7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 15, 2010 12:38 PM by Hfuy

    What does Mercury accelerate?

    Hfuy

      Hi,

       

      Is there a list anywhere of exactly what the Mercury playback engine actually accelerates? I'm looking at going to CS5 and reconfiguring some hardware to make it happen, and I want to be sure exactly what it's going to get me. Is there a definitive list somewhere?

       

      I have a nasty suspicious mind and I've been burned in the past, paying enormous amounts of money for "3D hardware accelerated" rendering, and finding in the end that what you actually get is a poor-quality keyer and a "page curl" effect, and all the useful stuff (levels, gaussian blur, 3-way, dissolves, scaling, etc) are still done on the CPU. Blame Matrox and the RT2000 (remember that?) for making me think this way.

       

      What exactly does Mercury do?

       

      P

        • 2. Re: What does Mercury accelerate?
          Hfuy Level 1

          Sure, I've read all the marketing spiel about it. Yes, it's fast, OK, it helps, but exactly what does it help? Exactly what goes faster and what conditions are placed on it working?

           

          Again I don't want to come off as a hopeless cynic, but I've seen too many hardware accelerated systems that instantly drop back to CPU rendering the second you exceed some obscure, esoteric parameter.

           

          P

          • 3. Re: What does Mercury accelerate?
            Todd_Kopriva Level 8

            I’ve noticed a lot of people using the term  ‘Mercury’ or ‘Mercury playback engine’ as if it refers specifically to  CUDA processing. Not true. The term ‘Mercury playback engine’ refers to a  whole set of performance improvements in Premiere Pro CS5, including  the port to a 64-bit application, the multi-threaded nature of the  application, and the use of CUDA on the GPU to accelerate some things.  Anyone using Premiere Pro CS5 is getting all but one of these  advantages; people with certified CUDA cards are getting one additional advantage.

             

            The multi-threaded aspect and the 64-bit-ness of the application make everything faster and better.

             

            But, if you're asking about what is processed by CUDA, then here's the list:

            - some effects

            - scaling

            - de-interlacing/interlacing

            - blending modes

             

            I'll mention one set of things that isn't accelerated by CUDA, since people ask about this a lot: encoding and decoding.

            • 4. Re: What does Mercury accelerate?
              shooternz Level 6

              Simply ... timeline performance.

               

              You can search the numerous links etc...

               

              But...frankly....your level of cynicism cant be satisfied by anything it seems !

               

              What exactly do you require to  prove it to you?

              What do you ask of it?

               

              Go some where and get a hands on demo.

              • 5. Re: What does Mercury accelerate?
                Hfuy Level 1

                 

                But, if you're asking about what is processed by CUDA, then here's the list:

                - some effects

                - scaling

                - de-interlacing/interlacing

                - blending modes

                 

                I'll mention one set of things that isn't accelerated by CUDA, since people ask about this a lot: encoding and decoding.

                Now that is right answer. Two further questions:

                 

                - Does "blending modes" mean that all compositing is done on the GPU, even where the alpha masks for the composite were created by non-CUDA effects, and

                - is Gaussian Blur in CUDA now faster than Fast Blur in software? Otherwise, can we please have fast blur too, as it is widely used and often adequate.

                 

                And yes, I appreciate that what's been branded as "Mercury Playback Engine" refers also to some software-based performance improvements, and I applaud this loudly. I'd be overwhelmed with joy to discover that the next major version bump  Premiere (and AE) had absolutely no changes other than a complete performance-enhancement pass over the entire application; I don't usually bemoan the lack of features, but I do gripe when we're rendering 1 of 772 with nine hours remaining.

                 

                However, I think it's inevitable that people will gloss over the software improvements, no matter how much the software people sweated over it. There is an upper limit on what can be achieved on a CPU and it is much less interesting than suddenly giving the thing a couple of hundred stream processors to play with.

                 

                Are there plans to port more filters to the CUDA architecture?

                 

                P

                • 6. Re: What does Mercury accelerate?
                  Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                  > Does "blending modes" mean that all compositing is done on the GPU...

                   

                  No. It means that blending modes are processed on the GPU.

                   

                  >  is Gaussian Blur in CUDA now faster than Fast Blur in software? Otherwise, can we please have fast blur too, as it is widely used and often adequate.

                   

                  I haven't tested this myself.

                   

                  If you have specific requests, please submit a feature request.

                   

                  > Are there plans to port more filters to the CUDA architecture?

                  The porting of specific effects to CUDA depends largely on customer demand.  In other words (and at the risk of repeating myself)... if you have specific requests, please submit a feature request.

                  • 7. Re: What does Mercury accelerate?
                    Hfuy Level 1
                    No. It means that blending modes are processed on the GPU.

                    Well, yes, but "normal" does alpha and that is strictly speaking a blending mode!