26 Replies Latest reply on Aug 14, 2010 8:40 AM by JCschild

    Radeon HD 5870

    Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

      Video transcoding and video effects filters devour parallel floating-point compute power.  The ATI HD 5870 offers 2.7 trillion single-precision floating-point operations per second. In addition, up to 544 billion double-precision FP operations per second. Contrast that to Intel's fastest cpu, the i7-975 which is capable of approx. 85 billion FLOPs per second.


      Floating-point calculations are now IEEE 754-compliant. This supposedly/hopefully makes life easier for application developers. AMD built in the technology to make the 5870 a better general purpose compute engine than previous releases. Built-in features that could potentially contribute to our video card's (perhaps beginning with the HD 5870) ability to speed up our workflow include:


      Full hardware implementation of OpenCL and Direct Compute 11

      IEEE 754-2008 floating-point compliance

      Better memory handling for general applications

      Global synchronization and data sharing


      Some in the tech forums are claiming that ATI has taken a more standards-based approach to GPU computing than Nvidia has, with it's proprietary CUDA architecture.


      Competition is a good thing. By being competitive, ATI has enabled us to buy better products at lower prices. I hope Adobe will consider utilizing the power = speed advantages available through ATI's offerings as well.

        • 1. Re: Radeon HD 5870
          Jim_Simon Level 9

          ATI has enabled us to buy better products at lower prices.


          Precisely why I prefer ATI over nVidia.  I would argue that Adobe MUST abandon CUDA once the current developement cycle is over and support ONLY OpenCL.

          • 2. Re: Radeon HD 5870
            Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

            I wonder what happened to this?:


            AMD ATI Stream Technology Accelerates Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 Workflows

            Beta Plug-In Available from AMD.com


            What: AMD (NYSE: AMD) announces the availability of a beta plug-in for the Adobe® Premiere® Pro CS4 software that continues to enhance the performance of a range of complex video editing tasks.1 The plug-in is the result of an ongoing collaboration between Adobe and AMD engineers to take advantage of ATI Stream technology to allocate processing between available system CPU and GPU resources to enable maximum application performance.

            Why: The Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 plug-in draws on the computational power of both the CPU and GPU to add hardware-driven performance improvements to the already rapid processing power of Adobe Premiere Pro. ATI Stream technology allows the powerful GPU to be used for more than just graphics processing, resulting in enhanced general computing power.

            Who: Consumers and professionals using AMD platform technology, such as the desktop PC platform technology codenamed “Dragon”, ATI Radeon™ or ATI FirePro™ graphics cards looking to improve the performance of compute-intensive applications like video encoding. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 provides a comprehensive solution for creative professionals who need to craft world-class video, audio and interactive media. ATI Stream Technology taps additional computing resources available to Adobe Premiere Pro users by taking advantage of both CPU and GPU processing power.

            Benefits: The ATI Catalyst™ Driver enables millions of ATI Radeon™ and ATI FirePro™ users to unlock ATI Stream compute acceleration capabilities on their graphics cards. Upon downloading http://links.amd.com/adobepremiere and installing the latest plug-in, Adobe users with the plug-in and the latest Catalyst driver may experience an encoding performance improvement of up to 8X.1

            Resources: Follow ATI Stream updates on Twitter at @ATIStream
            For graphics card pricing, click here
            Provide feedback on the application in the AMD Forum
            Product images can be found at the AMD Unprocessed Flickr page

            About AMD: Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) is an innovative technology company dedicated to collaborating with customers and technology partners to ignite the next generation of computing and graphics solutions at work, home and play. For more information, visit http://www.amd.com.

            • 3. Re: Radeon HD 5870
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Doesn't work on the majority of systems, only on AMD systems.

              • 4. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                I wasn't aware until yesterday that AMD/ATI even had a BETA GPU Plug-in for Premiere CS4...


                Hopefully AMD/ATI is still considering their marketing path. They seem to already be on the first one listed below, but another comes to mind (wishful thinking perhaps):


                1.) Promote the AMD/ATI product line by designing a faster ALL AMD solution that runs most everything in Premiere CS4 quicker than any Intel processor based editing system (meaning no CUDA/GPU help). They might do this, as an attempt to sell more AMD processors in a market dominated by Intel.


