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H264/HEVC hardware accelerated decoding is broken in 2023 for Nvidia (Premiere version 23.4)

Explorer ,
Jun 16, 2023 Jun 16, 2023

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  1. Version of the app - latest available - 23.4
  2. Platform and OS version - Windows 11 x64 on the latest updates as of 16/06/2023



Hello there, this is an incredibly frustrating bug that I'm dealing with.

I have an Nvidia RTX 3090 GPU on the latest Studio drivers from Nvidia, paired with an AMD Ryzen 5950x, an NVME SSD and 32GB of fast DDR4 ram.

The option 'H264/HEVC hardware accelerated decoding' is enabled in Preferences but it has no effect.

I can verify in Task Manager that when scrubbing/playing a HVEC file on the Timeline in Premiere, there is 0% utilisation on the Video Decode, despite the media being in a format that is supported by both Nvidia and Premiere as per the documentation. This leaves me with laggy performance in the Timeline unless I use proxies, the use of which drastically slows down my workflow.

If I play the same file in another app such as VLC media player, I can confirm that the Video decoder is being utilised properly in that application. There is no problem with the video decoder on the GPU, the problem must be with Premiere.

It feels very bad to not have the capabilites of my GPU utilised, when I see M1 Macbooks and lesser Intel machines with silky smooth Timelines vs mine (even though my machine has much more resources) due to their video decoding functioning correctly.

The file format is 8 bit 4:2:0 HEVC with CFR (constant frame rate). It should be an almost ideal format for the video decoding to accelerate. Instead I am stuck decoding on the CPU, which causes lag and freezing behaviour whilst editing.

I have tested x264 content and video decoding is also not working in this case.

Please could you fix this Adobe. Those of us with Ryzen CPUs & Nvidia GPUs are suffering. Thank you.


Bug Unresolved
TOPICS
Editing and playback , Performance or Stability , User experience or interface

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7 Comments
LEGEND ,
Jun 16, 2023 Jun 16, 2023

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Does it use the GPU when using say the 22.x versions?

 

And decoding of H.264 has tended to be more dependent on the CPU being designed for that process than the GPU. As another Ryzen user, I'm rather aware of that. Though I don't know the specs for your CPU.

 

Maybe @RjL190365 can pop in, as they know this stuff cold.

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
Jun 16, 2023 Jun 16, 2023

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I don't know if in recent previous versions of Premiere Pro that the feature works, I just know it is broken right now for me and I've been having performance issues for some time with x264 and HVEC files (forced to transcode to mezzanine format or use proxies to have acceptable performance while editing). I've seen old YouTube videos in which the feature was indeed working and demonstrated as working on Nvidia GPUs, so I know that it has at least worked in the past at some point.

Nvidia GPUs have a dedicated chip for video decode that should be utilised by Premiere. In my case, it's certainly not being utilised. If this issue is widespread, this leaves those of us with technically powerful editing rigs based on CPUs without an Intel iGPU + an Nvidia GPU in the dark.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 16, 2023 Jun 16, 2023

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I've not noted a difference on my machine in H.264 performance between 22.x and 23.x, so I was asking partly as I'm unsure what differences there are. I do know even bit-depth can change whether hardware or software decoding is used in certain circumstances.

 

And realistically, when someone like rjl goes into the full tech explanations of what works when why, it's pretty convoluted. So I have trouble tracking all the ifs/ands/buts/nor's of the thing.

 

And yea, I do know how irritating the whole H.264 thing is for so many people.

 

As someone who works for/with/teaches pro colorists, who tend to have machines that make yours and mine look positively wimpy ... and are designed to run multiple tracks of 8K RED and Arri  at full speed with effects ... it's intriguing the attitude difference between editors & colorists on long-GOP media.

 

Most all the colorists I know ... when they get the client media in, and some is mp4/long-GOP, IMMEDIATELY make transcodes, and use the transcodes for grading on their monster "heavy iron" hardware. They hate grading with any H.264/5 media. And figure, it doesn't take hardly any actual time as it's done in the background, on another machine, or while they're sleeping or taking lunch.

 

Many editors totally freak at the idea they should even use proxies, let alone t-codes. On far less heavy iron hardware.

 

Fascinating. We humans are all over the place, and that's not saying any 'feeling' is right or wrong, just ... we can be so different in how we see things.

 

Yea, it would be nice if the H.264 plays better ... no question. And if there's something the devs can do that actually works better, I'm all for it.

 

I'm also at heart a practical guy. T-codes and proxies don't need to take up any of my time really in creation. It's all in how we structure our working practices. And ... they just work. Now. Without hassles or issues, mostly.

 

So yea, hoping the devs get us better performance as always. But ... being practical ... I also avoid any H.264 issues via chosen workflow tools.

 

Again, simply practical, neither right nor wrong.

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
Jun 16, 2023 Jun 16, 2023

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I think what's bugging me is that it's a feature that's been advertised,  that's worked in the past, that should work now, that'd save me a bunch of time/headache/resources and is currently not working! Plus, it works fine in the competing products Davinci Resolve, which is also much easier on the wallet! 🙂

I'm making content for YouTube & have limited resources when it comes to drive space. I also own a VERY expensive (for me anyway) GPU that isn't being utilised ;). This feature (if it were working) would be a killer time & resource saver for my particular workflow & the files I deal in.

 

Thanks for your reply, my solution right now is to use proxy workflow but it's not ideal.

 

Hopefully this bug gets fixed Asap! Everyone wins in that case!

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LEGEND ,
Jun 16, 2023 Jun 16, 2023

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I totally understand.

 

I've talked or corresponded with hundreds of editors and colorists over the the years. No two work alike. So what is a huge pain for one isn't even something another wants the devs to spend one minute on.

 

And the things I really want  ... well, been told by a program manager that the number of users wanting that is so small it ain't ever gonna happen. Ah well.

 

One thing we all want is playback performance. But even there the media used and effects and hardware vary so much. This a hard problem.

 

But please keep posting your thoughts!

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Explorer ,
Jun 16, 2023 Jun 16, 2023

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Koroku,

 

You might find my other post a bit cathartic to read as I believe it is the other side of this coin.

 

For reference, running beta version 23.5 with a 4090 and 13900K, I also see no video decode on ProRes or HEVC MXF H.265 footage. I know NVEC complicates this and I believe the 5959X has no iGPU, but I do not believe that is at play here.

 

To be fair. Task Manager is notorious for incorrect reporting, YMMV

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Explorer ,
Jun 17, 2023 Jun 17, 2023

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I think in your case the video Decoding should be happening on the iGPU of your CPU, not your GPU (the Nvidia decoder simply supports less formats, I'd guess that that's why it defaults to the iGPU, as they perform similarly anyway).

 

If the video Decoding isn't even working on intel iGPUs, that is concerning...

 

Task manager is reporting correctly in this case (although I know what you're saying about it being unreliable), video Decoding can be seen active when using VLC media player or watching YouTube videos via the chrome browser, and video playback and scrubbing performance in those cases is very smooth and obviously accelerated, meanwhile in Premiere, 0% usage on the video decode, poor (laggy) playback & high CPU usage. VLC/chrome are also free applications whereas Premiere makes my wallet lighter every month 😂 I'm sure Adobe have the resources to get this fixed next patch 😉

 

It could be that it's not high priority to get this feature working due to elite professionals using mezzanine codecs, but I reckon that there are many (silent majority perhaps) Premiere users that edit straight x264/HVEC files and don't even know what a proxy is. I've decided to be their voice ✌️

 

P.s. congrats on the PC, very nice specs.

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