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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
    Feb 12, 2011 1:57 PM   in reply to Matt Petersen

    GPU acceleration does not aid in decoding footage, so if you cannot play an image sequence in realtime on it's own, a faster GPU is unlikely to help you.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2011 2:20 PM   in reply to Sir John of Nohow

    GPU acceleration does no decoding, so if your TGA sequence will not playback on its own I would not expect a new GPU to help.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2011 2:58 PM   in reply to SteveHoeg

    Thanks for your response Steve. It is appreciated.

     

    Here is what I have found to improve playback: My TGAs are of 24 bit, 6 Mb each. Despised the absence of an alpha channel within the file, I decided to go to "interpret Footage" and check "Ignore Alpha Channel".  I can now play those images in real time, in several layers, including an XDCAM HD 422 file, with playback resolution to 1/2.

    Would it be because PremPro was looking for the alpha channel anyway?

     

    Jean

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2011 3:30 AM   in reply to Colin Brougham

    Colin Brougham wrote:

     

    PS: Todd, you should probably refer to the Mercury Playback Engine correctly, and not just Mercury... or Dennis will send you a nasty note

     

    Seeing as neither Todd nor I are in marketing, I think he's safe from a nasty note from me.  Besides he helps me out too much for me to get on his bad side anyway!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 14, 2011 6:12 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I sure hope Adobe fixes the fire wire out preview for external monitor support using MPE!!

    You can't even preview what your effects are doing let alone preview the time line playing.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 16, 2011 5:06 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    i am trying to buy a pc from either HP or Dell that will allow me to take advantage of this Mercury/CUDA.

     

    unfortunately, none of the nvidia options they provide are on the list as published by adobe.

     

    i find this a little strange.

     

    help?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 16, 2011 7:08 PM   in reply to rokn1500

    Build your own.  It'll be cheaper, and you can use whatever card you want.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 16, 2011 8:32 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    thanks. i don't feel like building my own - hardware is a pain. i just want

    to order something that works.

     

    rob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 16, 2011 8:42 PM   in reply to rokn1500

    I have a HP Z600 workstation that is a nice design and kind of inexpensive (relative).  Their onsite warranty is quite nice.  My Z600 runs CS5 like a champ.

     

    http://www.hp.com/sbso/busproducts-workstations.html

     

    Dennis

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2011 7:36 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Is it possible to use GPU accelerated rendering/transcoding from a Premiere Pro sequence within Adobe Encore?

     

    When I render out from Premiere Pro CS5 using Adobe Media Encoder (MPEG2-DVD), the GPU really helps speed that up, especially when downsampling from HD and/or adding color correction.  But this requires that I calculate the bitrate for the DVD titles manually, and lose some the other nice features of Encore as well.

     

    When I dynamically link Premire Pro sequences within Encore and use the automatic bitrate setting, I don't have to worry about bit rates, but the transcode seems to take forever, so I'm assuming that's not GPU accelerated.  In addition, I haven't found any settings for Maximum Render Quality or Maximum Bit Depth within Encore, so I'm assuming the quality of the renders will be worse.

     

    This all seems to indicate that Encore doesn't support GPU acceleration, which makes dynamic linking a sequence somewhat useless for me.

     

    Am I missing something?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2011 9:43 AM   in reply to Dave_Gish

    I'm guessing here, but Steve Hoeg will undoubtedly correct me if I'm wrong. Encore is still a 32 bit application that does not support hardware MPE. But even a 64 bit application like PR does not use hardware MPE for encoding, that is still a CPU matter. The benefit of hardware MPE comes from the scaling and blending, which is hardware assisted and is very noticeable when going from HD to SD.

     

    What I would suggest is using a bitrate calculator like DVD-HQ  Bitrate & GOP calculator to manually determine your best encode settings and export directly to MPEG2-DVD, which also gives you the advantage of being able to use AC3 5.1 sound if you have the Surcode plug-in.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2011 3:56 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Note  that whether a frame can be processed by CUDA depends on the size of  the frame and the amount of RAM on the graphics card (VRAM). This article gives details about that, toward the bottom.

    From the article:

    For example, one image size from a Canon T2i is 5184×3456. Doing the math, this requires 1,094MB, which just exceeds the 1GB available on the Quadro FX 3800, but is still within the 1.5GB of the Quadro FX 4800.

     

    The GeForce GTX 470 has 1280MB of memory so it would be able to use CUDA in the scenario above.

     

    For larger frame sizes:

    1. Would having dual GTX 470s work together to enable CUDA?
    2. From the list of things that CUDA accelerates, would the performance increase with dual cards be negligible?
    Has it been tested how dual cards increases performance of MPE?

