan 02, 2020

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Hey,

thanks for the feedback - you were right, the "render with max depth" checkbox was enabled - when i turned it off, results got much better. Still more than twice as slow than compressor, but better.

Stupid mistake on my end, sorry for that.

Still, very poor results. CC19 didn't do any different.

Bildschirmfoto 2020-01-02 um 20.05.46.png 

 

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Participant ,
Jan 02, 2020

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No worries, the same thing happend to me which is why I brought it up. R-MD checkbox is not intuitive. I've never had an issue leaving it off. Those results are consistent with my own testing on DaVinci and Compressor and my 2018 MBP. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 17, 2020

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How is playback and general editing with 4k+? I am still cutting on a base model of the 2013 Mac Pro (trashcan). I was hoping to pick up a new Mac Pro with Vega II in a month or two... but based on this review, I'm not sure if it's worth the cash. I would think that I'd see an improvement, though, given what I'm upgrading from... right?

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chfilm AUTHOR
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Jan 18, 2020

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Well in general it's better of course. It all depends on if you're having HD or 1440p monitors or something higher res. My biggest annoyance with premiere on this new machine is the fact how unbelievably laggy the UI behaves on my 5K display. Timeline scrubbing and scrolling is just... LAGGY. Absolutely not what you'd expect from a machine like this.

but then you realize that it's not the computer when you open final cut or resolve, it's premiere's old engine, that has trouble rendering just a simple UI on a hidpi display.

 

video playback is also not nearly as optimized as in the aforementioned tools. It's ok, I can playback some Avchd 4k Multicam without Proxies and grading applied fine, but when you scroll through you can tell the difference between prores footage and h264 or red even. While Resolve and FCP make MUCH better use of the given rescources.

 

Id say get the new machine, if you're on a 1440 display it's gonna run well. In any case when you get it, compare the performance to those other softwares and maybe you'll end up like me and a lot of other editors- I find myself every day now watching Resolve tutorials. 

i want to GET OFF this Adobe Platform!

I'm so mad about this poor performance in a tool that I have to rely on to earn money and the total lack of support with these performance issues.. it's been slow and sluggish since years but I always blamed my trashcan. How wrong I was...

 

and it's not just Premiere, Lightroom is even worse, not to start about after effects!

 

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Advisor ,
Jan 19, 2020

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I have another post on this forum along similar lines about my new Mac Pro.  My experience is like yours - better playback of highly compressed codecs, like with GoPro and DJI footage.  Overall disappointing though, and the suspect I've deduced is that AMD and Metal are far behind where CUDA was on my 2012 Mac Pro, as so much computation has been moved to the GPU.  Apple is selling these AMDs as the hottest cards ever.  If true, that throws some shade on OSX, Adobe. and plug-in developers for poor utilization.  Ae, which uses the CPUs more than Pr is noticiably much faster.

 

BTW, on certain effects, like Colorista IV (sold as GPU accellerated), I get better GUI and playback performance when the renderer is OpenCL.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 06, 2020

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Same issues. Very underwheling performance from a 15K machine I just bought. Technical support offers no relevent support. Is this just that adobe is still writing code to properly use the new hardware? Im in catalina and running in adobe 2019/

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2020

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I have absolutely no issues with my MP 2019 in Davinci Resolve and FCPX. I get the performance boost you would expect with this machine. Everything has been really smooth since getting this machine, but Premiere has been a nightmare. God awful perforamce (even worse than my trash can) with just low-resolution proxy clips, when Resolve and FCP handle 5K RED Raw no problem.

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chfilm AUTHOR
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Mar 29, 2020

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Do you have an XDR display? Since I got mine, performance in premiere dropped even more, really to a MUCH WORSE THEN TRASHCAN level. It just can't handle the high resolution how it seems. It's absolutely unusable and I'm refusing to continue working in it until this gets fixed. Corona is a great opportunity to learn Resolve and to cancel your subscription.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 14, 2020

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No XDR display for me, but I already have sub-trashcan level performance so I can only imagine. I'm thinking of jumping ship, too, because of this, other issues I've found with Premiere only on the new Mac Pro, and my own longstanding grievances with Premiere. Look into FCPX, I'm a big fan, and it performs flawlessly on the new Mac Pro.

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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 06, 2020

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chfilm,

I'm guessing that Compressor might be doing some transcoding on ingest to smart rendering codecs as a background process. You can engage that for Premiere Pro, as well. Do that in the Media Browser. If you do, then you'll see blazing fast export times. 

