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Benchmark Tests: Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 vs. Apple Final Cut Pro X

There have been lots of comparisons between Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro CS6, with most focusing on features and workflows. This article discusses a series of multiple-format benchmark tests that analyzed comparative performance between the two programs.


This footage used in this test came courtesy of NVIDIA, delivered with a reviewer's guide for their GPU technology. The first test involved a straight render of one minute of XDCAM EX 1080p 23.976 fps footage, with color and brightness correction applied, as well as a sharpen effect. All these effects were applied to all clips in these three tests.

For the second test, I placed shots of a music video side by side, while the third shows four videos, each in their respective quadrants (Figure 4, below). To render the footage from all these tests, I used a 23.976 fps export preset in both programs.


Figure 4. The Betacam EX footage I gleaned from an NVIDIA reviewers' kit.

Table 3 (below) tells the tale. Most scaling activities, as well as all applied effects, are GPU accelerated, which likely is the reason that CS6's comparative performance increased with scene complexity, as we saw with the DSLR footage in Table 1. With the video wall project, you would save well over two hours of rendering time.


Table 3. Sony XDCAM EX results. 


The video used in this test was part of a ballet audition DVD that I produced for the dancer. I shot in 720p60 mode with a JVC GY-HM700U, which encodes into H.264 format and stores the video in an MPEG-2 wrapper which both programs edit natively.

In the first test, I encoded the color corrected footage with a simple lower-third title overlay (Figure 5, below). The second test involved a Gaussian blur filter that changed value over the 1-minute clip, starting at 0 and finishing at 10.


Figure 5. Footage from the JVC GY-HM700U.

Table 4 (below) shows a significant advantage in the single stream project that increases with project complexity.


Table 4. Results using H.264-encoded footage from the JVC GY-HD700U. 

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