Since Harm has retired from the Adobe Forums, this page will be used to publish hardware information relevant to PR Editors.

It will cover a wide range of topics from the Windows perspective (I simply do not know enough about Mac's to include them too), like the video codecs used, the disk setup, to raid or not, how to balance a system, how to tune a system for optimal performance, how to troubleshoot problems, in short how to get the best performance from the system you have, how to identify the bottlenecks in your system and how to reduce them at least cost.

Everything in this range of articles builds on the overriding aspect of the codec used and the editing style. These two factors determine to a very large extent what kind of system is required for comfortable editing.

Recently there appeared a number of questions about Xeon CPU versus i7. The i7 is a SINGLE CPU, it is not suitable for dual CPU motherboards. Xeon E5-26xx CPU's can be used in single or dual CPU configurations, depending on the motherboard. Xeon E5-46xx or E7 can be used in 4 or more CPU configurations, but only run - as far as Adobe is concerned - on Windows Server 2012R2, which is not supported, nor tested by Adobe. It would have been nice to get a 4 CPU system with 18 cores each and 45 MB L3 cache making for 144 logical cores. To decide between a single i7 or dual Xeon E5 CPU's, keep in mind that a single i7 hexa core @ 4.4 GHz performs about equal to a dual Xeon hexa core @ 3.0 GHz and a single i7-5690X @ 4.4 GHz outperforms a dual Xeon E5-2699v3 @ 2.3 GHZ, despite the 72 logical cores. However, this is purely caused by limitations of Adobe software and may not hold true when Adobe solves this serious bug.
An entry level quad socket with 60 physical cores or 120 logical cores, up to 6 TB of RAM, 11 PCIe-3.0 slots and up to 48 2.5" hot-swappable storage devices and SAS-3 12 Gb backplane looks like this:

This article is about the impact of the codec used for video editing. There are huge amounts of codecs in use and they can be categorized in two main classes.

Read more: Video Codecs

There is nothing strange about the natural inclination to want the best of something, but only willing to spend a dime. Well, we all know you get what you pay for. There is a saying:

Read more: Balanced Systems

Before going into where to put media cache, page file and preview files, let's start with some basics that impact disk performance.The first item to cover is the disk interface in use. That determines to a large extent the disk speed, but HDD's also suffer from fill rate degradation. The fuller the disk, the more speed degrades. SSD's don't have this to such an extent. The table below is based on modern day 7200+ RPM HDD's and the latest generation of SSD's. Note that in this overview, I would rather err on the low side, than be overly optimistic about transfer rates.

Read more: Disk Setup

Read more: To Raid or not to Raid

This article lists the things you ought to do on an Editing Machine and what you shouldn't do, in order to get the best performance. It really helps to get a better performance from your system, but you have to be meticulous.

Read more: Do's and Don'ts on an Editing Machine

The first thing to do is to determine the codec that is mainly used for editing. With an abundance of mobile phones and action cameras, there are many who think that if it is easy to shoot video, it should also be easy to edit. Well, that is a clear misconception.

Read more: What kind of PC to use?


  • Video Codecs

    This article describes the impact of the Video Codec used with PR on the efficiency of the editing process and the consequences of the hardware required to have a good editing experience.

  • Balanced Systems

    This article goes into the aspects that determine whether a system is really balanced for the editing tasks thrown at it.

  • Disk Setup

    This article describes in generic terms what the best disk set up is for an editing machine and how it impacts performance.

  • To Raid or not to Raid

    This article describes various RAID levels and how it impacts performance and security.

  • Do's and Don'ts on an Editing Machine

    This article lists the things you should do on an editing machine and what you shouldn't do to get the best performance.

  • What kind of PC to use?

    This article describes what kind of CPU is required for the editing work you do, how much memory is required and what kind of disk setup to use.

  • What about Laptops?

    This article describes some considerations for laptops and how they impact performance for editing.

  • What video card to use?

    This article is about the choice of the video card. It is often asked "what kind of video card should I use". The answer is not so simple. It depends.

  • Exporting Style

    This article describes how exporting style impacts performance and what it means for the best system setup.

  • External Drives

    This article describes the pro's and con's of the various connections available for external drives, so you can decide what to choose for your system.

  • Tuning Guide

    This article describes some basic steps to 'tune' your system for optimal performance.

  • Troubleshooting Guide

    This article describes some common problems editors can encounter and suggests ways by solve those issues.

  • Is Haswell-E ready for prime time?

    This article describes some of the pro's and con's of the new Haswell-E CPU, the X99 platform and DDR4 memory.

  • Deciding between a single CPU or dual CPU

    This article gives a rough indication when a dual Xeon system gives better performance than a single i7 system.