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Old July 9th, 2010, 10:04 AM   #1
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Does Premiere CS5 Support 8 Cores?

I am wondering whether Premiere CS5 support a dual quad-core setup. This might be a completely newb, ridiculous question, but I am wondering whether, for example, a dual quad-core setup with 8 gigs of ram would result in much better performance in premiere compared to a singe quad-core setup with 4 gigs.

Can anybody shed some light on these questions?
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Old July 9th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #2
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Yes. It performs even better on dual hexa cores, but there is no support yet for a simple 4 CPU Westmore deca core system with 40 physical cores and 80 with HT on, I regret to say.

BTW, using a dual quad core with only 8 GB is tantamount to choking this system to death. At least 24 GB is needed for proper operation.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #3
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...using a dual quad core with only 8 GB is tantamount to choking this system to death. At least 24 GB is needed for proper operation.
Actually, I wouldn't go quite that extreme. Many quad-core CPUs have only dual-channel memory controllers. However, I have to admit that running only 4GB of RAM per CPU socket would be barely adequate for a 64-bit operating environment even for basic use.

And even if you have 24GB of RAM, a dual-channel memory controller would most likely run its memory in a mixed (hybrid or imbalanced) dual- and single-channel mode. This is because many dual-CPU-socket motherboards that support dual-channel have eight DIMM slots, which would have required 3GB or 6GB DIMMs (which are technically impossible to manufacture due to the fact that the bit width of the DIMMs and the memory ICs and the size of the ICs are all required to be of base-2 (2 to the nth power) in value) to achieve 24GB in proper dual-channel. And based on the results in the PPBM4 list on the PPBM site, the one system with an i7-920 with a GTX 470 and MPE Off stood out from the rest in that the export times are excruciatingly long compared to the other systems with the same CPU and graphics card because that system was running 16GB of RAM in an imbalanced triple channel + single channel mode (in fact, it was much slower in both export speed and MPEG performance than the LGA1366 i7 systems with the same GPU or slower GPUs and MPE off but with 12GB or even 6GB of RAM). Part of the blame is the motherboard in that system: It was a Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R (the predecessor of the GA-X58A-UD3R), which had only four DIMM slots (just like the Intel DX58SO motherboard I used to have in my editing rig, and is now on the shelf as a backup) - and with only four DIMM slots, filling all four of those up with equal-sized DIMMs would have forced this imbalanced memory controller mode in which part of the memory runs in single-channel mode. The "Flex" memory mode has a much higher overall latency than running all of the RAM in a balanced mode. (Thankfully, the EX58-UD3R's replacement model has six DIMM slots.)

So in other words, running 8GB or 16GB of RAM in a system that expects 6GB, 12GB or 24GB would actually result in degraded overall system performance. And in the case of running CS5 on a system with a Bloomfield, Gainestown or Gulftown CPU, 6GB per socket is okay but 12GB or more per socket is better.

Last edited by Randall Leong; July 9th, 2010 at 12:38 PM.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #4
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Some of what others have said is accurate. However, I can give you accurate, fully-tested information.

To begin, all of the current Nehalem & Westmere based 4 & 6 core Intel CPUs are Triple Channel. Furthermore, almost all PC based motherboards, both single & dual socket, have ram slots in multiples of 3. My HP Z800 has a total of 12 ram slots, 6 for each CPU.

I have 2 PCs - an i7 920 w/12GB ram and an HP Z800 with dual-6 core CPUs and 24GB ram. When I first received the Z800, it had only 2GB ram. Since HP's ram prices are very high, I ordered 24GB from Provantage. And since that 24GB order had a problem due to how I billed it, it took 3 weeks to receive it. So, in the meantime, I purchased 4 2GB sticks of DDR3-1066 (designed for Apple) from Microcenter. I removed the original 2GB and installed 4GB on each CPU. I then ran my own tests using Premiere and After Effects CS5 in addition to PPBM5. With Premiere, I never ran into any problems with not enough ram. And in AE, it automatically adjusts how many cores can be used based on the amount of ram with a minimum of 1GB per core.

