Do Mac and Windows now diverge again with GPUs?
I was going to keep my 2012 Macbook Pro for legacy software and OS, and get a new MBP but I'm finding out . . .
The MBPs only come with AMD Radeon GPUs since 2014, which are supported by Premiere only for OpenCL.
Windows machines come with NVIDIA cards that are supported by Premiere for CUDA.
So it seems I can get a
1. Mac that will run FCPX (which I haven't tried) and Premiere but without CUDA, or a
2. Windows machine that will run Premiere optimally with CUDA
Is that the current choice? This reminds me of years ago when I switched to Mac to run FCP. Then switched to Premiere when FCP7 ended.
What will be good for the next 5 years for independent filmmaking? (I don't have to do features or commercials or 4K.)
Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City
As far as I know Open CL and CUDA have pretty much the same performance if you have a good graphics card but I have not tested it personally.
CUDA is acceration for Nvidia GPU’s and Open CL is for AMD and other GPU’s
Nvidia GPU’s will also work with Open CL but not as efficiently as with CUDA.
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In this video they tested open CL vs CUDA and the results are interesting:
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Thanks Greg. There are some nuggets in there though I really found it hard to sit though the long chatty video. Why can't people just supply text and a few pictures?
This guy compares AMD and NVIDIA on a single Windows machine using Cineform, a codec I never use, in Premiere and finds they are roughly equivalent.
I'm still wondering about AMD on a Mac vs NVIDIA on a PC for Premiere. Which is the choice I'm looking at. I forgot the PC may get quirky with my typical ProRes workflow.
Thanks for your posting!
Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City
Robert, I see the bigger problem is that Apple is not providing professional level upgrade paths for their “high end” laptops. The top of the line MacBook Pro tops out at 16GB of soldered RAM. You read it right, they have disabled the ability to remove their RAM and add more. This has been my biggest show stopper and lead me to continue to keep my Mid-2014 MBP with a Retina screen, 16GBs of RAM, an Nvidea GEforce GT 750M 2GB , and 2.5 GHz Intel Core I7. (You might want to see if you can find one of these used on the market). I too thought about migrating to Windows, but didn’t want to lose the ProRes ability at this moment. (I have an inferno for my setup).
So in the meantime I bought a highend (but not Pro) iMac 27”. It handles my 4K video with ease. It cost about 3200 which was what a similarly configured Windows 10 machine would have cost. I bought my RAM 3rd party, and got a minimally configured iMac at that price range.
Since Apple has just (finally) released a high end MPro, maybe they will release a Professional level laptop at the same time. If they don’t next year, I’ll be forced to move to a Windows laptop. I have lots of experience with Windows and Adobe, and am not afraid of the move, but it’s just a lot of irritation. I think that Philip Bloom just made a video of his conversion to Windows, and it was also irritating to him, but he doesn’t have the background in Windows.
I don’t think that the kind of video card is going to be a showstopper. Both environments know they need to be competitive. I do know that my MBPro has not yet had an nVidea upgrade for it’s CUDA drivers since I upgraded to to High Sierra. It’s odd that it’s been a number of weeks now and the CUDA driver is *stuck* at 387.99 and I’m being told an update is REQUIRED.
I wish and hope that the release of the new MB pro shows that Apple is serious about keeping up on this industry. I like a lot about the Mac universe when it comes to finding third party support, and my experience is that the MacOS is more reliable than even W10, though that gap has closed dramatically in the last few years.
Good luck and keep in touch with us about what your choices are.
[Robert Withers] " the PC may get quirky with my typical ProRes workflow."
While their are ProRes options on the PC side none of them are as simple to work with as ProRes on a Mac. ProRes has been keeping me working with Mac boxes ever since I switched to Ppro and I wish it were otherwise since Apple has committed to optimizing their boxes to work with FCPX. I don't think CUDA vs Open CL should be a major concern, every thing I've read leads me to believe they are equivalent.
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FCPX on a Mac rocks! End of story. FCPX on a Mac will not compete with a PC running Premiere Pro CC. End of Story!
Are you confused yet?
If I disable the GPU on Windows PC (Premiere Pro) with a Quad Core Haswell i7 at 3.4 GHZ my 2.66 GHZ dual core Mac Mini (FCXP) will playback more real-time effects than the PC. Does that sound impressive? It should. Having said that if I enable the GPU on my desktop PC it will kick the snot of the Mac Mini. Any cheap Apple laptop running FCPX will allow you to edit h.246/mpeg4/AVCHD with ease using FCPX. The same cannot be said about Premiere Pro. Why is that you ask? Because FCPX uses Intel's Quick Sync. Even if your laptop had a dedicated mobile GPU FCPX will still have an advantage over Premiere Pro when using an Apple laptop and OS X. That is because the Quick Sync probably does 90% of the processing. Some FCPX user think if you get a $4,500.00 Mac Pro the performance gap between FCPX and Premiere Pro will widen. That is not the case. Do you know why?
The Xeon CPUs do not have Intel's Quick Sync. If you go from a dual core to a quad core when editing h.264 you will see a huge boost in performance using Premiere Pro but you will not see a huge performance boost using FCPX. Do you know why? Intel's Quick Sync is the same for the dual core CPU and the Quad Core CPU. Let me put it to you like this. An 8 core i7 CPU does not have 8 Quick Sync cores. As the computer specs get better the performance between Premiere Pro and FCPX begin to even out. If you edit R3D codecs or camera raw Intel's Quick Sync will not work with those codecs. It only works with AVCHD/H.264/mper4 codecs. One the PC side you can get double the performance for less money than the Mac Book offers.
If you want to run Premiere Pro a Windows 10 PC will be your best bet. I hope this helps.