                2.) Perfect the beta plug-in to work on systems that use either AMD or Intel processors. They could sell the plug-in software designed to work on their high-end mainstream cards like the ($389) 5870 as opposed to Nvidia's approach of offering a solution that only works with their $600 - $1600 Quadro cards.


                I've not read any stats related to what people create with their Adobe CS4 software. I know there are a lot of Wedding videographers who could possibly benefit from Nvidia's Cuda h.264 encoding acceleration.


                The company I work for mainly produces corporate video.  DV NTSC and Panasonic 1080i P2.  The videos are always distributed in DVD format. Not enough people have Blu-ray players yet. I can see it taking as long as 7 to 12 years before Blu-ray becomes the standard and DVD players go the way of the VCR.

                • 5. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                  Jim_Simon Level 9

                  It may seem nice that there is a 'sort of' ATI solution out there, but it's still the wrong one.  Stream is ATI only.  CUDA is nVidia only.


                  OpenCL is the best solution here, as even newer S3 cards can take advantage of it (should anyone care to use such a card.)

                  • 6. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                    Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                    It appears from what I have read, that OpenCL is the "Java" of CPU GPU communication, figuratively speaking. I just hope that someone creates something useful for us Premiere Editors. It disturbs me to see the vast power of a 5870 go to waste. Hear that ATI!!!


                    Nvidia... make the CUDA plug-in work with your mainstream cards. Accelerate mp2 encoding. DV NTSC, FLV/F4V, WMV's etc. If it can show a substantial speed increase, I might even spring for a 295 if I have to, but NOT a $1000+ Quadra.


                    I really don't know why Nvidia chose to accelerate h.264. If we took a survey, I wonder how many editors are working in that codec. I would hate to shell out the bucks for a Quadra card. Call me a cheapskate, for instance the other day I got a call from our crew letting me know that our camera man is expecting 2 Panasonic 64GB cards delivered to our office by around 10:00AM. I drove them across town where they were doing a shoot. These two cards cost 1900 freaking dollars!!


                    And Panasonic has the nerve to give us the convoluted MXF file format!. Insult to injury. At least the quality is spectacular. It'd better be.


                    I'm thinking, one can purchase a quality, high performance SSD 128GB for around $379.


                    The idea of spending over $1000 for an Nvidia Quadra + h.264 acceleration is really starting to get on my nerves.

                    • 7. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                      Jim_Simon Level 9
                      Panasonic has the nerve to give us the convoluted MXF file format!.


                      Amen, brother.  The whole point of the MXF format was to develop a standard, professional media container, one that could hold all the data in a single file - audio, video, timecode, metadata.  So far, seems like everyone using it has mucked it up with some proprietary bulllll...oney.

                      • 8. Re: Radeon HD 5870

                        Hi Chuck,


                        I read your comments on the ATI Radeon HD 5870 video card.  I just ordered a Dell Studio XPS 9000 desktop PC for video editing - and the Dell engineer configured the PC with that card in support of Adobe PPro CS4 editing.  Does CS4 support video acceleration with that video card?  If so, do you know the setup process to bring this system on-line?  Or...should I call Adobe TS on this question?


                        Thank you, Steve

                        • 9. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                          That would warrant a sincere compliment to the Dell 'engineer' in question: he would be the first and likely only Dell employee to understand ANYTHING about video editing.


                          To your disappointment, a mere ATI HD 46XX for a lousy $ 40 performs equally well. There is no acceleration for this video card. EOS. And compliments to your 'engineer' for his sales qualities.


                          Just out of curiosity, with how many disks and in what configuration did he set up your disks, if he set up your system for video editing?

                          • 10. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                            Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                            I posted the article before Adobe announced the upcoming "Mercury Playback Engine".  Althouth the 5870 is a great card, most of us will be switching to Nvidia's offering because MPE is based upon Nvidia technology and will not work with ATI cards.


                            The 5870 will provide no benefit over the lower priced 4830 for instance on a Premiere Pro CS4 video editing rig related to smooth playback or accelerated anything.


                            One advantage related to video editing the 5870 DOES have is support for 3 monitors.  2 DVI and one HDMI. The HDMI could be used to output to a reference monitor.

                            • 11. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                              Stevenst90808 Level 1



                              I ordered a Dell computer last month with the 5870.  I told the sales engr

                              that I wanted to do accelerated video editing with CS4.  He said that the

                              5870 would support that.  The PC has not yet shipped.  If I really need to

                              change the card - I should do it today!


