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Video Cards for Adobe Premiere CC 2015, CC 2014, CC, CS6, CS5.5 and CS5

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Video Cards and Adobe Premiere

Article Updated on 06/23/2015
Software Updated on 08/18/2015

Copyright 2015, Studio 1 Productions
Written by David Knarr of Studio 1 Productions
FAQ section is near the end of the article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Make sure you have installed the latest video drivers for your video card from the NVidia website.  This will solve a lot of problems you may run into.  Please do NOT use the drivers that come with you video card, as they are usually outdated.

I updated Premiere and now it is running the Mercury Playback Engine in software mode.
Simply go back to the unlock procedure above and redo step 1 to 19 or just run the program above.  Now your video card will be unlocked again.  When Adobe does most updates, the update installs a new cuda_supported_cards.txt file.  So all you have to do is add your video card back into the list.

I can not see any video in my Program monitor window on my laptop:
If the video does not show up in the Preview and/or Program monitor windows in Premiere, then the NVidia Optimus is enabled.  Please click on the button below and read the article on how to setup Premiere or After Effects to run with Optimus Technology.

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I Ran the CUDA.BAT and it did not work.
1.  Make sure you do not have Adobe Premiere or After Effects running.  They must close BEFORE you run the program.
2.  Make sure you RIGHT clicked on the CUDA.BAT program and then selected Run as Administrator.
3.  Make sure your Adobe Premiere and/or After Effects is on the C:
4.  Make sure your video card has 1 gig of dedicated video memory.
These are the most common reasons why it didn't work.

Premiere Crashes when I try to render my timeline or my project.
1. If you are running a video card that you overclocked or is a factory overclocked video card, try returning it to the non-overclocked specs.  Even though your other programs may have run fine with an overclocked video card, Premiere will push the video card harder than your other programs, thus causing it to crash.
2. Another thing you can try is add an extra fan or two to you computer system.  With one of them blowing air across the video card.  You see overclocked video cards will run hotter and generate more heat than a non-overclocked cards.  And sometimes all they need is better cooling.

My video playback stutters even after I render the timeline.
This problem is not from the video card.  Most of the time the problem is from data transfer rate from a slow rpm hard drive.
1)  Make sure your hard drives are 7,200 rpm drives or higher.  If your drive is a Green drive or a 5,400 rpm drive, they are not fast enough fast enough to provide a high enough data transfer rate for smooth playback.
2) If you only have 1 hard drive, pick up a 2nd one that runs at 7,200 rpm  and put the Media Cache files on a 7,200 rpm drive.
3) If you already have 2nd hard drive and it is 7,200 rpm, put the Media Cache files on the 7,200 rpm drive.

Also, clear out your Media Cache File.  Here is how:

Click on Edit
Select Preferences
Then Select Media
Here you will find a section labeled Media Cache Database
Click on the Clean button to clear out the Media Cache Files and Database.

NOTE: Cleaning the cache and database files with the Clean button will NOT remove files that are associated with footage for which the source files are still available.

How do I change the location where the Media Cache Files are stored?
Click on Edit
Select Preferences
Then Select Media
Here you find a section marked Media Cache Files.  Click on the Browse button and set your new location.
Do NOT check the button for Save Media files next to originals when possible.

I just installed a GTS460 (or any other NVidia video card) and I noticed that running the Mercury Playback Engine in the software mode is faster with some footage than when I run the Mercury Playback Engine in the GPU hardware mode.  Why is that?

This has to due with the Maximum Render Quality mode setting.  Adobe Premiere has a setting called the Maximum Render Quality mode (or MRQ).

The Maximum Render Quality mode will maximize the quality of motion in rendered clips and sequences.  So when you select this option, the video will often render moving objects more sharply.  Maximum Render Quality also maintains sharp detail when scaling from large formats to smaller formats, or from high-definition to standard-definition formats.  For the highest quality exports you should always use the Maximum Render Quality mode.

