Finally there is some more information on what effects are supported when using OpenCL in latest version Adobe CC. Apparently the list is pretty comprehensive so instead of going over what effects are supported, lets take a look at the effects that aren’t supported when compared to an Nvidia’s Cuda cards.  According to adobe here are the only 4 effects not supported by OpenCL cards.

  • Fast Blur effect
  • Gaussian Blur effect
  • Directional Blur effect
  • Basic 3D effect

These 4 effects aren’t going to be huge loss. After all, the effects will still work in your timeline and when rendering, they just won’t be GPU accelerated. To me that puts OpenCL cards at parity with Cuda supported cards. Adobe has also said that moving forward, more and more effects will be optimized for OpenCL as their focus moves away from Cuda specific optimization. This could be an overall move by Adobe to port applications to mobile.

Nvidia or Radeon? 

With this new update the list of officially supported Radeon cards has grown to several pages. Adobe has also announced that

GPU that we haven’t officially tested, but which meets the minimum requirement of having 1GB of VRAM and appropriate drivers installed

can be enabled by the user without the need to hack any files. So even if it doesn’t make the list, you’ll still be able to give the card a try and see how well it works with Adobe CC. Speaking from experience, the GTX 670 and GTX 660 ti do a great job with both CS6 and now CC.

As of right now, it’s hard to say what GPU you should buy for maximum performance with Adobe CC. The few results I’ve seen so far haven’t pushed me in either direction. It looks like results from both Cuda and OpenCL provide very solid benefits to real time playback and rendering.

If you can live without the speed boost on a few blur effects, the new OpenCL support gives you a lot more GPU options to choose from. Historically Radeon cards have done pretty well in the performance department and usually sell for a slightly lower prices while including more games bundled with new cards. That could be enough to convince some to make the move to Radeon.

Multi GPU support?

One other interesting statement from Adobe is that

Premiere Pro CC has support for multiple GPU configurations on export.

This feature won’t help with timeline playback but if things are handled correctly, this could mean doubling rendering speeds. That might not be a huge deal when working on videos in the 5 to 15 minute range, but if you work on longer projects (30 minutes to 3 hours) like I do, doubling render times could be a huge benefit. If I can render a 30 min project in say 30 minutes or less, I can actually hand over edits for approval the same day. Need a quick change, no problem, just wait 30 minutes and I’ll have a revised edit for you to approve. Sure I could pre render effects in my timeline to speed things up, but those are most often the things that get tweaked in the approval process.

It’ll be interesting to see how this will develop over the next few product cycles. Hopefully Adobe’s choices will drive other companies with GPU intensive applications to focus more development on OpenCL support.  

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