Hardware recommendations for Premiere Pro and After Effects

  1. Adobe Premiere Pro User Guide
  2. Beta releases
    1. Beta Program Overview
    2. Premiere Pro Beta Home
    3. Features in Beta
      1. New import & export in Premiere Pro (Beta)
      2. FAQ | New import and export in Premiere Pro (Beta)
  3. Getting started
    1. Get started with Adobe Premiere Pro
    2. What's new in Premiere Pro
    3. Release Notes | Premiere Pro
    4. Keyboard shortcuts in Premiere Pro
    5. Accessibility in Premiere Pro
  4. Hardware and operating system requirements
    1. Hardware recommendations
    2. System requirements
    3. GPU and GPU Driver requirements
    4. GPU Accelerated Rendering & Hardware Encoding/Decoding
  5. Creating projects
    1. Creating projects
    2. Open projects
    3. Move and delete projects
    4. Work with multiple open projects
    5. Work with Project Shortcuts
    6. Backward compatibility of Premiere Pro projects
    7. Open and edit Premiere Rush projects in Premiere Pro
    8. Best Practices: Create your own project templates
  6. Workspaces and workflows
    1. Workspaces
    2. Working with Panels
    3. Windows touch and gesture controls
    4. Use Premiere Pro in a dual-monitor setup
  7. Capturing and importing
    1. Capturing
      1. Capturing and digitizing footage
      2. Capturing HD, DV, or HDV video
      3. Batch capturing and recapturing
      4. Setting up your system for HD, DV, or HDV capture
    2. Importing
      1. Transferring and importing files
      2. Importing still images
      3. Importing digital audio
    3. Importing from Avid or Final Cut
      1. Importing AAF project files from Avid Media Composer
      2. Importing XML project files from Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro X
    4. Supported file formats
    5. Digitizing analog video
    6. Working with timecode
  8. Editing
    1. Sequences
      1. Create and change sequences
      2. Add clips to sequences
      3. Rearrange clips in a sequence
      4. Find, select, and group clips in a sequence
      5. Edit from sequences loaded into the Source Monitor
      6. Simplify sequences
      7. Rendering and previewing sequences
      8. Working with markers
      9. Scene edit detection
    2. Video
      1. Create and play clips
      2. Trimming clips
      3. Synchronizing audio and video with Merge Clips
      4. Render and replace media
      5. Undo, history, and events
      6. Freeze and hold frames
      7. Working with aspect ratios
    3. Audio
      1. Overview of audio in Premiere Pro
      2. Audio Track Mixer
      3. Adjusting volume levels
      4. Editing, repairing and improving audio using Essential Sound panel
      5. Monitor clip volume and pan using Audio Clip Mixer
      6. Audio balancing and panning
      7. Advanced Audio - Submixes, downmixing, and routing
      8. Audio effects and transitions
      9. Working with audio transitions
      10. Apply effects to audio
      11. Measure audio using the Loudness Radar effect
      12. Recording audio mixes
      13. Editing audio in the timeline
      14. Audio channel mapping in Premiere Pro
      15. Use Adobe Stock audio in Premiere Pro
    4. Advanced editing
      1. Multi-camera editing workflow
      2. Editing workflows for feature films
      3. Set up and use Head Mounted Display for immersive video in Premiere Pro
      4. Editing VR
    5. Best Practices
      1. Best Practices: Mix audio faster
      2. Best Practices: Editing efficiently
  9. Video Effects and Transitions
    1. Overview of video effects and transitions
    2. Effects
      1. Types of effects in Premiere Pro
      2. Apply and remove effects
      3. Effect presets
      4. Automatically reframe video for different social media channels
      5. Color correction effects
      6. Change duration and speed of clips
      7. Adjustment Layers
      8. Stabilize footage
    3. Transitions
      1. Applying transitions in Premiere Pro
      2. Modifying and customizing transitions
      3. Morph Cut
  10. Graphics, Titles, and Animation
    1. Graphics and titles
      1. Create titles and motion graphics
      2. Applying text gradients in Premiere Pro
      3. Using Motion Graphics templates for titles
      4. Replace images or videos in Motion Graphics templates
      5. Use data-driven Motion Graphics templates
      6. Best Practices: Faster graphics workflows
      7. Add Responsive Design features to your graphics
      8. Working with captions
      9. Speech to Text
      10. Speech to Text in Premiere Pro | FAQ
      11. Upgrade Legacy titles to Source Graphics
    2. Animation and Keyframing
      1. Adding, navigating, and setting keyframes
      2. Animating effects
      3. Use Motion effect to edit and animate clips
      4. Optimize keyframe automation
      5. Moving and copying keyframes
      6. Viewing and adjusting effects and keyframes
  11. Compositing
    1. Compositing, alpha channels, and adjusting clip opacity
    2. Masking and tracking
    3. Blending modes
  12. Color Correction and Grading
    1. Overview: Color workflows in Premiere Pro
    2. Get creative with color using Lumetri looks
    3. Adjust color using RBG and Hue Saturation Curves
    4. Correct and match colors between shots
    5. Using HSL Secondary controls in the Lumetri Color panel
    6. Create vignettes
    7. Looks and LUTs
    8. Lumetri scopes
    9. Display Color Management
    10. HDR for broadcasters
    11. Enable DirectX HDR support
  13. Exporting media
    1. Workflow and overview for exporting
    2. Quick export
    3. Exporting for the Web and mobile devices
    4. Export a still image
    5. Exporting projects for other applications
    6. Exporting OMF files for Pro Tools
    7. Export to Panasonic P2 format
    8. Exporting to DVD or Blu-ray Disc
    9. Best Practices: Export faster
  14. Working with other Adobe applications
    1. After Effects and Photoshop
    2. Dynamic Link
    3. Audition
    4. Prelude
  15. Organizing and Managing Assets
    1. Working in the Project panel
    2. Organize assets in the Project panel
    3. Playing assets
    4. Search assets
    5. Creative Cloud Libraries
    6. Sync Settings in Premiere Pro
    7. Using Productions
    8. How clips work across projects in a Production
    9. Consolidate, transcode, and archive projects
    10. Managing metadata
    11. Best Practices
      1. Best Practices: Working with Productions
      2. Best Practices: Learning from broadcast production
      3. Best Practices: Working with native formats
  16. Improving Performance and Troubleshooting
    1. Set preferences
    2. Reset preferences
    3. Working with Proxies
      1. Proxy overview
      2. Ingest and Proxy Workflow
    4. Check if your system is compatible with Premiere Pro
    5. Premiere Pro for Apple silicon
    6. Eliminate flicker
    7. Interlacing and field order
    8. Smart rendering
    9. Control surface support
    10. Best Practices: Working with native formats
    11. Knowledge Base
      1. Green and pink video in Premiere Pro or Premiere Rush
      2. How do I manage the Media Cache in Premiere Pro?
      3. Fix errors when rendering or exporting
      4. Troubleshoot issues related to playback and performance in Premiere Pro
  17. Monitoring Assets and Offline Media
    1. Monitoring assets
      1. Using the Source Monitor and Program Monitor
      2. Using the Reference Monitor
    2. Offline media
      1. Working with offline clips
      2. Creating clips for offline editing
      3. Relinking offline media

