Posted June 22, 2012 by Gavin Hoey in Articles

Photoshop PC to Premiere PC

New PC-1-1600Less then 8 months ago I wrote a series of blog posts about my DIY power PC build. If you missed it you can read it from the links below:
Building a Photoshop power PC – Part 1
Building a Photoshop power PC – Part 2
Building a Photoshop power PC – Part 3

For a Photoshop power PC the specification is excellent even for Photoshop CS6 and I’d still recommend the original component list to anyone who wishes to build there own PC today. The only change I’d make for Photoshop CS6.is to add a 1GB graphics card.

So if it’s such a great PC why am I updating it so soon? The short answer is Video Editing.

Over the past few months I’ve been shooting more and more videos on my DSLR and editing them in Premiere Pro CS6. Before you ask, yes some of those are new photography tutorials which you’ll be able to see later this year. If you think still images takes a lot of computing power you’d be right but that’s peanuts compared to 1080p HD video editing. So with that in mind I’ve upgraded some of the core parts of my computer to make it a video power PC.

New PC-1600

First up this is an upgrade not a complete new build so I am able to recycle the case, card reader, DVD drive and hard drives. With that in mind lets go through what changed and why.
(All red text is a hyperlink to Scan computers who supplied many of the parts)

This is the brains of the machine so it makes sense to get one that’s smarter, bigger and faster then before. Mine is a 980 model which isn’t cutting edge but a solid performer with 6 cores and 12 threads. It’s also overclocked to 4.3GHZ

CPU Cooler
A big, fast processor is going to get hot and overheating is the biggest cause of system instability so CPU cooling is a priority. The Antec Kuhler H20 is a self contained water cooling system which should keep the heat away from the CPU.

A new CPU means a new motherboard for me. With a slightly older CPU I can also use a slightly older motherboard so it’s an Asus Rampage 3 black edition which ties in perfectly with the i7 980 cpu.

As with Photoshop, Adobe Premiere will happily take all the ram you can throw at it. Even if it doesn’t use all the ram  having more gives the system plenty of breathing space. I took my existing 16GB and added another 8GB bringing the total to 24GB in 6 slots. A lot of ram means yet more heat so I also have a Corsair ram cooler sitting above the sticks.

SSD drive
The best decision I made in my Photoshop Power PC build was adding an SSD drive. This thing makes your PC fly. Unfortunately the original 120GB drive is just to small for my needs so I doubled it to a 240GB SSD from OCZ. Interestingly the new 240GB SSD cost the same as the 120GB SSD I bought 8 months ago.

Graphics GPU
Finally we come to the Graphics card. In Photoshop almost any graphics card will do but not so with Premiere. To truly unlock the power of Premiere you need to choose your graphics card wisely. Adobe Premiere Pro works great with a good graphics card but it preforms miracles when paired with a select bunch of Cuda enabled Nvidia cards. There’s a full list of supported cards here and I went with the Geforce GTX 580

Running some quick stress tests showed the new build to be roughly double the speed of the original build. However rending speeds in Premiere Pro were in the region of four times faster then before, which is all thanks to the cuda power in the GTX 580 graphics card.

Gavin Hoey