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'Mercury Playback Engine' is a name for a large number of performance improvements in Premiere Pro CS5. Those improvements include the following:
- 64-bit application
- multithreaded application
- processing of some things using CUDA
Everyone who has Premiere Pro CS5 has the first two of these. Only the third one depends on having a specific graphics card.
Confusingly---because of one of our own early videos that was just plain unclear---a lot of people think that 'Mercury' just refers to CUDA processing. This is wrong. To see that this was not the original intent, you need look no further than the project settings UI strings 'Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration' and 'Mercury Playback Engine Software Only', which would make no sense if 'Mercury' meant "hardware" (i.e., CUDA).
The official and up-to-date list of the cards that provide the CUDA processing features is here:
Some of the cards on that list are only enabled if you have the recent updates.
Here's a list of things that Premiere Pro CS5 can process with CUDA:
- blending modes
It's worth mentioning one set of things that Premiere Pro CS5 doesn't process using CUDA: encoding and decoding.
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.
Processing with CUDA doesn't just mean that things are faster. In some cases, it can actually mean that results are better, as with scaling. See this article for details.
CUDA is an Nvidia technology, so only Nvidia cards provide it.
The term 'Mercury Playback Engine' refers to Premiere Pro. It has nothing to do with After Effects. After Effects CS5 is a 64-bit application, and it has been multithreaded for a long time, so those improvements are there. But After Effects doesn't use CUDA (though a few third-party plug-ins do).
in addition, CS5 does not use SLI technology
it only uses 1 graphics card
this thread explains some good stuff
the information seems accurate
hope this helps
After Effects doesn't use CUDA (though a few third-party plug-ins do).
Is there a list of those anywhere?
> Is there a list of those anywhere?
Nvidia has a high-level list (at the level of company, not plug-in) of companies that make GPU-accelerated plug-ins on the bottom of this page:
Note that 'GPU-accelerated' can refer to OpenGL and/or CUDA.
The GenArts Sapphire line has several CUDA-accelerated plug-ins.
Thanks to all for their post. I learned a lot regarding NVidia's Quadro Card Series. I think the best strategy for me is going to be to buy one of these cards used from EBAY sometime in December. My guess is that I could get a Quadro 5000 for $500 in a year's time. Agan, thanks for all of the posts.