11 Replies Latest reply on Dec 1, 2014 9:59 AM by ECBowen

    Editing 4k Desktop





      I just got a GH4, and I am looking for a desktop powerful enough to edit my 4k files from the GH4. I use Premier Pro CS6 and After Effects. Most projects will be downscaled and exported as 1080p, although I plan to deliver some of my work in 4k. I'm from the UK, so any links to desktops needs to be from the UK.



      I have found this PC which seems quite powerful, but I'm not sure if it's enough to edit 4k files.



      CaseNZXT H440 (Black/Red)
      Processor (CPU)Intel Core i7-4790K (OC'd @ 4.7GHz, 6MB Cache)
      MotherboardASUS Z97-A
      Memory (RAM)16GB Kingston HyperX 1600MHz (2 x 8GB)
      Graphics Card4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
      1st HDD120GB Kingston V300 SSD (6Gb/s)
      2nd HDD2TB WD Caviar Black HDD (SATA 6 Gb/s)
      Optical DriveN/A
      Power SupplyCorsair CS650 Modular PSU (650W)
      Processor CoolerCorsair H60 Hydro Series Performance Cooler
      Sound CardOnboard 5.1 High Definition Audio
      I/O Ports6 x USB Ports (2 Front, 4 Rear)
      Operating SystemWindows 8.1 64bit (Inc. Recovery Disc)
      Office SoftwareMicrosoft Office 365 (Free 30 Trial)
      Anti-virusBullguard Internet Security (Free 90 Day Trial)

      3 Years (1 Year Parts / 3 Years Labou





      Thank you for helping



      Anyone editing 4k files, let me know your spec if possible, and where it was built/purchased from? Cheers.

        • 1. Re: Editing 4k Desktop
          Kevin-Monahan Adobe Employee

          Hi Nlax,

          I'll move your post to the hardware forum for a response.




          • 2. Re: Editing 4k Desktop
            Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Looks reasonable, but you may need a few upgrades.  You will need a better project disk, a top of the line SSD is three times faster than that WD drive.  You also need more RAM memory, 16 GB is no where near enough.

            • 3. Re: Editing 4k Desktop
              Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Get a larger PSU.

              You may want to look into a hex core instead of a quad core.

              • 4. Re: Editing 4k Desktop
                Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Thanks, Peru Bob I missed the CPU weakness.


                A lot of performance requirements also depend on what 4K media you are going to use.  In all cases the CPU power is significant.

                • 5. Re: Editing 4k Desktop
                  JEShort01 Level 4



                  Not all 4k is created equal, and GH4 is very easy to handle compared with Red 4k. I just did a simple test in your behalf on a 3yr old 6-core system running CS6 and 4k media from a Sony 4k camcorder.


                  Playback of Sony AX100 4k at full resolution (single layer, audio/video only), which is not identical to GH4 media but I would suspect similar (highly compressed pro-sumer CODEC):

                  - cpu 6-core x58 i7-970 at 4.2 GHz was hardly working (about 20%)

                  - gpu GTX 480 was hardly working (about 15%)

                  - disk was loafing, about 10-20MB/s

                  - memory use was pretty high, 16.6GB for Adobe and you are best to have at least 6GB of excess RAM for Windows caching (just about max'ing out my 24GB)


                  Now, my suggested tweaks to your parts list above:

                  - upgrade to 32GB (if you are a casual AE user, 32GB is plenty for Premier Pro) or 64GB (if you will be using AE a lot; AE loves RAM)

                  - you should use at least a 750 watt quality power supply, and I would suggest 850 watt minimum

                  - GTX 980 is an awesome card, but CS6 simply does not tax the GPU that hard. So, if you have no plans for CC 2014 or beyond, you should save some pounds and go with a lesser GPU; 970 4GB maybe?





                  • 6. Re: Editing 4k Desktop
                    David_V_Clarke Level 3

                    I am from a reseller in the UK so it would probably be wrong to link to our site from here but it does mean I have got to play with the latest hardware and the camera.  We make custom systems and sell GH4s and I have been using one for some time.

                    On this processor you should get any a couple of layers of GH4 footage playing back in realtime.  If you went to a Haswell-E system you would get about 3 on a 6 core and maybe 4 on the 8 core.  The graphic card is not used for playback but is used for effects and re-scaling so getting a 970 or 980 is good.  I agree that the 970 would be good enough;  get the 980 if you are think of using other GPU intensive programs like Resolve.  I have been editing with 16GB RAM and that works ok. 32GB is better.   There is nothing wrong with the Asus motherboard but we prefer gigabyte. 


                    You don't have an output card in the system so to see the 4K at 4K you could get the Blackmagic Studio 4K or the UltraStudio 4K.   Blackmagic have just added the ability to output 4K at 50P to the UltraStudio so you may want to consider that - although at the GH4 does not film 4K at 50P then it may not be important. The Studio 4K will let you output your GH4 footage at full quality and do HD and SD and is only about £350 +VAT.  These cards are 4 lane PCIe cards and so take up quite a lot of resources in the machine, but I have had them running fine in a Haswell system like this.  Getting a Haswell-e means a different motherboard and the ability to add more devices because of they way those systems work, but will add £500 ish to the cost.


                    In the camera I would recommend filming in MOV format for Premiere Pro.  I had some issues with GH4 MP4 files in Premiere.  This turned out to be setting the swap file to quite a low setting (which was because I had an SSD primary and some people recommend a small swap file).  With a small swap file Premiere would crash a lot when loading GH4 MP4 files with uncompressed sound.  However Premiere has never had any problems with MOV files from the GH4.  Other programs have similar problems with the MP4s in my experience.

                    • 7. Re: Re: Editing 4k Desktop

                      Hello Jim.

                      How do you measure GPU usage?

                      With CPU it's easy because Windows has it built in but GPU?


                      When you suggested 64GB of ram, what motherboard did you mean for that?

                      AFAIK most motherboards have only 4 slots and aren't affordable ram sticks only of 8GB at the moment?




                      • 8. Re: Re: Editing 4k Desktop
                        Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        I am not Jim but download GPU-Z is what many of use us.


                        Many of the higher end CPU's the motherboards have 8 slots.  look at the X79 or X99 motherboards.

                        • 9. Re: Editing 4k Desktop
                          JEShort01 Level 4



                          I use EVGA's Precision application to monitor my GPU performance. It's a free download and works with any NVidia card.


                          Many of the higher motherboards have 8 (or more) RAM slots. I was not thinking of any one in particular.





                          • 10. Re: Re: Editing 4k Desktop
                            DonAndress Level 1

                            Thanks guys, I will try both programs.


                            Jim, regarding 8 slot motherboards, you are right, they exist

                            It's just it has to be 2011-v3 socket, CPU for this socket and DDR4 ram, which in total increases cost significantly...

                            • 11. Re: Editing 4k Desktop
                              ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                              Yes but keep in mind the Quad Core desktop platforms are normally bare minimum for most 4K work. That means limited workflows and performance in the 4K realm. You can get it done most of the time but there will be some workflow sacrifices. The 8 Core system is what you want for 4K work and offers the best performance for that for the price. 4K requires allot of processing for the higher compression codecs. Keep that in mind when selecting the hardware.