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Mercury, CUDA, and what it all means

Feb 22, 2013 6:11 AM

  Latest reply: Jim Simon, Jan 7, 2014 10:10 AM
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 12, 2012 8:19 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I'm getting the idea that people shouldn't go into the GPU/Cuda business expecting to encode quicker right?

     

    But on the website of NVIDIA they have this video in which they proudly present the fact that encoding in AME is so much faster due to the use of the GPU, see: http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/adobe_PremiereproCS5_uk.html

     

    What am I missing?

     

    Sebastiën

     
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    Mar 14, 2012 5:23 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Clear Todd, thanks.

     

    Just as a side question then: If you render out the project in PP before going to AME and then check the "use rendered files" box in AME before hitting export, does that have any influence (negative or positive) as opposed to not rendering the project in PP and having AME do both the rendering and the encoding?

     

    Thanks a lot,

     

    Sebastiën

     
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    Mar 14, 2012 5:50 AM   in reply to Seb B

    Influence is either None in the rare case where source material and export are identical, or Negative in the frequent cases where FPS, dimensions, codec and bitrate change. Usually it is best not to use Preview files.

     
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    Mar 14, 2012 6:40 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Seb B, the only advantage to what you decribed is a bit of time saving when you Export. If you dont mind rendering the timeline with lots of various effects before the export process, and you choose a high qulity codec for your Preview filesa as well as Export files, you can save some time on the back end when you export. This is becuase at this time all the rendering of effects is done and a part of your preview files. At this point all PrP (using AME) is doing is a simple rebuild of each frame as it creates your exported master file/

     
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    Mar 14, 2012 7:16 AM   in reply to lasvideo

    Thanks guys, I'll let AME do everything from now on then ("hello 30 hour encoding times again...", haha), makes sense if you want to achieve the highest possible quality.

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 12:30 PM   in reply to lasvideo

    lasvideo wrote:

     

    the only advantage to what you decribed is a bit of time saving when you Export. If you dont mind rendering the timeline with lots of various effects before the export process, and you choose a high qulity codec for your Preview filesa as well as Export files, you can save some time on the back end when you export.

     

    Except that this doesn't always work in Pr Mac 5.5.2.  I routinely render my sequence using ProRes422 Previews, and when I export to ProRes422, it takes just as long to export as it did to render, no matter what settings I use.  I've tried them all.  Some times the exports are fast; other times, I might as well not have rendered my Sequence.  I can find no predictable pattern to when it works or not.

     

    This should be a huge timesaver in Pr... more than "a bit of time" saved.  Too bad it always isn't.  Hope it gets fixed in CS6.

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 12:37 PM   in reply to Jim Curtis

    Jim -"I might as well not have rendered my Sequence. "

     

    Excprt with sequences that have lots of effects or exceed your computers ability to playback, you have to render your sequence to watch it and make editorial decisions. Some clinets like to see it to. 

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 12:45 PM   in reply to lasvideo

    True.  But, most of the time, I work alone, without benefit (ahem) of client in the room.  My projects often go through dozens of iterations, and I might be making one or two little tweaks before I FTP an mp4 off to my waiting clients.  That's the case where there's no advantage to rendering first, especially if the Export is going to ignore my renders.

     

    What's odd about it is often my computer is fast enough to play all the effects without rendering, but the exporting is 10x the actual run-time of the spot.

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 12:53 PM   in reply to Jim Curtis

    "True.  But, most of the time, I work alone, without benefit (ahem) of client in the room.  My projects often go through dozens of iterations, and I might be making one or two little tweaks before I FTP an mp4 off to my waiting clients.  That's the case where there's no advantage to rendering first, especially if the Export is going to ignore my renders."

     

    Lucky duck 

     

    "What's odd about it is often my computer is fast enough to play all the effects without rendering, but the exporting is 10x the actual run-time of the spot."

     

    It sounds like something is definately not right with that situation.

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 1:16 PM   in reply to lasvideo

    Well, it took a few decades and advances in technology to get where I could work alone.  If I had to buy all the digital tape decks, it would have been much harder to bring my business home.  FTP, DG FastChannel, and card/drive media has enabled a paradigm shift.  I hardly ever see my clients.  Even the new ones, who I got on referral.  I have a couple I still haven't met face to face.

