We just had 2 new Skylake-based workstations in the office. True to form, they were both "entry-level" workstations, and these days, "entry-level" means "pretty darn powerful" with 3.6 GHz Skylake CPUs, a Quadro K1200 & M4000, up to 64 GB of RAM and up to 27 TB of storage.
As it turned out the test systems gave PW the opportunity to test new Maxwell-architecture NVIDIA Quadro GPUs - the K1200 and the M4000 - side by side.
One set of tests we run to benchmark hardware performance are rendering tests for Adobe Premier Pro CC and Adobe After Effects CC. For this article we were running the latest 2015 version.
When PW tests a system, it is certainly to measure performance, but it is also to investigate questions about performance. In this case, we wanted to investigate how the Mercury Playback Engine performs under a range of conditions. We set up our test video file with 4 tests. All video segments are HD and all video segments use color correction effects. The 4 tests render 1, 2, 3, and 4 concurrent video streams, respectively.
Any number of scenarios support testing multiple video stream conditions: titling, overlaying effects, merging multiple cameras, and inserting secondary images are a few examples. That said, many Premier Pro users probably use the first test case for most of their work: a single video stream at a time with color correction or a similar effect. At PW, we shoot video with 2 or 3 cameras and routinely have 3 or 4 over-lapping video streams to render out in addition to titles and over-laying extra video footage.