     

     

    Thanks,
    Alex
     
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  • joe bloe premiere
    4,391 posts
    Dec 6, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 4, 2011 4:00 PM   in reply to Alex Hallajian

    1. Would having dual GTX 470s work together to enable CUDA?
    2. From the list of things that CUDA accelerates, would the performance increase with dual cards be negligible?
    Has it been tested how dual cards increases performance of MPE?

     

    Premiere Pro does not use dual cards in an SLI configuration.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 15, 2011 12:44 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I run a hacked GTX 460 on my PC. The hack works great!

     

    I have burned up one already, but later came to find out why CS5 burned it up:

     

    1: The case wasn't cool enough; CPU is liquid cooled but I forgot to get another case for specifically for the GPU).

    2: The GTX 460 doesn't utilize it's auto fan controller very well, which is why Nvidia offers a fan controller software on the driver's CD. This will allow you to set the fan speed with different profiles. If I remember right, my GTX 460 fan speed was very marginal. Oh well. Nvidia replaced mine with no hassles and I have two case fans cooling it (one is blowing cool air on it, the other is blowing cool air out of the back of the case).

     

    It was kinda funny watching smoke pour out of my GPU after hours of editing on it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2011 11:14 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    it is great to see the expanded list of nvidia cards.

     

    hp still does NOT ship with any of these. too bad. i think hp desktop

    packaging is really superior right now.

     

    but it looks like dell offers the quadro 6000 in a higher end configuration.

     

    maybe by next year, we will be able to buy a good selection of machines off

    the shelf that will run premier pro w CUDA support.

     

    r

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2011 2:39 PM   in reply to rokn1500

    whalematch wrote:

     

    hp still does NOT ship with any of these. too bad. i think hp desktop

    packaging is really superior right now.

     

     

    I've had 2 HP laptops that ship with them and I know you can get most Z station desktops configured with current Quadro cards as well.  Was there a specific model you were looking at that didn't offer it?

     

    Dennis

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2011 4:48 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Todd, what are the plans for Adobe to take advantage of 2x, 3x, and 4xSLI GPU configurations? It's a shame for people to have thousands of dollars of hardware potentially going unused by an Adobe application.

     

    Can a person with an SLI configuration use the MPE as is, or do they need to disable the SLI configuration before using Adobe software? Meaning, if I have 3-Way SLI, if I use PPCS5/5.5 will it simply only use the GPU of one card, or will the SLI throw it off, and I am required to disable the SLI before PP will correctly use the GPU for MPE?

     

    Thanks in advance!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2011 5:55 AM   in reply to Geronimosan
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    what are the plans for Adobe to take advantage of 2x, 3x, and 4xSLI GPU configurations?


    You're assuming that adding more GPU power through SLI would make Premiere CS5 run faster.  It would not.

     

    Remember that the video decoding and encoding are still performed by the CPU, and current CPUs are nowhere near as powerful as most GPUs.  So what you typically end up with is your CPU pegged around 100% usage, and your GPU only at running at 50% or less.  There are also issues with system memory size, system memory speed, GPU memory speed, etc.

     

    In other words, all parts of the system are being stressed, and the weakest link usually determines overall performance.  For CS5, GPU processing power is typically not the weakest link.  More detailed info here:

    http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2011 3:12 PM   in reply to Dave_Gish
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    Dave_Gish wrote:

     

    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    what are the plans for Adobe to take advantage of 2x, 3x, and 4xSLI GPU configurations?


    You're assuming that adding more GPU power through SLI would make Premiere CS5 run faster.  It would not.

     

    Remember that the video decoding and encoding are still performed by the CPU, and current CPUs are nowhere near as powerful as most GPUs.  So what you typically end up with is your CPU pegged around 100% usage, and your GPU only at running at 50% or less.  There are also issues with system memory size, system memory speed, GPU memory speed, etc.

     

    In other words, all parts of the system are being stressed, and the weakest link usually determines overall performance.  For CS5, GPU processing power is typically not the weakest link.  More detailed info here:

    http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm

     

    I don't think it is me who is making all of the assumptions.

     

    A) I never made the claim that adding more GPUs would make PP run faster. And I won't claim to know precisely what will and won't benefit PP, but it does make sense for one to hypothesize that what is affected by the GPU within MPE, additional GPUs would have additional benefit.

     

    B) I never mentioned anything about encoding and decoding, or how additional GPUs would affect that. In fact, this thread is about MPE, and as most of us know, MPE doesn't do any encoding and decoding, so I'm unsure how you decided to bring that topic into this thread.

     

     

    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    Todd_Kopriva wrote:

     

    > Todd, what are the plans for Adobe to take advantage of 2x, 3x, and 4xSLI GPU configurations?

     

    I can't comment on future plans, but I will encourage you to make a feature request if this matters to you.

     

    > Can a person with an SLI configuration use the MPE as is, or do they need to disable the SLI configuration before using Adobe software? Meaning, if I have 3-Way SLI, if I use PPCS5/5.5 will it simply only use the GPU of one card, or will the SLI throw it off, and I am required to disable the SLI before PP will correctly use the GPU for MPE?

