These are the minimum, recommended, and best specs to run Adobe Premiere Pro on your PC or Mac.
Premiere Pro is the NLE that many people begin with, and many decide to stick with it because it’s frequently updated to add the latest cutting-edge features. Sticking with Adobe’s NLE is expensive, but because it’s so widely used, it can be advantageous to know the software inside and out. You never know when a potential client will demand you work in Premiere Pro. That means you’ll need a PC capable of running Premiere Pro smoothly.
Premiere Pro is a resource-hungry program that will put your PC through its paces. Unfortunately, while other NLEs also demand a lot from hardware, Premiere Pro is notorious for crashing on PCs with lower specs. You can probably get away with running Premiere Pro on a budget laptop, but you’ll want to at least have the minimum recommended specs. Otherwise, there’s no guarantee the software won’t crash and erase all your work.
According to Adobe’s minimum recommended specs for Premiere Pro, you don’t need much to get the software up and running. But, of course, you will want a recent version of Windows 10 or Windows 11.
Adobe recommends at least an Intel 6th-generation or AMD Ryzen 1000-series CPU on the hardware side. Both CPUs are outdated, meaning you can pick them up at a heavy discount. You might even get one used to save a few bucks. However, you might also consider going a little more modern.
AMD’s CPUs aren’t very expensive compared to Intel’s, and even 2000 or 3000-series AMD Ryzen CPUs can greatly improve performance. Until I upgraded to a new CPU last month, I had used a Ryzen 2700X for the past three years. It was more than capable of running DaVinci Resolve and other resource-heavy software. I only upgraded because Amazon made an offer I couldn’t refuse.
For recommended CPUs, Adobe names Intel’s 7th generation or AMD’s Ryzen 3000 CPUs. These CPUs should be more than capable of handling up to 4K video and should deliver moderately fast rendering times.
Adobe also shouts out AMD’s Threadripper 2000-series CPUs. These are AMD’s beefiest chips, using a jaw-dropping number of cores and threads. And because Threadripper chips are multithreaded, you can expect a significant bump to rendering times, as exporting on Premiere Pro is a multithreaded process.
Adobe doesn’t recommend anything higher than what’s mentioned above, but newer CPU generations from both manufacturers offer higher performance. Intel’s 12th- and 13th-generation CPUs are the all-around best for Premiere Pro, according to Puget Systems. However, if you’re using other creative applications, such as 3D rendering or VFX software, a newer AMD Threadripper could be better.
Also worth mentioning is AMD’s Ryzen 7 5700x, a CPU from 2022 with 8 cores (16 threads). For the performance you get, $230 for this CPU seems like a steal. It’s also compatible with more motherboards and uses much less power to operate (65W) than a Threadripper.
The Ryzen 9 5900X is another good option. It offers incredible performance, leveraging 12 cores and 24 threads for optimal performance across many creative applications. I upgraded to this CPU recently, and it’s an absolute beast — though you’ll need a powerful cooling solution to keep temperatures within safe margins. While it retails for $550, you can usually pick it up for around $350 from Newegg or Amazon.
Adobe says you need a minimum of 8GBs of RAM; that’s too low. It will limit what resolution videos you’re working with. You can forget about editing 4K videos with only 8GBs of RAM, and editing 1080p might prove difficult.
With Premiere Pro, infamous for needing a lot of RAM, it’s always best to aim for more RAM. Going up to 16GBs is a good idea if you edit 1080p videos. However, Adobe recommends going up to 32GBs if you’re working with 4K files.
I recommend Corsair’s Vengeance LPX RAM. It’s affordable, reliable, and sold at various speeds and memory sizes.
I’ll keep it simple here: more is better. You’ll do fine with 32GBs, which I’ve been running for the last few years, but 64GBs can only improve everything from timeline scrubbing to loading effects. If you can’t afford the RAM upgrade, another option is to use faster RAM. This is measured in megahertz (MHz). Just make sure you look at what speeds your motherboard supports before going on a shopping spree.
