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Adobe Premiere Pro, Nvidia CUDA drivers, and Mac OSX v10.7 (Lion)

If you are using the version 4.0.31 CUDA driver from Nvidia on Mac OSX v10.7, you may notice that the Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration setting is unavailable. This version of the driver disables the CUDA processing features of Premiere Pro if the operating system is running the 32-bit kernel; the reason for this is that there is a conflict between the driver and the Mac OSX v10.7 operating system. For drivers earlier than 4.0.31, a crash happens when a 64-bit application runs on the 32-bit OS kernel. With the updated 4.0.31 driver, Premiere Pro will continue to run, but the Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration settings will be disabled.

This is a temporary situation which is currently being worked on by both Nvidia and Apple, and updates to both the Mac OSX v10.7 operating system and the Nvidia CUDA drivers are expected soon to address this issue.

In the meantime, you can do one of two things:

  • Run the 32-bit operating system kernel, which for now disables CUDA processing.
  • Run the 64-bit operating system kernel, which allows CUDA processing.

Note: By default, Mac OSX v10.7 (Lion) uses the 64-bit kernel, so you shouldn’t need to do anything unless you’ve previously changed to the 32-bit kernel.

This issue does not exist for Mac OSX v10.6.8 (Snow Leopard).

For details regarding choosing between the 32-bit and 64-bit OS kernels, see this page on the Apple website:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3773

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