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Premiere Pro & Photo Shop-Graphics Card Performance?

New Here ,
Apr 07, 2022 Apr 07, 2022

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We are in the middle of updating our Digital Media Art Computer Lab and looking at a couple different models: Mac M1 Chip 8 core and the Windows Based Small Form Factor 2.8ghz, 32GB Computer with a Nvidia Quadro P1000.  Can anyone speak to how well these video cards and machines will perform while using Adobe Primiere Pro and Photoshop?  Appreciate your feedback?  We want to achieve our goal but want to be mindful of costs...

 

Thanks,

Matt

 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 07, 2022 Apr 07, 2022

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Moved to hardware forum.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 08, 2022 Apr 08, 2022

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I’m more familiar with Macs, but anyway:

 

The Windows computer’s Nvidia Quadro P1000 is a discrete graphics card with 4GB graphics memory. Without being familiar with it, that’s a lot better than the integrated graphics found in most PCs, and its CUDA cores help with video.


For the Mac, the graphics hardware (the 8-core GPU) is built into the M1 system-on-a-chip processor, and it takes its graphics memory from the main system memory. That means the amount of Unified Memory you order affects how much graphics memory the computer can have. Graphics memory is not limited to a couple of GB like it is with Intel integrated graphics; potentially any unused system memory is up for grabs. This is a great thing on one of the Macs that can have 32GB or more, because if macOS, Premiere Pro, Photoshop need only 20GB total, all the rest can potentially be graphics memory.

 

If you are looking at the M1 Mac mini, the problem there is that the current model has a limit of 16GB unified memory. That means after the system and Photoshop or Premiere Pro take they memory they need, the potential amount of memory left over to be available to graphics could be less than on an Nvidia Quadro P1000. That could affect graphics acceleration.

 

As for which system would be faster overall, it’s hard to say without actually testing them, and the exact model name of both computers was not mentioned. The best thing to do is pick up one of each, run your typical courses on them, and see how well they perform. The Apple M1 includes hardware encoders that can accelerate H.264, 8-bit HEVC, and 10-bit HEVC, so if your courses use those codecs, that might be an advantage. But Nvidia cards have their own well-regarded video encoders in hardware, so again, if you can budget for a test between one machine each, that would be the way to find out which one to order in bulk.

 

If the results are close, it might come down to whether it’s easy to upgrade the Windows PC, because after purchase you cannot internally upgrade the Mac mini. This might allow the PC to last through more budget cycles. But only as long as that small form factor PC is not limited in some way that would cause you to have to buy the whole thing over again if it falls behind.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 09, 2022 Apr 09, 2022

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The Windows system's performance will vary on the components used. Without knowing any specifics that Windows Small Form Factor PC might very well have an outdated quad-core 7th-Gen Intel CPU from early 2017, while the Quadro P1000 is very much a higher-RAM-containing but performance-nerfed GeForce GTX 1050 (lower GPU clock speeds and lesser memory throughput).

 

Worse for the Windows system, the Quadro P1000's GPGPU (GPU-accelerated) performance, as far as Premiere Pro is concerned, is no better than that of the M1's integrated graphics even with a monster CPU behind it! Worse, in a system the age of that planned SFF Windows system, the P1000 will actually perform worse than any current-gen integrated graphics.

 

As such, that planned Windows SFF system might actually be weaker in performance than the M1 Mac Mini.

 

And the iMac does have its own issues, such as not being able to be upgraded internally at all. You will have to rely on external SSD storage for your video and/or project files, especially if your chosen M1 Mac Mini has less than 1 TB of internal storage. The best choice for an external SSD would be a Thunderbolt 3 external SSD; unfortunately, such SSDs cost well over double those of the more common USB 3.2 Gen 2x1 external SSDs (on a per-GB basis).

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New Here ,
Apr 09, 2022 Apr 09, 2022

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Thank you to all of you for your input! We are looking at these iMacs:
24-inch iMac with Retina 4.5K display: Apple M1 chip with
8-core CPU and 8-core GPU. Would you still recommend the external storage
(Thunderbolt 3 external SSD)? And still have the same concerns about the
graphics acceleration?

Thanks again,
Matt

Matthew J. Dill, Ed.D, MBA
Director of Technology and Gifted Education
Mount Vernon City School District
300 Newark Road
Mount Vernon, Ohio, 43050

Our Website: www.mvcsd.us
Twitter Handle; @drmjdill
[image: IT Help Desk Button]

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Community Expert ,
Apr 09, 2022 Apr 09, 2022

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@Matt23941777h8ls wrote:
We are looking at these iMacs:
24-inch iMac with Retina 4.5K display: Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU.

