Being a professional software, Adobe Premiere is heavily reliant on as much CPU power as you can give it. Hence the best CPU for Adobe Premiere is basically the one that meet your requirements.
While workstation grade processors are obviously the most recommended CPUs for running Adobe Premiere, that is not always the case if your requirement and your budget is not too advanced.
Generally when looking for a processor for Adobe Premiere, a processor with a balance for core count and clock speed should be invested upon.
Adobe Premiere does not scale too well with multiple cores as is that case with most video editing software. Hence you would benefit more from a processor with a higher single core performance as compared to with a higher multi-core performance score.
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Comparison of Top Processors for Adobe Premiere
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List of Best Processors for Adobe Premiere in 2021
The following processors have been selected based on their performance on Adobe Premiere, as well as their overall value.
- AMD Ryzen 9 3950X – Recommended Workstation CPU for Adobe Premiere
- Intel Core i9-10900KF – Workstation CPU with High Single Core Speed
- AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT – Reasonably Priced Workstation Processor
- AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT – Processor for High Performance Adobe Premiere Rigs
- Intel Core i7-10700K – High Performance CPU for Intel Setups
- Intel Core i5-10600K – Affordable and the Least Recommended Processor for Adobe Premiere
What is The Processor Requirement for Adobe Premiere?
The official minimum and recommended specifications are a bit vague when it comes to processors.
It does not specify the clock speed, core count, or any specific processor model. This is mostly due to the fact that the choice of processor highly depends upon the user requirements.
Depending upon whether you are a professional or a beginner, the processor you choose will be drastically different and from different price categories.
Digging a bit deeper, however, you an find some specific details such as follows:
For CPUs, clock speed matters more for After Effects. Multiple cores have more impact for Premiere Pro. The sweet spot for running both applications is a fast CPU with 8 cores. – Adobe.com
What this states is that the single most important factor for a processor for Adobe Premiere is the single core performance. In other words, the clock speed of a single core matters the most.
This makes sense because video editing, in essence, is a linear processor and thus heavily reliant on a single thread or single core at a time.
This is in contrast to Audio Production which heavily uses multiple cores and threads as there are multiple tracks, effects and instruments that are mixed simultaneously.
This, however, does not mean that Adobe Premiere does not use multiple cores at all. It just means that you would not benefit much from a processor with an overkill of core counts as you would benefit from a processor with fewer core counts in comparison but with a higher high clock speed.
1. AMD Ryzen 9 3950X – Recommended Workstation CPU for Adobe Premiere
This processor is only second to the premium and ultra expensive AMD Threadripper processors. Despite that, it is, in fact, better performaning in terms of single core performance as compared to much more powerful and ultra expensive AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X.
According to Cinebench R20 scores, the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X has a Single Core performance of 509, this particular processor i.e the AMD Ryzen 9 3950X has a single core performance of 531 making.
Of course the 3960X beats 3950X in terms of multicore performance since the former has 24 cores, however, as we mentioned earlier, for Adobe Premiere, 24 cores is more than an overkill.
Adobe Premiere would never make use of 24 cores as it stands.
And since the 3950X has a core speed of 4.7 GHz compared to 4.5 GHz on 3960X, it can perform significantly well for video editing software like Adobe Premiere.
All in all, if you are looking for a workstation grade option from AMD, then this is the best CPU for Adobe Premiere.
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Cinebench R20 Score
- Single Core : 531
- Multi Core : 9148
2. Intel Core i9-10900KF – Workstation CPU with High Single Core Speed
This processor beats AMD Ryzen 9 3950X in terms of single core speed with 5.3 GHz per core making this a beast for tasks that rely heavily on a single thread.
On top of that, this processor is also much cheaper than the option above. The only drawback is that it has a weaker parallel processing.
However, if you are looking for a very reasonably priced workstation grade processor, then this is the best CPU for Adobe Premiere.
Intel Core i9-10900KF Cinebench R20 Score
- Single Core : 539
- Multi Core : 6399
3. AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT – Reasonably Priced Workstation Processor
It is, however, much cheaper and therefore recommended for those who want to build an affordable workstation build.
This processor offers 12 cores with 24 threads and a clock speed of 4.7 GHz max.
This processor is a competitor to the Intel Core i9-10900KF. Therefore, depending upon your build performance, you can either go for this or the Intel Core i9-10900KF above for a reasonable priced workstation rig.
AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT Cinebench R20 Score
- Single Core : 539
- Multi Core : 7244
4. AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT – Processor for High Performance Adobe Premiere Rigs
Next up we have a processor for high performance PCs. This processor is not on par with the workstation grade CPUs, however, given its price tag and performance, most professional can use it sufficiently for Adobe Premiere.
This is an 8 core processor with 16 threads. It features a good 4.7 GHz clock speed, which is the same core speed as found in the Ryzen 9 processors above.
Therefore, as far as, single core performance goes, this is as good as any workstation processor. However, given its weaker multi-core performance, it may translate to marginally weaker performance for Adobe Premiere.
In short though, if you are building a higher performance AMD rig, then we believe this is one of the best processors for Adobe Premiere.
AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT Cinebench R20 Score
- Single Core : 539
- Multi Core : 5122
5. Intel Core i7-10700K – High Performance CPU for Intel Setups
Furthermore, with 8 cores and 16 threads, this meets the recommended requirement by Adobe Premiere.
This processor is a direct Intel competitor to the AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT above.
In terms of performance, they are more or less the same. Therefore, depending upon your preference i.e Intel or AMD build, any can suffice for a high performance Adobe Premiere PC.
Intel Core i7-10700K Cinebench R20 Score
- Single Core : 524
- Multi Core : 5292
6. Intel Core i5-10600K – Affordable and the Least Recommended Processor for Adobe Premiere
We believe this, or an AMD Ryzen 5 equivalent, is the bear minimum to go for as anything lower than this may hinder your work experience particularly if your work gets more and more complex.
The reason we have selected this processor is that despite its very reasonable price range it offers a very decent 4.8 GHz per core clock speed.
It scores well in single core performance, but not so much with multi core. However, that is fine because if you have a limited budget and you are undecided about whether to aim for higher core count or higher clock speed, go for the latter.
In short, if you have a limited budget and you still want to aim for a CPU that can serve you well on fairly complex projects, then this is the best processor for Adobe Premiere.
Intel Core i5-10600K Cinebench R20 Score
- Single Core : 501
- Multi Core : 3629
How May Cores Do I Need for Adobe Premiere?
As mentioned above, according to Adobe:
The sweet spot for running both applications [Adobe Premiere and After Effects] is a fast CPU with 8 cores. – Adobe.com
This a fairly clear answer. However, it should be noted that core count should not be your primary consideration.
The primary consideration should always be higher clock speed or higher single core performance.
While multiple cores do have impact over Adobe Premiere performance, if you have a budget set in mind and if it is a limited one, then your primary concern should be to get one with a higher clock speed.
For instance if given a choice between 4.0 GHz 8 Core processor and a 5 GHz 6 Core processor at the same price range, go for the latter.
Pudgetsystems.com has also tested and noted the following:
be aware a CPU that is theoretically more powerful is not always better since there is a limit to the number of cores that Premiere Pro can effectively take advantage of. – Pudgetsystems.com
The Effect of a Powerful GPU
Adobe Premiere, along with After Effects, is increasingly becoming more reliant on GPU accelerated video editing.
Particularly for very popular formats like H.264/HEVC and for GPU accelerated effects Adobe is pushing to optimize performance on GPU.
To understand this, let us basically talk about what a core does for video editing. A core basically can be understood as a separate processor that can handle one part of the task separately.
In rendering for instance, each core can split up the video rendering task equally and then combine the final render in the end. This would save time. This is basically called parallel computing. Multiple cores work parallel on workloads thus saving time.
Initially, Adobe Premiere and most video rendering engines such as Redshift was reliant on the processor cores and therefore, the higher the processor count the better the performance.
However, lately, GPU acceleration and reliance on GPU has increased. This is because, unlike the CPU, GPUs are made of thousands of cores such as CUDA Cores for NVIDIA and Stream Processor for AMD. Given their sheer number, these cores can better handle the splitting of task.
Only time will tell where the industry is headed and which component will take the lead for video editors, for now it is well understood that a workstation processor is an absolute must for professional Adobe Premiere users.
Video editing industry is currently in contrast to gaming industry where it is established that graphics cards are the reigning critical component.
In this is article we reviewed the Best CPU for Adobe Premiere and also talked about what kind of processor to go for.
We looked at workstation, high performance and mid range processors that users of different level of expertise and budget would find useful.