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Help choosing a Mac to run Premiere Pro CS6

Apr 17, 2012 10:40 PM

Hey,

 

So, I'm pretty excited about the upcoming release of Premiere Pro CS6 (and the rest of the Production Premium CS6 package!).

 

My 4 year old MacBook Pro is just about coping with Premiere Pro CS5.5, so I'm going to be upgrading in the Hardware department.

 

Having read through the 'reveal' documentation (http://success.adobe.com/assets/en/downloads/guides/Pr_CS6_WN_Reveal.p df) I found the following;

 

In addition, new support for the OpenCL-based AMD Radeon HD 6750M and AMD Radeon HD

6770M graphics card with a minimum of 1GB VRAM available with certain Apple MacBook Pro

computers running OS X 10.7 brings improved mobile workflows to Mac users.

 

Well, I'm thinking, forget the MacBook Pro, I'm going to get me an iMac... however, the AMD Radeon cards in the iMacs only have 512Mb VRAM, except for the flagship model which has the

AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 1GB VRAM - my question is, does this specific card support OpenCL? (it's not mentioned in the literature)

 

Maybe a question for the Apple forums but thought I'd start here!

 

Thanks

Michael

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2012 11:57 PM   in reply to MJASumner

    I don't think you will hear that. The only thing you get with MAC's is slower performance than equally equipped PC's, great looks and an inflated price.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 1:33 AM   in reply to MJASumner

    This isn't a Mac Vs PC question.

    I don't buy into Mac's "can do no wrong" ethos but I happen to enjoy their OS.

    Thanks.

     

    M

     

    So the answer is easy.  Buy the very best one you can afford. (and hope its enough bang for your buck)

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 1:55 AM   in reply to MJASumner

    If you are going with a mac, make D-sure you get one with a CS 6 certified GPU. MPE Hardware acceleration is incredible.

     

    I'm a bit miffed because we have a 2010 Mac Pro tower at wotk with a pretty good stock AMD card in it, however it doesn't seem like it will be supported.  So the mobile gpu rings the bells but the big performance card is a door stop.

     

    I wonder if Nvidia had anything to do with this mud burger.

     

    Glad we have a new PC built for CS6.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 4:58 AM   in reply to MJASumner

    You can always get a Mac Pro and insert a Nvidia Quadro GPU.

    If you dont want to spent that much money or want to get an iMac be aware that currently the iMac's GPU are not officially supported. However, since it is only about entering the GPU model to a text file you might get decent performance using OpenCL. No guarantee whatsoever. I don't want to start an OpenCL vs. CUDA war over here, but for now CUDA seems to much more mature - it is, all things considered, a bit longer around.

    Another thing you could do is getting a MacPro and use a basic GTX570/580 from your local PC dealer and Nvidias latest driver and doing a similar textfile editing. You still need a graphics card for the boot screen and getting enough power might be tricky as well, but once you have solved that, you're ready to fly . That is probably the least supported option but the rumor mill tells it is working very well.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 5:01 AM   in reply to MJASumner

    I realize you don't want to go to the dark side and leave your Mac OS behind, but I'll just say that you can build an amazingly powerful CS6 machine on Win7x64 for very little money. As for the Mac/Win licensing, a phone call to Adobe will solve that for you. Also, I can't be certain, but I believe that with the Creative Cloud subscriptions, you'll be able to download either one - you're not tied to a specific license, especially nice if you are installing on a PC workstation AND a Mac Book Pro (which is very common...many producers have done this for years but by having to purchase TWO licenses). The final word about Creative Cloud has yet to be spoken...it's being launched on Monday so the answers will be coming out then.

     

    SOOO...with that said, you DO want to get a computer with a qualified Mercury compatible GPU because you really will speed up your editing by leveraging the GPU capabillities in CS6.

     

    You asked if the AMD 6970M supports OpenCL, which it does...in fact, I believe every AMD GPU on the market today supports OpenCL, but that's not the real question. Adobe CS6 won't be leveraging OpenCL across the board, only in GPUs with 1GB or more VRAM and right now, the only ones that are supported out-of-the-box are the 6750M and the 6770M. Buying any other GPU besides those two (equipped with at least 1GB VRAM) is a huge gamble.

     

    Now starting with MPE in CS5, many users quickly found a way to add their non-Adobe-certified Nvidia GPU to the MPE list by editing a text file in the application folders. So users who had a GPU that matched the required specs for the qualified MPE GPUs were able to take advantage of MPE with uncertified cards. The lowest common denominator in this was still the 1GB minimum VRAM requirement. So I say all this to suggest to you that the same situation MIGHT be true once CS6 rolls out, where you can use an AMD GPU besides those two that Adobe has listed so long as it has 1GB VRAM or more and just edit the MPE text file to make it compatible.

     

    Like I said, that's still a big gamble, because we don't even know if Adobe left the door open to continue modifying that file that dictates the GPU support on your system, and even if they did, we don't know if the same case will be true with the AMD GPUs nor if it's even true on the Mac platform.

     

    Hope that helps! If you want to take a lot of the guesswork out, I'd still recommend a PC workstation with one of the lower end Nvidia GPUs. I'm using a very affordable GTX 470 on CS5 and it makes a huge difference versus non-MPE (or rather, non-hardware-MPE) editing.