     

    If you have multiple GPUs in an SLI configuration, Premiere Pro will only use one of them for the CUDA processing features, but the fact that they're set up in this way shouldn't cause a problem. If it does, file a bug report.


    Thanks for the info Todd. I will certainly make use of the feature request link.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2011 7:32 PM   in reply to Geronimosan
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    Geronimosan wrote:



    MPE doesn't do any encoding and decoding, so I'm unsure how you decided to bring that topic into this thread.

     

    How can the Mercury Playback Engine (MPE) play back video without decoding the video format?  That's what I was saying before.  The CPU still does the video decoding in MPE.  The GPU resizes the video window and processes many video effects in real time.  So MPE actually runs on both the CPU and GPU.  That's what "GPU Acceleration" means.

     

    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    Geronimosan wrote:

     

    I won't claim to know precisely what will and won't benefit PP, but it does make sense for one to hypothesize that what is affected by the GPU within MPE...


    We don't have to hypothesize.  In the link I provided above, they tested many different system hardware configurations with various CPUs, memory, and graphics cards to see what really affects performance.  The bottom line is that for most sytems, PP CS5 generally hits the limits for CPU, memory speed, and/or hard drive speed way before the GPU hits max, and that's with a single mainstream type graphics card.

     

    By the way, you can see how much of the CPU and GPU you're using in real time by downloading the NVidia System Monitor tool from their web site.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 7:25 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I agree. Your list is very limited and affects many, many people. I bought a Nvidia Quadro FX-1800 especifically to use it with Premiere Pro CS5. Now I find out I can't use the GPU acceleration that Adobe brags about.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 9:28 AM   in reply to baron jorel

    The Quadro FX-1800 doesn't have enough video RAM to work with Premiere Pro CS5 or CS5.5.  You need a card with at least 1 GB of video RAM.  And for good performance, it needs to be GDDR5 video RAM (not GDDR3).

     

    You can buy an NVidia GTS 450 for a little over $100, and if you follow the directions here:

    http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm

    it works great.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 9:50 AM   in reply to Dave_Gish

    Then, can someone tell me why I spent the money on a Quadro FX-1800 and what good is this card for?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 10:19 AM   in reply to baron jorel

    Hi,

    I haven't googled the card to see if its possible, but sometimes you can

    upgrade ( add ) memory to the card.. I hope you find a good solution one way

    or the other. Maybe you can return the card and get a refund and get another

    card that works OK ?  Sorry you're having trouble with this...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 10:24 AM   in reply to baron jorel

    baron jorel wrote:

     

    Then, can someone tell me why I spent the money on a Quadro FX-1800

    ???

     

    baron jorel wrote:

     

    and what good is this card for?

    http://completed.shop.ebay.com/i.html?LH_ItemCondition=12&_nkw=Quadro% 20FX-1800&LH_Complete=1

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 12:40 PM   in reply to baron jorel

    Did you read the supported cards list before you bought the card?  Did you read the system requirements?  If not, why not?  If so, then why did you choose that card?

     

    -Jeff

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 12:47 PM   in reply to Jeff Bellune

    I followed Video Guys suggestions and they recommended the FX-1800 because, according to them worked with PPro CS5 and Win 7 64bit, which is what I have. I also called them to ask why not another card, a Radeon, for instance, and they told me about CUDA. That was last year. since then, they have updated their info and changed their specs for their "dream" (my word, not theirs) workstation.

     

    In any case, I work a lot on PS CS5 and the card seems to be doing its job.

     

    However, I don't understand, given the amount of  FX-1800 out there, why Adobe can't do a patch to recognize this card.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 1:10 PM   in reply to baron jorel

    For the simple reason that it does not have enough memory.

     

    Why did you buy it in the first place? I think because you went for it based on information from VideoGuys or other sources that related to CS4, not CS5+. Because your information was out of date at the moment of purchase and you did not check whether that was still accurate. Nobody to blame but yourself.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 1:25 PM   in reply to baron jorel
    I followed Video Guys suggestions and they recommended the FX-1800

    I think you have a legitimate beef with Video Guys.  Point them to info in this forum, in the system requirements for CS5/CS5.5 and ask them to explain to you why they recommended that card.  If you bought the FX-1800 from them, insist on getting your money back or on getting a replacement card that *does* meet minimum specs.

     

    -Jeff

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 1:33 PM   in reply to Jeff Bellune

    Unfortunately, I didn't get the card from them and their comment to my questions a few hours ago was "it's an old card." Does Pontius Pilate come to mind?