 

Thanks,
Kevin

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chfilm AUTHOR
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Feb 06, 2020

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Thx for chiming in Kevin, but this is not about proxy generation, compressor, or also Davinci Resolve or Final Cut itselve just BLAZE through all sorts of footage, from Red (with the new Metal Support), over Prores, over H264 containers so much faster than Premiere right now, it's really putting Adobe to shame. 

Premiere feels like a useless piece of junk that was nice to use 2 years ago, but not on this machine. The same project stutters and creeps along in Premiere the exact same way as it did on my old 2013 mac pro, but when I send it over through XML to Resolve, it just plays like butter, and also exports in a fraction of the time to h264.

 

Both GPU and CPU usage in Premiere are laughably low. I understand a thing or two about the ancient architecture that you guys are running this monster on, and get that for compatibilities sake, you dont want to update it, but it is absolutely neccessary to give the entire engine a MAJOR refresh. Hell we're not even talking render times or smooth playback or scrubbing, the entire UI is laggy on a 5k Display. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 06, 2020

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I suggest going over to UserVoice and upvoting some of the performance based messages. The Adobe engineers keep a record of those postings. Here's one with the most votes already, you can also use the search button bottom right to find other useful topics to upvote:

https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911233-premiere-pro/suggestions/33849256-making-better-use-...

 

If you find a good thread, or of last choice you create a new one (consider just replying to an existing one with votes). Do post a link in threads like this one so we can go upvote.

 

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Explorer ,
Apr 14, 2020

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What I don't understand: Apple said back in 2018 that they were working with adobe on the new Mac Pro. 

We just got the unofficial 2020

NAB release today and there doesn't seem to be any major performance enhancements with metal (according to reports from others, I can't confirm this), and issues like red footage are still unaddressed. This is 2 years after that statement, and 4 months after Mac Pro released. 

And also radio silence on after burner card. 

Do they WANT us to switch to Resolve ? Black magic is hungry and I'm not seeing the same hunger from Adobe, like they had in 2011. 

 

 

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chfilm AUTHOR
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Apr 15, 2020

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Really?

REALLY? Still no improvements?
I honestly start believing we will never see any improvements made with the current version of Premiere, it’s practically dying right now in front of our eyes. They just CANT improve it because the code at its core is so rotten and old. They would have to do a complete rewrite which might end in a FCPX fiasco for them, or at least that’s probably what they’re afraid of.
The most annoying thing is that you can’t even say „heck, I’ll just switch to Resolve and quit my CC subscription because they don’t offer a version where you get After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator but NO Premiere and NO Lightroom etc… :((

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Explorer ,
Apr 15, 2020

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You are funny. You did make me laugh. Yes it is an old dying code. You are correct. But. What I don't understand is as we continue to use premiere, why isn't Adobe creating a whole new editing application that takes advantage of all modern technology. They could be working on that behind the scenes as we speak.

Resolve 16 Performs Way Way way better than premiere, but the problem is, it's not ready for prime time yet. Rendering in resolve is abysmal. And doing the simplest thing can be very convoluted. At this point I'm still on premier 14.0… And I have no problems with it. But I don't do anything fancy in it. Anything fancy goes in the after affects and then back into Premiere.

yes, final cut X is blazingly fast, but it's absolute crap. I can't imagine a real editor working in that program without pulling their hair out. It's just a mess.

my advice for most people right now is try playing around in resolve 16… Black magic is hungry and they are working very hard to make it a great system. Within a year it will blow premiere out of the water. That's my guess.

 

 

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chfilm AUTHOR
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Apr 15, 2020

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Hey,

I see it like you. Resolve still has sime quirks to iron out, but so did Premiere back in 2009 or so. I think they’ll get there fast at the pace how they are iterating.
The biggest issue will be to convince clients in smaller post houses to allow for us freelancers to work with Resolve, because the whole Adobe CC suite is something like MS Office, the lowest common denominator that every one of their not very well trained, uneducated regular employees and other freelancers of all sorts can use when they hand the projects over to somebody else. That and laziness are the biggest reasons why these shops will stick to Adobe for still a long time until the pain becomes really unbearable for them.

I’m myself avoiding Premiere entirely if it’s not absolutely necessary anymore at this point.

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Advocate ,
Apr 15, 2020

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Hm.  I seem to have found chfilm here as well as on the MacRumors site.  Remember what I've promised: switch to Resolve.  We have cookies.