     

    Good luck!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 6:27 AM   in reply to MJASumner

    If you are considering a workstation, I would say to keep your options open. I returned my Mac version and got the Windows within 30 days. Even if you got the software box, you don't even have to send it back, and they ship you a new one. I'm glad I did. I love Macs but my PC has been rock solid. However I lot of professionals use Macs so it may be more compatible for your network? Still, my experience so far is 24 GB or RAM, over 1GB of VRAM, fast processor, at least 3 HD, two good screens, is a must have! Editing is time consuming already, although I do know professionals who use iMacs who know a lot more that I do in FCP and AE, but I suspect their workflow is more limited and involves a lot of transcoding and exporting.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 10:28 AM   in reply to MJASumner

    This company has a great reputation: http://www.adkvideoediting.com/

     

    Not only in building what you need, but also in service and support and they do both PC's and MAC's. Give them a call.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 10:36 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    +1 on Harms comment.

     

    After lots of research on systems like HP, Boxx and Puget Computers, ADK appears to me to be the best choice.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 10:46 AM   in reply to MJASumner
     
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    Apr 18, 2012 11:04 AM   in reply to MJASumner

    They're both based in North America, but both of these company's produce very high quality systems and sell internationally:

     

    ProMax (www.promax.com)

     

    Boxx Technologies (www.boxxtech.com)

     

    Both are more along the budget you'd have for a full Mac Pro but run Win7 and open up a world of options as far as accessories. Customer support is also excellent, but you might want to talk to them about where you are and support expectations.

     

    Also, I know HP just announced a new all-in-one workstation (a-la the iMac) but as it says in the name, it's a workstation....and fully user serviceable just like a desktop. Jan Ozer did a review comparing it to a full fledged HP tower workstation and it came out quite nicely. So HP might be another option for you (and I know they service the entire globe).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 1:32 PM   in reply to Christian Jolly

    Another vote for Scan UK if in the UK..

     

    FYI we do ship worldwide..

     

    Scott

    ADK

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 20, 2012 5:34 PM   in reply to Scott Chichelli

    Supported configuration for OpenCL GPU acceleration in Premiere Pro CS6 is exactly and only this:

     

    "GPU processing (Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration) extended to use OpenCL on some systems: AMD Radeon HD 6750M and AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics card with 1GB VRAM in MacBook Pro computers running Mac OSX v10.7"

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 21, 2012 7:28 AM   in reply to Scott Chichelli

    Scott,

     

    Would love to purchase a system off ADK, but also live in the UK and import duties/after sales service obviously become an issue. Can you recommend a contact @ Scan.UK? I wanted to get an overclocked i73930k with 32GB ram and GTX 680, but have been put off by instability and low volatge ram requirements. My old system is rather lacklustre, but I'm only a hobbyist and can hold off til after summer.

     

    If you could offer me any advice, my sincere gratitude.

     

    Many thanks

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 11, 2012 11:30 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Hi Todd,

     

    Any chance Premiere will be backwards compatible with this change?  I'm running PP5.5 on a 2011 MBP with the 6750, and would love to see the performance gain.

     

    Thanks!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 23, 2012 6:51 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Hi Todd,

    Are you stating here that it is impossible to upgrade a Mac Pro tower to such a status? (They are generally much more powerful than MacBooks....)

     

    ""GPU processing (Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration) extended to use OpenCL on some systems: AMD Radeon HD 6750M and AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics card with 1GB VRAM in MacBook Pro computers running Mac OSX v10.7"

     

     

    Thanks!

     

    Matt Dubuque

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 23, 2012 8:03 AM   in reply to Matt Dubuque

    Matt Dubuque wrote:

     

    Hi Todd,

    Are you stating here that it is impossible to upgrade a Mac Pro tower to such a status? (They are generally much more powerful than MacBooks....)

     

    ""GPU processing (Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration) extended to use OpenCL on some systems: AMD Radeon HD 6750M and AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics card with 1GB VRAM in MacBook Pro computers running Mac OSX v10.7"

     

     

    Thanks!

     

    Matt Dubuque

    Matt,

     

    I'm not Todd, but the GPUs mentioned as "supported" under the OpenCL portion of the MPE GPU acceleration are not available at all for Mac Pro towers. The "latest" GPUs that are currently shipped with the Mac Pro towers are still of an older GPU generation than those that were included with the previous generation Macbook Pros. Neither AMD nor its board partners offers any HD 6xxx or HD 7xxx series GPUs at all for any tower Mac Pros. And starting with the current generation Macbook Pros and iMacs, Apple has dropped AMD in favor of the Nvidia 6xx series (Kepler) GPUs (of which, as of version 6.0.3, the only one that's officially supported for GPU acceleration on the MacOS is the GT 650M). The current-generation Mac Pro tower line has not received any significant updates or upgrades since it was introduced in September of 2010 - more than two years ago. So, they had to go with whatever AMD GPU that was current at that time. The only updates the line received were faster Xeons of the same CPU generation (Nehalem/Westmere) - and then, quite late in the lifespan (the faster-clocked CPUs were introduced to the Mac Pro tower line only in mid-2012). Thus, officially, the only way to get GPU acceleration at all on the Mac Pro tower would be to spend an additional $900 or so for a Mac-compatible Quadro 4000 even though that GPU is now two GPU generations old.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 23, 2012 9:05 AM   in reply to RjL190365

    Thanks, that was really a superb answer!

     

    Screen shot 2012-12-23 at 9.04.26 AM.png

     
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