Whether you are running the Mercury Playback Engine in the software mode or GPU hardware mode, you can turn the Maximum Render Quality mode on or off.  You should have it turned ON.

Here is how to set the Maximum Render Quality.
1)  Open up Premiere
2)  Click on Sequence at the top of the screen
3)  Then select Sequence Settings
4)  At the bottom of the window select Maximum Render Quality and click Okay

When you are comparing the speed difference between using the software rendering mode and the GPU hardware rendering mode make sure the Maximum Render Quality mode is set to

Depending on the timeline video, effects and transitions that you are using, will depend on how much rendering is done by CPU vs. the GPU.  Remember, not all effects and transitions are handled by the GPU.  When the CPU is involved in the rendering, the Maximum Render Quality set to On will improve the final overall quality.

If you have a mix of GPU effects/transitions and non-GPU effect/transitions in your time line and you have the Maximum Render Quality mode set to OFF, then the non-GPU effects/transitions will be at a lower quality.

Bottom line, I recommend you always set the Maximum Render Quality mode to ON,

After I installed a GT240 Video Card and the latest drivers I lost the sound from my computer.
We had the same thing happen here with a couple of our computers.  All you need to do in boot you computer up and enter the Setup program for the BIOS.  Look for an entry for the On Board Sound.  Ours was set to Auto. You need to change it to Enable.  Save and exit out of the BIOS setup.  Let your computer boot up and your sound will now be back.

I found GPUsniffer in some other Adobe folders.  Does this mean that other Adobe programs are using the CUDA cores?
No, at least not at this time.  GPUsniffer is used in certain other Adobe programs to check the OpenGL version and the total video memory.

I upgraded from a GTS450 to a GTX470 and I am not seeing any improvement in Adobe Premiere, why?
This is not uncommon.  Please go back to page 1 and re-read the article.

What is a Fermi video card and are they supported by Premiere CS5?
The Fermi video cards are the GT400 and GT500 series.  They are more powerful, they offer many more cores, they have a larger memory bus and higher clock speeds.  As the Mercury Playback Engine matures with updates from Adobe, maybe you will be able to use more or all of the power of these video cards, but that will also depend on your CPU and other system components.

With the GT400 or GT500 series video cards, do I need to use the above unlock procedure (or hack) to make them work with Adobe Premiere?
For most cards Yes.  For more information please go to Page 1 and scroll to the bottom of the page and read the Notes section.

My problem is when I render - if I choose to render with hardware MPE it goes fast then just dies - on the new driver it just stopped rendering, on a slightly older one I get a blue screen instantly.  This customer solved his own problem, this is the solution.
In the BIOS setting there is an entry that was "Enable nVidia GPU Ex".  When I set this to Disable, the problem went away and the Mercury Playback Engine works great now.  Also, when I use Magic Bullet Looks, with the BIOS set to Enable nVidia GPU Ex I couldn't use it.  I kept getting an error in the memory of the video card.  Once I set the Enable nVidia GPU Ex to Disable it now works too. Having the nVidia GPU Ex set to enable must be trying to manage the GPU's memory.  Since I have disabled this setting, Premiere CS5 and all my other programs are running just fine and there is no video speed difference in my games either.  Make sure the nVidia GPU Ex is set to Disable.

I have a nVideo Video Card with 1 gig of memory and it won't unlock.  The GPUSniffer reports I only have 729 megs of video ram.  What is going on?
The problem is the on-board video card that is built-in to your computer is causing problems with the nVidia card.  Make sure your video monitor is connected to the nVidia video card.  Reboot your computer and go into the Setup BIOS and look for the following:
1. If there is a setting that says something like "Enable nVidia GPU Ex" - set it to Disable
2. If there is a setting for Primary Video Adapter set it to PCI-E or PCI-16x
2. Disable any other settings for On-Board video
3. If there is a setting for how much RAM is used for the On-Board video, try setting it to 0 or to the least amount that you can.  If that doesn't work, try setting it to the maximum amount.  If that still doesn't work, try different settings in between the least amount and the maximum amount.