                              - Do you recommend that I stop the dell order and change the video card to

                              an Nvidia card?  If so, which NVidia card do you recommend?  Is there a

                              lesser expensive NVidia card that will accelerate CS4 video editing?


                              - What is MPE?  What is the upcoming Mercury Playback Engine?  Is that not

                              currently part of CS4?


                              - Finally, how noticeable would the difference in CS4 editing be between the

                              5870 and the NVidia card you mentioned?


                              Is there a phone number that I can reach you at today?


                              Thank you, Steve

                              • 12. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                Harm Millaard Level 7
                                He said that the 5870 would support that.


                                That confirms my suspicion: There are no Dell employees that know anything about video editing. They are all pure nitwits.


                                I would like to know what disk setup this nitwit suggested for video editing.


                                As to the video card, my suggestion is to get a cheap one now and once CS5 is released and requirements for full MPE support are known, to exchange it for a good card.

                                • 13. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                  Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                                  "He said that the 5870 would support that"

                                  That is a common misconception. A 5870 will not improve video editing speed any more than a low end $50 Nvidia 7300 card.


                                  The Mercury Playback Engine is a technology that is planned to be included in Premiere CS,5 available some time in April. I recommend that you swap out the 5870 for a cheaper 4830. By the time the Mercury Playback Engine is available, the supported Nvidia cards will most likely cost quite a bit less. ATI cards are not supported.

                                  • 14. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                    Stevenst90808 Level 1

                                    Chuck - can we talk on the phone now?

                                    • 15. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                      Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                                      Check your P.M.

                                      • 16. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                        Stevenst90808 Level 1

                                        Chuck - I just sent my # to you.

                                        • 17. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          As far as I know, the nVidia 285 is the least expensive card that will, someday, support the enhanced parts of a future Premiere Pro


                                          I have not seen a post, from an Adobe employee, saying this will be in CS5... but if it is not in the initial CS5 release, it MIGHT be in an update


                                          Do be aware that it HAS been stated that PPro CS5 will be 64bit only... which I think means Win7 since Vista is now a dead end

                                          • 18. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                            Stevenst90808 Level 1

                                            Harm - I just spoke to Chuck.  I decided to stay with the ATI 5870 for now.  It is pretty cheap and supports 3 monitors.  Hopefully, Adobe will develop future P/Pro versions that support OpenCL architecture.


                                            I sent an email to Dell requesting a change in the SATA hard drives from RAID1 to a 300 GB, 10 K RPM system drive and 2 separate 1.5 GB, 7200 RPM drives for Export and Media.

                                            • 19. Re: Radeon HD 5870

                                              so has anyone tried

                                              ATI Radeon HD 5870


                                              in new mac pro ??



                                              is it "as good" as top nvidia card in PP???

                                              • 20. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                                JCschild Level 3

                                                no its not you get no acceleration only nVidia cards , and Apple put the stop to that..

                                                you best off with a PC for Adobe.




                                                • 21. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                                  bobmane Level 1

                                                  and there will be no after market nvida card for new mac pro?

                                                  • 22. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                                    JCschild Level 3

                                                    highly unlikely for some time considering the politics involved right now


                                                    nVidia is pissed at Apple, Apple And Adobe have been having at it as well..


                                                    i dont see the new cards being Apple approved or made by nVidia for it.


                                                    unless you need to have FC on your system as well i see no point to an Apple


                                                    PC is more configurable, less money and better performing.

                                                    • 23. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                                      bobmane Level 1

                                                      do you know if the card on PC will also enhance vegas video or only PP?

                                                      • 24. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                                        JCschild Level 3

                                                        one of the cool things about Vegas is it does not relay too much on video (Graphics cards)

                                                        i can actually use it to some degree with onboard video on a laptop.

                                                        one of the bad things is its slow on renders




                                                        • 25. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                                          bobmane Level 1

                                                          problem is I am maxxxxed out on Vegas and it is a crash fest when heavily taxed...i was hoping the card would be a "2-fer" PP and VV...though PP would do I suppose

                                                          • 26. Re: Radeon HD 5870
                                                            JCschild Level 3

                                                            if you are maxing out Vegas you will have serious issues with Premier.

                                                            Premier is by far more demanding.


                                                            but yes a better video card will help vegas to some degree