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Premiere CC 2018 H264 uses Quick Sync, faster than FCPX on iMac Pro at H264 encoding

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Joe Marler
Premiere CC 2018 H264 uses Quick Sync, faster than FCPX on iMac Pro at H264 encoding
on May 5, 2018 at 1:33:10 pm

For years Premiere has been criticized as being much slower than FCPX at H264 encode and decode due to not using Quick Sync. A year or two ago Premiere started using this on Windows (to some degree) but not Mac.

Starting with 2018 it's supported on both Windows and Mac. It makes a huge difference when dealing with H264 material on either decode or encode side. To enable it on Windows several steps are needed (see below video); it's automatically used on Mac if the hardware supports it.

Intel's Xeon CPU doesn't have Quick Sync but with FCPX 10.4.x, Apple apparently began using AMDs UVD/VCE hardware as a substitute. It seems Adobe also did this on the iMac Pro, as Premiere CC exhibits hardware-accelerated transcoding speed on that platform.

In limited tests I've run on both a 2017 top-spec iMac 27 and a 10-core Vega 64 iMac Pro, Premiere CC was faster in some cases than FCPX at H264 encoding on the iMac, and faster in every case on the iMac Pro.

Test material: 1:20 UHD 4k 8-bit 4:2:0 100 mbps from Sony A7RII
Test: Encode from 4k timeline to 1-pass H264 at 30 mbps (4k) or 20 mbps (1080p)

2017 iMac 27 (mm:ss.tenths)

Premiere 2017: 3:07.6 - 4k H264 1-pass 30 mbps
Premiere 2018: 00:53.9 - 4k H264 1-pass 30 mbps
FCPX 10.4.2: 00:50.1 - 4k H264 1-pass 30 mbps

Premiere 2017: 01:30.9 - 1080p H264 1-pass 20 mbps
Premiere 2018: 00:44.8 - 1080p H264 1-pass 20 mbps
FCPX 10.4.2: 00:49.1 - 1080p H264 1-pass 20 mbps

2017 iMac Pro, 10-core, Vega 64:

Premiere 2018: 00:47.13 - 4k H264 1-pass 30 mbps
FCPX 10.4.2: 01:00.5 - 4k H264 1-pass 30 mbps

Premiere 2018: 00:30.3 - 1080p H264 1-pass 20 mbps
FCPX 10.4.2: 00:34.5 - 1080p H264 1-pass 20 mbps

Hardware: 2017 iMac 27, 4.2Ghz i7-8700K, 32GB, 8GB Radeon Pro 580, 2GB SSD
2017 iMac Pro 10-core, 16GB Vega 64, 2TB SSD
Software: macOS 10.13.4, FCPX 10.4.2, Premiere CC 2017.1.2, Premiere CC 2018 ver. 12.1.1

https://helpx.adobe.com/media-encoder/using/export-settings-reference.html






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