 

This page is a companion document to the system requirements for Premiere Pro and After Effects. It provides additional information on system components and considerations for optimal performance.

For information on After Effects and Multi-Frame Rendering, see Configuring your system below.

 Want a summary of the key information? Click here to download PDF.

Choosing your platform

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. 

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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.

Laptop or desktop?

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.

Apple desktops

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.

Apple laptops

Current MacBook Pro laptops with at least 16GB of memory and SSD storage will support standard video editing, including HD and 4K media.

Windows desktops

Build or choose configurations with a fast multicore CPU, AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards, fast SSD storage, and 32GB or more of memory.

Windows laptops

Depending on the model, Windows laptops offer a lot of options for configuring a video editing workstation that meets your needs.

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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.

How much storage do I need?

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. 

File size and bit depth

File size

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 4k
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

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. 

Configuring your system

 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.

Processors

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.

  • At least a Core i7 or Core i9 Intel processor, AMD equivalent, or Apple M1. Intel Core i7 and Core i9 (and the latest mobile Xeon processors) offer Quick Sync technology, which accelerates decoding/playback of H.264 and HEVC. 
  • Some desktop Intel Xeon processors do not offer QuickSync. These may be better suited for high-end workflows with cinema camera formats (e.g., RED, Sony Venice, ARRI) and broadcast formats (e.g., XDCam HD). 

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.

  • AMD Ryzen 7 (8 core) or Ryzen 9 (12 or 16 core) deliver great performance and support 64GB of RAM and higher.
  • For very high-end performance AMD Threadripper (24 or 32 core) or Intel Xeon (24 or 32 core) which support 256GB of RAM and higher
  • For After Effects users who are also running Premiere Pro, consider Intel Core i7 or Core i9 with Quick Sync hardware acceleration for H.264 and HEVC formats. Use with at least 32GB of memory.
Merk:

Native support for Apple silicon (M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max)  is currently in After Effects (Beta).

Memory

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.

Graphics

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.

Storage

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.

  • SSD or NVMe flash memory drives 
  • For local storage, an optimal setup uses three drives: 
    • System Drive for OS and apps
    • Drive for the Media Cache - accelerator files, including peak files (.pek) and conformed audio (.cfa). Premiere can make thousands of calls to these files every second). 
    • Media Drive for video assets and other project media

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. 

Upgrading your system

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:

  1. Add more RAM – up to 128GB if the motherboard supports it (especially for long-form content) 
  2. A faster GPU – or additional GPUs for faster export and rendering with Premiere Pro
  3. For storage: Faster (or additional) SSD or NVMe drives
  4. CPU with a faster clock speed

Upgrade your system for After Effects 22.0 or later in this order of priority:

  1. A CPU with 32 cores will maximize the advantages of Multi-Frame Rendering.
  2. Add more RAM – 128GB or more, depending on the use case.
  3. Add faster SSD or NVMe drives or faster connection for shared storage.
  4. Faster GPU with more than 8GB of VRAM.

Frequently asked questions

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.

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