For information on After Effects and Multi-Frame Rendering, see Configuring your system below.
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Premiere Pro and After Effects run equally well on both Windows and Apple computers. Since there are many variables in video and motion graphics workflows, there will always be differences between different setups but all of these can be managed successfully with a good system and a basic understanding of video formats and the editing workflow.
Premiere Pro has native support for Apple M1 systems (including M1 Pro, and M1 Max). After Effects for Apple M1 is currently in public Beta.
Advantages of macOS
Well-integrated hardware and software with existing configurations to choose from. Generally for the video you need a system with at least 16 GB of memory, SSD storage, an Apple M1 (or higher) processor, or a fast Intel processor with an AMD graphics card.
After Effects with native support for Apple M1 is currently in public Beta.
Advantages of Windows
Choice, upgradeability, and often cost savings. You can configure the system to your needs and budget or choose configurations that have been tested with Premiere Pro from Dell, Lenovo, HP, and video workstation specialist companies like Puget Systems.
Windows can be easier to upgrade, which can mean a longer lifespan for the system.
Video editing is demanding and requires powerful processing and fast storage. You can configurations that these requirements in both desktop and mobile systems. Desktops usually offer more “bang for the buck,” include more configuration options, and are often easier to upgrade.
Laptops have the obvious advantage of portability and can be connected to external displays and augmented with external storage and even external eGPUs. Laptops may be more expensive, relative to the power they offer.
Current Mac Pros, iMac Pros, and M1 iMacs, and Mac Minis with at least 16GB of memory and SSD storage will support video editing workflows.
Current MacBook Pro laptops with at least 16GB of memory and SSD storage will support standard video editing, including HD and 4K media.
Build or choose configurations with a fast multicore CPU, AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards, fast SSD storage, and 32GB or more of memory.
Depending on the model, Windows laptops offer a lot of options for configuring a video editing workstation that meets your needs.
You can also choose from desktop configurations that have been tested with Premiere Pro from Dell, Lenovo, HP, and video workstation specialist companies like Puget Systems.
Video files are big so you will need lots of space. In addition to fast onboard storage, we recommend using at least one fast external storage device as part of your editing workflow (SSD or NVMe with a Thunderbolt or USB 3.1 connection). We recommend an additional large-capacity storage device for archiving completed video projects.
The two most common resolutions for video content today are HD and 4K. Measured in screen pixels (width x height) HD is typically 1920 x 1080and 4K footage is four times larger at 3840 x 2160.
|HD files are smaller, which means they take up less hard drive space, are easier to edit, and are faster to export. Most content on YouTube is still in HD resolution.
||4K files take up more storage space and require more computing power for playback and export. The advantage of 4K is that you have more detail in your images and more room to crop without losing quality.
Bit-depth refers to the amount of color information contained in a file.
|8-bit video files||10-bit video files|
|8-bit files are more widely used and are less demanding for video editing.
||10-bit files require more computing power for playback. You may not notice the difference with the naked eye, but for more advanced color grading, 10-bit files give you much more color detail to work with.|
The four key variables in building a video workstation are the processor (CPU), memory, graphics (GPU), and storage. A well-equipped high-end system can run Premiere Pro and After Effects well. Understanding how each application uses system resources will help you to build the best system for your needs.
Both After Effects and Premiere Pro benefit from CPU clock speeds of 3.2 GHz or higher.
With the transition to Multi-Frame Rendering, After Effects can take advantage of multi-core CPUs. Starting with After Effects 22.0, users should see immediate performance improvements for previews and exports. On high-end systems, After Effects with Multi-Frame Rendering is up to 4x faster. We strongly recommend Core i7 or Core i9 Intel processors or AMD equivalents.
Premiere Pro: For Premiere Pro, eight cores are sufficient. Depending on the task, Premiere Pro runs at 93-98% efficiency with eight cores.
After Effects: For After Effects 22.0 and later, an 8 or 12-core CPU is a good starting point. For demanding workflows, 32-cores take full advantage of Multi-Frame Rendering.
The amount of memory also impacts how After Effects is able to use the available CPU cores.
Native support for Apple silicon (M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max) is currently in After Effects (Beta).
Premiere Pro: Windows systems or Intel-based Mac video editing workstations should have 32GB of memory or more. For Apple M1 systems, we recommend 16GB of shared memory (currently the maximum available).
After Effects 22.0 or higher: We recommend starting with 64GB of RAM. As a rule of thumb for Multi-Frame Rendering, include 4GB of RAM for each CPU core, add 20GB, and round up to the nearest standard RAM configuration.
Both Premiere Pro and After Effects are engineered to take advantage of the GPU.
Premiere Pro: We recommend a GPU with at least 4GB of memory (VRAM). Multiple GPUs, including eGPUs, will speed up export and rendering in Premiere Pro.
After Effects 22.0 or later: We recommend a GPU with at least 8GB of VRAM.
Apple M1 systems use shared memory for graphics processing. For video editing, we recommend M1 systems that have at least 16GB of Unified Memory.
Out-of-date graphics drivers are one of the most common causes of performance issues with video applications. For optimal performance, make sure you have the latest drivers for your GPU, including integrated Intel GPUs. For more information, see GPU and GPU Driver Requirements for Premiere Pro.
Fast storage is mission-critical for video production, and that means using fast SSD or NVMe storage. Unless you have a fast RAID array, spinning disks do not offer sufficient speed for HD and UHD video.
You can use fast external drives for media and Media Cache. If only two drives are available, you can store Media Cache and Media on the same drive.
Shared storage: With a fast connection of 10Gps or higher, Premiere Pro and After Effects work well with Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems, including mixed environments with macOS and Windows. With shared storage, the Media Cache should always be stored locally for individual users.
Adding memory is the easiest and usually most impactful place to start if you want to upgrade your system to improve performance for both Premiere Pro and After Effects.
Upgrade Premiere Pro system in this order of priority:
Upgrade your system for After Effects 22.0 or later in this order of priority:
Export times are impacted both by your graphics hardware and your workflow. A second GPU (same class GPU as the primary GPU) can provide substantial speed increases for export. Creating previews during your edit can also accelerate export times.
Assuming you have a good system, performance for multicam workflows is more dependent on your project setup than your hardware. Expert users create their own project templates to standardize their setup.
A calibrated reference monitor connected through external transmit hardware is highly recommended for accurate display of interlaced and color critical content. Proper monitoring of HDR content requires an HDR-capable external display.
This is a matter of personal preference. Because the timeline is a central element in the Premiere Pro UI, an ultra wide 37” display combined with a second reference monitor is an excellent option.
Simultaneous monitoring of multi-channel audio requires a multi-channel sound card. On Windows the sound card should be ASIO-capable.
Your workflow, and how you decide to work with file formats, can have a significant impact on overall performance. Our best practices guide for working with native formats has suggestions for designing your workflow to ensure optimal performance with your hardware.