… for Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Tip #891: Hmm… So, What’s the Benefit?
Playback resolution may help rendering, but it won’t help storage or your CPU.
For years, I’ve thought there was a benefit to changing Playback Resolution. I thought that changing Playback Resolution decreased the load on the CPU, allowing it to play more complex clips more easily. Then, I measured the results. Hmm… surprising.
This week, on the basis of some brief tests and measuring the results using Activity Monitor, I learned that changing Playback Resolution did not affect the CPU, GPU or storage.
I played back a 1.4 GB 4K clip in Premiere. Regardless of where Playback Resolution was set, the first time the clip played the data transfer rate was the same.. (After that, the clip was cached into RAM, thus minimizing the work the storage system needed to do.)
Regardless of the Playback Resolution setting, the CPU expended between 325% – 350% during playback.
And, after applying a Gaussian blur (set to 50), the GPU didn’t change, regardless of Playback Resolution. (Though this result might also reflect Premiere’s lack of GPU support.)
So, for now, I’m leaving it set to 1/2 and doing some more tests.
You can measure this yourself using Activity Monitor. Open it along with Premiere and measure the impact Playback Resolution has on your own footage.
NOTE: Keep in mind that Premiere will attempt to cache files in RAM where possible. So if you play the same file more than once, all playbacks after the first will most likely play from cache.