Support Changes for GPU Acceleration Coming to Premiere Pro

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Adobe Announces Support Changes for CUDA and Apple Metal in Future Release in Premiere Pro.

Adobe has released important information regarding support for GPU acceleration with CUDA and Apple Metal in future releases of Premiere Pro CC. Here are the bullet points from the announcement:

Apple Metal

  • Apple Metal GPU acceleration will require macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or higher

  • Users on macOS 10.12 can still use OpenCL graphics acceleration in Premiere Pro

  • Apple Metal gives 15-20% faster rendering

Cuda

  • CUDA graphics acceleration will require CUDA 9.2 drivers

  • To run CUDA 9.2 on Windows, you need to download version 411.63. This driver requires Windows 10. (Read to the end of the post for a better download link!)

  • Updating to CUDA 9.2 on macOS requires macOS 10.13.6, a current NVIDIA card with at least 4 GB memory and NVIDIA display driver version 387.10.10.10.40.105. Be sure to update the display driver before installing the CUDA driver.

NVIDIA

  • The next release of Premiere Pro will support Kepler, Maxwell, and Pascal series

  • NVIDIA is discontinuing support for the Fermi GPU series this year.

What is GPU Acceleration?

For those who don’t know, GPU acceleration is the term for using the GPU in addition to the CPU to better handle processing intensive tasks. Technically, GPU acceleration is not required to run Premiere Pro, but the performance benefits are absolutely worth it. For example, GPU acceleration will shorten render times and improve playback performance. There are effects in Premiere Pro accelerated by the GPU that don’t require rendering previews in order to playback in realtime. Click here to see the list of accelerated effects in Premiere Pro. GPU accelerated effects are indicated by this icon in the Effects panel:

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PRO TIP: Clicking the Accelerated Effects icon at the top of the Effects panel will display only the effects that are GPU accelerated.

 

macOS and Windows Support Change Reminder

This GPU acceleration update comes one month after announcing support changes for Windows and Mac OS, requiring users to update to newer operating systems in order to use future versions of Premiere Pro. Click the link to learn what the new minimum operating system requirements are for the next version of Premiere Pro.

 

What Do These Support Changes Mean for Premiere Pro Users?

We spoke to Matt Bach, Senior Puget Labs Technician at Puget Systems, and asked him what his thoughts were on the announcement and what the practical implications are for Premiere Pro users. Puget Systems is America’s #1 computer and Matt’s entire job is testing computer hardware, like GPUs, in Premiere Pro.

MATT: This sounds like a continuation of Adobe dropping support for older operating systems. They want to make sure people are not only on a newer OS, but also using up-to-date versions of OpenCL/Metal/CUDA.

This will come as a big inconvenience to Premiere Pro users on older systems. Of course, that’s only if they plan on updating to Premiere Pro CC 2019 (coming soon).

Support changes like this are to be expected from tech companies. We all know technology is constantly evolving and Adobe has to keep up.

MATT: At some point, developers simply have to draw a line in the sand and say "we can't support every possible combination out there" and choose what is reasonable for them to concentrate on. Can this annoy end users? Absolutely. But in the end, it should result in a better experience for everyone - assuming you have a system that falls within what they decide to support.

Adobe has to make support decisions that will improve the experience for the majority of their customers. Like Matt said, most Premiere Pro users will benefit from of these support changes.

MATT: Supporting old hardware and software means a lot of extra development time spent on testing and QA to make sure applications work on an overwhelming wide range of systems. Adobe limiting their applications to reasonably recent hardware and software like this should allow them to free up development time to more effectively fix bugs, add features, and even improve performance since they can focus on features that might not even available on older hardware or software.

Matt also gave us a helpful tip for updating the NVIDIA card driver, specifically regarding the link in the official Adobe announcement.

MATT: I wouldn't use the driver page they linked to for the NVIDIA drivers since they pointed directly to the 411.63 driver download. That driver has quite a few bugs for Adobe applications in particular that are fixed in the 411.70 driver. It is much better to go to the NVIDIA Driver Download page and select the card you have to make sure you get the latest driver.

 

Plan Ahead

With the upcoming release of Premiere Pro CC 2019 (presumably around MAX 2018), now is the best time to prepare for these support changes. Do not make the mistake of updating your software or hardware in the middle of a project!


Have a comment or question about GPU acceleration in Premiere Pro or about the support changes for CUDA and Apple Metal? Let us know below!