     

    Something is not right for sure with my exporting.  I wish I could figure it out.  I've tried all the standard repair and troubleshooting tactics.  Tried the new Mac OS (10.7.3).  I haven't reinstalled Pr yet, but I suppose that's on the list of things to try.

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 1:23 PM   in reply to Jim Curtis

    Do you have the Quadro 4000? I know it doesnt do encoding, but if you have any accelerated effects (etc) it helps. And even Colorista 2 is GPU accelerated. It definately helps when rendering in AE. Ive recently seen some benchmarks that make that point dramatically.

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 1:30 PM   in reply to lasvideo

    Yes, that's the reason I get such great real-time performance.  I try to mainly use accellerated effects.  Hard to get around not using Magic Bullet Looks, though.  It's not on the list (yet... hopefully some day). 

     

    I haven't noticed any speed improvements in Ae, which I use a lot.  In fact, the Quadro is not compatible with a few plugs (ShapeShifter and FreeForm Pro), but I've been able to work with OpenGL on, with fewer problems.  So, I guess maybe that does give some speed to Ae.

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 1:34 PM   in reply to Jim Curtis

    Have you run the AJA test to determine your raid speed?

     

     

    http://www.aja.com/support/kona-pc/kona-pc-3g.php

     

     

    AJA KONA System Test Version 1

     

    A Windows utility for measuring system performance with AJA KONA Video Capture cards. The application includes disk drive speed tests and video data copy (DMA) speeds. The disk speed tests differ from standard disk I/O performance applications in that they specifically test the system under conditions typically encountered with video capture, playback and editing. Note: most of the disk performance tests are generic and don't require an AJA KONA Video Capture card. The DMA performance tests do require a KONA card and AJA KONA Driver software to operate.

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 1:43 PM   in reply to lasvideo

    Oh, yeah.  I have a 8-SAS drive 6Gbs ATTO RAID.  AJA System Test reports between 1500-2100 MB/s reads and writes on the Sweep Video File Sizes test. 

     

    And as I mentioned, the export slowness comes and goes, even in the same project.  I'm working on a three minute promo, and the exports can be between 7 and 25 minutes.  Even 7 seems slow, on a rendered sequence.

     

    I have other weird issues with Pr as well.  Some times, I'll scrub the CTI, and there is no updating whatsoever in the Record window.  Some times it's 1 FPS.  Some times it's thousands of FPS.  I'm just not detecting a cause/effect relationship.  I've read some other threads here lambasting Pr for having memory leaks.  I don't even know what that really means, and consequently if it applies to my situation.  If it weren't for the CUDA processing, I'd frankly probably be working in Media Composer or FCP7.  The pros outweighs the cons for Pr at this point.

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 1:50 PM   in reply to Jim Curtis

    Yeah, thats great performance for a raid.

     

    So we both know the MPE thrives on fast disk access, lots of memory, CUDA cards and processing power. Any of these seem like a suspect?

     

    I guess another factor is the format/codec of your timeline and your choice of Export format/codec.

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 2:09 PM   in reply to lasvideo

    The last time I recall getting consistently fast exports was with 720 .mpg footage in a 486 ProRes Sequence.  I'd think that would be slower, due to the transcoding and scaling on export, but my exports were super fast.

     

    The promo I'm on now is ProRes footage, ProRes Seq settings, and ProRes export, often choosing "Use Sequence Settings."  One would think that this would give the fastest performance.  And this is the one where the exports are either 7 or 25 minutes.  That's what I mean when I say I don't detect a pattern yet.

     

    I have an 8-core MacPro3,1 with 32G RAM.  All drivers are current.  I truly don't think it's due to lack of power.  Ae renders at consistently high speeds.  I generally take my projects to Ae to finish anyway, but I don't like to go there until the client has signed off on content.  Much harder to make drastic changes.

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 2:17 PM   in reply to Jim Curtis

    Well, we have very similar systems.

     

    Mac Pro 3,1

    2 x 3.2 ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon

    10.6.8

    Nvidia Quadro 4000

    24 gigs ram

    Kona 3

    Maxx Digital / Areca 8tb. raid

     

    It would be interested with a very simple but representation sequence to try it on my system as a point of comparison.

