Avoid installing NVIDIA CUDA drivers on computers with AMD GPUs

CUDA

Note that the CUDA Driver Version is disabled in Mac OS X System Preferences since there is no NVIDIA card in this computer

Do you have a computer with AMD GPUs? If so, please ensure that you never install NVIDIA CUDA drivers to your system unless a CUDA card is installed. This can really confuse your computer, and will further cause applications to act erratically, even crash.

In addition to mistakenly installing NVIDIA CUDA drivers manually, you can also wrongly install these drivers via system migration. For example, system migration via Time Machine on Mac OS X can cause the issue. If you had the drivers installed on a previous computer and then migrated your system’s files to a new computer with only AMD drivers, you can get errors. If you swapped an AMD GPU into a system that previously had a NVIDIA CUDA card installed, these errors will occur. Certain applications can install CUDA drivers to computers, so you can get these errors that way, as well.

This issue happens primarily to Mac users. These users must remove CUDA drivers from their computer. To remove CUDA drivers from the Mac, go to “Mac HD/Library/Frameworks” and delete “CUDA.Framework.”

Update 3/28/14
For certain applications, such as Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve, CUDA drivers are automatically installed, even if you have AMD GPUs. CUDA must be installed in order for that application to launch. If other applications have issues, you may need to install a different version of the CUDA drivers. Currently, if you need to have CUDA software installed on AMD hardware, you can install the 5.5.28 CUDA drivers. In the future, consult support for the manufacturer for the correct CUDA driver version.

If CUDA drivers do not need to be installed, please do not install them. It’s best to not have CUDA drivers on non-CUDA hardware unless you absolutely need to, as in the case with Resolve.

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26 Responses to Avoid installing NVIDIA CUDA drivers on computers with AMD GPUs

  1. Christian says:

    Interesting… but…

    Davinci Resolve won’t open without CUDA drivers installed.

    So… what to do here?

  2. Theodore Athans says:

    I have a Mac Pro with both AMD GPUs and an Nvidia Quadro 4000 installed.
    I have Cuda drivers installed and so far both cards/drivers co-exist without any problems…
    Are you referring to some specific incompatibility?
    Did you test various systems and experienced erratic behaviour and crashes with certain apps?
    If yes, which ones?
    And under which MacOS version?
    Thank you.

    • kmonahan says:

      Hi Theodore,
      If you have both GPUs, then you do need both drivers installed. Thanks for the clarification. The issue is appearing on OS X 10.8, and OS X 10.9 in the cases I’ve seen.

      Thanks,
      Kevin

  3. Elvin Ho says:

    I installed an Nvidia card in my mac pro to leverage MP Engine for Premiere and AE, but if I follow this, then that card is useless and I don’t get MP Engine.

    • kmonahan says:

      Hi Elvin,
      Do you have both cards installed? This article is for those that install NVIDIA drivers on computers with only AMD cards.

      Thanks,
      Kevin

  4. Bill says:

    Christian is correct. I just removed CUDA on a 2013 Mac Pro and Resolve will not launch. FWIW Blackmagic told me that to run Resolve 10.1.3 you need to roll back CUDA to 5.5.28.

    • kmonahan says:

      Hi Bill,
      I updated the blog to address your concerns. Thanks for your patience. Indeed, the 5.5.28 CUDA driver will work with Resolve on new Mac Pro systems. Thanks for your feedback.

      Thanks,
      Kevin

  5. MarkS says:

    Kevin, did you not read what Christian said??? DaVinci Resolve Refuses to boot, infact crashes on boot without Cuda being installed, so for him, myself and I’m sure many others this is a big problem. I have been working using AMD gpu’s whilst having CUDA installed for years though without problem until recently when nvidia release a bad driver that causes After Effects to crash constantly. So to simply say don’t do it, is just poor research on your behalf on what requirements other software have.

    Regards.