     

    The folks at Nvidia did say that the card uses CUDA and everything else that PPro CS5 throws at it, except the Mercury engine - again, software related.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 1:41 PM   in reply to Jeff Bellune

    videoguys are a family run business with nothing but the best information and intensions to help people get what they need to meet their needs. I personally recommend them for all solutions to editing platforms and information about adobe premiere pro editing software and other platforms. Similar to the way these guys do, but without the entire build of platform

     

    http://www.adkvideoediting.com/

     

    Nothing here suggests there is anything "wrong" with what videoguys have done to satisfy this issue here...and I suspect the customer didn't do his homework and didn't  ASK the videoguys what would WORK with the specs the customer had at the time.  I would maybe not be so fast with pointing fingers of " BLAME" here....

     

    and try to solve the problem... eg. call videoguys and explain your problem to them and let us know what the outcome of that is so we can all benefit from the solution you find , OK ?

     

    thanks

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 2:07 PM   in reply to baron jorel

    It's nice that they responded to your question about the card and your

    problem isn't it.  Even though you didn't buy the card from them, I mean ?

    People here will help you figure out the solutions to your editing problems

    even though they didn't " sell " you the card either.  And the pros here

    will not assume the retailer you implicated but did not buy from is at fault

    either.

    If you need more help finding a better card, and maybe trading yours in for

    another, please let us know... or do some searching here...as there have

    been a lot of threads about what works well....

    Good luck and hope you can trade that card in etc

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 2:14 PM   in reply to able123
    videoguys are a family run business with nothing but the best information

    Except in this case, wouldn't you say?

     

    -jeff

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 2:28 PM   in reply to Jeff Bellune

    Hard to judge when nobody saw the link, the context in which it was written, the version it referenced, the date it was posted, etc.

     

    Once upon a time the FX1800 was a very good card for CS4 and I can imagine VideoGuys recommended it at that moment in time. But to extrapolate those recommendations to also include CS5 is another matter.

     

    FYI, Gary from VideoGuys does a tremendous job with his hardware guides and does not recommend anything that he does not stand behind for 100%. But, technology progresses and what was utterly true x months ago can be shown to be the worst investment today. All that is of course hindsight and it applies to a lot of my articles as well (I need to update those ).

     

    From the info I got from this thread, my conclusion in post # 60 still holds unless proven otherwise.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 3:59 PM   in reply to baron jorel

    baron jorel wrote:

     

    Unfortunately, I didn't get the card from them and their comment to my questions a few hours ago was "it's an old card."

    Yes, it's an old card: only 64 CUDA cores, and only 768 MB of the slower GDDR3 RAM.

     

    baron jorel wrote:

     

    The folks at Nvidia did say that the card uses CUDA and everything else that PPro CS5 throws at it, except the Mercury engine - again, software related.

    Yes, just like Windows has minimum hardware requirements.  In fact, most software you buy has minimum hardware requirements.

     

    In the case of the Mercury Playback Engine, the minimum requirements for the video card seem to be:

    1) At least 1 GB of video card RAM.

    2) For good performance, the video card RAM should be GDDR5, not the slower GDDR3 type.

    3) For good performance, at least 96 CUDA processing cores.

     

    As an example, here's a card with 192 cores and 1 GB of the faster GDDR5 RAM for only $99 (after rebate):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125341&cm_re= gts_450-_-14-125-341-_-Product

    just edit the cuda_supported_cards.txt file as described here:

    http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm

    and it works great with the Mercury Playback Engine.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 4:56 PM   in reply to Dave_Gish

    So let me ask you this. With my system Win7 64 bit with 12 GRam and a Raid 0 assembly, and given that I use PS, Indesign and Illustrator (all CS5), would you trade the FX-1800 for a GTX 470?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2011 5:36 PM   in reply to baron jorel

    baron jorel wrote:

     

    So let me ask you this. With my system Win7 64 bit with 12 GRam and a Raid 0 assembly, and given that I use PS, Indesign and Illustrator (all CS5), would you trade the FX-1800 for a GTX 470?

    The GTX 470 has 448 CUDA cores.  The FX-1800 has 64 cores.  In other words, the GTX 470 is MUCH more powerful than the FX-1800.

     

    I'm not sure how much difference it will make in the apps you list though.  I mainly use Premiere.  Keep in mind that CS5 uses both the CPU and GPU (graphics processor) to get the job done, and certian types of tasks split the workload differently between the two types of processors.  To see how much of the CPU and GPU you use in your typical work, download the NVIDIA system monitor tool here:

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/nvidia_system_tools_6.06.html

    This shows CPU and GPU usage in real time, as well as disk and memory usage.  That's the best way to find the weakest link in your system for your specific type of work.

     

    Also, if you decide to go with the GTX 470, make sure your system's power supply will handle it.  You'll need at least a 550 watt power supply to run the GTX 470.  The FX-1800 only requires a 450 watt power supply.

     

    Hope this helps.

     
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