Using Dual vs Single GPU for Video Editing In Premiere Pro CC and DaVinci Resolve 12.5

There are thousands of online resources that showcase how to build a powerful and efficient video editing PC workstation from scratch, but barely a few of them touch the question regarding the true benefits of using more than one GPU for video editing in Premiere Pro CC and DaVinci Resolve.

After some serious research on the topic, Max Yuryev has put together another insightful video which summarizes the actual results he was able to get while testing a single vs dual GPU setup. If you are one of those content creators considering to get a second GPU to boost the efficiency of your current video editing workstation, make sure you first check out the must-watch video below.

Even though Premiere Pro CC officially supports dual graphics cards since 2013, we can barely see any noticeable differences in terms of editing and playback performance between the two setups. What’s more, Max noticed that the second GPU wasn’t utilized at all on those particular occasions.

Meanwhile, some resources claim that the Adobe NLE is actually taking advantage of the dual GPU setup only when exporting and rendering video. To confirm or deny this statement, Max also did a few export tests while using a bunch of 4K clips in different configurations. Here are the actual results he ended up with.

Some of you might notice that in the second test the single GPU even slightly outperforms the dual GPU setup. While monitoring the actual performance of both graphics cards in real-time, it also becomes evident that Premiere Pro CC tends to switch between the two cards instead of using both simultaneously.

Furthermore, if you are working with the free version of DaVinci Resolve, you still won’t be able to take advantage of two dedicated GPUs since the dual graphics card setup is only supported by DaVinci Resolve Studio. Even with the paid version of the software, there won’t be any significant differences in terms of video editing performance and playback.

Unlike Premiere Pro CC, however, DaVinci Resolve software does have some effects that predominantly use the GPU resources once being applied to your edit. A typical example in that regard is the Noise Reduction filter that is only available in the paid version of the platform.

Ultimately, if you are using Premiere Pro CC and DaVinci Resolve for 4K video editing, spending some extra cash on a second GPU apparently won’t be worth it at least not before Adobe puts some more effort into processing power and optimization of their software to better utilize more GPUs in the future.

So, if you’re currently building your video workstation and have a few extra dollars to spend, you’d better get a more powerful CPU with more threads since most likely you won’t have any benefit from a second graphics card for video editing as the bottleneck of your machine supposedly will still be the available onboard CPU.

[source: Max Yuryev]

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  • Steve Oakley

    This is painful as the author has mostly no clue what he is talking about. Processing most vidoe fx in prem pro is not that compute intensive. They have very good effecient code that will deliver a lot of fx on pretty lightweight gpus. The first release utilized the quadro fx4800 that had a whopping 192 cores. Even that didnt max out. So of course those gpus are sitting, its becuase they have very good code. The other factor is the very liight load put on them. Put more like 10-12 gpu based fx and see what happenes….

    Likwise resolve is ALL gpu based processing of images ( except codec decodes ) . Having dual gpus makes a big difference and you can go up to 6 units. Start doing 4k with 10 nodes and youll start o see the difference. Go to 6k and youll really see it. Also even in 1080 a lot of nodes plus noise reductuon will also show the differCe.

    • Vlady Radev

      I’m not quite sure if we are on the same page here. The article is specifically about video editing and render times. It has nothing to do with color grading, or heavy VFX processing.

      • Bran

        But the title says DaVinci 12.5 🙂

        • Vlady Radev

          The titles says ” Using Dual vs Single GPU for VIDEO EDITING In Premiere Pro CC and DaVinci Resolve 12.5″

          • Steve Oakley

            editing normally has some grading, image resizing, processing + transitions + titles, etc. My timelines are typically 10 layers deep in prem pro. So for my normal editing yes, I push the GPU. if you are doing basic rough cut with no FX, then the GPU should be sitting there… and you would not in anyway be worried about single vs dual GPU at that point. However once you are past rough cut stage and building up layers, graphics, etc then there is a difference. Even in those situations prem pro can get by with a pretty modest GPU for 1080 work and still deliver several layers with fx in RT just fine.

            likewise in Resole, just pure editing ? its a grading app and even though you might of made a basic grading pass, going back to do editorial changes is normal. so having all the GPU power you can is useful unless you plan to add a new grade ver with no processing just to edit, only to change it back to the original grade. yes you can do it, but that doesn’t mean you would.