8 Replies Latest reply on Aug 27, 2018 2:33 PM by pobox119

    CS6 and 30 bit Display - Which video cards?


      I'm trying to set up my Dell U2711 monitor for use with 10 bit display (30 bit color) in Windows 7 via Displayport. I noticed that CS6 now has a "30 bit display" option in the Advanced GPU settings, and saw Chris Cox's commentary in another posting that CS6 no longer relies upon the GPU driver to enable 10 bit display.


      Has CS6 changed what video cards are able to work with 10 bit display?


      I know previously it needed to basically be either a AMD Firepro or possibly a Nvidia Quadro workstation class card with their advanced drivers in order to work. Can 10 bit display now work with the more mainstream Radeon HD 6xxx/7xxx or GeForce GTX 5xx/6xx cards? I'd like to buy a more powerful video card for general purposes, but not have to pay the very high price of a workstation class card.



        • 1. Re: CS6 and 30 bit Display - Which video cards?
          U2711Dell Level 1

          Anyone have any experience with this? Chris, are you able to comment just on whether CS6 has broadened the range of potential compatible cards?


          I'm not looking for a "tested and compatible" list, just trying to find out if anything has really changed with 10 bit display between CS5 and CS6. Any help would be appreciated.


          • 2. Re: CS6 and 30 bit Display - Which video cards?

            Not sure on the added range of cards, but I've tried Photoshop CS6 to check it out.  I currently use a Quadro 600 card paired to the HP ZR30w monitor for a full 30 bit pipeline.  Unlike CS4 and CS5 which use OpenGL version of the new 10 bpc mode, Adobe must now use a new way of displaying it.  In earlier versions, my Windows 7 would kick me out of Aero mode and into basic mode anytime I use a 30 bit color.  Photoshop CS6 doesn't do this at all.  It retains full Aero compatibility.  I mainly use Maya and even that program still uses OpenGL because even the 2013 version still kicks me into basic mode.


            I added a second monitor to my setup, and I need two displayports.  I ordered the Firepro V4900 card since it's reasonably priced.  I'll report back once I get that card up and running and see how it fairs in the 30 bit color arena.


            Overall, it finally looks like these color modes are getting the support they deserve!

            • 3. Re: CS6 and 30 bit Display - Which video cards?
              Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

              You could ask over on the Premiere Pro forums.  Lots of folk do serious colour grading over there.


              Try both the general and hardware forums


              • 4. Re: CS6 and 30 bit Display - Which video cards?
                U2711Dell Level 1

                To follow up on my earlier question, I was able to try out a Radeon HD 6950 video card with Displayport to see if it worked for 10 bit display with my U2711. CS6 showed that there was the 30bit option and I checked it, but unfortunately it didn't actually do anything.


                Ultimately I settled on a FirePro v4900 card with Displayport as the primary video card for my setup. I'm able to successfully get 10 bit display working in CS6 with this setup. I have to enable 10 bit display in the driver using Catalyst Control Center, and this prevents me from using Windows Aero themes. I tried turning off 10 bit display in the Catalyst Control Center to see if I could use Aero and still have 10 bit Display in Photoshop, but unfortunately that doesn't seem to work. The 30 bit option is listed in CS6 preferences and I've checked it, but it doesn't do anything unless I actually turn it on in Catalyst Control Panel.


                I'm using the 10 bit greyscale test ramp to see if 30 bit display is working properly.

                • 5. Re: CS6 and 30 bit Display - Which video cards?
                  tempest790 Level 1

                  Okay, I got my FirePro v4900 video card, and I'm very unimpressed.  I've avoided ATI/AMD video cards for years because of serious driver issues, and their FirePro is not up to par.  Coming from my nVidia Quadro 600, it boosted my WEI index to 7.1 from 6.6 for the Quadro.  However, that is the only plus.  You cannot use Aero at all when you enable 10 bit mode unlike the Quadro.  I use Autodesk Maya 2012/2013 as my main program with some Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop work.  While Photoshop will display a full 30 bit image, Maya will not.  I've tried every setting I could find, but there doesn't seem to be any 10 bit color support for FirePro cards even with the certified drivers for Maya.  That's unacceptable!


                  This card is going back tomorrow, and I'll stick with my Quadro 600 for now.  I need a card that has two displayports, so I might just save up for the Quadro 2000 (I know it's pricey, but I'll wait for a sale).  I have a secondary monitor that is displayport only, but I need displayport for my primary monitor.


                  FYI:  You can enable 10 bit mode in the Quadro (it's called Force 10 bit Color) and reboot.  Not only does it retain compatibility with Aero, it works perfect with Photoshop and Maya.


                  AMD, you really need to upgrade your drivers.

                  • 6. Re: CS6 and 30 bit Display - Which video cards?

                    Same experience here, the ATI V3900 was hit and miss and when the 10-bit was on the monitor calibration was gone. Changed for a Quadra 600 and got out of the box 10-bit in CS6 with only the Windows driver.

                    This feels more like a professional grade card/driver.

                    • 7. Re: CS6 and 30 bit Display - Which video cards?

                      You can just daisy chain your display ports monitors with a special adapter for your 600 card, all out of that one port.


                      Also, thanks for the heads-up on the v4900. I was about to buy it for Illustrator since it has faster vRAM, but I was afraid the Nvidia drivers might be better for design apps. Going with a Quadro instead. I think AMD's offerings are for the science/engineering crowd.

                      • 8. Re: CS6 and 30 bit Display - Which video cards?

                        Just read this 10-bit Display Method with Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 and Graphics Board Compatibility | EIZO

                        then this

                        The 10 Bit Path      10 bit Photo,  PC, Windows 7 – 10,  Photoshop CS6 or CC,

                        Quadro Graphics card


                        That said, it is not without glitches in practice - Photoshop will, when using some tools like 'clone' for example, render a small part of the working area in 8 bit around your pointer. Also, Windows 7 will lose the aero transparency features ONLY with ATI video cards. That’s AMD Pro

                        On The PC:

                        • Windows 7 or above, ideally Windows 10
                        • A video card that has 10 bit output support (common in theory) AND drivers that actually offer this in a stable manor (much more rare).  Note you card must support both 'regular' 10 bit video output, and OpenGL 10 bit output....thus....
                        • The best supported cards are the NVIDIA Quadro workstation cards. We recommend the basic K620 model, or if you have more budget and definitely if you're using multiple monitors, go for the M2000 model or higher.
                        • You can also try the ATI FirePro series of cards (many cheaper ATI cards have the hardware required but no driver support for 10 bit). I have used ATI FirePro 4800/4900 cards with quite good results, but the drivers are really quite flakey.
                        • Photoshop CS6 (earlier versions do NOT really reliably support 10 bit output) - ideally Photoshop CC 2015+.
                        • Activation of 10 bit mode in those apps (see e.g. Photoshop performance settings).
                        • Only if you have all of these things in place will 10 bit support be possible and you will need to manually activate it in the video card drivers in most instances.
                        • 10 bit output may interfere with games etc, so they do let you turn it on and off as required.