 

The likely answer to "Why isn't Adobe..." is that: it's a monumental effort to completely rewrite their NLE, or create a new one from scratch.  It's what's needed, of course.  The code base that Premiere is built from is cruft.  Pure and simple.  There's no breathing a surge of performance back into this old app; it needs to be forwarded to /dev/null and we start new.  The problem with that is: during said design, development, QA, etc, how will Adobe keep folks subscribed to the Creative Cloud?  Right now, they do so by pushing out new features (aka: feature bloat) for the app.  That takes development time and effort, but it also keeps the money coming in.  Throwing dev cycles at an entirely new NLE means the feature creep of Premiere stops.  And it risks folks looking elsewhere.

 

I don't envy their position here.  I think they've painted themselves into a financial corner with the Creative Cloud thing, and it's not paying off for the end users.

 

I've written long treatises about the performance of Adobe's software on a Mac.  The basic summary is: it's not good, and hasn't been good since the late 2000s or so.  Perhaps even before then.  Mac users have a few choices, and neither one is an easy decision to make:

  1. If you're stuck with Premiere and the rest of the Adobe suite, consider switching to Windows.  Ugh.  Windows sucks beyond sucking, but Premiere sucks less on Windows than it does on MacOS.  Changing your work environment is less trouble than changing your application, but I'm not in any way trying to minimize how difficult it is to change your environment.  Just that it's harder to switch NLEs, for instance.
  2. Do the dirty, and switch NLEs.  FCPX performs infinitely better on a Mac than Premiere does in either Mac or PC.  By a long shot.  But, FCPX's UI is... shall we say: challenging.  Resolve, on the other hand, is an easier NLE migration to make because it's far more traditional in its layout.  And its performance on Macs and Windows (and Linux) is astounding.  Vastly better than anything Adobe is pushing out these days.  Really: Resolve is the right way to go.
  3. Keep spending more and more money on expensive Macs, over and over again, and continue to get awful performance.

 

I have to imagine that the "easy" path to take is the third one.  It requires no effort.  But at some point, even big movie houses who insist on the MacOS environment are going to have to take stock of the amount of time their editors are wasting waiting for Premiere to do a thing.  And time being money as it is, I'd assume they'll come to the same sort of conclusion and re-think options 1 or 2.

 

Ultimately, I don't think we should expect Premier to suddenly "get better" on a Mac.  That will require a ground-up rewrite, and Adobe hasn't the cycles to do that (it seems).  To that end, migration is my answer.  Resolve is just that much better, in every way possible.

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Explorer ,
Apr 15, 2020

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Switch to windows? I would rather slit my wrists. I wouldn't own windows or a PC if you gave me money for doing it. I've been a Mac person forever and I will stay that way. Premiere  pro is not the only program I use.

and to be honest, right now I am having absolutely no problems with Premier Pro 14.0 ...its when I upgraded from there… Everything started to fall apart.

eventually I will be switching to Resolve. But I will never give up after effects, Photoshop, or illustrator. So Adobe has me by the balls.

Paying for the Adobe suite is no problem for me, I make tons of money editing. 

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Participant ,
Jun 09, 2020

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What satisfaction to read these lines, even if it is bitter. I´m not alone .... groan.

 

Sold my urn and bought a new Mac Pro. The performance in Premiere is catastrophic - I don't notice any improvement. 4K material from my Sony F55 (XAVC/50P) runs just as smoothly, but even a slight color correction causes jerking. Titles don't work either. So what, I don't want to get upset about this program anymore, nothing is happening. Instead of concentrating on performance, Adobe has packed every gadget into the program, the inflated bodybuilder can hardly walk and is slow as a toad. Without me!

 

FCP7 was a great tool, FCPX is crap, I can't work with it, no matter how fast it is.

 

Resolve then.

Ciao Adobe.

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New Here ,
Nov 16, 2020

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Using a Macpro 2019, 16 Core, 96Gb Ram, 6TB SSD, Vega 7 and I am just annoyed by the fact Premiere is not using more than 30 - 40 % of the potential performance.

neither gpu nor cpu are really used.

Coming from a MacPro 2013 it does not feel like an upgrade. Tried the same project files in Davinci and I was amazed how smooth everything was. So the bottleneck must be th rotten codec of premiere. 
I don't want to start talking about working with mp4/h264 - it's a joke...

After 10 years using Premiere as my main tool I am thinking about switching in 2021. 

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