However, I am NOT suggesting in any way to use only 8GB for a dual-CPU setup. Because Premiere & AE CS5 are now 64bit, they will use any and ALL the ram you have. Even with 24GB in my Z800, Premiere has used as much as 16GB. It has been even higher but I can't recall the exact number and if I had AE open.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 03:11 PM   #5
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I would definitely use more RAM if I had more cores. I was mainly wondering if 64-bit Premiere would utilize more cores.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 03:40 PM   #6
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Yes, Premiere can utilize more cores. Here is an example where a single i7 920 is not enough - even with MPE hardware acceleration. On my i7 920 PC, using a single XDCAM EX layer, creating a 2nd layer with the cicrle effect to create a vignette and then a non-MPE color correction effect (I can't recall which one) - all 8 'cores' are maxed out and playback stutters from the timeline. And the playback resolution was at Full.

Remember that Premiere still uses only the CPU to decode all video layers during playback from the timeline. Only the 'MPE' accelerated effects use the GPU in addition to scaling and I think one or two other things. If you edit AVCHD and/or Quicktime MP4 from the Canon V-DSLRs, you can't have too much CPU power because they are so CPU intensive.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 03:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
If you edit AVCHD and/or Quicktime MP4 from the Canon V-DSLRs, you can't have too much CPU power because they are so CPU intensive.
All I would add is that I recently ran on a series of machines doing some training on CS5, and AVCHD and DSLR stuff was not as much a horse as I would have suspected on a quad core single CPU i7 (hyperthread), and an older dual quad core Xeon Mac without any approved Mercury GPU help at all did pretty well as well.

I'm not saying that they were anywhere near as powerful as the kinds of beasts that these guys have been discussing mind you, I could bury the i7 with three layers of AVCHD, or two layers of AVCHD and a couple effects without the Quadro "turned on", but I do think that the threshold at the low end where you fall below some go/no go point is probably pretty modest.

But being "able to run" and "able to crank through the work as fast as you can think" are two distant modes of operation.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:00 PM   #8
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Tim, that dual-CPU Mac Pro you used has Nehalem CPUs, which are the Xeon version of i7 (unless I misread your prior posts).
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:30 PM   #9
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Hmmm... could be.

I thought the Nehalems were a bit newer than that machine was... They told me it was a couple years old.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #10
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Nehalem based CPUs have been out for about 2yrs. I thought you stated that they were 2.26GHz CPUs, which are only Nehalem in the Mac Pro.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:38 PM   #11
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I wouldn't have put that in a message unless I looked at the system specs on the computer itself as I don't have a lot of Mac background anymore. (I was completely Mac until about 2000 or 2001...)

So...they must be. That would explain why it seemed to go right along I guess.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #12
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Tim, yes you did here: "Today I was editing on a year or two old Mac Dual Quad Core Xeon 2.26 GHz with no GPU help" http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/converge...cs4-cs5-2.html

Don't ask me how I remember this $hit.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #13
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Wow...that's impressive.

I wasn't disagreeing with you BTW... I trusted that you were correct.

I couldn't remember what I was doing or where I posted it, but that spec sounded like it was about the right numbers...

I can't keep all the processor and buss codenames and brandnames straight frankly... I get these questions from guys sometimes... "Oh...is that the Masada 5150 with the Westhedge buss and the X5000 Chipset in the BMX form factor with a Poseidon controller?..."

"Well...it's primarily green with lots of little metallic pinstripes all over it...and some black rectangular things on it, which one is my Westhedge and which is my Masada...?"


I just break 'em.... I don't build 'em.

:-)
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Old July 9th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #14
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Tim, sorry if I came across as argumentative as I wasn't trying to be.

PS If you need any assistance with your fxphd class, let me know.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #15
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Well, it's a good thing I don't do computer configuration... that's for sure.

It's one of the reasons I really need to have an actual integrator with some serious support build my edit machines. I don't know enough to be really dangerous, which means I do know enough to be a catastrophe...
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