Beginning with Premiere Pro CS5, we have been using the GPU on certain graphics cards to process many things within Premiere Pro. This GPU processing (sometimes loosely referred to as “hardware acceleration”) relied on CUDA, a set of technologies from Nvidia.
We got a lot of requests from people using computer systems that couldn’t use CUDA—such as those with built-in GPUs from AMD—to expand our GPU acceleration features to also use OpenCL.
So, we did.
In Premiere Pro CS6, nearly all of the things that can be processed with CUDA on certain Nvidia GPUs can also be processed by OpenCL on certain AMD GPUs.
Let me address some common questions:
What can Premiere Pro CS6 process with OpenCL?
Everything that Premiere Pro CS6 can process with CUDA, with four exceptions:
- Fast Blur effect
- Gaussian Blur effect
- Directional Blur effect
- Basic 3D effect
In our first iteration of OpenCL processing, we weren’t able to get enough performance improvement for these four effects, so they are for now better left on the CPU. But everything else that Premiere Pro CS6 can process with CUDA can be processed with OpenCL, and that’s a lot.
OK, then. What can Premiere Pro CS6 process with CUDA?
There’s a lot of detail about that here for Premiere Pro CS5 and CS5.5:
“CUDA, Mercury Playback Engine, and Adobe Premiere Pro”
The only thing added for Premiere Pro CS6 is the Push transition.
What are the system requirements for Premiere Pro CS6 OpenCL processing?
AMD Radeon HD 6750M and AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics card with 1GB VRAM in MacBook Pro computers running Mac OSX v10.7 or later
(See the system requirements page.)
[UPDATE: The Premiere Pro CS6 (6.0.2) update added OpenCL and CUDA functionality for the GT 650M GPU, which is in the newer MacBook Pro computers.]
Why only those cards?
We are very firmly committed to making Premiere Pro a stable, reliable, high-performance NLE. This involves thoroughly testing the configurations that we recommend and support. We needed to make sure that we could get the best possible performance and stability with these two very common systems before we could consider broadening our support to other systems.
Will you add more cards later?
We can’t talk about what we’ll do in the future, but I can ask that you look at how few cards Premiere Pro CS5 could use for GPU acceleration when it was first released, and then note how we’ve added cards to the supported list with several updates and upgrades. We make no promises about our future plans, but you may be able to determine something about our thought process by looking to past behavior.
What can I do to get the best performance and stability out of these OpenCL processing features?
The most important thing is to make sure that all of your software is up to date. That means making sure that you’ve got the most recent updates for Premiere Pro (choose Help > Updates), as well as making sure that you’ve got the most up-to-date graphics drivers and operating system updates. We are working with our partners, including the makers of graphics cards and operating systems to ensure that our systems work well together, and the best way for you to take advantage of that cooperation is to keep your software up to date.
The Mac OSX v10.7.4 update makes performance with OpenCL significantly better, and Mac OSX v10.8 makes even more improvements.
For details of all that’s new and changed in Premiere Pro CS6, and how to get it, see this page.