2011 iMacs & Adobe CS5.5 "CUDA" - need more info

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by iphonepiephone, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. iphonepiephone macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2009
    Hi all. I am considering a 2011 27" iMac for CS5.5, but CS5.5 (specifically Premiere Pro) require, ideally, an Nvidia GPU for the "Mercury Playback Engine", which uses Nvidia "CUDA" cores.

    How does the iMac, with the ATI card, run CS5.5 optimally - does it run smoothly, even without Nvidia? I am asking specifically about Premiere Pro & After Effects.

    Thanks - informed replies only please.
  2. Ahheck01 macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2006
    I was just about to start a thread about this. Now that FCPX has shown not to be worthy for quite a while yet, I'm looking at Production Suite CS5.5 - but if it only runs great on NVidia systems, what can I expect, and what is my alternative?
  3. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    While the Mercury Playback engine will not take advantage of anything other than specific (very expensive) NVidia cards GPU, it does leverage multiple cores and memory in excess of 4GB. Download the 30 day trial and see if it works smoothly for you. I imagine it will be great. Get an i7 as it has 8 virtual cores!
  4. iphonepiephone thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2009
    I have the trial, but not the iMac yet - that would be putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.

    i7 = 4 physical cores, 4 virtual cores
  5. Igantius, Jun 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011

    Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    As long as you’re using Premiere Pro CS5 or later, you’ll be accessing the Mercury Playback Engine, whatever the GPU is in your machine. Adobe use the term MPE to describe a range of improvements, (e.g. it being a 64-bit and multithreaded app). However, if you have certain Nvidia cards, you’ll also benefit from enhanced processing in some areas via CUDA. Adobe is pretty keen to stress that you don’t need a Nvida card to benefit - but obviously, you’ll get more benefit if you do.

    More detail about this can be found at http://blogs.adobe.com/premiereprot...y-playback-engine-and-adobe-premiere-pro.html There’s quite a bit about what CUDA can and can’t give you, so hopefully that will be of some help.

    Also, http://blogs.adobe.com/genesisproject/2011/03/premiere-pro-on-a-mac-–-what-is-the-truth.html would be worth a look. The article looks at Premiere Pro on Macs in general and looks at the MPE – a few commentators discuss the app on an iMac.

    I don’t have any firsthand experience, but I think you’ll be fine using either bit of software, from the feedback I’ve read.

    Just in case it’s of interest, there was a recent thread called ‘iMac i7 or 2010 Mac Pro for After Effects’ http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1.
  6. zlinuk macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2008
    I have a 2010 i7 and it runs PremPro / AE (CS5) no problem at all.
  7. SatyMahajan macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2009
    Cambridge, MA
    I have an 8-core Mac Pro with the NVIDIA 285 GTX card. The difference I see with Software Only rendering vs CUDA-enabled rendering is that you can't have multiple tracks of video with effects in real-time. That's where CUDA shines.

    This video might help clear things up.


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