 

That M1 iMac is basically an M1 Mac mini with a screen built in. Which is not a bad thing. Both models are popular for basic video editing, and some pros do use them. If this discussion was about Macs alone, that M1 iMac is a good choice simply because it is known to be a decent video editing computer, and the next step up (Mac Studio) would cost considerably more for a school district. Also, Adobe continues to work on optimizing Premiere Pro and After Effects for the M1, so performance on M1 is improving.

 


@Matt23941777h8ls wrote:
Would you still recommend the external storage (Thunderbolt 3 external SSD)?

 

I am under the impression that a lot of schools require students to bring their own external SSD with their projects on it, and work off of that. One reason is so that they can move their work between home and school, but another big reason is that storing student video projects on classroom computers might require increasing internal storage for every computer in the lab, and for Macs that is expensive. The priority for the storage inside the iMac is to make sure at least 200GB is free to store the Photoshop temporary scratch file, and the Media Cache used by Premiere Pro and After Effects. Those are caches that enhance performance, if there is room for them to expand.

 

For external storage, high-end video editors prefer a fast (over 2000 megabytes/second) NVMe external SSD that connects using Thunderbolt 3/4 (up to 40 gigabits per second). Those are as fast as internal Mac storage, but are very expensive. For students and those on a budget, a good choice is an NVMe SSD with throughput around 1000–2000 MB/second that connects using USB 3 (the later standard, at 10 Gb/second). If that is still too expensive, it’s fine to use a SATA SSD that can transfer at 400-500MB/sec and connects through USB 3 (5 Gb/sec), and those are the most affordable. An example of that is the Samsung T5, which is very popular with video and photo pros. SATA should be fine for students, because the faster options are more for pros doing complex, demanding projects at higher resolutions.

 


@Matt23941777h8ls wrote:
And still have the same concerns about the graphics acceleration?

 

The M1 iMac and Mac mini have adequate graphics acceleration for student work. It might not be as powerful as in the Macs with M1 Pro/Max/Ultra processors and more memory, but again, people do use the M1 iMac to edit video jobs for pay.

 

Again, you can beat the graphics performance of those Macs with a PC that has a powerful enough graphics card, but for context, some of the cards at that level cost as much as an entire computer. So the M1 is a good choice.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 09, 2022 Apr 09, 2022

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As far as Premiere Pro and Photoshop go, these are great machines.  I'd still opt for the 16GB/512GB going with more internal storage if the budget allows for it.

 

Have you ever worked on a 10-Core 2013 Mac Pro with D700 graphics cards which went for about $10,000 from 2013 to 2018?  The M1 Macs (doesn't matter which one) edge those out in just about every benchmark.  For a brand new machine at that price point, that's pretty good.  By today's standards, there are more powerful machines for sure - but at a cost.

 

3D work will be slower on these iMacs than it will be on an M1 Max or M1 Ultra, but we're back to the price point on that.  Unless 3D is going to be a heavy part of the curriculum, consider getting a handful of Mac Studio M1 Max or Ultra for faster rendering for the students who get to be more advanced with 3D - but you're good for learning with the M1.

 

The one thing I'd change about the 24-inch iMac M1 is it would come with an extended keyboard standard.

 

External Thunderbolt 3 SSDs are an easy yes if they fit into your budget.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 09, 2022 Apr 09, 2022

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Premiere Pro and Photoshop each run extremely well on the Apple M1 Mac Mini.  Same for After Effects, Illustrator, Media Encoder, Auditon, Character Animator, and Animate.

 

I would go with the 16GB/512GB option, opting for larger internal storage is the lab budget allows for it.

 

Two M1 specifics notes:

  • Using Cineform in Premiere Pro currently requires running Premiere Pro using Rosetta.  (ProRes is a much better choice for several reasons.)
  • Importing video into Photoshop requires running Premiere Pro using Rosetta.  I have read that this should change sometime in the future.

 

If I could wave a magic wand and equip every computer lab with both macOS and Windows, I would.  While that's extra work from a support standpoint, students should be completely comfortable working on each platform.

 

 

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LEGEND ,
Apr 09, 2022 Apr 09, 2022

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I have just re-checked the SFF Windows PC, and found out that it is powered by a 10th-Gen 10-core Intel i9-10900 non-K CPU. While that CPU in itself is good, that P1000 would bottleneck the CPU somewhat. As a result, its overall performance in the Adobe apps would not be sufficiently more powerful than the 24-inch iMac to justify the massive increase in power consumption.

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