My conclusions are based on
extensive benchmark testing over now a four year period with quite a
few of my own personal systems and results from over a hundred of you
that have submitted PPBM result
PURPOSE OF PPBM4 IS A HARDWARE EVALUATION TEST, WITH IT YOU AND I CAN
FINETUNE YOUR HARDWARE TO BEST RUN
are three tests in PPBM4 identical to the earlier versions.
These tests were selected
because they fully test the performance of the disk subsystem and the
- Render the Timeline to
create Preview files (Pressing Enter).
- Export the Timeline with the Adobe Media
Encoder to a single Microsoft DV-AVI file.
- Export the Timeline to a MPEG2 DVD file.
- The Export to DV-AVI is
very highly a disk intensive test.
- The Export to MPEG2 DVD is very highly
- The Rendering of the Timeline is a
combination of the CPU and the disk subsystem.
The Total Time score is the sum of all individual tests,
has shown that ranking of results, based solely on time, puts a heavy
impact on MPEG encoding and far less on I/O related activities. To get
a feel for real-life performance a new performance index has been
added, which will show you your system's performance relative to the
top-ranking machine in daily life.
To avoid CPU centric or disk centric systems, the top-10 systems have
been used to calculate a 'normalized' PPBM score, that takes away the
impact of heavy CPU or disk centric systems. This normalized score is
the foundation of the Relative
Using weights for the three different tests, normalized scores for each
machine are calculated and indexed to the top-ranking system to show
the difference in performance.
addition, the results are now presented in an easier to read format.
For each test the time result is now preceded by an indicator
representing the relative position of an individual score in comparison
to all other scores. When all results are ordered from high to low, the
top 10 percent, upper decile, are indicated by D9. The upper quartile
are indicated by Q3 (between 10 and 25%), the results between the
median and upper quartile (25 and 50%) are shown as Med, the results
between the median and the lower quartile (50 and 75%) are shown as Q1
and finally all results below the lower quartile (75 to 100%) are shown
as D1. This is all explained in the legends on the results page.
In this way it is easier to see where room for improvement
can be found.
How To Interpret The Results
your Total Time Score is relatively better than your Relative
Performance Index that means your I/O system is lacking, either in disk
setup or memory, if your MPEG encoding is better than the rest of your
scores, it is not your CPU, if your AVI scores are lower than the other
scores, your disk setup is the culprit and the other way around.
If you never
render a timeline for preview purposes attach more weight
to the Total Time Score than the RPI. If your activities include
dynamic linking to other Adobe applications, RPI is more important. If
you are a heavy user of dynamic linking, render scores are the
My Hardware Design
- Absolutely most
important is the
CPU, right now that is the Intel i7 processor or the dual processor the
Xeon E55xx series. As you can see from the performance data the
speed of the processor is also very significant.
- The Adobe minimum basic disk system
is a absolute minimum of two 7200 rpm disk drives.. My personal
is for a 10,000 rpm drive for the Operating
System/Applications disk and a RAID array for the project files. Specific
functions like a
separate dedicated drive for writing Output files or Preview files are
of less value as it may just slow things down compared to a high
performance RAID, the only way to
tell is run the PPBM4 benchmark.
- With CS4 4 GB of RAM is minimum and
optimum for single tasking operation, for multitasking more memory and
a 64-bit Operating System are essential.
- Just for Premiere there is no
spend extra money on special graphics cards, this is not true if you
intend to use After Effects which uses OpenGL and there it is
better to have a high performing OpenGL is significant. If you
have unlimited financial resources and want to
spend $1700 there is the nVidia Quadro CX with a software bundle from
Elemental Technologies that may speed up h.264
encoding. I have yet seen any completely specified benchmark that could
be tested against the current CPU performance. Note: This conclusion will change
drastically when Adobe releases CS5
- From my identical hardware platform tests
it is apparent that Vista 64 is faster than XP Pro (32) and that Win7
64-bit is faster (overall) than Vista 64. .
of new data this area below is under major revision
From the data on the Benchmark Results
page is it easy to see that unless you are willing to spend thousands
of dollars more for the Dual CPU Xeon systems that currently the i7-9xx
family it the ideal CPU for non-overclocked Premiere CS4. It also
offers the possibility of overclocking as Harm and others have
have run many many different combinations of disk locations and
permutations. My most recent runs were with a SSD (Patriot Torx
M28 128 GB) I was hoping for some breakthough numbers because of
the SSD's 0.1 millisecond access times. I was terribly
disappointed. While the HDtach performace was about 250 MB per
second average read rate, the results were not as good in the single
disk trials as my 600 MB per second SAS RAID 0 array. Also I am
terribly disapointed that Patriot Memory has no support with this SSD
for Windows 7 TRIM function and no seperate utilities for cleaning the
drive and they discourge using Diskeeper HyperFast utility.
Testing Results TBA
Old Disk Testing Results
All data below is the result of early
CS3 testing does not represent the much better results from current
benchmark data but can be used for relative comparisons.
system is a little exotic. Ten removable disk drives with a
library of over 20 drives, an
Areca ARC-1680i controller and 8 cores. Here are the HDtach Average
Read Transfer Rates of some of the disks and arrays in quite a few
What I did next is
to measure the PPBM disk intensive test (Export AVI) under most of the
configurations above.where the entire Project is on a single disk or
array. Here are the results:
Plotting the results of HDtach Average Read Rate versus Export AVI
encoding rate gives this curve.
As you can see
anything with a transfer rate of over 200-300 MB/s will
only provide diminishing improved results on this aspect of the system.
There may be other factors involved and I
will have to investigate those further before finishing this final
posting. I will also be exploring more disk
On this computer with this version of the DV-AVI disk intensive
benchmark I have recorded scores ranging from 41 seconds down to 3.5
seconds with all Project files going to a single Project disk or RAID
array, no change in the OS disk or any other parameters.
You can see my results in the
Table above. Now most people will not be creating an array of 5
SAS disks but similar results have been achieved with a larger array of
much lower cost SATA disks.
there is essentially no
performance difference between RAID 3 and RAID 5 that my benchmarks can
The next Table below shows what happens when a separate disk or array
for the Output files. With the 5 disk RAID 0 SAS array or a 5
disk RAID 0 SATA array for all
Project files except the Output files you can see that there is no
significant difference in performance, there might be a slight
improvement for another fast array. There are three tests of each
SAS configuration (first three colors) to show the consistency,
normally I just average a series of
tests and present the averages. This testing shows that with
a very high performance RAID
array (average read > 500MB/s) there is no advantage to a separate
Output file RAID array, and
further a single disk for Output files (for the SAS test colored green
and the second line of the violet SATA test) actually slows
significantly. On the bottom results a slightly slower Project
array RAID 5 configuration of the same SAS disks with a two disk RAID 0
Raptor for the Output files shows a slight improvement, but hardly
worth the price of the two disks.
on a medium high to high performance RAID array for the Project files
a better utilization to use another disk or two on the RAID
array instead of providing a separate Output files drive