Adobe doesn’t list minimum GPU requirements. Instead, users are recommended to use a GPU with at least 2GBs of VRAM — this is a type of RAM specifically meant for GPU rendering. If you don’t have a dedicated GPU, Premiere Pro is also compatible with integrated graphics. Intel and Apple chips with integrated graphics are supported. Unfortunately, AMD APUs with Radeon RX Vega integrated graphics are not officially supported.
While Adobe makes no specific GPU recommendations, there is a thorough list of GPUs supported by Premiere Pro. The list includes Nvidia and AMD GPUs, even supporting consumer and workstation GPUs such as the Nvidia RTX Quadro series and AMD’s Radeon Pro series.
Again, Adobe doesn’t list the requirements for a recommended GPU. However, it does list 4GBs of VRAM as a requirement for 1080p video; 6GBs VRAM for 4K editing. That shouldn’t be a problem if you have a relatively recent, mid-tier GPU. Most cards priced in the $250-$400 range have 6 to 8GBs of VRAM onboard. I picked up an Nvidia RTX 3060 with 12GBs of VRAM earlier this year for nearly $400.
While both AMD and Nvidia GPUs are supported, Nvidia is always a step ahead of AMD when it comes to workstation performance and features. For example, Nvidia GPUs were the first to support hardware acceleration across several video and photo editing software, and they tend to perform better in this task. Also, speaking from experience, Nvidia GPUs are much more reliable than AMD’s.
If you’re looking for the best performance, Nvidia’s new RTX 4000-series GPUs are where you’ll want to look. The new GPUs are wildly expensive and obnoxiously large, but they’re untouched when it comes to performance.
Alternatively, Nvidia’s last-generation RTX 3000-series GPUs still pack a punch, especially the RTX 3080 and 3090.
Adobe lists 8GBs of storage as the minimum requirement, but this only covers the software. You’ll want considerably more storage to actually use the software. That’s why Adobe recommends an additional high-speed drive for media. This could be an internal or external storage drive. You could go with a Seagate BarraCuda HDD, which offers a lot of storage for very little money. The downside is that HDDs use a disk, making them considerably slower than an SSD.
Another option would be to install an internal SATA SSD. They’re smaller and faster than HDDs, and the price difference isn’t too bad.
Adobe lists two recommended storage options: a fast SSD for installing the software and an additional high-speed drive, or drives, for storing media. This is the ideal route. I have one SATA SSD that runs the OS and software, an M.2 NVMe SSD for video files and other media, and a 3TB HDD for archiving old footage and projects.
An M.2 NVMe SSD is necessary for editing video these days because they’re incredibly fast. With an NVMe SSD, you can scrub through 4K footage without having to set up proxies. Having one on your computer speeds everything up, especially if your software and media are stored inside this drive.
There are lots of NVMe SSD options, but Samsung is known for making some of the best NVMe SSDs. The Samsung 970 Evo, a drive that I’ve used for years, frequently pops up as the go-to option. Though pricey, you’re unlikely to find something faster unless you get an NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD, which are still so new that they’re not compatible with most motherboards.
Minimum and recommended specs are different with macOS computers because of their rigid design. You can’t just upgrade the CPU or GPU on any Macbook or Mac Mini; RAM and storage upgrades depend on the device. So essentially, you’re stuck with the Mac you have.
That being said, Adobe is generous with macOS computers, supporting devices that are five years or older. For example, the minimum CPU specifications listed for a macOS computer is an Intel 6th-generation CPU, which can be found in Macbooks dating back to 2016. So if you have any Mac made within the last five years, you’re probably in the clear.
That said, you’ll want a Mac sporting one of Apple’s M-series chips. The M1, the first M-series chip, is listed by Adobe as the recommended spec for Macs. M-series chips, especially the M1 Max, are total workhorses, as seen in this Puget Systems benchmark. While older Macs with Intel silicon will perform fine, Apple’s ARM-based chips are undeniably the best for Macs.
Cover image via Freepik.
- Royalty-free Christmas music
- Royalty-free meditation music
- Royalty-free upbeat music
- Royalty-free jazz music
- Royalty-free Halloween music
Need a break? Check out our videvoscapes — the ultimate reels for relaxation or concentration. Each videvoscape collects hours of high-definition nature footage and background video with downtempo chill beats for the ultimate escape from the grind.