     
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    Mar 16, 2012 9:47 AM   in reply to lasvideo

    Yes, I noted the similarities to our systems a while back.  I have the LHi and more RAM.  So, when you report things are working for you, I can generally presume it's not my hardware configuration.

     

    Thanks for your very kind offer to test, but I think I've achieved some success now. 

     

    Since about the only thing I hadn't tried was uninstalling and reinstalling the application, I just tried it, updated, reinstalled the Adobe AJA software, did a Permissions Repair, launched my promo project, exported it, and got a three minute export.  This is more like it!

     
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    May 5, 2012 7:15 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I'm running the 30 trial of PP5.5 in preference to FCPX as it handles my DSLR footage natively with no transcoding and will probably but in 10 days. One problem: my Macbook Pro uses the Nvidia GT330M which is widely acknowledged to be CUDA compliant (although not officially approved). Many people have used it to achieve Mercury hardware acceleration after installing the latest CUDA update and then editing the supported cards txt file to include the GT330M.

    However, the Mac installation of 5.5 doesn't seem to have created the relevant txt file - I have searched using the terminal and manually but to no avail. Is this something which has been abandoned with 5.5 and, if so, is there a workaround. Like everyone else, I really could use the extra rendering muscle!!!

     

    Apologies if this wasn't the best thread to post my query - I'm surprised there aren't more MBP/Premiere users with the same problem.

     
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    May 6, 2012 11:13 AM   in reply to FFSx100

    I had the same laptop - or at least the one that had a 330M chip in it.  The problem with this laptop is the fact that it does not have enough memory to make a difference in GPU processing.  We're really looking for at least 768MB of GPu memory in order to make a difference.  Internally, we tried to make this work, but really all we could get out of it is one dissolve or light FX working.  Not really the kind of experience that people are really expecting from the Mercury playback engine these days so we excluded this card. 

     

    Current generation Macbook Pro's are supported via the AMD/ATI chipset and OpenCL. 

     

    Dennis

     
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    May 7, 2012 5:28 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I've been running Premiere Pro CS5.5 on my system for about a year.  Rendering was so slow that last week I bought an nVida GTX 580.  I upgraded my power supply to 650w.  I can now enable the MPE GPU Acceleration, but notice absolutely no difference in performance - all my timelines still have the red line, and applying effects (particularly colour correction) still takes hours.  I'm running with 8GB of RAM, so I have no idea why I'm still struggling at the same old speed as before.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

     
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    May 7, 2012 5:53 AM   in reply to Pictoprod

    Pictoprod,

     

    If you're using Windows 7 and did not download the most current NVIDIA drivers, that may account for your lack of MPE acceleration.  Go into Project Settings and make sure that 'MPE Hardware acceleration' is turned on. 

     

    The normal WHQL drivers with Windows 7 for the NVIDIA cards typically do not give you the CUDA acceleration you see.

     
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    May 7, 2012 6:55 AM   in reply to dradeke

    Thanks for your help.  I've gone into Project Settings and made sure

    that the "Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration" is on, but still no

    change.  And I followed the instructions which came with the card and

    loaded the drivers from the accompanying CD.  I wonder if my old onboard

    graphics card might still be taking priority?  Or perhaps there are

    other elements of the system which are causing a bottleneck?  It is

    using an Intel Core i3 CPU - could that be the problem?  I thought that

    buying the 580 would allow me real-time rendering and better scrubbing. 

    I'm not too bothered about encoding quickly as I can leave it to do that

    once I'm finished editing, but it's a real pain having to wait for ages

    to see whether a colour correction has worked.  I'm using two Sony

    AX2000 cameras, so the native footage is AVCHD.

     
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    May 7, 2012 7:04 AM   in reply to Pictoprod

    Grab the latest drivers from the NVIDIA site - that's usually best.

     

    onboard system graphics - probably not, but you should check into it.  You probably have to go into Bios to determine that.

     

    Your RAM is okay but not great.  Your CPU is okay, but not great.  AVCHD is a big codec to decode so the fact that those two elements are only okay, is telltale.

     

    finally, the 580 will not enable better scrubbing - this is a CPU function and scrubbing AVCHD is tough even for a desktop system because of the temporal nature of the codec.  The GPU capabilities of MPE are strictly related to the effects you put on the clips.

     

    If you can play AVCHD footage with no effects fine, then adding the 580 should allow you to play the same timeline with some effects.