I have a computer and in the setup BIOS, the video graphic setting has a choice of Auto, PCI or PCI-E.  I am using a GT260 PCI Express video card should I change the setting from Auto?
Set it to PCI-E, otherwise you may have trouble when the Mercury Playback Engine is in use.

I have the NVidia FX3800 video card and after I updated Premiere, when I open a project within Premiere, the screen flashes a few times and goes to non-Aero. If I disabled Aero, the screen still flashes.
The flashing is most likely caused by the NVidia driver switching to 10 bit mode. Adobe, with version 5.02 added 10 bit support. The NVidia driver by default is in 8 bit mode and when Premiere tries to do anything in 10 bit mode, the screen will flash black. This only happens with the higher end Quadro video cards and not with the GeForce video cards. There is an option in the NVidia control panel to disable the 10 bit support mode.

Can I run Adobe Premiere on a Dual Core computer?
Yes, but....  We have Premiere CS5.5 running on a couple of AMD Athlon 64 5200+ systems.  Both of these systems have a clock speed of 2.7Ghz and have 6 gigs of memory.  These are both HP a1630n stock computers.  Now HP specs say you can only run 4 gigs of memory, but we have 2 slots with 1 gig each and 2 slots with 2 gigs each for a total of 6 gigs.  The computer BIOS recognizes the 6 gigs and so does all of our other programs.

Both of these systems are running a standard 300 watt power supply, so we are running GT 240 video cards with 1 gig of DDR5 video memory in each of these systems with the unlock procedure.  We are able to run a two 17mb AVCHD video tracks and a 3rd track with titles with no real problems with the time line at about 60 minutes in length. .  If we run more than two 17 mb AVCHD tracks or if we run two 24mb AVCHD video tracks with the 3rd title track, we do start to bog down.  These two systems are running Windows 7 Home Edition and Adobe Premiere CS5.  That's it.  There is NO other programs running in background such a Anti-Virus, CD/DVD creation software or other utilities.

Here is the but...  On these two systems we are generally working with one or two tracks of AVCHD at 17 mbs or HD Quicktime Photo JPG video or DV AVI and we are not having any problems.  Now, since everyone uses different codecs with different bit rates, performance will vary greatly from user to user.

I have read on the Internet different peoples opinions and/or experiences on running Premiere CS5 on a Dual Core system.  As you can guess the comments range from "it can't be done" to "it works fine".  A lot depends on your expectations of speed and performance, along with the video format your are working with.

With that said, I really do recommend using a quad core for better performance if you can afford to upgrade.

Will Premiere CS6, CS5.5 or CS5 work okay with dual SLI cards? No, Premiere does not support using dual SLI cards and yes, it can cause problem with Premiere.

Can Premiere CS6, CS5 or CS5.5 use video cards with dual GPU's such as the GTX590 or GTX690?
Premiere doesn't support dual GPU's, so only 50% of the video card will be used.

When I start up Premiere the splash screen comes up and it hangs up for about 5 minutes.  Help?
The problem is Premiere and other Adobe programs need to have access through your Firewall.
Try turning of your Firewall.  If it loads up faster, then you need to allow these programs to have access through the Firewall:

Adobe Premiere Pro.exe
Adobe QT32 Server.exe

This solved the problem for me and many other people.

We had some one email us about the MSI N240GT (GT 240) video card with 1 GB of DDR5 memory and that the MSI box says it requires a 350 watt power supply.  So why does our chart list a 300 watt power supply?
Okay, if you look at the MSI box for the GT240 with DDR5 memory, it does say they recommend a minimum of 350 watt power supply.  But, when you open up the installation guide it says the minimum power supply is 500 watts based on a PC configured with an Intel Core2Extreme Qx9650 processor.   Wait a minute, the list above says 300 watts.  Okay so what is going on here?