    • kmonahan says:

      Hi MarkS,
      I updated the blog addressing your issue. Thank you so much for your feedback. You are correct in that GPU drivers can coexist. Engineering does recommend that you do not do this unless necessary, however.

      Thanks,
      Kevin

  6. sean says:

    We couldn’t run any Adobe CC video apps without installing Cuda on new Mac Pro’s with AMDs running Mavericks. I have tested it repeatedly on a 2014 Mac Pro and it just won’t work without the Cuda drivers.
    Premiere Pro, AE, Encoder, all crashed before loading without the Nvidia Cuda drivers. This is on a brand new machine too. It was totally weird but the only thing that got them running.

    Sean

    • kmonahan says:

      Hi Sean,
      Really? I find that pretty odd. Are you having any trouble running Adobe CC video applications now? Do you have DaVinci Resolve installed?

      Thanks,
      Kevin

  7. Evan says:

    THANK YOU!!! I somehow had an nvidia cuda update despite my ATI 5870 card installed. Crashed PP and AE on startup. Deleted the Cuda framework from the library folder and everything works properly again!

  8. Rod Cole says:

    I have the new Mac Pro with dual D500 AMD Radeon GPUs, each with 6gb of vRAM.

    When I first started up the new system, I was prompted to update the CUDA drivers, which I had thought were not required. I currently have 5.5.47 for the CUDA driver and it says update required but it also says no new CUDA driver available.
    I also have Adobe CC installed as well as Davinci Resolve. I had installed Resolve 10.1.3 but had to roll it back.

    I may try rolling CUDA back to 5.5.28 to see if that helps

    • kmonahan says:

      Hi Rod,
      I found out that installing CUDA is necessary for Resolve to launch. Rolling back CUDA to 5.5.28 is the recommended step. I just updated the post with this info. Thanks for posting your helpful feedback.

      Best,
      Kevin

      • Rod Cole says:

        Thanks Kevin.
        I resolved the problem with the Adobe apps by installing the CUDA 6.0RC (6.0.26) driver about which I found out in another thread. So doing also fixed the problem in CUDA under System Preferences and it is now happy that the upgrade has been done.

        Next, I upgraded my Resolve to 10.1.3 and it now launches. That said, I do not see any clips in Assets, Time Line, or Color.

        I am going to rollback the CUDA driver to 5.5.28 as Blackmagic Designs says it is the only CUDA driver that will work with Resolve 10. I will post my findings.

  9. Phil Gibson says:

    So, what is the recommendation for Adobe CC and Resolve users on the new Mac Pro?
    We need to have both on this new machine and we need them to both work properly. If we cannot remove the CUDA Driver to make Adobe CC work correctly because this will cause Resolve to crash, what are we to do to make this setup work?

    • kmonahan says:

      Hi Phil,
      To run Resolve, I just found out that it is OK to install the 5.5.28 CUDA driver. Any other driver might cause you issues. Thanks for your feedback and hope this info helps.

      Best,
      Kevin

  10. simo harjane says:

    Please help. i deleted that framework, after effects cc 12.1.1 started working but getting a warning. Ray-tracing on the GPU requires an approved nividia graphics card and cuds 5.0 or later for now , ray-tracing will use CPU. >??? my graphics display are ..AMD Radeon HD 6750M and
    Intel HD Graphics 3000. Mac pro 10.9.2.. mavericks.. please help.

    • kmonahan says:

      Hi simo,
      That warning is normal for those that do not have NVIDIA GPUs installed. If you are going to get into 3D at all, look into the new workflow with Cinema 4D.

      Thanks,
      Kevin

  11. Rod Cole says:

    In case anyone needs the CUDA 6.0 driver, it is available at the following URL:

    https://developer.nvidia.com/cuda-pre-production

  12. Carlo Romano says:

    Hello, I’d like to know how to get rid of all the CUDA stuff I erroneously installed on my Mac and that is now likely causing Premiere AND After Effects to not start at all.
    I’d appreciate any help on this.
    Thanks everybody,

    Carlo