     

    Hope this helps,

    Dennis

     
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    May 7, 2012 7:33 AM   in reply to dradeke

    Thank you for your help, I appreciate it.  I'll download the latest

    NVIDIA drivers and see if that makes a difference.  I should probably

    upgrade my CPU and my RAM too.  Any suggestions?

     

    At the moment I'm working on a a project which has no effects added -

    only a couple of dissolves, and the line is still red until I render,

    which takes quite a while.

     
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    May 7, 2012 7:36 AM   in reply to Pictoprod

    don't worry about the RED if it's playing.  The green/yellow/red lines are immaterial when you're editing.  The idea is as long as you can edit your footage, you're good.

     

    As for an upgrade, there are too many choices to make a recommendation.  However, a fast i7 and lots of RAM + your 580 will be a great system.  Beyond that, it's up to you.

     
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    May 7, 2012 7:42 AM   in reply to dradeke

    Thank you, you've been very helpful.

     

    Shaun

     
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    May 7, 2012 9:10 AM   in reply to dradeke

    Hi, one final question.  My i3 processor says it is 3.5ghz.  If I buy an

    i7 at 3.5ghz will it make any difference?  I'm already over budget

    trying to speed Premiere up and don't want to waste any money

    unnecessarily.  I've just ordered four 4gb ram modules so that should

    double my memory.

     

    Many thanks.

     

    Shaun

     
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    May 24, 2012 6:25 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Hello, I need to export my video to tape but mercury playback is greyed out. I have an ATI Mobility Radeion HD 5650. From reading the forum, it appears my card does not have the CUDA processing features needed to enable Mercury. Is this correct? And if so, is there a work around that would enable me to export my video to tape?? Please help, I'm a film student and my final project is past due and I've done all this work but unable to turn in assignment as required (mini-DV).  Thanks in advance

     
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    May 24, 2012 6:30 AM   in reply to sunshineonpetals

    You do not need GPU acceleration to export to tape.

     
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    May 24, 2012 6:47 AM   in reply to SteveHoeg

    Thank you for the quick response. Here is the problem I'm running into. Background: I am able to capture from my device without issue but when I try to export it fails. Under Sequence Settings > Playback Settings > Export - I only have 2 options: None, DV:25 720 x 576i or Monitor 2 60 1920 x 1080p. I've chosen D; 25 720 x 576i. The 'disable video output when in the background' by default was checked. Under File > Export > Tape a dialog box pops up 'Export to HDV' the status is ready and the Current Timecode: 00;00;00;00. It has a Render and Record button as well as a Done button. I push Render and Record and it begins "Transcoding to HDV' which takes some times but appears to complete but receive a failed or nothing captured message. Based on tutorials I've seen on the web, after I select Export > Tape the Device Control option should pop up which would allow me to select the beginning and end of my timecode but this feature is not appearing. Any advice much appreciated. Thank you.

     
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    May 24, 2012 6:55 AM   in reply to sunshineonpetals

    BTW - My sequence is fully rendered (all green line on top) and I'm running Windows 7, 64-bit, 8GB RAM, TB HD, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650. I use my old camera Canon Vixia HV30 which as I mentioned the capture function works flawlessly. I haven't tried using my Canon XH A1 because I don't have a the 6p-4pin cable needed to transfer.

     
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    Jan 6, 2014 12:48 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Hi Todd,

     

    until the my  update to Premiere CC, I had not had any problem with Mercury Playback and open cl working with hardware acceleration.  For some reason I cannot use hardware acceleration any longer, the video freezes, and it will not export through AME. 

     

    I am using a Win 7 machine with i7 extreme, 16 GB ram, multiple discs with my work discs being SSDs, and nVidia GTX 570 graphics card.

     
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    Jan 6, 2014 9:46 AM   in reply to mtwjames

    I'm not aware of OpenCL ever having worked with nVidia on Windows, only on Macs.  nVidia on Windows offers only CUDA.

     
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    Jan 6, 2014 8:10 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Sorry Jim Simon, I meant to say GPU acceleration.  to many hours looking at the screen.

     
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    Jan 7, 2014 10:10 AM   in reply to mtwjames

    OK.  Start a new thread and answer all these questions.

     

    FAQ: What information should I provide when asking a question on this forum?

     
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