According to MSI, the main group of people who buy higher performance video cards are people who use the computer to play games. The GT 240 card falls into this category and the GT 240 card with 1GB of DDR5 memory is capable of being overclocked.  So they recommend 350 watts if you are a gamer and are going to overclock the video card.  If you won't be overclocking the card and you really don't need to for video editing, MSI said you will be fine with a 300 watt power supply.

If you are running a quad core system, such as one with the Core2Extreme Qx9650 processor, you will have a larger power supply than 300 watts any way and most likely it will be 450 to 500 watts or larger.  This is why their installation guide recommends a 500 watt power supply.  The more powerful the CPU, the larger power supply your computer will have, since the CPU pulls quite a bit of power in watts.  For example, the quad core Qx9650 processor pulls around 65 watts and the I7-930 processor pulls 130 watts.

Also, I was informed by several video card manufacturers that they put a higher minimum power supply requirement on their video cards, since they don't know what other devices or the number of hard drives you have in your computer.  That way, they will be on the safe side.

When I upgraded my 9600GT to a GT 240 video card, my Windows 7 Experience for the video card dropped even though the GT240 has more CUDA cores.  Should I worry?
No.  We noticed the same thing when testing various video cards.  Windows 7 Experience rating doesn't care about the CUDA cores, where the Mercury Playback Engine does, so I don't feel it is worth worrying about.

Will Adobe block this unlock procedure in the future?
Adobe engineers have said publicly on the Adobe forums, that they will not block the hack. The reason is, this is how THEY need to additional support for new cards and according to them, they will be in the future. They didn't hard code the video card list into Premiere CS5, the simply have it in a text file. This allows Adobe to add new supported cards easily, without having to rewrite and recompile the code for Premiere CS5.  When Adobe does an update on Premiere, they may replace the cuda_supported_cards.txt file like they did when they issued update version 5.02 and 5.03.  When that happens, simply unlock the video card again following the above steps 1 through 19.

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Instructions for Mac Users.

NOTE:  We have NOT tested the unlock on the Mac system.  We have had a couple of users tell us this is how they unlocked there video card on their Mac systems. If you find something incorrect with the Mac instructions, please drop us an email with the correct information.

Please understand, I do not have access to a Mac, so I can't help you if you have a problem.  I am sorry about that.

1) Install Premiere CS5 first.

2) Install the latest CUDA drivers for Snow Leopard

2) Once installed, go to System Preferences / CUDA and accept the update, IF THERE IS ONE.

3) Install the latest Nvidia Drivers.

4 ) Find out the Name of your video card from Premiere

5) Open a terminal emulator (NOTE: you may need Root Access)

5A) Go to the spotlight, type TERMINAL, press enter.

Most of the time, for standard installations, the following should work.

5B) Now on the terminal type:

/Applications/Adobe\ Premiere\ Pro\ CS5/Adobe\ Premiere\ Pro\

The "uppercased" words might be different for your installation of CS5, find out yours, do not just simply copy and paste.

If you need to look for the actual place where premiere was installed, type:


6) You get an output similar to Step 5 under the Windows section.

If it says somewhere that CUDA devices have been found you are lucky and you can use this capability.

7) Look for the name of the video card as you would in step 5 under the Windows section.


9) Now let’s add your card to the list of supported cards.

10) On the terminal type:

sudo nano /Applications/Adobe\ Master\ Collection/Adobe\ Premiere\ Pro\ CS5/Adobe\ Premiere\ Pro\

A new window appears, here, simply type in the name of the video card that you got from following step 7 just above.

11) Now Press CTRL + X
ANSWER "Y" (stands for YES, I want to save the file)
Press enter until you get out of the editor.

Now startup Adobe Premiere and open or create a Project.

Then at the top of the screen select Project, then select Project Setting and select General

Look under Rendering and Playback at the bottom of the window, it will say:

Renderer:  Mercury Playback Engine GPU Accelerated

If it says -- Renderer: Mercury Playback Engine Software Only.

Simply change it for Mercury Playback Engine GPU Accelerated and you are done.

The latest GPU drivers are confirmed to work and it is a recommended update.

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