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For those of you who are considering (or are stuck with) a cheap PC platform with a cheap CPU...

May 12, 2020 May 12, 2020

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...a well-matched GPU is still very important to the performance of Premiere Pro.


I tested my reserve i7-7700 PC with integrated graphics alone and with three recent-generation GeForce GPUs. The system is equipped with 16 GB of DDR4-2400 RAM and two SATA SSDs (one for the OS and programs and the other for everything else). QuickSync (for 14.0.4) or NVENC (for the 14.3 beta) was enabled for hardware H.264 encoding.


Here are my overall PugetSystems scores with these configurations (note that I ran the 14.3 beta with the discrete GPUs but 14.0.4 with the integrated graphics):


Integrated Intel HD Graphics 630:

Standard Overall: 137

Standard Export: 10.4

Standard Live Playback: 17

GPU Score: 4


GeForce GTX 1050 Ti:

Standard Overall: 365

Standard Export: 35.2

Standard Live Playback: 37.8

GPU Score: 10.9


GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB:

Standard Overall: 402

Standard Export: NA

Standard Live Playback: NA

GPU Score: NA (I know for a fact that this GPU had averaged 14.3 in this test)


GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER:

Standard Overall: 445

Standard Export: 44.5

Standard Live Platback: 44.4

GPU Score: 37.1


In the course of testing, I discovered that the integrated Intel graphics, when used alone, actually began to bottleneck the Heavy CPU Effects score, both in live playback and in export: Its overall CPU Heavy Effects live playback score was 3.5 points lower than with a decent lower-end discrete GPU while its CPU Heavy Effects export score was a full 3 points lower than with a decent discrete GPU.


I decided not to run the extended preset because of two reasons:

  1. The integrated Intel graphics is unbearably slow. In fact, it took about an hour and a half to export the GPU Heavy Effects Extreme timeline to 4k ProRes 422 whereas the discrete GPUs took no more than 15 minutes to do the same.
  2. The 4 GB GPUs could not run the 8k RED tests properly. The timelines forced MPE software-only rendering due to the low amount of dedicated VRAM. A graphics card with 6 GB or more RAM is required for 8k as to minimize the chance of MPE dropping to the software-only mode.


So there you have it. If you're on a fixed, relatively low budget, it is better to go slightly lesser on the CPU but with a decently matched GPU than to overspend on the CPU but cheap out on the graphics or GPU.


Hope this teaches a lesson how to build a video editing PC on a very tight budget.








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